Information and advice for managers

Last changed: 08 November 2023

Below is updated information, FAQ and advice on to handle the corona situation for SLU managers. This page is updated continuously.

General information

21 Mars update:

Information about Försäkringskassan's compensation and what applies until 31 March, read more here.

17 February update: 

Our procedure for reporting known cases of infection will remain in place as the data provided by these reports have proved useful in identifying any cluster outbreaks. Employees who have tested positive using a PCR or antigen test must report this to their line manager, who in turn will report the case to Only report confirmed cases, not suspected ones.

If employees have been exposed to the virus in the workplace, managers must report this to the Swedish Work Environment Authority as Covid-19 is a notifiable disease. (Link in Swedish only) It can be difficult to determine where someone has been exposed to the virus given the high infection rates. The Swedish Work Environment Authority stresses that the most important thing employers need to do is ”take steps to avoid that more workers are at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus at work.”

Students should report confirmed cases using the form on the student web.

As most restrictions have now been lifted, we’ll resume using regular communication channels within SLU.

The functional mailbox will be closed; management and support functions can be contacted using the regular channels. We will keep updating the staff web and the student web as needed.

9 February update:

Teaching and examination

As of 9 February, the Public Health Agency’s guidelines on partial online teaching for higher education will be phased out. The pandemic has affected the social study environment and a quick return to normal is important; at the same time, we need to make the most of lessons learnt during the last two years when it comes to new ways of teaching.

The current instructions for teaching will remain in place for study period 3 to allow course coordinators and examiners more time to plan and perform risk assessments; this means that all students must be offered teaching on campus at least one day a week. These instructions will cease to apply as of study period 4, and classrooms can again be booked at full capacity.

For examination period 3, the regular examination format should primarily be used. If a take-home exam has already been planned it won’t necessary to change the format, but quality must always be taken into account.

Even though the goal is to return to campus in the next few weeks, teachers may need to stay at home because they have symptoms, and they can then opt for online instruction.

Cluster outbreaks can also be a reason for online teaching to minimise the spread of infection. Other aspects related to planning may also affect the return to campus.

Successive return to SLU

9 February update:

As before, the SLU corona management team recommends that managers perform a risk and impact assessment before employees gradually start returning to the workplace. We will continue to report all known cases of infection, as these data have proved useful in identifying cluster outbreaks.

The government’s instructions to public authorities on working from home remained in place until 14 February. For the gradual return, the following dates apply:

  • As of 15 February: all staff who wish to return to the place of work can do so.
  • As of 1 March: all staff expected to be present at their place of work at least 2 days/week.
  • As of 24 March, the start date for study period 4: return to pre-pandemic practice. As a manager, you can approve requests from staff to temporarily work from home if needed; there is no need to regulate this in a separate agreement.
  • 1 June: Employees and staff can, in cases where relevant, sign individual distance-working agreements with staff with office hours agreements.

Coronavirus vaccine FAQs for managers

Here, managers will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Covid-19 vaccination. Information may be revised or added. 

QUESTION: If an employee feels a little cold, what applies to such a situation and what measures can the employer take?
According to the work environment legislation, the employer is obliged to try to prevent the spread of infection at the workplace. Each employee has a corresponding responsibility to contribute to preventing the spread of infection.

If the employee, despite the cold, has the ability to work and the opportunity to work remotely, this can be a way of handling the situation based on the regulations of the Work Environment Act and the Communicable Diseases Act. The employee is then entitled to retained salary.

If the employee does not have the ability to work, or the tasks cannot be performed remotely, the employee may be on sick leave with sick pay. Read more here.

QUESTION: Do we need to deal with vaccinated and unvaccinated workers in different ways at SLU? 
ANSWER: Public employees are covered by the constitutional protection against bodily harm. State employers can therefore not demand that employees be vaccinated.

It is not forbidden for the employer to ask employees if they have been vaccinated, but the employee's privacy should be safeguarded and questions that are attributable to privacy should not be asked unnecessarily. First, the employer can not be sure that the answer you get is correct, unless the employee presents a certificate of vaccination, something the employer can not demand. Secondly, the employer does not normally benefit from the answer either, since, as a starting point, state employers are not allowed to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. There may be activities which, in exceptional cases, could relocate unvaccinated employees or redistribute their duties within the scope of the obligation to work.

