Business Resumption Planning: 2021 Status Update

February 12, 2021 - Defence Stories

Defence Team – we know this has been a long road. While COVID-19 immunization programs have kicked off across the country, it's important to remain vigilant with all public health measures. We've all been washing our hands; staying 2 metres apart; and wearing a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We need to continue these efforts and stay informed on the many other factors that go into DND/CAF's response to the pandemic and business resumption strategy.

We've put together a quick refresher on where we are at this point in working through the pandemic and the resources available to everyone:

COVID-19 vaccines for CAF members

We know that the CAF COVID-19 vaccine roll out is top of mind for many. To help everyone stay up to date on the progress of the CAF vaccine roll-out and latest information, check out our new CAF COVID-19 vaccine webpage. It houses:

Ask Anything Inbox & Resuming Work FAQs

Thanks for sending your questions into the Ask Anything inbox. Here are a few questions we've received lately:

  1. If a public service employee receives a negative test result, but still has symptoms, can they return to work immediately? If not, what type of leave should they be on (699/sick/other)?
  2. Military members are required to expend all annual leave regardless of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Is there any plan to revisit this policy?
  3. The reimbursement period for home office equipment ended in September. With the posture towards COVID tightening down again, I may be directed to work from home. Will the reimbursement be re-introduced, so I am not out of pocket due to missing the deadline?
  4. Some units have resumed unit Physical Training in the base gyms, as opposed to continuing individual training. What are the regulations regarding return to unit Physical Training?

Check out the Resuming Work FAQ page for the answers to these questions. You can also watch some of our senior leaders addressing some of the commonly asked questions in these videos:

Remote Work & Alternative Leave for Public Service Employees

Given the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and increased restrictions across the country, remote work should be prioritized wherever possible. Minimum personnel should be at worksites performing critical services that cannot be performed remotely and those in the workplace must strictly adhere to health and safety measures. We understand that these renewed restrictions are undoubtedly having an impact on our team.

TBS guidance on leave code 699 remains in effect for DND public service employees. Managers and employees should first consider flexible work hours and use other relevant paid leave options, before using 699. If this is not an option, family care is still recognized as an approved reason for claiming alternative leave on a case-by-case basis and should be given consideration in consultation with Labour Relations, in order to show maximum flexibility and compassion.  Where applicable, Duty to Accommodate should be taken into consideration for employees that may need to return to the workplace or employees who may need to remain outside the workplace.

We expect that employees continue to adopt a good faith approach in using this leave, keeping in mind their important roles in providing services to the Defence Team. Managers are to remain flexible when DTA and 699 leave requests are made. Above all, we encourage Defence Team members to be compassionate and mindful of each other's mental health and wellbeing.

Vaccinations have started in some provinces. For public service employees who secure appointments for the two doses during the work day, leave with pay for medical/dental appointment – should be used.  Despite two appointments required for the double dose, this does not meet the threshold or intent for “recurring appointments” and employees do not need to use sick leave for either dose appointment.

Thank you for your continued patience, vigilance to public health measures, and dedication to the Defence Team. As we move through the winter, keep your eyes open for new and updated resources!

*Defence Team supervisors: be on the lookout for a survey in the coming weeks to provide the Internal Communications team with your feedback on how we can ensure we are providing you with all the information that you need to support your teams.

For a list of additional Business Resumption and COVID-19 resources, please visit the Defence Team – COVID-19 and Resuming work pages.

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