Message from Bill Kroll, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector
Update #2: Additional Information on COVID-19
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide managers and employees with the latest information, I am now writing to you with new details regarding working from home, managing demand on the network, and returning from international travel.
Working from Home
We understand that this can be an increasingly stressful time for staff and we remain responsive to the needs and concerns of our workforce. All managers are now urged to be as flexible as possible in supporting telework and alternative work arrangements, for all employees, as operational requirements and circumstances permit.
This expanded direction adds to what I communicated in my last message (Update #1). This update includes details on working from home given school closures or when instructed to self-isolate or self-quarantine by public health authorities. If they have not already, managers are encouraged to connect with their employees to discuss their individual circumstances.
Managing Demand on the Network
There are a few important considerations for all of us, as more of us will be working remotely, placing demands on the network:
- Use mobile devices whenever possible to send and receive emails
- Connect and get what you need from the network and then disconnect, which allows for others to do the same
- Limit the use of video conferencing when teleconferencing will suffice
- Localize any files before leaving the office
- Download documents outside normal business hours
The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is working with Shared Services Canada and departmental Chief Information Officers to maximize internet bandwidth to support remote work and prioritize network access tied to critical operations.
Returning from International Travel
All travellers returning from abroad are now being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. All Canadians currently travelling anywhere abroad, including those in the United States, are encouraged to find a way home as soon as possible. Managers should reach out, including leaving messages at home, to any employees they know are coming back from abroad.
As mentioned in Update #1, when required to self-isolate, employees are encouraged to work from home. If that is not possible, employees will be granted “other leave with pay“ (699 code).
All Canadians continue to be urged to avoid any international travel. In light of this, employees are asked to take into consideration public health travel advisories as per the active travel health notices and declare any intent to travel to their manager. They should also contact their manager before returning to work.
Updates and Support
In our ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and secure workplace for all of us, and out of an abundance of caution, employees may notice signs on Justice building or office space doors asking staff returning from international travel or showing symptoms of COVID-19 to return home and contact their manager without entering the building. We may also use the mass notification system to inform staff of this type of information. Please ensure you have updated your information so you can be reached through our mass notification system.
Information continues to emerge or change at a rapid pace in this current environment. Please continue to consult canada.ca/coronavirus for the latest guidance. And again, if you are feeling nervous or distressed about this situation, I would encourage you to speak with your manager. The Employee Assistance Program is also available 24/7. For my part, I will continue to share further updates as significant new information is made available about your work and well-being.
I thank you for your continued cooperation.
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