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COVID-19 Info for Employees

The global situation is changing rapidly. The content of this communique is subject to change as the situation evolves. New or amended information will be distributed as necessary.

    March 28, 2022

    The Office of the Chief Public Health Officer has announced their intention to end the Northwest Territories COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on April 1, 2022.  As such, Public Health orders made by the OCPHO under the authority of the Public Health Emergency, including those related to COVID-19 vaccination requirements and masking in public spaces, will also end. 

    To bring the GNWT COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (Policy) in line with the updated approach from the OCPHO, beginning April 1, 2022, the Policy will no longer require employees and contractors to provide proof of vaccination or adhere to enhanced PPE use and COVID-19 testing in lieu of providing proof of vaccination.

    Department- and Agency-specific COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Guidelines will no longer apply and the GNWT COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Corporate Guidelines will be amended to reflect the changes detailed above.

    Workplace safety policies, practices, and protocols implemented by GNWT departments and agencies which may require masking, PPE-use, or COVID-19 testing and which are not issued under authority of the Policy will not be affected by these changes; GNWT employees remain subject to all applicable policies and safety measures in place in their workplace.

    While most will likely welcome the lifting restrictions, others may continue to have concerns. Some employees may not feel comfortable in the new post-pandemic environment; others may wish to continue to wear masks in shared or public spaces, to physically distance and to meet virtually rather than in person. Managers should be respectful and accepting of these preferences and encourage employees to make decisions regarding these issues in a manner that is comfortable to them.  Moreover, it is important that all staff remain respectful of the personal choices their colleagues may make in these matters.

    If you have any questions about how this affects you, please speak with your supervisor. The updated COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Guidelines are available at MyHR.

    February 28, 2022

    Following the changes to Public Health Orders announced by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) last week, the GNWT is revising its implementation GNWT Employee Vaccination Policy.

    Starting on March 1, 2022, proof of vaccination, testing, and enhanced PPE will only be required for employees and contractors who:

    • work with vulnerable members of the Public in the healthcare, education, and corrections sectors
    • work at a federally regulated worksite; or
    • other worksites where there are other vaccination policies or requirements.

    Employees who work directly with vulnerable sectors include teachers, correctional officers, and all healthcare professionals.

    Federally regulated industries and workplaces where there are other vaccination policies or requirements include air transportation, banks, and most federal Crown corporations.

    All other employees will no longer be required undergo regular testing and follow enhanced PPE use, effective March 1, 2022.

    All GNWT employees will still be required to wear masks in all common areas of GNWT office buildings and worksites. The masking requirement will remain in place until further notice.

    If you are uncertain about how these changes impact you, please speak with your supervisor. You can also visit https://my.hr.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/vaccination-requirements-gnwt-employees for more information.

    As an employer, the GNWT recognizes the need to update our response as COVID-19 begins to be treated as an endemic disease. The public health risk analysis used by the CPHO to justify restrictions is no longer focused on decreased transmission of COVID-19. As the Omicron variant generally causes less severe disease than previous variants, the focus is instead targeted at protecting those who are at higher risk of severe outcomes.

    Based on the advice of the CPHO, we are confident that we can start to reconsider some workplace processes and rules. However, as individuals and employees, we must remain cautious, conduct our own risk assessments, and continue to engage in healthy practices.

    Set your safety netsget vaccinated, and get a booster. If you are not vaccinated, take a moment to learn about vaccine safety and efficacy. Follow good hand hygiene and respiratory practices and use physical distancing where appropriate. It is still possible for further COVID-19 cases to occur and taking simple proactive measures like the ones mentioned here will help keep the risks low.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GNWT also has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit www.login.lifeworks.com (the username is gnwt and the password is GNWT).

    February 25, 2022

    Considering the changes to Public Health Orders announced today by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO), the GNWT is revising some COVID-19 restrictions for employees and worksites. As of March 1, 2022, all gathering restrictions in GNWT office buildings and worksites will be lifted and employees will no longer be required to work remotely for 72 hours upon return from travel outside the NWT.

    Gathering restrictions

    Current gathering requirements outlined through Public Health Orders will no longer be in effect as of March 1, 2022. Instead, the Chief Public Health Officer has outlined a series of recommendations for gatherings. As a result, all limits on the number of people in GNWT offices will also be removed on March 1, 2022.

    Requirement to work remotely for 72 hours

    As per the revised Public Health Order, all employees returning from outside the NWT will still need to submit a Self-Isolation Plan and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Employees who travelled outside the NWT will also require testing if they:

    • are returning from international travel;
    • are travelling to a small community within the NWT;
    • work or volunteer with high risk or vulnerable persons; and/or
    • have been advised that testing is required by a Public Health official.

    Current information on what is required when you travel is available at: https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/services/travel-isolation.

    All GNWT employees will still be required to wear masks in all common areas of GNWT office buildings and worksites. The masking requirement will remain in place until the further notice.

    As an employer, the GNWT recognizes the need to update our response as COVID-19 begins to be treated as an endemic disease. Based on the advice of the CPHO, we are confident that we can start to reconsider some workplace processes and rules. However, as individuals and employees, we must remain cautious, conduct our own risk assessments, and continue to engage in healthy practices.

