FAQ for staff

Below is a list of questions and answers for staff regarding how Jönköping University is handling the situation regarding the coronavirus. These questions and answers are updated continuously.

General questions

To handle questions and issues related to the coronavirus, JU previously activated a crisis organisation. The crisis organisation has been managed by representatives of the Foundation, all subsidiaries, the Students Union and Employee Organisations.

As per Tuesday 28 April, the crisis organisation has been deactivated. It may be reactivated, should there be need for it.  Onwards, the work to handle the consequences of the coronavirus will continue within the incumbent organisation, upon directives from JU Management.

Please see further information regarding the coronavirus at www.ju.se/en/corona

Students and employees are requested to keep up to date via responsible authorities’ websites, regarding information and development related to the coronavirus. JU follows the recommendations of these authorities.

JU employees should contact their immediate manager if they have any questions.

You can also ask questions via e-mail: servcenter@ju.se
Telephone: +46 36-10 19 70
Telephone hours are 10:00-11:00, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Students and staff are urged to stay updated with information via the JU webpage regarding the corona virusopens in new window. It can also be reached via: ju.se/en/coronaopens in new window

President's Decisions regarding the coronavirus can be found on the intranet. 

Starting Wednesday 18 March, the following applies for studies:

  • JU transitions to off campus education
  • No teaching will take place in JU's premises
  • JU's premises will be open. Even if campus is open the Swedish government encourages all students to, if possible, study from home.

Jönköping University will plan for on campus education, starting fall  2020. The decision has been made after discussions by JU Management and is based upon a scenario that authorities' recommendations allows so.

There will be an internal team engaged in investigating and producing guidelines related to how on campus education can be carried out. These guidelines will be produced with regard to the variations in needs and demands of the schools. More information for staff and students will come continuously.

Jönköping University is monitoring the situation continuously and follows the information and recommendations from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Health Agency of Sweden. 

At present, we will continue to conduct our operations to the greatest extent possible. In accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendation, starting 6 April, we recommend our employees to if possible, work from home in dialogue with your immediate manager. It is important to keep in touch with your immediate manager since the conditions for, and possibility to be working from home may change. 

Jönköping University has decided to, in line with the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the decision made by the Swedish government to stop all public gathering and events with more than 500 people, cancel our Open House (Öppet hus), which was scheduled to take place on Saturday 21 March.

More events may be effected and we will inform staff and students continously. Events are updated on this page

At present, we will continue to conduct our operations to the greatest extent possible. In accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendation, starting 6 April, we recommend our employees to if possible, work from home in dialogue with your immediate manager. It is important to keep in touch with your immediate manager since the conditions for, and possibility to be working from home may change. 

Digital meetings are an alternative to physical meetings, which makes it is possible to attend meetings for employees who are working from home.

We have adjusted the cleaning routines to prevent the risk of spread on Campus. 

Stay at home when you are sick to avoid infecting people at the university, on the bus, at work or in areas where you are close to other people.

Everyone with symptoms of respiratory infection, even mild symptoms, should avoid social contacts which can spread disease. Stay at home 48 hours after you are symptom free.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends:

  • Everyone with symptoms of respiratory infection, even mild symptoms, to avoid social contacts which can spread disease.
  • Avoid touching your face or eyes as well as contact with sick people.
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue to prevent infection from spreading around you, or from contaminating your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water, before eating, before preparing food, and after toilet use. Alcohol-based hand rub can be an alternative when you are unable to wash hands.
  • If you have symptoms, even mild ones, such as sniffling, coughing or fever, you should stay home. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a sore throat, headache, nausea, muscle and joint pain, are also common symptoms according to the Swedish Public Health Agency.

Read more in the Public Health Agency of Sweden's FAQexternal link, opens in new window.

We are aware that Covid-19 is spread in society and that staff and students could fall ill. Stay home if you have symptoms. As precautions, we are taking measures to decrease spread of infection amongst staff and students, and also in our facilities. Remember to be kind to one another.

The Jönköping Region is responsible for all contact tracing at JU. If a student or employee at JU is found to be infected with Covid-19, the infection control unit will contact the designated contact persons at JU for access to contact information. This means that employees or students who have met an infected person at JU will receive information about this via the Region’s contact tracing.

JU does not perform their own contact tracing and does not keep records on how many or which individuals are infected with Covid-19.