State employers should therefore not make any distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. Read more on the government's website (in Swedish only).

QUESTION: Are employees and agency staff entitled to get vaccinated during working hours? 
ANSWER: Yes. SLU is happy to allow employees and agency staff to take paid time off to go and get vaccinated during working hours.

QUESTION: What is the best time for an employee to book their appointment? 

ANSWER: If possible, your employee should book their vaccination appointment at a time that will have the least impact on their workplace. Therefore, it might be more practical for them to book vaccination appointments outside of working hours. 

QUESTION: What applies to staff who are not Swedish citizens? 

ANSWER: Everyone who is resident in Sweden will be offered free vaccination against Covid-19. You can read more about Sweden’s Covid-19 vaccination programme on the Government website (in Swedish only)

QUESTION: Can employers force their staff to get vaccinated? 
ANSWER: No. The Swedish constitution protects an individual’s physical integrity. This means that the law prevents employers from forcing their staff to get vaccinated.

QUESTION: For whatever reason, an employee does not want to get vaccinated. Can employers require staff to wear certain personal protective equipment or reassign them to prevent them from being infected or infecting others?

Chapter 2, Article 6 of the Swedish Instrument of Government protects a person from any physical violation from a public authority – this includes forcing an employee to get vaccinated. More information is available from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (in Swedish only).

At the same time, employers must take all the necessary precautions to prevent staff from being exposed to health problems or accidents. 

Each organisation and its staff will be able to control the spread of infection in different ways, for example by working from home, conducting online meetings, social distancing on site, good ventilation and thorough cleaning procedures. It may be the case that certain organisations will require employees to wear personal protective equipment, or that certain tasks can only be conducted by vaccinated employees. This might mean that reassignment will be necessary until the spread of infection is no longer a risk. 

More information is available from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (in Swedish only).

QUESTION: How should I plan for when my staff get vaccinated? 
ANSWER: The vaccine might cause side effects such as fever or cold-like symptoms. If this is the case, the member of staff must stay home and get tested as per the recommendations in place. There is a risk that the person may have been infected with Covid-19 before their vaccination. Therefore, keep in mind that staff vaccinations can affect timetabling. Line managers may need to organise timetables so workplace activities can continue. 

QUESTION: What applies if a member of staff experiences side effects from the vaccination and becomes ill? 
ANSWER: Staff who are unable to work due to side effects need to register their sick leave as per standard procedures.

QUESTION: Can employers keep a record of staff who have been vaccinated? 
ANSWER: SLU believes that no such registers should be created. Information about a person’s immunity status is classed as sensitive personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and may only be processed under certain specific conditions. Based on what we know, employers must treat staff with Covid-19 immunity in the same way as staff that lack immunity.  

QUESTION: Can an employer reassign staff who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19? 
ANSWER: Currently there are no official recommendations in place that enable employers to treat unvaccinated staff differently to those who have been vaccinated. 

We still do not know if a person who is vaccinated can infect somebody else. With this in mind, staff must continue to follow any procedures in place for personal protective equipment, basic hygiene and so on. 

Read more on the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions website.

QUESTION: Can employers stipulate vaccination against Covid-19 as a requirement when recruiting new staff? 
ANSWER: Currently, there are no official recommendations in place that enable employers to treat unvaccinated staff differently to those who have been vaccinated. The same is therefore true for job applicants who have been vaccinated (or intend to be vaccinated).  

Read more on the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions website.  

Contact Tracing Procedure

Contact tracing procedure

Each region is responsible for contact tracing procedure, and routines may vary.

If you, as manager or teacher/course coordinator, learns that an employee or student has been found infected, may be involved in each region's infection tracking. More information about infection tracking can be found at, select the current region. (information in Swedish)

Local tracing procedure

From the 1st of December SLU is reintroducing the contact tracing procedure and reactivating the functional mailbox For students, the previous procedure to follow in case of Covid-19 infections is reintroduced.

Who should you inform?

