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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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 - Deadline: June 15

Employees should all have received email notifications for each course and will have until Monday, June 15 to complete the training. The mandatory training includes the following:

  • Respect in the Workplace;
  • Occupational Health & Safety- Canada Labour Code, Part II: An Overview Training (email notification from customercare@wsps.ca);

  • Cybersecurity Awareness Terra Nova Training.
Elective Training

Employees should all have received an email invitation to join LinkedIn Learning which includes unlimited access to its vast array of courses (approximately 8,000 available in English and 2,100 in French) for a 6-month period.

Top 5 Linkedin Courses chosen by our employees: 

  1. 6 Morning Habits of High Performers; 
  2. Excel; 
  3. Humble Leadership; 
  4. Améliorer sa mémoire; 
  5. Découvrir le design thinking. 

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:

PHASE III

Coming up in June – 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.

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

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