Information for Managers & Supervisors

If employees can work from home, they should. Here's some helpful information to help you answer questions about working remotely and COVID-19. Not all work can be done remotely. Implement your operational continuity plans to ensure all critical responsibilities are fulfilled.

Leader expectations

  • Review the Continuity Planning section of the University’s COVID-19 Information website, especially the University of Alberta Guide to Working Remotely.
  • Make a plan for your employees to work remotely.
  • Maintain a calm and reassuring demeanour.
  • Be as flexible as possible as employees adapt to these extraordinary changes to work and home environments. 
  • Share information as it becomes available. Discourage sharing of gossip, rumours, assumptions and misinformation.
  • Encourage open communication and discussion with you.
  • Contact your HR Partner or Faculty Relations Officers for guidance. 

Guidelines

Working remotely
  • Review Continuity Planning information, especially the U of A Guide to Working Remotely.
  • Check email and university website for updates every day, even on weekends.
  • Encourage staff to sign up for direct deposit if they haven’t already; HR is unable to print or deliver paycheques. 
  • Personal phone numbers may be shared with colleagues and clients in order to continue operations at home. Alternatively: use Google Hangouts for calls - learn how.
  • Connect with your employees frequently via phone or video chat to keep them feeling connected to the workplace. Encourage good habits, such as having a workspace to themselves and following their normal workday routine as best as possible. Prioritize and/or modify duties as necessary. 
How to get records of employment (ROEs)

How to get ROEs for hourly, auxiliary hourly and casual employees

If there is no work assigned or scheduled for hourly employees, notify payroll (payroll.operations@ualberta.ca) and advise:

  • the employee name, position, employee ID and job record number
  • the last day worked
  • the reason for discontinuing work (e.g., lack of work, department or program closure, etc.)

Once their final pay has been processed and payroll is confirmed, we will process their ROE and submit it to Service Canada. Employees can then access their record of employment on Service Canada.

How to get ROEs for NASA employees experiencing interruption of earnings

Complete the applicable eForm or pay action form and submit it to payroll.operations@ualberta.ca. Once their final pay has been processed and payroll is confirmed, we will process their ROE and submit it to Service Canada. Employees can then access their record of employment on Service Canada.

Pay and leave

Please refer to the Employee Leave and Pay Guidelines for information on pay continuance and leaves for each employee group during COVID-19. Contact your HR Partner or Faculty Relations Officers for guidance. 

  • Review payroll deadlines.
  • Ensure hourly employees’ hours worked are entered in PeopleSoft within the time entry deadlines. Approve hours on a daily basis. Casual employees who are not able to work from home or who aren't needed for vital services should be paid for all previously scheduled shifts up to and including March 31, 2020 unless otherwise authorized by the department lead.
  • Access employee worklists in HCM to approve all time sitting in your worklist daily. Time administration is run at noon every day and at 7:30 p.m. nightly.
  • If you are unable to approve time entries and/or eforms, delegate to someone and remind them of the deadlines associated with each approval:
    Time & Labour Delegation
    eForm Proxy Delegate
    eForm Project Delegation
  • If you call your HR contacts, please leave a message with your phone number. You can also email payroll.operations@ualberta.ca. Your calls and emails will be returned as soon as possible.
Graduate student payments
In accordance with Article 6.04 of the GSA Collective Agreement, academically employed graduate students with graduate teaching assistant (including principal instructor) appointments, graduate research assistantship appointments, and graduate research assistantship fellowships will continue to be paid until the conclusion of their current appointments.
Managing foreign nationals amidst border restrictions

Exemptions to air travel and land border restrictions apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home. In addition to health-screening protocols, all individuals entering Canada must self isolate for 14 days.

Immigration Services, Human Resource Services is working on instructions and templates to minimize the impact of required changes to the start and end dates of the original offers. These will be available on our website before the border re-opens.

Foreign nationals who are in Canada and whose temporary resident status will soon expire may apply for an extension to maintain their status.

  • They must have the correct documents to support their extension applications (scholarships/awards, job offers, Labour Market Impact Assessments, etc.)
  • Temporary residents wishing to extend must apply online, meet all requirements, and pay associated fees.

If you have foreign nationals in this situation, please contact Immigration Services, Human Resource Services at immigration.services@ualberta.ca. The department must confirm if an extension is required and may need to complete a Foreign Visitor Category Assessment.

Those who have extension applications currently in process and applied prior to the expiry date of their current permit will have implied status and can remain in Canada until a decision is made on their application.

Employees need to manage childcare
  • Employees are expected to consider all reasonable options for alternative childcare with daycares and schools closed.
  • If the employee has exhausted all options, supervisors/managers must consider alternatives including allowing the employee to work from home (either full or modified duties). 
  • If they are already working from home, consider modified work hours or days of work to allow them to tend to their family responsibilities while still working.
Employees must care for someone with COVID-19
  • Employees should be advised to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves while they care for the person and follow the guidelines from Alberta Health.
  • If a member of your household is directed to self-isolate, you must also self-isolate unless otherwise directed by Alberta Health Services.
  • Discuss options for working from home, including modified hours or duties.
  • Apply leave provisions as per the collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment (e.g. compassionate leave). 
  • Employees may use vacation accrual or banked time, or request leave without pay.
  • Employees without pay should be encouraged to explore federal income support programs.
Employee has COVID-19-like symptoms
  • Advise your employee to stay home, complete the Alberta Health Services self assessment, and review information on the University COVID-19 site. A sick note is not required.
  • Employees have been directed to contact their supervisor to advise that they are ill, and stay in contact with updates. 
  • If COVID-19 is confirmed, follow standard illness leave procedures. A sick note is not required.
Employee returns to work from illness or injury

