Teleworking and on-site working conditions

Updated 6 October 2021

Teleworking for administrative and technical staff (PAT)

In order to promote a return to on-site work for UNIGE staff, consistent with the return to in-person teaching for students, the new Directive on teleworking for Administrative and Technical Staff comes into force on 6 October 2021. Implementation is desired as soon as possible, but flexibility is given for the transmission of individual agreements to the HR division until the end of December 2021.

Teleworking is not a right, but may be allowed when the activities included in the job requirements are compatible with telework and involve a high degree of autonomy. It must be organized in such a way that the tasks can be carried out within the given time frame at any time without affecting the functioning of the service. In all cases, the manager decides on the possibility of teleworking on a position and ensures an equitable and functional distribution within his/her unit.

The objective of the new Directive is to organize the practices, in a perspective of standardization and integration of teleworking in a more regular way. It provides flexibility in the organization of work, contributes to the reduction of the UNIGE's carbon emissions by limiting travel between home and work, as well as to the reconciliation of professional life with personal and family life.

In the event of a negative evolution of the public health situation, teleworking will be carried out according to specific pandemic-related prescriptions.

Teleworking on the national territory
For PAT staff residing in Switzerland, teleworking is possible if the occupation rate is at least 50%. It can reach 40% of the contractual rate, i.e. a maximum of two days per week if the work rate is 100%. The conditions for teleworking are subject to a written agreement between the employee and his/her manager, validated by the entity's management. A copy must be sent to the Human Resources Division.

Teleworking in France
For cross-border commuters, teleworking can be carried out at the place of residence under the conditions described above only until December 31, 2021. The provisional amicable agreement between Switzerland and France concerning the taxation of cross-border commuters teleworking has been extended until that date. The rules applicable in 2022 will be communicated to you as soon as the legal basis is known. For UNIGE cross-border commuters with Swiss nationality, teleworking remains possible under the conditions described in the directive beyond December 31, 2021 as long as the persons concerned remain taxable in Switzerland.

on-site Working conditions

Teaching staff

Any person taking part in a teaching activity, whether a member of staff or mandated by the UNIGE, must have a Covid certificate or a UNIGE negative test certificate to enter the classroom, as it is the case for students. Teaching staff means any person who is in a room or auditorium while teaching is taking place.

It is necessary for teaching staff to get to classrooms and auditoriums early enough to ensure that random testing does not delay the start of courses.

Non teaching staff

Persons whose activities are not directly linked to teaching, working for example at the reception desks, in admissions or in the library, are not subject to the Covid certificate requirement but must fully respect the institution's protection plan. Technical teams (UNIGE or not) in emergency situations are not subject to the certificate requirement.

The UNIGE strongly encourages vaccination for its staff members.

Work meetings

Working meetings between colleagues, including those with participants from outside the institution, may be organised in-person. Participants may remove their masks once they are seated, provided that the distance of 1.5 metres is respected.

Teaching and research staff

Teaching and research staff can also progressively coming back to work on-site, with the terms agreed upon with their supervisors.

People at especially high risk

Special measures are in place for people at especially high risk, who are required to telework. > Read more


As the public schools in the canton of Geneva remain open and professional courses continue, it is important for apprentices to continue their theoretical and practical training. Apprentices are subject to the same measures as employees concerning telework, provided that they receive adequate supervision and the learning objectives can be guaranteed.


Trainees may still be taken on provided that the reception conditions comply with health protection measures and allow adequate supervision of the trainee. The possibility of carrying out a telework placement must be examined beforehand to ensure that the aim of the placement can be achieved through telework. A mentoring scheme should also be announced at the time of hiring.

Requirement to work on-site

An employee is required to come and work on site if my employer asks it, as long as all the protective measures recommended by the Federal Office of Public Health are in place. If you are not at especially at risk and you don't turn up for work on site with no 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 are not at especially at risk and 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.

In a derogatory manner, people at especially high risk can refuse to do certain work assigned to them if on-site conditions are not safe enough or if they consider the risk of infection to be too high despite the measures taken. > Read more about people at especially high risk



Checks and installations to do:

1. To access the UNIGE network remotely, you will be asked for a security code. To receive it, you have two options:

  • Register your mobile phone number in your HR Space of the UNIGE Portal in order to receive these security codes necessary for connection to the University network by SMS. To check or add your phone number, log on to: portail.unige.ch > Espace RH > Gestion des données individuelles
  • You can also choose to use an mobile application such as Google Authenticator to generate a single-use security code allowing you to access the University network.

Note: for security reasons, you must be directly connected to the UNIGE network to perform these checks / installations.

2. For those who have an institutional laptop, check that the FortiClient VPN application is installed correctly, then test it. If necessary, install it then check your connection using your UNIGE login supplemented by the ISIs + code, which you will then receive.

3. For those who will use their private computer, install the VDI Horizon application, then test it. Then check your connection using your UNIGE login supplemented by the ISIs + code, which you will then receive on your smartphone.

4. The mobile application Jabber (available on App Store or Google Play) must be installed on your smartphone to allow you to phone and communicate, using your professional number from home. This application also allows you to organize videoconferences for up to 20 people. Do not forget to test that everything works.

Discover tools for teleworking and distance learning solutions

Detailed information on teleworking at UNIGE

 For any question, please contact your IT correspondents or the Centre d'accueil des demandes (CAD).

Updated 6 November

Working remotely from abroad is in principle not allowed, except in special circumstances, such as serious illness or death of a close relative. If you are in this situation, contact your hierarchy to check whether or not you are allowed to work remotely. This rule does not apply to cross-border employees who can telework according to the same principles as those resident in Switzerland.

Updated 1st April 2021

I haven't been able to use up all the vacation days I carried over from 2020. Will these days be cancelled?

In 2021 the usual arrangements will apply for the management of vacation days, in particular the maximum time limit for carrying them forward to 31 August. It is important that the remaining 2020 vacation days are taken before this date.

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

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

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 2021 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.