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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Updated on May 4, 2021

 

Outbreak of COVID-19 related to N.J. MacPherson School in Yellowknife.

1. My child’s school has closed and/or I have been identified as a contact or possible contact. Will I be required to attend work?

Some people will be directed by ProtectNWT or Public Health to stay at home in isolation for 14 days, some people will need to balance their work with the need to be home with young children who are remote learning and others will continue to be able to come to work if they are comfortable doing so, depending on their family situation, and their vaccination status.

Every employee’s situation will be unique, and you should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible.  The following general guidance can be applied in a variety of situations and questions can be addressed to you supervisor.

2. What do I do if I am self-isolating?

  • If you can work remotely during your self-isolation, you will be supported to do so, and there is no need to enter any leave in Peoplesoft. 
  • If you are unable to work remotely during your self-isolation because your position is not suitable for remote work, you should discuss your situation with your supervisor and request special leave (code: SPECIAL LEAVE – SELF ISOLATION).
  • If you are unable to work remotely during your self-isolation because you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, you should notify your supervisor and use sick leave (code: SICK LEAVE – COVID-19).
  • If you are unable to work remotely during your self-isolation because you are providing care to someone in your household who is experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, you should notify your supervisor and request special leave (code: SPECIAL LEAVE – SELF ISOLATION).

3. Can I return to the worksite if I am not self-isolating?

If you are not self-isolating, you are not identified as a close contact of a person with COVID, and you are not experiencing COVID symptoms, you can continue to come to the worksite if you are comfortable doing so. If you are in your worksite, please continue to be mindful of the mitigation measures in place at your worksite. Take care to socially distance and always wear a mask in all common spaces.

4. I have childcare issues. Can I work from home?

Every employee’s situation will be unique, and you should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible. We recognize that the personal situations and circumstances of individual employees must be taken into account.  There will be employees who have children at home who require care.  These employees will be permitted to work from home if the duties can be performed remotely.

5. Can I work from home event if I am not self-isolating, and even if I don’t have childcare requirements?

Every employee’s situation will be unique, and you should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible. While the NJ MacPherson school outbreak is ongoing, in general, if an employee can work effectively from home and operational requirements allow it, supervisors may allow employees to work from home. 

 

Leave

1. I have already used up all of my annual/sick/special leave credits for this year and have already been advanced the maximum amount. Can I be advanced leave?

The GNWT will advance sick and special leave during this time for COVID related situations, regardless of the balance of your leave bank. You should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible.

2. I am a relief employee who must self-isolate. Will I have access to paid leave?

Yes.  Relief employees who must self-isolate or who become ill with COVID-19 will have access to paid leave. 

 

Working from home

For more information, please see Working from Home

1. I needed to set up an internet account to work from home. Can I be reimbursed?

Yes. If you were asked to work from home and you do not have basic internet there, the GNWT will reimburse you for the costs for setting up a basic internet package, as well as deactivation costs when you return to working at a GNWT worksite.

Please make sure to discuss any technological limitations you may have in working from home with your supervisor.

2. I am using my personal phone to connect to conference calls, and I often have to use the 416 number as the 1‐800 number will not connect.  Will I be reimbursed for long-distance charges?

Yes. If you were asked to work from home and part of your work requires you to participate in conference calls using your personal phone, then the GNWT will reimburse you for long-distance charges incurred.  You should have a conversation with your manager/supervisor to ensure that they know of and approve that you may be incurring long distance charges.

3. If I incur overage costs on my personal internet account as a result of working from home, will the GNWT reimburse me?

As of July 1, upon employee request, departments shall reimburse an employee working full-time from home for up to $60/month to cover additional internet costs incurred while working from home.  Employees who are working from home as a result of a need to isolate after southern travel will only be reimbursed if the southern travel was for essential travel (i.e. medical travel).  Employees who travelled for non-essential reasons and must work from home while isolating are not eligible to be reimbursed for internet overages.

The cost to reimburse employees will come from departmental budgets and departments are responsible for managing requests.

Employees should use the expense module in SAM to submit a claim for reimbursement, and as a part of that process must provide evidence of increased costs (internet overage bills) in order to qualify to be reimbursed.

 

Mental Health and Wellness

For more information, see Emotional and Mental Health Resources

1. I am experiencing stress and anxiety because of COVID. Where can I find help?

To assist staff with managing the stress and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, the AbilitiCBT program is available for support 24/7.  The program details and registration can be found at https://gnwt.abiliticbt.com/home.

In addition to the AbilitiCBT, there are a suite of resources and supports available through the Emotional and Mental Health resource page for GNWT employees and their families and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to access as well.