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Resources for City staff

Update from the Mayor - March 20, 2020

Dear City of Ottawa colleagues,

I know many of you have been working around the clock to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that is now facing our community. Many of you are making sacrifices in these challenging times.

I wanted to take a few minutes to offer my sincere gratitude for your incredible service to our residents and our city.

Please watch this video – and know that I am speaking on behalf of City Council and all our residents when I say thank you for all you’re doing to keep us safe.



Update from the City Manager - March 25, 2020

Earlier today, Mayor Watson declared a state of emergency in Ottawa in response to the increasing spread of COVID-19 in our community.

By declaring a state of emergency, we will be in a better position to make decisions even more quickly in this rapidly evolving situation and deploy our emergency operations in a nimble fashion. It will also make our procurement process more flexible to expedite the purchase of much-needed personal protective equipment for our frontline workers and first responders. Finally, it will help us to mobilize quickly should we need to respond to spring flooding.

As the Mayor mentioned today, we’ve been preparing for all scenarios and he has declared a state of emergency to ensure we have all the tools available to protect our healthcare workers, our people and our community.

This declaration aligns with the Province’s announcement earlier this week to expand Ontario’s state of emergency to close all non-essential services, while encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. Here at the City, our people continue to provide essential, front-line and emergency services. We are also adapting to deliver service in new and different ways by working remotely where possible.

I want to express once again how proud I am of all of you for demonstrating such resiliency during this challenging and stressful time. You have been adapting to this changing situation with professionalism and positivity. This morning at Council, the Mayor and Members of Council expressed their gratitude for the exceptional efforts of our people to continue delivering the best possible service to our residents and most vulnerable. I know it hasn’t been easy, but I want you to know that the work you are doing is deeply appreciated.

I encourage you to continue checking Ottawa Public Health’s website regularly to stay healthy and updated on the evolving COVID-19 situation in our community, and for the latest information on the City’s response including resources for employees.

We all have an important role to play in this emergency. On behalf of the senior leadership team, thank you for everything you are doing to keep our community safe and healthy.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

Update from the City Manager - March 19, 2020

This past week, we’ve seen a very quick escalation from all levels of government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the Federal Government’s announcement to close our country’s borders, the Province of Ontario declaring a state of emergency, and our own senior leadership team making the decision to close our City facilities to the public and make significant changes to in-person services.

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank each one of you for quickly adapting to this constantly evolving situation and doing everything possible to help slow the curve of the spread of the virus to protect each other and the community.

I know you’re all doing everything you can to continue to provide the best service possible in challenging circumstances. Our Emergency Operations team, together with colleagues from each department, have been working day and night to keep on top of the latest information so the organization can take quick action to respond to the latest developments. Many of you have re-arranged your homes to create make-shift offices while caring for your children and loved ones. Others have had to quickly adapt to provide service in new, alternative ways. And, so many of you continue to provide essential front-line and emergency services our community depends on.

I’m incredibly proud of our people, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your unwavering commitment to continue to serve the people of Ottawa during these unprecedented times. I appreciate each and every one of you, and the important contribution you are making.

Here are some of the latest actions we’ve taken as an organization to support you and the community:

Keeping you informed

  • We are committed to keeping all employees informed during this time of uncertainty

  • A new web page has been created on for all employees that includes my latest updates and links to important resources and supports

  • I encourage you to continue visiting Ottawa Public Health for all the latest information on the current situation in Ottawa, protection, travel and self-isolation requirements, and physical (social) distancing

Preparing for the long term

  • We expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be a prolonged emergency

  • The senior leadership team is focused on preparing for the future by building business continuity and contingency plans to ensure the continued health and safety of our people, and to maintain our services as best as possible

  • Activities to enable essential service providers to work remotely, including purchasing laptops and ensuring access to work applications, are underway
  • A longer-term strategy to augment access to all City tools from home is currently being developed
    • A reminder that VPN access is not required to connect to Office 365 products
    • All City email can be accessed directly on any web browser from any device using
    • Please visit the City’s O365 website for self-help videos, FAQs and other information about the O365 apps
    • To limit network congestion, please stagger the use of VPN during peak business hours
  • During this time of physical (social) distancing, we encourage you to support one another and find creative ways to stay virtually connected
  • A simple acknowledgement, video chat or phone call goes a long way

