FAQ: Rights and Responsibilities for all Defence Team Members

Note: This page has been archived and is no longer in use.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.

Will there be consequences for people who do not follow physical distancing and other protocols in place?

We all share the responsibility for safe workplaces. The DM and the CDS have outlined the expectations for the Defence Team and supervisors in the most recent CDS/DM Directive. On site, supervisors are responsible for ensuring that protocols are followed. If an individual is not adhering to health and safety requirements, normal administrative and disciplinary processes should be followed.

What should I do if I have COVID-19 related symptoms while at work?

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing while working, you should:

  • inform your manager
  • go home if you are working on-site (avoiding the use of public transportation)
  • follow the advice of the local public health authorities
  • call the public health authority in the province or territory they are in to inform them. They will provide advice on occupational health and safety
  • contact your L1 or Command Health and Safety Advisor and your General Safety Officer at the local level OR General Safety (D Safe G, VCDS) – P-OTG.GenSafetyProgEnq@intern.mil.ca

If you are/were in the workplace and it is confirmed by a health care provider that you are infected with COVID-19, under the Canada Labour Code, this would constitute a workplace hazard. As such, you have a duty to report this hazard to management. This information helps the employer determine a time period when you were in the workplace before self-isolation and if other members would have been exposed.

I am experiencing anxiety about COVID-19. What can I do?

Under circumstances such as these, it is natural to experience anxiety. CAF members and DND employees may wish to speak to their manager/supervisor, who will be able to advise them on what services are available to help them, including programs such as the Employee Assistance Program.

Defence Team members can also access a variety of resources and information on the Defence Team COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellness page, to help maintain and support mental health and overall personal well-being.

My family member is displaying COVID-19 symptoms and is getting tested. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well?

If you have been, or have reason to believe you may have been, exposed to COVID-19, Defence Team members must comply with all local public health directed testing and isolation/quarantine procedures. If you have been working in the office, please head home and inform your supervisor of your possible exposure so that they can identify which coworkers may have been exposed as well.

The Defence Team — COVID-19 page has a number of resources, such as a COVID self-assessment tool and links to provincial/territorial guidelines.

My building pass expired while we were working from home. How do I ensure that I will have access to facilities once we return to the workplace?

Each CAF/DND location across Canada has its own section for issuing building passes (this is distinct from the DND ID, which is issued nationally from the National Capital Region (NCR)). In the NCR, the Pass Control section (accessible only on the National Defence network) provides building pass services to CAF members and DND employees. Presently, Pass Control is booking appointments by e-mail. At other CAF/DND locations, please speak to your manager or direct Chain of Command to get you in touch with your Identification and Pass Control Section.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test or a Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT)?

As outlined in the most recent CDS/DM Directive, if a Defence Team member tests positive for COIVD-19 with either a PCR test or via the RADT program, the current medical advice is that these individuals should isolate and not return to the workplace for a period of 10 days if they are fully vaccinated, or 7 days if they have received their 3rd/booster dose.

Where can I find reliable, in-depth information about the COVID-19 virus, COVID-19 testing, and vaccines?

To keep informed on the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the Government of Canada (GoC) COVID-19 web site. The GoC COVID-19 web page hosts all the latest information about announcements, trends, vaccinations, testing, and guidance. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a great deal of misinformation has circulated online and on social media. It is important that you get your information from trusted and verified public health services and authoritative public institutions.

As the result of a rapid test, when can an employee return to the workplace? Do they need to receive a negative PCR test at one of the local testing stations first? If one receives a positive result from a personally administered Rapid Antigen Test, are employees then obliged to get a PCR test?

TBS and Health Canada have indicated that a positive COVID-19 diagnosis is through a testing program that is recognized by the Government of Canada and/or the province/territory. A laboratory PCR test indicates a positive diagnosis. However, in some provinces/territories and their respective health jurisdictions, it is difficult to obtain an appointment for a PCR test. In these jurisdictions, a presumptive positive through a Rapid Antigen Detection Test may also be considered a positive diagnosis. If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms, you should stay home and follow local public health guidance. We encourage you to speak with your manager/chain of command, as they will have the most up to date information specific to your team and region.

I am experiencing anxiety about COVID-19. What can I do?

Under circumstances such as these, it is natural to experience anxiety. Staff may wish to speak to their manager/supervisor, who will be able to advise them on what services are available to help them, including programs such as the Employee Assistance Program. Alternative work arrangements where possible can also help alleviate anxiety.

Defence Team members can also access a variety of resources and information on the Defence Team COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellness page, to help maintain and support mental health and overall personal well-being.

As a Defence Team member, what are my responsibilities in the context of COVID-19?

As a Defence Team member, you are responsible keeping yourself informed on the latest information and guidance provided by health authorities and the DND/CAF, including the COVID-19: Outbreak update and the latest CDS/DM directive. You are also responsible for following COVID-19 direction as issued by L1s/Commands.

Will employees be able to clean their workspace with cleaning products although they are scented?

Cleaning products should be un-scented to take into account any environmental sensitivities. However, with the limited supply chain, it may not be possible to procure un-scented cleaning products. A solution of 5 ml of bleach to 260 ml of water and a cloth will suffice. Make sure public health measures such as frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds is observed.

As an personnel member, what are my responsibilities in the context of COVID-19?

Employees have the responsibility to inform themselves by consulting information provided by health authorities and by their employer, such as 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Outbreak update. They are responsible for following their management's directions regarding reporting to work and workplace health procedures in the context of the COVID-19.

Section 126 of the Canada Labour Code outlines reasonable expectations for all employees regardless of their position in the organization. Employees' duties include, among others:

  • Using safety equipment provided to them;
  • Complying with all instructions from the employer concerning the health and safety of employees; and
  • Cooperating with any person carrying out a duty set out in the Code.

While at work, employees must also report to the employer any object, situation or circumstance in a workplace that is likely to be hazardous to the health or safety of employees or other persons granted access to the workplace by the employer.

To avoid spreading the virus to colleagues and clients, employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, and difficulty breathing) have a duty to stay at home as long as they present symptoms or as long as directed by their doctors.

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