Employee FAQ

Brandon University takes the health and safety of everyone on campus very seriously. These are our top priorities, especially during this ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As we continue to take measures to limit any spread of coronavirus on our campus, there are several ways you can help. These are based on guidance from public health authorities, including the Public Health Agency of Canada and Manitoba Health. Please read and follow these instructions.

Brandon University requires you to take certain precautions:

  • If you have travelled internationally, you MUST self-isolate AT HOME for 14 days, starting on the date of your return to Canada.
  • If you develop symptoms that are characteristic of COVID-19, you MUST call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 and you also MUST follow their directions regarding self-isolation AT HOME starting from onset of symptoms.
  • If you come into DIRECT contact with a CONFIRMED case of COVID-19, you MUST call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 and you also MUST follow their directions regarding self-isolation AT HOME.
  • All members of the BU community who self-isolate at home MUST notify their immediate supervisors as well as BU Human Resources at FisherK@BrandonU.ca. All information will be kept confidential.

We recognize that this situation brings with it a great deal of uncertainty and the members of our community have many questions.  We have created this FAQ to guide our Faculty and Staff through our interim measures which have been established to maintain the University operations effectively.

I’m worried about exposure to coronavirus or COVID-19 at work. What precautions are in place?

We are taking this situation seriously, and working hard to limit any spread of coronavirus in our community.

The Brandon University campus is largely closed, and everyone is strongly urged to work from home as much as possible. This helps protect those who must continue to work on campus.

We have distributed additional sanitizer stations around campus, and you are encouraged to use sanitizer liberally. We have also secured sufficient stock of sanitizer, gloves, masks and other protective gear to protect those who need it most.

We are significantly increasing our cleaning schedule to focus on the regular disinfection of contact surfaces.

There are several ways you can help to limit the spread of coronavirus. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides the most current guidance online at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

Employees who have travelled internationally or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are required to self-isolate and report to HR. Due to privacy considerations, the university would not identify the individual impacted but you will be advised if the university has reason to believe that you may need to self-isolate.

Should employees who show any sign of illness (e.g. runny nose, sore throat) self-isolate?

If you are feeling unwell and/or showing signs of illness, you should not come to work. You may use available accrued sick time in this situation. If feeling well enough and your work lends itself to working remotely, you should speak with your supervisor about working from home until you are symptom-free. Consistent with government recommendations, employees will not be asked to produce a medical (sick) note which will help to reduce burden on the health care system and additional exposure to ill individuals.

Can sick leave be used if I am asked/required to self-isolate or am quarantined?

An employee can use accrued sick leave to cover their absence from work due to self-isolation or quarantine. Eligible employees will also be able to use banked time, accrued vacation and/or other benefits through Employment Insurance if required. An unpaid leave of absence is normally a last resort.

If my child’s daycare or school is closed, may I work from home?

If your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you should work from home. You should raise this with your manager and together you should work out a work-from-home plan. We acknowledge that, depending on the age of your child, you may not be able to effectively work while at home due to caregiving responsibilities. If this is the case, please talk with your manager about modified work hours (e.g., evenings).  You may also consider use of care for or sick leave, accrued vacation or banked time.

If I have to care for a sick family member, may I work from home?

If your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you should work from home. You should raise this with your manager and together you should work out a work-from-home plan. We acknowledge that, depending on the well-being of your family member, you may not be able to effectively work while at home due to caregiving responsibilities. If this is the case, please talk with your manager about modified work hours (e.g., evenings). You may also consider use of care for or sick leave, accrued vacation or banked time.

If my immune system is compromised or if a family member in my home has a compromised immune system, may I work from home?

If your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you should work from home. You should raise this with your manager and together you should work out a work-from-home plan.  You may also consider use of care for or sick leave, accrued vacation or banked time.

How are you keeping employees safe if they cannot work from home?

We recognize many functions do not lend themselves to being performed from home. In those situations, we encourage employees to adhere to preventative measures. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides the most current guidance online at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

One of the ways we are working to limit any spread of coronavirus on campus is through sending other people home so as to protect those who must remain.

Physical distancing is the most important and most powerful way to limit the exponential spread of the virus. You should take physical distancing seriously and respect the ways that other people choose to practice physical distancing.

When these measures are practiced with diligence they are an effective means for minimizing the spread of the disease.

In addition, employees should consult with their supervisor for specific protocols that may be in place for certain jobs.  Your safety is important to us.

Should supervisors let their employees work from home?

In situations where work can temporarily be performed from home or at an alternate location, we encourage supervisors to work with employees to identify those instances, and pursue remote work at this time. A key consideration for supervisors is whether or not remote work is compatible with the employee’s job responsibilities.  The University retains the ability to terminate the temporary remote work arrangement at its discretion.

Tools and resources are in place to support work from home situations.  More information is available online at https://www.brandonu.ca/helpdesk/staff/working-from-home/

If I am working from home, am I still able to come to campus?

If you are working from home but require temporary access to campus for such purposes as accessing files, signing documents, etc., you may do so as long as you are well and not self-isolating or quarantined. Please limit your visits to campus as much as possible and arrange with colleagues and co-workers to stagger your visits.

If you are self-isolating or quarantined, you are required to stay at home at all times.

If the university closes, will I still get paid?

The university has closed its doors to the public and students, however the university continues to remain open (albeit locked) for staff and faculty who require access. The university is committed to supporting all employees as much as possible through this challenging and unpredictable situation. At this time, we anticipate no disruption in payroll aside from some regular seasonal layoffs that are happening earlier than normal. Some employees may need to draw on sick time or other time banks if they are quarantined, have other responsibilities, or similar.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and continue to assess what additional measures may need to be implemented to support you.  We will provide timely updates as soon as new information becomes available.

I have an additional question

Please email the Critical Incident Team. They will endeavour to have the appropriate department respond to your question or post common answers here.