Guidance for Defence Public Service Employees & Managers: COVID-19 and Beyond

Introduction

The Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian) (ADM [HR-Civ]) issued an updated Directive to Managers on Managing a Modern, Flexible and Varied Public Service Workforce to support the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in a persistent and post-pandemic posture. This Guidance complements this Directive as well as the CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 EnvironmentFootnote 1  by providing public service employeesFootnote 2  and managers with accessible information to support workplace and workforce decisions through COVID-19 and beyond.

What Informs Our Guidance?

  1. The physical and psychological health and safety of the entire Defence Team;
  2. The Defence Team’s continued pursuit of operational excellence; and
  3. The knowledge that asymmetrical change in pandemic conditions will mean that working conditions are likely to change at different speeds and in different ways across DND locations as the Defence Team responds to local and regional health, safety and operational considerations.

Physical and Psychological Health & Safety

Our HR agenda puts people first and, in the pandemic environment, your health and safety is our first priority. Ensuring Defence Team workplaces are safe and employees’ physical and psychological health are protected is critical. DND/CAF will continue to adhere to guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) as well as provincial/territorial and regional public health measures to ensure your safety is supported as we transition through a persistent and post-pandemic environment. This guidance aims to be flexible enough to adapt to changing health and safety conditions as they arise, whether these changes occur within the workplace or at the local, regional or national level. At all times, the health and safety of employees will drive decisions regarding the eventual transition back to the workplace.

Operational Excellence

Canadians expect and rely on the Defence Team to meet its strategic and operational objectives, regardless of the circumstances, to defend Canada and Canadians. Maintaining operational excellence requires the support of an agile, diverse, and optimized Defence public service community. Within a healthy and safe context, our goal continues to be focused on sustaining Defence Team operations and CAF support both during and beyond the pandemic.

Asymmetrical Change

The COVID-19 situation and vaccination rates will continue to vary by region. This asymmetry impacts pandemic responses in different ways across DND locations. However, as vaccination rates increase and restrictions begin to be lifted, there will be opportunities to adapt to the evolving pandemic situation, focused on a reopening strategy, with the aim to transition to a post-pandemic workplace. 

Who Are We?

With over 27,000 public service employees (non-military), DND is the second largest department within the federal public service and with a broad range of occupations that support Canada’s defence capability. 

DND’s public service workforce currently includes over 70 different occupational groups and sub-groups with roles as varied as engineers, cooks, analysts, journeypersons, scientists and administration all of whom help enable the CAF and support Canada’s defence capability in today’s complex, unpredictable security environment. 

 

Did You Know?

Over half (58 per cent) of the public service workforce is located outside of the National Capital Region (NCR), working at Bases, Wings and support units in over 40 locations across the country and abroad. Additionally, employees in skilled trades make up nearly 50 per cent of our public service (non-military) workforce.

Whether working in the dockyards of Halifax or Victoria, maintaining CAF aircraft in Winnipeg or repairing tanks in Petawawa, our Defence Team public service employees work across DND locations and are critical to ensuring the continuity of service and operations on Bases, Wings, and support units. 

Our Current Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how the Defence Team manages its work and workforce. COVID-19 resulted in an involuntary shift to virtual workFootnote 3  for many, while others continued working on-site to maintain operational readiness for the Defence Team. Additionally, some employees have been working in a hybrid model—balancing both on-site and virtual work—to deliver the Defence Team’s mission. At this time, we continue to be in a “Business Resumption” stance, with permanent decisions regarding work arrangements, leave, and additional support for employees under review by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) and being updated as the pandemic environment evolves. 

As more people are vaccinated, the Defence Team will be able to safely scale its on-site resumption of activities as provincial/territorial health restrictions allow. As a result, we will need to continue to make the best of our individual situations for the foreseeable future. 

Given that the pandemic environment continues to evolve, guidance to public service employees and managers will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available. Decisions will be driven by the guidance of PHAC, central agencies, and departmental centres of expertise. Decisions will also take into account and adapt to unique operational and regional considerations.

The increased use of flexible work arrangements during the pandemic and the lessons learned can be used as a roadmap for modernizing our workplace and developing more sustainable models for the future of work as a Defence public service employee. This begins with the understanding that what works for one situation does not necessarily work for another, and that the pandemic has had a varied impact on our department. Given the Defence Team mandate and the nature of work we support, there are some jobs that cannot be conducted virtually.