    Set your safety netsget vaccinated, and get a booster. If you are not vaccinated, take a moment to learn about vaccine safety and efficacy. Follow good hand hygiene and respiratory practices and use physical distancing where appropriate. It is still possible for further COVID-19 cases to occur and taking simple proactive measures like the ones mentioned here will help keep the risks low.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional and mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The GNWT also has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit www.login.lifeworks.com(link is external) (the username is gnwt and the password is GNWT).

    January 19, 2022

    The Chief Public Health Officer has advised that cases have peaked or are declining in many communities. Many GNWT employees will be returning to their worksites very soon.

    Who will be returning to the worksite:

    • In the communities of Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę, Fort Providence, Hay River, Whatì, and Yellowknife, including Ndilǫ and Dettah, employees will return to their designated worksites on January 24, 2022.
    • If you have questions or concerns about returning to your worksite, please speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    Who will continue to work from home:

    • As the communities of Inuvik and Fort Smith are currently seeing significant increased in cases as well as community transmissions, employees who are able should continue working from home until further notice. These recommendations are intended to reduce contact between employees, students, and residents to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout the NWT.

    Thankfully, the processes and rules we have in place make our workplaces very safe. However, as individuals and employees we must remain cautious, conduct our own risk assessments, and continue to engage in healthy practices. Set your safety netsget vaccinated and get a booster. If you are not vaccinated, take a moment to learn about vaccine safety and efficacy. Follow good hand hygiene and respiratory practices, and use physical distancing where appropriate.

    It is still possible for further COVID-19 cases to occur and taking simple proactive measures like the ones mentioned here will help keep the risks low. If you have concerns regarding your mental or physical health during this transition, please speak with your supervisor about your situation.

     Most importantly, after we return to the office, we will ask that if you are not feeling well, that you please stay home. Similarly, if you live with an individual who is not feeling well, please stay home also. Additionally, if you have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you notify your manager and follow the recommendations of the Chief Public Health Officer.

    January 18, 2022

    The Chief Public Health Officer is indicating that there is rise in cases and high risk of community spread of COVID-19 in Fort Smith and Inuvik. As such, we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve. As of Wednesday, January 19, GNWT employees in Fort Smith and Inuvik that can work from home should do so.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and do our part to stop community transmission.

    Requests to remain in the worksite are at the discretion of each Departmental Deputy Head, keeping in mind what we are trying to achieve through these short-term measures to protect employees and the public we serve.

    Who will be working from home

    At this time, employees in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę, Fort Providence, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Whatì, and Yellowknife including Ndilǫ and Dettah are asked to work from home. If you work in another community, you should continue reporting to work as usual unless you are self-isolating or isolating, or a health professional tells you otherwise.

    Employees who cannot perform their job duties from home might be asked to continue reporting to their worksite, at the discretion of their Deputy Heads. Any employee deemed essential and requiring onsite presence will be advised by their supervisor as soon as possible.

    If you are unable to work from home because of home/personal reasons such as internet connectivity, lack of appropriate workspace at home, or mental wellness, please speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    All other employees in the listed communities are asked to work from home. Managers will be contacting employees and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.

    Those employees who are working from home but who need to visit their office to get their computer or equipment should work with their manager or supervisor to arrange a time when it is appropriate to do so, as long as they are not isolating or self-isolating.

    Just like previous times the GNWT has asked employees to work from home, all employees regardless of their circumstance will continue to be paid as normal.

    Advice for all employees

    Omicron is in the Northwest Territories and we should all take extra care. Set your safety nets, and take steps to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

    Get vaccinated. Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to avoid severe health outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Two doses of the vaccine product provide some level of protection from the Omicron variant. The booster dose provides an increased level of protection.

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange for testing, and follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. Regardless of travel and vaccination status, you should isolate and arrange for testing if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

    It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and healthy habits like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GNWT also has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.

    January 11, 2022

    The Chief Public Health Officer has indicated that there is community spread of COVID-19 in Délı̨nę. As such, we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve. As of Tuesday, January 11, GNWT employees in Délı̨nę that can work from home should do so.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and do our part to stop community transmission.

    Requests to remain in the worksite are at the discretion of each Departmental Deputy Head, keeping in mind what we are trying to achieve through these short-term measures to protect employees and the public we serve.

    Who will be working from home

    At this time, employees in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Délı̨nę, Fort Providence, Hay River, Whatì, and Yellowknife including Ndilǫ and Dettah are asked to work from home. If you work in another community, you should continue reporting to work as usual unless you are self-isolating or isolating, or a health professional tells you otherwise.

    Employees who cannot perform their job duties from home might be asked to continue reporting to their worksite, at the discretion of their Deputy Heads. Any employee deemed essential and requiring onsite presence will be advised by their supervisor as soon as possible.

    If you are unable to work from home because of home/personal reasons such as internet connectivity, lack of appropriate workspace at home, or mental wellness, please speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    All other employees in the listed communities are asked to work from home. Managers will be contacting employees and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.

    Those employees who are working from home but who need to visit their office to get their computer or equipment should work with their manager or supervisor to arrange a time when it is appropriate to do so, as long as they are not isolating or self-isolating.

    Just like previous times the GNWT has asked employees to work from home, all employees regardless of their circumstance will continue to be paid as normal.

    Advice for all employees

    Omicron is in the Northwest Territories and we should all take extra care. Set your safety nets, and take steps to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

    Get vaccinated. Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to avoid severe health outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Two doses of the vaccine product provide some level of protection from the Omicron variant. The booster dose provides an increased level of protection.