You must not inform anyone else about who has tested positive for Covid-19 unless you have the permission of the infected person to do so. If you think there is a reason to inform others and the infected person has agreed to this, it is ok to do so. If you want advice on this, contact your region’s disease control unit.

In addition, if you think it is needed, you can inform the rest of your organisation that someone has tested positive. If you do, do not provide detailed information on which unit/class/group is affected. Remind everyone of the advice from the Public Health Agency to reduce the spread of the virus.

Corona - Information managers

Latest update: 6 October 2021  

Support related to work environment during covid-19

If an employee becomes ill

6 October update:
If an employee feels symptoms of illness, even a mild cold, the employee needs to stay at home to reduce the spread of infection. The Swedish Public Health Agency has updated rules of conduct regarding infection within the family/household: When a person in a household is ill and has received a test result that shows that he or she has covid-19, everyone in the household, both sick and healthy, except children who have not started preschool should be contacted by the healthcare and given rules of conduct.


16 February update:
The Swedish Work Environment Authority has collected important information for employers to provide guidance in work environment in order to reduce the risk of the spread of covid-19. See SWEA´s website.

Virus exposure must be reported

22 January update:
Employers must, without delay, report exposures of established covid-19 at the workplace as a serious incident to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. 

The registration requirement applies even if others did not become infected. The requirement also applies to our students if they have been infected or are at risk of becoming infected on campus. The responsibility follows previous routines for infection tracing, ie. immediate manager reports. For students, the teacher or course coordinator informs the head of department, who then makes a report.

Notification of a serious incident must also be made retroactively. If the report is not made without delay, the Swedish Work Environment Authority and the court can impose penalties. However, the Swedish Work Environment Authority will not report people for prosecution when they have followed what was previously read on their website. In the older version, it was not clear that this applies to all workers, regardless of occupation.

In the event of a confirmed infection (where both parties tested positive) and it occurred at work (where it is assessed as a probable / possible route of infection), it must also be documented in accordance with §11 2018: 4 Infection risks.

Read more:
Report occupational injury, corinavirus / covid-19.
Information about a report of a serious incident if an employee has been exposed to the new coronavirus.

Contact tracing, what does it involve?

11 August update:
Several regions are now refining their processes with respect to contract tracing of covid19. Those who have received a positive test result are contacted by a doctor and asked to list people they have had recent contact with. Primary healthcare providers may also help with this and in some cases completely take over the contact tracing process. Contact in this context means having been within two metres of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

Note, previous recommendations still stand: if you have the slightest of symptoms, you should stay at home, though as long as you have no symptoms, you should work as usual.

An employee needs to stay home and take care of their children because the preschool/school is closed. Do they have the right to take leave? If so, do they have the right to receive salary?

15 May update:
As of 25 April, employees can be reimbursed if the preschool or school is closed because of Covid-19, even if the child is not ill or carries the virus. The government has approved a temporary change to allow this, see Försäkringskassan´s website.

This reimbursement for those staying at home to care for a sick child will only be paid if the preschool/school decides to close. This applies in the following cases:

  • on the recommendation by a disease control specialist or the Public Health Agency
  • if the preschool/school is in a risk area closed off by the Public Health Agency
  • if the preschool/school is closed because a large number of employees are off sick.

An employee is worried about infection and therefore does not want to come to work. What applies?

15 May update:
The employee can work from home to the extent that their line manager decides possible given their tasks and work environment.  You and the employee need to agree which measures are needed to guarantee a satisfactory work environment. If they cannot work from home, you can assign them other duties similar to their current ones. If this is not possible, the employee can take holiday leave, a leave of absence without pay or, when possible, parental leave. Employees cannot choose to stay home and still receive a salary. That counts as unlawful absence.

What should managers do if some staff have too much work and others not enough because of the coronavirus?

8 April update:
The employer has noted the work environment for SLU teachers and how course budgets are affected when courses are redesigned or cancelled. Saco has also discussed the issue with SLU’s management.

Heads of department/managers responsible for the work environment have the right to redistribute work and are encouraged to re-staff from research and doctoral education to first- and second-cycle level education in order to support teaching. Allocations of funding may be adjusted at a later date. Currently, there will be no more government funds. Therefore, the message is: adapt. Do not cancel. For example, course budgets are affected by unused premises, and rents will discontinue during the spring, providing surplus for other purchases or possible ordered overtime.