Questions regarding working from home

The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that those who have the opportunity to work from home to continue to do so during the autumn. This contributes to reduced risk of spreading, both in the workplace and in public transport. Decisions regarding working from home will also continuously be made in dialogue with the immediate manager and it is each manager who decides whether the employee can and should work from home. The assessment is made based on the employee's private situation and the conditions of the activities. 


Now that JU has resumed teaching on campus, this means that staff will work on campus when the activities require it. More campus-based activities require that our employees work on campus to a greater extent than in the spring. 

 

On 3 November, Jönköping Country introduced local general guidelines that are in place until 24 November. JU staff are asked to work at home if their tasks allow it. Decisions about the suitability of working at home are to be made in consultation with the immediate manager.

You don’t need anything specific, connect to your internet at home and most services will start right away. To access personal and common files from home you need to install VPN on your JU computer.

Information about VPN and instructions can be found via this linkexternal link, opens in new window, if you have questions please contact IT helpdesk via this linkexternal link, opens in new window.

Your working hours while working from home are regulated in the same way as when you work on campus. The same working conditions apply, and overtime/extended time is decided in advance by your immediate manager. It is important to take your personal responsibility in keeping a good balance between your work time and leisure time.

Your availability should be the same as when you work at your regular workplace. You will perform the same tasks (or other tasks that you have decided on together with your manager) and participate in meetings via your computer or over phone. Remember to maintain social contact with your colleagues, but digitally instead of physically.

Any leave, such as vacation, sick leave or childcare, should be handled in the same way as before and in dialogue with the immediate manager. It is important that you have a continuous dialogue with your manager about how it works to work at home.

JU offers several possibilities for digital meetings. We recommend that you use Teams, which all employees have a license to, Zoom is mainly meant for teaching staff. Instructions on how to use Teams can be found via this linkexternal link, opens in new window.

Talk to your immediate manager about the possibility to bring any equipment home.

When working from home it is important to create a good working environment. JU has the main responsibility for your working environment, no matter which location you are working from. You as an employee need to contribute to creating a good working environment and report risks, incidents and accidents.

A couple of advice when you work from home:

  • Create a good routine for your working day
  • Remember to take breaks, a recommendation is to do some movement and eat lunch as you regularly do
  • Be available during your work hours and keep in touch with your colleagues and immediate manager via phone or through digital meetings in Teams. Why not take a digital fika break together?
  • Put your work aside and turn off your computer when you have finished your work for the day.
  • In most cases, our home environment is not made for sitting office work. Therefore, try to create a working environment where you can sit as undisturbed as possible.
  • Remember to sit well, make sure you have a comfortable chair with support for your lower back and a table in a good height.
  • Place your computer at a suitable distance, avoid glistening and reflections on your screen. Be sure to avoid bad lighting, that can increase the risk for muscle tension and trouble with vision.
  • Notice your sitting position and avoid sitting with your neck and shoulders forward during long moments.
  • From an ergonomic perspective it is important to vary your working position, try to work standing up sometimes.
  • Try to spend time outdoors to for some daylight and daily exercising.
  • If you are sick, please call in sick
  • Keep in contact with your immediate manager about your work and how you feel working from home

More information and tips for working from home can be found via the following links (In Swedish).

Sunt arbetslivexternal link, opens in new window

Previaexternal link, opens in new window

While working from home you are in most cases insured in accordance to the “Injury agreement (PSA)”.

If an accident should occur, there is an individual process in regard to each case according to the circumstances when the accident happened. A presumption is that the accident is in direct connection to your work. If you have questions – contact your immediate manager.

TIPS ON WORKING FROM HOME

Something that is important to consider when working from home is the work environment, both the physical and the psychosocial. There are many tips on how to make work easier from home.

  • Try to find a routine for the workday and do not forget that breaks are important.
  • Be available during the workday and keep in close contact with colleagues and the manager, via telephone or through digital meetings via Teams/Zoom, otherwise it may be easy to feel isolated.
  • It is good to put the work aside and turn off the computer when the workday is over.
  • Try to create a workplace where you can sit as undisturbed as possible and think about sitting well. Varying your work positions are best and try to stand up and work sometimes, if possible.
  • It is important to have a continuous dialogue with your manager about your tasks and how you feel that working from home is working for you.