Managers and employees are asked to consider the mosaic of situations and needs of the Defence Team’s public service community as they make future decisions about where and how work can be done:

Our public service workforce is not homogenous; it provides a diverse range of support to the Defence Team. To support employees and position DND as an employer of choice as we transition to the persistent and post-pandemic environment, the Department will need to strike a balance between meeting operational needs and leveraging work models that reinvent how and where the work is done. These efforts will position the Defence Team for a more flexible approach to workplace arrangements in the future.

Vaccination Policy

On 6 October 2021 Treasury Board Secretariat released the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy which requires all federal public servants to be fully vaccinated.Footnote 4

Public servants are able to receive COVID-19 vaccines through vaccination programs in place within their respective provincial or territorial health care systems. Managers are encouraged to be flexible in supporting employees getting vaccinated. In accordance with the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements, employees who require time away from work to do so may be able to take up to half a day as paid time off for a periodic medical appointment (Code 698).

Under the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, an employee’s refusal to disclose vaccination status or a decision to remain unvaccinated will lead to administrative leave without pay. In the exceptional case that an employee is unable to be vaccinated due to a prohibited ground under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), such as a medical contraindication, they may put in a request for accommodation to their managers.

Managers are encouraged to refer to the Managers' Toolkit for the Implementation of Mandatory Vaccination for assistance with the implementation of the Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination. This key manager resource includes the following elements:

Attestation Requirement

All public service employees of the Department of National Defence (DND) were required to complete a COVID-19 vaccine attestation by 29 October 2021, regardless of their vaccination status. Public servants who did not attest to their vaccination status or who were unwilling to be vaccinated were to be placed on administrative leave without pay as of 15 November 2021.  Exceptions were made for those who are unable to be vaccinated/exempted from COVID-19 vaccination (for a certified medical reason or other grounds protected under the CHRA).

All federal public servants in the Core Public Administration (organizations listed under Schedule I and Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act), which includes the Department of National Defence, are required to provide their vaccination attestation in the Government of Canada Vaccine Attestation Tracking System (GC-VATS) or, for employees without access to GC-VATS, complete and sign the attestation form. This completed form must be provided to their manager who will submit it to ADM(HR-Civ) via the vaccine attestation positional inbox.Footnote 5

For managers reviewing attestation submissions:

Audit

The COVID-19 Vaccination Policy states that Deputy Heads are responsible for implementing the policy’s audit framework, which includes verifying the validity of the attestations submitted. In order to fulfill this requirement, ADM(HR-Civ) will be implementing an audit exercise for Defence Team public servants. Managers of employees who have been identified for the random audit will be contacted directly and provided with guidance materials to support them in this effort.

If an employee fails to produce proof of vaccination or produces proof that is determined not to be credible, that employee will be considered unvaccinated under the terms of the policy and will be placed on administrative leave without pay. The leave period will start immediately. 

Proof of Vaccination

Proof of vaccination issued by provincial or territorial jurisdictions constitutes valid proof of vaccination. For employees vaccinated outside of Canada, proof of vaccination from that jurisdiction will be accepted.

Managers are not asked to collect or otherwise retain documents that constitute proof of vaccination, except for when there are valid concerns as outlined below. Managers are expected to verify proof of vaccination through the scanning of a vaccination QR code, if available, or a visual inspection of an electronic or paper proof of a vaccine certificate. Verification should be carried out visually, with the employee presenting proof of vaccination to a manager either through a video-conferencing option, if the picture can be clearly seen or in person. In cases where verification presents accessibility issues, managers and employees are encouraged to consult with Labour Relations Advisor (DWAN Only) and be flexible to find alternative ways to verify or show proof of vaccination.

Where the manager has visually verified proof of vaccination and has concerns regarding the validity of the proof provided, Labour Relations Advisor (DWAN Only) should be contacted as a first step. The manager may require the employee to produce the document or proof (either electronic or paper form). In such cases, the document should be collected and retained in accordance with existing organizational processes relating to the collection and retention of HR documents (such as medical certificates), to support further analysis of the proof of vaccination in order to determine its validity and whether any possible administrative or disciplinary action is required, if the proof of vaccination is deemed not credible. 

