Message from Bill Kroll, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector
Update # 13: April 17 – Use of “Other Paid Leave” in the context of COVID-19
As we continue to navigate our present situation, I know you may have new or ongoing questions about your particular work circumstances. Top of mind for many of you is which type of leave you should use as you deal with unusual factors such as self-isolation, school closures, availability of equipment and altered workloads.
Last week, we added some initial information on “Other Paid Leave” (leave code 699) on the employee COVID-19 webpage. Today, I want to give you an update and a clearer picture on when and how that leave should be used.
When to use leave code 699
Leave code 699 is typically used when there are circumstances outside of an employee’s control that prevent them from working. In the context of COVID-19, there are a number of situations arising where this leave code could apply. For example:
- If you are having challenges with school or day care closures, and are unable to telework either full or part time
- are asked to self-isolate
- have tested positive for COVID-19
- are at a high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and cannot work remotely
- are living with a dependent who is at a high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and you cannot work remotely
- are available to telework, but have been asked not to use the network for all or part of the day, and you cannot complete other work off the Justice network
- are available to telework, but do not have the equipment to connect to the network (laptop or tablet, crypto card), and you cannot complete other work off the Justice network
- require accommodations (e.g. chair or sit/stand desk etc.), and are not equipped or you require extended breaks or can only work partial days in order to avoid injury.
The scenarios set out above are meant to provide overall guidance for employees and managers. However, there will be other circumstances related to COVID-19, directly or indirectly, that do not require the use of leave code 699.
I encourage you to refer to our new online resource for more details on leave, and please reach out to your manager with any questions or clarification regarding the use of the 699 leave code.
It’s important to note that this new guidance on code 699 does not need to be applied retroactively.
As the Clerk of the Privy Council acknowledged in his message on April 7, some of us will be less busy than others while the Government focuses on a response, and he urged us not to feel guilty about that. Justice employees are particularly dedicated, so I know it’s difficult not to feel guilty. If you are in this situation, please speak with your manager about other work you could do. There will be no shortage of work to come when business resumes, so everything we can do to prepare is time well spent.
I want to thank you again for your patience as we work hard to get you answers, and I wish you all a safe and restful weekend.
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