Many conferences and other events have been cancelled, which provides time (increased resources) within the research field.

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers has signalled that the university may conduct tougher management during a crisis. This may even take the form of lending staff to other public authorities.

For more information, turn to your HR specialist.

An employee is currently receiving medical treatment and their immune system is weakened, but they are not 100 per cent on sick leave. How should this be handled?

6 April update:
Employees who for example are receiving cancer treatment or who have serious underlying illnesses can work from home to the extent that their immediate manager decides possible in relation to operations and work environment. If this does not work, try adjusting their duties in order to minimise social interaction, or review the organisation of their working hours. Another option is that the employee takes holiday leave or a leave of absence without salary. Immediate managers must make individual assessments. 

An employee is very ill. What should I as manager do and what support is available to me?

6 April update:
SLU has guidelines for handling grief in case of death or severe illness that include practical advice. Feel free to contact your human resources officer.

Will the university cancel any big events?

1 April update
As of 29 March, all public events and general assemblies (for example lectures, markets and conventions) with more than 50 participants are forbidden in Sweden. All events and other meetings with more than 50 participants are therefore cancelled until further notice. Digital meetings are recommended for other events and assemblies.

One of our employees is infected. Should the Act on Sickness Payments (1991:1047) regulations on qualifying deductions be applied?

30 March update
If the manager, following contact with the employee, assesses that their ability to work has lessened due to infection, the regulations in the act apply fully, and the employee should take sick leave. See Försäkringskassan´s website. The government has proposed to cancel qualifying days and compulsory doctor’s certificates for the first 14 days. Read more: Illness or home caring for a sick child (VAB) during the coronavirus situation

If the infection does not affect an employee’s ability to work, they may receive a quarantine allowance in accordance with the “Villkorsavtal” documents. In order for the collective bargaining agreement regulations to apply, a responsible doctor, doctor specialising in disease control or equivalent must certify treatment.

Is it possible that the whole workplace will be quarantined? Can we close operations to avoid spreading the infection?

18 March update
There may be situations when it will be relevant to close certain operations to avoid further spreading. However, the starting point is that all operations will continue to run. SLU does not have the right to decide on quarantine, isolation and lockdown issues. Instead, they are regulated in “Smittskyddslagen” (the disease control act) as well as by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and doctors specialising in disease control.


The pandemic may affect the education of doctoral students, can it lead to an extension of the period of study?

17 April update:
As a principal supervisor you should, using the individual study plan and together with the doctoral student, assess any consequences for the planned period of study and make a short written summary of the problems that arise and any changes you make to the plan. In some cases, the necessary changes may involve extending the period of study. The Higher Education Ordinance (Chap 6 Section 29) allows for an extension of the period of study if there are special grounds for doing so, e.g. leave of absence because of illness, to take up an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave. The Covid-19 pandemic also counts as a special ground. The period of employment for a doctoral student may be extended if there are special grounds for doing so (Higher Education Ordinance Chap 5 Section 7). How long this extension can be depends on the individual doctoral student’s thesis work.  

For more information and advice, contact your HR specialist.

According to the agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doc, a post-doc may be employed for an indefinite period – but no more than two years. If there are special reasons such as illness, parental leave or other similar circumstances, the employment may be extended. Due to the spread of covid-19, can we apply "other similar circumstances" to extend the employment?

8 April update
Extension is possible if personal research is affected negatively due to the coronavirus.

To discuss this matter further, contact your human resources officer.

In order to cover for those who have taken sick leave during the ongoing pandemic, we need to increase teaching hours from the maximum 20 per cent regulated in "Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor" (agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doc, "the post-doc agreement" – only in Swedish) as well as the part on doctoral student in the Higher Education Ordinance. Is this possible?

8 April update
Assessments concerning whether doctoral students or post-docs have worked more than the maximum 20 per cent must take the entire period of employment into consideration. This means that a doctoral student or post-doc can take on more teaching assignments during certain periods, as long as the 20 per cent is not exceeded in relation to the whole period of employment.

