Update: “Other Leave with Pay” Code 699
October 29, 2020 - Defence Stories
Defence Team Public Service Employees: as we continue to work in an environment altered by COVID-19 and with the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in many parts of the country, preserving the health and safety of our team remains paramount. While we continue to manage COVID-19 in our ongoing operations and adapt to changing regional and local circumstances, balancing work and home responsibilities may be challenging for some members.
Over the past several months, employees’ capacity to work remotely has become maximized, as the vast majority of employees are working full time, either remotely or onsite, making use of flexible or alternate work arrangements or leave options, when needed. Although most employees have been able to leverage flexible work arrangements, some may be unable to work for reasons beyond their control. Code 699 should only be used in these situations and when all other options have been exhausted. This type of leave is not to be used to replace vacation leave.
Updated guidance and eligibility
Updated guidance around the use of ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ will be effective November 9, 2020. This updated guidance emphasizes that this leave should be granted on a case-by-case basis. Remote or alternate work, flexible work hours, and other relevant paid leave must first be considered before using this leave.
Once all available options have been considered, and managers have consulted with their Labour Relations advisors, ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ could be available in situations where an employee:
- has work or technology limitations,
- cannot work remotely and has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms and/or is required to self-isolate,
- has caregiving responsibilities as a result of such things as school or daycare closures, or COVID-19 illness or isolation requirements, or
- cannot work remotely and is at high risk or has someone in their care who is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Paid leave should only be provided to students, casuals, and terms of less than three months whose work is determined by a schedule, and who are required to be absent for hours they otherwise would have worked, should they be diagnosed with COVID-19. However, in no circumstance should paid leave be extended beyond the term of employment.
As of November 9, 2020, if an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is unable to work remotely, they will be required to use their sick leave credits. Should the employee not have sufficient sick leave credits, the employee will then be eligible for ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ until they are no longer infectious.
Schools and Daycares
As schools and daycares remain open, it is expected that those who could not work due to childcare obligations have returned to work. It is, however recognized that there will be some instances where employees may be unable to work fulltime hours if children are unable to return to school or daycare due to health reasons, limited availability of spaces, or other restrictions put in place by provincial or territorial authorities. In these cases, when alternate childcare or flexible work arrangements cannot be made, Code 699 may be used for hours not worked.
Flexible Work Options
In order to provide employees with alternatives to taking leave, the Department of National Defence (DND) has updated the Civilian Flexible Work Program and introduced an accompanying directive. As part of this directive, employees should have completed and signed the mandatory Civilian Flexible Work Agreement with their manager by September 30, 2020. This applies to those who currently have, or are seeking to request, a new flexible work option, and includes employees currently working remotely as a result of COVID-19.
Information on the updated Civilian Flexible Work Program and Civilian Flexible Work Agreement [PDF, 1.57 MB] form can be found here. For other COVID-19 related resources, please consult the Defence Team COVID-19 page, Working remotely, Resuming work, Frequently Asked Questions, Employee Assistance Program and the online Mental Health resource hub and the Employee Illness and Leave page .
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