Guidelines for remote work at UiO
Approved by the University Director on 30 June, 2020
Effective as of 1 September, 2020
1 General provisions
1.1 Current rules
The UiO complies with the regulations relating to work which is carried out in employees’ homes and other appurtenant state regulations, legislation and provisions relating to remote work.
The template drawn up by the Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation (KMD) applies to individual remote work agreements.
During pandemics the UiO complies with the current provisions and recommendations issued by the health authorities at all times.
Basically the premises of the workplace shall serve as the employee’s main workplace.
There may be individual cases or special situations which could apply when remote work (e.g. a home office) might be relevant. Remote work (e.g. home office) could therefore be used subject to agreement between line managers with personnel responsibilities and their employees. This applies both during normal situations and, for example, during a pandemic or other unforeseen events which require temporary adjustment of one’s working situation.
Remote, sporadic work over a short span of time and may also be relevant, but such remote work does not result in the need for a formal agreement, cf. the second subsection of Item 1.3, but may be agreed between lines managers with personnel responsibilities and their employees.
The assessment of whether or not remote work (e.g. home office) can be used, will depend on, for example, the requirements of the organisation and the employee concerned.
Remote work (e.g. home office) is basically a voluntary arrangement, but during a pandemic or other unforeseen events requiring temporary adjustment of one’s working situation, the guidance/guidelines drawn up by the UiO at any one time on the contingency situation will provide more details about the use of any remote work.
1.3 Definition of remote work
These guidelines apply to permanent remote work (e.g. home office) undertaken within an agreed period. In order to ensure that the specific organisation of work shall be defined as remote work (e.g. home office), the work must basically be carried out for about 2 days per week and last for at least 6 months. The definitions of different types of remote work are provided in the UiO’s individual remote work agreement template (word).
Remote work (e.g. home office) carried out for a short duration and which is agreed on on an ongoing basis with line managers with personnel responsibilities is not comprised by these guidelines. Such remote work carried out for a short duration does not result in the need for an individual remote work agreement as specified under letter d) of Item 1.5.
When assessing remote work (e.g. home office) during, for example, a pandemic or other unforeseen events, the current guidance/guidelines drawn up by the UiO on the relevant contingency situation which applies at any one time shall be complied with. Please also refer to letter e) of Item 1.5.
The UiO is operating on the basis of the fact that the remote work in question (e.g. home office) shall be carried out in Norway.
1.4 Who is covered by these guidelines
These guidelines apply to technical-administrative employees, academic employees and other employees with particularly independent positions, but making adjustments to suit the requirements of these groups of employees must be considered. Safeguarding HSE, the working environment and insurance, etc. shall apply to all groups of employees. Cf. also the Regulations relating to work which is carried out at the homes of employees.
- Employees who shall have permanent remote work (e.g. home office) about 2 days per week during the agreed period, cf. Item 1.3.
- Employees who, during a pandemic or other unforeseen events which require temporary adjustment of their working situation, have a requirement to undertake remote work (e.g. home office).
Employees who already have an individual agreement with the UiO about remote work (supplementary agreement to their employment contract, cf. Sections 14-5, 14-8 of the Norwegian Working Environment Act (lovdata.no) (Norwegian) and the Regulations relating to work which is carried out at the homes of employees (lovdata.no) (Norwegian)) are not comprised by Item 1.4 no. 1.
1.5 Criteria and conditions for remote work
The UiO complies with the provisions on remote work (e.g. home office) which are specified in the Regulations relating to work which is carried out at the homes of employees (lovdata.no) (Norwegian). Following up employees as specified in the UiO’s personnel policy also applies to remote work.
- Work duties can be performed by carrying out remote work (e.g. home office)
It is conditional that the employee has duties which can be carried out by undertaking remote work (e.g. home office).
- Clarification of requirements
Line managers with personnel responsibility and employees shall discuss the requirements of the organisation and the employee in question, and based on such they shall clarify more closely the relevant number of days per week during which remote work (e.g. home office) will be carried out. Good solutions shall be facilitated for the organisation, the manager with personnel responsibilities and the employee concerned.
- Working hours
The provisions on working hours shall be complied with and are the same for both the main workplace and the home office. Academic employees are covered by the provisions specified in Working hours for academic employees. An employee’s employment contract and other statutory legislation and agreements shall apply as usual for anyone carrying out remote work.
- Individual remote work agreement template
Employees who are comprised by Item 1.4, no. 1 of these guidelines shall enter into an individual remote work agreement, cf. Sections 14-5, 14-8 of the Norwegian Working Environment Act (lovdata.no) (Norwegian) and the Regulations relating to work which is carried out at the homes of employees (lovdata.no) (Norwegian). This agreement regulates the remote working relationships between employees and the UiO.
Individual remote work agreements will serve as supplements to employment contracts, and shall not intervene with an employee’s other terms and conditions or ordinary employment conditions.
- Criteria and remote work terms/conditions during a pandemic or other unforeseen events which require temporary adjustment of one’s working situation
Criteria and remote work (e.g. home office) terms/conditions which apply in a normal situation, also apply during, for example, a pandemic or other unforeseen events which require temporary adjustment of one’s working situation. However, specific individual assessments and adjustments must be made on the basis of the situation concerned.
Until further notice: Special information about the coronavirus situation
Assessments and criteria for the use of a home office during the coronavirus pandemic are described in the UiO’s infection prevention guide. The current principles relating to infection control which apply at any one time shall be complied with. This includes compliance with the rules relating to distancing and hygiene, avoiding the use of public transport during the rush hour/times when it is difficult to comply with the distancing rules, etc. As regards risk assessments of employees in risk groups, please refer to Item 3, no. 3 of the UiO’s Infection prevention guide.
This Guide may be amended, subject to the development of the pandemic and the guidance/guidelines issued by the health authorities. Please also see the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s guidance on home offices and workplaces (pdf) (helsedirektoratet.no).
2 Allocation of IT equipment and e-coms services for remote work (e.g. home office)
The following guidelines on the allocation of IT equipment and e-coms services shall apply at the UiO:
- Guidelines on the allocation and use of electronics communications services at the UiO (Norwegian)
- Chapter 10.2 of The Personnel Handbook for State Employees on Electronic Communications Services (lovdata.no) (Norwegian)
- The following applies to refunds for communications expenses: Refunds of communications expenses (Norwegian)
When undertaking procurement and making purchases, the normal rules and procedures relating to procurement and purchases shall apply.
4 Information security
The safety regulations which apply at any one time about the use of IT equipment at the UiO must also be complied with when carrying out remote work. Any storage of documents and other information shall comply with the current rules on data protection and confidentiality.
These guidelines will be implemented with effect from 1 September, 2020.