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Working in the Defence Team’s Hybrid Posture

As the Defence Team begins operating and reconstituting in a persistent COVID-19 environment, there will be a continued reliance on the agility of a hybrid Defence Team workforce. Depending on operational requirements and individual personal situations, some employees may work virtually, on-site, or a combination of the two. Hybrid work guidance and resources will continue to be developed to support the Defence Team’s public service employees and their managers while ensuring alignment with the Government of Canada’s future of work direction.

Are you working virtually?

The Civilian Flexible Work Program (CFWP)

The Civilian Flexible Work Program (CFWP) allows employees to alter on a temporary or permanent basisFootnote 6 :

It is important to keep employees’ work arrangements up to date, particularly as we begin to transition towards a hybrid posture. Managers are encouraged to review their employees’ arrangements during mid-year and year-end performance review, at a minimum. Should the manager require any additional information or resources to prepare for these discussions, consult the Civilian Flexible Work Guidance site, contact your Labour Relations advisor (DWAN Only) or email the CFWP positional mailbox.

If the employee and manager are in agreement about changing an employee’s arrangement due to personal circumstances or operational requirements, the manager should update their employee’s flexible arrangement via
the NEW Flexible Work Program - Managers Portal Page (mil.ca) (DWAN only).Footnote 7  The portal can also be used to deactivate an agreement if the employee leaves the department or changes managers.  This program will continue to be updated as we transition through a persistent and post-pandemic posture and as additional Defence Team and Government of Canada direction is issued.

Working at a Different Location from the Position Location

During the pandemic, some virtual employees have worked from a location that differs from the formal position location – perhaps due to where an employee lives, regional travel restrictions, or to provide an accommodation. These arrangements should be reviewed by management on a case-by-case basis and should only be approved if they are feasible and support the operational requirements of the work and work unit. 

For more information managers can contact their Labour Relations advisor (DWAN Only).

Navigating the Current Posture: Examples

If these examples apply to you, or if you are an employee who has been working virtually from home during the pandemic, the Civilian Flexible Work Program and the following information can support you!

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Maryam – a working parent from Winnipeg

Hi! My name is Maryam. I am a parent in Winnipeg who has been working hard to sustain the competing demands of work and parenting. Balancing these roles has been stressful and overwhelming. I need flexibility and support from my employer so that I can support my family, particularly when I lose access to my childcare arrangements (such as classroom and daycare shutdowns) unexpectedly.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Major Nguyen – a military manager of public service employees

Hello! My name is Major Nguyen and I am a military manager of public service employees who are working virtually. I find public service HR management unclear and complicated, with little to no alignment with how I manage military HR. I need clear guidance on how to support my public service employees and information on how to adapt my management style to virtual work.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Alain – a manager/supervisor of an employee who is relocating for personal reasons

Hi! My name is Alain and I have an employee who has been working virtually in the NCR over the pandemic. My employee’s partner has been relocated to Victoria, BC for work. I want to retain this employee and identify an arrangement that supports both my operations and my employee. What flexible options are available? How do I effectively manage my employee’s performance?

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Genevieve – a virtual worker who is being asked to report back to the workplace

Hi! My name is Genevieve and I have been working virtually from home in Victoria, BC since the start of the pandemic. My manager has indicated that, as restrictions lift in our area, I will be required to report to the workplace. I have questions about what this will look like and how my health and safety will be supported.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Ahmed – a manager/supervisor who is hiring a new employee and student

Hi! My name is Ahmed and I am a manager who will be onboarding a full-time employee and a student over the coming months. What resources are available to support this process?

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

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Are You Working On-Site?

The Workplace

Through the pandemic and beyond, many DND public service employees remain important to enabling critical functions on-site, ranging from strategic and operational command to supporting on-site operations. For these individuals, physically entering the workplace is part of the job as the work cannot be done virtually.

Most DND workplaces will look and feel the same as they did pre-pandemic right now - notwithstanding the various temporary measures put in place at the onset of the pandemic to support health and safety. However, some adjustments to how the workplace is used may be necessary going forward and should be expected. The pandemic has highlighted the need for flexibility and agility in the provision of office space and of a workplace that can adapt to the changing needs of the employees and employers. 

Parking

Local authorities (base commanders or equivalent) are responsible for reviewing parking policies to ensure fair distribution. It is important that managers inform local authorities of their ratios of employees working on site so that these employees are well supported.

