COVID-19 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Employment COVID-19 FAQs

As of March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible.

Employees who are required to perform a critical function and/or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to come to campus. Please speak to your supervisor for clarification as to whether you are required to attend work on campus. The University will work to minimize the disruption of this change on staff members.

Where possible, individuals should work from home. In some cases, employees who perform a critical function will not have the technology to work remotely and will need to attend work  on campus. Some essential services can be performed remotely.  The key consideration will be whether the work can be performed at home, assuming technology is available.

U of G’s Human Resources team is available to address employment questions related to COVID-19.

Our Academics FAQs have information for students with experiential learning placements including work study, co-op, internships and practicums.

Sick Leave

To report your absence, please complete the Self-Declaration Form and contact your manager, chair or division head following your unit’s normal absence reporting practice. 

Temporary full-time, part-time and student employees who have exhausted paid sick leave benefits and are required to self-isolate or be off sick, will be provided with additional days of paid sick leave sufficient to cover a COVID-19-related absence. Employees should continue to be paid in accordance with their planned hours. Those working variable hours should be paid the same number of hours paid as their most recent bi-weekly pay period. Please see the Pay and Benefits section of these FAQs for more information.

Individuals will be required to submit a Self-Declaration Form and notify their immediate supervisor of their requirement to be absent.

Pay and Benefits

All employees are asked to enroll in direct deposit to ensure they can receive their pay.  Starting with the April 2 pay deposit, any paper pay cheques will be mailed to an individual’s home address currently on file with Human Resources.

As this situation continues to develop, it may become difficult or impossible to produce manual cheques and therefore it is strongly recommended that employees shift to direct deposit to ensure they don’t experience unnecessary delays in receiving bi-weekly pay.  Employees can enter their direct deposit information online through the Employee Self-Service Portal.

Regular full-time employees and temporary full-time employees within their contractual term will continue to receive their normal pay and benefits until further direction is received, even if they can’t complete their job duties from home.

For other employees, after April 2, 2020, the following payroll guidelines will apply:

  • Part-time and student employees (including co-op students) who are able to perform their normal duties remotely or who are providing crucial services and working  on-site with the approval of their supervisor, will continue to be paid in accordance with their hours worked and will receive their normal entitlements based on those hours.
  • Part-time and student employees (including co-op students) who do not meet the above criteria will no longer be compensated as of April 3, 2020. Pay will cease until such time as additional work becomes available. The University will work with departments to determine the part-time and student employees who are no longer being paid to ensure release of Records of Employment’s (ROE’s) as applicable.
  • Work study students will be paid until the end of their work term.

Employees who cannot perform their normal duties from home may be assigned other duties to provide support to other employees or areas, based on departmental or University priorities.

Student employees (including co-op students) who are able to perform their normal duties remotely or who are providing crucial services and working  on-site with the approval of their supervisor, will continue to be paid in accordance with their hours worked and will receive their normal entitlements based on those hours.

Student employees (including co-op students) who do not meet the above criteria will no longer be compensated as of April 3, 2020. Pay will cease until such time as additional work becomes available.

The University will work with departments to determine the part-time and student employees who are no longer being paid to ensure release of Records of Employment (ROEs) as applicable.

Information for work study students is in the next FAQ.

Work study students will continue to be paid until the end of their work term.

Accommodations

U of G’s normal accommodation processes will be used to address such needs. Speak with your supervisor for more information and assistance.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible.

In addition to considering work-from-home arrangements, where feasible, access to vacation leave, lieu time, the extension of family responsibility time or modification of working hours should be used to help employees meet childcare needs.

The University has entered into agreements with applicable employee groups around a one-time increase of family responsibility time from seven to fourteen days, for regular full-time staff and from two to five days for temporary full-time staff, to assist with family care needs during this period, in accordance with existing policy/provisions in collective agreements.

