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

How is Jönköping University handling the situation regarding the coronavirus?

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.

Who can I, as staff, turn to if I have more or other questions?

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

Each school/company at JU has their own coordinator who is a link between the Dean/MD and the JU-wide task force. Corona coordinators at JU are the Operations Managers at the schools and JUE, as well as Director of Strategic Development at University Services. 

You can also ask questions via e-mail: servcenter@ju.se
Telephone: +46 36-10 19 70
Telephone hours are 08:00-16:30 on weekdays

How are members of staff kept informed about the situation?

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. 

What does the directional decision regarding campus based education in fall 2020 mean?

Jönköping University’s spring semester and summer courses will be conducted off-campus, but the ambition is to start on-campus education in the beginning of the autumn semester 2020, with continued regards to the recommendations and guidelines.

Jönköping University will plan for on-campus education to start in the beginning of the autumn semester 2020. The decision has been made after discussions within the JU executive team and is based on the scenario that the autumn’s recommendations and guidelines allow for the implementation of on-campus education.

The discussions have taken several different scenarios into account and has resulted in the directional decision to plan for the operations at JU to be carried out on-campus from the start of the autumn semester. The spring semester will, as planned, be completed off-campus, and all summer courses will be conducted off-campus.

An internal work group will be appointed to investigate and develop criteria and guidelines for how the operations on-campus will be implemented with adaptation and regards to the risk of infection. These criteria will be developed with consideration to the fact that different educational programmes and courses require different resources.

How are the activities at JU affected?

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

What does it mean that staff are encouraged to investigate options to hold digital meetings?

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

As of Wednesday, 18 March, all responsible teachers will change their teaching and examination to distance learning and digital alternatives.

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. 

How does the Swedish government’s decision to forbid public gatherings and social events for more than 50 persons affect the operations at JU?

JU will not arrange any public gatherings or social events with more than 50 participants.

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden the decision is normative even for events and gatherings which are not specified in the decision. Therefore, JU recommends that meetings with over 50 participants are held in a digital form. Just like before, meetings, no matter how many participants, should include the possibility to participate online.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has also developed a tool for making a risk assessment prior to any event or gathering which you can find via this linkexternal link, opens in new window (in Swedish).

Will rooms (lecture halls, offices etc.) and furniture be cleaned more often and disinfected to prevent the spread of infection?

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

What can I do to avoid infection?

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.

Is there Covid-19 at JU and has any students or staff been infected?

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.

Questions regarding working from home

Do I need anything specific to be able to work from home?

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.

How does this apply to my working hours?

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.

How available should I be?

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.

How do I host and attend digital meetings?

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.

Can I bring my screen and office chair home?

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

What do I need to think about when I work from 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

Am I insured while working from home?

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 how to have a good work environment even when working from home

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

Computer equipment for 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. 

Internet connection

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

Secure email management

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.

Avoid handling sensitive information via e-mail and other external digital communication channels

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.

Save and store information

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.

In case of a security incident

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

Protect your computer

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

I have mild symptoms and I have been encouraged to work from home. What does that entail?

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

Can my immediate manager order me to stay at home?

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.

My immediate manager has ordered me to stay at home, but I don’t agree. Can I still come to work?

No, your manager’s decision is final.

I am sick, what should I do?

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. 

How does it work with the removed qualifying period for sick pay?

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 until the 31 May 2020.

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

What is the process with medical certificates?

The government has decided to change the law regarding sick pay so that the employee no longer needs to ensure the xxx of work capacity by a medical certificate from a doctor or dentist from the 8:th sick day. Employees who are sick and can be home from work in up to 21 days without a medical certificate. This applies to all sickness, not only Covid-19. 

The directives regarding medical certificate applies from 13 March 2020, to new periods of sickness. Sickness before 13 March are governed by the former directives with medical certificate from the 8:th sick day, and continuously during the sick period. 

My child is sick, what should I do?

My child’s preschool/school is closed due to the coronavirus and I need to be home and take care of my child. Am I entitled to stay at home, and will I receive compensation?

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 30 September 2020.

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

Questions regarding travel and visits

What should I do if I have been traveling recently? Should I go to work?

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.

I have a business trip planned, what should I do?

In accordance with the recommendations from the Public Health Agency and Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in relation to the responsibilities Jönköping University has towards its employees and students, JU makes the following recommendations:

  • JU advises all employees against traveling abroad.
  • JU advises against all business trips and visits, which can only be carried out if the MD/Dean of the school/company gives a written exception with regard to special circumstances.
  • JU advises all students from traveling abroad, both privately and within the framework of the education.

On 11 March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic. As a result, the Swedish Public Health Agency has stated that the disease is or will be present in all parts of the world and that it is likely to affect all countries of the world. Thusly, the Public Health Authority concludes that it is no longer relevant to state in which countries the spread of infection is ongoing.

We will receive visits/students from abroad. Should we receive our visits/students?

JU advises against all business trips and visits, which can only be carried out if the MD/Dean of the school/company gives a written exception with regard to special circumstances.

Due to the COVID-19 situation I need to cancel my business trip. Can I get a refund for cancellation fees, for example the trip, accommodation, conference fee?

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

Business trips via Egencia

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.

Is the university contacting members of staff who are in another country, at present?

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.

Can JU make me cancel my private trip?

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

Jönköping University follows the recommendation from the government to transfer to digital education starting Wednesday 18 March.

Can we change the examination format for a course, if necessary, for instance, can we switch to a home exam even if the syllabus says paper exam?

All forms of exams in an exam hall, both paper exams and exams in Inspera (held in the exam hall), until further notice, are converted into exams which are conducted digitally and remotely.

The syllabuses contain binding regulations on examination forms, which must be followed by the university, however, the Swedish Higher Education Authority will not reprimand a university that has had to change the way a course is examined without changing the official syllabus, if the change was made in order to prevent the spread of disease. 

Read more on the UKÄ webpage (in Swedish)external link, opens in new window

What are we, as teachers, obliged to do, e.g. regarding supervision, examination etc. for students who are recommended to stay at home?

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.

A student has contacted me as a teacher and says that they might be sick, what should I do?

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

Will I be able to complete my Internship period (VFU)?

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

The Public Health Authority recommends that “relatives should avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals and elderly people, and never make a visit if you have respiratory symptoms. Avoiding unnecessary visits protects the most vulnerable. " This should also apply to our students.

What digital tools are available for digital education?

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

Questions regarding research

Can a doctoral thesis be defended with opponents participating via video link?

There is nothing that prevents this approach.

Can doctoral thesis defenses and licentiate seminars be conducted off campus?

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) 

Websites with national and European information om 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. 

Information about the corona virus from Region Jönköping County (Region Jönköping County)

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

The World Health Organization

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

Are there special considerations/decisions regarding employees who themselves are or whose close relatives are among the risk groups identified by the Public Health Agency?

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.

I feel anxious and worried. Who can I turn to?

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

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