Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 1 July 2020)

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Questions and answers for staff

(Last updated: 15 May 2020, 14:28)

Questions and answers for employees

For how long will university staff be recommended to work remotely?

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s regulations and general advice, valid until 31 December 2020, employees should make sure that staff who can work from home. The University hence continue to urge its staff, in agreement with their supervisor, to work fully or partially from home with tasks that can be carried out remotely. Returning to campus-based education naturally means that more work tasks cannot be performed remotely. And for staff needing to work at their workplace, the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s regulations and general advice must be adhered to.

Employees who experience symptoms – even mild ones – must stay at home and avoid social contacts.

Möten

Physical meetings must be exchanged for alternative solutions to the extent possible. The Public Health Agency of Sweden has produced a guide to risk assessments due to covid-19 that can be useful when planning a meeting (available in Swedish only) Riskbedömning av evenemang och sammankomster med anledning av covid-19

Restrictiveness and caution must be taken when considering holding planning days and internal conferences. If any such are organised, the directives and general advice of the Public Health Agency of Sweden must be adhered to.

Does the work injury insurance apply if I work from home?

Yes. However, unlike working at the workplace, injuries at home need to be directly linked to the work you are conducting. This means that you must have injured yourself whilst performing your work tasks.

Umeå University does not control the terms and conditions of the insurance. You are recommended to have comprehensive home and accident insurance that cover you when you are not working.

The Insurance Company AFA offers the following examples for the work injury insurance.

Examples of valid situations of work-related injury

  • If you trip over the power cord to your laptop
  • If you are sitting at your computer answering work-related emails
  • If you are sitting at your computer talking to a colleague/customer on the phone
  • When walking around at home while having a work-related phone conversation on your work phone
  • When travelling between home and work for a customer meeting
  • When travelling to work to collect equipment, a phone or letters
  • When having a walk-and-talk meeting – as long as the employer has approved this.

However, the insurance does not cover other types of general accidents at home. If you get hurt when making a coffee in the kitchen, it does not count as a workplace accident, for instance, even if it happens during established working hours.

Read more about your insurance coverage on Aurora

Read more about the insurance at AFA Insurance, in Swedish:
Så fungerar försäkringen vid arbetsskada

Am I allowed to take my computer screen home with me if I work from home?

If your supervisor approves, you are allowed to take your work’s computer screen home if you are working from home.

How should I transport it?

You must see to the transportation yourself. If necessary, please ask a colleague for help.

What happens if the screen breaks?

If the screen would break, the employer is responsible for covering the costs, under the condition that reasonable caution was taken.

How do I perform online teaching and hold virtual meetings?

A new page listing what alternative technical solutions the university recommends for online teaching and virtual meetings has been set up and is available in English and Swedish.

Read about online teaching

Read about virtual meetings

What should I do if I have a cold or other symptoms of disease?

If you have symptoms of disease – even mild ones – you must stay at home and avoid social contacts. Discuss your ability to work from home with your supervisor. When you have been free of any symptoms for two days, you can return to work if you have tasks that require being present at the university. Otherwise, even if you are symptom-free, you are requested to work from home if possible, fully or partially, and in consultation with your supervisor.

If a person in your family or vicinity is ill, you do not have to stay at home due to this as long as you show no symptoms yourself. However, all employees are requested to work from home with those work tasks that can be performed from home.

If you are too poorly to work, you must go on sick leave.

Find out more about reimbursements and doctor's certificate

Do I need a doctor’s certificate?

Temporary routines apply from 13 March 2020 until further notice: If you are ill for longer than seven days, you currently do not need to provide a doctor’s certificate. However, if you are at home with an illness for over 21 days, you need to contact the medical care to obtain a doctor’s certificate and present this to your employer.

Find out about Reimbursements during sick leave

Do I get paid as usual if I have to work from home?

Yes, since you are working.

If your work tasks are not suitable for work at home, you are still entitled to full salary without salary deduction for up to 14 days if you are forced to stay at home due to mild symptoms of disease or because you have recently been abroad, for example. However, if you are too sick to work, you must report sick.

I refuse to come to work because of fear of being infected. Can I work from home?

Employees are urged to work from home if possible to reduce the risk of spreading disease. Discuss with the supervisor what work tasks can be performed from home.

I belong to a risk group, what should I do?

Employees who belong to risk groups based on illness are requested to contact their supervisor for discussions.

All employees over the age of 70 are urged to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and limit their contacts with others, and hence avoid visiting the university’s campuses and workplaces.

A colleague appears ill, but is still at work. What can I do?

The University follows the advice and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and hence requests everyone with symptoms of disease to stay at home. Such symptoms are even mild symptoms of a cold or the flu, but also other symptoms of disease. All individuals are responsible for taking necessary precautions to reduce the risk of spreading disease. If you are worried, please notify your supervisor who can address the situation.

Is the occupational health care services providing support and help right now?

Yes, please contact Feelgood.

What happens to internal meetings?

Internal meetings should be exchanged for alternative digital solutions as far as possible. The responsible supervisor is in charge of assessing the form for the meeting when necessary.

What should we do with shipments and deliveries to the university from foreign suppliers?

Umeå university has no plans on limiting deliveries from foreign suppliers at the moment.

I have a combined clinical employment – what happens to me?

Read more on Covid-19-information till medarbetare med kliniska kombinationsanställningar

The pre-school / primary and lower-secondary school is closed. What do I do as an employee and guardian?

The first thing you must do is come to an agreement about working from home with your responsible supervisor. If this is not possible, the employee, in agreement with the immediate supervisor, can stay at home without salary deduction until the pre-school / primary and lower-secondary school is opened, but only for a maximum of 14 days. 

My child is sick or is a carrier of the virus. What do I do as an employee and guardian?

If your child is sick or a carrier, the following rules apply to the care of sick children (VAB).  For more information, please find out more from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

Information about the care of a sick chilf (VAB)

Information about COVID-19

The Swedish Government has announced that the first unpaid day of sick leave (karensdagen) will be abolished. What does this mean for me as an employee?

Because of the COVID-19, the Swedish government has declared to suspend the deduction from sick pay during the qualifying period. This means that all staff get SEK 804 before tax on the first day of sickness leave regardless of regular salary.

Find out more about sick pay

Study-related questions

Staff who have study-related and study administrative questions with regard to COVID-19 can find out more on Aurora.

Please contact the University using corona@umu.se with all questions related to COVID-19 within all university areas – research, education and collaboration included.