IT and Information security when working remotely

Use JU’s equipment primarily when working with work-related information. If you use private computer equipment, make sure that:

  • Operating systems and software are updated.
  • An active antivirus protection is installed.
  • Backup is done regularly.

Older devices that can no longer be updated should not be used. 

Connect to the internet through secure networks. Avoid open/free networks, for example at cafés and airports. These days, most home Wi-Fi systems are secure, but some older installations may lack proper security settings. Make sure you enable the security settings, such as encryption, by ensuring that you need to have a password to join the Wi-Fi network.

If you need to access your home directory or internal services, you need a JU computer with a secure connection (VPN). If you need help with the secure connection (VPN) – contact IT Helpdesk https://ju.se/it-helpdesk.html

Be suspicious of links and attachments in unexpected emails. Right now, fake emails and text messages related to COVID-19 are occurring. Even before opening an e-mail or text message, consider and make an assessment of whether it is reasonable for that sender to contact you in that matter. Read the message carefully and look for details that seem strange, for example, names, attachment names, email address of the sender, subject line or URLs.

Also, do not download programs that come via email, text message or different web pages, especially when the sender is unknown.

You can contact the IT Helpdesk if you are unsure whether a link or email address is correct or not.

Be restrictive with what information you spread via email (including your JU e-mail) and other digital communication channels. For example, via Teams, Zoom etc.

Safely store work-related information in accordance with the instructions provided by IT Service. Never store sensitive information in private cloud solutions, for instance personal data or other valuable information.

Also, be sure to protect important information found on paper and in notes in your home environment.

Immediately report any IT or information incidents to the IT Helpdesk.

When you’re not using your computer, you should lock it (CTRL+ALT+DEL) or turn it off. This is to ensure that no one who is unauthorized can read, distort or utilize programs and information in your computer.

Questions regarding working time and absence

The Public Health Agency encourages anyone with symptoms to stay home. If you have symptoms, even mild ones, such as sniffling, coughing or fever, you should stay home. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a sore throat, headache, nausea, muscle and joint pain, are also common symptoms according to the Swedish Public Health Authority.

For this reason, we recommend that employees bring their computer and work phone home with them at the end of the work day to be able to work from home if needed. You should come to an agreement with your immediate manager regarding which tasks you can perform from home. You are expected to be available via telephone, email and digital meetings, and have a continuous dialogue with your immediate manager regarding what it is like to work from home. 

At present, will we continue to conduct our operations to the greatest extent possible. In accordance with the Public Health Agency of Sweden recommendation, employees at JU have the possibility to work from home when the activities allow. Any decision regarding potentially working from home is done by your immediate manager.

To access your home directory and common storage areas from home, you can install VPN on your JU computer. You cannot access storage spaces from a computer other than JU computer. The installation can be done from any network, you do not have to be on site at JU to do this. Information about VPN and instructions can be found hereexternal link, opens in new window

Yes, your manager can order you to stay at home.

You and your manager should have a dialogue regarding what working tasks you can perform from home. You will be paid as usual if your manager decides that you should work from home.

No, your manager’s decision is final.

If your immediate manager says you should be at the workplace, then you should be. 

You should call in sick using the usual routines: https://intranet.hj.se/intranet/en/employment-and-working-environment/working-time-and-absence/sick-leave.html

Stay at home for at least 48 hours after you are symptom free as per the recommendation from the Swedish Health Agency. 

The government has decided to temporarily remove the day of qualifying period for sick pay. This measure means that the employee may subsequently seek compensation for the deduction made by the Swedish authorities. The employer continues to make a day of qualifying period deduction as before and the employee applies for reimbursement retroactively to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The temporarily removed qualifying period for sick pay is valid from 11 March 2020.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency has more information on their website (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations (from 2 October), people who live with someone who has been diagnosed with covid-19 infection, should also be considered as possible cases of disease, and should, as a rule follow the rules of conduct as a disease carrier. The rules may, for example, be that you are not allowed to go to work. If you are not allowed to go to work and do not have the opportunity to perform your work from home, you can apply for carrier allowance from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Keep in mind that a medical certificate is required which proves that you cannot be at work.

 

In this case, you should have a dialogue with your immediate manager regarding the possibility of working from home.

 

Information from Region Jönköping County:

"On 14 October, rules of conduct were introduced for those who live with a covid-19-infected person in Jönköping County. This means that everyone in the household needs to limit their contacts for at least a week. For those who cannot work from home, a medical certificate is written and the person applies for carrier compensation at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency."

