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COVID-19 - Latest Human Resources updates

Latest Human Resources updates

Site-wide email update, May 28, 2020: Parking Charges: April & May 2020:

Dear Colleagues,

As mentioned by Dr. Bagger in yesterday's Townhall, the parking charges for April and May 2020 will be processed on your May 31, 2020 pay. On your May 31 pay stub, you should see the following:

- No parking deduction for May
- A reimbursement for the April parking charge

Those enrolled in monthly parking should check their pay stubs to ensure this was correctly processed. If there are any issues please contact payroll@triumf.ca.

Thank you,

Maxine McKay
Manager, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, May 11, 2020: COVID-19: Foreign Worker/Visitor Support

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many services, and TRIUMF is working hard to support our employees and provide information during this time. As a temporary foreign worker, we understand that you have additional considerations related to your immigration status and are uniquely affected.  We have compiled the most up to date information on services that directly impact you and have summarized this below.  Changes and updates are occurring daily, and we will continue to provide updates via the TRIUMF COVID-19 webpage as we receive them.

Your Health During COVID-19

TRIUMF has taken many steps as part of our effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of our employees.  These have been communicated to our employees and are outlined on the COVID-19 webpage, and include:

  • Transitioning to remote work for approximately 80% of employees, significantly decreasing the amount of employees on site, and only allowing essential staff for medical isotope production on site.
  • Cancelling or postponing events like conferences and seminars, and moving meetings online
  • Increasing our hygienic practices on site, including access to handwashing facilities and hand sanitizing dispensers, more frequent cleaning services especially in high traffic areas, ensuring workers can practice physical distancing in their workplace and providing PPE and applicable training to our staff.

We are also taking an active role in monitoring the health of our community and supporting our people if they need to self-isolate.  We have created Reporting Guidelines for reporting a change in your health status, and what constitutes a change in status.  These include:

  • Someone self-monitoring due to contact (direct/indirect) now develops symptoms
  • Someone self-isolating due to contact (direct/indirect) who now becomes symptomatic
  • Someone who is self-monitoring at home with someone asymptomatic who is self-isolating, and the family member now develops symptoms
  • Someone who is self-isolating who has now tested positive for the virus.

This reporting ensures that supervisors are maintaining continued contact with their staff, even those working remotely, and allows us to provide support and information to our staff that is most applicable to their situation.

TRIUMF has also suspended the requirement for doctor’s notes to support illness related absence.  Our reporting guidelines allow us to properly assess the situation to ensure the risk to our employee’s and our community’s health is minimized.  Non-COVID-19 absences will still follow regular procedure and be processed through Human Resources.  While doctor’s notes have been suspended for regular sick leave as well, those absence/leaves that would normally require a note need to be discussed with Maxine McKay to review and assess a return to work, as per the standard practice.

If you have questions regarding reporting or your current health status, you can contact your supervisor or send inquiries to yourhealth@triumf.ca.

Travel

As per the government of Canada guidelines, all unnecessary travel should not be undertaken.  If you must travel, and you travel outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning and submit your Self Isolation Plan for review by government officials. You can find more information on the self-isolation requirement here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/self-isolation-on-return

For those temporary foreign workers/students who are currently outside of Canada and need to return, you are exempt from current travel restrictions and can return to Canada with the appropriate supporting documentation.  If you are currently in this situation, please contact your supervisor and Maxine McKay so we can discuss the requirements around your return and get you the applicable supporting documentation.

Appointment Terms

TRIUMF has been working hard to see that our temporary foreign employees are not negatively impacted due to COVID-19 reasons.  This includes taking steps to ensure that employment continues during this period, and we are currently working to process extensions for end dates in the next six (6) months. We are also reviewing with supervisors and ALDs any appointments that are set to end or are unable to continue to make sure that leaving TRIUMF would not result in a precarious situation for the employee.

Work Permit Extensions

HR is currently processing extensions for those whose work permits are expiring in the next six (6) months, and moving forward we will continue to start the extension process six months prior to a permits expiry.  All work permit extension applications must be made through the online system, as Port of Entry (POE) applications are currently suspended.

IRCC is currently experiencing greatly increased processing times, and the IRCC website no longer provides approximate processing times due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  All in person appointments, including biometrics, have been cancelled until further notice.  Biometrics are generally required for most work permit and extension applications, and IRCC has automatically increased the period for giving biometrics from thirty (30) to ninety (90) days.  Your application will not be refused or closed if you aren’t able to give your biometrics within the ninety(90) day period, and when Service Canada resumes collecting biometrics you will have to make a new appointment. You can find more information on biometrics here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/biometrics.html

The increased processing times and cancelled biometrics appointments mean that it is likely you will not receive your new permit prior to your current expiring and you will be put on implied status.  *Important: Implied status will allow you to maintain your status in Canada under your current conditions as long as you remain in Canada.  This means that you can continue to work, be paid, and receive benefits until a decision is made on your application. To extend your appointment on implied status, you just need to provide your payment receipt and IRCC confirmation of application to HR for processing.