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange for testing, and follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. Regardless of travel and vaccination status, you should isolate and arrange for testing if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

    It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and healthy habits like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GNWT also has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.

    January 6, 2022

    With many new cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories, we are taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees and the people we serve. As of Friday January 7, GNWT employees in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Fort Providence, Hay River, Whatì, and Yellowknife including Ndilǫ and Dettah that can work from home should do so.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and do our part to stop community transmission.

    Requests to remain in the worksite are at the discretion of each Departmental Deputy Head, keeping in mind what we are trying to achieve through these short-term measures to protect employees and the public we serve.

    Who will be working from home

    At this time, employees in Aklavik, Behchokǫ̀, Fort Providence, Hay River, Whatì, and Yellowknife including Ndilǫ and Dettah are asked to work from home. If you work in another community, you should continue reporting to work as usual unless you are self-isolating or isolating, or a health professional tells you otherwise.

    Employees who cannot perform their job duties from home might be asked to continue reporting to their worksite, at the discretion of their Deputy Heads. Any employee deemed essential and requiring onsite presence will be advised by their supervisor as soon as possible.

    If you are unable to work from home because of home/personal reasons such as internet connectivity, lack of appropriate workspace at home, or mental wellness, please speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    All other employees will be asked to work from home, effective Friday January 7. Managers will be contacting employees and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.

    Those employees who are working from home but who need to visit their office to get their computer or equipment should work with their manager or supervisor to arrange a time when it is appropriate to do so, as long as they are not isolating or self-isolating.

    Just like previous times the GNWT has asked employees to work from home, all employees regardless of their circumstance will continue to be paid as normal.

    Advice for all employees

    Omicron is in the Northwest Territories and we should all take extra care. Set your safety nets, and take steps to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

    Get vaccinated. Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to avoid severe health outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Two doses of the vaccine product provide some level of protection from the Omicron variant. The booster dose provides an increased level of protection.

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19, arrange for testing, and follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. Regardless of travel and vaccination status, you should isolate and arrange for testing if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

    It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and healthy habits like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. The GNWT also has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.

    December 31, 2021

    Yesterday the CPHO announced a change of return to school date for all NWT schools. I wanted to take a moment to clarify what this means for GNWT employees and worksites. Worksites other than schools that were closed during mandatory leave will be reopening on Tuesday January 4th as planned, and GNWT employees are expected to report to their worksite.

    If you have school-aged children that require care between January 4th and 7th, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation. Managers and supervisors are asked to continue to be flexible and supportive of employee circumstances when establishing priorities and expectations, while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT.

    Reminder: If you are traveling

    We know that the new Omicron variant is more transmissible and incubates very quickly. Upon your return, we urge you to take the additional steps and precautions to keep your community safe.

    To help keep our communities and worksites safe, GNWT employees returning from travel outside the Northwest Territories are required to work from home for the first three days after arrival. You’re also strongly encouraged to diligently self-monitor, and to limit your contact with others. This will help keep your coworkers and your community safe. See the full details on BearNet.

    Advice for all employees

    Omicron is in the Northwest Territories and we should all take extra care. Set your safety nets, and take steps to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

    Get vaccinated. Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to avoid severe health outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Two doses of the vaccine product provide some level of protection from the Omicron variant. The booster dose provides an increased level of protection.

    We ask that if you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. Similarly, if you live with an individual who is not feeling well, please stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, arrange for testing, and follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. Regardless of travel and vaccination status, you should isolate and arrange for testing if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

    It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and healthy habits like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    December 17, 2021

    For many of us, December is a time for family, traditions, and rest. We know that for many employees this means travel to Southern Canada to see family, and that this travel is important for mental health. But we also know that travel increases the risk of bringing the coronavirus into the territory.

    We know that the new Omicron variant is more transmissible and incubates very quickly. Upon your return, we urge you to take the additional steps and precautions to keep your community safe.

    If you are traveling in December and/or January:

    To help keep our communities and worksites safe, GNWT employees returning from travel outside the Northwest Territories are required to work from home for the first three days after arrival. You’re also strongly encouraged to diligently self-monitor, and to limit your contact with others. This will help keep your coworkers and your community safe.

    What does this mean, and who does this apply to:

    • This requirement does not apply to essential workers and employees who continued to report to their worksite during previous work from home orders.
    • This requirement does apply to most other employees. If you’ve worked from home previously, you should work from home for the first three days after you return from travel.
    • This applies to the three calendar days, not workdays, following your return to the Northwest Territories.
    • If you’re traveling in December and/or January, speak to your supervisor about your situation, and make arrangements so you can work effectively from home.
    • If you’ve traveled, you must still follow Public Health Orders, and any requirements from the Government of Canada. The requirement to work from home is an additional step that GNWT employees must follow.

    Managers and supervisors will continue to be flexible and supportive of employee circumstances when establishing priorities and expectations, while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. If you need to provide care for young children while you’re working from home, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    Advice for all employees

    Whether you’re traveling or not, we should all take extra care throughout the holidays. Set your safety nets, and take steps to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

    Get vaccinated. Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to avoid severe health outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Two doses of the vaccine product provide some level of protection from the Omicron variant. The booster dose provides an increased level of protection.

    We ask that if you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. Similarly, if you live with an individual who is not feeling well, please stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, arrange for testing, and follow the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer. Regardless of travel and vaccination status, you should isolate and arrange for testing if you develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

    It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and healthy habits like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    November 23, 2021

    Vaccination is a vital tool to reduce the presence and impact of COVID-19 in the workplace, in communities, and in the Northwest Territories as a whole. To this end the GNWT has developed and is implementing the GNWT Employee Vaccination Policy (the Policy) to safeguard our employees and the residents of the Northwest Territories we serve from the hazards of COVID-19.

