King's Employee Information
As we are entering into a Province-wide lock down, it is now more important than ever to ensure that we are taking precautions. If you feel sick, please check the COVID-19 self-assessment to see if you should be tested. If you think it might be COVID-19, please get tested.
The health and safety of both you and your family are the most important thing.
As the COVID numbers increase, the likelihood of King’s community members receiving positive diagnosis will increase. If you or a family member are diagnosed with COVID, please do not come into work. Go to the hospital if you are unwell and you need hospital care. Otherwise, immediately isolate at home. As soon as you can, please email Human Resources so that we can help you with your benefits and also support you with your sick leave and return to work. We are here to help and support you with any questions you may have.
After a person has been diagnosed positive with COVID-19, how long are they contagious?
We reached out to the Middlesex Health Unit for the answer to that question and they advised that:
“The current Ministry protocol states that once a positive confirmed case has completed the required 10 days of isolation, their symptoms have resolved or have improved over past 24 hours, they can resume their regular activity, which includes returning to work. Some one who had COVID is no longer infectious following the 10 days of isolation. Previous positive COVID cases can continue to test positive up to 110 days post recovery due to the shedding of dead virus.”
Therefore, after receiving a positive COVID-19 test a person has to remain in isolation on sick leave for 10 days. They are no longer contagious after that 10 day period. If they were to get tested after the 10-day period, the COVID-19 test would show positive because they are still shedding the dead virus. They are not contagious at this stage.
If a person is not contagious, can they return to work?
All King’s employees who have had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will need to isolate for 10 days before they can return to work. This will ensure that they are not contagious. During the 10 days, the employee will be on sick leave and therefore, they will also need to have a Functional Abilities Form (FAF) filled out by their doctor before they can return to work. The reason for getting a FAF form filled out is to ensure that it is safe to return to work. For most people COVID will be like a cold but for some people the symptoms and long-term health implications of COVID-19 can be more difficult to recover from. For this reason King’s does not want you to race back to work. We want you to be safe and do not want to jeopardize your health by bringing you back to work too soon. Therefore we are requiring that a FAF form is completed by your medical professional. This will help us to understand if you are healthy enough to return to work and if you need any modifications or accommodations for a safe return to work. HR is available to support you with your return to work plan and help with any questions you may have.
My co-worker has been tested positive for COVID-19, is it safe to work with them?
King’s is following the Ministry’s guidelines and is requiring anyone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis to remain away from campus and isolating at home on sick leave for a minimum of ten days to ensure that they are no longer contagious. Therefore, they will not return to campus until it is safe for them to be on campus and they have clearance from a doctor.
I have a COVID-19 positive diagnosis and I feel healthy. I would like to continue to work from home. Can I continue to while recovering from COVID-19?
Please contact Human Resources to discuss this. We want to ensure that you are taking care of your health. It is very important that you take the time you need to recover. We will talk to you about what support or accommodations you need to ensure that you are taking care of yourself. This may include some further phone calls during the isolation period to check in and see how you are doing. Also, we want to ensure that you are not attempting to work because you are concerned about your pay or that your leader wants you to work. Your health is the most important thing. HR will help explain the different benefits available to you and will support you in conversations with your leader regarding needing time to recover.
Due to my pre-existing health conditions, the Health Unit has recommended that I should isolate longer.
Someone who has an immune compromised system, or a severe case of COVID-19 or some pre-existing health conditions may receive the recommendation to isolate for a longer period of time. King’s will follow the Health Unit’s recommendations. If you receive any written recommendations from the Health Unit, please share them with the Human Resources department so that we can incorporate them into your return-to-work plan.
Is the campus closed and if not, is it safe for employees to come onto campus?
Please refer to the Return to Campus framework https://www.kings.uwo.ca/covid-19/return-to-campus-framework/ King’s is currently in Phase C, a blended campus for September 2020.