If you leave the country while on implied status, the status will be invalidated and while you should be allowed to return to Canada you will not be permitted to work until you receive your new work permit.  If you must leave Canada while on implied status, please contact your supervisor and Maxine McKay to discuss. 

Medical Services Plan (MSP)

MSP is BC’s public health insurance. As of January 1, 2020 MSP premiums were eliminated.  Due to the premium elimination, MSP is no longer a group benefit administered by TRIUMF and you are responsible for maintaining and updating your information with MSP, including changes in immigration status.

We know a large concern for our foreign workers and students is not having MSP coverage if they are on implied status.  Access to healthcare is a high priority, and in response to COVID-19 the BC government has announced that those on implied status will now be provided with temporary MSP coverage during this period.  This will apply to any individual that is currently in BC and was previously enrolled in MSP as a deemed resident (work or study permit, or applicable dependents), whose MSP coverage has expired with their permit.

Any foreign worker or student that may be put on implied status in the near future will need to contact Health Insurance BC to apply for this temporary coverage:

Toll-free: 1 800 663-7100
Lower Mainland: 604 683-7151

We encourage you to contact Health Insurance BC at least one (1) month before the expiry of your current permit to apply for the temporary coverage.  At this time, temporary coverage is being extended to July 31, 2020.  It is our hope that this date will be extended further given current outlooks relating to COVID-19.  You can find further information on MSP and COVID-19 here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/bc-residents/msp-covid-19-response

Mental Health & Wellbeing

You will continue to have access to TRIUMF’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Homewood Health.  This is a confidential support program available for you and your family to access support for a wide range of issues. It’s important to note that Homewood does not provide TRIUMF with information about who is using the program and its services.  You can contact them directly, and their services are available both over the phone and online.  For further information on Homewood Health: https://www.triumf.ca/human-resources/employee-assistance-program

Homewood Health has also provided some facts and general information on COVID-19 that you can view here.

As mentioned in a Townhall meeting by Dr. Bagger the federal government has also launched the Wellness Together Canada initiative, which provides an online portal that allows you to access self-assessments, self-directed e-mental health tools, peer support and live counselling via telephone, video and text.  More information on this program can be found at www.wellnesstogether.ca or at 1-866-585-0445.

This is a challenging time for all of us, and coming together as a community and providing each other support is the best way for us to get through it.  If you have any questions, are experiencing issues, or require advice or support we encourage you to reach out to your supervisor, Maxine McKay, or Ian Doyle.

This information is also available on both the COVID-19 HR Protocols webpage, and the HR Immigration webpage.

Maxine McKay, CPHR

Manager, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, May 8, 2020: Updates to TRIUMF system – Computing Access:

Dear TRIUMF Supervisors,

IS&T has implemented a new information system update, whereby they will now be updating identities and provisioning TRIDENT, email, etc. from data in our HRIS system. This change helps to streamline processes and eliminate the need for additional emails between HR and IST.

Effective immediately:

  • All paperwork (Requests for Extensions and confirmation of term end) must be submitted to Human Resources at least one (1) month before end date to allow for processing.
  • For all new hires, there should ideally be at least one (1) week between the written acceptance the offer and the person’s start date. This is required in order to allow for the creation of new accounts.

Please note, if HR does not receive the required paperwork on time, our people may experience issues with both site and email access, so it is recommended that you give yourself ample time to submit your documents.

Questions can be directed to Maxine McKay (mmckay@triumf.ca).

Thanks for your cooperation.

Maxine McKay, CPHR

Manager, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, April 29, 2020: Reminder - Employee Reporting of Illness or Change in Health Status

Hello Everyone,

As noted on the COVID-19 Human Resources Protocol webpage and stated in the accompanying guidelines (Document-180896), it is important that TRIUMF maintain a clear view of the health of our community.

If you think you may need to self-isolate, begin to show symptoms of illness, or experience any other change in your health as a result of the pandemic, you must communicate this with your supervisor and ensure the information is passed along to HR via the confidential yourhealth@triumf.ca email box.

Thank you again for your continued support, it's making a difference!

 

Ian Doyle

Director, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, April 24, 2020: COVID-19 Check-in Survey

Dear Colleagues,

We are now several weeks into our COVID-19 experience at TRIUMF. Our efforts have been focused on keeping people safe through social distancing, developing safety plans and reporting protocols, and also with keeping TRIUMF operational both for our on-site essential services as well as our remote work.

Over this period, we have worked to keep the TRIUMF community connected through  a number of channels, including: site wide emails, TEAMs, website updates, weekly Town Halls, and dedicated email channels to leadership. Moving forward, these efforts will continue; however, it's also important for us to gather feedback that will help us better understand how are people are doing and what we can do to better support you in this very challenging time.