    In order to comply with the Policy, all GNWT employees must provide proof of vaccination on or before November 30, 2021, or, upon implementation of the Policy, must adhere to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and COVID-19 testing protocols as required.

    Please log in to SAM/HRIS as soon as possible and upload your proof of vaccination. After you submit your proof of vaccination, it will be verified by the Human Resource branch and both you and your supervisor will receive an email confirming that your submission has been accepted.

    This verification can take up to 72 hours. If your submission is incomplete or incorrect, it will be returned to you, and you’ll need to resubmit. Don’t wait until the last minute – if your submission has not been verified, your supervisor will not receive a confirmation email, and you be required to wear PPE until your submission is confirmed.

    For employees who have not had their submitted proof of vaccination verified by December 1, 2021:

    Beginning December 1, 2021, Policy mandated PPE requirements will be in effect across the GNWT. Employees who have not provided proof of vaccination will adhere to PPE use requirements as directed by their department or agency guidelines.

    Given the realities of test kit procurement and logistical challenges in distributing kits to remote communities, the GNWT will implement testing requirements community-by-community. Implementation dates will be shared at a later date. Once the testing requirements are implemented, regardless of reason or intent, those GNWT employees who have not submitted proof of vaccination and had their proof of vaccination verified:

    • will be provided with self-administered COVID-19 testing kits and will be required to provide the GNWT with a confirmation that they will adhere to testing protocols as directed;

    • will be informed of consequences for non-compliance with the Policy;

    • will complete self-administered, at home testing as required by their department or agency; and

    • will inform their supervisor of their compliance with testing as and when required by their department or agency.

    COVID-19 has greatly affected our lives, our work, and our activities. Getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and the people around you, and help us all get back to life more like we remember it before the pandemic began.

    Vaccination gives us all an added layer of protection against the virus and helps build community immunity. Community-wide vaccination helps protect our friends, family and loved ones from getting sick with COVID-19 and helps limit the severity of illness in cases of break-through infection.

    October 21, 2021

    As of October 22nd, the Chief Public Health Officer has introduced new restrictions related to Indoor Gatherings. Under the new guidelines up to 25 individuals may gather indoors per floor without the need of an exemption.

    At the same time, the containment orders and temporary gathering limits orders for Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah are being lifted, and new containment orders and temporary gathering limits orders are being introduced for Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation.

    What this means:

    • Many GNWT employees in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah will return to their worksites. We will initially be welcoming back up to 25 people per floor, and intend to welcome back more employees in the coming days and weeks as we work through the CPHO’s latest gathering restrictions. Your supervisor will be in contact to let you know how this applies to you.
    • The majority of GNWT employees in Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation will be asked to work from home for at least 14 days (until November 2, 2021). Employees will work from home for the duration of the containment order. Further updates will be shared as more information becomes available.
    • Employees who are working in other communities with more than 25 people on their floor will need to reduce the number of people reporting to their worksite to 25 people. This could mean that some employees in other communities could be asked to work from home.
    • There will still be employees who will require accommodations as per the GNWT’s Duty to Accommodate policy. Some employees will continue to work from home because of arrangements reached under our duty to accommodate and the move to return employees to the worksite will not affect these individuals.

    The GNWT will be working with the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer to apply for variances for worksites where it is safe to do so. We expect in the coming days and weeks to be able to welcome back more employees. More information will follow.

    Thankfully, the restrictions, processes and rules we have in place make our workplaces very safe. However, as individuals and employees we must remain cautious, conduct our own risk assessments, and continue to engage in healthy practices such as cleaning of personal workspaces, good hand hygiene and respiratory practices, and use of physical distancing where appropriate.

    October 14, 2021

    The GNWT remains committed to the protection of the health and well-being of its employees while also working to reduce the risk of community spread throughout the territory.

    Many GNWT employees are to continue working from home at the recommendation of the Chief Public Health Officer.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • Employees in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah and Behchokǫ̀ will continue working from home until October 22.
    • All other communities will continue normal operations.
    • We are aware that the CPHO’s announcement could affect employees working in larger buildings (more than 25 people per floor) outside of Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah and Behchokǫ̀. We expect to provide more information on this topic next week.
    • Employees who have been reporting to their worksites will continue to do so unless advised otherwise by their supervisors. If your circumstances have changed and you believe you need to work from home, please speak to your supervisor.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission and do our part to stop community transmission in the NWT.

    Your adaptability and commitment to the public service are greatly appreciated. If you need to provide care for young children while you’re working from home, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    As we continue to adapt to our evolving situation, we want to ensure our employees and their families members take care of their mental health and well-being. As many employees are working from home and assisting with online schooling, we wanted to remind our employees that many of our resources can be accessed from your home or from your mobile device. The services include many wellness services, in addition to counselling services, that can be accessed within your home with your family members. These services include;

    • Life Works (formerly Morneau Shepell) is 24/7 platform that provides access to counselling, online services to address mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing and available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play
    • Life Speak is a 24/7 platform where expert information and videos on a wide range of topics can be accessed – all completely confidentially. It can also be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play
    • AbilityCBT is an app-based program available 24/7. It is delivered by trained therapists that provide interactive, cognitive behavioral therapy. The AbilitiCBT app is available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play

     

    October 7, 2021

    The GNWT remains committed to the protection of the health and well-being of its employees while also working to reduce the risk of community spread throughout the territory.

