Managing COVID-19 in the federal public service

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Current situation

While the COVID-19 pandemic presents ongoing challenges for Canadians and for the public service, we are managing COVID-19 as part of our ongoing operations and continuing to deliver key programs and services to Canadians.

The federal public service continues to be guided by the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada  for public health advice and Health Canada’s Public Service Occupational Health Program for occupational health advice.

How we are supporting employees

We continue to support employees with:

Access to federal worksites

The physical and psychological health and safety of employees is paramount. Decisions regarding access to federal worksites will be made based on government-wide guidance and taking into consideration the local public health situation and the nature of the work. Access for employees varies from organization to organization, based on their operational requirements.

You can expect that

  • you will receive regular updates as information becomes available
  • you will be kept up to date leading up to any changes to your current situation
  • in most cases, the workforce will continue to include both employees working on-site and working remotely
  • training and job aids from your organization and the Canada School of Public Service will continue to be available to support you and your teams

Your organization will continue to

  • support those who are working remotely with the equipment and access needed to do their work
  • provide information about access to worksites
  • update their departmental Hazard Prevention Program by continuing to work with their appropriate Occupational Health and Safety committees/representatives to adopt a tailored approach by workplace location, based on the local context for COVID-19, taking into account provincial, territorial, or local guidance
  • oversee operations in consideration of the need to
    • be inclusive
    • support productivity
    • deliver critical services
    • maximize working remotely
    • ensure mental and physical safety
    • respect employees’ accommodation and accessibility requirements

What we need from you

  • get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • follow public health measures and local public health direction when commuting to and from the worksite and outside the worksite
  • stay home when showing symptoms identified by health authorities
  • take care of your mental health, such as taking a self-assessment through the Wellness Together Canada portal to find available supports
    • if your mental or emotional health is suffering, contact the Employee Assistance Program or a health care professional (e.g. a family doctor)
  • while working remotely, take all health, safety, and security precautions in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations, and maintain regular contact with your manager and colleagues

Learn more about employee roles and responsibilities.

Departments should continue to follow workplace preventive practices.

Vaccination

Vaccination is one of the most effective tools we have at our disposal to protect broader public health in the face of COVID-19, and to prevent future outbreaks. Used in combination with preventive public health measures, it offers the best available protection for Canadians.

The Government of Canada has implemented a policy requiring  all employees of the Core Public Administration including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to be vaccinated. This requirement applies whether you are teleworking, working remotely or working on-site. Contracted personnel who require access to federal government worksites in order to perform work for the Government of Canada must also be vaccinated.

As the country’s largest employer, the Government of Canada is leading by example on vaccination to protect the health and safety of public servants and the communities where they live and work.

What’s next

Your organization will continue to:

  • ensure your departmental Hazard Prevention Program is kept up to date and identify physical and psychological hazards
  • select preventive measures in consultation your OHS team and the appropriate OHS Committee/Representative, considering Health Canada’s PSOHP or the organization’s own medical advisors and local public health recommendations
  • implement preventive measures
  • monitor the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees, as reported by managers through the Employee Status Reporting tool
  • employees, as reported by managers through the Employee Status Reporting tool
  • support employee mental health and well-being
  • equip you with technological and leadership tools to help you navigate the next normal
  • engage with your union representatives on questions that are of importance to you

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