For Employees – Working on Campus

The University of Guelph is working hard to protect the safety of those whose job duties require them to attend campus. Employees who are attending campus for work are encouraged to follow best practices for physical distancing and hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This may include rearranging tasks, staggering relief periods, alternate shift scheduling and other operational adjustments as practical.

Our custodial staff have enhanced their regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the workplace. Employees who may be working alone should speak to their supervisors in accordance with our Working Alone Policy to develop a plan for employees’ safety. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is available to provide guidance on working safely during COVID-19 and can be reached at ehs@uoguelph.ca.

For Employees – Working Remotely

Yes. As of Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home where operationally possible.

If you are required to perform a critical function or your presence on campus is necessary to perform your job duties (as determined by your supervisor), you will need to continue to come to campus. Please speak to your supervisor for clarification as to whether you are required to work on campus and how to do so safely.

The University will work to minimize the disruption of this change on staff members. Employees working from home will continue to receive their regular pay during this period.

Temporary Work from Home Guidelines have been designed to assist employees and their supervisors in assessing the suitability and expectations of a temporary work-from-home arrangement where an employee has been impacted by COVID-19. Employees and their supervisors must complete the Work from Home Self-Assessment Checklist prior to commencing a work from home arrangement. Please contact your HR Consultant for more information.

Computing and Communications Services (CCS) has a number of tools that can help you work from home if the need arises. Visit their Working Remotely page for details.

CCS also has advice on how to work from home securely to protect your devices, your personal information and the University when you’re online.

HR’s Learning and Development team has postponed or cancelled many of the programs scheduled up to the end of April and are in the process of updating their Event Calendar to reflect programs that will be available remotely or through online learning. Below are some free, recommended LinkedIn Learning Resources to assist you with both professional and personal development.

LinkedIn Learning Resources

Top 5 course recommendations for successful resilience and remote work:

  1. Building Resilience
  2. Working Remotely
  3. Managing Virtual Teams
  4. Time Management: Working from Home
  5. Cultivating Mental Agility

Please visit the CCS Help web page for assistance if you need technical support for your remote workstation.

While you are working remotely, please add the following out-of-office auto-replies to your uoguelph.ca email account.  You can find instructions on updating your Outlook auto-reply for a desktop Windows operating system, the Outlook web app and a Mac operating system online.

Sample auto-reply message for internal recipients:
Use this auto-reply message only for emails received from U of G accounts. Internal recipients will receive your auto-reply just once.

“Working remotely” – you may include other details such as an alternate phone number where you can be reached

 [For those who receive regular emails from students, please include the following]

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious about COVID-19, the following supports are available:

    • contact Counselling Services at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53244 (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
    • text “UofG” to 686868 using your text- or SMS-enabled device
    • call Good2Talk 1-866-925-5454

or

“Working on campus”

Sample working remotely auto-reply message for external recipients:
Use this auto-reply only for messages received from outside U of G (check the “auto-reply to people outside my organization” box).

“Due to concerns about COVID-19 and with the goal of increasing physical distancing, most University of Guelph employees are working remotely. The University remains open and operational, but services have been reduced. My response to your message may be delayed.

Up-to-date information about the University of Guelph’s response to the coronavirus pandemic may be found on our COVID-19 website – https://uoguel.ph/COVID19 – and social media channels.

Classes will resume Monday, March 23 in an alternative delivery format. No face-to-face classes or face-to-face exams will be held for the remainder of the winter 2020 semester.

The University of Guelph is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation in consultation with Public Health and taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our U of G community.”

Human Resources has compiled the following resources to help make your remote work space more ergonomic.

Please customize and record the following message as your voicemail greeting to let callers know how to reach you. If you need help changing your voicemail message, find instructions on the CCS Voicemail web page.

“Absence alert. You have reached the voicemail of [NAME] in the [UNIT] at the University of Guelph.

Due to concerns about COVID-19 and with the goal of increasing physical distancing, I am working remotely until further notice. Please send me an email at [email address] and I will respond to you as soon as possible. Please note that my response may be delayed. Thank you for your patience.