Employees who have been on illness or injury leave prior to or during the COVID-19 pandemic will be expected to resume work at the point they are deemed fit for work (whether full duties or a gradual return to work). This includes working from home or onsite, as appropriate to the role or unit's circumstances. As per standard practice:

  • Homewood Health will contact both the staff member and manager/supervisor to advise whether the staff member is cleared for regular hours and duties.
  • A University return to work consultant will contact both the employee and manager/supervisor to help develop and implement a modified work plan if there are restrictions or limitations to hours or duties as part of a gradual return to work. 
Please email recovery@ualberta.ca if you have any questions.
Employee is directed to self-isolate by AHS; not ill
  • If the employee is already working from home, carry on as per your working remotely plan.
  • Consult your HR Partner for directions related to casual employees.
  • No sick note is required.
Employee has medical condition that increases risk
  • Discuss employee’s concern with empathy. Employees are not required to disclose their condition. 
  • Encourage employees to discuss concern with their physician. 
  • If the employee is still working on campus, discuss alternatives to modify work to decrease exposure. If modified duties are not appropriate, consider working from home.
Employee is concerned about getting COVID-19 by coming to work

The University of Alberta continues to act in accordance with the directions from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to limit in-person contact and protect against the spread of COVID-19. Many university employees are now working at home and students are receiving instruction remotely. 

The university remains open, and some staff are still required to report to our worksites and offices to sustain vital services. These staff may be concerned about their health and wellbeing while at work.

The Government of Alberta has recently published an information resource related to Respiratory Viruses and the Workplace.  Supervisors are encouraged to review this document and implement appropriate measures to protect their employees.

Hazard Identification and the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act gives employees obligations and rights associated with working safely. Supervisors are required to perform a written hazard assessment of their operations and control hazards to protect workers.  Employees are obligated to identify hazards to supervisors so that they are known and can be understood and controlled. These proactive, normal processes are required. Supervisors need to be open to discussing where hazards exist in the workplace and collaboratively make work safe.

If an employee expresses that they do not feel safe at work due to COVID-19:

  • Listen empathetically in a safe location. Seek to understand the nature of the concern from the employee.
  • In terms of COVID-19, there may be an identifiable risk in the workplace: a confirmed infection at the worksite, the worker may be immunocompromised (or have a family member who is), or the worker may be in one of the high-risk groups identified by Alberta Health Services (AHS). 
  • Speak to the employee about the steps that the University has taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With fewer people attending campuses, the risk of exposure at work has been significantly reduced. 
  • Discuss any additional actions to reduce the risk as outlined by AHS - frequent hand-washing, avoid touching your face, social distancing, and frequent cleaning of surfaces, tools and equipment. The employee may have some good ideas as well to minimize the risk.
  • A worker must be able to demonstrate that they have reasonable grounds to believe that their life is in danger before they can exercise their right to refuse unsafe work. 
  • If the employee does have reasonable grounds and wishes to exercise their right to refuse unsafe work, they must report to the supervisor immediately.  The supervisor shall work with Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) (ehs.info@ualberta.ca) and a member of the Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee (JWSHSC) to conduct an inspection of the worksite. The inspection may result in a better understanding of the concern and what steps could be taken to resolve it. 
  • Refusals to work that are not resolved through consultation with the Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committee can be referred to Alberta Labour and Immigration Occupational Health and Safety (ABLI-OHS).  
  • EHS will help supervisors and workers through this process and will liaise with the JWSHSC and ABLI-OHS as needed.
  • Employees have a right to be paid during the investigation of a work refusal and are not to be disciplined for exercising a right or responsibility under the OHS Act.  Employees may be assigned reasonable alternate work and other workers can be asked to perform the work (with some conditions). Consult with EHS before making any decision on alternate work or workers.
  • Supervisors should ensure that any work refusal is appropriately documented using the Work Refusal Record.

Additional resources:

For assistance, contact ehs.info@ualberta.ca. Please put “Work Refusal” in the subject line.

Returning from travel outside of Canada
  • Self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Discuss options for modified hours or duties.
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed

Alberta Health Services will alert the appropriate people as quickly as possible if a confirmed COVID-19 case is identified. 

The privacy and protection of an individual’s personal and health information continues to apply.  Managers and supervisors must not share the identity of any staff member who may be impacted (e.g., isolated, being tested, confirmed diagnosis, etc.). An individual may share their personal and/or health information with colleagues, and managers and supervisors may be in a position where many staff are already aware of a situation/individual, however, managers/supervisors are required to maintain privacy. 

Contact your HR Partner or Faculty Relations Officers for guidance.

Managing stress and anxiety
  • Maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor. Be empathetic and compassionate.
  • Share information as it becomes available. 
  • Counselling is available from the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) 24/7.
  • Over the next few weeks, EFAP will provide services over the phone in place of face-to-face counselling. This measure will be in place until the spread of the virus is contained.  
  • Encourage colleagues to read information about the virus from reputable resources like this website, the World Health OrganizationAlberta Health Services and the Government of Canada
HR forms

Human Resource Services is unable to accept paper forms while directed to work remotely. Scan or photograph completed forms and submit them by email:

We are accepting Pay Action Forms with physical and digital signatures and/or email approvals. Please ensure your approval indicates the name of the person and job action, for example: “I approve the attached hire form for James Smith” and the email must show the approval from the person responsible for approving the form.

Please share this with any employees who process forms.

Have more questions for HR?

Contact your HR Partner or Faculty Relations Officers for guidance. 

Use this form only if you are unable to find the answer from your manager/ supervisor, and the content provided above or elsewhere on this websiteWe’ll triage your questions and try to answer them as quickly as possible. 

COVID-19 Questions for Human Resource Services