20 March 2020

Update #17 COVID-19

 PLEASE NOTE: these updates may contain outdated information. Please read the latest information.

Update #17: 20 March 2020, 17:00 hours

In this update, you will find information about the employer’s declaration that you need to travel to work from Belgium, the social security for cross-border workers, ways to get information about the Dutch measures as a non-Dutch speaker, improving your home workplace, the extended application deadline for prospective students, and more.

Living in Belgium, working at UM

Employees who live in Belgium and have to come to UM for their work because the nature of their work requires them to do so, are now required by the Belgian authorities to submit an employer's declaration when they cross the border. If they are unable to provide a declaration, they risk getting a fine. If this situation applies to you, contact your manager. A format for this declaration has been made available to them.

Living in Belgium or Germany and social security

As an employee, if you live in Germany or Belgium and work from home for 25% or more of your working hours, you will normally be subject to the social security legislation of your country of residence. Now that UM colleagues living in Belgium or Germany are forced to work more from home than during normal circumstances, in theory this would apply to them. However, due to the exceptional situation, Member States have decided that working from home will not have any impact during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the social security system that currently applies to these employees remains unchanged.

The Dutch news for English speakers

It is not always easy for foreign students and staff to stay informed of developments in the Dutch media or in society. Because this can be important at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, we would like to draw your attention to a number of websites that meet this demand. The Facebook group ‘NOS in English’ translates the coverage from this national public news channel on a daily basis.  The Facebook page of Match Maastricht also provides a platform for questions and answers from foreign students. The government website The Netherlands and You offers up-to-date information about, among other things, travelling to the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic.

Application deadline for new students extended

The deadline for applying to a new study programme, which until now was 1 May, is being extended. This was announced by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, after consultation with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), among others. For prospective students from countries that do not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA), for now 1 June will probably be the new application deadline when applying for a non-selective bachelor. For students from the EEA a new application date has not yet been set, but the application date will not be earlier than 1 June, possibly even later. 

Taking the great diversity of our programmes into account, we will provide more information next week on how UM will deal with this measure from the Ministry.

Office equipment to home office

A number of colleagues are facing limitations in their home workplace and fear developing ergonomic complaints in the long run. If you have certain equipment at the office (e.g. screens, keyboards, desk chairs, etc.) that you would like to bring home yourself for the time being, please contact your manager. As far as possible, he or she can take care of the facilitation and associated administration.

By the way, we are very aware that the combination of working from home with (small) children and possibly other care tasks is not easy. We would like to remind everyone that under these circumstances we do not constantly expect the output and online presence that we are often used to from each other!

Repatriation of UM students and exchange students

UM students and exchange students who wish to return to the Netherlands from abroad and who can’t book a return trip are requested to report to the International Relations Officer of their faculty as soon as possible and to report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (website only available in Dutch). UM will then do everything in its power to assist you with your return, for as far this is possible.  

Repatriation of employees and PhD fellows

Employees and PhD fellows with a scholarship/grant who wish to return to the Netherlands from abroad and can’t book a return trip are asked to report to their faculty as soon as possible. Employees of non-faculty departments can report this to the general coronavirus contact email address for employees corona[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl and register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (website only available in Dutch). UM will then do everything in its power to assist you with your return, for as far this is possible.    

UM story series 'We're open’

Fewer meetings are being held, education is being provided in a different way, and some scientific studies are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. But Maastricht University is open! Within the available opportunities, staff and students are doing everything in their power to remain active and productive. Starting today, you can read about these members of our community in the story series 'We're open'. The first is an interview with Prof. Teun Dekker, who’s looking forward to the innovation that the crisis will foster. “It really goes to show that the university isn’t the buildings but the connections between people.” Have fun reading!

In principle, the next update will appear on Monday. Should there be a reason to report earlier in the weekend, we will of course do so.