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?

JU has activated a crisis organisation with working groups. The organisation is meeting regularly to handle the general issues related to the coronavirus. The organisation is managing the decisions from the Swedish government and takes action when needed, they are monitoring the Swedish authorities' updates and following other higher education institutions’ handling of the issue.

Information with regards to the coronavirus can be found at www.ju.se/en/corona

Students and staff are urged to stay updated with information from the authorities regarding the general information of the spread of the coronavirus. JU also follows these recommendations.

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. 

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 is monitoring the situation continuously and following 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, employees at JU have the possibility to work from home when the activities allow. Any decision regarding potentially working from home should be done in dialogue with your immediate manager.

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, employees at JU have the possibility to work from home when the activities allow. When bigger meetings are arranged, staff should have the opportunity to participate digitally. Any decision regarding potentially working from home should be done in dialogue with your immediate manager.

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.

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. 

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

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, the usual rules apply to both the right to leave and compensation. The possibility of leave exists in the form of parental leave, with compensation from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in the form of parental allowance. The employer can also grant holidays with holiday pay. Leave can also be granted, then no salary is paid.

Always contact your immediate manager when applying for leave.

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 all employees against traveling to the big city areas in Sweden.
  • JU advises against all business trips abroad and to the big city areas in Sweden, 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 against all visits from abroad, or from the big city areas in Sweden. Such visits 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 visits from abroad, or from the big city areas in Sweden. Such visits 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:

  • 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
  • The student is also recommended to contact JU at: +46 36-10 19 70. The receiver will notify the Associate Dean of Education at the school via telephone.

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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