Managing During COVID-19

Supervisors play a crucial role in keeping our campus community healthy and minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Encourage employees to stay home when they're unwell

By encouraging them to take care of themselves today, employees will be in better shape to accomplish their goals tomorrow.

Know what to do when an employee is ill

Follow this process, which walks you through what to do when employees are ill.

Stay informed about COVID-19

Find information on the university's response to COVID-19 including updates, campus safety, health, support and more.

Supporting the needs of faculty and staff

Supporting employees with caregiving responsibilities
Sudden changes brought on by the pandemic, such as caring for children who are directed to stay home from school or daycare or caring for family members who are sick, may temporarily impact an employee’s ability to work.

Transparency and communication are essential. Faculty and staff should be encouraged to identify their needs and express their concerns about balancing work and home life. By speaking openly and honestly about difficulties and worries, and frankly about operational needs, the staff member and manager will better understand the challenges each other face.

There are a number of ways you can support employees with caregiving responsibilities while continuing to meet operational needs. Transparency and communication are essential

  • Discuss options for temporary work from home arrangements
  • Flexible scheduling - Employees may be able to work early morning and/or late afternoon and evening, freeing them up to deal with parenting or other family responsibilities during the day. Explore whether the work can be done in “off-standard” hours.
  • Break up shifts - Maybe a staff member can work three hours in the morning, two in the afternoon, and make up the rest in the evenings or on weekends.
  • Job sharing - Can two or more employees share a job? Would this enable them to reduce their time working but stay connected to the job until they can resume regular hours?
  • Compressed work week - Some employees may opt to work longer days, enabling them to take one day off per week or every second week. This option may work well for parents of young children who don’t attend school every day.
  • Leave programs - You may apply leave provisions per the collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment (e.g., compassionate leave). An employee may wish to use available leave programs (vacation or leave of absence without pay) or use banked overtime to enable part-time work for a period of time.
Any modification to the regular work week as defined in a collective agreement may require consultation with the union. Contact your HR Service Partner if you are considering one of these flexible options.
Supporting employees staying home whose work cannot be done remotely
Employees may be directed to isolate for their own health, the health of someone they reside with or the health of the community. Employees whose work cannot be done remotely may be eligible to receive isolation pay.
Accommodations for medical or other reasons

If an employee develops a medical condition that impacts their ability to work on campus, or they require alternate work arrangements due to personal health conditions, they may seek temporary medical accommodations or permanent medical accommodations.

Work with your HR Service Partner if an employee requires alternate work arrangements for reasons other than their own health.

Managing vacation and carryforward

Although travel restrictions mean that employees may have to adjust their vacation plans, collective agreement provisions and university policies related to accrual, use, and carryforward of vacation continue to apply.

  • Support Staff - see UAPPOL policy about managing staff vacation
  • Management and Professional Staff (MAPS) can carry forward up to five days of vacation time. Excess time can be carried forward with written consent of the dean or vice-presidents.
  • For Administrative Professional Officers (APOs), Temporary Librarian and Professional Staff (TLAPS) and Trust/Research Academic Staff (TRAS), vacation carry-over must get the pre-approval of the vice-president (APO/TLAPS) or the appointing officer (TRAS). See the collective agreement for more details.
  • Academic Teaching Staff (ATS) in Career Status and T12 status appointments can carryforward vacation only after they have the dean’s consent.
  • Other categories of employees do not have vacation carryforward.
Carryforward requests and approvals must be granted before the end of the vacation year (June 30 for academic staff and MAPS). Each unit, faculty and department should assign a role to collect and submit a complete list of academic or management and professional staff with carryforward requests so they can be approved by the dean or vice-president.

Managing workplace changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us adjust the way we work. Employees who are required in-person to ensure successful operational delivery have now returned. Faculty and unit administrative staff may begin returning to campus according to their unit’s return to campus planning.

Managing the transition to in-person work

Managing staff working from home

Managing in a hybrid workplace

Accessing support

Managing during COVID-19 has been challenging. Support is available to help supervisors with work and personal concerns.


If you’re concerned about the mental health and well-being of a faculty or staff member due to worrisome or troubling behaviour, and they are not responding to your offers of support, consider contacting Helping Individuals at Risk (HIAR).