Your questions answered: Travel restrictions and the future of telework

June 25, 2020 - Defence Stories

Ask Anything: COVID-19 graphic.

Below is some information addressing the most common questions we have recently received via Ask Anything: COVID-19, grouped by theme.

We remind you to contact your manager or chain of command first; they have the most accurate information that can address your question, keeping in mind the local public health situation and the specific circumstances of your workplace and operational requirements.

Visit the Resuming work FAQs and stay tuned for more information and updates in response to your questions.

Travel restrictions

All Defence Team members should follow the advice of local public health authorities and direction from provincial/territorial governments regarding travel restrictions for the region in which they live. In the case of the NCR, employees should follow direction from the Governments of Ontario and Quebec. As the economy reopens across the country, provinces and territories are each taking precautions to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all. Please discuss with your local Chain of Command or manager if you have specific questions about your travel plans or your region’s requirements and Follow the links on the Defence Team COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates on requirements for your province or territory of residence.

As of 10 June, 2020, for CAF members NOT assigned to Op Laser, the following travel is now authorized, including by commercial means if necessary under CDS TASKORD 004 – OP LASER 20-01:

International Travel

  • Providing that the destination and any countries transited through do not restrict such travel:
    • Mission-essential international duty travel will be approved by the appropriate L1 or the RA for OUTCAN members;
    • Non-duty international travel will be approved through the normal leave pass process with any self-isolation requirements considered as leave.

Domestic Travel – Duty Related

Domestic Travel – Non-Duty Related

  • Non-duty related domestic travel matching what is permitted in the province/territory at origin and destination, including those provinces/territories the member must transit through during their voyage;
  • Non-duty related domestic travel outside of a member’s local area must be authorized through the leave pass process;

Also approved for CAF members are:

  • Travel for compassionate reasons, as determined by Commanding Officers;
  • Travel to effect legal child custody arrangements;
  • Travel to a member’s next of kin for untrained members attending civilian educational facilities whose school year has ended but have not been directed to attend summer employment/training;
  • For members on imposed restriction and other members who do not reside with their dependents, Commanding Officers may, conditions permitting, authorize travel to the member’s primary residence or location of dependents for a period of one week every two months to be with their family so long as the following conditions are met:
    • They are not needed for daily attendance at their place of duty or for immediate operational recall; and
    • They are not on operations or assembling for operations.

Please refer to para 6.a.(26)(a)xi. of Frag Order 007 to CDS Tasking Order 001 – Op LASER 20-10 for more information on accepted travel as well as restrictions for personnel assigned under Op LASER.

The future of telework

There will be a need for all managers to discuss with their employees their preferences for remote work and/or return to the workplace, map employee availability against operational requirements, and determine the feasibility from an infrastructure and a health and safety perspective. Should managers authorize remote work, the Flexible Work Program assists employees and managers to understand their accountabilities and all available options – as well as the impacts and considerations – in the current environment and into the future.

Defence Team members should have a discussion with their manager regarding their current remote work set up and what their needs are.  Managers need to ensure Defence Team members are working safely and effectively. 

If Defence Team members need IT equipment, this is to come from DND’s current internal inventory or should be procured for them through regular means. If Defence Team members require ergonomic or support equipment/supplies, they should be allowed access to the workplace to pick up their own equipment from their office space, where feasible. As per OCHRO guidance, if any Defence Team members require additional equipment it could be purchased through established standing offers and have it delivered to the members remote work site.  This equipment will remain DND assets.

Managers have the discretion to determine what should be reimbursed for Defence Team members with receipts up to $300 for out of pocket expenses from 13 March to 15 September 2020.  Up to $500 may be approved in extenuating circumstances, with L1 approval and accountability to the Deputy Minister/Chief of Defence Staff. Any equipment or supplies reimbursed by DND will not be DND property.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec are reviewing the implications to tax exemptions in the context of the pandemic response and equipping Defence Team members working remotely. Once CRA has finalized their guidance on the use of the Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, TBS will provide guidance on claiming other expenses incurred by Defence Team members while working remotely, which may include utility costs.

For tools, resources and information for the Defence Team on this topic, visit the Working remotely web page.

In case you missed it:

Your questions answered: Workplace measures, self-isolation requirements, and more

Your questions answered: Sanitizing the workplace and mandatory COVID-19 awareness training

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