Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Useful information

In collaboration with its parliamentary partners,​ the Service continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. We are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our employees while remaining dedicated to providing services to parliamentarians, recognizing that we need to be flexible in how we deliver these services. We know there’s a lot going on, but we’re committed to keeping you informed and giving you the support you need. The Service will continue to follow government recommendations and continue to act responsibly to slow the spread of the virus.

This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

daily business

Post-COVID-19: Examining how a return to work might take place

Every employee has questions about how and when a return to work will take place. The Service and other federally regulated organisations are still nowhere near being able to announce a return date. At this point, the Service is not planning on relaxing the protective measures presently in place. Nonetheless, we know that time will eventually come. To best prepare for it, the Service has created two working groups to examine how a post-COVID-19 return-to work might unfold. Certainly, it is reasonable to expect that some form of physical distancing will remain a priority in many aspects of our work, and that resuming normal activity will be done in a “measured and graduated way” as indicated by our Prime Minister.

The Service will continue to closely monitor statements and recommendations of health authorities but will also take into consideration the specific realities of employees’ personal and family situations. Staff can expect the Service to follow the guidelines proposed by health authorities and to act in accordance with occupational health and safety legislation.

Should you have any concerns or questions about how the return-to-work might unfold at the Service, please contact your supervisor/manager.

In the meantime, we are trying to minimize the number of employees coming to work in support of direction from public health authorities. Although activity levels have dropped, the Service’s primary concern remains the physical security of the Parliamentary Precinct. The Service continues to secure Parliamentary Precinct buildings, all of which remain open until further notice. For emergency support, the Service can be reached at 992-7000. Please note that staff will be asked to sign in when entering buildings, as per normal practice during silent hours.

Commanders Discussion Forum

Update: July 31, 2020

As we enter another month of emergency measures in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, it appears that we will continue living under these conditions for the foreseeable future. With that being said, both provinces have made great strides in recent weeks which has allowed an expansion on the number of people allowed to gather, businesses are starting to re-open with safety measures in place and things seem to be stabilizing overall.

The Commanders Discussion Forum was created to further open the lines of communication for all, during a time where both provinces were being asked to stay home and abide by strict restrictions in hopes of flattening the COVID curve.

When

The Commanders Discussion Forum will be available every Wednesday between 10:00 and 11:00 via Skype, where any employee can join in to share their concerns, comments or questions. We ask that all NCOs and supervisors make this information available to their respective teams so that everyone has an equal opportunity to make their voices heard.

How to Join

There are two options to join the group forum; via phone by dialing in or via skype free app available on smartphones, tablets or computer. If you opt to join the forum, we ask that you use the video option (if possible and certainly not mandatory) and keep your phone or computer microphone on mute when you are not speaking, to avoid unnecessary background noise and audio feedback (the use of headsets are strongly recommended). We will continue to do our best to answer all questions and address all concerns during the call and commit to getting back to you as quickly as possible should we not have answers readily available.

*Please note: Calls are limited to 25 participants, therefore if you are not able to get through, continue to try throughout the hour or on another day.

Telework

It has now been many weeks since most of you began teleworking as a result of COVID-19. In support of guidelines from public health authorities, we are trying to minimize the number of employees coming to work.  The Service appreciates the patience and the collaborative spirit you have shown during this unprecedented situation, along with your willingness to adapt rapidly as the situation evolves. It is important to the Service that employees have the tools they need to allow them to telework safely and effectively in order to maintain essential services.

Requesting Equipment

We encourage you to have an open conversation with your supervisor/manager in making arrangements for your ergonomic needs. When requesting an item, you can opt for the pick-up option or delivery of equipment. We ask that you submit the Delivery and Removal of Assets Form to your supervisor or manager for approval and send the Form to the quartermaster for tracking and delivery when approved.

That said, we would like to remind employees who have brought office equipment to work from home to inform their supervisor/manager via the same Delivery and Removal of Assets Form and forward the form to the quartermaster afterwards. When resuming normal activity, you will be asked to return the equipment back to your office.

