Your Ask Anything: COVID-19 questions answered: Remote Work & Reimbursement Support

October 19, 2020 - Defence Stories

The following is a high-level summary of commonly received questions recently submitted by Defence Team members to Ask Anything: COVID-19. This platform is monitored daily and is meant to provide you  with the most up-to-date information in a timely manner, so submit your COVID-19 and business resumption questions today!

In addition to Ask Anything: COVID-19, staff are reminded to contact their supervisor or chain of command for information that is most relevant to their team, local public health situation, and the specific circumstances of the workplace and operational requirements.

Visit the Resuming Work FAQs and stay tuned for more information and updates in response to various Defence Team questions.

Working Remotely 

Many Defence Team members are wondering whether they can work remotely outside of their geographic region. CAF members are encouraged to discuss your specific situation with your Chain of Command to determine if working remotely from a different part of the country is feasible, as they will know the specifics about your duties, operational requirements, and regional travel restrictions & isolation policies that may impact your return.

For civilian Defence Team members, the guidance from the Office of the Chief Human Resource Officer within the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat provides high-level direction, while allowing individual departments and their sub-delegated managers to decide when and where remote work is possible. Remote work is dependent on many variables, such as: the type of work being performed; the requirement to attend critical functions at the workplace; and a regional service delivery model vs. a national service delivery model, etc. 

Staff must consult with their supervisors to determine the feasibility of full-time remote work and establish a Flexible Work Agreement that stipulates an agreed upon work location. The Civilian Flexible Work Program applies to all civilian DND employees and allows managers – including military managers of civilian employees – when feasible, to authorize civilian employees to alter their work schedule, number of hours they work, or the location in which they work. 

It should be noted that a position’s suitability for remote work may change and Flexible Work Agreements are to be reviewed quarterly and updated accordingly, per the ADM(HR-Civ) Directive to Managers on Managing a flexible and varied civilian workforce

Remote Work Reimbursement Support

Defence Team members should have a discussion with their supervisor regarding needs related to their current remote work set-up. Supervisors need to ensure Defence Team members are working safely and effectively.  

If Defence Team members require IT equipment to conduct their jobs, this should be obtained through DND’s existing internal inventory or procured 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. If any Defence Team member requires 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.

Supervisors have the discretion to determine what should be reimbursed for Defence Team members with receipts up to $300 for out of pocket expenses from  March 13-September 15, 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.

To learn more: Remote Work Reimbursement Support Message

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