    We were very encouraged to hear that the residents, Community Government and leadership team in Whatı̀ have supported one another, from a distance, during the recent containment order. Their effort has reduced the risk of COVID-19 spread within the community and the CPHO has indicated that if this continues there is no intention of renewing the containment order in the community. We anticipate being able to welcome employees back to their normal worksites after the Whatı̀ containment order expires on October 9th.

    However, at the recommendation of the Chief Public Health Officer, many employees in other communities will continue to work from home.

    Here are the latest updates:

    • NEW: Employees in Whatı̀ will continue working from home for the duration of the containment order. The containment order is set to expire October 9th and we expect to welcome employees back to their normal worksite after that.
    • NEW: Employees in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ and Dettah will continue working from home until October 17th, 2021.
    • Employees in Behchokǫ̀ will continue working from home for the duration of the containment order (until October 18th).
    • All other communities will continue normal operations.
    • Employees who have been reporting to their worksites will continue to do so unless advised otherwise by their supervisors. If your circumstances have changed and you believe you need to work from home, please speak to your supervisor.

    As the number of cases of COVID-19 in the territory increase, working from home is just one way to help reduce community spread and transmission. It is also critical that we all continue to follow the Public Health Orders and all recommendations such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance.

    Managers and supervisors will continue to be flexible and supportive of employee circumstances when establishing priorities and expectations, while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. If you need to provide care for young children while you’re working from home, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty you can visit the Emotional and Mental Health page on MyHR. There, you’ll find tips and tools to help maintain and support emotional & mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thank you,

    William MacKay, Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

    September 29, 2021

    As we announced on Monday, as of November 30th, 2021 the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will require employees who interact with vulnerable members of the public to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The objective is to ensure a safe working environment for our employees, as well as our communities and the vulnerable members of the public that we serve. 

    The COVID-19 vaccination policy is now posted.

    The policy recognizes that each department, each worksite and each job role is different. Health care centres, corrections facilities and schools aren’t the same. That is why departments will tailor the implementation of this policy to the specific realities of their workplaces.

    Deputy Heads are responsible for designating who the policy will apply to, and for communicating the department-specific implementation details. Your department will provide more details when they are available.

    You can see the policy, implementation guidelines and some Q&A on MyHR. We’ll be adding new information as it becomes available.

    The GNWT continues to strongly encourage all public servants and NWT residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and to continue following healthy habits.

    -William MacKay, Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

    September 27, 2021

    Vaccination for GNWT employees

    As of November 30th, 2021 the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will require employees who interact with vulnerable members of the public to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The objective is to ensure a safe working environment for our employees, as well as our communities and the vulnerable members of the public that we serve.  

    The GNWT engaged with the Union of Northern Workers, the NWT Teachers Association, Indigenous Governments, and others to develop the policy. We expect to provide more operational details about the policy in the coming weeks, but in the interim, here are some of the policy highlights:

    • The GNWT will require that employees who interact with vulnerable members of the public are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 30th, 2021. 
    • The policy will apply to those who provide service to vulnerable members of the public in the healthcare, education and corrections sector, and employees travelling to remote communities on duty travel.
    • Accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for medical reasons or based on protected grounds under the Human Rights Act.
    • Employee privacy and confidentiality is very important. Access to documents and information relating to an employee’s vaccination status will be on a need-to-know basis and restricted to only the specific individuals necessary to carry out the implementation of this Policy.

    We will be sharing more information in the coming days, and your deputy head will be sharing department-specific information as it becomes available. 

    Minister Caroline Wawzonek and I will be hosting an employees-only town hall in the coming weeks where we’ll be answering questions about working from home, vaccination requirements, and any other HR questions you have. Keep an eye out for that invitation. 

    The GNWT continues to strongly encourage all public servants and NWT residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and to continue following healthy habits. 
    As always, stay safe, be kind, and look out for one another. 

    -William MacKay, Deputy Minister, Department of Finance

    September 22, 2021

    Working from home extended

    In light of continuing concerns about community transmission in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Whatı̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah, the majority of GNWT employees in those communities will continue to work from home at the recommendation of the Chief Public Health Officer.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • If you’re currently working from home in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Whatı̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah, you will continue working from home:
      • Employees in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ and Dettah will continue working from home for 10 days (until October 4th). 
      • Employees in Behchokǫ̀ will continue working from home for the duration of the containment order (until October 7th). 
      • Employees in Whatı̀ will continue working from home for the duration of the containment order (until October 9th). 
    • All other communities will continue normal operations.
    • Employees who have been reporting to their worksites will continue to do so unless advised otherwise by their supervisors. If your circumstances have changed and you believe you need to work from home, please speak to your supervisor.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission and do our part to stop community transmission in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Whatı̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah.

    Your adaptability and commitment to the public service are greatly appreciated. If you need to provide care for young children while you’re working from home, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation. Managers and supervisors are asked to continue to be flexible and supportive of employee circumstances when establishing priorities and expectations, while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. 

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty, the GNWT has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit www.workhealthlife.com. Additional information and resources are available through MyHR. If you have other questions about working from home, check the BearNet post and speak with your supervisor.

    September 13, 2021

    Schools in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ and Dettah will be closed.