In accordance with provincial public health directives related to COVID-19, unless your function has been identified as required to work on campus, you should not be present on the campus. If you require to come to campus, please complete the screening form and notify campus security to let them know how long you will be on campus and where you will be.
Physical distancing rules should apply at all times and you must wear a mask on campus.
What steps should I take when returning to campus?
Before returning to work on campus, employees need to:
- Review the COVID-19 training module located on the COVID section of the King’s Website.
- Review the “COVID – 19 Health Assessment Screening Tool” before each work shift/visit to campus.
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell. Notify your leader (i.e. Dept Chair, VP, Director, Manager or Supervisor) and Human Resources.
Once on campus:
- Practice physical distancing. When possible, stay two metres/6feet apart.
- Wear a non-medical mask/face covering. This is required when in the presence of others and in common and shared spaces on campus.
- Wash hands thoroughly and often and avoid touching your face.
Disinfect your desk, work area, computer equipment and tools frequently. Speak to your leader (i.e. Dept Chair, VP, Director, Manager or Supervisor) if you need supplies.
What measures can be implemented to ensure social distancing of employees who are physically at work?
Leaders should create work plans that allow for social distancing. This can include flexible or staggered hours allowing employees to work at non-peak hours, limiting staff meetings, and leveraging the use of technology for meetings. Physical distancing floor markers are in place in King’s facilities
Will an employee who needs to self-isolate be paid?
Yes. Employees needs to notify their leader to set up their work arrangement as well as Human Resources. To report an employee in self-isolation or quarantine based on a positive COVID result, contact Human Resources via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If the self -isolation is due to a direct or indirect COVID interaction, please go to the COVID assessment center to be tested immediately.
I am currently working from home but my home environment is not safe. I need help and support.
We understand that there is a heightened risk of domestic violence during this COVID crisis. We appreciate employees keeping up their work at home, but understand that is difficult if home is not a safe place. King’s HR will provide confidential and practical support and we are here to help.
- If you need emergency help, call 911 and they will connect you with Police and Ambulance Services.
- If you need confidential support including someone to check in on you regularly or help create a safety plan, email HR at HR@kings.uwo.ca or call Julie Horne at 519-433-3491 ext 4470.
- If you need a safe way to leave your home location, contact HR and request a meeting on campus. We will meet with you on campus and work with you to help you find the resources and supports you need.
- If you need a leave from work due to domestic violence, contact HR and we will work with you to explain the different leaves and benefits that are available to you. We will help you with the process of getting the leave organized.
- If you would like confidential counselling services and support, contact EAP 1-844-720-1212 and they are available 24/7.
Is support available for employees who are feeling overwhelmed or scared?
People react differently in different circumstances. The uncertainty and risks associated with COVID-19 may be difficult for individuals.
If employees report feeling emotionally overwhelmed, they may access confidential support through King’s Family and Employee Assistance Program at 1-844-720-1212 to book an appointment. You can find information by downloading the FSEAP App or going to their website.
The username is Kings University College and the password is myfseap.There you will review service details, health and wellness newsletters, and you can search through a library of health and wellness articles on topics such as health and well-being, family and relationships, life, work and more.
With all the travel and movement restrictions, why should I keep my vacation plans? Can I reschedule my vacations when the pandemic will be over?
While King’s appreciates that COVID-19 related measures may limit holiday options, employees should nevertheless consider taking some time off. The quick transition to distance learning and teleworking has been a challenging time for many employees. All employees deserve breaks to recharge their batteries.
Delaying vacation may also become an issue post-pandemic as King’s will need to resume its full operations. Resources will be required on campus and operational needs may limit the possibility of allowing several employees to go on vacation at the same time.
Leaders should establish a plan to ensure the continuity of operations for the balance of the year and avoid conflicting leave requests from employees. Employees should provide their leader with a vacation plan until the end of the fiscal year. As usual, vacation leave requests are to be approved based on staffing and operational needs and be managed in accordance with existing policies and applicable collective agreement provisions.
What are the options if I want to delay my pre-approved vacations?
