Last changed: 10 April 2024

SLU employees have certain obligations.

  • The Work Environment Act states that all employees shall cooperate to create a good working environment.
  • Employees are obligated to follow stipulated safety regulations and to use available safety equipment to prevent illness and accidents. 
  • If an employee notices that a working situation involves immediate or serious danger to life or health, they must bring this to the attention of the management or a safety representative.
  • Employees have to accept changes in tasks and working hours as long as the employment does not considerably change.
  • Even if an employee does not have a teaching post, the employer can, to a certain extent, demand that they take part in teaching.
  • Employees are normally obligated to work additional hours or overtime and in some cases be on emergency duty. The specific details are stipulated by law or agreement.

Work responsibilities

As a government employee, you have a professional responsibility in connection with your duties. This responsibility entails a disciplinary liability and a criminal liability.

Disciplinary liability

If you intentionally or carelessly disregard your obligations, it may be regarded as neglect of duty. In certain cases this will lead to disciplinary measures.

The staff disciplinary board decides whether neglect of duty will lead to measures or not. The Government Disciplinary Board for Higher Officials decides on measures for higher posts.

Disciplinary measures for neglect of duty may consist of a warning or salary deduction for up to 30 days.

You may be dismissed if you have committed a severe neglect of duty, or several minor ones, which indicate that you are unfit for your position.

SLU is not permitted to make a decision in this regard before you have been informed of the charges against you and have been given the opportunity to respond.

Disputes regarding disciplinary liability, dismissal or discharge are tried before the district court or the Swedish Labour Court.

Criminal liability

If an employee commits a crime during their employment, the university is in certain cases obligated to report it. The staff disciplinary board decides whether a crime should be reported or not. A report must be made if there is a suspicion that the employee has committed a neglect of duty, a severe neglect of duty, a bribe or has violated professional secrecy.

The punishment for neglect of duty may be a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of two years. If the crime was deliberate, and is considered severe, the punishment may last from six months to six years in prison.

Neglect of duty must be reported by the manager (or equivalent) to the staff disciplinary board if it was deliberate or if the employee has neglected their obligations when exercising authority. The neglect of duty should also be serious enough so as not to be considered minor.

Examples of exercising public authority are decisions regarding recruitment or accepting students to higher education.

A bribe entails accepting or soliciting bribes or other undue payment for the performance of tasks.

Violation of professional secrecy can only come into question if professional secrecy in the position is stipulated by law. The crime is punishable even if it is committed through negligence.

If an employee is committed for a crime within or outside the context of employment, and this demonstrates that the employee is unfit for their position, they may be dismissed. The decision is made by the staff disciplinary board.


HR specialists
HR Unit, Division of Human Resources