    With today’s Chief Public Health Officer announcement that schools will be closing, here's what you can expect in the coming days:

    • Schools in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ and Dettah will be closed on Tuesday, September 14 for ten days (until September 24).
    • Daycare centres will remain open from Sept 14 – 24.
    • Most GNWT employees will continue to work from home. Working from home has been extended until September 24.

    For employees in Yellowknife, Ndilǫ, Dettah, and communities under a containment order this might mean that working from home will be a little different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that will address the difficult and varied individual situations employees are dealing with. Managers and supervisors are asked to be flexible and supportive of employee circumstances when establishing priorities and expectations while employees work from home while ensuring continued essential government operations and services to residents of the NWT. It is through open and frank conversations about balancing workload priorities and expectations against staff capacity that we will be able to work together to get through the next ten days.

    If you need to provide care for young children while you’re working from home, speak to your supervisor about your individual situation. 

    If you have other questions about working from home, check the BearNet post and speak with your supervisor. 

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty, the GNWT has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit www.workhealthlife.com. Additional information and resources are available through MyHR.


    September 8, 2021

    Over the past few weeks, the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) has issued several public exposure notifications for communities across the NWT.  Community transmission is now occurring in Yellowknife and could affect nearby road-accessible communities (Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah). 

    In keeping with the recently announced recommendations from the CPHO, as of Wednesday, September 8 at 5:00 p.m., the majority of GNWT employees in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah will be asked to work from home for at least 14 days (until September 22, 2021). Further updates will be shared as more information becomes available.

    The objective of the work from home measure is to reduce the number of employees in office settings, reduce the risk of COVID transmission, and do our part to stop community transmission in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah.

    Requests to remain in the worksite are at the discretion of each Departmental Deputy Head, keeping in mind what we are trying to achieve through these short-term measures to protect employees and the public we serve. 

    Who will be working from home

    At this time, only employees who report to a worksite in Yellowknife, Behchokǫ̀, Ndilǫ and Dettah will be asked to work from home. If you work in another community, you should continue reporting to work as usual unless you have been told otherwise by a health professional.

    Employees who can not perform their job duties from home might be asked to continue reporting to their worksite, at the discretion of their Deputy Heads. Any employee who has been deemed essential and requiring onsite presence will be advised by their supervisor by Wednesday, September 8 at 5:00 p.m.

    All other employees will be asked to work from home, effective 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. Managers will be contacting employees and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued government operations and services to residents of the NWT. Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.

    Just like previous times the GNWT has asked employees to work from home, all employees regardless of their circumstance will continue to be paid as normal.


    July 17, 2021

    COVID-19 Update for Employees

    Given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in multiple NWT communities, the GNWT will be taking steps to adjust our operations to ensure that we support employees to manage their personal risk so they feel safe reporting to work and that we are all doing what we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our territory.

    Effective immediately the GNWT has decided to limit duty travel within the NWT to essential travel only.  Although there is no strict definition of essential, some examples include supporting pandemic efforts and ensuring that key infrastructure is functional.  Management teams are asked to apply a risk management lens when assessing whether proposed travel into communities should be deemed essential and should be scheduled.

    One of the ways we can keep communities and employees safe, is by not sending unvaccinated employees into communities on duty travel.   As your department is planning essential travel, please consider whether your vaccination status may pose a risk to yourself, or to the community you are being asked to visit and discuss this with your supervisor.  

    While we will NOT be asking employees to work remotely at this time, we will be asking employees to wear masks in all common areas of GNWT office buildings and worksites.  Additionally, we should all take care to socially distance by holding meetings, whenever possible, electronically. Employees should also remember that if anyone in their household is symptomatic or identified as a close contact of a case of COVID-19, you should approach your supervisor about the need to work from home.

    For regular updates about how the GNWT is responding to our current situation, to find out more about recent exposure notifications, and to better understand the recommendations and guidance being issued by the CPHO, please visit the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Response to COVID-19 webpage.

    Here are some simple, healthy habits you can follow to keep yourself and your community safe:

    • Prioritize physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
    • Wear your mask when you’re in public to show you care for your community. If everyone does it, we’ll all be protecting each other a little bit more.
    • Stay home if you’re even just a little bit sick.
    • Call the local health centre and get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of symptoms.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Self-isolate whenever you’re required to – and stick to your plan the whole way through.
    • Keep your coughs and sneezes to yourself.

    If you haven’t already, please make an appointment to get vaccinated. Vaccination clinics continue to be held in communities across the territory.  Getting vaccinated is one of the key things we can all do to prevent or reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease in ourselves and others.  It is critical that as the fourth wave of COVID-19 begins in our territory we think of our friends, family, co-workers, elders and children and we take the necessary steps to protect them wherever possible.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty, the GNWT has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.


    May 3, 2021

    A Message to Employees from the Deputy Minister of Finance

    Like all of you, I was saddened to hear on Saturday night that the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) had declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at N.J. MacPherson school in Yellowknife. The outbreak then led to a decision to close all Yellowknife, Ndilǫ̨, and Dettah schools until further notice.

    Many Government of the Northwest Territories employees will be affected by this outbreak. Some people will be required 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.

    Everyone’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.

    • 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 use 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 use special leave (code: SPECIAL LEAVE – SELF ISOLATION)

    If you are in your worksite, please continue to be mindful of the mitigation measures in place at your worksite and take care to socially distance and always wear a mask in all common spaces.

