Your questions answered: Travel restrictions and the future of telework
June 25, 2020 - Defence Stories
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.
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:
- 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
- Mission-essential domestic travel approved by the chain of command;
- Travel for authorized House Hunting Trips (HHT) / Destination Inspection Trips (DITs) and relocation in accordance with Military Personnel Command CANFORGEN 072/20;
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, 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.
The Department of National Defence (DND), in close coordination with the greater federal government, is studying the future work environment, including the costs of setting up home offices for personnel. The associated cost-benefit analysis is still to be done. Regardless, DND's plan will reflect that of the government in general.
There have been ongoing discussions across Senior Management, as well as with the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) to determine the best way forward for the employer and employees in effectively supporting and performing remote work.
While it is the employees responsibility to physically and financially establish their at home workspace, DND has enabled employees who require small ergonomic or support equipment to access their tools. (For more information: The Defence Team’s approach to ergonomic or support equipment for telework and https://www.canada.ca/en/government/publicservice/covid-19/working-remotely.html.)
We are monitoring these discussions closely and will provide updates as soon as we have more clarity. In the meantime, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for information and regular updates about claiming office expenses on personal taxes when working from home.
For tools, resources and information for the Defence Team on this topic, visit the Working remotely web page.
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