Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

(2009-2010 HR#6) Pandemic Planning – Absence Tracking in HRIS

August 19, 2009
Principals & Deans; Chief Administrative Officers; Divisional HR Offices
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
Pandemic Planning – Absence Tracking in HRIS

In our memo of August 4, Cheryl Misak and I provided some examples of the planning that currently is under way in anticipation of a widespread H1N1 influenza this coming fall and winter.

One of the planning groups, the HR Pandemic Working Group, has been developing tools and resources to support managers in addressing the various human resource issues that will arise during a pandemic, in particular the potential for significant numbers of employees to be ill and unable to be at work. In such situations it is very important to be able to track absence information, particularly sick days, at the Divisional level and across the University.

We are aware that some divisions and departments are currently maintaining this information with respect to staff in HRIS; however, a number of divisions and departments are not recording absences or are maintaining a shadow system at the unit level which cannot easily be rolled up into a Divisional or University-level report. We are asking for your support in establishing a regular, ongoing and timely practice of recording all absence information in HRIS for all appointed staff. Maintaining absence information in HRIS will ensure that divisional managers have access to timely and reliable absence information. It will facilitate the reallocation of staff to essential services within your division. It will also enable the generation of University-wide absence data that would be of importance to the University administration in making decisions concerning the status of activities at the University during a pandemic.

In anticipation of a widespread H1N1 influenza this fall we request that Divisions begin this practice no later than mid September 2009. There is some flexibility in how divisions can implement this practice. A separate communication to CAO’s, departmental Business Officers and other HRIS users will be issued the week of August 24th, which will provide more details on processing absence information in HRIS and the resources available to assist. In anticipation of this communication we would ask that CAO’s begin to review the current practices with respect to absence tracking within your division.

While the current priority is for divisions and departments to establish a practice of maintaining absence information, specifically sick days, in HRIS, the ultimate objective is that all staff absences including vacation, will be maintained in HRIS. The next phase of this broader absence tracking initiative is the roll-out of the USW vacation tracker, which is planned for 2010.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this communication, please contact Janice Draper at 416-978-5699 or