    Please remember that if Public Health has not been in contact to ask that you be tested, and you do not have symptoms, there is no reason to ask for testing at this time. The testing centre is currently very busy, and appointments are needed for those who have been identified as contacts or have COVID symptoms.

    Here are some simple, healthy habits you can follow to keep yourself and your community safe:

    • Prioritize physical distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.
    • Wear your mask when you’re in public to show you care for your community. If everyone does it, we’ll all be protecting each other a little bit more.
    • Stay home if you’re even just a little bit sick.
    • Call the local health centre and get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of symptoms.
    • Wash your hands frequently.
    • Self-isolate whenever you’re required to – and stick to your plan the whole way through.
    • Keep your coughs and sneezes to yourself.

    I know the idea of COVID-19 in our community is scary and feeling anxiety in this situation is natural and valid. At this time, the best thing we can do to keep each other safe is help each other, especially those who are self-isolating; support each other through empathy and kindness; and stick to the public health measures that we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty, the GNWT has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.

    We are all going through this together – and we need to be kind to each other to stay strong as we respond.

    - Sandy Kalgutkar, Deputy Minister of Finance


    August 4, 2020

    Managing your information and technology tools as you return to the office

    As we return back to our offices there are a number of important tasks you need to do to ensure the safety and security of the GNWT’s network and records.

    You can review these tasks at the Technology Service Centre website. You can also contact the TSC at 867-920-4408 or TSCservicedesk@gov.nt.ca.

    Please note: If this is your first time visiting the TSC website, you will be required to sign in.


    July 10, 2020

    A Message from the Minister of Finance: Planning to Return GNWT Employees to the Worksite

    First, I want to take a moment to thank you all for your continued hard work over the last several months.  As the Minister Responsible for the Public Service, and as a resident of this territory, I have been very proud of the dedication and commitment I have witnessed by public servants during what has been a very tumultuous and difficult time.  The work you do, whether it has been done from home or in the workplace, has helped ensure our government’s timely response to the pandemic and continues to be very much appreciated.

    We have now been in Phase 2 of Emerging Wisely for several weeks, and the senior management teams in your departments have been developing and finalizing plans to bring employees safely back to the worksite. As previously announced to you in May, we have been taking a planned and prudent approach to returning employees to the worksite, beginning with those offices where there has been an interruption in service, and where we could comply with CPHO requirements concerning worksite capacity, physical distancing, hand-washing and infection control. 

    While we continue to implement this approach – which has seen approximately 60% of staff return to their worksites – we are also working on plans for bringing remaining GNWT staff back to their worksites safely and in accordance with public health requirements. 

    Because every worksite is physically different and staffed at different levels, it is necessary for your management teams to consider and plan for each worksite separately. As part of this planning, each management team will have to file an Application to Vary from Public Health Order Requirements with the Chief Public Health Officer that identifies what arrangements are being made to limit exposure to COVID-19 for our staff and clients for individual worksites.

    These applications will need to be reviewed and approved by the CPHO and the Department of Finance before remaining staff will be returned to each worksite.

    Over the coming weeks, as plans are approved to be implemented, we are going to start seeing the staggered return to the worksite of employees across the public service.  When the plan to return to your worksite is ready to be implemented, your manager or supervisor will reach out to you and your coworkers to talk about your worksite specific plan. They will provide you with the details of the plan for your worksite, when you are scheduled to return to the worksite, and what safety precautions have been put in place to ensure your safety in the worksite.

    While we anticipate the return of most public servants to the worksite over the next 4-6 weeks, we recognize that the personal situations and circumstances of individual employees must be taken into account.  There will be employees who cannot return to the worksite as a result of health issues that put them at increased risk, or because they have children at home who require care.  These employees will be permitted to continue to work from home until their circumstances change.  If you are an employee dealing with one of these issues, please contact your supervisor to discuss your personal situation.

    Thank you again for all of your hard work over the last several months,

    -Minister Caroline Wawzonek
     


    June 18, 2020

    Choosing not to travel outside the NWT and Nunavut is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. The Government of the Northwest Territories strongly urges all employees to avoid all non-essential, out-of-territory travel over the summer. However, we also recognize that many employees may still choose to travel outside NWT and Nunavut over the coming months.

    All GNWT employees are subject to the Orders of the Chief Public Health Officer. As such, all employees who travel outside the NWT and Nunavut will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the territory. Like all residents, any employee who leaves the territories will also need to have an isolation plan approved by Protect NWT in place for their return.

    Effective July 1st, any employee who plans to leave the NWT and Nunavut for non-essential travel will be required to request annual, lieu or leave without pay to cover the 14-day isolation period if they are unable to work remotely upon their return. If you are currently outside of the NWT, you will continue to be able to access special leave for the isolation period if you are unable to work remotely upon your return.

    For more information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions. You can also refer to COVID-19 Leave Requirements for Travel Outside the NWT and Nunavut.
     


    May 26, 2020

    As our Government continues to mobilize to support the response to COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories, several areas still requiring additional support have been identified within the Department of Health and Social Services (HSS) and the Emergency Management Organization (EMO).  

    In order to support this effort, employees who are in non-essential positions are being asked to speak with their managers or supervisors to confirm their status and eligibility. Afterwards they can use the simple online tool to identify their interest in being reassigned to support response activities.  A list of areas requiring additional support is available for review.