Update on self-isolation

  • The self-isolation instructions vary for each person’s situation

  • Please consult Ottawa Public Health for the latest self-isolation instructions

Supports for the community

  • Caring for our most vulnerable
    • A human services task force has been created by the Community and Social Services team that includes City departments and key community partners to plan for future scenarios including food, housing, shelter and psychosocial supports, and to coordinate information, service changes, emerging issues and needs
  • Tax deferrals
    • The City is proposing a property tax relief package for residents and small businesses that are financially impacted by COVID-19
    • If approved at City Council on March 25, the City will offer a new 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral program to assist affected small businesses and extend the interim property and final property tax deadlines of March 19 and June 18, to Friday, October 30, 2020The City will also grant all property owners a grace period for payment of their interim tax bill – extending the current March 19 deadline to Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  • Supporting our small businesses
    • An economic partners task force has been created to find ways to support our small businesses, restaurants, tourism operations and special events, as well as the tens of thousands of workers who rely on these jobs to feed their families
    • This taskforce will be responsible for advising City staff in many departments on how we can help the business community as this pandemic evolves

Other ways you can help

  • Because all blood drives are cancelled due to physical (social) distancing, Canadian Blood Services is looking for blood donations - donating blood in Canada continues to be safe

  • Keep checking in with neighbours and friends who may be vulnerable, overwhelmed, lonely or in need of help

I want to close by saying that the actions the City has taken to date in response to this unprecedented emergency makes us a leader in the province. I want to thank the General Managers and the extended senior leadership team for making significant business decisions and taking swift action to protect our most important asset of all: you, our people.

Our priority hasn’t changed—we’re committed to supporting all of you and minimizing risk to your health and safety while maintaining services for our residents. Our community depends on it. We’re all in this together as One City, One Team and we need everyone to do their part to keep our city healthy and moving, while providing support to those who need it most.

Having said that, I know many of you are working around the clock. Working during an emergency can lead to burnout, so remember to check in on how you’re feeling and talk to your manager if you have concerns. I’d also like to remind you that resources are available to you and your immediate family members through our new Employee and Family Assistance Program. This new service now offers online and over-the-phone counselling services, which is ideal during this time of physical (social) distancing.

Our response to this emergency isn’t going to be a sprint, it’s a marathon. So, please take care of yourself and each other. Thank you again for all that you do each day to provide service to our residents. I am so proud to be part of this incredible team.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

Update from the City Manager - March 17, 2020

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly and this morning, Premier Doug Ford announced a State of Emergency. The Premier was clear that this isn’t a provincial shutdown and essential services residents need will continue to be provided. At the City, we have an important role to play in continuing to deliver these services.

Essential and emergency services continue

The City will continue to resource essential services such as:

  • Emergency first responders including fire, paramedics and public health staff
  • Front-line communications for 9-1-1 emergency services, Ottawa Public Health, Revenue and 3-1-1 call centres
  • Social assistance services
  • Key assets, public works and operations such as water services, road and traffic services and snow clearing
  • Front-line workers who serve our most vulnerable in the community including long-term care
  • Transit services will be running on a regular schedule to allow for physical (social) distancing
  • Garbage and recycling collection
  • By-law services
  • Fire investigations and inspections for complaints and licenses
  • Community Paramedic program

Closures and cancellations

  • Effective end of day today:
    • The main foyer at City Hall will remain open to the public, however access to staff work areas will be closed
    • The Mary Pitt Centre, Ben Franklin Place and the City of Ottawa Landfill Site at Trail Road will be closed to the public
    • All counter services will be closed to the public, but we will continue to deliver services through alternate channels where available
    • All municipally run daycares will be closed
  • Access to long-term care homes is restricted to essential visitors only and screening remains in place for all who enter
  • Court services at the Provincial Offences Act courthouse located at 100 Constellation Drive are closed until April 3
  • All on-street overtime parking, signed or unsigned, will no longer be enforced on residential streets until further notice

Protecting front-line workers

In addition to implementing the above closures to allow for increased physical (social) distancing, we have implemented additional measures to protect front-line staff including:

  • Rear-door boarding on all OC Transpo buses and installation of caution tape to separate the operator cab and accessible seating areas from the rest of the bus
  • Increased cleaning of all high-traffic areas and touch points at City-owned buildings, buses, trains, stations and Para Transpo vehicles
  • Eliminating direct face-to-face interactions with clients by moving to online, phone, mail and email support for several service areas
  • Limiting access to Public Works and Environmental Services facilities to staff that are essential to the delivery of services

Your senior leadership team continues to review opportunities to reduce face-to-face interaction where possible.

