Message Centre

Message from Bill Kroll, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector

Update # 1: Additional Information on COVID-19

Dear colleagues,

As indicated in the earlier message from our Deputies, I wanted to follow up with some additional information to help support our managers and employees.

The Strategic Emergency Management Committee, which includes senior managers from all sectors and regions, has made some important decisions to guide staff and managers.

Top of mind for all of us is sound and informed decision-making, continued operations and the well-being of Justice employees. We know many of you are looking for answers to questions. While I may not be able to provide guidance on all of them at this time, the decisions below address our priority issues.

I want to assure everyone that our decisions are informed by the most recent guidance from the Chief Human Resources Officer and we continue to respect and follow advice the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as local public health authorities.

I want to reiterate that you will notice that departments will address their operational requirements differently. We will also see different actions taken in our own department depending on the provincial or territorial location of your office and advice from local health authorities. Our job is to ensure that we make decisions and give direction that work best for Justice’s operations and employees, wherever our workplace is located. We can all have confidence in the judgement, flexibility and compassion of our managers to help staff, as we all adjust to these changing circumstances.

Work-related travel

All discretionary work travel is cancelled. Domestic travel for core business may still be required to meet specific operational requirements. Managers will be reaching out to employees to discuss such situations. Please reach out to your own manager if you have questions.

Public Health or Medical Practitioner Direction to Self-Isolate or Self-Quarantine

Employees must respect the direction from local public health authorities when asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine. Working from home in these situations is encouraged whenever possible. If not, employees will be granted “other leave with pay“ (699 code). Additional information about this leave code will be made available in the coming days.

School Closures

If possible, employees are encouraged to work from home given school and daycare closures. When that is not possible, employees will be granted “other leave with pay” (699 code). Please be sure to let your manager know you will be away from the office and why.

Training

Efforts are already underway to postpone training in an effort to minimize group gatherings for in-person training. This is true for online training as well in order to help limit demand on videoconferencing. More information on this will be shared as it becomes available.

If you are feeling unwell

If you are sick, please stay home. Contact your manager and discuss leave or working from home options. Remember to follow the advice of your local public health authorities on what to do and keep your manager informed.

If you have an employee who goes home sick

Please encourage employees to stay home if they are unwell. Each case will be different and remember it is always important to respect employee privacy. If you have concerns about whether an employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact Security at 1-613-946-9999 and the duty officer will be able to assist you.

Health Tips and Taking Care of Yourself

We all have a role to play in helping to mitigate and contain risk to our health in the workplace and our communities. Please continue to follow best practices such as frequent handwashing, sneezing into your arm or a tissue, and staying home if you are sick. For the latest guidance see canada.ca/coronavirus.

And as always, if you are feeling nervous or distressed about this situation, I encourage you to speak with your manager and/or contact the Employee Assistance Program available 24/7.

I would like to echo the thanks and support expressed by our Deputies as we work through this challenging time. I will share further updates with you as they are available.

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