Business travel

An employee on a business trip cannot come home due to the coronavirus. What should I do?

Salary deductions are not allowed, and the employee has the right to a subsistence allowance in accordance with current agreements. Keep in touch with the employee during the period they are stranded. If the employee gets ill during a business travel, the employee must register sick leave as well as contact 1177 within Sweden or Kammarkollegiet outside of Sweden.

General advice for those responsible for employees during the coronavirus period

The spread of Covid-19 and subsequent recommendations from public authorities have considerably changed the working situation at SLU in very short time. Many are working from home, ill or home due to the fact that their children are at home. There are significantly less people in the workplace. Trips and planned activities have been cancelled or pushed forward. Many employees are worried about the current situation and the future. Due to this, the Division of Human Resources has compiled some general advice for those with employee responsibility.

1. Secure operations

  • Maintain regular operations as much as possible. Follow ordinary decision processes and instructions. Normal work obligations and working hours apply, including to those working from home.
  • Convey and set examples in relation to solving duties that now need to be characterised by adjustment and invention rather than lowered requirements and postponement.
  • Conduct a risk and consequence analysis focusing on operations during various degrees of absence. Plan for various scenarios where functions are stopped due to illness or e.g. schools closing. Use this template for support and documentation.
  • Remember that the current situation will continue or get worse over the course of three months. In such cases, how do operations need to change? Plan generally for this together with the management group, employees or other suitable constellation.
  • Meetings will be both more important and challenging as fewer people are on site.

2. Ensure personal health and endurance

  • Being a manager in a stressful situation can make one feel lonely and vulnerable. Many may have questions and critisise decisions. We strongly recommended finding someone outside personal operations that can act as a sounding board and provide support. Even if this does not feel necessary right now, it may be good to establish contact beforehand in order to make things go swiftly should the need appear. Both the Division of Human Resources and “Gruppen för hållbart ledarskap i akademin” (GHAL – group for sustainable academic leadership) can act as said support.
    • The FAQ for managers and the function email address answers specific questions regarding how to handle the coronavirus.
  • Managers working from home should maintain their daily routines. For example, regular times for going to bed/waking up, meals, hygiene, etc. Routines help us feel normal and safe in otherwise abnormal situations.
  • Prioritise personal recuperation. During stressful situations, we often neglect personal recuperation in favour of having more time to deal with a situation. This depletes our own energy over time. Personal care should be maintained: get enough sleep, take breaks, listen to music, uphold social contacts, spend time in nature, etc. This applies to both free time and working hours. Recuperation is important for maintaining a strong immune system.
  • Balance the need of being available to employees by setting boundaries that promote personal recuperation.

3. Ensure employee health and endurance

  • The need for guidance increases during times of uncertainty and worry, and focus on what a manager/leader is doing also increases. We often turn to them for support and guidance. Be available and consider increasing the daily period of interacting with employees. In order to lead more steadily than normal, be present and take control. Increase communication about the situation; regularly describe what is going on and what is being done to manage issues. Maintain regular communication even though the situation has not changed. It is worth stating that the situation has not changed.
  • Regularly check employees’ well-being. For example, hold a video meeting once per week where everyone joins digitally and subsequently reports how they are doing. How is everyone feeling and what thoughts do they have on the current situation?
  • Maintain and facilitate social interaction between employees. Take digital coffee breaks and socialise virtually. General discussions are also needed in the virtual workplace. “Meet” in small groups (no more than 10 people) and be prepared to lead informal discussions in order to avoid silence or everyone speaking simultaneously. Try to keep social processes as much as possible, but find new ways to carry them out. Update those who are not on site about what is going on in the workplace.
  • Managers are also responsible for the work environment for those working from home. Get an idea of how an employee’s home workplace works, what could be done to facilitate things as well if there are risks connected to e.g. ergonomics or other physical and psychosocial risks.
    • Pay special attention to the regulation regarding working alone (AFS 1982:3) in relation to isolation and the employer’s responsibility to enable social contact with others. Also consider the regulation regarding working in front of a screen (AFS 1998:5) in relation to how the workplace is designed for computer work.
    • Conduct risk and consequence analyses focusing on the employee’s physical and psychosocial health. Include both working from home and in the workplace. This must be done in collaboration with the employee in question and a safety representative. Use this template for support and documentation.
  • Remember that employees are in various personal situations. Work may serve a substantial social function for them. Identify and focus extra on employees who risk becoming completely socially isolated or who face other risks by working from home. This applies to both those working from home and those who are ill.
  • Help employees working at a distance to set availability and working hour boundaries. Many have difficulties doing so when working from home.
  • Listen to any concerns and take them seriously. Listening is showing empathy. Not mentioning or listening to the concerns employees have can result in the manager being perceived as afraid. This may result in increased worry among the employees. Worry is contagious, and the most worried people have a tendency to change what is considered normal in a group. Discuss several perspectives that can make things more balanced when necessary. There should not be a struggle of right or wrong. Instead, highlight several ways to view the situation.
  • Since a lot of information is ominous and problem-oriented, help by highlighting positive news that are worth celebrating. Balance the current worrying aspects as much as possible without being overly chipper and try to convey hope for the future.
  • It is important to have regular reconciliations with the employees to ensure that the work situation at home is good. See Questions to ask your employee regarding the work environment at home work.