Supports for staff

  • Please remember that the Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to support you, your family and your team during this time
  • For those who are able to work from home, please remember that demand on VPN will be high, so use Office 365 as much as possible when working offsite
  • For all the latest information on protection, travel requirements, physical (social) distancing please visit

Sustaining our service

On behalf of the senior leadership team, I want to personally thank everyone for quickly adapting to new and different ways of working during this rapidly evolving and challenging time. I also want to thank all our front-line staff who continue to show their incredible commitment to delivering the critical services our residents rely on 24/7. Thank you for keeping us healthy, safe and moving during a time when our community needs it most.

I also want to thank everyone who has been working on this fast-paced issue, which has been changing like nothing we’ve seen before.

You are all doing amazing work under challenging circumstances and I am proud of the innovation, resilience and dedication all our people are showing during this stressful time.

We will continue to work on understanding how the changing situation will affect us and our work and we are committed to keeping you informed.

Thank you for continuing to support each other.

Steve Kanellakos

City Manager

General information about COVID-19

Where do I go for the latest information about the current situation in Ottawa?

The Ottawa Public Health website features the most current updates about the evolving situation in Ottawa. Please check the website regularly for changing information and tips for staying healthy.

Where do I go for the latest information about the current situation in Quebec?

The Official website of the Gouvernement du Québec has published information about COVID-19. Please check the website regularly for changing information and tips for staying healthy.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure.

How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread either directly from person to person or indirectly by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus. It is not spread through airborne transmission.

Do I have to come to work?

We need employees to continue to work to deliver the important services that residents rely on. Managers will work with employees to explore whether alternate work arrangements are available.

Can I work from my regular work location instead of at home?

The situation is evolving constantly. Please speak to your manager to determine whether you are able to access your regular work location.

Can I refuse to serve a customer who I suspect is ill?

You can continue to serve clients without putting yourself at risk. Practice physical (social) distancing and other precautions recommended by Ottawa Public Health. You can also ask the client to step back one to two meters while you serve them.

I am concerned that I am at risk of getting sick while at work or on the way to work. What are my options?

Speak with your manager or supervisor to learn what measures are in place to ensure safety in the workplace. You should also check the Ottawa Public Health website and follow their recommended precautions. You can also speak to your manager or supervisor about alternate work arrangements, including work from home and flexible work hours where possible.

What do I do if I believe a coworker is ill?

Speak to your manager, who will assess the situation.

Should I wear a mask while at work or around other people?

Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health does not recommend wearing surgical masks or respirators if you are well. Frontline health service providers, such as paramedics and long-term care home nurses, may wear them under specific circumstances and in line with established protocols. 

Will there be changes to our medical coverage in Canada as a result of COVID-19?

Employees are advised to visit the Canada Life website for up-to-date information on coverage. Canada Life has shared that the best way to stay informed as a plan member is to be signed up for GroupNet for Plan Members.  

I rely on public transportation to get to work and I know that ridership is low. What changes can I expect as it pertains to O-Train, bus, and Para Transpo service?

Service level adjustments will begin to roll out starting Wednesday, March 25. Please note the individual start dates for different modes:

Conventional Bus

As of Monday, March 30:

    • Service will continue to be provided in all neighbourhoods;
    • Weekday service will move to Saturday service levels on many routes;
    • Many routes which normally operate only on weekdays will continue to run, but at modified service levels;
    • Rural weekly Shopper services will continue as usual
    • The first trip in the morning will be later than usual on many routes;
    • Saturday and Sunday service will operate as usual; and,
    • Complete schedules and details of impacts to specific routes will be available later on

O-Train Line 1 the Confederation Line

As of Friday, March 27:

    • On Friday, service will run until 1 am on Saturday morning (overnight bus service will be available);
    • Otherwise, service start, and end times will remain the same;
    • Trains will arrive every 6 to 8 minutes at peak periods and every 10 to 16 minutes at other times of the day and on weekends
    • The number of dedicated R1 buses is being reduced to align with changed service levels on Line 1; and,
    • Staffing levels of the red vested O-Train Ambassadors have been scaled back.

O-Train Line 2 - The Trillium Line

As of Wednesday, March 25:

    • Trains will arrive every 15 minutes at all times during the service period;
    • Service start and end times will remain the same; and,
    • As we have done on our buses and Line 1 trains to protect the health of our operators and customers, we will be installing tape on Line 2 trains to block the area closest to the operator cab from the rest of the train.

