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Questions and answers

Update Government coronavirus measures tightened: work at home

As of 19 July 2021, the advice to work from home will again apply unless you have no other choice. Read more.


Below you will find a number of frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please send an e-mail to the ISSC Helpdesk for IT-related questions, or the PSSC Service Point for staff-related questions.

>>> Questions about ICT-facilities
>>> Questions about personnel matters
>>> Questions about working in The Netherlands

Questions about ICT-facilities

3 April 2020

No. You’re not allowed to claim these expenses. 
If you usually work from home, your employer has a duty of care. This means that you should at least have a good desk, chair and computer equipment. In general, we can expect that you already have these facilities at home and that we will therefore not have to set up an office for all our employees in the period in which everyone has to work from home. 
If you have a health condition and need special equipment at home such as a special office chair, please discuss this with your manager. If your manager agrees, he or she will submit a request to the Service Desk at the University Services Department to move the equipment from your regular workspace to your home. We will collect the equipment once the period in which everyone is required to work from home is over.

Updated 26 March

You can collect an ergonomic mouse, webcam, laptop or other equipment, but please discuss this first with your manager. It is your responsibility to return the equipment in good condition afterwards. Do not take computers, screens or other equipment that is already connected.

If you need a laptop or screen for your workstation at home, discuss this with your manager. Your IT coordinator will check whether a laptop is available for you. If you need to collect a screen or request an additional one, please contact the ISSC Helpdesk.

Updated 3 April 2020

The University will reimburse expenses that you incur when you work from home. This is on the condition that you discuss with your manager beforehand which expenses you think you will incur. Do you have approval from your manager for the purchase of hardware? Then make sure that you arrange the application via the helpdesk portal of the ISSC.

9 December 2020

No, you may not submit such purchases as professional expenses via the Individual Choices Model. This equipment no longer meets the tax requirements once it has been submitted through the Individual Choices Model. From a fiscal perspective, a personal contribution is required via the Individual Choices Model, but this is not allowed for such equipment.

Follow the steps for using Office 365.

To forward calls to your mobile or home number, submit a request via the Helpdesk Portal.
State your current (work) phone number and to which phone number this should be forwarded.

You can log into a shared mailbox via Webmail as follows:

  1. Go to https://mail.campus.leidenuniv.nl/owa/<shared mailbox address>. Note: do not type the <>, just the correct and complete mail address of the shared mailbox, for example: issc-helpdesk@issc.leidenuniv.nl.
  2. Log in with your own ULCN details.

Are you working from home on a university laptop issued by the ISSC? If you are not connected to the university network via your university workplace, your password will NOT be synchronised to your work laptop. Have you already changed your password? In that case:   

  • Use your old password on your ISSC laptop (until you are reconnected to the university network at your university workplace in Leiden or The Hague).
  • Use your new password to log in to Office 365, webmail and all ULCN applications that you use.

No university laptop

In most instances, you can reset your password yourself via Account Services. This could be if you have forgotten or wish to change your password or if it has expired.

If that doesn’t work or if you don’t have access to Account Services, please see our page about passwords.

Questions about personnel matters

Until 2021, you will automatically receive your commuting allowance if you are entitled to it.

The likelihood is that in 2021 we will still have to work largely from home. You are not entitled to a commuting allowance for the days you work at home, so you will no longer receive the automatic commuting allowance in 2021. However, the University will still provide an allowance for those days when you travel to your University workplace. As it is not possible to predict which days these will be, from 1 January 2021 you can claim your actual commuting days every month after the end of the month.

In addition, from 1 February 2021 everyone may again apply for the (supplementary) kilometre allowance via the Terms of Employment Individual Choices Model. This kilometre allowance will be calculated with retrospective effect from 1 January 2021.

For more information, see:

Because the Tax and Customs Administration has limited the tax options for travel allowance, it is not permitted to apply for (additional) kilometre allowance in the period 22 September - 31 December 2020. From 1 February 2021, you may again request a kilometre allowance for actual travel days.

Do you want to know exactly what (additional) kilometre allowance entails and what conditions you must meet? Then take a look at the page Kilometre allowance.

If you travel to work with public transport, you may, under certain circumstances, be able to deduct a fixed sum for travel expenses from your income in your tax return. Read more about this on the Tax and Customs Administration website (in Dutch).

If your application has been approved, this will not change.

Schools and day nurseries are open to children whose parents work in crucial sectors. Some of these schools and nurseries are asking parents for a statement from their employer about the nature of their work.

If you are a key worker at the University – for instance, if you are involved in organising or providing remote education – we will provide a letter for your school or day nursery as soon as possible. Please send an email to the PSSC Service Point requesting the letter.

Updated 20 March 2020

As a rule, staff may not come to the University. Everyone must work from home, unless you have agreed otherwise with your manager. For example, if you work in security or in the library, it may be essential that you come to the University. Or if you are working on an experiment that cannot be interrupted.

You may be eligible for an exemption if:  

  1. The nature of your work means you cannot work from home. If your work is not essential, you can be exempted from work in consultation with your manager. In this case, you do not need to take leave.
  2. You can work from home but do not have enough work to occupy all your working hours. In consultation with your manager you can be exempted from work for the hours you are unable to fill.


Would you be willing to help your colleagues, so we can get through this difficult period together? Or do you have work that would be relatively easy to pass on to other staff members? Contact Leiworks@bb.leidenuniv.nl to let them know.

No. If you are in a high-risk group, you should not come to the University under any circumstances.