We've prepared a 3-5 minutes survey to provide people the opportunity to provide more detailed, confidential and anonymous feedback. We ask everyone to take the time to respond and help us improve.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Ian Doyle

Director, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, April 2, 2020: Payroll Submissions / Reminder

Dear Colleagues, 

We would like to remind you that in support of TRIUMF’s remote work, HR processes have been changed and all submissions must be sent to payroll@triumf.ca. These submissions include:

  • Vacation and Leave Forms
  • Request for Recruitment
  • Request for Extension and Request to Change Pay
  • Hourly Timesheets
  • Semi-Monthly Timesheets
  • Overtime Requests
  • Benefit Enrolment or Changes
  • Direct Deposit and TD1 Forms
  • Updating Employee Information

We ask that you follow the processes outlined in our past site-wide announcements and repeated below. 

For any forms or timesheets, please only include the payroll@triumf.ca email when the forms have been completely approved and are ready for submission. Questions or issues can be sent to payroll@triumf.ca and a member of the HR Team will reply as quickly as possible.

For Vacation and Leave Forms:

  1. Employees must email their completed forms to their supervisors. Note: no written signature is required and electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature.
  2. Supervisors must review the submitted form, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as attachments to payroll to payroll@triumf.ca.

For Request for Recruitment and Request for Extension Forms:

  1. Supervisors must complete the form and obtain all required authorizations via digital signatures or an email chain of approvals with a note indicating “approved” by each signatory.
  2. The completed and signed form and supporting documents can be submitted to HR by email as an attachment to HR to payroll@triumf.ca.

For Hourly Timesheets:

Employees and supervisors will continue to complete timesheets on a semi-monthly basis as per the current cut-off schedule.

  • Employees must email their completed timesheets to their supervisors. (Note: No written signature is required – electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature.)
  • Supervisors must review the submitted timesheets, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as an attachment to payroll to payroll@triumf.ca. (Note: Please ensure that all timesheets are submitted in advance of the scheduled cut-off dates.)
  • At this point, any hourly employee who is unable to work will be compensated at a rate determined by the average hours worked in the last 12 weeks of work. If an employee is not working regular hours, the supervisors must notify HR either on the timesheet or via email so average hours can be calculated.

For Overtime - Callout - Standby Forms

  • Employees must email their completed form to their supervisor and ALD. (Note: No written signature is required and electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature)
  • The supervisor and ALD must review the form, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as an attachment to payroll payroll@triumf.ca. Please ensure all forms are submitted in advance of the scheduled cut-off dates.

For Semi-Monthly Timesheets

All completed timesheets must be submitted to payroll@triumf.ca

We will be monitoring how these changes are working and impacting everyone and be looking for feedback to improve the process as we move forward.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

 

Ian Doyle

Director, Human Resources

 

See https://www.triumf.ca/sites/default/files/2020%20Hourly%20Timesheet%20CutOff.pdf for more information.  


Site-wide email update, March 27, 2020: New platforms for remote work and community support

Dear Colleagues,

We know remote work can be a challenge, but as we learned this morning, BC is beginning to see a flattening of the curve attributed to physical distancing. It’s great to see everyone’s efforts having an impact, and with this progress being seen, it is all the more important that we maintain our effort.

To this end, we are working to make sure that you have the tools you need to collaborate with your team members. To help support you during this time, we’ve created the Working Remotely Team on Microsoft Teams.

For those new to the tool, Microsoft Teams is a unified collaboration platform and part of the Office 365 suite of products that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Teams allows you to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues, whether they’re on-site or working remotely.

On the Working Remotely Team, you’ll find useful information about remote work, best practices, and a growing list of subject matter experts to help you get comfortable with using this platform. We encourage you to explore the Team and see how the platform can complement your group’s existing workflow and processes for working together on shared projects.

At the same time, we’d also like to invite you to the TRIUMF Community Discussion Board. As we practice physical distance, it is all the more important for us to make sure that we live our values and ensure the needs of our TRIUMF Community are being taken care of. Please use the Community Discussion Board to stay connected with your colleagues, give and receive help from others, and share virtual meet-ups and social activities. We’ll be updating this Team over the next few weeks, but if you have ideas please share them with us via covid19taskforce@triumf.ca.

TRIUMF is an exceptional place to work because of its strong collaborative culture. We hope that these new tools will help you keep that culture alive as we work remotely.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ian Doyle

Director, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, March 20 2020: Vacations / Leaves / Other Requests / Process Changes:

Dear Colleagues,

In support of TRIUMF’s transition to remote work, effective immediately, HR/Payroll will no longer be processing the following paper forms: vacation requests, leave requests, request for recruitment, request for extension, or any other forms that can instead be completed as a fillable PDF or Word document.

