Employees

Human Resources

Updated  10 July 2020

These measures may be amended if needed or as the public health situation evolves.

Staff members will continue to receive their salary, regardless of their situation.

In order to minimize rush-hour commuting, team leaders will draw up staggered working hours for their team members, in consultation with those affected. Supervisors are asked to be flexible and considerate, taking into account their team members’ family constraints – including the need to look after children – as well as any commuting challenges they may face.

As part of the University's continuity plan, supervisors may temporarily require staff members to carry out activities that are not included in their job description. They can also requisition staff members for other tasks.

I haven't been able to use up all the vacation days I carried over from 2019. Will these days be cancelled?

Given the current situation, the Rectorate has decided that the deadline for using up all vacation carried over from 2019 will be moved from 31 August to 31 December 2020.

Can I cancel the vacation I scheduled during the partial lockdown?

Yes, any vacation that you have already scheduled during this period can be cancelled with your supervisor's consent.

Can my supervisor cancel my vacation if it's already scheduled?

Yes, supervisors can cancel vacation that has already been scheduled.

Can my supervisor force me to take vacation during the partial lockdown?

No, your supervisor cannot consider the period of full or partial lockdown as a vacation period.

Do I have to take vacation despite the current situation?

Vacation entitlements are there to safeguard staff members' health. Staff members have to schedule their 2020 vacation despite the public health crisis. As a reminder, although some vacation can be taken in small chunks, all teaching staff must take at least two consecutive weeks off at some point, and all technical and administrative staff must take at least three consecutive weeks off.

Vacation must be scheduled with the consent of all those concerned, but your employer can prevent you from taking vacation during a given period for work-related reasons.

Am I required to come and work on site if my employer asks me to?

Yes, as long as all the protective measures recommended by the Federal Office of Public Health are in place. If you don't turn up for work on site and don't have a valid reason, your employer may consider it to be an unexplained absence and act accordingly (such as by taking the time out of your vacation). If you continue to refuse to come to work, this may be deemed a violation of your duties and you could face disciplinary measures or even have your contract terminated.

I am working but must take care of young children.

If you have dependent minor children who are not yet in their school or regular care, inform your superiors. You will be able to benefit from a schedule arrangement if teleworking is possible. If it is not and/or no alternative childcare solution is possible, you can ask for a temporary reduction in your rate of activity with a proportional reduction in salary.

I am working, but must take care of a sick family member.

You can take advantage of the leave provided for in the event of serious illness of a relative (15 days per year if they share the same household and 10 days if they do not share the same household) with presentation of a medical certificate from the 1st day, except for children up to the age of 10.

If you get sick, you must inform your supervisor immediately. You must also let them know when you are better. You are required to provide a medical certificate if you are absent for three days or more.

Internships may resume, as long as the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures are in place and the interns can be supervised. New hiring requests will only be considered if work authorization can be granted and if the internship can be organized and supervised in keeping with the requisite safety measures.

In view of the gradual resumption of activities within the University, it is recommended that trainees gradually return to their workplace, as long as supervision and protective measures can be provided.

Udpated 25 June
In accordance with the Federal Council's latest decisions, the specific protective measures for employees at especially high risk have been lifted.

According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the number of new infections is currently low. For this reason, special protection for people over the age of 65 or suffering from certain pre-existing illnesses is no longer necessary in the workplace.  Persons at especially high risk can therefore now return to the workplace.

The basic protective measures of hygiene and social distancing continue to apply in order to protect the health of all staff members.

Updated 10 July

1. I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and the cantonal authorities have put me in quarantine.

You must inform your supervisors immediately.

a) If you can work from home during the quarantine, you should.

b) If you can't work from home during the quarantine (i.e., because you don't have the necessary equipment, or because you cannot meet the needs of your unit by working from home), you will be given an exceptional leave of absence of up to ten days and be exempted from the requirement to work.

If you display symptoms during the quarantine, you should contact a health-care provider, get tested and follow the instructions given by the public-health authorities. If the test comes back positive, you will have to remain in isolation and will be granted standard sick leave (see situation 3 below).

2. For personal reasons (e.g., vacation), I went to another country or area with a high risk of infection and upon my return to Switzerland, I was told to remain in quarantine for ten days by the cantonal authorities.

If, during the 14 days prior to returning to Switzerland, you stayed in a country or area where there is an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, you are required, upon your arrival in Switzerland, to go immediately and directly to your home or to other suitable accommodation. You must remain there at all times for 10 days following arrival and immediately contact your supervisors.

No leave will be granted in this case.

a) If you can work from home during the quarantine, you should.

b) If you can't work from home during the quarantine (i.e., because you don't have the necessary equipment, or because you cannot meet the needs of your unit by working from home), the hours will be deducted from your overtime or annual leave. If you don't have enough overtime or leave left, your salary will be reduced based on the number of days you are absent.

If you display symptoms during the quarantine, you should contact a health-care provider, get tested and follow the instructions given by the public-health authorities. If the test comes back positive, you will have to remain in isolation and will be granted standard sick leave (see situation 3 below).

3. I have tested positive for COVID-19 and was told to remain in isolation by the cantonal authorities.

Anyone who tests positive for the new coronavirus must remain in isolation. That means that they must avoid all contact with others. As with any sickness, you must immediately inform your supervisors. You must also let them know when you are better. You will be granted standard sick leave and will be required to provide a medical certificate if you are absent for three days or more.

You won't have to work from home while in isolation.

 

4. What happens if I decide to put myself in quarantine?

You must request a quarantine certificate from the cantonal authorities. Situation 1 above will apply.