Employees who cannot perform their duties from home or do not have access to the network may consider pursuing some online training or working on an appropriate special project (policy review, performance evaluations, work procedures, process review, etc.). They may consult with their manager/supervisor for further ideas on how to manage these unique situations.

Your manager/supervisor remain your first point of contact for any questions or concerns you may have.

Mental Health support

Update: September 15, 2020

Support

As an employee of the Service, please remember that you can always contact our confidential Employee Assistance Program should you need support:
1-800-663-1142 | TTY: 1-888-384-1152 | International (Call Collect): 604-689-1717.

Experiencing Stresstember?

Read the Life Lines Newsletter “Surviving September”

We want to hear from you

The Health and Well-being team continues to provide webinars to support you through the effects of the pandemic. We want to know what topics interest you the most. Please visit the Poll section in Connex to answer the question:

If you could learn more about one topic relating to mental health and well-being, what would it be?

  • Anxiety, depression
  • Building resilience
  • Calming your mind
  • Strategies for managing stress
  • Mindfulness and mitigating the stress
  • Working from home
  • Reducing anxiety and managing the transition to remote work
  • Self care strategies
  • Positive parenting
  • Communication in family life
  • When negativity strikes: communicating despite negative behaviour
  • Building emotional intelligence
  • Smoking cessation
  • The science of happiness

Your feedback is very valuable and helps us better serve employees of the Service! You may also send your answer to your Health and Well-being coordinator at maralia.mazzola@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

A Webinar Series for Your Well-Being

In the next 6 months, the Health and Well-being team will be offering a series of webinars on various well-being topics. In total, we plan to launch 3 live webinars. In efforts to make the webinars accessible to all, they will be recorded and the videos will be available the following month of the live session.

Webinar - Best Ways to Manage Your Insomnia

Tuesday, July 21 at 10 a.m. (French session)

Thursday, July 23 at 10 a.m. (English session)

  • The lowdown on the research behind insomnia;
  • A perspective and experience from a former military officer who suffered from insomnia;
  • Simple techniques you can put into action right away to improve your sleep.

 

Ready, set, snooze!

Take a look at Statistics Canada's infographic on sleep and learn more about the habits of Canadians.

Leading with Empathy

The resource Leading with Empathy Through the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions provides great insight on the COVID-19’s impact on mental health and how managers can lead successfully by being empathetic towards their employees.

We also encourage you to watch the video Brené Brown on Empathy which reminds us that we can only create a empathic connection if we get in touch with our own fragilities.

Employee Fatigue, Isolation and Loneliness

We know that self-isolation and physical distancing are necessary, as they are preventative measures to slow the spread of the virus and the risk of infection. As we adopt and implement modifications to our routines, these changes can be linked to psychological effects including feelings of fatigue, isolation, and loneliness.

If you’re unsure where to get started, some very basic self-care tips include: getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, limiting your screen time and spending some time outside. Learn more here.

How to Bounce Back from a Stressful Situation

Any unexpected changes may impact your psychological health and overall well-being. Feelings of sadness and anxiety are normal and can overwhelm us at any time. The theme of resilience is therefore important and helpful to understand. Resilience may protect you from the harmful psychological effects of a crisis. More specifically, it allows you to adapt and bounce back from a stressful situation. 

How can you build resilience?
  • Find ways to get more comfortable with uncertainty;
  • Use quality information;
  • Be flexible when faced with new and necessary adaptations by adjusting your routine.

If you are interested in a step by step learning opportunity about building your resilience, Homewood Health offers a free 2 hours e course on the subject.

If you or a family member wishes to speak to someone, please call Homewood Health, our confidential Employee and Family Assistance Program: 1-800-663-1142 | TTY: 1-888-384-1152 | International (Call Collect): 604-689-1717.

Questions or concerns? Contact your well-being coordinator at maralia.mazzola@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

Mindfulness at Work to Help you De-Stress

Yes, you can practice mindfulness at work. No matter what your job is, chances are you'd benefit from finding some moments of peace during your work day (evening or night). These easy tips below will show you how.

