Sign In
Last updated: July 15, 2021
*New/updated information in red

Contents

Return to the Workplace - Updated July 9/21

  • When will employees be returning to the workplace? 
    The province has announced the Re-opening Roadmap with a plan to start to lift COVID-19 restrictions based on getting our province vaccinated.  Employees have started to return to the workplace. The province will move to Step 2 on June 20 and by Step 3 (anticipated for mid-July) most employees will be expected to be in the workplace on a full-time basis. We will use a gradual and measured approach when returning employees, considering operational needs while focusing on the health and safety of citizens and employees. 

  • Can I continue to work from home until I get fully vaccinated?
    Employees will be expected to return to the workplace following the direction of the ministry. Safety protocols and measures are in place to ensure the safety of employees and clients. The employee should discuss their concerns with their manager. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice. 

  • Do I have to work next to someone who has not been vaccinated?
    Being vaccinated is considered personal medical information. Effective July 11, employees do not have to wear a mask in the workplace, but can if they choose to. All citizens are encouraged to get the vaccination when they are eligible. Being vaccinated is considered personal medical information. Contact your manager if you have concerns. Contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program if you need support. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide for safety protocols after July 11.

  • What if I don't get vaccinated?
    All citizens are encouraged to get vaccinated. Employees are entitled to three consecutive hours of paid leave during work hours to receive a 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.

  • I've been asked to return to the workplace, do I have to go?
    Employees are required to return to the workplace following the direction of the ministry. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice.

  • Can I continue to work from home permanently?
    Working from home during COVID-19 is not the same as remote working from home arrangements post-COVID. Employees are required to return to the workplace following the direction of the ministry. Safety protocols and measures are in place for employees to be in the workplace. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice.

  • What do I do if I don't feel comfortable with the changes in the workplace?
    We continue to follow public health direction, which includes the elimination of health orders. There are things that you can do to support a healthy workplace, such as staying home when sick, washing your hands, clean and disinfect surfaces, do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth, cough and sneeze into your elbow, etc. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide for safety protocols after July 11. Contact your manager if you have concerns in your workplace. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice. Contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program if you need support.

  • What do I need to do to bring my employees back to the workplace?
    Managers will follow the return to the workplace direction of the ministry. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide for safety protocols after July 11.

  • What do I need to know about returning to the workplace?
    Managers will follow the return to the workplace direction of the ministry. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide for safety protocols after July 11.

  • What if I have a pre-existing condition/compromised immune system?
    In most instances an employee will be able to work safely by following safety protocols and measures. If an employee has an underlying medical condition that cannot be accommodated in the workplace, they can discuss this with their manager. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice. 

  • If I have a family member who has a compromised immune system and I am concerned about bringing home COVID-19, can I work from home?
    Safety protocols are in place to ensure employees are able to work safely. It is important for employees and managers to have conversations about individual circumstances that employee may have.  Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice.

  • If an employee is afraid to come to work because of personal health circumstances, how should a manager respond?
    Safety protocols are in place to ensure employees are able to work safely. It is important for employees and managers to have conversations about individual circumstances. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for advice.

  • What if I need mental health support?
    It's important that we make our mental health a priority during this time. Contact EFAP if you need support. 

Vaccine - Updated July 9/21

  • 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 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.

  • How do I code my legislated 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 a vaccination.

  • Does the three hours of paid leave count for my second 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 dose.

  • If I've already used my three hours of paid leave, what kind of leave do I use for my second vaccination?
    Employees can use sick leave entitlements to receive their second vaccination 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.

  • If I didn't use my full three hours last time, can I split the paid leave for both doses?
    The legislation provides paid leave for a (one) dose of the vaccine. Employees may choose which dose to use their paid time for.  

  • What if I don't have any sick leave available?
    Employees may request other forms of paid leave, e.g. vacation, banked time, SDOs. When sick leave is exhausted employees would use leave without pay.

  • What if it takes more than three hours to get the vaccine?
    Employees are entitled to more than three consecutive hours if the employer determines the circumstances warrant a longer break from work (e.g., remote areas). 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.

  • What if my vaccination makes me feel unwell and I need to take time off?
    If an employee feels unwell after receiving their vaccination, they can request sick leave from their manager or supervisor. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.

  • 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.

  • Can I request proof that my employee has been vaccinated?
    No. This is private medical information.

