Information Related to Continuance of Pay
The extension of the State of Emergency in Ontario reinforces the need for measures that limit exposure to COVID-19.
Our essential workers continue to report on-site to maintain core services or conduct research activities deemed essential at this time, including those leading the charge in COVID-19 related research. The university is committed to ensuring you are safe at work and can effectively do your job.
All others should be following government’s orders to stay home. Most of you are temporarily working remotely and continue to deliver critical work. Others are not able to perform their roles remotely. Each of our employees is important to us and has contributed to making McMaster an exceptional place to work, learn and study.
COVID-19 has changed the world we live in – and we know that this has been difficult on you and your families. At McMaster, we value our relationships with our employees and are taking a long-term view of this temporary, albeit significant, challenge before us. Careful and creative planning is underway to keep as many employees as we can actively employed and engaged. For the majority of employees – this is not an issue as we continue to deliver courses, conduct research and continue important support and operational activities. In some cases, there will be a need to redeploy people into new roles or new duties temporarily, engage employees in special projects, promote job sharing, assign training, or temporarily reduce hours. As part of our collective efforts to keep people working and paid to the fullest extent possible, some employees will be required to exhaust their paid vacation or other accumulated paid time off in the coming weeks.
Earlier this month, the University decided to continue pay for all employees, irrespective of workload, until the pay period ending April 4, 2020, including employees with temporary and casual appointments. Effective April 5th, individuals with temporary or casual appointments will be paid for work performed. Where there is a lack of work or funding, supervisors will be reaching out to impacted employees to discuss these changes with them. In some cases, these discussions will lead to employees taking a leave of absence and accessing the new benefits the federal government has made available.
In some limited cases, after having exhausted the available options to keep people working, continuing and limited term positions may also be impacted as a result of COVID-19. In these situations, there may be a need for leaves of absence or, regrettably, layoffs in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment for the respective employee group. The university will work closely with its union partners, and supervisors will work with employees, with the overall goals of minimizing job loss and earnings disruption and returning impacted employees to work wherever possible as soon as work is available again.
If you have questions about your particular job or creative ideas about your work area to help us keep people working, you are encouraged to connect directly with your supervisor.
Taking care of each other is important at this time. We know many employees and their families may also require support to assist with health and well-being information, and access to community resources. This is a reminder that our Employee and Family Assistance Program is available. Individuals can contact Homewood Health through their website or by phone toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book appointments, or access any EFAP service.
Please know that all of us in Human Resources Services will continue to do everything we can to help you through this uncertain time. Please contact our HR Service Desk for consultation, advice and support at (905) 525-9140 ext. 222-HR (47), or e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also leave a message after hours and we will return your call on the next business day.
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we maintain our focus on supporting each other and protecting the safety and well-being of all our McMaster community members.