But first, what is mindfulness exactly? Mindfulness means to be aware of your surroundings and your thoughts and to be fully present. To break it down, it means to hit pause, slow down, try to let go of the endless stream of thoughts, and just focus on what's in front of you. We are all capable of mindfulness; it’s just a matter of tapping into it.

Here are some helpful tips in becoming more mindful in your day-to day life:
  • Mindful moving, walking or running: Notice the feeling of your body moving. You might notice the breeze against your skin, the feeling of your feet from different textures on the ground and the different smells and sights that are around you.
  • Mindful breathing: Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Sense the flow of your breath, the rise and fall of your belly.
  • Mindful eating: Pay attention to the taste, sight, textures and smells of what you eat. For example, when drinking a cup of tea or coffee you could focus on how hot and liquid it feels on your tongue and throat, how sweet it tastes or watch the steam that it gives off.
  • Listening mindfully: Do you really listen when a colleague speaks, or are you simply waiting to have your say? Offer your full attention to someone who is speaking to you. Listen with nonjudgment, openness, curiosity, interest, and compassion.

 

Don’t forget to be non-judgmental towards yourself. It is normal for unrelated thoughts to arise. Simply be aware of them and bring back your attention to your mindfulness practice. We hope that these short, actionable tips will help you de-stress, focus, and have more energy for the rest of your busy life.

The Shadow Pandemic - Increase in Domestic Violence

In times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have noted increases in domestic violence. Because security, health, and money worries heighten tensions and strains are accentuated by confined living conditions, for some, home is not a safe option. Thus, isolation has broken existing support networks, making it more difficult for victims to get help or escape.

Support services
Identify signs

While it is not always easy to identify if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or violence, take the time to learn more about the different types of violence and how to recognize them.

Effects on the workplace

We also encourage you to learn more about the effects of domestic violence on the workplace.

Tools and resources

How to manage stress and anxiety

The Service recognizes the importance of supporting the mental health of its employees navigating this rapidly changing environment. If you or a family member wishes to speak to someone, please call Homewood Health, our confidential Employee and Family Assistance Program:
1-800-663-1142 | TTY: 1-888-384-1152 | International (Call Collect): 604-689-1717.

In addition, Homewood offers an online Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) called i-Volve. CBT is a therapeutic approach scientifically proven to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and/or mild depression. I-Volve can help change and adapt the ways in which we think, feel, and react during anxious scenarios and situation by identifying, challenging and overcoming anxious thoughts, behaviors and emotions. We encourage you to help maintain psychological, emotional and social stability as best as you can; look for ways to stay busy and active during COVID-19.

How to maintain social connection for mental health… from a distance?

Check out these mental health tips for working from home.

Health & Safety

Update: Sept. 10, 2020

Prevention of COVID-19

We wish to remind all our employees of the following critical information:

Accommodation Summary

The Service has introduced new protocols during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic (see below). Although protocols are aimed to protect and ensure the health and safety of the organization’s employees, some exceptions must be applied to a specific group of individuals to ensure operational requirements and/or functional limitations are met. On a case by case basis, the employer must adjust policies, rules, requirements to ensure reasonable accommodation to allow employees with limitations or disabilities, including mental illness, to effectively carry out their functions.

Particularities of accommodations
  • While supported, accommodation measures must not create an undue hardship and must not pose a risk to public safety or to the carrying out of the legislative mandate of the Service. Factors considered in undue hardship include health, safety and cost;
  • Accommodation requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis, handled with respect, sensitivity and discretion;
  • Accommodation will be based on necessity, not on employee preferences. If approved, the Service will implement an accommodation request as soon as it is reasonably safe to do so; and
  • When an accommodation is approved, the return to work will be a normal practice and expectation.
Process Initiation

Requests for accommodation can be initiated in one of the following ways:

  • The employee approaches the manager/supervisor and requests an accommodation;
  • A bargaining agent representative requests an accommodation on behalf of an employee; and
  • The manager/supervisor recognizes and explores conditions that may require an accommodation. The manager/supervisor has an obligation to initiate a discussion about accommodation when he/she is aware that an employee may require an accommodation.