The government has decided to temporarily change the law regarding sick pay (until 31 December 2020) so that the employee no longer needs to ensure their work capacity with a medical certificate from a doctor or dentist from the 8th sick day. Employees who are sick can be home from work in up to 14 days without a medical certificate. This applies to all sickness, not only Covid-19, with start 1 November 2020.

 

If your first sick day is before 1 November, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency will not ask for a medical certificate for days 15-21.

 

More information from the Swedish Social Insurance Agencyexternal link, opens in new window

 

This does not apply if you are already on part-time sick leave and your sick leave is extended to a greater extent after day 14. Then you still need a medical certificate from day 8 onwards for the new extended sick leave.

The municipalities are obligated to ensure school activities and childcare activities. If alternatives are temporarily not offered, compensation in form of temporary parental allowance can be paid. This is due to a new Government decision related to Covid-19 which says parental allowance can be granted if a principal (f.i. the municipality) decide to close preschools and schools. The usual rules for temporary parental allowance apply regarding age restrictions. Upon application, allowance is paid by Försäkringskassan. You will get approximately 90 percent of the money you receive when you stay at home if your child is sick.

Inform your manager if you plan to be on parental leave with temporary allowance and report your absence according to JU routines.The new regulations apply from 25 April until 31 December 2020.

Please see www.forsakringskassan.seexternal link, opens in new window for more info.

This is looked at on a case-by-case assessment based on the needs of the activities in combination with the employee’s situation and health status.

Questions regarding travel and visits

On 3 November, Jönköping County introduced local generel guidelines that are in place until 24 November. During this period, business trips should not be made. 

If you have symptoms, even mild ones, such as sniffling, coughing or fever, you should stay home. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, a sore throat, headache, nausea, muscle and joint pain, are also common symptoms according to the Swedish Public Health Agency.

In accordance with the recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in relation to the responsibilities Jönköping University has towards its employees and students, JU has decided to follow the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairsexternal link, opens in new window' recommendations and restrictions for travels and visit, for students and staff.

As the situation can change quickly, we recommend that everyone stays updated through the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel information and the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s information.

If the business trip is booked via Egencia, you need to contact them first to help you cancel the trip. Since each trip can have different booking conditions with a third party, there is no general answer on how each trip will be handled.

In the JU business trip-insurance from ERV there is a cancellation protection insurance. This means that you have the right to receive a refund for your cancellation fees (for example trip, accommodation, conference fee) assuming that you have not received a refund from the travel agency or your airline.

Contact ERV via phone: 0770 457 970 or email corporate@erv.se
There is also more information on ERV’s website: www.erv.se

In those cases where an employee has booked a business trip that will not take place, each traveler/booker must contact Egencia so that Egencia can try to help to cancel the trip. Since each individual trip may have different booking conditions with third parties, there is no clear answer on how each individual trip will be handled. This is why a personal contact with Egencia is needed.

 

If a new business trip gets approved by the MD, the trip must be booked so that it can be cancelled and is rebookable.

 

Business trips are different from your general commute to and from work, even if you live in another county. 

It is important that all employees book their business trips via Egencia so that JU can follow up where they are and assist if the situation changes quickly in any country.

No, JU cannot cancel a private trip. When it comes to private trips, the citizen responsibilities stated in the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act (Smittskyddslagen) external link, opens in new windowis the prevailing law.

However, JU advises all employees from traveling abroad as per the recommendation from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Questions regarding teaching

On Friday 29 May, the Swedish Government announced that the Public Health Agency of Sweden will lighten the recommendation regarding off-campus education (previous decision 18 March). For higher education institutions this means that students and teachers can prepare themselves for more campus education. However, part of the teaching will continue remotely to follow the Public Health Agency’s general recommendations on social distancing and avoiding greater social gatherings.

No, the responsibility for following recommendations lies with the individual. It is not a teacher's task to check that a student follows the recommendations for number of people in a room or that students are free of symptoms. As a teacher, you can inform about the recommendations that apply and about personal responsibility.

No, you are not entitled to do that.