Working from home FAQ

What work environment responsibilities does the employer have if employees are working from home?

ANSWER: Work environment regulations apply regardless of where the work is done. The employer has the main responsibility for the work environment regardless of where employees are working from. Employees must contribute to good working conditions and are responsible fors reporting any risks. The employee’s knowledge of risks when the work is done in an environment the employer cannot influence, such as the home, is an important aspect of systematic work environment management. 

What equipment must the employer provide for employees working from home?

ANSWER: The employer must provide the equipment employees need to fulfil their duties in a work environment that is satisfactory. This is also the case for homeworkers. However, it is up to each employer to decide, based on the work to be done, on reasonable measures for homeworking.  

To ensure variety and avoid any negative effects, alternating between working from home and at the regular place of work can be an option. If the work environment at home is lacking in ergonomics, this can to some extent be compensated by encouraging frequent breaks. 

Can employees borrow office furniture from their place of work?

ANSWER: Yes. Together the employee and the line manager can agree on what furniture can borrowed for homeworking.  

Does SLU reimburse for office furniture employees buy?
ANSWER: No. SLU does not reimburse you for office furniture that´s been bought privately. If a department or other unit buys equipment for employees working from home, this must be done through procured suppliers. 

An employee doesn´t have any way of transporting office furniture and other equipment. Can the employer help with this?

ANSWER: This must be agreed with the line manager. If several employees need assistance, an option could be to coordinate this and use the services of a procured transport company. There is no decision at the central level to reimburse employees for the cost of transporting office furniture. Any such costs are to be paid by the department/equivalent. 

Can employees apply for a deduction in my tax return if they buy a desk, office chair etc. myself for homeworking?

ANSWER: No. As a rule, buying furniture or other office equipment for homeworking does not mean you can claim a tax deduction. If your employer pays for equipment such as an office chair for employees to use at home, they can use it without being taxed for benefits. The same applies if employees borrow equipment from work to use at home. This does not count as a benefit as long as the equipment is the employer’s property and the employee return it when he/she stops working from home. 

Can employees claim a tax deduction for a home office?

ANSWER: No, normally you cannot claim a tax deduction for setting up a room, or part of a room, as a home office. 

Does SLU have any central funds for reimbursing office furniture, supplies, etc. for homeworkers? 

ANSWER: No. Any such costs are to be paid by the department/equivalent. 

Different public authorities seem to have different practices when it comes to transporting office furniture such as desks, chairs, monitors, etc. What rules are there?

ANSWER: Public authorities have delegated employer responsibility, meaning authorities can take different decisions depending on the needs and unique conditions of that authority.

