Information for all Employees

Publish date: April 30, 2020 3:45pm

NIC Employees please check your email on April 30, 2020 for an update from President John Bowman.

Frequently Asked Questions

As North Island College students and employees gradually return to campus, please review the general safety protocols which have been created to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

To ensure and safe and healthy return to on-campus operations for everyone these protocols will accompany specific program, cohort and campus safety plans that are currently being developed in consultation with public health guidance. Please watch this page for the latest updates.

All staff and faculty are urged to stay home if they are ill. In order to avoid undue utilization of health care resources during this pandemic, NIC does not require a medical certificate to substantiate absences greater than 5 days (as is the normal practice). Instead, if your are absent from work for more than 5 days due to illness (COVID-19 related or otherwise) or medically-recommended self-isolation, you will be asked by your supervisor to complete an Employee Declaration Form and submit it to Human Resources in order to make sure your absence is appropriately managed and supported.

Anyone who is concerned they, or someone they have been exposed to, may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health-care provider or call public health at 8-1-1.

If you are an employee that does not have paid sick leave due to your employment status or have insufficient sick leave to cover the anticipated duration of your absence, please advise your supervisor/manager, who will consult with Human Resources in this circumstance.

You should not attend work if you are sick as this increases the risk of exposure for others. Recent changes to Employment Insurance rules by the federal government may be available to employees without paid sick leave to mitigate wage loss and Human Resources staff can assist with this process and/or identify other alternatives on a case-by-case basis.

If you are advised by a medical professional to self-isolate or required to self-isolate due to the March 12, 2020 Provincial Health Officer travel requirements, please notify your immediate manager by phone. Your supervisor will provide you with an Employee Declaration Form to complete and submit to Human Resources (in place of the normal Medical Certificate Form for absences greater than 5 days). This will ensure your absence from work is appropriately managed and supported.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has clear instructions for self-isolation, which means you need to stay at home and avoid contact with others. This is also consistent with provincial recommendations and requirements.

Working from home while in self-isolation may be a possibility depending on your position and institutional capacity to facilitate this. Your manager will make this determination in consultation with Human Resources.

If your travel commenced before the new March 12 travel measures but you returned after March 12, you will not incur a reduction in your pay resulting from the 14-day isolation period.

The Province has issued a travel advisory recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States, as of March 12. If you have chosen to travel outside Canada after this time, we can provide you no assurance that your period of self-isolation will be paid unless you are in an approved work from home situation. NIC is awaiting further direction from Government on this matter.

Please review the protocols laid out on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, which are kept updated as direction evolves, and if you have additional questions, call 8-1-1. If you are advised by a medical practitioner or public health official to self-isolate, you should advise your supervisor immediately (via phone or email). Your supervisor will provide you with an Employee Declaration Form to complete and submit to Human Resources (in place of the normal Medical Certificate Form for absences greater than 5 days). This will ensure your absence from work is appropriately managed and supported.

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 protocolss. Of course, if you or your family display moderate to severe symptoms (fever, cough, and respiratory problems) you should immediately contact your healthcare provider or call 8-1-1. Additionally, please do not come to work if you become ill.

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: https://www.manulife.ca/content/consumer-portal/en_CA/business/news/group-benefits-news/coronavirus-precautions.html

If you experience illness upon returning to Canada and serving the 14-day self-isolation period, you should contact your health care provider or call the Provincial Health Line 8-1-1. The relevant health care professional will make a determination as to whether or not you should be tested for COVID-19.

As you are now ill, 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.

At this time self-isolation has not been recommended for those that have travelled within Canada only and self-isolation is not otherwise required unless you have been directed to do so by a Public Health Official due to possible exposure from a confirmed or suspected case. In this circumstance you are expected to report for work. You may request leave (e.g. vacation) and such request will be considered taking into consideration operational requirements.

Presently, all COVID-19 cases in BC are being medically followed by Public Health and are self-isolated from others. Once individuals recovering from COVID-19 infection have demonstrated they no longer require self-isolation (two negative test samples), Public Health will advise these individuals they can return to their usual routines and should provide the individual with a letter indicating the employee is medically cleared to return to work. You should provide a copy of this letter to your supervisor/manager in advance of returning to work.

Yes, all employees and their dependents have access to confidential counselling services. Our employee and family assistance provider is Homewood Health and can be accessed 24/7 by calling 1-800-663-1142 or by visiting homeweb.ca.

Please also be aware that we have received communication from Homewood that they are transitioning to telephone-based counselling services only over the coming weeks to mitigate the health risk to service providers and clients. Please read Homewood’s communication regarding telephone-based counselling services.

Also provided is information regarding creating and accessing Homewood Health’s Homeweb services for employees. This is an innovative online platform that offers members access to personalized health and wellness tools, resources and support when you want it, anytime anywhere.

Yes. NIC has increased the cleaning efforts across the college.

Our cleaners are operating at Level 1 Pandemic Cleaning. This means they have increased the frequency of cleaning, as well as the strength of cleaning products they are using. Our janitors clean throughout the day and do a nightly cleaning of high-touch surfaces, including desks and countertops, door fixtures, entrance ways, light switches, stairways, hand railings, telephones, restroom sinks, faucets and hand dryers, water fountains and vending machines.

Education institutions, including public post-secondary institutions, have been declared a non-health essential service by the Province for the purposes of facilitating remote learning or performing essential functions. NIC has suspended regular face-to-face operations until further notice. Spring and intersession courses will be delivered online and NIC student services are available through alternate delivery. For more information on the essential service declaration, see the List of COVID-19 Essential Services.

North Island College will continue to update this page if new information becomes available.