  • As a government employee, do I have to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
    No. While, vaccinations are not mandatory, public health officials strongly encourage individuals to consider getting the vaccine as a way to help save lives.

Safety in the Workplace  - Updated July 9/21

  • 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 enhanced cleaning standards, including regular disinfection of fixtures and high-touch surfaces. Employees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their desks and desktop equipment.  Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide and About Government Workspaces for more information. 

  • Will cleaning supplies be provided?
    Hand sanitizer, disinfecting products and paper towels will available in common areas of buildings.

  • Who is responsible for cleaning/disinfecting common areas?
    Government is ensuring janitorial service providers in government owned and leased spaces adhere to enhanced cleaning standards, including disinfection of fixtures and high-touch surfaces. 

  • What is the employees’ cleaning responsibility?
    Employees are responsible for disinfecting their own workstations, including cleaning surfaces in a cubicle or office; computers and accessories; phones; and personal items.

  • 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 until they are better or as directed by their health care provider or public health. Managers should contact their building manager or tenant representative to discuss the options available for disinfecting the employee’s workspace and equipment. Refer to About Government Workspaces for more information. 

  • Can we have in-person meetings?
    Yes, you can have in-person and virtual meetings as needed. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide.

Masks  - New and Updated information July 13/21

  • Do I have to wear a mask in my workplace?
    Effective July 11, residents in Saskatchewan are no longer required to wear  a mask in indoor public spaces, which includes government workplaces.  There may be ministry-specific policies for certain occupations/work activities that may continue to require PPE based on hazard assessment. 

  • When the mask mandate ends, can I still wear a mask?
    Effective July 11, residents in Saskatchewan are no longer required to wear at a mask in indoor public spaces, which includes government workplaces. Employees can wear a mask if they choose and are supported to do so. There may be ministry-specific policies for certain occupations/work activities that may continue to require PPE based on hazard assessment. 

  • When public health orders are dropped, how will I remain protected if the people around me are not wearing masks?
    We continue to follow public health direction, which includes the elimination of health orders. There are best practices you can follow to support a healthy workplace, such as getting vaccinated, staying home when sick, washing your hands, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, avoiding touching your eyes/nose/mouth Employees may use a mask if they choose. Contact your manager if you have concerns.  Contact your manager if you have concerns. Contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program if you need support. Refer to the new Return to the Workplace Reference Guide.

  • 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 with others unless they choose to. 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. Managers can contact their HR Business Partner for guidance.

Back to top of page

Self-isolation/Sick Leave/COVID-19 Exposure/Positive Cases - Updated July 15/21, 2021

  • If I need to take a sick day, can I work from home? 
    Employees have sick leave to support their wellness and they are encouraged to stay home if they are sick. 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 Partner for advice.

  • Will self-isolation continue to be a requirement for positive cases or close contacts?
    Contact tracing will continue to be a part of a COVID-19 case investigation. Cases and contacts must take all precautions as advised or required by Public Health and all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of infecting others.There have been changes regarding self-isolation for fully vaccinated individuals. Refer to Saskatchewan.ca for more information on self-isolation.

  • When employees are required to self-isolate in accordance with public health guidelines, will they be paid?
    Managers should have a discussion with employees directed by public health to self-isolate. If operational requirements (e.g., work able to be done remotely; home workspace free from distractions/interruptions; technology, etc.) are met an employee may be able to work from home. A combination of working and leave may be an option. If working from home isn't possible, then employees may access sick leave credits whether or not they are showing symptoms of illness. Managers should consult their HR Business Partner for advice. 

  • 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.

  • Can an employee draw on future sick leave credits if they have no sick leave available?
    Yes. Collective agreements and The Public Service Regulations, 1999 allow for the employer to approve drawing up to a maximum of 30 days. Managers should consider requests on a case-by-case basis in consultation with their HR Business Partner Team. Employees should be aware that any advances limit available future sick leave, and if they leave employment, the overdrawn amounts will be collected back from their pay. When sick leave is exhausted employees would use leave without pay or request a leave of absence. Employment Insurance has waived the waiting period; exploring EI is also an option.

  • If an employee needs to be away from work to care for a family member who is self-isolating or has COVID-19, will they be paid?
    If the contact with a family member also requires the employee to self-isolate in accordance with public health guidelines, sick leave can be approved. Managers should have a discussion with employees. If operational requirements (e.g., work able to be done remotely; home workspace free from distractions/interruptions; technology, etc.) are met an employee may be able to work from home.   

