Human resources

All staff members must comply with the Directive setting out the conditions underpinning EPFL’s COVID-19 protection plan.

Remote work

Staff members must work remotely whenever they are not absolutely required to be on campus.

Starting on 1 October 2020, all remote work must be done from Switzerland or, for those holding a G permit, from a border region. Since EPFL is an autonomous public-law institution established by the Confederation, our staff members’ employment contracts are governed by public law and include the requirement to work in Switzerland; they are also subject to Swiss social security law and Swiss taxes.

Exceptions for year-end holidays

EPFL’s management has decided to allow staff members to travel abroad if they so choose during the period from mid-December 2020 to mid-January 2021 and combine remote work with vacation, so that they can get some rest during the holidays with family and friends. They must return to Switzerland (or, for those holding a G permit, their border region) in mid-January 2021 to resume working remotely.

This decision marks an exception to the School’s normal policy, which states that all remote work must be done from Switzerland or, for those holding a G permit, from a border region. Since EPFL is an autonomous public-law institution established by the Confederation, our staff members’ employment contracts are governed by public law and include the requirement to work in Switzerland; they are also subject to Swiss social security law and Swiss taxes (apart from special conditions for cross-border workers). This decision was made so that staff members can work remotely while on vacation during this period.

All business days on which staff members do not work must be entered as vacation in the absence management system.

Staff members should bear in mind the risk that they may not be able to return to Switzerland in mid-January, depending on the public-health situation (flight cancellations, border closures, etc.), and that they may have to go into quarantine once they’re back. If, at the time of their departure, their destination is on the list drawn up by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) of countries and regions with an increased risk of infection, then they must work from home while in quarantine. If they are unable to work from home, they will have to use their holiday entitlement or extra/overtime hours, or take unpaid leave, as appropriate.

On-campus work and attendance lists

Unit heads have the authority to grant exceptions to the requirement to work remotely, taking into account the type of activities and individual needs, as long as the arrangement complies with the aforementioned directive.

Unit heads must keep an accurate record of everyone who was physically present on their unit’s premises over the previous 14 days (see Attendance lists). That means employees are not required to enter their remote-working hours into the absence manager.

 

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 in quarantine, you are required to work remotely. In such cases, you must enter this in the absence management system using the following code: “specific events –quarantine COVID 19.”

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

Holidays

Holidays and travel for personal reasons

All information concerning travel during your holidays or other leave time are available on the Travel page.

Travelling to a high-risk country or area

If, at the time of your departure, your destination is not on the list drawn up by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) of countries and areas with an increased risk of infection but is added to the list during your trip, then you will continue to receive your salary while in quarantine, even if you are unable to work from home.

If, at the time of your departure, your destination is on the FOPH’s list of countries and regions with an increased risk of infection, then you must work from home while you are in quarantine. If you are unable to work from home, then you will have to use your holiday entitlement or extra/overtime hours, or take unpaid leave, as appropriate.

Hiring

If you are about to start working for EPFL in Switzerland, we ask that you to come to Switzerland as soon as possible before your contract begins, even if you must go into quarantine.

For third-country nationals, we also ask that you to come to Switzerland as soon as your visa or work permit allows, even if you must go into quarantine.

Please visit the Travel web page to see if you’re required to go into quarantine.

Cross-border workers who live in France

If you live in France and need to work on campus, please ask your unit head to complete a proof of professional travel form (“Justificatif de déplacement professionnel”) for the French authorities. Your unit head is in the best position to certify that your commute is necessary and that you cannot work remotely.

Une femme travaillant devant son ordinateur

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