 

In all cases, managers/supervisors will be advised when a request for accommodation has been formally received by the Health and Accommodation section.

Process Assessment
  • Accommodation requests will be assessed individually, by reviewing the supporting documents to find the most effective and practical solution;
  • Accommodation requests resulting from a health issue will be guided by a medical certificate;
  • Where accommodation is required for reasons other than health, the Service will be guided by other relevant documents and information;
  • The Service will work with the employee and health care practitioners, where applicable, in identifying and providing safe, timely and reasonable accommodation measures.; 
  • Accommodation measures vary according to the medically substantiated limitations and restrictions of the employee. Measures may be temporary, long term or permanent in nature;
  • The employee will be kept informed of the progress of their request;
  • All parties involved must be open to consider the types of accommodation which are being proposed and any other relevant options; and
  • A file will be maintained for every accommodation request with the Health and Accommodations section.
Confidentiality of Information

A confidential file will be maintained by the Health and Accommodations section in Labour Relations. The Health and Accommodation Advisor requires sufficient information to provide effective accommodation measures.  Such information normally includes details on functional limitations/restrictions for disability-related accommodations. Every step and decision will be recorded. Accommodations may be provided by redeploying an employee into an alternate position for the duration the accommodation, or by modifying a work schedule.

New protocols put in place during the COVID-19 Pandemic and their specific accommodation requirements

Vulnerable Population

Given that our workforce, like many others, was impacted by COVID-19, deciding on when specific positions will return to work depends on many variables, not the least of which is whether or not an employee identifies as being part of the vulnerable population group.

The Service understands that it plays an important role in helping to prevent these populations from getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. This is why, it is important for employees who feel they are part of the vulnerable sector to identify themselves to their managers/supervisors.

Manager’s Next Steps:

  1. Contact the Accommodation team and the Health and Safety Advisor.
  2. No Medical Note required.
Mandatory use of Cloth Masks

The Service wishes to remind all of its employees that they are expected to wear masks indoors (mandatory) under the following circumstances:

  • Whenever a 2-meter distance cannot be guaranteed (indoors or outdoors); The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in public places, especially crowded ones, when physical distancing — keeping a distance of 2 meters from other people — isn't possible to do consistently;
  • When in-transit (indoors); For example, when employees are moving about, away from desks, work stations, posts and are headed to a colleague’s office, or to the printer room, to the kitchen/break room, washrooms; etc.) ; and
  • When moving through the public areas (indoors) of buildings managed by third parties. (For example, when entering the main floor lobby, washrooms, public hallways, elevators; parking garages, etc.).

 

Those exempt from wearing a mask are:

  • Individuals with medical conditions rendering them unable to safely wear a mask, including breathing difficulties or cognitive difficulties;
  • Individuals who are unable to apply or remove a mask without assistance, including those who are accommodated under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or who have protections under the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, as amended; and
  • Individuals who are employed by the Service and who: o are within or behind a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglass).

 

Manager’s Next Steps:

  1. Contact the Accommodation team and the Health and Safety Advisor.
  2. Medical Note Required.

Should you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact the Health and Safety Advisor, Denia Bendou, at: denia.bendou@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

 

Use of Cloth Masks: Protocol

ATTN: To all PPS staff, please take note of the following mask-wearing protocol which applies to PPS employees ONLY.

** IMPORTANT: please note that PPS employees are not to stop or prevent parliamentarians, non-PPS parliamentary employees, and guests to the Precinct from entering a precinct building if they are not wearing a mask. PPS employees can show leadership and model exemplary behaviour by wearing their masks when moving about indoors, or when two-meter distancing cannot be maintained. While PPS employees are encouraged to enforce mask-wearing among one another, under no circumstance should PPS employees be policing or enforcing the mask-wearing of parliamentarians, non-PPS parliamentary employees, and guests to the Precinct. **

The Service wishes to remind all of its employees that they are expected to wear masks indoors (mandatory) under the following circumstances:

  • Whenever a 2-meter distance cannot be guaranteed (indoors or outdoors);

Indeed, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in public places, especially crowded ones, when physical distancing — keeping a distance of 2 meters from other people — isn't possible to do consistently.

