Last updated: February 28, 2022*New/updated information in red
Masks - Updated Feb 28/22
- Do I have to wear a mask in my workplace?
On February 28, employees in government workplaces are no longer required to wear masks in indoor public spaces unless there is a specific Occupational Health and Safety requirement for a specific occupation/work activity. Employees may continue wearing a mask if they choose based on their own personal risk assessment.
- When the mask mandate ends, can I still wear a mask?
Yes. Employees may continue wearing a mask if they choose based on their own personal risk assessment.
- Do I have to wear a mask when travelling with co-workers in a CVA?
Employees are not required to wear a mask in a CVA unless a ministry-specific policy is in place for work activities that require PPE based on a hazard assessment. Employees can still choose to wear a mask at any time. If an employee has any concerns regarding traveling with other employees, they should consult their manager. Managers may authorize employees to take their own vehicle at their own expense.
Self-isolation - Updated Feb 28/22
- Will self-isolation continue to be a requirement for positive cases?
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 either on a rapid antigen or PCR test, it remains the recommendation that you self-isolate for five days from the date of test or 24 hours since any fever has resolved (without the aid of fever-reducing medications) and all other symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later. Notify your contacts so that they may self-monitor or test. Employees who test positive but are asymptomatic (have no symptoms), it is recommended that you stay home for five days to limit potential asymptomatic transmission. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for public health recommendations.
- What if I test positive for COVID-19 on a rapid test?
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 either on a rapid antigen or PCR test, it remains the recommendation that you self-isolate for five days from the date of test or 24 hours since any fever has resolved (without the aid of fever-reducing medications) and all other symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later. Notify your contacts so that they may self-monitor or test. Employees who test positive but are asymptomatic (have no symptoms), it is recommended that you stay home for five days to limit potential asymptomatic transmission. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for public health recommendations. Managers and employees can work together to determine the most appropriate work arrangement for the situation, which may include working from home rather than accessing a sick day. Managers can contact their HR Business Partners.
- Do I need to ask for a medical note if an employee is sick?
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 can access sick leave credits and do not need to provide a medical note. Managers are required to access Be At Work Program if an employee requires a medical leave or sick leave absence for more than five consecutive workdays or shifts. Managers can contact their HR Business Partners for further guidance.
- What if I test negative on a test, but I have symptoms?
Employees who test negative on a rapid test but still have symptoms, should stay home until your symptoms are improving for at least 48 hours, even if you have multiple negative rapid tests. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for public health recommendations.
- What happens if there is a positive case in the workplace?
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should follow public health recommendations. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for public health recommendations. Managers and employees can work together to determine the most appropriate work arrangement for the situation, which may include working from home rather than accessing a sick day. Managers can contact their HR Business Partners. Refer to the Positive Cases in the Workplace document for more information.
- What if an employee comes to work exhibiting symptoms of illness?
If an employee is exhibiting symptoms consistent with flu or cold, they can be directed to go home, either to work from home or on approved sick leave. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for public health recommendations
- Where can I find self-administered rapid antigen test kits?
Rapid Antigen Testing Kits are available to the general public free of charge through participating local distribution centres throughout the province.
- How can I continue to protect myself and others?
Living with COVID means assessing your personal risk and using available preventative measures to reduce the risk to yourself and those you care for. Information on self-monitoring, self-isolating and self-managing is available at saskatchewan.ca/covid-19. Public health continues to encourage residents to take the preventative measures that have proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including including wearing a mask if needed, taking advantage of free rapid testing, regular handwashing, staying home when ill, and getting vaccinated, including your third/booster dose. Refer to Living with COVID on Saskatchewan.ca.
What if employees who are required to self-isolate in accordance with public health guidelines don't have sick leave credits available?
Employees may request other forms of paid leave, e.g., vacation, banked time, SDOs. Employees may also draw on future sick leave credits. When sick leave is exhausted employees would use leave without pay or request a leave of absence
Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test/COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Policy Ended - Feb 16/22
- When is the health order and policy ending?
The provincial requirement to provide proof of vaccination or negative tests in Saskatchewan businesses, workplaces and other public venues ended Monday, February 14 and the Government of Saskatchewan's PS 820-COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Policy has been discontinued and no longer in effect.
- When does self-declaration or negative testing end?
Effective February 14, 2022, Executive Government employees will no
longer be required to self-declare their vaccination status in PSC Client or
provide proof of a negative test every seven days.
- Who does this apply to?
This applies to all Government of Saskatchewan ministry, Treasury Board Crown and agency employees.
- What happens to my self-declaration information in PSC Client?
The self-declaration of vaccination function in PSC Client has been turned off and the information is longer be accessible to employees or managers. The records will be destroyed in accordance with the Guidelines for the Management of Transitory Records. Employee health information is confidential and will be respected and protected at all times in accordance with The Health Information Protection Act.
- Do new employees still need to self-declare?
Effective February 14, 2022, new employees do not need to self-declare their vaccination status or provide proof of a negative test every seven days.
- Do these changes apply to people working in Government workplaces, such as contractors, volunteers, unpaid work placements, JSGS interns, secondments from external agencies?
Yes. Effective February 14, 2022, these individuals do not need to self-declare their vaccination status or provide proof of a negative test every seven days.
Employee Support Programs and Services - New Feb 16/22
- What if I have COVID-related stress because of changes in the workplace?
As we shift to living with COVID, this may cause stress and anxiety for some employees. For personal mental health support, contact the EFAP by phone at 1-844-880-9142 or on the LifeWorks website (login with username: gos password: efap).
- As a manager, how can I support my employees through these COVID changes?