Para Transpo

As of Tuesday March 24:

    • Para Transpo volumes are currently low and are being managed; and,
    • All trip requests are being accommodated.

I am feeling very anxious about the current situation. Is there anyone I can talk to?

Dealing with family members, clients and colleagues during a pandemic can be very stressful. You may be worried about your health and the health of those you care about, while also wanting to provide excellent service to your clients. If you have concerns about how you are coping, speak with your family physician or a mental health professional.

The Employee and Family Assistance Program is available to provide support to you and your eligible family members by phone, online and video counselling.

Contact the provider at 1-844-880-9142 (TTY: 1-877-338-0275), through the My EAP app (available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry) or on

How can I reduce stress during these unprecedented times?

The Employee and Family Assistance Program has identified nine helpful ways to reduce stress in stressful times:

  1. Find ways to unwind your body and mind. Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, or any relaxing activity that you enjoy can help.
  2. Get moving regularly, whether it's a stroll at lunch or a yoga class after work. Exercise is good for your mind, body and spirit!
  3. Think positively. Situations may be out of our control, but we can control how we react to them.
  4. Eat regular, balanced meals. A good diet will keep your energy levels consistent and improve your ability to handle stress.
  5. Set reasonable boundaries for yourself. Think like a marathon runner, not a sprinter. If you are feeling exhausted or overwhelmed, speak to your manager or supervisor.
  6. Accept change and acknowledge the possibility that your day may not unfold as you imagined.
  7. Reach out to the people you feel close to. Even in times of social distancing we need to feel supported. Call or use video chat to stay in touch with those who matter to you.
  8. Accept the help of others and share your responsibilities and priorities at work and at home.
  9. Find the funny side if you can. Laughing is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to reduce stress.

What to do if I’m not feeling well

I did not travel abroad and have not had direct exposure to someone with COVID-19, but I’m starting to feel sick. What do I do?

Stay away from the workplace if you are unwell. You may work at home or submit sick leave.

I’m a health care provider. What should I do if I’m feeling unwell?

All employees should be self-monitoring for any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If you are feeling unwell – fatigue, sore throat, cough or fever – please heed the advice we have been giving residents. Stay home, rest and self-isolate. If your symptoms persist or worsen, you should consider going to your health care provider or the COVID-19 Assessment Centre for further assessment. If you do go to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, please be sure to convey to them that you are a health care worker. It is also important to check in with your supervisor, or occupational health team prior to your return.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

If you are having difficulty breathing or experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and travel history.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever, new cough, difficulty breathing or a combination of these symptoms
  • Muscle aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, runny nose or diarrhea
  • Symptoms in young children may be non-specific, like lethargy and poor feeding

And have experienced any of the following:

  • You travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
  • Someone you are in close contact with, such as someone in your household or workplace, was diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • You have been in close contact with someone who is sick with respiratory symptoms, fever, cough or difficulty breathing and recently travelled outside of Canada

Call your primary care provider, like your family doctor, or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to get a clinical assessment for COVID-19 over the phone. Let them know that you have used this self-assessment tool. Most COVID-19 cases are mild. A clinician will determine whether you need further care or testing.

If your symptoms get worse, please visit your local emergency department. Call before you go and let them know you have used this self-assessment tool.

If none of the above applies to you, it is unlikely that you have COVID-19. You should:

  • Continue to monitor your health for 14 days after your return to Ontario or after you have been in contact with someone who is ill. If you develop any new symptoms, please seek clinical assessment for COVID-19.
  • Learn more about self-monitoring.

If you start to feel worse or have questions or concerns about your health, call Ottawa Public Health at 1-866-426-8885, your primary care provider, like your family doctor or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

If an employee receives a positive test result, will OPH be notified and do they have a protocol to notify potentially impacted coworkers?

Ottawa Public Health works closely with each confirmed case of COVID-19 to create a list of close contacts that require follow-up. If you have been contacted by Ottawa Public Health, follow the advice provided to you by the nurse. If you have not been contacted by Ottawa Public Health, please do not assume that you are a close contact. Continue to take social distancing and other precautions and, if needed based on the guidance on, follow self-isolation or testing directions

Who is considered a close contact?

According to OPH, a close contact of a case of COVID-19 is someone who has lived with, provided care for, or spent longer periods of time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Case and contact management is a role of public health to help identify who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case. OPH will contact you directly if you have been identified as a close contact.

How will I be informed if a co-worker has tested positive for COVID-19? Do I need to self isolate?

