COVID-19 update for correctional employees: March 23, 2022

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

Masks still required and update on administrative workplaces

Like many of you, we have been paying close attention to the changes that provincial and territorial authorities are making to COVID-19 public health measures. You might be wondering about how these changes will affect you in the workplace. Please know that your health and safety remain our top priority. Here’s what’s important for you to know.

The latest health data suggests that the COVID-19 Omicron wave has passed its peak in Canada, allowing all orders of government to adjust their public health measures to support pandemic recovery. This is positive and hopeful news for all Canadians. Health Canada recently updated its occupational health guidance for the Public Service.

This guidance will inform the Public Service’s transition away from the crisis stage, to a more sustainable and long-term approach to managing COVID-19.

I would like to provide you with an update on the measures that CSC is taking in light of these changes

Federal rules in federal workplaces

Many of you have had to report to work in-person throughout the pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude for your professionalism and dedication throughout this challenging time. While some provinces are ending their mask mandates, CSC will continue following Health Canada’s latest guidelines, which require that medical masks be used at all of our workplaces for the foreseeable future (with some wearing respirators and additional PPE, where their job requires it). 

Voluntary return to the workplace

In keeping with the new guidelines from Health Canada, CSC can now resume the return of more employees to the workplace, which was suspended in December 2021 given the onset of the Omicron. As in the past, returns to the office will be done in a manner that ensures the health and safety of all. While we will respect the occupancy limits in administrative office spaces (NHQ/RHQs), we will also begin allowing those who wish to voluntarily return to the workplace, for personal or professional reasons, to do so as we did in Fall 2021. We recognize the benefits that returning to the workplace can have for mental health, including fulfilling the need for human connection, as well as the professional collaboration advantages. We will therefore accommodate voluntary returns to the workplace to the greatest extent possible. Please speak with your manager if you would like to return soon. We will be ready to greet you and welcome you back.

As you know, each region and sector is unique and will implement this based upon their various operational realities.

Working from home

For those who have been working from home, we expect to confirm long-term plans in relation to this soon. This work will allow us to transition from a pandemic crisis phase to a more sustainable, long-term approach to the workplace, keeping in mind our Mission and mandate. This will include implementing lessons learned from the pandemic in the way we perform our work. We plan to provide some early status updates on our progress in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you are working remotely and need to access one of our buildings, remember to always discuss it with your manager beforehand to ensure that the health and safety measures in the Integrated Risk Management Framework are respected.

The past two years have been challenging for all of us, both on the personal and professional levels, but the latest COVID indicators suggest that we are moving in a positive direction. Thank you, once again, for your:

especially over the past two years. Continue to take care of yourself, and of each other. 

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

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