    If self-isolation is not required, then pressing necessity and family leave provisions may apply or access to vacation, banked time etc. can be approved. When these entitlements are exhausted, employees would use leave without pay or may request a leave of absence. For information on leave of absence see question about leave. 
  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 due to workplace exposure, is it a reportable workplace incident?
    If exposure is suspected to have occurred during authorized work duties (e.g., frontline caregiver, etc.), the employee should complete Form 101 in the IRI App. Refer to PS 818 for direction on illness/injury reporting. A WCB Claim should be submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board.

  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, should I use the Be At Work application?
    In the case of workplace exposure, the employee should complete Form 101 in the IRI App and managers should enter it in the Be At Work app. Any absence greater than five days due to illness, should be entered in the Be At Work app. Managers can contact the HR Business Partner for advice.

Travel

Non-Essential International Travel
  • What do I need to know about travel?
    Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19.  As a result, the Government of Saskatchewan does not support employees engaging in non-essential international travel at this time. Employees wishing to travel internationally for non-essential reasons must include the quarantine period in their vacation requests to managers.   

    In rare circumstances, exceptions to vacation requests may be granted by the Deputy Minister or Permanent Head on a case-by-case basis.  There must be evidence to suggest that there would be significant disruptions to the organization's operations before alternative arrangements are considered for the mandatory quarantine period.  This protocol is subject to change as international travel advisories change.
  • What is non-essential travel outside of Canada?
    Non-essential travel outside of Canada is any international travel not listed as an exemption on the Government of Canada's website on travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.

  • If I make the personal decision to travel outside of Canada for non-essential reasons, can I work remotely during the mandatory quarantine period when I return to Canada?
    No.  Employees required to self-isolate/quarantine as a result of non-essential international travel must include this time in their vacation request and code as VL, SDO or EDO entitlements.  If there is evidence to suggest significant disruptions to the organization's operations, the Deputy Minister or Permanent Head has the discretion to approve alternate work arrangements for the mandatory quarantine period.  These requests will be treated as an exception and will only be permitted in rare circumstances.  

  • What if I don't have enough vacation time for the required quarantine period?
    As an employee you can request time off without pay. The approval of your request will be approved/denied at your manager's discretion. 

  • What if I have an immediate or extended family member in my household who has travelled internationally and returned to Canada?
    This should not interfere with an employee's ability to attend work. It is the responsibility of the individual entering Canada to ensure they have a suitable place to self-isolate/quarantine as outlined on the Government of Canada's website. There is guidance as to what the family member is prohibited and permitted to do during the quarantine period.  If the plan of the family member involves self-isolating at the home of an employee, then unless the family member in self-isolation can maintain 100% non-contact, the employee should also self-isolate and use leave entitlements.  

  •  Do I have Extended Health Care Plan benefits if I travel outside of Canada?
    The Canadian Government issued a travel advisory on March 13, 2020 to avoid travel outside of Canada until further notice. Extended Health Care Plan benefits will not be paid for expenses incurred if you travel to another country after March 13, 2020. 

Travel Within Canada - Updated July 9, 2021
  • If I make the personal decision to travel within Canada for non-essential reasons, do I have to self-isolate and quarantine?
    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.
  • If my travel plans involve interprovincial travel does it affect my return to the workplace?
    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.

Working from home 

  • 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 (CRA) will allow employees working from home in 2020 due to COVID-19 to claim up to $400 dollars for expenses without the need to track detailed expenses. 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 will not consider employer-provided parking a taxable benefit while workplaces were “closed” during the pandemic. As a result, employees with a parking taxable benefit will have their taxable benefit reduced for 2020. This adjustment will be determined using a calculation and will reduce the amounts reported on your 2020 T4. Any tax adjustments will be based on your personal tax situation and will take place when you file your 2020 taxes.

Employee Programs and Services

  •  Is there any mental health information I can use to help manage the emotional impact of COVID-19?
    There resources are from LifeWorks by Morneau Shepell, our Employee and Family Assistance provider. Share this information with employees, co-workers and family.  
  • Can I still access the Employee and Family Assistance Program?
    Yes. It's important that we also make our mental health a priority right now. Contact EFAP if you need support. 





Contact information

Employees can contact their managers with questions.

Managers can contact their Human Resource Business Partner.


 Related Documents