Message from Bill Kroll, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector
Update # 19: June 4 – New tools for a safe, gradual return to workplaces
Following up on my message from last week, I wanted to share some more information about how we are preparing employees and, particularly, managers so they can support employees in this current phase (Pre-Implementation Planning).
We are basing our plans on the assumption that most employees will continue to work remotely as restrictions gradually shift across the country. And even while plans for Justice may vary by regions, or within individual divisions or teams, decisions will always rest on what is best for your health, wellbeing and safety.
Training for our managers and supervisors
This week, we launched a mandatory Easing Workplace Restrictions virtual training course for all managers and supervisors. The course includes four modules, covering a wide range of topics, such as:
- Worksite safety measures
- HR processes, such as leave management
- Home office set-up
- Change management and coaching
This training will help ensure managers and, by extension, employees feel informed, comfortable and well supported, as we prepare for a staged, moderate and controlled easing of restrictions at worksites. Employee-focussed training is also under development—stay tuned for more updates on this front.
New app to help with entry into Justice workplaces
As we move forward, our focus is on ensuring a safe, organized and gradual return to Justice Canada workplaces, particularly in those circumstances in which it may not be ideal for an employee to work remotely, for specific times or reasons. A key element will be managing the number of people who enter our workplaces, to support physical distancing. To help with this, we now have a new digital tool to support us in safely managing building entry and occupancy levels, courtesy of our own Justice Business Analytics Centre.
The new Office Entry App will allow employees to request access to Justice worksites and help managers to monitor and review employee requests. The app will allow users to:
- Submit an office entry request for a specific floor, date and time for their manager's approval
- Submit asset retrieval requests for picking up necessary equipment (if applicable)
- View live updates of occupancy levels before requesting and approving entry requests in order to plan visits safely
The new digital tool is available through Microsoft Power Apps via tablet, phone or browser, using the same Microsoft O365 account provided to you for MS Teams. It’s important to note that the tool does not collect personal information or health status. It was developed simply to make it easier to schedule access and control numbers of people in our workplaces. You will find more information in the user guide.
Other Departmental Updates on Easing Restrictions
- Other Leave with Pay (Code 699): As you know, Other Leave with Pay was leveraged on a wide scale across the public service to address COVID-related challenges such as illness related to the virus and caring for children as a result of daycare and school closures. As restrictions gradually ease across the country, we expect there will be an impact on the use of Other Leave with Pay. More information from Treasury Board will follow, and we will share the latest guidance once received. Each case will be addressed on a case-by-case basis; please continue to keep your manager apprised of your situation.
- Physical distancing in Justice buildings: Work is well underway to put in place personal preventive measures that will support the safe return of employees, when required. The key is to ensure that Justice workspaces are optimized for physical distancing, including offices, entrances, elevators and common areas. New signage is being added to our worksites. Where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained, a non-medical mask will be provided. Again, please speak to your manager if you have concerns.
We will continue to share the latest information with you, and thank you for your ongoing patience and tremendous work. Your safety and wellbeing matter most with every step we take forward.
Thank you and be well.
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