For Vacation and Leave Forms:

  1. Employees must email their completed forms to their supervisors. Note: no written signature is required and electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature.
  2. Supervisors must review the submitted form, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as attachments to payroll to payroll@triumf.ca.

For Request for Recruitment and Request for Extension Forms:

  1. Supervisors must complete the form and obtain all required authorizations via an email chain of approvals with a note indicating “approved” by each signatory.
  2. The completed and signed form can be submitted to HR by email as an attachment to HR to payroll@triumf.ca.

We will be monitoring how these changes are working and impacting everyone and be looking for feedback to improve the process as we move forward.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,


Ian Doyle
Director, Human Resources


Site-wide email update, March 20 2020: Payroll & Remote Work Advisory

Dear Colleagues,

We’d like to take a moment to share some guidance and practices to support our community as we navigate the changing landscape of work at TRIUMF.

We are seeking to transition to remote work for as much of our operation as possible. With this, we are asking our community to find creative and flexible solutions so we can all continue making meaningful contributions to TRIUMF each day, regardless of where we work, the changing nature of the work, or with which tools.

For some, this may require moving away from your typical on-site work. You may be asked to focus on other areas, such as planning, documentation, or 5S activities, both physical and digital.

We recognize that this transition may pose challenges, so everyone must stay in close communication with their supervisor. It is important that you maintain an agreed-upon work-plan and conduct regular check-ins to report progress. Our common goal is to continue to operate TRIUMF to the best of our ability given the current situation and conditions.

At present, our payroll and pay practices will continue to be administered as follows;

Hourly employees: Employees and supervisors will continue to complete timesheets on a semi-monthly basis as per the current cut-off schedule.

https://www.triumf.ca/sites/default/files/2020%20Hourly%20Timesheet%20Cu...

  • Employees must email their completed timesheets to their supervisors.
    • Note: No written signature is required – electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature.
  • Supervisors must review the submitted timesheets, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as an attachment to payroll to payroll@triumf.ca.
    • Note: Please ensure that all timesheets are submitted in advance of the scheduled cut-off dates.
  • At this point, any hourly employee who is unable to work will be compensated at a rate determined by the average hours worked in the last 12 weeks of work.

Salary employees: Employees and supervisors will continue to be paid for hours worked. Employees, who for whatever reason, will be requesting time off or who are sick, must submit the required form to their supervisor electronically, who will in turn review, approve and email as attachments to payroll to via payroll@triumf.ca.

Overtime - Callout - Standby Forms

  • Employees must email their completed form to their supervisor and ALD.
    • Note: No written signature is required and electronic submission by email will be taken as your signature
  • The supervisor and ALD must review the form, check for accuracy and correctness, and email as an attachment to payroll payroll@triumf.ca. Please ensure all forms are submitted in advance of the scheduled cut-off dates.

If you have questions about TRIUMF’s COVID-19 response, please see the TRIUMF COVID-19 FAQ page.

If you have questions about your work situation, please speak first with your supervisor before reaching to Human Resources via yourhealth@triumf.ca.

On behalf of TRIUMF leadership, thank you all for your understanding and support through this very challenging situation. We will all get through this together!

Sincerely,

Ian Doyle,
Director, Human Resources


Website update, March 5 2020: Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you may be aware, the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China has since spread to several countries around the world.  

The BC Centre for Disease Control and Public Health Agency of Canada continue to assess the risk to British Columbians and Canadians to be low. At this time, the BC Centre for Disease Control advises the following:

  • Staff, students or visitors who have been to Hubei, China and Iran should stay home and self-isolate for 14 days, immediately on their return. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Staff, students or visitors who have been laboratory tested for COVID-19 should stay home and self-isolate until their test results are known.
  • Staff, students or visitors who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should stay home and self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Staff, students or visitors who have been in other parts of the world where COVID-19 cases have been reported should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing) for 14 days. They do not need to self-isolate.

With respect to future travel, TRIUMF is following the guidance of the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia. The Government of Canada advises avoiding all non-essential travel to China (including no travel to Hubei Province), Iran, and regions within Italy and South Korea. With the situation rapidly evolving, it is suggested that all staff and students review the Government of Canada's travel health notices before commencing a trip. 

For any staff traveling to affected areas for work, please report your plans to your Associate Laboratory Director / Deputy Director as soon as possible to determine if your travel should proceed. For anyone travelling for non-work reasons, please be advised that you may be affected by travel restrictions 

All those returning to Canada from affected areas must contact their Associate Laboratory Director / Deputy Director and Human Resources (Ian Doyleidoyle@triumf.ca) prior to returning to work.  

For more information about this evolving situation, please see the links below:  

For any questions, please contact Ian Doyle (idoyle@triumf.ca), Director, Human Resources.