  • When in-transit (indoors);

For example, when employees are moving about, away from desks, work stations, posts and are headed to a colleague’s office, or to the printer room, to the kitchen/break room, washrooms; etc.)

  • When moving through the public areas (indoors) of buildings managed by third parties.

(For example, when entering the main floor lobby, washrooms, public hallways, elevators; parking garages, etc.).

Exemption

Masks are NOT mandatory indoors at all times. Masks are only mandatory indoors when physical distancing of 2-meters is not possible & when in transit. In other words, if an employee is working at their own workstation indoors and is 1) at least 2 meters away from anyone else; and 2) is not in-transit (not moving about in interior spaces), then the wearing of the mask indoors, in these instances, is not mandatory.

Which masks must employees wear?

Frontline (uniformed) operational employees:

Please note that operational employees who report to work in a uniform must wear one of the 2 models of masks provided by the Service. QM currently has 2 different models of masks available to staff.

Administrative employees:

Employees who are not on the frontline and who do not wear a uniform are welcome to wear the masks provided/offered by QM but are also free to wear their own cloth masks (models not issued by QM).

That said, as PPS employees, we encourage you to enforce the mask-wearing with one another (PSS employee to PPS employee).

Should you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact the Health and Safety Advisor, Denia Bendou, at: denia.bendou@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

Thank you for your collaboration,

Supporting Vulnerable Employees for a Potential Gradual Return to Work

As you are already aware, the Service is working on plans for a gradual and phased-in return to work. While assessments are under way and recommendations are being drafted, there is currently no date in sight. Employees should rest assured that the Service plans on following the advice of public health authorities and will give employees time to prepare before an organizational return-to-work plan is implemented. Since our workforce has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, deciding on when specific positions will return depends on a lot of variables. One of these variables is whether an employee is part of the vulnerable sector is key information for our Business Continuity and Pandemic Planning teams to have and consider as they draft their plans and recommendations.

This is why, it is important for employees who feel they are part of the vulnerable sector to identify themselves to their managers/supervisors.

Definition of vulnerable population
Based on the Public Health Authority of Canada’s (PHAC) definition and on the Pandemic Working Group consultations, the Service describes vulnerable populations as anyone who is:

  • At risk due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer);
  • At risk due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy);
  • An individual living with an immunocompromised relative;
  • Nursing/Pregnant;
  • Living with a partner/relative that is a health care practitioner.
To better prepare for these upcoming exchanges, employees should take note of the following:
  • Declaring that you are or that you are not a member of the vulnerable sector is not mandatory. This information will help us better prepare for a return to work and to ensure your safety, but the choice to respond with a “Yes”, “No”, “I don’t know” or “I prefer to not declare” is yours.
  • At this point, you will not be asked to provide proof of this vulnerability or specify which of the groups you would are a part of (no need for a doctor’s note or supporting documentation. It is possible that this may be required down the road, but not for the foreseeable future given the current public health recommendations).
  • If an employee feels that she or he is at risk, the responsibility is that of the employee to inform their employer of this.

 

See the FAQs bellow for additional information

  • Why should I consider identifying myself as part of the vulnerable population? Declaring that you are or that you are not a member of the vulnerable population is not mandatory. This information, however, will help the Service better prepare for a safe return to work. Remember that the choice to respond with a “Yes”, “No”, “I don’t know” or “I prefer not to declare” is yours.
  • Why is my manager/supervisor asking me about whether I fall into the vulnerable population? The Service understands that it plays an important role in helping to prevent these populations from getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus. Better preparation is possible if we know that certain employees are more vulnerable.
  • What information should I provide my manager/supervisor and why? At this point, you will not be asked to provide proof of this vulnerability (although such proof may be required at a later time). For now, there is no need for a doctor’s note or supporting documentation. 
  • Should I have these exchanges with my manager/supervisor via email, Skype or phone? You may choose to take part in these exchanges via email, over the phone or via Skype for example, the channel is up to you and your manager/supervisor.
  • What happens after I identify myself as belonging to the vulnerable population group? Is my file referred to Accommodations? Then what? When identifying yourself as belonging to the vulnerable population, you allow your manager/and supervisor to share this information with the Accommodations team to ensure that your return-to-work plan is conducted as safely as possible. The Accommodations team will only follow up and request a doctor’s note if an employee requires support beyond the pandemic period.