You can find the most up-to-date information about the University of Guelph’s response to the coronavirus pandemic on our COVID-19 website, which is accessible through the University’s main website – www.uoguelph.ca – or check our social media channels.

Thank you.”

Unless you are advised otherwise by your supervisor, when working remotely, you are expected to be available during your normal working hours and to perform your regular duties, including answering emails, responding to voice messages and participating in conference calls and virtual meetings, etc.

For information on how to access your voicemail remotely, visit CCS’s Voicemail web page.

Depending on the nature of your role and the work-from-home arrangements you have made with your supervisor, you may be required to receive work-related calls at home.

If you need to be able to answer work-related calls remotely, email the CCS Help Desk  (IThelp@uoguelph.ca) and ask to have Jabber set up. Jabber is an application that allows you to remotely place and receive calls from your office extension on your cell phone, laptop or tablet.

In your request please include:

  • Your extension
  • Your User ID from your central login credentials

A high volume of these requests are anticipated. We appreciate your patience in filling your request.

If you are not expected to reroute your U of G extension to your personal phone, please record the following message on your voicemail with to let callers know how to reach you:

“Absence alert. You have reached the voicemail of [NAME] in the [UNIT] at the University of Guelph.

I am working remotely until further notice. Please send me an email at [email address] and I will respond to you within one business day. Thank you for your patience.

You can find the most up-to-date information about the University of Guelph’s response to the coronavirus outbreak on our COVID-19 website which is accessible through the University’s main website – www.uoguelph.ca – or check our social media channels.

Thank you.”

If you need help changing your voicemail message, find instructions on the CCS Voicemail web page.

Please discuss your ability to work from home, including technological limitations, with your supervisor.

Yes. Our buildings are currently open and operational.

Before you leave, make sure you bring home the things you think you’ll need or want while you’re working remotely.

Your normal job duties may differ during this time. Each unit will have its own areas of focus that may be adjusted to support the University’s broader priorities. Ask your supervisor for guidance on how your job duties may be different at this time or as the situation progresses.

There may be opportunities within and outside your unit to help colleagues who need it. U of G will be actively seeking those who are willing to take on alternate duties and asking employees to support other areas. Please discuss ways you can help with your supervisor.

Self-isolation

To report your absence, please complete the Self-Declaration Form and contact your manager, chair or division head following your unit’s normal absence reporting practice. 

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible. If you are able to work from home, you will be expected to do so during the self-isolation period.

If it is not possible for you to work from home, you will be provided access to sick leave with pay in accordance with your existing entitlements.

If you develop symptoms during your self-isolation period, do not come to campus. Contact your health care provider or Telehealth for guidance.

If your health status changes during your self-isolation period, please notify your supervisor and Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120 Ext. 52647. They will advise you of next steps.

Please contact your health care provider or Telehealth for advice. Based on your individual circumstances, if your health care provider indicates you should self-isolate too, please contact your supervisor and Occupational Health and Wellness for additional direction.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible.

Do not come to work during your 14-day self-isolation period. Please contact your supervisor to discuss next steps.

For Supervisors

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible. Employees who are required to perform a critical function and/or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to come to campus.

For employees who are able to perform their jobs duties remotely, ensure:

  • the employee has the needed IT security protocols to work remotely (e.g., VPN, software, hardware, etc.). Visit CCS’s Working Remotely page for support.
  • if possible, the employee has a workstation off-campus that can support a remote work arrangement (e.g., ergonomic workstations, secure document storage, etc.)

Temporary Work from Home Guidelines have been designed to assist employees and their supervisors in assessing the suitability and expectations of a temporary work from home arrangement where an employee has been impacted by COVID-19. Employees and their supervisors must complete the Work from Home Self-Assessment Checklist prior to commencing a work from home arrangement. Please contact your HR Consultant for more information.