Occupational Health & Safety

General Safety Program

The General Safety Program (GSP) is based on the Canada Labour Code, Part II and its accompanying Regulations. The Program establishes the requirement to, first, identify hazards in the workplace and, then, eliminate or control them. This applies to the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace and Defence Team consideration of how to transition back to the workplace, as restrictions are lifted.

The GSP Governance structure, including Workplace Health and Safety Committees and a well-established “Internal Responsibility System”, supports managers and employees as they consider occupational health and safety issues. Additional information can be found in the General Safety Program website (DWAN only) including your L1 Safety Officer’s contact information.

Regional Workplace Considerations

The asymmetry of the pandemic impact and response across the country creates a different reality for each DND location. L1 organizations have been empowered to resume and constrain activities asymmetrically, aligned with regional public health direction, as long as health is never compromised. Each L1 regularly communicates the COVID-19 response guidelines and COVID-information to their public service employees to ensure Defence Team members working in each location understand the local safety policies and regional Public Health Measures (PHMs). Public service flexible work discussions should take the current regional pandemic situation into account.

Public Service COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Detection Testing (RADT)

The Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) is a self-administered test done using a swab. The primary goal of a RADT program in the workplace is the early identification of the virus by identifying pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and minimizing the potential exposure to others. It is not intended for symptomatic people and is not a substitute for diagnostic testing.

NOTE: If an employee is symptomatic, has had any contact with a confirmed positive case of COVID in the last 14
days,Footnote 8  or has been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine, they should not take a rapid test offered through the employer program. The employee should stay home and follow their local public health guidelines. 

Mandatory Federal Workplace Testing Program (for Unvaccinated and Accommodated Employees)

Public Service employees who must physically be present in the workplace and who have received an accommodation, are waiting for a decision on an accommodation or are in between vaccine doses are required to part of the RADT program.

Voluntary Defence Team RADT Program

A voluntary screening program was established for Defence Team members working in high risk or critical on-site areas. The testing requirements and frequency was established by Health Canada in consultations with stakeholders (e.g. Unions and Occupational Health and Safety) and takes into consideration the type of work environment and the ability to use other PHMs. 

Requesting RADT Kits

Managers must request RADT kits from the designated Office of Primary Interest (OPI) within their geographic location and distribute the tests to the required employees. Employees are to inform their managers when they require additional RADT kits.

L1s and Commands (from L1s to L5s) can submit non-clinical RADT Kits requests to the +D Safe G Rapid Test Kits positional mailbox (P-OTG.DSGRapidTest@intern.mil.ca) following Annex D (RADT Framework) of the CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 Environment. Requests for CFHS clinics and deployed Ops requirements are considered clinical requests and are submitted through the existing medical supply request process.

Testing & Results

If the employee has a RADT kit at home, they should take the test prior to going to the workplace. If the employee does not have a test at home, they may need to go into the workplace to obtain a test from their manager, supervisor or Commanding Officer. If this is the case, the test can be performed in a private area such as a closed office or washroom. Test results are communicated only to the immediate manager or supervisor by email or telephone. It is recommended that employees who must physically be in the workplace be given enough test kits to conduct the test in the privacy of their own home for the week.

Negative Result: The employee may enter the workplace and follow all other PHM measures and directives. 

Positive Result: If the employee has a positive test result, it is considered a positive COVID-19 case. The employee must not repeat the test to try and obtain a negative result. The employee cannot enter the workplace or, if already on site, must leave the workplace immediately and follow the guidance of their local health authority. Employees and managers can refer to the Treasury Board of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Employee illness and leave requests for more information on what to do if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or if you need to take time off because of COVID-19.

Inconclusive Result: If the test is inconclusive, the employee should review the instructions on the test kit and repeat the test. If a second inconclusive result is received after the test is repeated, the employee should treat this as a positive COVID-19 case

Reporting RADT ResultsFootnote 9 

Mandatory Federal Workplace Testing Program: Each time a RADT is taken, the public service employee must enter the result in the Rapid Testing Attestation Solution (RTAS) and notify their manager of the test result.

Voluntary Defence Team RADT Program: Public service employees must notify their manager, supervisor or Commanding Officer of their results.

For more information, see VCDS Initiating Directive on Rapid Antigen Detection Testing and the RADT Framework (Annex D of the CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 Environment).