 

Should you have any questions about these upcoming exchanges, please refer to the Q&A - Collecting and Disclosing Employees’ Personal Information Related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, speak with your manager or supervisor, or contact the Labour Relations and Accommodation team at: haa-amt@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

Please continue to ensure physical distancing, to wash your hands often and to avoid touching your face. This is an easy way for all of us to do our part in keeping others safe.

Ergonomics at Home

Recognizing that many of you are working from home for a prolonged period, we want to support you by directing you to a mandatory training on how to set up a temporary workstation.

Mandatory Training
  1. Setting Up A Temporary Workstation
  2. Quick Steps for Setting Up for your Temporary Workstation (PDF)
Other tools

The Health and Accommodations team is also available to provide guidance to help you work safely and effectively from your home.

Prevention of COVID-19 Among Vulnerable Employees

The Service is collaborating with employees that have disclosed their vulnerability to limit their physical presence in the workplace. In order to properly support employees who are vulnerable, it is important for the Service’s employees to report to their manager or supervisor if they fall within any of the identified groups. The information disclosed to manager or supervisor will be kept strictly confidential and the details of a diagnosis do not need to be disclosed. However, the Labor Relations, Health & Wellness Accommodation Team may seek medical clarification in certain circumstances and will discuss with the employee should this be the case prior to making arrangements.

Now and always, stay home if you are sick. If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19, regardless of whether you have traveled or not, you are asked to stay home and contact your health practitioner and local health agency. In this case, regular sick leave considerations apply. Please be sure to keep your manager/supervisor informed of your situation. Employees are to follow the advice and guidance being provided by PHAC. Physical distancing and proper hand hygiene continue to be the best methods to stop the spreading of germs.

Best practices for cleaning and disinfecting workstations

Rest assured knowing that the cleaning products and disinfectants supplied by the Service are of hospital grade. We cannot emphasize this enough: to the Service continues to only turn to the best available products that are guaranteed to be effective. Please keep in mind that if these products meet the requirements of hospitals which operate in environments where risks of contagion are greater, we feel their use in our workplace is a testimony of the precautions we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our workforce. In addition to routine cleaning, surfaces that are frequently touched by hands should be cleaned and disinfected by staff at least twice per day (beginning/and end of each shift) and of course, when visibly dirty. Please follow these cleaning procedures and recommendations:

Cleaning procedures
  • Apply disinfectant spray by using the trigger sprayer; then, wipe the surface with the Microfiber cloth. (Caution: like most disinfectant, the product may cause eye irritation. AVOID contact with eyes)
  • For deeper disinfection, spray the surface and leave it wet (let the product sit) for 10 minutes, and then remove any excess liquid.
  • After using the spray bottle and the microfiber cloth, wash hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Most stations have been outfitted with a bin for dispensing of dirty microfiber cloths. Once you have used a cloth to clean your work surface area, place the used cloth in the “dirty” bin. Cloths in the “dirty” bins will be picked up and replaced with clean ones daily.
Cleaning products provided by the Service
  • The Service has turned to a product called Pinosan disinfectant cleaner - Dustbane Production.
  • This product is purchased in a concentrated form and is then diluted in potable water according to the manufacturer’s heavy-duty cleaning dilution rates.
  • The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the solution is available at QM.
  • Pinosan is a disinfectant product with a Drug Identification Number (DIN), as per Health Canada’s requirements.
  • Pinosan is CSA approved and is ECOLOGO certified.

 

5 healthy hygiene tips - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Myth busters - World Health Organization

COVID-19 self-assessment

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use this self-assessment tool to help determine how to seek further care.