Before an employee starts working from home

Checklist before an employee starts working from home

  • Are the employee’s duties suitable for distance work? Consider which material must be brought home – our workplace handles public documents.
  • Which duties cannot be conducted at a distance?
  • Discuss the home work environment with the employee in question. What does the social environment look like? Does the employee live alone? Do they have people around? Is the home in question a social risk environment in any way?
  • Assess whether the employee can arrange a proper home workplace or if there is a risk of illness after a while. Managers are also responsible for the home work environment.
  • Is the employee familiar enough with computers to work from home? Do they need further web-based tool training in the form of online courses? 
  • What are the technical conditions? Is there an internet connection, and does the employee have access to documents through the VPN client? 
  • Remind employees of the importance of taking breaks and doing ergonomic exercises in order to reduce the risk of strain injuries. It can be physically or psychologically strenuous to work from home for a longer period, and there must be procedures to ensure that it works in the long-term.
  • Discuss availability with the employee. What is the best way to reach them (email, Teams, phone, etc.) and what are their working hours?
  • Agree on how to stay in touch and what form follow-up between manager and employee will take in the future.
  • It is good to talk to an employee after they have worked from home for a few days. Ask them how things are going, if they need something, etc.

Inform them of the following:

  • Distance working hours are regulated in the same way as when working in the ordinary workplace. The same working conditions apply, and any overtime/additional hours must be approved by the manager/head of department beforehand. It is important that everyone takes responsibility for maintaining personal/work life balance.
  • If an accident occurs when working from home, workplace accident insurance may apply in accordance with the Compensation for Personal Injury Agreement (PSA). The condition is that the accident is directly connected to the conducted duties, and all cases need to be assessed based on the conditions at the time. See AFA's website for more information about insurance when working from home.
  • Information security must be the same as in the regular workplace – information must be protected and kept away from unauthorised persons. Public access and secrecy rules also apply when working from home. The same public document quality and security conditions apply when working from home as in the regular workplace. All public documents, both submitted and developed, must be registered and available to the public in accordance with regular procedures.

Separating work from leisure 

The new digital technology can result in difficulty in separating work from leisure. Here is some information on how to start a discussion at your workplace. Watch the film Where is the line between work and leisure? with your employees and reflect on what is best for the workplace. The film is produced by Suntarbetsliv and is four minutes long (only in Swedish).

Digital meetings

When holding a digital meeting, preparations are important. See tips to keep in mind at a digital meeting.

Migration-related issues as a consequence of the coronavirus

Here, you will find links to information on corona-related migration issues.

Negative COVID-19 test required for entry into Sweden

The government has decided that foreign citizens traveling into Sweden from countries outside the Nordic region must have tested negative for covid-19, be vaccinated against or have recovered from covid-19. The requirements that apply depend on the country from which the foreign citizen travels.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends everyone who is 6 years or older, including Swedish citizens, who enter Sweden from countries outside the Nordic region to take a PCR test after arriving in Sweden, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden (FHM) has extensive information about regulations and recommendations regarding travelling to Sweden.

Updated 2021-09-06

Employees who are abroad following a holiday and cannot return to Sweden

If an employee has travelled abroad for holiday purposes and cannot return to Sweden, they cannot work and should consequently be on paid or unpaid leave of absence, or take annual leave after agreeing on this with their employer.

Distance work from abroad counts as local employment and is prohibited by law. Instead, the employer should try to make the employee return to Sweden as soon as possible. 

According to the Swedish Agency for Government Employers, Chapter 6 of the General Agreement on Pay and Benefits for Government Employees and Section 15 Subsection 3 in the state enterprise agreements apply to an employee on annual leave who cannot return home. Unless the employer finds there are particular reasons not to, a salary deduction should be made. If the employee prefers to take annual leave, they can agree this with the employer.

Employees who are abroad in situations such as the one described above, and who are consequently on leave of absence, need to make sure they have sufficient sickness/travel insurance for the duration of their stay abroad.

A trip from Sweden taken as annual leave cannot retroactively be transformed into a business trip.

Employees who are abroad on business travel and cannot return to Sweden

This concerns staff travelling abroad on business. In these cases, Chapter 10 Section 2 of the General Agreement on Pay and Benefits applies. According to this section, if an employee is granted an extension of a business trip because of circumstances beyond their control, the extended trip can be seen as the reason for the extended absence.

The employee is consequently entitled to full pay and subsistence allowance. The business travel insurance provides complete cover during the entire stay. 

