Information for all Employees

This page will be updated as more information become available.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 and Isolation

Anyone who is concerned they, or someone they have been exposed to, may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should complete the daily self-assessment using bc.thrive.health for symptoms and follow the protocols laid out on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, which are updated as direction evolves.

Employees and students in clinical practice may also face additional protocols or requirements. Please talk to your supervisor or instructor for additional guidance.

Employees who are absent from work for more than five days due to illness or medically recommended to self-isolation, should talk to their supervisor. They will ask you to submit a completed Medical Certificate form to Human Resources to make sure your absence is appropriately managed and supported.

If obtaining a medical certificate is not possible, please contact Human Resources directly for support. Normal sick leave provisions as per the applicable collective agreement/terms and conditions of employment will apply.

Employees who do not have paid sick leave due to your employment status or have insufficient sick leave to cover the anticipated duration of your absence, are advised to contact their supervisor or manager, who will consult Human Resources. Human Resources can also provide additional information on federal supports designed to mitigate wage loss, where this is available. 

Island Health’s Public Health team follows the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) including contract tracing and testing. You can also access the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.

Yes, Manulife recognizes COVID-19 as an illness and claims will be handled in accordance with the plan. Please visit the Manulife site for specific information.

If a medical professional asks you to self-isolate, please notify your immediate manager by phone. You will be provided with a Medical Certificate form to complete and submit to Human Resources (for absences greater than five days). This will ensure your absence from work is appropriately managed and supported.

Yes, NIC employees and students are eligible for one box of rapid tests (five tests per box). Test kits are available to be picked up at Student Services at your local campus, while supplies last.

Campus Safety

NIC follows the BCCDC’s Post-Secondary Public Health Guidance on safety protocols on campus. If you have specific concerns, please review them with your supervisor or dean. You may also contact healthandsafety@nic.bc.ca.

NIC has upgraded HVAC filters to MERV 13 filters, which are changed regularly. Wherever possible, NIC has increased the amount of outside fresh air supplied to buildings so more internal air is vented to the outside. This enhances air circulation but can make it more challenging to heat and cool indoor spaces in the winter and summer. NIC’s HVAC systems can be augmented with portable air filtration units where they are needed.

Masks

No. Following guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, as of March 11, 2022 masks are no longer mandatory in all public indoor spaces, including campus buildings, classrooms and learning spaces. You may continue to voluntarily wear a mask.

As an employee you have the right under the Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to refuse work if you have reasonable cause to believe it is an undue hazard to yourself or others. If you feel unsafe, please contact your supervisor and Human Resources.

Vaccinations

Everyone who would like a vaccine, and who is eligible to receive one, is now able to get vaccinated. Learn more about vaccination registration and eligibility.

The Employment Standards Act now provides employees with a paid leave of absence to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This leave provides employees with a right to up to three (3) hours of paid leave to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The leave is available each time you need time off to be vaccinated.

The BCCDC provides the most up to date information regarding vaccines on for BC’s Immunization Plan.

Proof of vaccination is not required to work or attend class on NIC campuses, however all regulated health professionals, as per the Provincial Health Officer, working in all health-care settings are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and vaccination is a personal choice.

We strongly encourage all students and employees who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible to keep campuses safe. To book an appointment, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register or call 1-833-838-2323.

In alignment with the Provincial Health Office, proof of vaccination is not required to work on NIC campuses, or to access events and services. Regulated health professionals working in all health-care settings are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, as per the Provincial Health Officer.

Vaccination status is an employee’s sensitive personal medical information. Employers can only request personal information from employees in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Requests for this information must be reasonable in purpose, scope and manner of collection, among other things, to comply with privacy law.

Yes, you need to continue to follow institutional policies and Public Health guidance even after being vaccinated.

Support

All NIC employees and their dependents have access to confidential counselling services. Our employee and family assistance provider, Homewood Health, can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-800-663-1142 or by visiting homeweb.ca. A summary of wellness tools and resources and sign in instructions are available in the Employee Access Guide.

Please also be aware Homewood continues to provide telephone and video counselling services only at this time to mitigate the health risk to service providers and clients. Please read Homewood’s communication regarding telephone-based counselling services.

Working on Campus

NIC has a legal obligation of a duty to accommodation to employees. Workplace accommodation guidelines (including medical/family status) information are available to all employees on the Human Resources portal page.

Employees are encouraged to discuss safety concerns with a manager or supervisor, who will work with Health and Safety to resolve the issue.

If a member of the college community is non-compliant with safety protocols, they may be considered in breach of the Community Code of Academic, Personal and Professional Conduct (Policy 3-06) and NIC's Occupational Health and Safety Policy. We ask that you address issues of non-compliance with care, understanding and information. Please follow the three-step Act, Assist and Report process, as outlined in the NIC COVID-19 Compliance Plan.

Employees are not expected to report to work without appropriate safety measures.

Any requested absences or leaves must be reviewed and have manager approval. Not attending work without permission may be determined as being absent without leave approval. If you have concerns regarding safe workplace, please follow the appropriate WorkSafeBC Steps for refusal of unsafe work prior to refusing to attend work.

Travel and Isolation

Please follow all federal travel and testing advisories, including self-quarantine and use the free, mandatory  ArriveCan app when returning to Canada. If you have chosen to travel internationally, we can not guarantee your self-quarantine period will be paid unless you are in an approved work from home situation.

If you experience illness during the isolation period, you should contact your health care provider or call the Provincial Health Line 8-1-1. The relevant health care professional will decide whether you should be tested for COVID-19.

You should also contact your supervisor/manager as you would now be considered sick rather than just in self-isolation and this may impact how your further absence from work is treated. Since you are sick, you may be eligible for sick leave benefits depending on your employment status.

Guidelines related to travel are evolving, so we recommend that you call your health care provider or 8-1-1- to obtain medical advice for your specific situation. Generally, in such circumstances you can report to work as normal. However, since your family member will be in self-isolation, we recommend you review the following BCCDC self-isolation protocols. Of course, if you or your family display COVID-19 symptoms, you should immediately contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.

At this time self-isolation has not been recommended for those that have travelled within Canada only and self-isolation is not required unless you have been directed to do so by Public Health. In this circumstance you are expected to report for work. You may request leave (e.g. vacation). Such requests will consider the college’s operational requirements.

More Questions

If you have additional questions about safety in your area, talk to your supervisor or dean.  You may also contact HealthandSafety@nic.bc.ca.

Additional Resources