Human resources

Holiday entitlement, extra/overtime hours

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 during their holidays or other leave. Please consult the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Quarantines could be applied to places you travel to, which would require you to extend your stay (and that time will be deducted from your holiday entitlement).

Absence manager

All staff must follow the self-isolation guidelines and comply with all instructions issued by EPFL and their supervisors. In general, if you are in self-isolation, you are considered to be working from home.

Starting on Monday, 16 March, and until 19 April, EPFL requires all staff to work remotely. No one is allowed on site, apart from those who have been granted an exception by the DSPS.

Since the requirement to work remotely applies School-wide, you must no longer enter this into the absence manager.

However, if you are sick – regardless of the cause – you must enter this as sick leave in the absence manager.


EPFL will honor employment contracts that have already been signed. This means that new staff members will begin their contract by working remotely and will receive their salaries, even if they are still outside Switzerland.

However, the hiring date for people from outside Switzerland who did not receive their visa by 18 March will be pushed back until they have their visa. The Swiss government has stopped issuing visas until 15 June, in accordance with the Swiss Federal Ordinance on Measures to Combat the Coronavirus of 13 March. As a result, the HR department will resume the visa application process on 15 June at the earliest, meaning the soonest a visa could be obtained is 1 October (given the three-month processing time)

For future employment contracts, in view of the exceptional circumstances brought about by COVID-19 and the suspension of the visa process until 15 June 2020, the HR department will assess the situation with the relevant supervisor and confirm the person’s hiring date on a case-by-case basis, including for those currently living abroad.

Pregnant women

The Swiss Society of Obstetrics and Ginecology has not identified any special risks to pregnant women. According to the Federal Office of Public Health, pregnant women should apply the same measures as those for non-pregnant adult women. However, we recommend you consult with a gynecologist if you have a high-risk pregnancy or if you just want to play it safe.

Children and other loved ones

Since schools are closed in Vaud and in the cantons that host our other sites – Campus Biotech, Microcity, EPFL Valais-Wallis and EPFL Fribourg – EPFL considers it an absolute priority that you be able to take care of your children and other loved ones.

Professional priorities must therefore be reassessed, and you should talk to your head of service about the amount of work you can do remotely based on your personal situation. EPFL will be flexible.

Une femme travaillant devant son ordinateur

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