Generally speaking, pre-approved vacation should not be cancelled. Each request for cancellation should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and leaders need to carefully asses the rationale should an exceptional reason be advanced by an employee.
Also, keep in mind that employees are not permitted to carry over vacation hours in excess of that which is currently permitted under the applicable collective agreement.
Leaders should establish a plan to ensure the continuity of operation for the balance of the year and avoid conflicting leave requests from employees. Employees should provide their leader with a vacation plan until the end of the fiscal year. As usual, vacation leave requests must continue to be approved based on staffing and operational needs.
What measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of the campus community?
The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. To achieve this during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have and will continue to implement some significant changes.
Those returning to campus will experience a new environment - additional signage, new rules regarding wearing of masks and regulations, changes to our physical spaces - things will look and feel a bit different.
Our students, faculty, and staff, are important partners in these efforts. When each of us adheres to these changes and follows the appropriate precautions, we make our entire community safer.
How can I access campus mental or physical health supports during this time?
Employee and Family Assistance Program (FSEAP) can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can access confidential support through King’s Family and Employee Assistance Program at 1-844-720-1212. You can find information by downloading the FSEAP App or going to their website. The username is Kings University College and the password is myfseap. There you will review service details, health and wellness newsletters, and you can search through a library of health and wellness articles on topics such as health and well-being, family and relationships, life, work and more.
Where can I get meals on campus during this time?
King’s employees returning to campus may purchase takeout meal options from the Thames Market as of (date it opens). Vending machines are also available for snacks.
You can purchase using your debit card or credit card. No cash will be accepted.
How do I request an accommodation and what are my options?
Accommodations – general
At times, employees may not be able to fulfill their work obligations. In these instances, employees at King’s may consider the leaves available, in addition to those offered through the Employment Standards Act. Specifically, unpaid leaves may be requested if an employee needs to be away from work for a period of time for personal reasons, related to the COVID-19 virus. If an accommodation is required, please have the employee and their leader (i.e. Dept Chair, VP, Manager or Supervisor) contact Human Resources to begin the accommodation process.
Accommodations due to illness, injury or disability:
Where an employee requires an accommodation, Human Resources will verify that a medical restriction or limitation exists and then works with the department to implement a reasonable solution. In some cases, the most appropriate accommodation solution will be a sick leave absence if the implementation of an at-work accommodation cannot enable the employee to fulfill their essential duties.
The shift to remote working requires us to balance both personal and work responsibilities. Individuals may face additional challenges whether this is due to a change in work location, maintaining isolation, vulnerable population* (whether personal or those of an immediate family member) or managing multiple responsibilities such as balancing dependent care with conflicting priorities.
*Vulnerable populations may include:
- Older adults
- People at risk, due to underlying medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer)
- People at risk, due to a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment (e.g. chemotherapy)
When we compound these challenges with the direction to exercise physical distancing, the impact to an employee’s well-being can be significant. Regardless of an employee’s work location, they are encouraged to connect with their leader (i.e. Dept Chair, VP, Manager or Supervisor) to tailor a work plan that meets their needs while enabling them to fulfill work commitments.
King’s Principal, Dr. David Malloy, has offered full time employees two Covid Care Days (CCD) to use before the end of 2020. These days are to be used to care for others or to volunteer in the community. To arrange a CCD please discuss it with your leader prior to taking the time off.
School closures and child care
As a result of school closures, employees returning to campus who have children requiring care should attempt to find alternate care, or consider a continued work from home arrangement, if possible. Children should not accompany employees in the workplace as an alternate to finding care.
Alternatively, employees may wish to consider other leaves available in addition to those offered through the Employment Standards Act. Specifically, unpaid leaves may be requested if an employee’s needs to be away from work for a period of time for personal reasons, related to the COVID-19 virus.
Employees who are eligible for sick leave will continue to receive their salary if they are unwell and unable to work as per the Terms and Conditions of the Associations. Eligibility and the sick leave process remain the same.