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Questions and answers - employees

Q&A for managers and leaders

Please note that most of the national pandemic-related restrictions will end 29 September. This means that KTH's current restrictions due to the pandemic will also cease then.

The questions and answers were checked or published 23 November 2020. If there have been updates or additions after that it will be indicated in connection with the answer.

The questions are divided into two main areas:

On campus

Will the employer still call for employees continued social distancing of 1.5-2 meters and other rules of conduct from the Swedish Public Health Agency?
Yes, both the employer KTH and the education provider KTH should encourage employees, students, guests and visitors to keep 1.5-2 meters apart, to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water often, to cough and sneeze in the arm fold and to stay at home if you feel symptoms or are sick and to remain at home for 48h after you are no longer showing or experiencing symptoms.

Can we receive visitors from abroad? If yes, what are the rules and regulations? Should you be quarantined if you arrive from certain countries?
We can receive visitors from abroad, provided that we follow the directives of the Government and the Public Health Agency. Read more at Krisinformation.se . where there is information about, among other things, travel bans and recommendations on self isolation and home quarantine.
[Updated 2021-01-08]

How does the employer view the use of oral protection (e.g. masks) among employees? Is it ok for employees to work on their own initiative with masks covering their mouth?
It's OK for employees to wear masks. It is up to each one as long as the mask does not pose a work environment risk any other way. As always, workers and students have a responsibility to comply with safety regulations in the work- and study environment. Keep in mind that the use of masks eliminates the ability to read lips for people with hearing loss, which means that they may find it difficult to make us of teaching and information. KTH complies with the authorities' directives on oral protection and KTH has not yet made a decision on a central level to order safety gear or masks for employees

Some employees sit in open office landscapes/ shared offices and we need to ensure that there are sufficient distance between colleagues. Can we be as many as before in the same room?
If the recommended distance of 1.5-2 meters between employees to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cannot be assured, the employer needs to take action. The employer shall evaluate the risks in the workplace.

Is it ok to mark up an appropriate distance in the lunch room?
If employees’ don´t have enough space to keep a distance of 1.5-2 meters apart, the employer needs to take action. The employer shall evaluate the risks in the workplace and this also applies to the kitchens, pantries, dining areas and communal spaces. If necessary, preventive procedures shall be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is the local employer who looks over their own premises. If several organizational units share premises, the employer representatives shall coordinate the preventive measures. Marking up distance in the lunch room can be a good measure to create safety and security. Information about cautious approaches and local health and safety practices in the lunch room are other optional measure.

What about travels between home and KTH?
The employee is responsible for the way he is to get to and from the job/training provider. Keep in mind that it is possible for the employer and workers to review working hours. The manager assesses whether it is possible to shift the working time so that the worker avoids rush hour traffic.
[Updated 201221]

What measures does my supervisor take to ensure my safety at work?
The work environment is everyone’s responsibility. This becomes clear when each and every one has the responsibility to prevent spreading COVID-19. Supervisors are tasked with providing a good work environment. Employees needs to point out risks and safety flaws as well as following the given safety instructions in order to improve the work environment. Safety representatives has a legal right to attend and cooperate with supervisors, in planning of/making improvements and changes in the work environment.
At KTH’s work environment web forums  you will find information and guidelines for you in your role as a supervisor, safety representative or employee. More information regarding the different roles

How does the janitorial staff and cleaners adjust the cleaning of our workplace?
The janitorial staff and cleaners will temporarily extend the basic cleaning so that high risk surfaces such as handles, bathrooms, and railing are cleaned more often.

I am at my workplace and do not feel sick, but not quite well either. What should I do?
Talk to your manager and go home straight away. It is about protecting both colleagues and operations.

Other questions

Can I get vaccinated against COVID-19 without taking time off?
Yes, it is allowed to be vaccinated during working hours. However, this applies specifically to vaccination against COVID-19. In general, vaccinations should be performed outside working hours.
[Posted 210506]

What working hours apply during the current situation with the pandemic?
Respective employees' working time agreements or individual agreements apply as usual.
Flextime applies as usual to the employees covered by the flextime agreement (technical and administrative staff). Flexible working hours within the frame can be used if the work can be carried out at the level of service required.
The manager can give the employees who have flextime agreements, the opportunity for shifted working hours within the flex frame, to increase infection control, e.g. so that the employee does not have to travel with public transport during rush hour traffic. Working hours must not be shifted outside the flex frame.

What are the safety and order rules regarding the digital tools Zoom and Slack? Where can I find user support information?
For Slack, there are no special rules of order at the moment, but users are expected to act on the basis of the liability agreement they have approved in connection with their KTH account.
Slack is an internal communication tool used by us employees. We have our own responsibility both as employees of a public authority and as coworkers, and must follow KTH's code of conduct. Read more about Rules and recommendations when using Slack .
Regarding the safety and interference aspect in Zoom, detailed information is published on IT Support’s website: .
KTH's liability agreement applies also in Zoom, where you as an employee or student have approved the rules of conduct. In addition, KTH's code of conduct, which exists for both employees and students, must also be followed. Read more about Rules and recommendations when using Zoom .
Information about functionality in Zoom and Slack, and how these functions should be used in the best way in different situations, is published on the following pages: Functionality in Zoom  and Functionality in KTH Slack - the digital workplace .
The information posted on these pages is not exhaustive but addresses the most important and relevant issues for us at KTH. There is more detailed information on each system vendor's website.
If there is a need to further clarify certain functionality, you can contact it-support@kth.se .

Zoom is currently being used a lot in teaching and for meetings. But Zoom is a US cloud based service, is it really OK for KTH to use it?
The Zoom service used by the universities in the Nordic countries is not the same as the public service, but a separate installation within NORDUnet. NORDUnet is an association between the university data networks in the five Nordic countries, including Swedish SUNET. The physical servers are located in the Nordic countries, and so is the cloud service being used as back-up. The installation is GDPR compliant and personal data is stored within the EU. NORDUnet is responsible for the agreement with Zoom and monitors its compliance with rules and regulations.

What is KTH’s approach to arranging and paying for COVID-19 tests for its employees?
KTH does not arrange or pay for COVID-19 tests for its employees, rather refers to general healthcare and the tests that are available through this.

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Last changed: Sep 22, 2021