Update 28 April 2020

The regular leave rules apply: if you have a personal appointment or are going on holiday, take holiday leave. The present circumstances require flexibility and adaptability, which makes rest and relaxation particularly important.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances, the agreements on holidays and expiry periods still apply. You are responsible for taking your holiday leave. Discuss this with your colleagues and manager to ensure that the work at the University can continue uninterrupted where possible.

If your manager has asked you not to take leave, an exception can be made (in accordance with current policy). This is if you wish to take leave but are asked not to do so (yet) because of organisational interests.

You can still take leave at the moment. If you have taken leave but have to work after all, discuss with your manager how to change your leave request.

You can employ a number of tactics to enable you to do your work. For example, try sharing childcare with someone else, working whilst the children are sleeping or otherwise occupied, or prioritising your tasks.

We understand that you may not be able to achieve as much as you normally would, so try to make optimal use of the technical solutions available to you, for example holding meetings via Skype or Microsoft Teams.

If you are able to do the planned work from home, the agreements made will still apply. If working from home is not an option or if the work is cancelled, the cancellation period in your contract will be honoured. In many cases, work will be postponed rather than cancelled. For example, training courses can be given at a later date.

If you are employed via an agency but can do your work from home, your hours will be paid as usual.

If your work is cancelled, you will be paid according to your terms and conditions. Contact your employment agency for further information.

We will continue to follow the legal timeframe insomuch as this is possible. We also request that all managers continue to fulfil their ‘gatekeeper’ duties.

If the legal timeframe cannot be adhered to because of the corona situation, we will notify the UWV (the Employee Insurance Agency) that we are unable to fulfil our commitments and explain why.

The University doctor will try to conduct all appointments by phone. If this isn’t possible, your appointment will be postponed or cancelled in consultation with you. Please contact the University doctor to determine the best course of action.

Create the documents in Word, following the  Performance and Development format as much as possible. Then upload the documents as an attachment to the Performance and Development interview in Self Service. In the description, refer to the exceptional circumstances.

Please see the coronavirus dossier. Here we explain what the measures mean for business trips.

Many of us have never been so busy, whereas for others the opposite is true: they can’t work from home or their work will soon dry up.

Would you be willing to help your colleagues, so we can get through this difficult period together? Or do you have work that would be relatively easy to pass on to other staff members? Contact Leiworks@bb.leidenuniv.nl to let them know

You will continue to receive this allowance for the time being.

The option of a contract with flexible working hours remains possible (38/40 hours for example). However, we are asking our staff to stop using the flexible working hours scheme to accrue extra holiday if you are not working the extra hours anyway. This is to ensure that there isn’t too much unused holiday at the end of the year. 

Questions about working in The Netherlands

Updated 29 March 2020

Please contact your health insurer to explore options. Leiden university has a collective agreement with insurer “Zorg and Zekerheid” for the Basic health insurance.

How to arrange basic health insurance without a Citizen Service Number (BSN):

Zorg en Zekerheid will need a copy of your employment contract and proof of an appointment to be entered into the Municipality's Personal Records Database (BRP). Once Z&Z has received these documents, they will provide you with 'provisional cover'. If you require acute care, Z&Z will contact the care institution and will subsequently guarantee your care costs. As soon as you receive your BSN number, send this to Z&Z and your insurance premiums will be charged retroactively from the date on which you were accepted with 'provisional cover'. 

Only if you were not able to collect your residence card at the IND the letter of approval will suffice.

Updated 27 March 2020

There are two types of health insurance in the Netherlands: basic health insurance (in Dutch: basisverzekering) and private insurance (in Dutch: privéverzekering). There are rules governing which kind of insurance you will need. For more information, see the SCIS website.

Basic health insurance
Zorg and Zekerheid (Z&Z) is Leiden University’s preferred supplier of basic health insurance. Information on their coverage is likely to be the same as for other basic health insurers, but if you have a different insurer and are currently staying outside the Netherlands, it is wise to check the terms and conditions of your insurer.

  • Medical costs while in the Netherlands:
    All medical costs insured in the basic health insurance are covered. You will have to pay an excess (in Dutch: eigen risico) of €385 yourself.
  • Medical costs while staying outside the Netherlands:
    Your basic health insurer will pay medical costs up to the rate that applies in the Netherlands. If you are outside the Netherlands, you will have to pay the excess of €385 yourself.

If you have additional insurance (in Dutch: aanvullende verzekering) and your costs exceed the Dutch 100% rate, these will also be covered unless:

  • You are in an area that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has designated as a red zone in its colour-coded advice.
  • The travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an area abroad where you are currently staying changes to red, but you do not return to the Netherlands.

In case of planned hospitalisation, always apply in advance to Zorg en Zekerheid or check the terms and conditions if you have a different insurer.

If you are on a business trip, medical costs that exceed the Dutch rate will be covered by the University’s travel insurance.

Private health insurance
AON Complete + is Leiden University’s preferred private health insurance supplier.

AON covers your actual medical costs regardless whether you are in the Netherlands or abroad. All your medical costs are fully covered. You do NOT have to pay an excess.

  • If you have AON complete + Insurance and are already in an area that has been designated as a red or orange zone in the advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, your actual medical costs will be covered
  • If you are an international non-earning staff member and travel to an area that has been designated as a red or orange zone in the advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, your actual medical costs will not be covered.

Yes, it is still possible to register at Leiden and The Hague Municipality.

If you are on a business trip, medical costs not covered by your health insurance are covered by the university's travel insurance.

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