Healthy Workplace Practices

Healthy workplace practices, including appropriate cleaning and maintenance protocols and adherence to appropriate regional public health measures (PHMs), will continue to be maintained across the organization for the foreseeable future. There are a number of PHMs which can be implemented to ensure the health and safety of all employees. These measures include vaccinations, testing, physical distancing, masking and quarantine or isolation.

Various resources have been created to help inform managers’ decisions on what PHMs are best suited for each work environment. This includes assessing multiple factors, such as the ability to use other PHMs (e.g. physical distancing, wearing and mask vaccination status) as well as the type of work environment. For more information on these resources, refer to the Annexes in the CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 Environment.

For additional information see DM/CDS Joint Directive on the use of PHMs and PPEs.Footnote 10 

Personal Preventive Practices

Occupational health guidance from Health Canada’s Public Service Occupational Health Program (PSOHP) indicates that 3-layer non-medical masks should be worn in shared spaces indoors, as part of the preventive practices employees should follow (along with other public health measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing), to help prevent the introduction or spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. These personal preventive practices are the most important measures for everyone to adopt at home, at work, and in the community.

Additionally, staying at home when ill should be part of a normal routine in the workplace, now and after the pandemic. Employees who are ill should not leave home and should not enter the workplace.

PSOHP’s guidance also notes that all employees should follow local public health advice.

Navigating the Current Posture: Examples

If these examples apply to you, or if you are an employee who has been working on-site to complete your work during the pandemic, the following information can support you!

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Mathieu – an operational on-site Halifax employee with questions about rapid testing

Bonjour! My name is Mathieu. I am a ship repair officer who works at the Dockyard at CFB Halifax and cannot do my job virtually. I have a vaccination exemption based on medical grounds. My manager has informed me that I will be required to participate in rapid antigen testing as part of my accommodation measure since I must perform my job duties at the worksite. I don’t really know what participating in the rapid antigen testing program means.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Sergeant Lee – a military manager of on-site public service employees

Hello! My name is Sergeant Lee and I am a military manager of public service employees who are working both on-site and virtually. I need clear guidance on how to support the health and safety of my public service employees who are reporting to the workplace and guidance on the expectations for transitioning back to the workplace.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Linda – an on-site employee with questions about workplace health and safety and rapid antigen tests

Hi! My name is Linda, I am an analyst working in the NCR and my work must be conducted in-person in a high security environment. My job requires that I work in a small secure room with three other colleagues and we have limited ability to physically distance from each other. I have been watching the news coverage of the Omicron variant and I am worried about the space I work in.  I have questions about how health and safety in working conditions like mine will be managed going forward, including whether my colleagues and I will be required to take rapid antigen tests and whether any other health and safety measures will be put into place. 

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

Michael – a on-site cook from Gagetown and is a caregiver for a family member

Hi! My name is Michael, I am a cook in Gagetown and I am also a caregiver for a family member who is at a higher risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. I am worried about my health and safety in the workplace and exposing my loved one to the virus. I need information on workplace health and safety and options available to me.

REFER TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS FOR WAY FORWARD:

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Preparing for the Persistent and Post-Pandemic Workplace Posture

The pandemic has significantly impacted the work environment for the Defence Team and DND will use lessons learned to reinvent how and where work is done as we transition to the persistent and post-pandemic posture. These future-focused efforts seek to reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainable development and ensure we have the workplace and workforce required to meet future Defence requirements.

Modernizing the Workplace

Over the next several years, ADM (Infrastructure and Environment), will work with Level 1 organizations to consolidate and modernize spaces where possible across DND locations. The approach includes new workspace designs and exploring ways to better balance supply and demand while improving long-term space use and reducing the Government of Canada’s carbon footprint. 

For more information, please review the GCworkplace page on GCpedia or contact your local Real Property Operations Detachment.

Low occupancy rates in key DND locations present a unique opportunity to maintain momentum. GCworkplace elements may be added to general purpose office spaceFootnote 11  as they are renovated in the coming years, where it makes sense. However, implementing the GCworkplace vision within DND will take time. Where occupancy has remained high throughout the pandemic, similar modernization efforts may be considered as we emerge from the pandemic context to introduce added flexibility as well as new technologies and Civilian Flexible Work Arrangements, where needed. 

Ergonomics

In a GCworkplace environment, all furnishings and equipment will accommodate a range of ergonomic needs including height, width and angle adjustability, thereby reducing the need for common ergonomic accommodations of the past. In cases where these options do not address a specific need, accommodations will be developed on a case-by-case basis. Employees requiring an ergonomic assessment should speak to their manager. Ergonomic assessments are coordinated through the local Base Safety Office. 