Leave options

Make Sure You Take Time to Recharge Yourself This Summer - Guide to Using Other Leave with Pay

It is important to remember that planning and scheduling time away from work is important for the wellbeing of all our employees. Where possible, employees should be encouraged to take opportunities to use vacation leave over the summer months. The Service recognizes that many parts of daily life have not returned to normal and has taken steps to support employees during this period of uncertainty.

“Other Leave with Pay”, code 699, was put in place on an exceptional basis during the COVID-19 pandemic to address specific issues faced by employees as the federal and provincial governments implemented measures to prevent the spread of infection. This type of leave is not meant to be used to replace vacation leave.

The Service would like to ensure that employees have an opportunity to recharge and encourages managers to make arrangements, when possible, and those who have been working over the past months to take vacation leave over the next few months.

If you are not able to report to work as a result of the COVID-19 situation, the examples and table below show the leave types that are in place. Please note that there are different leave codes for those who are paid by the House Administration (the majority of our employees) and the Senate Administration (former Senate Protective Service employees). The Senate Administration has created a specific leave code for the Pandemic.

Employees must discuss these leave options with their manager/supervisor, as other leave with pay will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the expectation is that for normal leave reasons, normal leave allocations must be exhausted (sick leave and family related leave not related to COVID-19) prior to using any special or other leave codes. Employees also have the responsibility to ensure ongoing communications with their manager/supervisor throughout the time they are away from the workplace.

 

Q: I am in an essential job, am fit and available to work – will I be required to report for every scheduled shift?

A: Operational requirements are evaluated on a daily basis to ensure effective protective posture and to minimize reporting to work as much as possible. As such, you may not be required to physically report to work. In such situation, please discuss with your manager/supervisor whether there is anything you can do from home. If not, you will be granted leave with pay for other reason.

Q: Do I have to be available to report to work for the duration of my original shift?

A: When you call in, as per previous instructions, you will be advised whether you are considered as working from home, in those situations you are expected to remain available to report for the duration of your shift.

Q: Do I received shift/night and weekend premiums while working from home in these situations?

A: Yes, as the time considered “time worked”, you will continue to receive evening and weekend premiums, as well as a “firearm” and “lunch-hour” premiums, for those to whom they apply. You would continue to receive “firearm” or “lunch-hour” premiums, on a monthly basis, in accordance with collective agreement.

Q: Do I receive shift/night and weekend premiums while on leave with pay for other reasons?

A: For the shift or weekend premiums to be earned, the hours must actually be worked. Therefore, for any period of leave with pay for other reasons, as for any other leave, no premiums will be earned. You would continue to receive “firearm” or “lunch-hour” premiums, on a monthly basis, for those to whom they apply, in accordance with collective agreement.

Q: I was initially scheduled for work on a Designated Paid Holiday (DPH) but am no longer required due to a reduced posture. Will I receive premium compensation for the shift for which I am not required to report to work?

A: All employees who aren’t required to report to work on a DPH will be given the day off on statutory holiday, in accordance with their collective agreement, and leave with pay for other reasons will be granted for any hours necessary to balance the duration of their shift and the value of the DPH. Unlike daily situations, you are not expected to be available to report, and if so required, will be compensated in accordance with the rates for work on a DPH, as per your collective agreement.

Q: I am unable to report for a shift due to illness or injury unrelated to COVID-19, does the leave for pay for other reasons automatically apply to me?

A: All requests for leave with pay for other reasons are to be considered on a case-by-case basis, in situations when the illness or injury are unrelated to COVID-19, normal sick leave provisions apply. Please discuss with you manager/supervisor your circumstances and whether advancement of sick leave or leave without pay may be granted.

Q: I am unable to report for a shift due to childcare obligations unrelated to daycare closures as a result of COVID-19 (for example, but not limited to, babysitter cancelling), does the leave for pay for other reasons automatically apply to me?

A: All requests for leave with pay for other reasons are to be considered on a case-by-case basis, in situations when the situation is not directly related to COVID-19, normal Family Related Leave provisions apply. Please discuss with you manager/supervisor your circumstances and whether vacation leave, leave without pay, or shift exchange may be feasible.

