Here is a message from CSC in response to direction given from the TB and OCHRO.
SUBJECT: COVID-19 Communique – March 15, 2020
The Prime Minister has advised to avoid international travel. In light of this advice, employees will be asked to declare their intent to travel to their manager and must take into consideration public health travel advisories as per the active travel health notices, by clicking here.
Employees are expected to come to work during this time but flexible work arrangements will be explored. As you can appreciate, CSC needs to maintain public safety and operational readiness while balancing the health and safety of staff, reducing the burden on public health (contributing to containment efforts), and ensuring our legal obligations relative to care, custody and supervision of offenders.
If you are required by public health officials to self-isolate and you are in good health and able to work, you must advise your manager who will review the option to telework. If that is not possible, other leave with pay (699 code) will be granted as per your collective agreement.
If you are not in good health, refer to the FAQ (Question 18) that was attached to the March 13, 2020 message.
Employees whose children cannot attend school or daycare due to a closure or because of provincial attendance restrictions in place in relation to the COVID-19 situation will:
• Attempt to make any and all possible alternative care arrangements, including sharing responsibilities with a partner, other family members, or others, where possible;
• Seek to exchange shifts with fellow employees (applicable to shift workers);
These attempts should be continuous in nature.
If alternative arrangements are not possible, managers will explore:
• The option of exercising their discretion relative to shift changes;
• Reduction in hours of work;
• The possibility of alternate arrangements such as telework, where feasible and depending on operational requirements.
In cases where no alternative arrangements can be made, “other leave with pay” (699 code) will be granted. The use of “other leave with pay” will be reassessed daily.
Flexible work arrangements
Although employees are expected to come to work, managers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible around telework and alternative work arrangements in line with their operational requirements and circumstances.
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has been working with Shared Services Canada and departmental Chief Information Officers to maximize internet bandwidth to support remote work and prioritize network access tied to critical operations. More specifically, the following is guidance to help our workforce maximize productivity individually and collectively:
• Use mobile devices whenever possible to send and receive emails;
• Connect to VPN/SRA to get what you need from the corporate network and disconnect;
• Limit the use of video conferencing on the GC network when audio conferencing will suffice;
• Localize any files before leaving the office; and
• Download documents outside normal business hours.
When you leave the office to work remotely, make sure you bring the necessary work tools with you. You can work remotely via your work cellular device, laptop or tablet. We are asking that you limit access to the network to business-related activities and proactively disconnect as appropriate. For guidance, please consult these best practices on network usage.
Employees who have already booked travel to international destinations, travel which is now contrary to public health advice, and who are required to self-isolate upon their return may not be entitled to 699 leave with pay.
Employees who now choose to make travel arrangement to international destinations contrary to public health advice and who are required to self-isolate upon their return will not be entitled to 699 leave with pay.
All new leave requests will be reviewed in light of operational requirements.
The direction on leave provisions contained in the FAQ document will be amended and posted on the HUB.
Managers and employees are to keep in touch to provide updates and discuss individual circumstances.
Situations like this are stressful for all of us. If you are feeling overwhelmed or need additional support during this time, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. Call them at 1-800-268-7708 (24/7) or 1-800-567-5803 (TTD). They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is free and completely confidential.
I will keep you updated as this situation evolves. For additional information, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions as well as the Public Service Occupational Health Program (PSOHP) Advisory on COVID-19 that were sent to you on March 13, 2020. You can also consult the PHAC website.