For employees

The following are frequently asked questions.

I am feeling anxious and experiencing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Are there any resources available to help me?
Feeling stress and uncertainty during this time is understandable. The university encourages employees feeling stress to avail of resources such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP by Shepell.fgi, is a comprehensive, confidential service available to Memorial employees, retirees and their immediate family members (provided they are also covered under the university's health plan) at no cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Individuals with urgent mental health concerns should avail of one of the following community-based services:

  • 24-hour mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668 (local) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide).
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1-888-737-4668 St. John’s Region.
  • 24-hour Walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: (709) 777-3021 or (709) 777-3022.
  • A Doorways Clinic - locations throughout the province. 

I have questions about COVID-19. Where should I go for reliable information?
Individuals with COVID-19 questions and concerns related to the university should complete an employee information sessions through Bright Space. You can also visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 website. If you have health related questions, visit www.811healthline.ca or call 811 directly.

Someone in my household is self-isolating in my house. Can I still go to campus/office or field activities?
If someone in your home is self-isolating, can isolate away from others and they do not have symptoms, you do not have to self-isolate. However, if someone in your home is self-isolating and develops symptoms, everyone in the home is required to self-isolate, regardless if they also have symptoms. You would also be required to all self-isolate if the self-isolating person in your home has no ability to isolate away from others. For further information, please visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's website.

I have at least one of the symptoms outlined on the COVID-19 Self-Assessment form and therefore cannot go to campus; however, I am able to work. Do I have to take a sick day or can I work from home in this instance?
If you feel well enough to work, but have failed the COVID-19 Self-Assessment, you may work from home with the approval of your supervisor if you meet the following conditions:

  • you can work from home effectively and will not be encumbered by other personal responsibilities during the agreed upon work hours;
  • the home working environment is appropriate and secure from a safety and confidentiality perspective.

Communication with your supervisor should be on-going during this period. Once you pass the COVID-19 Self-Assessment, you are to return to campus for work. If you have failed the COVID-19 Self-Assessment form and are too sick to work from home or do not meet the above conditions, then you must submit a sick leave form.

Please note, the above arrangements are in place temporarily to address COVID-19 related situations. The remote work pilot project is on-going and will be evaluated in the coming months.

My child is unable to attend daycare/school due to COVID-19 protocols. Do I have to take family leave or another type of leave while I am at home with my child?
If your child is unable to attend daycare/school and you would like to work from home during this period, please contact your supervisor to discuss your options. In this situation, you may be approved to work from home if you meet the following conditions:

  • you can work effectively and will not be encumbered by other personal responsibilities during the agreed upon work hours;
  • the home working environment is appropriate and secure from a safety and confidentiality perspective.

In this situation, your work hours may be modified at your supervisor’s discretion.
If working from home is not approved, you will be required to submit a leave form utilizing either family or annual leave.

Please note, the above arrangements are in place temporarily to address COVID-19 related situations. The Remote Work Pilot Project is on-going and will be evaluated in the coming months.

Will I be required to perform different or additional duties during the COVID-19 pandemic?

In the event that critical university services are not being met, the university may ask employees to take on different or additional duties.

Can I use annual leave during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Staff should utilize annual leave as they normally would in accordance with their respective collective agreement and the Leave Administration policy. In planning annual leave, staff should be mindful of their leave carry over limits and consider operational requirements and their normal work flow. It is also important to note that in some cases a unit’s operational requirements may not enable numerous leave requests to be accommodated during peak periods.

Leave management forms are available in the my.mun.ca portal under the forms section of the “Employees” tab. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic can a supervisor cancel or deny an employee’s annual leave request that has already been approved?
Recognizing this unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, and based on unit plans, a supervisor can cancel any pre-approved vacation requests, especially in circumstances where there are serious staff shortages as a result of illness. Your vacation also could be cancelled if you have been designated as a critical employee due to the nature of your job responsibilities. 

I have excess leave hours that I have been unable to use due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will I lose these excess leave hours?
In a Newsline dated March 8, 2021, staff were informed that Memorial would be moving the deadline to use excess annual leave from March 31, 2021, to a date further out that would be determined once there were less community restrictions. The new date of June 30, 2021, was identified. Staff who carried over excess annual leave into the 2021-2022 fiscal year must have utilized their excess leave by this date.

Are masks required on campus?

Masks are mandatory indoors on Memorial University campuses and locations.

Does Memorial's travel health insurance provider cover COVID-19 related expenses?
As of Oct.1, 2020, Memorial's travel health insurance provider, SSQ Insurance, will be covering all eligible emergency medical expenses resulting from COVID-19 for insureds travelling outside of Canada.  

I am participating in the Work-From-Home pilot project. Is there anything that I should keep in mind?
Employees participating in the Work-From-Home pilot project should remain engaged and connected with their supervisors and ensure their privacy requirements under the university’s privacy policy and procedures remain in place. Pilot project participants should also review the privacy recommendations for remote work outlined here and the information regarding technology for working remotely found here.

Who do I contact for HR assistance?
Members of the university community requiring HR assistance should email myhr@mun.ca or use the MyHR Live Chat function. Human Resources prioritizes and responds to requests as quickly as possible.

What resources are available to employees?
The Department of Human Resources has a Working During COVID-19 page on its website with information and resources regarding ergonomics, leave benefits, masks, interviews, physical and mental wellness, and staying socially connected.

Contact

COVID-19

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000