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  • I am presently at home on leave code 6990 (other leave with pay). Can my employer call me back to work to perform critical services?
    Yes. The employer can determine that additional employees are required to perform critical services and you could be called back to work, if necessary.
  • An employee (asymptomatic and performing a critical service) has been asked to self-isolate (e.g. a public health authority contacted them as they were in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19), what type of leave should be used?"
    If identified as supporting a critical service and able to perform work, the employee will be asked to discuss with their manager the option to telework. If that is not possible, the employee will be granted “other leave with pay (6990 code)” as per the collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment. Should the employee’s medical situation change, the employee should notify their manager of this change.
  • What type of leave should an employee performing a critical service take if they call to advise that they have become ill with COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19-like symptoms?
    As a first step, the employee must contact their health care provider and/or public health authorities. They will be asked to stay home and will be placed on sick leave. If a critical service employee has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 (as confirmed by their health authority), they must notify their manager right away. Employees must not return to work until a health authority has deemed it appropriate to do so.
  • What should be done if an employee performing a critical service does not have enough sick leave credits and they have contracted COVID-19 or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms and have been asked to self-isolate?
    In these circumstances, the employee should also be allowed to use other types of leave with pay subject to the conditions applicable to them under their collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment. In these circumstances, managers should seek advice from a labour relations advisor. Should either a symptomatic employee, or an employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19, request an advancement of sick leave credits, managers will approve the request in accordance with the collective agreement or the terms and conditions of employment. If the employee has no sick leave remaining and sick leave can no longer be advanced, sick leave without pay will apply. In such cases, income maintenance options are available to employees. These include Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits as well as disability insurance through SunLife/Industrial Alliance. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit may also apply.
  • What type of leave is available for employees performing critical services whose children cannot attend school or daycare?
    An employee who has been identified as supporting a critical service and whose children cannot attend school or daycare due to a closure or because of attendance restrictions will: Attempt to make alternative care arrangements. If that is not possible, will discuss with their manager the option to telework. If that is not possible, will be granted “other leave with pay” (6990 code). The above provisions for disruption of school and daycare operations related to COVID-19 will remain available to employees and managers for the duration of the disruption in the respective jurisdictions but will be reassessed by the CRA on April 3, 2020.
  • What type of leave should an employee who is performing critical services use if they want to take time off to provide care for a family member who is ill?
    Where a member of an employee’s family is ill as a result of COVID-19, the employee is encouraged to communicate with their manager to review their individual circumstances and determine what type of leave options may be available. Consideration will be given to allowing the employee to telework or other flexibilities or, if that is not possible, they will be granted “other leave with pay” (6990 code) for the period required to care for the sick family member. Once this period is over, the employee will be expected to return to work under the conditions that were in place prior to the family member becoming ill.
  • If leave has already been approved for an employee performing a critical service, can the manager cancel the leave?"
    The Employer will try to honour already approved leave to the extent that operational requirements permit. However, a manager could cancel an approved leave if the employee is required to provide or support a critical service. This does not include certain leaves such as maternity and parental.
  • Will there still be an automatic cash-out of vacation for March 31, 2020?"
    No. As per a message from the Assistant Commissioner and Chief Human Resources Officer of HRB on March 17, 2020 (external link), the CRA has decided to cancel the automatic mandatory cash-out of vacation and compensatory leave for fiscal year 2019/2020 for all employees. In other words, the vacation and compensatory leave payouts will not be automatically cashed-out this fiscal year. The next automatic cash-out date of excess leave will be, in most cases, on March 31, 2021. Should employees have any questions related to this matter, they are encouraged to contact their manager.
  • Will employees be able to request voluntary vacation and compensatory leave cash-outs?
    Yes. Employees can still request a voluntary cash-out of these leaves as per the applicable collective agreement or terms of conditions of employment. Any voluntary cash-out requests submitted by employees prior to March 17, 2020, will be processed as planned.
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