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Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

Updated on July 6, 2021

 

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.

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

  • Every employee’s situation will be unique, and you should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible.  If an employee can work effectively from home and operational requirements allow it, supervisors may continue to permit employees to work from home during self-isolationIf you can work remotely during your self-isolation, 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).  Please see the ‘Leave’ section below if your self-isolation is related to non-essential travel.
  • 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).

2. Can I continue to work from home event if I am not self-isolating?

Every employee’s situation will be unique, and you should discuss yours with your supervisor as soon as possible.  If an employee can work effectively from home and operational requirements allow it, supervisors may continue to permit employees to work from home. 

Leave

1. 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. 

2. If I return from travel outside of the territory and I am required to self-isolate due to the Self-Isolation requirements of either myself or that of a family member, what type of leave do I use?

Employees must request leave for their vacation and any required self-isolation before they travel if they cannot work remotely upon their return. Employees should speak with their supervisor before they travel to confirm whether they will be able to work remotely during self-isolation. If you are unable to work remotely during your self-isolation as a result of traveling out of the Northwest Territories for non-essential travel you will be required to use annual, lieu or leave without pay for the self-isolation period. For more information on self-isolation requirement when returning to the NWT please see the GNWT COVID-19 website.

3. What if I left the NWT on essential travel (i.e. medical travel)? 

If your trip out of territory was essential, you may be able to use sick or special leave.

Working from home

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

If you were directed 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?

If you were directed 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. I am working from home for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 Pandemic; will the GNWT reimburse me for any overage costs as a result of working from home?

Employees approved to work from home at their own request are responsible for any service charges for their Remote Work Site including phone line and Internet (email), as well as the cost of any home utilities, and any renovation costs associated with the Remote Work Site.

 

Mental Health and Wellness

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.