Public Health will work with the employee to identify other people who may have come into contact with them through meetings, venues, or workplace location. If you have had close contact (spent time within 2 metre radius) with the person you may need to take additional precautions and will be contacted by OPH. If you are at risk you will be given instructions by OPH on self isolation. OPH will communicate environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendation with the your General Manager or Director.


What is the difference between self-isolation and physical (social) distancing?

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. When self-isolating, do not attend activities or gatherings where you may come in close contact with other people. This includes work, school and university, public transport (plane, bus, taxi, carpool), health care facilities, faith-based facilities (church, synagogue, mosque), grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, sporting events, concerts and birthday parties. Ask friends to drop off groceries and supplies or use a delivery or pick-up service.

Physical (social) distancing means avoiding close contact with other people to avoid catching the virus or passing it on. Phyiscal (social) distancing involves limiting the number of people you come into close contact with by avoiding non-essential trips in the community and maintaining a distance of one to two meters from other people.

What does self-isolate or self-monitor mean?

Public Health Ontario has published helpful guides for people who are in self-isolation or who are advised to self-monitor.

When should I self-isolate?

Self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon return from any international travel, or if you live with, provide care for or have spent extensive time with someone who:

  • has tested positive for COVID-19
  • is suspected to have COVID-19
  • has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada

If you are asked to self-isolate but are not ill or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, ask your manager if you can work from home.

If you live with someone who is in self-isolation due to travel, has no symptoms and has not tested positive or is not suspected to have COVID-19, you do not need to self-isolate. If the person who is in self-isolation starts to have symptoms within 14 days of travel, you would then need to self-isolate.

I am not feeling sick but I have been asked to self-isolate. What should I do? 

Please inform your manager or supervisor immediately if a medical professional directed you to self-isolate. If you are not feeling sick or are only experiencing mild symptoms, you can work from home. If you can work from home, you do not need to submit sick leave or other types of leave.

What if I have been asked to self-isolate but I cannot work from home? 

If you must self-isolate but cannot work from home, please contact your manager or supervisor. You may be eligible for paid leave, depending on your circumstances.

Do I need to submit a self-certification form if I need to go on isolation leave?

No, a self-certification form is not required. Employees should use their regular time and leave process to report their absence and submit for paid Isolation Leave using payroll code 6090.

Leave Requests

My children’s school or daycare has been shut down for two weeks following March break. What are my leave options? Will I still get paid?

We need employees to continue to work to deliver important services. Work with your manager to explore alternate work arrangements and flexible hours to accommodate child-care needs.

If other arrangements cannot be made, ask your manager about your eligibility for Emergency leave.

What is Emergency Leave?

A new paid leave code, titled Emergency Leave, has been created to assist employees up until April 5, 2020, while school and child-care closures are in effect. Emergency Leave will be granted to an employee when alternate work arrangements (i.e. work from home, flexible hours) are not operationally feasible, and the employee has exhausted all child-care alternatives. An employee must discuss with their supervisor / manager before applying for this leave. Employees should use their regular time and leave process to report this absence. Availability of Emergency Leave after April 5, should there be extended school and child-care closures, is being reviewed by senior leadership.

What type of leave can I use if my child or a family member is sick and I need to stay home to care for them?

If you need to take care of a sick child or family member, you may use special leave (if applicable), vacation, time off in lieu or leave without pay. You may be entitled to legislative leave under the Employment Standards Act or the Canada Labour Code. For more information, please refer to Leave of Absence Procedures for Provincially Regulated Employees and Leave of Absence Procedures for Federally Regulated Employees, or contact the HR Service Centre at ext. 47411.

If I have a compromised immune system and don’t feel comfortable going into work, what should I do?

Wherever possible, employees will be supported to work from home or offered accommodations which include but are not limited to alternate work arrangements or flexible working hours. A combination of work from home and alternate work location/hours could also be explored. If these options are not feasible, managers will work with employees to explore leave options such as, IPP, vacation, special leave, leave of absence etc. according to their applicable Collective Agreement.

Can I use sick leave if I am not feeling well?

You should stay home and submit IPP or sick leave. This includes if you have mild symptoms and working from home is not operationally feasible.

Will I be required to provide a doctor’s note when I am on sick leave due to COVID-19 or suspicion of COVID-19?

No. The current self-declaration process for sick leave is being extended to all employee groups. You may submit up to ten consecutive days using the revised Sick Leave Self-Declaration Form, located on Ozone. Employees should use their regular time and leave process to report their absence and also forward the self-declaration from to the appropriate party below for processing:

Can I cancel my vacation time because of the restrictions on travel?

