Teleworking regulations

These provisions apply to teleworking, referring to situations where an employee regularly works outside the premises of the Karolinska Institutet (KI).

Reg. no:: 1-533/2021

Duration: Applicable from 2021- 09-29 and until further notice

Decision: University Director

Managed by department /unit: HR department

Prepared in collaboration with:The departments, the university administration, trade union organisations andthe head safety representative

Document type: Regulations

Conclusions of the project Hybrid workplace – a flexible approach to working life, reg. no. 1-458/2021

1. Introduction

Under Chapter 2, Section 5 of the Higher Education Act (1993: 1145), a higher education institution decides on its internal organisation unless otherwise provided for.

These provisions apply to teleworking, referring to situations where an employee regularly works outside the premises of the Karolinska Institute (KI). Teleworking is not temporary or irregular work outside the regular place of work. The usual place of work is where the majority of the work is carried out, i.e. place of work in accordance with the Income Tax Act (1999: 1229). Teleworking must be carried out mainly within Sweden’s borders.

2. Objective

The purpose of the regulations is to clarify the rules applying to managers and employees in respect of work carried out regularly outside the premises of KI.

The Director of HR may adopt detailed guidelines for teleworking supplementing these Regulations.

3. General conditions for teleworking

Teleworking may only occur in cases considered operationally viable and for tasks deemed suitable by the employer. Successful operations require a certain degree of cooperation between employees at a physical workplace.

An employee whose tasks or capacity for work are not compatible with teleworking or who lacks work equipment or otherwise does not fulfil the conditions necessary for teleworking must work on the KI premises.

In the case of teleworking, employers shall have sufficient possibility of assuming responsibility for the wellbeing of their staff and for an acceptable working environment. The employer may at any time decide, on the basis of their management authority, to terminate teleworking.

The head of department/equivalent shall decide on the application of teleworking within the respective department/equivalent.

The line manager shall decide, following dialogue with the employee, where the work is to be carried out.

4. Scope

More than half of the work shall be carried out on the KI premises. Managers and employees may agree otherwise on a temporary basis.

5. Conditions of employment

Teleworking is subject to the same conditions of employment as those applicable to work on the KI premises.

6. Agreement

The manager responsible and the employee concerned shall draw up a written teleworking agreement using a form created for that purpose.

The agreement shall include, inter alia, the scope and location of teleworking. The agreement may be amended after seven calendar days, unless the manager responsible considers that there are special reasons for a shorter period.

At the request of the employees’ organisations, the employer shall declare which members have entered into a teleworking agreement.

7. Employee availability

The employee shall make him/herself available in the same way as when working on the KI premises.

Any sick leave, leave to care for a sick child and other leave must be reported in accordance with the procedures in force.

The employee is responsible for ensuring that public documents are handled in such a way as not to impede public to access them.

8. Remote workplace

The remote workplace is organisationally part of KI, more specifically the department or equivalent which is the designated place of work. The remote workplace is the place or places agreed between the manager and the employee and must be clearly defined. A designated home office space shall be indicated wherever possible. In the event of major changes to the remote workplace, a new agreement shall be drawn up. The manager in charge shall determine the tasks to be performed in the case of teleworking.

Certain tasks such as hosting visits by students and the general public may not take place at the remote workplace, nor may any work be carried out which could present particular occupational health and safety risks. As far as possible, only the employee shall have access to the remote workplace and associated equipment. This is to avoid damage to the equipment or personal injury.

9. Working environment

Under current OSH legislation, the employer is responsible for the working environment irrespective of where the employee works. The health and safety requirements must take into account the place where the work is carried out.

The employee is responsible for ensuring compliance with the health and safety regulations at the remote workplace and must inform the manager responsible of any risks arising in the working environment at the remote workplace. Where necessary, the employer and the safety representative shall gain appropriate access to the remote workplace, in consultation with the employee, to ensure that equipment is properly installed and safe. Such checks may be performed digitally, if appropriate.

In the case of teleworking on a larger scale, the employer shall examine whether the working environment is satisfactory. Any shortcomings in the working environment shall be remedied by the employer; alternatively, the employer may decide to terminate teleworking or reduce its scope. Should the employee suffer from occupational health problems due to teleworking, he/she shall be recalled to work exclusively on the KI premises.

10 Equipment

Equipment and work materials must comply with the applicable safety and ergonomic requirements. The equipment provided by KI belongs to KI and must be recorded in the inventory and be returned at the end of the teleworking period. The equipment may only be used by the employee for tasks relevant to his/her work at KI. The employee is responsible for ensuring that work materials and equipment are kept in such a way that unauthorised persons cannot access them or their contents.

The employer shall provide the technical equipment necessary for the work but does not cover any other costs arising from teleworking, such as remuneration for fixed internet connections.

11. Insurance cover

Occupational injury insurance also applies to teleworking. The employer and the employee are jointly responsible for ensuring that adequate insurance cover is available for teleworking: KI is responsible for ensuring that the employee is insured against the risk of occupational injury while the employee is responsible for ensuring that adequate home insurance cover is in place. The employer shall be liable for damage to or loss of equipment and other property belonging to the employer and for the employee’s excess costs if the equipment issued causes a fire or other damage. In exceptional circumstances, the employee may be liable for damages instead of the employer.

12. Security and confidentiality

The same IT security and information security requirements as apply at the workplace also apply to teleworking. Unauthorised persons may not use the technical equipment and confidential documents shall be kept under supervision or locked away.

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