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University of Basel

Information and guidelines for employees

This page informs employees about current measures in connection with the Coroan virus. The information is updated on an ongoing basis, most recently on 15 May 2020, 12:00 am.

Continued home office for employees

15 May, 2020: The University of Basel is relaxing its regulations concerning home offices: from 18 May 2020, in addition to those persons who have to be on site for operational reasons, other employees will also be allowed to return to their workplace, provided that the distance and hygiene measures recommended by the FOPH can be complied with. In addition, from 18 May 2020 the usual regulations concerning time recording will apply again. Exceptions can be approved by superiors.

In order to ensure protection in the workplace, the managers of faculties, departments and institutes and the heads of the university administration and the heads of central services were asked on 12 May 2020 to draw up protection concepts for the office space used by their unit (including meeting rooms and break rooms).

When returning to work, the following regulations apply:

  • Furthermore, a large proportion of employees should remain in their home office (at least 50% of employees, if operationally possible).
  • Supervisors determine which employees may return to work and at what times. In order to minimize the risk of whole teams having to go into quarantine or isolation, the same people should always come to the workplace together if possible (e.g. alternately every week).
  • Social distancing and hygiene measures for employees must be ensured at the workplace. Employees who are particularly at risk are protected. They are subject to the specific requirements of Art. 10c of the COVID 19 Ordinance of the Federal Council.
  • In order to avoid rush hours on public transport as far as possible, working hours for employees who return to work should be handled flexibly (between 06:00 and 20:00 hrs) if operationally possible. For this purpose, block times have been suspended until further notice.
  • Conferences and meetings are to continue to be held using Zoom, Webex etc. Exceptions are possible if physical presence is a clear advantage during meetings. In this case the distance of two metres must be maintained at all times (the reference value is approx. 4 m2 per person).
  • To ensure that possible chains of infection are traceable at all times, superiors must know which employees were at the workplace and when.
  • Employees with fever, cough, respiratory problems or employees who feel ill, as well as employees who have had contact with a sick person, must stay away from the workplace. The requirements of the FOPH Isolation and quarantine must be observed.

Holiday planning

With regard to holidays, superiors were asked to work out a forward-looking and fair holiday planning with their employees. In doing so, they must ensure that sufficient staff are available at all times to ensure operations. At the same time, they must ensure that the holidays are taken in order to ensure that employees can recover.

Services offered by the university libraries

Although the libraries are closed, many borrowing and advisory services, as well as extensive digital services, are available.


Questions & Answers

  • At what point are doctor's certificates required?

    Medical certificates are currently required from day 5 at the earliest, until further notice, if the absence is related to the measures recommended by the FOPH.

  • Will it be accepted if I show up to work later because I want to avoid rush hour?

    Depending on the area of responsibility, working hours can be arranged flexibly in consultation with superiors.

  • I do home office work and at the same time have to take care of the children. How should I do that?

    The current situation is a great challenge for working parents. The University of Basel is aware that home office with simultaneous childcare is not an ideal working environment and that in many cases it is not possible to create such conditions at present. This exceptional situation requires the highest degree of flexibility on the part of superiors and employees.

    Each case must be assessed individually and constructive solutions must be sought together in the spirit of "best efforts".

  • I have booked a trip for my holidays. This trip was cancelled due to the current situation. Can I cancel my approved holidays and go to work now?

    Approved days of holiday are not necessarily taken due to a trip cancelled because of the Corona crisis. They can be postponed in consultation with the supervisor. Employees should, however, take care to allow themselves a period of recovery despite the corona crisis. It should also be noted that, for operational reasons, employees will not be able to take all their unused vacation days at the same time after the end of the Corona crisis.

    Holiday is always taken in agreement with the superior. If, due to the corona situation or for operational reasons, it is not possible to draw on all the vacation days until the end of the year, the University will be generous in transferring vacation credits from 2020 to the following year in favour of the employees.

  • I am an employee on a monthly salary and cannot work at my usual place of work due to quarantine measures or the closure of my units. Home office is not possible for functional or operational reasons.

    1. Will I still be compensated?
    The continued payment of wages (within the framework of the regular working hours) is guaranteed. 

    2. Will the loss of my work performance be offset against the overtime, flexitime or holiday balance?
    No, the loss of work will not be offset against the overtime/flexitime or holiday balance without your consent.

  • I am an hourly paid employee and, due to the current situation, I am not able to work in my home office or at the university. Will I continue to be remunerated?

    Yes, you will be compensated for the average amount of hours you have worked over the last three months.

  • I am a course instructor, lecturer and my course/event was cancelled due to the current situation. A digital execution is absolutely impossible. Will I be compensated for this?

    The contractually agreed remuneration is paid.

  • Cross-border commuters - Information on the current situation on the Upper Rhine / Northwestern Switzerland

    Cross-border commuters:
    Information on the current situation in the Upper Rhine region of north-western Switzerland is available at: https://www.infobest.eu/de/themengebiete/artikel/covid-19-grenzueberschreitende-informationen/faq-grenzgaenger/

For doctoral students and postdocs:

Contract/residence extensions and other related issues (in times of Corona)

With the current situation and switching of the entire research to an emergency operation, legal and practical questions also arise regarding the employment of doctoral students and postdocs at the University of Basel. Below you will find questions, advice and comments on the possibilities of extending contracts and the situation of residence and work permits for persons from EU/EFTA as well as third countries.

  • Can the employment contract of doctoral candidates or postdocs be extended?

    Yes, the employment contract of doctoral candidates or postdocs can be extended if the doctoral candidate or postdoc has not yet completed his or her doctoral work and has been working at the University of Basel for less than four years.

    This holds true for project assistants as well, their employment contract can also be extended in consultation with the supervisors. The person responsible for the position must submit the application for extension of the contract to HR. The same applies to postdocs if he/she has been employed at the University of Basel for less than six years.

    The guidelines for academic personnel also apply here: "If it is absolutely necessary for academic training, and in particular in the case of family responsibilities, the position may be extended for a maximum of one year in justified cases", OWP §23.

    Please contact your supervisor and the decentralized HR directly.

  • Can the residence permit of doctoral candidates or postdocs be extended?

    Yes, the residence permit can be extended on presentation of a valid employment contract (see point Extension).

  • What happens to contracts that definitely expire and the employee comes from a third country?

    If the employment contract definitely expires, the Migration Office of the Canton of Basel City or the cantons of residence, the stay can be extended by up to six months and, in addition, as a special arrangement in times of Corona, unemployment benefits are claimed for persons from third countries and the Regional Employment Office (RAV) checks a possible claim.

  • Is it possible to apply for further support from the federal authorities?

    No, this is not planned at present.

  • What happens to the health insurance after the end of the employment contract?

    You must have a valid health insurance policy for the duration of your stay. If necessary, this also has to be extended by the insured person, please contact your insurance company directly.

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