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Campus inSaint Petersburg

International Travel, Vacations, Reimbursement, and Working in Self-Isolation

Everything Students and Employees Need to Know about HSE’s Precautionary Measures against the Spread of Coronavirus

International Travel, Vacations, Reimbursement, and Working in Self-Isolation

© HSE University

On March 7, HSE University instituted a number of protective measures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Among these measures is a ban on all international business trips for HSE employees and students until further notice. Below, the university administration provides answers to HSE community members’ most frequent questions about how to cancel their travel plans and work in self-isolation.

1. How long will the ban on international work-related travel (‘business trips’) last? Does it apply to all HSE campuses?


The travel ban includes all business trips to all countries outside of Russia. The ban, therefore, includes even countries that are not included on the official list issued by the Moscow Ministry of Health, which requires that all returning travellers from specified countries self-quarantine for two weeks. HSE’s ban on international business trips will last indefinitely until further notice. If you have a business trip departure date planned earlier than June 30, 2020, you must cancel your trip. These measures apply to all HSE campuses (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm).

2. How can I find out if a certain country is on the list of countries most affected by the virus? Where is the list available?

 

You can find out what countries are currently on the list by calling the Moscow Government hotline by phone +7 (495) 870-45-09. As of March 11, the list includes Germany, Iran, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, and France. If you do not speak Russian, please ask your programme office or the International Student Support Office.

The list of countries most affected by the virus is also published on the special page of the HSE St. Petersburg International Office.

3. What should I do if I am currently on a business trip in a country that is classified as a country with ‘unfavourable conditions’?

You should decide if you continue your trip as planned (do not return to Russia earlier than the arrival date that was approved by HR on your business trip request) or interrupt your business trip and come back to Russia (if possible). If you decide to come back to Russia earlier, you should initiate an order for change of dates, change tickets, cancel your hotel booking for the next days. Additional expenditures will be reimbursed to you. Submit your trip expense report in accordance with standard protocol.

After returning to Russia, you must self-isolate and notify your supervisor and Liudmila Vozian, Head of the Human Resources, at Lvozian@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61227. You can send confirmation of your trip by sending a photo or copy of the page in your passport that contains the exit and entry stamps you received when crossing the border.

The HR Department will send you a supplemental agreement to your employment contract that provides approval for working from home for the required quarantine period. Upon receipt of the supplemental agreement, you must send an email with the following text in the body: ‘I have received the supplemental agreement. I have no objections. I will sign the agreement upon returning to my normal work schedule.’

To make arrangements for remote work, please contact your supervisor and Vitaly Ryazanov, Head of the IT Office (for remote access to HSE information systems) at vvryazanov@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61701. Submit your trip expense report in accordance with standard protocol.

4. How do I self-isolate?

HSE suggests three ways:

1. International faculty and staff should contact their supervisors or coordinators for assistance if they would like to receive sick leave. HSE Employees who speak Russian can receive sick leave papers, which, under normal circumstances, are issued by your doctor or clinic.

If you are an HQS-specialist, please contact your coordinator at the faculty or a lab manager for further details regarding sick leave options

2. Work from home. Report this to your supervisor and Liudmila Vozian, Head of the Human Resources, at Lvozian@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 6122. You can provide confirmation of your trip by sending a photo or copy of the page in your passport that contains the exit and entry stamps you received when crossing the border.

The HR Office will send you a supplemental agreement to your employment contract that provides approval for working from home for the required quarantine period. Upon receipt of the supplemental agreement, you must send an email with the following text in the body: ‘I have received the supplemental agreement. I have no objections. I will sign the agreement upon returning to my normal work schedule.’

To make arrangements for remote work, please contact your supervisor and Vitaly Ryazanov, Head of the IT Office (for remote access to HSE information systems) at vvryazanov@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61701 (for remote access to HSE information systems). Submit your trip expense report in accordance with standard protocol.

3. Per agreement with your supervisor, arrange an annual paid leave request.

5. Will I be paid for the days I am in self-isolation?

 

If you arrange sick leave, the days of your self-isolation will be paid by the Social Insurance Fund in accordance with Russian legislation.

If you are working from home, the days of your self-isolation will be paid as regular working days.

If you have arranged with your supervisor to treat your self-isolation as paid vacation, you will be compensated for your days off in accordance with standard annual vacation compensation protocol.

6. What should I do if I returned from a business trip abroad and already went back to work before March 7?

 

In this case, you can continue to work on campus and do not have to self-isolate. However, be vigilant and take measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (take your temperature, wash your hands, follow the recommendations of government agencies and HSE University, etc.)

7. What should be done if a student is currently on an academic exchange in a country that is classified as a country with ‘unfavourable conditions’?

