Returning to work on campus

A phased return to working on our campuses has commenced. See the Safety Measures General Directives for guidance on a continued safe return.

A Phased Return

We’ve been away a long time. Beginning in August, life is going to return to our campuses in a big way. Research will be in full swing. Recreation facilities will be open. 80% of our students will prepare to return to in-person learning. All that activity will require staff on campus to support it.

The return to in-person work will be done in a way to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, and in accordance with applicable public health measures.

You will be notified that you will be returning to campus at least 30 days prior to your return date.

Research Ramp-Up (beginning July 2)

The return to full research activity on university campuses has. While physical distancing will not be required, mask wearing and hygiene routines will continue. A record of all staff working in the lab must be maintained for contact tracing purposes. Refer to the COVID-19 Response Information for Researchers and Research Groups for more information.

Critical Services (August 2021 to September 2021)

Roles that are critical to support the reintroduction of in-person activities will begin to return in early August, including staff who are engaged in direct support to students. Academic faculty, instructors, and others whose work supports learning activities will prepare for the return of students to in-person learning. Joining staff who have worked on our campuses throughout the pandemic, these returning faculty and staff will help to welcome our students back to campus life.

Selective Expansion (October 2021 to December 2021)

Through October to December, faculty/unit administrative staff may return to campus. In particular, staff whose work will be enhanced by in-person delivery of service to leaders, administrators, faculty, instructors, and fellow staff members will be invited to return.

Full Return (January 2022)

All remaining staff will return to on-campus work in January 2022, following the Winter Closure.

Staff Who Wish to Continue Working from Home

During the phased return to campus, employees may continue to work from home subject to administrative, operational, and academic program requirements. Speak to your supervisor about whether this could be an option.

A formal work from home program will be introduced this fall to align with the full return to campus in January 2022. Employees who wish to continue to work from home on an ongoing basis will be able to discuss with their manager or supervisor for consideration.

  • Applications will be assessed based on operational needs. Some roles may not be suitable for remote work and therefore excluded from eligibility.
  • All approved requests will include a trial period and a regular review schedule to ensure operational and employee needs are met.
  • There will be a requirement for occasional ongoing in-person presence in the workplace.
  • All work from home arrangements must be in compliance with collective agreements and legislation.
  • Guidelines for the program, including the application procedure, will be shared by the middle of August.

Staff Accommodations

Staff who are unable to return to in-person work, or require alternate work arrangements due to their own personal health conditions, may seek accommodation through the university’s medical accommodation processes.

Staff who require accommodation for reasons other than their own health (including residing with a person who may be at risk for health complications) can apply through the university’s standard non-medical accommodation process. Speak with your manager or supervisor.

Balancing work and personal responsibilities

Flexible Work Arrangements
The goal of the university is to support all employees in fulfilling their personal and work commitments during these uncertain times. If you need flexibility with your schedule in order to meet your personal or family obligations while working from home, talk to your manager or supervisor, department chair, or director.
Managing childcare or family caregiving
  • Consider all reasonable options for alternative family obligations; expect to outline what you have explored to your supervisor.
  • 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 at 811 for advice. 
  • Contact your supervisor to advise them of the reason for your absence. Discuss options for working from home 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.

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