Responsible unit: Human Resources Office

Contact: Åsa Nelhans

(The document has been reviewed in 2022.
2020: Revision: [1] According to the AOSU adopted by the University Board on 2020-02-18.

2020: The title Vice-Chancellor has been changed to President.
2021: The wording head of department/equivalent refers to head of department, director subordinate to the dean, and/or head of office within the university´s administration.
The wording department/equivalent refers to department, centre organisationally placed under a faculty, and administrative office.)


Stockholm University’s regulations concerning employees’ secondary employment

Pursuant to Section 4 of the Government Agencies and Institutes Ordinance (2007:515), the University has implemented the following regulations concerning secondary employment at Stockholm University. 

* In this document, immediate manager refers to the head of department/equivalent, Director of administration, Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, or Vice-Chancellor.

1. Definition of secondary employment at Stockholm University

Under current law, secondary employment is virtually any activity an employee engages in outside the scope of employment that is not related to the employee’s private life. However, some activities that are performed outside the scope of employment at Stockholm University are traditionally considered to be part of the duties and thus do not constitute secondary employment. Examples of such activities include giving lectures or presenting papers at other universities, acting as an external reviewer at public defences of doctoral theses at other universities, acting as an external expert in the appointment of teachers at other universities, participating in academic debates in the media, and presenting one’s own research at conferences held outside the University. Appointments as a member of examining committees and minor assignments for academic journals also belong in this category.

2. Secondary R&D employment

According to Chapter 3, Section 7 of the Higher Education Act, teachers at higher education institutions are entitled to take on secondary employment relating to research and development, Secondary R&D employment. However, such secondary employment must be reported and must not undermine the general public’s confidence in the higher education institution. Who counts as a teacher at Stockholm University is defined in the Rules of Employment for the Recruitment and Promotion of Teachers at Stockholm University (AOSU). [1]

Secondary R&D employment must, according to Chapter 3, Section 7 of the Higher Education Act, be kept clearly separated from the teacher’s work within the scope of employment. This means that it should not be carried out during working hours, and that the University’s human and material resources, such as staff, machines, facilities, and supplies, should not be used in the secondary employment unless a specific agreement has been made.

3. Teachers’ obligations to report subject-related secondary employment

Teachers at Stockholm University should continuously report any subject-related secondary employment at their own initiative. Subject-related secondary employment refers both to teaching and secondary R&D employment. The obligation to report secondary employment applies regardless of whether the activity is carried out as part of an employment agreement, as an assignment, or for a business owned by the teacher or a third party. Reports should be submitted in the HR system Primula. Even teachers who do not have any secondary employment should report this in Primula every year.

4. General obligations to report secondary employment (teaching and non-teaching staff)

All employees have an obligation to report secondary employment at the request of their immediate manager.

Employees who are not sure whether or not a secondary employment is permitted should always consult the matter with their immediate manager.

Managers who, according to the Management Agreement (Chefsavtalet) are part of the local management circle at Stockholm University [2], should report all secondary employment to their immediate supervisor, which is typically the Vice-Chancellor.

5. Permissible secondary employment must be clearly separated from the employee’s work for the University

An employee with permissible secondary employment must keep these activities clearly separated from his or her work for the University. This means, as in the case with secondary R&D employment, that any activities related to secondary employment should not be carried out during working hours or using the University’s resources unless a specific agreement has been made.

6. Secondary employment that undermines confidence

Employees at Stockholm University may not engage in employment or other activities that might undermine the confidence in their own or another employee’s impartiality while performing their duties, or that might damage the University’s reputation.

Employees are not allowed to take on secondary employment that might jeopardise the credibility of the University or the objectivity of the research conducted there, or that gives the impression that the University is involved in, has authorised, or otherwise endorses the secondary employment in question.

The University logo and other symbols of the University may not be used in connection with any activities carried out by employees in the course of secondary employment without explicit permission, nor may employees participate in the promotion of specific teaching materials in such a way that the University can be perceived as recommending or having created these materials. Websites and e-mail addresses on the University’s computer network may thus not be used to promote secondary employment.

