FAQ: Business Resumption Directive

Note: This page has been archived and is no longer in use. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 FAQs, please consult the new Defence Team COVID-19 FAQs web page.

What is the Business Resumption Directive and where can I find it?

The most up-to-date guidance and direction for business resumption can be found in the latest CDS/DM Directive . It provides guiding principles and expectations for L1s returning to in-person business activities.

Does the announcement of the new DM/CDS directive mean I’ll be returning to the physical workplace even though COVID-19 case numbers remain high in my area?

Resuming in-person business activities across the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) will be based on a variety of circumstances, such as local restrictions and guidance, and will be adapted as required to maintain critical operations and protect personnel.

Acknowledging that the COVID-19 situation will vary by region, L1 leaders are empowered to resume and limit activities asymmetrically—as long as:

  • Senior Medical Authority (SMA) advice is sought;
  • appropriate consultation with Regional Authorities (RA) is completed; and
  • Public Health Measures (PHMs) and other mitigation protocols are effectively communicated.

Public Health Measures (PHMs), the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other mitigation protocols will be strictly adhered to. All provincial, territorial, regional, municipal, and host-nation restrictions will also be adhered to unless required to do otherwise in the authorized execution of a specific duty.

The Defence Team must be able to operate and train where COVID-19 exists while also protecting ourselves, our families and others in the communities where we reside.

Your supervisor, manager or Chain of Command will discuss if there are any immediate plans to return to the physical workplace, and you may also ask them any questions you may have.

If my team decides to continue to operate in a hybrid environment, how many days will I go into the workplace?

L1s, supervisors and managers will be making decisions based on what will work best for their teams. Your supervisor, manager or Chain of Command will discuss if there are any immediate plans to return to the workplace, and you may ask them any questions you may have. You may also ask how many days you may be expected to return to the workplace.

If I am returning to the physical workplace, what kind of Public Health Measures do I have to follow?

The Public Health Measure (PHM) Qualitative Framework within the most recent CDS/DM Directive outlines all PHMs available and makes determinations as to whether additional measures, such as requirements for increased mask quality or rapid testing, may be necessary. Masks remain an effective PHM and will continue to be used in DND/CAF facilities (for details on the enduring DND/CAF direction on the use of non-medical masks, consult section 11.g  of the directive). Taking into consideration local public health guidance, L1s are to ensure strict adherence to PHMs by all Defence Team members.

Since the start of the pandemic, PHMs have proven extremely effective at reducing the impacts of COVID-19. Coupled with vaccines and where appropriate, rapid testing, PHMs will continue to be our most effective tool for mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19.  

What accommodations are there for staff with specific vulnerabilities (such as older and immunocompromised individuals)?

If Defence Team members who require accommodations are able to perform their duties working remotely, supervisors are encouraged to explore this option. Additionally, careful consideration is to be given to members who are experiencing unique challenges, if some form of accommodation is not granted. The option for remote work is determined by the local Chain of Command based upon operational requirements for the workplace and the unique circumstances of individuals.

If a Defence Team member has a specific vulnerability they’d like considered or accommodated, (i.e. an elderly age category based on Government of Canada COVID-19 guidelines, a compromised immune system, etc.) they must make a written, signed statement to that effect, and commit to providing a medical certificate to substantiate at a future date.

Defence Team members are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with their supervisors, managers, and/or Chains of Command, to determine what the best work arrangement will be. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact your local Conflict and Complaint Management Service. CAF members who cannot resolve their issue locally may submit a Grievance under Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O) Chapter 7.

If returning to the workplace is required, Defence Team members can rest assured that all Public Health Measures (PHMs) are being implemented. Since the start of the pandemic, PHMs have proven extremely effective at reducing the impacts of COVID-19. Coupled with vaccines and where appropriate, rapid testing, PHMs will continue to be our most effective tool for mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19.

The Office of Disability Management (ODM) is also available to help employees and can be reached at 1-833-893-3388.

I have returned to the workplace and I have concerns. What should I do?

If you have returned to the workplace and are concerned that you are being put at risk, please raise the issue with your supervisor, manager and/or local Chain of Command.

Defence Team members are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with their supervisors, managers, and/or Chains of Command, to determine what the best work arrangement will be. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact your local Conflict and Complaint Management Service. CAF members who cannot resolve their issue locally may submit a Grievance under Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O) Chapter 7.

Additionally, should an employee have reasonable cause to believe a return to the workplace is not safe, they have options under the Canada Labour Code, Part II, including the internal complaint resolution process (ICRP) and exercising their right to refuse dangerous work if they have reasonable cause to believe it presents a danger. For more information contact your General Safety Officer or General Safety (D Safe G, VCDS) – P-OTG.GenSafetyProgEnq@intern.mil.ca.

Civilians can also contact Labour Relations through HR Connect RH (accessible only via the DWAN).

If you need to talk to someone about the stress and anxiety of the situation, there are a number of tools and resources available for you on the Defence Team COVID-19 website.

The Office of Disability Management (ODM) is also available to help employees and can be reached at 1-833-893-3388.

Are there any plans to help people readjust to working in an office?

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are committed to providing a healthy, safe, respectful, and inclusive workplace. There are many resources available to help people return to the workplace in a healthy and safe manner. We strongly encourage Defence Team members to seek support and guidance from their managers and supervisors.

Defence Team members can also rest assured that all Public Health Measures (PHMs) are being implemented. Since the start of the pandemic, PHMs have proven extremely effective at reducing the impacts of COVID-19. Coupled with vaccines and where appropriate, rapid testing, PHMs will continue to be our most effective tool for mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19.  

