Working during COVID-19

Returning to campus 

Campus remains closed to the public for the Spring and Summer terms. Work for most employees must continue remotely to minimize the number of people on our campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about returning to campus. 

Working remotely 

Click here to review information and policies about working remotely.

Support you have access to 

With any change, it is normal to experience fear, stress, anxiousness, and worry. This has been an emotionally overwhelming time for many people. Stress can be compounded by a number of factors, notably physical or mental health challenges and financial strain.

You have access to 24/7 counselling through the university’s Employee and Family Assistance Program, as well as online resources and courses (resilience, taking control of stress, mindfulness, developing resilience, power of a positive attitude, maintaining good mental health).

Balancing work and personal responsibilities

Managing childcare

  • Consider all reasonable options for alternative childcare while daycares and schools are closed.
  • Discuss options with your supervisor for modified hours or duties, and if you are working on campus, discuss working from home.
  • If you are unable to work due to childcare or other family or personal responsibilities, you may use vacation accrual, banked time, or request leave without pay.

Caring for someone with COVID-19

  • Stay home and take all reasonable precautions to protect yourself while you care for the person. Contact Health Link 811 for advice. 
  • Contact your supervisor to advise them of the reason for your absence. If it is feasible, you may be directed to work from home fulfilling your own duties or alternate/modified duties. Discuss options with your supervisor.
  • Leave provisions as per the collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment (e.g., compassionate leave) will be applied.
  • You may use vacation accrual or banked time, or request leave without pay.
  • Employees without pay are encouraged to explore federal income support programs. 

What to do if you feel ill 

  • Stay home, complete the Alberta Health Services self assessment, and review information on the University COVID-19 site
  • Review the employee information about illness and sick leave
  • Stay in touch with your manager or supervisor.
  • If Alberta Health Services’ testing confirms that you have COVID-19 diagnosis, follow their instructions and advise your supervisor as required for illness leave. A medical note from your doctor is not required. 

Leave and Pay

Sabbaticals 

The University and the AASUA have worked together to develop these modified processes to address the impact of COVID-19 events on current and July 1, 2020 sabbatical leaves. If you have any questions, please contact fsrel@ualberta.ca or hremps@ualberta.ca. Requests approved by the Dean should be forwarded to hremps@ualberta.ca in order for approvals to be processed and appropriately documented.

Vacation and Vacation carryforward 

Although physical distancing and travel restrictions mean that employees may have to change upcoming vacation plans, collective agreement provisions and university policies related to accrual, use, and carryforward of vacation continue to apply. Carryforward requests and approvals must be granted before the end of the vacation year (June 30 for academic staff and MAPS).

How to get a record of employment (ROE) when temporarily laid off

Once your final pay is processed and payroll is confirmed, Human Resource Services will process your ROE and submit it to Service Canada. You can then access your record of employment by visiting the Government of Canada My Service Canada Account.

The Government of Canada is offering support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Employment Insurance in some circumstances.

Receiving pay

Refer to the Employee Leave and Pay Guidelines for information on pay continuance and leaves for each employee group during COVID-19. 

The Government of Canada is offering a Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Employment Insurance support in some circumstances.

  • Hourly employees (including those currently working and those who have been approved on a leave with pay): submit your timesheet on time every day to get paid.
  • Salaried employees: you will continue to receive your regular monthly payment if you are working. Enter any exception time (i.e., overtime, shift premium, standby by and/or call back) into your timesheet in PeopleSoft. Once approved by your manager or supervisor, it will be paid on the next available pay date.
  • Casual employees: if you are not working from home or campus and not ill or on an approved leave, you will be paid for all previously scheduled shifts up to March 31, 2020 unless otherwise authorized for longer by a department lead.
  • Grad students: 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.

Update your address, phone and email in BearTracks.

If the university does not have your direct deposit information on file, a cheque will be produced for you and sent via Canada Post to the mailing address on record. Use direct deposit to ensure your payment reaches you each period. We cannot guarantee continued operation of Canada Post during the nation’s COVID-19 response. Learn how to sign up for direct deposit.

Note for students and alumni: direct deposit information is found in two places in Bear Tracks: the Employees section and the Financials section. You must be enrolled in direct deposit in the Employees section to receive your wages, salaries or graduate scholarship payments.

Information for foreign nationals

If you are applying to change the conditions of your work permit (e.g., transferring to a new position in the university), follow these instructions from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to complete this form. Completing this form may allow you to begin working in your new position before your work permit application is reviewed by IRCC. 

Make sure you copy and paste the provided IRCC message that applies to your situation in the “Your enquiry” section of the form. You can find the IRCC messages in Step 2: Fill out the IRCC Web form on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

You will need to upload the invitation letter from the university, along with the submission confirmation letter from your online work permit extension submission. 

Within 10 business days, you should receive a letter of authorization from IRCC allowing you to start work immediately. 

How to extend resident status

If you are already residing in Canada and your temporary resident status is about to expire, you can apply for an extension to keep your status. To extend your resident status, you must: 

  • Have the correct documents to support your extension application (scholarships/awards, job offers, Labour Market Impact Assessments, etc.)
  • Apply online, meet all the requirements, and pay the associated fees—your supervisor will need to complete a Foreign Visitor Category Assessmentto obtain the correct supporting documents from the university.

If you applied before the expiry date of your current permit and your extension application is currently in process, you will have implied status and can remain in Canada until a decision is reached on your application.

If you have foreign nationals in this situation, please contact Immigration Services, Human Resource Services at immigration.services@ualberta.ca.

Extend or change the conditions on your work permit

If you have a work permit that is about to expire, and you wish to extend or make changes to it, you must apply before your current permit expires for the extension/changes to be processed. You cannot extend your work permit beyond your passport’s expiry date.

More information about specific situations can be found on the IRCC Coronavirus Special Measures webpage.