7. Secondary employment that impedes work

Secondary employment should not require so much time and dedication that it impedes work at the University. If the secondary employment cannot be undertaken solely in the employee’s spare time, the employee should apply for a leave of absence.

For employees covered by the general salary and benefit agreement (Villkorsavtalet), i.e. most employees, the employer may only request information about secondary employment if there is reason to do so with reference to how the employee performs his or her duties. Circumstances that might justify such a request may be extensive absence, unsatisfactory work performance, or a long delay in completing a task. The starting point should be requirements normally placed on employees at the department or unit. Secondary employment may also be considered to impede work if an employee refers to it as a reason for absence from the workplace during a part of the workday, or if the employee declines to perform a certain task due to secondary employment.

8. Secondary employment that constitutes competition

Employees at the University may not take on secondary employment that competes with the University’s contract research or contract education.

An employee who, as part of secondary employment, is considering engaging in activities that can normally be carried out by Stockholm University, and wishes to consult with the University, should turn to his or her immediate manager. If absolute clarity on whether or not the intended secondary employment is permissible cannot be achieved through oral consultation, the employee should receive written notification from the University (see below, Section 12 about administration).

9. Business transactions

All work that an employee does for the University is carried out within the scope of employment and is paid for through salary. Employees are not allowed to charge remuneration for regular work in the form of consulting fees to private companies.

Secondary employment may not, under normal circumstances, lead to business transactions between the University and an employee (or his or her company). If an employee still believes that a transaction is justified, it should, without exception, be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

10. Information from the employer about secondary employment

When a new employee starts working at Stockholm University, his or her immediate manager should inform the employee about the current regulations and guidelines concerning secondary employment.

In addition, the manager should continuously remind employees about their obligations relating to secondary employment, as well as their opportunities to receive notification from the University on such matters.

11. Teachers’ right to receive notification regarding secondary employment

According to Chapter 4, Section 14 of the Higher Education Ordinance, university teachers have the right to request written notification from the employer regarding whether or not a secondary employment is permitted. Such notifications will be provided by the immediate manager.

12. Handling and decisions on matters relating to secondary employment

Matters relating to secondary employment should be handled openly and transparently, but also with respect for the personal integrity of the employee.

All employees at Stockholm University should read these regulations concerning secondary employment and confirm that they have done so. As of spring 2016, this is done using a special form in the HR system Primula. This form is also used to report secondary employment. Teachers who do not have any secondary employment should confirm this annually in Primula.

The immediate manager decides whether or not to allow secondary employment.

A decision to prohibit secondary employment that undermines confidence should, pursuant to Section 7c of the Public Employment Act, be made in writing and include a reason for the decision.

The immediate manager is obligated to provide teachers with written notification on whether or not a secondary employment is permitted upon request (cf. above, Section 11).

Where appropriate, the immediate manager should also provide employees with written notification concerning secondary employment that constitutes competition (cf. above, Section 8).

In connection with decisions or notifications concerning secondary employment, the deciding manager is expected to consult with the Human Resources Office on complex matters and on matters of principle.

Decisions to prohibit secondary employment, as well as written notifications concerning secondary employment, should be logged. Copies of all such decisions and notifications should also be stored at the Human Resources Office.

Departments may intermittently be asked to report some or all cases of secondary employment at the department.

13. More information

Detailed information on the regulation of secondary employment, as well as the University’s views on secondary employment, can be found in the document Information avseende anställdas bisysslor vid Stockholms universitet.


[1] According to the AOSU adopted by the University Board on 2015-05-22, teaching positions at Stockholm University include the following categories: professor, adjunct professor, visiting professor, senior lecturer, assistant professor, associate senior lecturer, adjunct teacher, lecturer, visiting teacher, and part-time fixed-term lecturer. Discontinued teacher categories from previous rules of employment are also included, such as research fellow and “universitetsadjunkt”.
[2] When these regulations were adopted, the local management circle at Stockholm University included the Pro Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors, the Director of Administration, the deans of all faculties, the Head of Human Resources, and the Library Director. Please refer to the University website for information about the current management circle.