There are also resources readily available to accommodate Defence Team members whose mental health may be affected by returning to the workplace. If you need to talk to someone about the stress and anxiety of the situation, there are a number of tools and resources available for you on the Defence Team COVID-19 website.

The Office of Disability Management (ODM) is also available to help employees and can be reached at 1-833-893-3388.

If someone is requested by their supervisor to return to the workplace once a week or more because they need to access equipment they can’t use at home, can the individual refuse to go into the workplace?

While the pandemic has demonstrated much can be done via remote work, not all tasks can be accomplished this way. The option for remote work is determined by supervisors, managers, and/or Chains of Command based upon operational requirements for the workplace and the unique circumstances of individuals. If returning to the workplace is required, Defence Team members can rest assured that all Public Health Measures (PHMs) are being implemented.

If a Defence Team member has a specific vulnerability they’d like considered or accommodated, (i.e. an elderly age category based on Government of Canada COVID-19 guidelines, a compromised immune system, etc.) they must make a written, signed statement to that effect, and commit to providing a medical certificate to substantiate at a future date.

Defence Team members are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with their supervisors, managers, and/or Chains of Command, to determine what the best work arrangement will be. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact your local Conflict and Complaint Management Service. CAF members who cannot resolve their issue locally may submit a Grievance under Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O) Chapter 7.

Additionally, should an employee have reasonable cause to believe a return to the workplace is not safe, they have options under the Canada Labour Code, Part II, including the internal complaint resolution process (ICRP) and exercising their right to refuse dangerous work if they have reasonable cause to believe it presents a danger. For more information contact your General Safety Officer or General Safety (D Safe G, VCDS) – P-OTG.GenSafetyProgEnq@intern.mil.ca.

Civilians can also contact Labour Relations through HR Connect RH (accessible only via the DWAN).

If you need to talk to someone about the stress and anxiety of the situation, there are a number of tools and resources available for you on the Defence Team COVID-19 website.

The Office of Disability Management (ODM) is also available to help employees and can be reached at 1-833-893-3388.

Where can I find a complete chronological list of all Tasking Orders and FragOs associated with COVID on the DWAN?

All Tasking Orders and FragOs can be found on the Defence Team Intranet, under the “Orders, directives, and regulations” section. For further details, all COVID-19 orders for CAF members can be found on Sharepoint by searching “UCV-OpLASER_20-1”. Please review the latest CDS/DM Directive for updated guidance and information.

What are the guidelines for Defence Team members to justify working from home? If my position can be done remotely do I have to return to the workplace?

While the pandemic has demonstrated much can be done via remote work, not all tasks can be accomplished this way.

As we move towards re-entering the workplace, there will be a need for all Chains of Command to:

  • discuss with their teams their preferences for remote work and/or returning to the workplace;
  • provide accommodations and give careful consideration to the unique needs of different team members,
  • compare remote work and returning to the workplace against operational requirements;
  • determine the feasibility of resuming in-person business activities from an infrastructure and occupational health and safety perspective; and
  • provide information about Public Health Measures (PHMs) and other mitigation protocols to protect Defence Team members.

As the Defence Team’s posture on remote work continues to evolve in accordance with the evolution of the pandemic, additional direction and support will be communicated and provided. Defence Team members are encouraged to have open and honest conversations with their supervisors/managers, or Chains of Command, to determine what the best work arrangement will be. If the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can contact your local Conflict and Complaint Management Service. CAF members who cannot resolve their issue locally may submit a Grievance under Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O) Chapter 7.

For more information please read the CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 Environment.

What are the protocols around rapid testing? When is it used and what happens if you get a result other than negative?

Rapid Antigen Detection Testing (RADT) adds an additional layer of risk mitigation to the Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy. The RADT Framework, found in Annex D of the most recent CDS/DM Directive outlines how rapid testing will be implemented in certain workplaces and facilities, using COVID-19 rapid testing kits. Testing positive for COVID-19 may require additional testing based on provincial/territorial and regional directives. All provincial, territorial, regional, municipal, and host-nation restrictions will also be adhered to.

The most recent CDS/DM Directive outlines how the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces will evolve its RADT program by continuing to provide early detection of COVID-19 transmission by identifying pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and taking necessary PHM precautions to minimize viral spread amongst Defence Team members. More information on the RADT program framework can be found in Annex D of the CDS/DM directive.

If you have any further questions concerning the RADT program, please raise the issue with your supervisor or direct Chain of Command, or contact the VCDS, D Safe G positional mailbox at: P-OTG.DSGRapidTest@intern.mil.ca.

Has Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) been applied to the department’s response to the pandemic? How will women’s careers and the careers of parents and caregivers not suffer a lasting impact?

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, and its 100,000+ personnel, are organized by function and group—each responsible for thousands of Defence Team members. During pandemic response planning, each of these groups underwent an extensive process to plan for Business Continuity and Business Resumption. During the Business Continuity phase, each group was responsible to ensure the safety and well-being of its personnel. GBA+ analyses played a key factor in the development of each of the L1-level business plans.

As the Defence Team moved into the Business Resumption planning phase, GBA+ analyses were also an integral component of each group’s work in developing a plan to resume an increased number of core services or activities. The Directorate for Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (DGDI), as an enabler, played a key role in participating in the development and review of 10 different plans, for L1 groups.

If you have concerns about how GBA+ was applied to your L1’s Business Resumption plan, we encourage you to speak with your supervisor, manager or Chain of Command.

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