 

Have More Questions?

Managers are encouraged to contact their local Real Property Operations Detachment to review any space allocation and modernization opportunities or if they have questions.

Local Real Property Operations Detachments, supported by ADM(IE), can help them explore options and quantify the space requirements of the various units and sections.

Clean Desk Practice

The pandemic highlighted the health and safety benefits of clean desk practices as the norm (where employees do not leave personal items on the desk). This practice may be new to some but public service employees are encouraged to adopt it going forward. Doing so supports DND’s healthy workplace goals by facilitating a more sanitized work environment in today’s pandemic context and in tomorrow’s flexible workplace environment (unassigned workspace). 

Lockers

Public service employees may be provided with a locker for their personal items where shared desk policies or unassigned workplace policies are in place, to support seamless workspace re-assignment to others when vacant.

Greening Government

Workplace modernization efforts and increased use of flexible work within DND will support ambitious Government of Canada targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal operations by 2050 as outlined in the Greening Government Strategy. These efforts will support the achievement of Canada’s broader sustainable development goals. 

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Do You Need Help Managing the Uncertainty?

Mental Health and Wellness

As we continue to navigate through this uncertain time, Defence Team members can access a variety of resources and information to help maintain and improve their mental health and overall personal well-being, including:

Office of Disability Management

The Office of Disability Management plays a key role in ensuring that all public service employees have access to a safe and healthy work environment. They provide impartial, collaborative and inclusive services to support employees and their supervisor/manager dealing with disability-related matters due to illness, impairment and injury. This important resource can help Defence Team members navigate through this uncertain time and support their physical and mental health.

Disability Management Advisors (DMAs) provide support during:

To request services for yourself or your employee, call 1-833-893-3388 or email the regional positional mailbox:

Should a public service employee request medical accommodation with respect to vaccination, the ODM is available to assist management and the employee with the medical accommodation process. 

Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention

To strengthen the policies that keep our employees safe, the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVPR), under the Canada Labour Code Part II, came into effect on January 1, 2021. The Defence Team has created an Interim Policy to meet regulatory requirements and work is on-going to complete a DAOD and an instructional manual to replace it. To best support the new Regulations, a Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP) Centre of Expertise has been created to provide guidance to employees and managers, develop training, receive Notices of Occurrence of harassment and violence and implement preventative measures.

To support the Interim Policy, all Defence Team personnel must complete new mandatory training, offered by the Canada School of Public Service.

For more information, visit the new workplace harassment and violence prevention program involving Defence Team Public Service Employees web page, call HR Connect RH at 1-833-RHR-MDND (1-833-747-6363) or email the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations (WHVP) Centre of Expertise.

Union Engagement

DND will continue to support meaningful union engagement as we navigate the persistent and post-pandemic posture by establishing early and ongoing communications. 

If you want to engage with your union representative, download the HR GO RH App today and use the “Find My Union” tool in the Toolbox!

Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions you can contact HR Connect for all of your HR Related questions: Toll Free: 1-833-RHR-MDND (1-833-747-6363) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Or via HR Connect RH (link accessible only on the DWAN) or download the HR Go RH App.

You can also review the Defence Team COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions or submit a question to the Ask Anything: COVID-19 as part of the DND/CAF’s resuming work resources.

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Moving Forward Together

Ensuring a healthy and safe Defence Team meets its strategic and operational objectives remains our top priority. This includes its people-focused goals, such as wellness, equity, diversity and inclusion. Lessons learned from the pandemic have illustrated our ability, when working as a team, to leverage flexibility in how we work and adaptation in the face of change.

A more modern and flexible approach to work not only positions DND as an employer of choice but ensures we have the workplace, skills, and resilience needed to adapt to future challenges and respond to future defence requirements.

Appendix

Resources

General Resources

Health & Safety Resources

Vaccine Resources

Flexible Work, Return to Work & Leave Resources

Performance Management

Mental Health & Wellness

Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (WHVP)

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Virtual Work: Where Do I Go From Here?

Guide to Virtual Work for Employees

Guide to Virtual Work for Managers

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On-Site Work: Where Do I Go From Here?

Guide to On-Site Work for Employees

Guide to On-Site Work for Managers

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