What you as a teacher can do is to inform. If there are too many students in a room or too little distance between students, the students should be reminded about the recommendations. If a student has obvious symptoms but is still in JU's premises, the student should be recommended to contact 1177. If a student is can be considered to disturb the activity, this can be reported to the Disciplinary Committee (DAN). If the teacher finds that a teaching activity cannot be carried out in a safe manner in line with the Public Health Agency of Sweden´s recommendations and JU's corona adaptations, the teacher can decide to cancel the activity and book a new session with the student group.

In that case, the student has already contacted the health care and cannot participate in campus teaching while sick. It is not JU's responsibility to trace infections. JU is in contact with the infection control unit at Ryhov Hospital through the Student Health Care, and thereby assists if an inquiry about infection tracing arises. Contact them via studenthalsan@ju.se for further information.

No, JU has no register of this. It is not JU's teachers' task to take notes about students' possible health conditions. Statistics regarding covid-19 cases is the healthcare´s task.

A prerequisite for JU to be able to conduct corona-adapted education on campus is that we follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden´s recommendations. As individual employees at JU, we can work to ensure that these are followed by information. For example: At the end of each teaching session on campus, a teacher can remind students to follow the recommendations and avoid creating crowding in corridors.

JU follows the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendations. They currently do not have general recommendations on face masks. However, nothing prevents a student from using a face mask by their own initiative in class.


Teachers should help such students to whatever degree possible, so that they don’t unnecessarily fall behind in their studies. This can, for example, include offering such students supervision via video-link to make it easier for them to study on their own or participate in seminars online. Compulsory parts of the course can potentially be replaced by substitute tasks/assignments. If the student misses an exam, e.g. having a paper examination in an exam hall, it may be advisable to offer a re-exam as soon as possible.

It is up to each course coordinator to decide how the students can make up for what they missed and if it is possible to change the course structure based on the syllabus. Study counselors can also assist.

Students may need to report to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency if the risk of infection prevents them from studying.

Students who suspect that they might have been infected by the coronavirus should:

  • stay home and avoid all social contact
  • Questions related to suspected illness are referred to the health service via telephone number 1177 (+46 771 11 77 00) or 1177.seexternal link, opens in new window

Contact the person responsible for the VFU/Internship to get information regarding the visit.

At JU, there are many tools available for online education, such as Canvas, PingPong, Zoom and Teams.

Read updated information here: Digital Educationexternal link, opens in new window

Yes, students in the following groups will be able to complete their education without risk of infection:

  • with one or some of the diagnoses listed in the National Board of Health and Welfare’s report "[...] identification of the risk groups at most at risk of suffering a particularly serious course of disease of covid-19 illness"
  • who are custodians of children under the age of 12 who have any of the diagnoses listed in the National Board of Health and Welfare’s report, or
  • are pregnant in week 36 or later

If adjustments are not possible, you can apply for a study break with a place guarantee or delay the start of your education.

The student is responsible for contacting the coordinator to discuss possible adjustments based on their circumstances. The coordinator makes a Temporary decision on adjustments due to belonging to the risk group. The student shows the decision to the concerned teachers and applies for any adaptation in connection with the examination via the case management system.

Contact coordinator Emma Pavlov for questions.

Questions regarding research

There is nothing that prevents this approach.

Yes, both doctoral thesis defenses and licentiate seminars can be conducted off campus and online. All parties involved can participate remotely, including the PhD candidate. This is in line with the Swedish government's recommendation to transfer to off campus education, which also includes postgraduate education.

The general public will be given the opportunity to follow the defense digitally. For those who may not have the technical ability to follow remotely on their own, JU will provide one or several rooms with digital equipment where the public can follow the defense.

The room or rooms will be announced prior to each doctoral thesis defense or licentiate seminar. Please note that JU follows the Swedish recommendations considering COVID-19.

Information regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19) 

If you feel worried you can read more via 1177.seexternal link, opens in new window or call the nationnal information number (+46) 113 13external link, opens in new window if you have questions or want advice regarding the corona virus.

FAQ about covid-19external link, opens in new window at the  Public Health Agency of Swedens website.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also updates their websiteexternal link, opens in new window continously regarding the corona virus. 

Region Jönköping County (RJL) continously update their websiteexternal link, opens in new window about the coronavirus, in Swedish.

The World Health Organization continously update their websiteexternal link, opens in new window about the corona virus.

Members of staff who are worried should turn to their immediate manager.

Questions related to suspected illness are referred to the health service via telephone number 1177 (+46 771 11 77 00) or 1177.seexternal link, opens in new window