Coronavirus: Information for employees
The top priority is the protection of everyone's health.
The following regulations and recommendations basically apply:
- Where possible and reasonable, continue to work from home in consultation with superiors.
- In case of symptoms of illness, stay at home and avoid contact with others (self-isolation).
- Masks must be worn in buildings.
- Masks do not have to be worn in the workplace if everyone present has a certificate and maintains a distance of 1.50 meters. If not everyone present has a valid certificate, masks must be worn by everyone in the room.
- Meetings can be conducted in person if all participants have a Covid certificate and maintain the distance of 1.50 meters. In this case, the obligation to wear a mask also does not apply. Discussions, meetings, etc. cannot be attended in person without a valid certificate.
Business and private trips
The Federal Council has decided to ease restrictions for entry into Switzerland. For entry from the Schengen area, the quarantine requirement will be lifted. Vaccinated and recovered persons entering from a country or area where variants of the virus are circulating can enter without testing and quarantine as long as it is certain that the vaccination provides good protection. Those who are neither vaccinated nor recovered must present a negative PCR test or rapid antigen test and enter quarantine after entry. You can find further information on this here.
Protection Concept of the University of Bern during Covid-19 for employees with an administrative function
The University of Bern's protection concept is the basis for the university unit’s ability to resume their activities in university premises and facilities. There is a separate protection concept for the research and continuing education areas.
The Managing Directorates must also take further measures in accordance with the STOP principle (substitution, technical measures, organizational measures, personal protective equipment). This includes physical distancing, separation of items, regular ventilation, and wearing masks.
The managing directorates are responsible for the implementation and compliance with the protection concept. The safety officers (GeSiBe, KOPAS) are authorised on behalf of the Managing Directorates to ensure compliance with this protection concept and have the right to issue instructions in this regard.
Keeping distance, limiting people per room and hygiene, wearing masks
- For employees and others, the requirement of the federal and cantonal governments continue to apply, especially the hygiene and conduct rules. Keep a distance of 1.5 meters, regularly wash hands with soap, and regularly ventilate indoor spaces.
- A general obligation to wear a mask applies for all indoor spaces of the University of Bern.
- At-risk employees and risk groups must be protected as far as possible (Prioritization of protective measures and risk groups).
- With regard to the number and density of people allowed at UniBE, the following applies:
- 10 square meters per person in multi-person offices or large laboratories,
- 4 square meters per person in meeting rooms.
Traceability and limiting of personal contact
- It is recommended that the Confederation's official "SwissCovid" tracing app is installed.
- It is recommended that employees be deployed in shifts or in strictly separated teams, especially where space is limited and compliance with the distancing rules is difficult.
- In order to be able to track personal contacts of less than 1.5 meters or longer than 15 minutes in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, everyone is required to keep a personal logbook which is updated daily (digital or via a paper form (DOCX, 45KB)). The logbook must be kept for 4 weeks.
Holding events or activities on UniBE properties
- These are to be approved by the managing directors or - in consultation - with direct superiors.
Identification of infection and cases of illness
- The University will offer free PCR testing for employees with a Unicard. They can be tested at three different locations in Länggasse starting in October at the latest, after the free testing offer of the federal government will have come to an end. Further information
The institute directors and heads of department are responsible for occupational safety, health protection and environmental safety in their unit and have a health protection and safety officer (GeSiBe) at their disposal.
Depending on the size of the university unit, the directorates will appoint additional contact persons for occupational safety (KOPAS). Accordingly, they will define job descriptions for the GeSiBe or KOPAS, entrust a person suitable for the performance of the function with the corresponding tasks and competencies and grant sufficient time, financial and other resources to enable implementation of this task.
It should be noted that responsibility in the areas of occupational safety, health protection and environmental safety is necessarily the responsibility of the institute's management or the head of department and cannot be transferred to the GeSiBe or KOPAS. Corresponding information can also be found in the guidelines of the Executive Board of the University on the duties and employment of full and associate professors at the University of Bern dated 23 August 2011 (in German), and in the leaflet «Overview of the most important duties of the managing directors of the Institute» (in German) dated 20 December 2009/06.10.20152.
Further explanations of the responsibilities for safety arrangements can be found in the Safety and Environment Guidelines (in German) of the Risk Management Unit.
Working at home
Below you will find answers to the most important questions:
What is meant by working at home?
Home office means simply that employees do their normal work from home. The usual terms of employment and mutual obligations still apply. Nothing changes in terms of an employee's duties when working from home.
How should I record my time?
Working time is recorded with the usual time recording system. If this is not available, working times are noted and subsequently recorded in the system.
What time can I record?
In principle, the actual working time is recorded.
I belong to a risk group. Can I be forced to be present?
In exceptional cases, when a function is absolutely necessary to maintain emergency operations and cannot be performed from home, the institution can require you to be present on site. However, you must ensure that the protection concept of the university and thus the protective measures according to the FOPH (washing hands, keeping distance) are observed.
Are there reserved or compulsory times when employees must be present while working from home? How is availability regulated?
Supervisors will regulate this in accordance with company requirements. Basically the same times and availabilities apply as at the normal workplace.
What technical infrastructure is used?
The university regulation, which is based on the legal requirements and practice of the Cantonal Administration, is as follows:
- Employees who work from home during the coronavirus crisis (i.e. due to official instructions) in principle use their personal (IT) infrastructure.
- If important elements that are necessary for the fulfillment of tasks are missing, employees are to contact their superiors. The superiors can provide necessary material (e.g. PC, laptop, monitors, consumables, ...) or purchase additional materials if required. The individual work situation of employees will be taken into account appropriately, and hardship cases will be taken into account accordingly. It should be noted that these items remain the property of the University and that there is no entitlement to use the same equipment as what is at the workplace.
- If there are additional costs for telephony and data traffic, we refer to the university's Corporate Mobile Network: CMN (in German)
If it becomes apparent that working from home cannot be adequately arranged, supervisors can instruct that the work be done on site on university premises. Of course, the protection concepts must be observed.
Lump-sum compensation for work done at home cannot be paid out - there is no legal basis for this.
For coordination and cooperation while working from home, the following links provide information and instructions on the use and offers of technical tools:
Further explanations and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the website of the Canton of Bern (in German).
If you have any further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resolutions of the State Council (in German)