Career and promotion

As an employee it is easy to assume that the employment conditions that apply for one employer, apply to another: but this almost never the case. In the public sector, many employment conditions are regulated in both central and local collective agreements, which means that conditions may differ from university to university. So SULF has put together some advice for you to consider before you change employer.

Things to consider when changing job
As an employee it is easy to assume that the employment conditions that apply for one employer, apply to another: but this almost never the case. In the public sector, many employment conditions are regulated in both central and local collective agreement, which means that conditions may differ from university to university. So SULF has put together some advice for you to consider before you change employer.

Monitor your copyright
Universities make slightly different claims on the copyright of material produced while an employee. Most universities make the correct assumption that copyright for teaching materials etc. belongs to the actual university teacher who makes them. However a few do not. SULF recommends that you look at this situation closely as concerns any possible future employer.

Component parts of working hours – the amount of research included in the position
Local working hours agreements concerning university teachers’ opportunities for research vary from university to university. Preconditions and financing also vary. Examine the conditions stated in the collective agreement at your new, presumptive employer. If your employer offers you other, and in your opinion more advantageous, conditions it is vital to get these documented and signed by both yourself and an authorised employer representative.

Negotiate with an authorised employer representative
Within the university world it is not unusual that the person you are in contact with prior to getting a new job is not the person who is authorised to negotiate employment conditions or take an employment decision. You may, for example, be under recruitment for a research group by a professor. These contacts are vital and imperative, but it is also essential that you document any employment conditions you agree on and that the employer representative (usually the head of department or president) who is authorised to take decisions on employment and employment conditions, confirms these in writing.

Monitor your employment conditions
In addition to the above-mentioned employment conditions, it is also worth noting elements such as attendance requirements at workplace, preconditions for partial pension, preventative health care provisions, unscheduled working hours and overtime rates.

In the public sector, it is possible to appeal authority decisions. The employer is obligated to, after employment has commenced, supply a certificate of employment stating all employment conditions. Ensure therefore that you have agreed to everything stated in your employment certificate or conditions that are documented in some other manner.

Document all agreements
Discussions and negotiations prior to a new job are often characterised by mutual trust and positive expectations of the future. In spite of this it is recommended that all important agreements and descriptions concerning employment conditions are documented and signed by authorised parties. Such documentation means that if employer personnel changes occur, important agreements will not be forgotten.

Changing labour market sector
In the public sector, many of your rights and employment conditions are regulated via central and/or local collective agreements. Very few of your employment conditions are regulated via your employment contract which is much more common in, for example, the private sector. If you are changing job and also changing labour market sector it is therefore vital to examine all the employment conditions for your new job. Conditions that are important to monitor include pensions, holiday entitlement, working hours, unscheduled working hours, insurance cover etc. All employment conditions agreed by you and your employer that are not documented in collective agreements should be included in your employment contract.

It may also be a good idea to, prior to a change of labour market sector, review any needs for income level insurance. Read more about this insurance here.

Opportunities to take leave of absence
If you are permanently employed in the public sector and are offered a fixed-period contract at another government agency, it is perhaps best to consider taking leave of absence from your current employment rather than resigning. In such a situation you are, actually, entitled to take leave of absence for up to two years. Public sector employers are also entitled to grant leave of absence under other circumstances. For positions employed in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance there may be opportunities for longer periods of leave of absence.

PS. Remember to update the SULF my pages when changing jobs. 

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