Human resources

Holidays and private trips

As of today, almost all regions of the world present a risk of infection by the new coronavirus. We strongly advise staff not to travel abroad during their holidays or other leave. Please consult the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Self-isolation could be applied in places you travel to, which would require you to extend your stay (and that time would be deducted from your holiday entitlement).

Self-isolation countries and regions

Starting on 6 July, anyone returning from certain countries and regions must self-isolate. The FOPH keeps an updated list of these countries and regions. The self-isolation requirement applies to all staff members, students and visitors.

Absence management system

All staff members must comply with the Directive setting out the conditions underpinning EPFL’s COVID-19 protection plan and any instructions issued by their supervisors. All employees whose work doesn’t require them to be on campus are encouraged to continue working remotely.

Until further notice, you are not required to enter remote working into the absence management system.

If you start showing possible coronavirus symptoms, don’t go to work, and inform your supervisor. If you show COVID symptoms or are self-isolating, you are required to work remotely. In such cases, you must enter this in the absence manager using the following code: “specific events (HR)” – “COVID-19”.

However, if you are sick – regardless of the cause – you must enter this as sick leave in the absence manager starting on the first day that you are absent.

Taking vacation during the restart phase

Each unit head will draw up a vacation schedule for 2020, taking into account staff members’ requests, the unit’s needs and a contingency plan for the resumption of activities. This contingency plan must ensure that the necessary staff members are available when the School becomes fully operational again.


We have put in place certain measures in view of the fact that no visas will be issued until 15 June under the Swiss Federal Council’s Ordinance on Measures to Combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19), certain borders have been temporarily closed, and work can be carried out remotely. These measures are:

  • All signed work contracts with a start date on or after 1 April will go ahead, provided that the supervisor and HR manager agree that the staff member can start working remotely in Switzerland or abroad. However, the hiring date for new hires from non-EU/EFTA countries who did not receive their visa before the cut-off date has been pushed back, probably until 1 October 2020, since no visas will be issued until at least 15 June, and then there is a three-month waiting period.
  • Contracts that have not yet been signed with future employees living abroad will begin at the earliest on 1 July for EU/EFTA nationals and 1 October for nationals of non-EU/EFTA countries so that they can first obtain their visas and work permits.

Cross-border workers

If you are required to work on site at EPFL and need to cross the border into Switzerland to do so, you must have your ID with you as well as your valid G permit (the permit for cross-border workers). We suggest you also look up the national and international travel requirements for your country of residence.

If you hold an L, B or C permit and are returning to Switzerland

To be allowed back into Switzerland you must have your ID with you as well as your valid L, B or C permit. We suggest you also look up the national and international travel requirements for the country you are returning from.

Une femme travaillant devant son ordinateur

Measures, principles for preparing a continuity plan, and what you need to work remotely.