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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Ready, set, snooze!
Take a look at Statistics Canada's infographic on sleep and learn more about the habits of Canadians.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We also encourage you to learn more about the effects of domestic violence on the workplace.
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.
Check out these mental health tips for working from home.
Update: July 28, 2020
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:
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.
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.)
(For example, when entering the main floor lobby, washrooms, public hallways, elevators; parking garages, etc.).
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.
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).
Those exempt from wearing a mask are:
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: email@example.com.
Thank you for your collaboration,
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:
See the FAQs bellow for additional information
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
The Health and Accommodations team is also available to provide guidance to help you work safely and effectively from your home.
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.
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:
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.
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-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.
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.
Both the Senate and the House of Commons gym facilities will be closed until further notice.
Update: July 30, 2020
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.
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:
Courses are categorized by theme such as:
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 email@example.com. 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.
Explore the various online training options available to all employees.
This phase consists of a blend of mandatory and elective training.
Employees have received email notifications for each course and had until Monday, June 15 to complete the training.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy learning!
Report an emergency or suspicious behaviour to 613-992-7000 or 911
Report an emergency or suspicious behaviour to 613-992-7000 or 911