Some PIPSC members working in health care occupations in the SH Group are being temporarily deployed to provincial health authorities to provide help with COVID-19 relief efforts. Here’s what we’ve learned so far from the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Health and Safety
1. Will I continue to be covered by the Canada Labour Code, Part II, while on these assignments?
Yes, you will continue to be covered by the Canada Labour Code.
2. Who will be in charge of making sure I receive all necessary information about hazards in my temporary workplace?
Hospitals will provide orientation, and you will be placed in care teams who will provide further support and guidance. Training and orientation, including hazard training, will be provided as needed at the facility you’re assigned to by members of your team. Ongoing support and guidance will also be provided by this team.
3. Who is responsible for providing personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Hospitals will provide PPE.
4. Who do I contact to report any health and safety questions or concerns?
Reach out to either the local hospital/facility to which you’re assigned, the Health Canada COVID Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org, or both. A contact number for Health Canada management leading the COVID taskforce will also be provided to you for emergency use. This line will be available 24/7.
1. If I volunteer for this initiative, will I continue to be paid in accordance with my collective agreement?
Even if you're re-deployed under this initiative, you will remain a federal employee of your department. You’ll continue to be compensated at your current group and level, with all of the entitlements and benefits associated with your substantive position. Overtime and premiums are also paid as applicable in your collective agreement.
2. Will my base biweekly pay continue uninterrupted throughout any assignment in support of provincial health authorities?
Pay and benefits will continue to be processed in the normal way while you’re on assignment to a provincial Ministry of Health, and there is not expected to be any interruption in compensation. The Health Canada COVID Task Force is also putting in place special support measures to assist in making any required changes to work schedules or processing of overtime from these assignments, with the goal of ensuring that pay administration can run effectively. The task force will monitor adjustments for additional hours worked, to ensure any extra pay and benefits are addressed in a timely manner.
1. What is the plan to ensure safe and suitable accommodations and meals for workers assigned outside of their normal headquarters’ area?
In order to expedite travel and ensure consistency in re-deployments, all travel arrangements will be made by Health Canada’s COVID Task Force. A member of the task force’s travel team will work with employees to discuss travel options and preferences. Accommodation will be provided in hotels approved in the travel directory for Government of Canada travellers, as per the recommendations of the host hospital. Private accommodation arrangements can also be made as long as current public health procedures and protocols are respected. You’ll continue to follow the terms and conditions of your collective agreement. Travel and accommodations costs, including meal allowances, will be covered in accordance with the National Joint Council Travel Directive by your home department.
2. Will members receive leave with pay for any periods of isolation that result from an assignment, whether the isolation was required during or after the assignment?
Discussions are ongoing currently between the Treasury Board Secretariat and Health Canada to identify the type of quarantine, if any, that may be required. Per the existing guidance on ‘Other Leave with Pay (code 699)’ on the Government of Canada Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Employee Illness and Leave web page, employees will be eligible for Other Leave With Pay (699) to cover periods of isolation that may be required.
3. If provincial agencies request support for additional hours in a day or week, what sort of timesheets will be required and who will approve them?
The exact nature of the timesheets needs to be finalized. However, employees will continue to follow the terms and conditions of their collective agreement. Overtime will be compensated in cash and will require the completion of weekly time reporting. Further details about overtime requirements will be communicated to employees by the provincial Ministry of Health and the Health Canada COVID Task Force.