Employees who are abroad on business travel and cannot return to Sweden can contact our procured travel agency for help finding a return journey, provided their outward journey was booked with the travel agency. 

Government employees at universities are not allowed to do distance work from abroad

Only the public authorities designated ‘foreign missions’ by the government, such as the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Foreign Office, are allowed to employ staff who work abroad (local agents).

However, as a university, we can station staff abroad by drawing up a URA agreement. These can be used for well-defined missions abroad, but not for performing regular tasks abroad as a distance worker.

URA agreements can be used for missions in all countries outside Sweden except for countries where the employee is a citizen, has strong interests such as a partner, a home/holiday home or similar, or a country where the employee is already resident or has been resident for a considerable period.

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers explains this on their FAQ page on URA, (in swedish only).

Employers are responsible for providing insurance for employees who work abroad.

Recommendations from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for Swedish citizens who need help to return to Sweden

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs recommends all Swedes abroad to register for their ‘list of Swedes’ (svensklistan). That way, the ministry can reach them through the local embassy or consulate if needed,

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs also recommends downloading the Resklar app, which can be used e.g. to monitor available places on flights to Sweden. The app can be downloaded atör-svenska-medborgare/reseinformation/ud-resklar-mobilapp/. More information on the app is available at

More information from the local Swedish embassy is available atör-svenska-medborgare/.

Employees who are abroad in situations such as the one described above, and who are consequently on leave of absence, need to make sure they have sufficient sickness/travel insurance for the duration of their stay abroad.

Government information on the ban on travelling to Sweden

For questions on visiting Swedish embassies for work or residence permits, contact the embassy in question:

Information for employees/visitors who cannot return home

The Swedish Migration Agency has issued a legal recommendation that means foreign nationals staying in Sweden who need to extend their visit due to the current situation and difficulties returning to their country of origin can apply for a visitor’s permit.

A visitor’s permit can be granted even if someone has previously applied for a residence permit based on other circumstances. It is important to apply before the current visa or permit expires.

The Migration Agency’s legal recommendation: (only available in Swedish)

New URA agreements for stays abroad not possible during the pandemic

The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency does not issue any new URA insurances during the pandemic. This means that new URA agreements will not be possible for the foreseeable future. If you have planned to station employees abroad with a URA agreement during 2020, contact your HR specialist for advice.

Ongoing URA agreements and conditions of the URA insurance during the pandemic

Information from the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency on the URA insurance:

  1. The insurance covers emergency medical care abroad. If you need help to make a medical appointment, or if you need medical advice, contact Falck Global Assistance, tel +46 8 87 71 749 or email
  2. The insurance does not cover costs for cancelled conferences/coursed, tickets or accommodation. It also does not cover costs related to quarantine or costs for travelling to Sweden (corresponding to the disruption cover in the Swedish state business travel insurance or the Student UT insurance).
  3. If you wish to return to Sweden earlier than planned because of the coronavirus and this involves cancelling your URA contract, the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency may reimburse the remaining period of your URA insurance. Contact the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency,
URA insurance

Information from the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency on the URA insurance:

  1. The insurance covers emergency medical care abroad. For help making a medical appointment, or for medical advice, contact Falck Global Assistance, tel +46 8 87 71 749 or
  2. The insurance does not cover costs for cancelled conferences/courses, tickets or accommodation. It also does not cover costs related to quarantine or costs for travelling to Sweden (corresponding to the disruption cover in the Swedish state business travel insurance or the Student UT insurance).
  3. If someone wishes to return to Sweden earlier than planned because of the coronavirus and this involves cancelling the URA contract, the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency may reimburse the remaining period of the URA insurance. Contact the Agency at

Do you have questions on the URA insurance or the insurance for foreign visitors at SLU? Email your question to


If you suspect that you have contracted the virus, read more at (emergency information from Swedish authorities), or phone 113 13 (national information number for information on emergencies) and ask for advice.

Staff who have questions about how this issue is handled at SLU, or who need practical advice in case they become infected, should contact their immediate superior.

Students should contact their programme director of studies, contact details can be found on the programme web pages.