Situation Type of leave
You are sick Sick leave – uncertified (210) or after consultation with your supervisor, Other leave with pay (699 or Pandemic), if your sick leave has been exhausted.
You are taking care of a sick family member Family leave (420) or after consultation with your supervisor, Other leave with pay (699 or Pandemic), if your family leave has been exhausted.
You are taking care of children due to school or daycare closures If you cannot work from home (even in limited capacity), Other leave with pay (699 or Pandemic)
You are self-isolating for any reason, but can work from home Work from home, no leave applies
You are self-isolating further to advice from a public health official or further to a consultation with your manager/supervisor, and cannot work from home Other leave with pay (699 or Pandemic)

Self-isolation

Self-isolate when you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or when local public health authorities have identified you as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID 19. Self-isolation means limiting contact with others.

  • Do not leave home unless absolutely necessary, such as to seek medical care.
  • Do not go to school, work or other public areas and do not use public transportation (e.g., buses, taxis).
  • Arrange to have groceries and supplies dropped off at your door to minimize contact.
  • If possible, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home.
  • If you have to be in contact with others, keep at least 2 meters between yourself and the other person. Keep interactions brief and wear a mask.
  • Avoid contact with older adults and with individuals with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems.
  • Avoid contact with pets if you live with other people who may also touch the pet.

Parking

Considering the limited number of employees working per day, all employees who must report to work but who do not have a designated PPS parking pass are strongly encouraged to contact their managers/supervisors for information on how to access parking.

Gymnasiums

Both the Senate and the House of Commons gym facilities will be closed until further notice.

Online Training

Update: August 31, 2020

Take a Virtual Second Language Course This Fall

We would like to inform you that second-language training programs will be offered this fall by the House of Commons. As an employee of the Service, you can take advantage of this!

Registration

To register, employees must complete this registration form​, have it approved by their supervisor/manager and the delegated authority by email, then send it to the Training Unit at: training-formation@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca​.

Courses schedule
Deadline

Please note that approved requests must be submitted to the Training Unit by noon on Monday, August 31. Registration will be processed on a first-come basis.

For more information, please contact Human Resources at HR-RH@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca.

New Online Training

In an effort to support employees during the COVID-19 crisis and optimize this period as well as the continuous shifts in operating postures, the Service is pleased to offer online, web-based training for all employees using a phased in, step-by-step approach which will enable us to be more agile and ensure that all employees will benefit.

Elective Training - Develop New Skills with LinkedIn Learning

We wanted to remind you that as an employee of the Service, you have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning, an on-demand library of high-quality instructional videos, until November 11. With a wide array of courses (approximately 8,000 in English and 2,100 in French), LinkedIn Learning is designed for all levels of learners, and it’s available whenever you’re ready to learn. You can access it from your LinkedIn profile, and with the LinkedIn Learning app, you can view courses from your mobile device. 

Top 5 Linkedin Courses chosen by our employees: 

  1. The Six Morning Habits of High Performers;
  2. Confronting Bias: Thriving Across our Differences;
  3. Strategic Thinking;
  4. Body Language for Women;
  5. Critical Thinking for Better Judgement and Decision-Making.

Courses are categorized by theme such as:

  • Business Software and Tools;
  • Leadership and Management;
  • Professional Development;
  • Project Management.

Under each theme, topics will be provided to specify appropriateness of the learning associated with each job profile model.

If you haven't received an email from LinkedIn, please notify hrquestionsrh@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca. For all issues with the LinkedIn portal, please contact customer support:

Don’t hesitate to let your manager/supervisor know which courses you took so far. 

PHASE I

Explore the various online training options available to all employees.

PHASE II

This phase consists of a blend of mandatory and elective training.

Mandatory Training

Employees have received email notifications for each course and had until Monday, June 15 to complete the training. 

PHASE III

Coming up in July – This phase will build upon previous phases. Each employee will be assigned a learning path tailored to their job profile geared toward developing skills and competencies essential to their development. Details will be announced shortly.

Questions on this new learning strategy can be directed to Human Resources at hrquestionsrh@pps-spp.parl.gc.ca. Happy learning!

Report an emergency or suspicious behaviour to 613-992-7000 or 911