"No science is immune to the infection
of politics and the corruption of power."

Jacob Bronowski
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The general rule is that an official must not receive revenue from side activities if the same duties are included in his or her official duties. The prohibition does not apply to R&D and educational activities in an educational institution if the official has informed the head of the institution. For example, if the training activity is included in the official’s job description and directly related to the official duties then the training must be conducted for the main salary (e.g. an official having prepared a draft should not present it for a fee. Job descriptions often set out the official’s obligation to introduce their sector or the inspectors’ obligation to spread their sector’s safety information, and this presumes training and awareness activities for the main salary. On the other hand, such trainings place a very high burden on the officials and they may not have any time left for their main duties. One solution is to train trainers from outside the agency: teaching experts who will then organise the sector’strainigs.

If the training and awareness activities are additional work for the official and not reflected in his or her job description and main salary then the official’s direct superior shall decide whether additional salary will be paid for those tasks, other official duties will be reduced, or otherwise. This depends on e.g. the additional workload entailed in the training activities and on whether the official needs to be and can be replaced.

A Ministry’s official’s paid training on the topics of his or her work area


A consultation company organises a seminar to introduce a legal act recently entered into force, inviting the Ministry’s official having been the main responsible person in preparing the draft act to speak at the seminar. The preparation and introduction of that sector’s legislation is included in the official’s duties by the job description. The consultation company enters into a contract for services with the official and pays him or her remuneration. The seminar takes place during work hours and the official does not go on a vacation for the seminar’s duration.


The preparation and introduction of that sector’s legislation is included in the official’s duties by the job description. The official receives salary for his or her official duties, so no remuneration should be taken for such training activities. By accepting the money, the official receives double pay because the seminar takes place during work hours.

A Labour Inspector trains entrepreneurs for a fee

A company invites an Inspector / Occupational Health Specialist to give a consultation on the topics of occupational health and is willing to pay for it. The event takes place outside the official’s work hours, but the activity of consultations to enterprises is not regulated by the official’s job description. In giving the consultations, the official uses his or her work knowledge.


An Inspector / Occupational Health Specialist should not take a payment for such consultations, for two reasons:

1. Although the job description does not specify the content of the official tasks, the duties of an Inspector / Occupational Health Specialist presumably also include the supplementing of entrepreneurs’ knowledge about the sector’s requirements, incl. by giving them trainings or consultations from time to time. Therefore, these tasks are directly related to the official’s main duties and they should be performed for the main salary.

2. Paid training may lead to a conflict of interests, for example if the official conducts supervision over the company and looks the other way concerning the company’s shortcomings, knowing that the company will pay for the training. In that case, the payment may be considered corruptive income.

A Ministry's lawyer’s paid ikebana courses

An official working in the Ministry has had a hobby of ikebana for a long time and wishes to organise weekend ikebana courses in a hobby school. The hobby school wants to sign an employment contract with her for the autumn and the spring semester, setting out remuneration as well.


The organisation of ikebana courses can be considered the official’s side activity that is not related to the official’s service duties. It can be presumed that weekend ikebana courses do not hinder the official acting as a lawyer from performing her service duties, do not lead to a conflict of interests and do not harm the Ministry’s reputation. Therefore: if the direct superior knows, the side activity and its remuneration are allowed. If the courses take place not on weekends, the official should take a vacation from her main work for those times..