Contact your supervisor or manager to change your vacation approvals.

What happens to my remaining vacation days if I have to return early from vacation and self-isolate?

You will be offered alternate work arrangements (work from home, flexible work hours) and you can reverse any unused vacation days. If you cannot work from home, your unused vacation days will be reversed, and you will be paid Isolation Leave.

If I’m stranded outside of Canada and unable to secure a flight home, what are my leave options?

Employees who are directly affected by travel restrictions related to COVID-19 and cannot reasonably be expected to travel back to Ontario are entitled to a leave of absence without pay under the new amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 relating to infectious disease emergencies. This leave would last as long as the employee cannot work because they cannot come back to Ontario and the infectious disease is still designated by the regulations. The usual protections granted to employees on Employment Standards Act, 2000 leaves apply including, for example, continuation of certain benefits during the leave if the employee continues to pay their portion of the premiums. Should you wish to be paid while you are away, you may use any paid leave options that you have available (vacation, TOIL), etc. When you do return, you may be eligible for Isolation Leave if you are unable to work remotely.


What do I do if I require an accommodation?

Contact your manager to develop an accommodation plan.


Will I be covered under the current benefits plan if I become sick while travelling?

Prior to travelling, contact Canada Life at 1-855-222-4051 or visit

What do I do when I return from international travel?

Upon returning from international travel, including the United Sates, you must self isolate for 14 days. Review the latest guidance for those who have travelled outside Canada and check in with your manager or supervisor immediately upon your return and before returning to work.

What do I do if I’ve returned from international travel in the past 14 days but have since returned to work?

Notify your manager or supervisor immediately. You must self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days since returning from your international travel. For example: If you returned from international travel five days ago and went to work for the past three days, you must self-isolate for nine days.

What happens if my spouse has returned from international travel and is required to self-isolate? Do I also have to self-isolate?

If your spouse is in self-isolation due to travel and has no symptoms, has not tested positive for COVID-19 and is not suspected to have COVID-19, then you do not need to self-isolate. If your spouse starts to have symptoms within 14 days of travel, then you need to self-isolate.

Preparing to Work Remotely

Will I need to use VPN while working from home? What if I cannot connect to VPN?

VPN is required to access certain resources and tools, such as SAP, Ozone and time and leave submissions. If you do not need VPN to do your work, please do not use it so other City employees can. The VPN cannot accommodate all employees at the same time, so only connect to VPN when you need access to one of the tools listed above.

Access to SharePoint and all Office 365 products, including Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive and OneNote, is available on using any device without VPN. If you are new to working from home, familiarize yourself with accessing while off the network.

If you do not have access to VPN or are unable to connect, please contact your manager or supervisor.

What tips do you have to help me work from home?

  • Use Office 365 to limit your need for VPN.
  • Move any critical files to SharePoint or your desktop to minimize your need for VPN to access the shared drive.
  • Look at your calendar and consider if any meetings can be done on Teams or over the phone.
  • Watch a how-to video to learn more about Teams.
  • Check your emails frequently for updates


My collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment do not provide paid sick leave or special leave. If I have to be away from work due to a personal emergency or sickness, what leave provisions do I have?

If you are covered under the Employment Standards Act or the Canada Labour Code, you may be eligible for legislated leave. Please refer to Leave of Absence Procedures for Provincially Regulated Employees and Leave of Absence Procedures for Federally Regulated Employees or contact the HR Service Centre at ext. 47411.

If I have contracted COVID-19 and do not have any available sick leave, how should my time away from work be coded?

Employees should work with their Managers to review other available leave options.

What happens if I am sent home or my normal workplace is closed?

Where it is necessary to close facilities, employees may be redeployed or advised to report to an alternate work location.

How do I submit timesheets if I’m working from home?

Email a photo or scan of your timesheet to your manager or supervisor. They will submit your time to payroll.

How do I request a Record of Employment?

Your manager can contact Payroll at ext. 28484 or

If you are a part-time recreation and culture employee in the Recreation, Cultural & Facilities Services Department, you can request it yourself from Payroll.

Records of Employment are generated and sent electronically to Service Canada for processing. You must create an online account with Service Canada to apply for benefits.

Is there any employment insurance relief for employees who must self-isolate?

The Federal Government has indicated that it is putting income protection measures in place to assist those who have been affected by the COVID-19 situation. Please ensure you visit the Service Canada site for information on the program and on any qualification requirements.