There are resources you can access to help support employee wellbeing in the workplace. Refer to the resources and information available in the Living with COVID: Considerations for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and complete the Risk Assessment Worksheet to help identify needs and solutions to address them. There are also resources available in the Healthy Workplace Library. Managers/supervisors have access to confidential clinical consultation for sensitive workplace concerns. EFAP provides supervisors/managers with access to confidential clinical consultation for sensitive employee or workplace situations. To access call EFAP at 1-844-880-9142, following the language prompt, select 1 to speak with a counsellor.
- What does fully vaccinated mean?
For the purposes of “fully vaccinated” according to the proof of vaccination/negative requirements under the current Public Health Order, you are fully vaccinated 14 days following the second dose in a two-dose series and 14 days following a single dose series (Janssen). All residents eligible for booster/third doses are encouraged to receive them as soon as they are eligible to provide the best protection against serious COVID-19 outcomes. COVID-19 Vaccine details are available on Saskatchewan.ca.
- What if I'm not fully vaccinated?
Employees who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to get vaccinated. Vaccination availability information is available on Saskatchewan.ca.
- Can I book a vaccine appointment during work hours?
The Government of Saskatchewan has amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to allow for paid time off from work for an employee to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Employees are entitled to three consecutive hours leave during work hours to receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Employees must work with their manager to arrange a mutually acceptable time to ensure operational requirements are met. It is important for managers to be flexible and support employees' access to vaccinations. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.
- Does the three hours of paid leave count for my second or additional vaccination dose?
The three hours of paid time is for one dose of the vaccine. If you did not use the paid time for your first dose, you may use it for your second or an additional dose.
- How do I code my legislated paid time away to get my vaccination?
Employees should code their time for one dose the same as they would for regular time (RT). There is no timecode or time tracking for employees to receive one dose of the vaccination.
- I didn't use my three hours for my vaccination, can I use if to take my child to get vaccinated?
No. The Government of Saskatchewan amended The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2020, to allow for paid time off from work for an employee to get one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and that time does not extend to others. Employees may request family leave, if they have credits available, VL or other leave provisions.
- If I've already used my three hours of paid leave, what kind of leave do I use for my second or additional vaccination dose?
Employees can use sick leave entitlements to receive their second or additional vaccinations if they've already accessed the legislated paid leave for their first dose. You can code your time as Sick Leave - Medical Appointment (SSL-MA). Employees are encouraged to get vaccinated. It is important for managers to be flexible and support employees' access to vaccinations.
- Can I accompany others to their appointment?
If an employee needs to accompany someone to their vaccination appointment, they should have a conversation with their manager and use appropriate leave time.
- Is the air in my building safe?
The air quality for government buildings meets the Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) standards as prescribed by the National Building Code. We are aware of specific HVAC guidelines developed for the pandemic and have made the appropriate adjustments to the systems.
- How will workplaces be cleaned?
Government is ensuring janitorial service providers in government owned and leased spaces adhere to cleaning standards. Refer to the About Government Spaces on Taskroom.
- Can we have in-person meetings?
Yes, you can have in-person and virtual meetings as needed. Refer to the new Living with COVID guide.
Travel - Updated Jan 10/22
Non-Essential International Travel - Updated Jan 10, 2022
- What happens if I travel internationally and test positive for COVID-19 while I'm out of the country?
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 while outside of Canada, they may need to isolate in that country for up to 14 days before returning to Canada. The employee should contact their manager, visually confirm their positive case with their manager and the manager should create a case in the Be At Work application in PSC Client, if applicable. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.
- If I need to self-isolate outside of Canada, what kind of leave is that?
If an employee is sick or needs to self-isolate, sick leave may be approved. Managers should have a discussion with the employee. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.
- Do I have Extended Health Care Plan benefits if I travel outside of Canada?
Yes. Canada Life's Out of Country coverage provides coverage for unforeseen emergency treatments or sudden illness or injury which could not have been reasonably anticipated, while traveling outside of Canada for business, vacation, or education. See the Public Employees' Benefits Agency Q&A for more information.
Travel Within Canada - Updated Feb 9 , 2021
- If I make the personal decision to travel within Canada, do I have to self-isolate?
It is recommended that you check any restrictions or Public Health Orders that may apply in the jurisdiction to which you are travelling. It is not mandatory that you self-isolate upon your return from an out-of-province trip. Refer to the current travel rules.
- Can I claim household expenses, such as a portion of utility costs or mortgage/rental payments, as tax deductions when I'm working from home due to COVID-19?
The Canada Revenue Agency has implemented several personal income tax changes for 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19. Employees who worked from home in 2020 and 2021 have a simplified way to claim that expense. To be eligible you must have worked from home more than 50 per cent of the time for at least four consecutive weeks in 2020 and 2021. Eligible employees can claim $2 for each day worked from home in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. This does not include vacation, sick leave, etc. The maximum you can claim is $400 per individual for 2020 and the maximum of $500 per individual for 2021. In most cases, the CRA will not request that employees provide a signed T2200 form from their employer for this tax purpose. The HR Service Centre will not be able to advise employees on what counts as eligible expenses. Employees should contact their financial advisor or income tax specialist for advice. For more information refer to:
- Is my parking still considered a taxable benefit when I was working from home?
The CRA determined that employer-provided parking will not be considered a taxable benefit while workplaces were "closed" during the pandemic. As a result, all Government of Saskatchewan employees with a parking taxable benefit will have their taxable benefit reduced for six months of 2021 (5 months in 2020). This adjustment will be determined using a calculation and will reduce the amounts reported on your 2020 and 2021 T4s. Any tax adjustments will be based on your personal tax situation and will take place when you file your 2020 and 2021 taxes.