    Once you have identified yourself as interested, the Department of Finance will work with your Manager/Supervisor to confirm that your home position is non-essential and that you are available to be reassigned.  If a reassignment opportunity is identified for you, you will be contacted by a representative from the Department of Finance to arrange the details.

    Any employee who is reassigned will continue to receive the pay and benefits of their home position. The terms and conditions of employment attached to your home position remain unchanged.  Any required and approved overtime will be paid at the applicable overtime rates. If required, duty travel will be paid at the applicable rates.

    Resources


    May 15, 2020

    Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) decisions on how and when employees should return to their worksites will continue to be based onthe guidance and direction of the CPHO when making decisions. Determining when employees should return to the worksite will be based on various factors, such as what services to residents are required as we move through the phases of returning to normal operations and ensuring that the employee is able to work in an environment that meets all safety protocols.

    As an employer, the GNWT will continue to be flexible and will take the individual circumstances of our employees into consideration when planning for the return to the worksite. 

    If you are an employee who will be returning to the worksite, management will be in touch about the approved plan to return safely and will provide you with a return date.  Until management is in contact with you about a return date, you will continue to work from home. 


    May 12, 2020

    Today, the NWT's Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) released ‘Emerging Wisely’ which outlines where we are as a territory in our response to COVID-19, and how the CPHO intends to safely, gradually and wisely ease restrictions.  COVID-19 is going to remain a risk as long as there is community spread in southern Canada, and some restrictions are going to have to stay in place until the pandemic is over. These include travel restrictions, self-isolation protocols, physical distancing in public places, wearing non-medical masks in public, hand washing, good respiratory hygiene, and strong infection controls.

    The GNWT’s priority remains ensuring the safety of our employees and the public we serve.  With this in mind, the Department of Finance is actively developing guidance and templates that follow the direction included in ‘Emerging Wisely’ that will be used by departments to plan for a gradual, safe and orderly return of employees to the worksite over the coming weeks and months. Even after the territory has moved into what is referred to in ‘Emergency Wisely’ as ‘Relaxing Phase 2: Next Steps’, many employees will continue to work from home.  When it comes time for employees to return to their worksites, their managers will reach out and make them aware of what the specific plans are for their worksite and unit. 

    We also recognize that the personal situations of individual employees will vary as a result of their personal health status and/or the need to continue to care for children who are not in school or summer camps.  As work units begin to plan for and implement the gradual return to the worksite of employees, consideration will be given to the individual circumstances of each employee.  Employees should have discussions with their managers about their particular situations so that managers can plan appropriately.

    If you are struggling through this time of uncertainty, the GNWT has supports in place for you through the Employee Family Assistance Program. For immediate and confidential assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 1-844-880-9142 or visit workhealthlife.com.


    May 11, 2020

    The GNWT will be able to recover costs directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the federal government. The Department of Finance, Office of the Comptroller General will coordinate the tracking, reporting, and recovery of costs from the federal government on behalf of all departments and public agencies.

    Starting May 12, 2020, all employees who have been re-deployed or re-assigned as a part of the GNWT’s COVID-10 response will need to enter their time into HRIS using COVID-19 specific codes.

    For more information, please refer to Tracking and Recovering COVID-19 Related Costs.


    April 20, 2020

    The GNWT is currently working hard to adapt our operations to remote work and to effectively  respond to COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories.  We recognize that this is a difficult and uncertain time for our employees. While social media can provide a way to connect with each other in a time when we are all being asked to stay away from one another, it can also be a source of rumours and misinformation. The GNWT would like all of our employees to know that at this time workforce reduction measures are not being considered as a part of the GNWT response to COVID-19.  


    March 25, 2020

    In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the Government of Canada has implemented temporary changes to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). These measures are designed to help PSHCP members and eligible dependants access health care benefits while at the same time minimizing social interaction with health care professionals. The following temporary measures will be in effect from March 24, 2020, until April 24, 2020, with the possibility of being extended.  For more information please see the communique from the Treasury Board Secretariat.


    March 17, 2020

    The GNWT is committed to following the advice from our Chief Public Health Officer on the importance of implementing social distancing measures where possible to assist in mitigating and containing the possible risk to the health of our employees and to all the residents of the NWT.

    Therefore, as of Thursday, March 19 the majority of GNWT employees will be asked to work from home until further notice.

    • Employees who have been deemed to be providing critical services requiring on site presence will be expected to report to work in person as normal;
      • Any employee who has been deemed critical and requiring onsite presence will be contacted by  9:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 by management.
    • All other employees will be asked to work from home as of Thursday, March 19;
      • Managers will be contacting you and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued essential government operations and services to residents of the NWT.
      • Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.
      •  We can assure you that all employees regardless of the particular circumstance will continue to be paid through regular time, or through a form of paid leave.
    • Those employees who have been asked to work from home but who need to visit their office for computer or equipment should work with their manager or supervisor to arrange a time when it is appropriate to do so, as long as they are not self-isolating.

    This transition will take some time, and we are working as quickly as possible to give you the precise guidance you need as things continue to evolve rapidly. We are asking employees for patience as we work through all of the logistics related to setting up remote work arrangements.  The Technology Service Centre (TSC) and Information Systems Shared Services (ISSS) are actively working with departmental business continuity planners to operationalize the transition.

    As you can appreciate, the next couple of days are critical for the implementation of Business Continuity Plans. This is an unprecedented situation and is being monitored very closely. We will continue to communicate information on an on-going basis.