[COVID-19] Continuing University Supports for Employees

We want to acknowledge and recognize the outstanding work and dedication of our faculty, librarians, and staff as we undertake an institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that these are trying times and that things are changing quickly, often daily. To that end, we are writing to provide you with an update on the University’s approach for the next month.

Pay Continuity for Employees

Most employees will receive pay continuity until April 30 and are expected to continue to work either remotely or in limited circumstances onsite, as previously instructed. Human Resources is working with managers in units where exceptions apply and where there is no ability to work at home because of the type of work performed. For these exceptional cases, we are exploring several options and recognize this is a difficult time for our community.

Further instructions will be provided to units with exceptions as quickly as possible. The Guidelines on Employee Absences due to COVID-19 have now been updated and are posted on the HR & Equity website.

Maintaining Operations and Working Remotely

Everyone’s shared objective at this difficult time is to limit the spread of COVID-19. In support of this, the University expects as many people as possible to continue working remotely until further notice. Most of us can and should be working from home as part of our shared responsibility to ourselves, each other and the community at large.

Individuals who absolutely need to come to the University to complete work for purposes such as research and recording courses (largely faculty members) may continue to come to campus and enter their spaces. However, they may not compel others who are not deemed essential by the Province of Ontario to join them. All individuals who currently have access to buildings continue to have access.

Child Care and Other Caregiving Responsibilities

We deeply appreciate the challenges faced by parents and guardians who are caring for their children at home during this period of school closures and social distancing, while also trying to fulfill their job responsibilities remotely. We understand that striking a balance between these responsibilities will be especially challenging during this period where employees are adjusting to new routines with their children and with their colleagues, and that employee productivity may be impacted. The University will be monitoring this situation.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

As always, equity, diversity and respect must remain paramount as we continue to transition during these challenging times. COVID-19 is not isolated to people of any particular ethnic origin, place of origin or race. We are committed to human rights, equity and inclusion and acknowledge the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on various parts of our community. We do not condone any discrimination or harassment against any persons or communities related to COVID-19.

As a reminder, all Equity Offices are available to employees as resources to consult, advise and support on these matters.