CIMM - IRCC’s Reintegration Planning - Mar 8, 2021
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada employees continue to work either remotely or on-site to maintain our operations and deliver our services.
- Remote work has been successfully implemented and continues to be maximized through enhanced digital tools and IT systems. Employees who cannot perform their duties remotely have been able to safely return to the workplace.
- Our reintegration and resumption strategy has proven successful to ensure that our worksites remain safe for our employees and clients. It has also allowed us to take necessary steps to focus on priorities and improve client services in the current context.
- As of January 27, 2021, the Department had 89.5% of its operations workforce in the office or working remotely; up from 38% at the end of March 2020.
- Furthermore, since reintegration started last summer, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has been able to adapt to changing pandemic conditions across Canada while maintaining its core services and ensuring health and safety of employees and clients.
- We continue to follow public health guidance and our top priority continues to be the health and safety of Canadians, employees and our clients.
- In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the Department responded by prioritizing delivery of critical services:
- Temporary residence, including in-Canada extensions, seasonal agricultural workers, students, essential and vulnerable workers.
- Permanent residence, including Express Entry (Canada Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Program), spousal (in-Canada and those who are travel ban exempt), Permanent Resident Travel Document and Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations.
- Resettled refugees exempt from Canada’s air travel restrictions as well as cases in urgent need of protection.
- Citizenship, including urgent proofs of citizenship and the implementation of virtual ceremonies.
- Passport, including urgent travel documents.
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has developed a strategy that has been piloted and tested, allowing for a safe return of our workforce to departmental worksites in Canada and abroad.
- The Department has equipped its officers with the tools to support remote processing where possible, reinstating most of our operational capacity both in Canada and abroad. As of October 2020, while continuing to follow guidelines and recommendations set by the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial and local public health authorities, the Department has moved forward with business reintegration efforts in all lines of business by gradually increasing access to worksites for employees whose work cannot be done remotely, and to support file distribution to remote workers.
- The Department has also implemented innovative solutions to reduce business impacts, expedite delivery of virtual services for clients and remote processing in different business lines.
- Our strategy ensures engagement with employees, unions, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee as well as consults with service provider organizations and other stakeholders.
- Protocols for cleaning, in-person activities, and working offsite have been developed in consultation with unions and employees. Other health and safety measures have also been implemented, including worksite modifications, based on public health recommendations.
- Our resurgence readiness protocol includes a monitoring system that captures pandemic conditions and their impact in different regions and worksites. It provides data that helps the Department decide how to best maintain its capacity while providing a safe and healthy work environment for employees in each region.
- Departmental employees’ use of 699 leave from mid-March 2020 onwards has decreased significantly over time to present. The decreased use of 699 is largely attributable to the Department’s support of remote work by the majority of its employees, as well as the gradual, well-planned and well-monitored reintegration of employees focused on priority business lines.
- The Department’s modernization and support of remote work, where possible, will ensure that priority lines of business continue to operate even during the current (and future) pandemic resurgence.
- Since March 2020, a total of 108 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported. Of those cases, 79 were remote workers and 23 were employees who had been in an office recently (6 cases we cannot confirm employees’ last day in office).
- The Department has established a protocol for responding to in-office cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of employees and clients.
- When a suspected or confirmed case occurs, managers ensure that immediate specialized cleaning of affected areas takes place.
- Additionally they ensure that that communication is sent out to employees who had been in the worksite on those days for precautionary purposes.
- To date, there is no evidence of workplace transmission of COVID-19 between IRCC employees.
Supporting facts and figures
- Reintegration as of January 27, 2021:
- In Canada: 6.5% (587) employees are working from the office, 84.8% (7664) are teleworking, and 8.7% (791) are on leave or not scheduled to work.
- Abroad: 38.7% (516) employees are working from the office, 39.3% (524) are teleworking, and 22% (294) are on leave.
- 699 leave across the Department (in Canada):
- On Mar 18, 2020, 2312 employees were on 699 leave; on January 27, 2021, 41 employees were on 699 leave.
Who is working? Where are they working?
As of January 27, 2021:
- Centralized Network: 20.3% (423) employees are working from the office, 68.5% (1429) are teleworking, and 11.2% (234) are on leave or not scheduled to work.
- Domestic Network: 7.4% (104) employees are working from the office, 82.2% (1152) are teleworking, and 10.4% (145) are on leave or not scheduled to work.
- International– Domestic: 0.2% (1) employees are working from the office, 93.1% (486) are teleworking, and 6.7% (35) are on leave or not scheduled to work.
- International – Overseas: 38.7% (516) employees are working from the office, 39.3% (524) are teleworking, and 22% (294) are on leave or not scheduled to work
- Citizenship and Passport Prog.: 0% (0) employees are working from the office, 93.9% (138) are teleworking, and 6.1% (9) are on leave or not scheduled to work
- Settlement: 0.0% (0) employees are working from the office, 90.2% (295) are teleworking, and 9.8% (32) are on leave or not scheduled to work
What are they working on?
- Settlement Network:
- Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, departmental interaction with service provider organizations has been entirely virtual in order to limit contact between individuals and contain the spread of the virus.
- Key in-person activities conducted by settlement and resettlement officers now take place virtually with the assistance of our service provider partners; including the Resettlement Assistance Program’s income support orientation, engagement with new service provider partners, and financial monitors.
- Management of contribution agreements with service providers has been accomplished effectively in the current remote environment. Management of contribution agreements does not require a return to physical office spaces and we anticipate that to be the case for some time to come.
IRCC - Reintegration to the workplace timeline
Jul 2020 to Nov 2020 - IRCC reintegrated some front and back-office activities
- Client Support Centre
- IN - Resettlement Operations Division
- IN Training
- IT Ops
- Digital Strategy Branch
- OSC (Gatineau)
- Operations Centre-Ottawa
Domestic Network (back-office, client-facing):
- Vancouver Robson
- Vancouver Hornby
- Vancouver Expo
- Niagara Falls
Nov 2020 to Feb 2021 - IRCC adjusted to changing pandemic conditions
Activities limited to critical functions:
- Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
- Southern Ontario
- All Quebec
- All Ontario
Feb 2021 - IRCC is reintegrating some front and back-office activities
Domestic and Centralized Networks are resuming some front and back-office activities in all offices (i.e. Asylum and Critical functions in support of Operations).
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