 

If you are currently on international mobility in a country affected by the virus, you need to decide whether to interrupt your mobility and return to Russia (if possible) or stay at a host university. Before making a decision, find out if a host university can provide a distance learning option. If the university is closed for a long period and distance learning option is not available, it is recommended to discontinue your academic mobility. To do this, you must contact your programme study office an write a relevant application.

Before making a final decision to continue or terminate your academic mobility, please contact your programme office to get a consultation on changing your individual curriculum.

If it is impossible to come back to the Russian Federation, HSE University - Saint Petersburg will assist in organizing the educational process on an individual curriculum. In this situation, please contact your programme office to get a consultation on changing your individual curriculum.

After returning to Russia, you must self-isolate for 14 days and notify your programme office manager and Lydia Koshkina, Head of the International Student Support Office, at lkoshkina@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61748. You can provide confirmation of your trip by sending a photo or copy of the page in your passport that contains the exit and entry stamps you received when crossing the border.

8. What should be done if a student is currently abroad or is going on a trip abroad that does not pursue educational purpose?

 

If you are currently in a foreign country or will leave Russia, you must notify your programme manager and Lydia Koshkina, Head of the International Student Support Office, (at lkoshkina@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61748) in advance. If you cannot inform abovementioned persons in advance, you must inform them as soon as you arrive in Russia. You should provide the information about your return, travel dates, and a country you arrived from. 

If you live in the student dormitory, you must inform Alexandra Guseva, Head of the Accommodation Department at asguseva@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61740, to organize self-isolation in the dormitory.

If you have returned from a country with ‘unfavourable conditions’, you are required to ensure your self-isolation for 14 days.

9. How can a student self-isolate?

1. If you arrange sick leave.

2. If you study remotely. Contact your programme office manager to inform about your decision. You will be provided with the opportunity of distance support of your courses on LMS. during the period of self-isolation.

10. Does the HSE international business trip travel ban apply to countries that are not on the official list of countries with ‘unfavourable conditions’ with regard to the spread of the virus?

Yes, the ban applies to business trips to all foreign countries.

11. Is it possible to arrange long-term foreign business trips (for example, an internship on a special grant for 1.5 months at the expense of the host country) to countries both included and not included on the list of most affected countries?


No, the ban applies to all business trips abroad, regardless of their duration.

12. What should I do if I have a business trip abroad already planned?

 

If you have already submitted your business trip request and received approval:

If you have already submitted your business trip papers and received approval for international travel in the period from March 7, 2020 to June 30, 2020, your travel approval issued by the HR Department will be automatically cancelled. You and your supervisor will be informed of the cancellation via email.

In order to be reimbursed for your travel expenses, you must immediately contact the service providers (airline, hotel, etc.) with whom you made arrangements and request a refund.

If the provider does not give you a refund, HSE University will reimburse you for the costs incurred. To be reimbursed, submit an expense report in accordance with standard protocol for the cancelled trip with the required supporting documents attached. The expenses will be paid by the unit or programme budget that was originally allocated for it. For this reason, the original designated source of funding for the cancelled trip should be indicated in the expense report.

If you have not yet filed your business trip request paperwork:

If you independently purchased tickets and/or incurred other expenses for a planned international business trip (with a departure date in the period from March 7, 2020 to June 30, 2020), and you did not file a business trip request form before March 7, 2020, you should immediately contact your service providers (airline, hotel, etc.) and request a refund.

If the supplier refuses to give you a refund, HSE University will reimburse employees for their travel costs on a case by case basis as per the decision of a special commission chaired by Vice Rector Alexey Novoseltsev. To apply for reimbursement, fill out a memo addressed to Alexey Novoseltsev and signed by the head of your structural unit. The memo should confirm that the trip was planned and include a request to reimburse the costs incurred (indicating the amount to be reimbursed). Primary documents (which you usually attach to the expense report) and confirmation of the service providers’ refusal to provide you with a refund must be attached to the memo.

If the commission rules to reimburse you, the expenses will be compensated from the unit or programme budget that otherwise would have paid the expenses had you filed the business trip paperwork.

13. What should I do if I return from a country that is not on the list of countries determined to have ‘unfavourable conditions’ with regard to the spread of coronavirus?

If you are returning to Russia from any country before June 30, 2020, you need to inform your supervisor and Liudmila Vozian, Head of the Human Resources, at Lvozian@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 6122, about this if you are an employee. If you are a student, you must inform Lydia Koshkina, Head of the International Student Support Office, at lkoshkina@hse.ru or by phone (812) 644-59-11, ext. 61748.

If necessary, you may be asked to provide confirmation of your trip. Confirmation may be a photo or copy of your passport page with the exit and entry stamps you received when crossing the border.