Information for all Employees

This page will be updated as more information become available.

Frequently Asked Questions

NIC's Return to Campus Guidelines includes information on masks, daily health checks, cleaning, and staying home when sick for NIC’s general operations, worksite, learning spaces, libraries, bookstores, cafeterias and student service areas.

If you have specific concerns, please review them with your supervisor or dean. You may also contact HealthandSafety@nic.bc.ca.

In all cases, the unwell person should:

  1. Stay Home
  2. Call 8-1-1 or your primary care provider for advice
  3. Visit bc.thrive.health and use the self-assessment tool to determine if you require testing
  4. If you do require testing, call 1-844-901-8442 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. to book a test
  5. Advise your instructor or supervisor if you will be absent.

Please do not share personal health information, such as testing or positive test results. Employees should follow NIC’s COVID Communications Plan on the Health and Safety Pages of myNIC.

NIC follows contract tracing as set out by Public Health.

  1. Island Health’s Public Health team undertakes contact tracing for all lab confirmed COVID-19 cases. If their investigation determines you are at high risk of exposure, Public Health will contact you directly with advice on next steps.
  2. If Public Health does not contact you, you are not considered a high-risk close contact. Continue your normal activities and, as ever, monitor yourself for symptoms. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate and reach out for advice or testing. Advise your supervisor or dean if you will be absent.

Masks

Yes. Following new guidance from BC’s Public Health Officer, wearing a mask will be mandatory in all public indoor spaces on NIC’s campuses, including classrooms. Please see the Return to Campus Guidelines for additional detail.

Yes. All students and employees are required to follow provincial health guidelines on mandatory masking regardless of vaccination status.

Employees who can not wear a mask for medical reasons should email Human Resources at HR@nic.bc.ca regarding the accommodation process.

Employees have a right under the Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to refuse work if they have reasonable cause to believe it is an undue hazard to themselves 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.

  1. Register with the Get Vaccinated System. All people living in British Columbia who are 12 years of age and older can now register to book vaccines online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated, tollfree at 1-833-838-2323, or in-person at the nearest Service BC location.
  2. Make an appointment or drop in to an Island Health Clinic.

Anyone who received one or more COVID-19 vaccines in another province or country should submit their vaccination record to B.C.’s health system to determine if they require additional immunization. Additional vaccination may be recommended in some cases.

To submit a vaccination record and determine vaccination needs, Island Health recommends completing this process as soon as possible.

  1. Register online at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by phone at 1-833-838-2323.
  2. Submit official vaccination record at immunizationrecord.gov.bc.ca
  3. Be notified about COVID-19 vaccination needs.

The Employment Standards Act now provides employees with a paid leave of absence to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This new 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 an employee needs time off to be vaccinated.

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

We strongly encourage all students and employees who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible to keep campuses safe. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated at a COVID-19 immunization clinic as early as possible. We are also working with Island Health to bring vaccination clinics to NIC campuses in September.

At this time, proof of vaccination is not required to work or attend class on NIC campuses, and vaccination is a personal choice. The Provincial Health Officer is requiring proof of vaccination to access some events and services and businesses across BC starting Sept 13.

At this time, NIC is not requiring employees or students to confirm their vaccination status for educational activities on campus.

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.

All employees will need to continue to follow institutional policies and Public Health guidance even after being vaccinated. For more information please see NIC’s Return to Campus Guidelines.

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.

Returning to Campus

Employees who have been working from home fully or partially will transition to working back on campus.  Employees will be contacted by their supervisors regarding timing of their return in accordance with operational requirements.

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 the Manager, 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 return 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.

Sickness and Isolation

All staff, faculty and administrators are required to stay home if they are ill, employees must complete the daily self-assessment using bc.thrive.health for symptoms. If any symptoms are present are not to attend the workplace. If you are absent from work for more than five days due to illness or medically-recommended to self-isolation, you will be asked by your supervisor to complete a medical certificate 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 COVID-19 symptoms 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.

Recent changes to employment standards legislation provides for employees who do not qualify for sick leave benefits, may have access up to three (3) days paid sick leave if they need to stay home because of COVID-19. The BC Employment Standards Act paid COVID-19 leave program is in place until December 31, 2021. Other recent changes to Employment Insurance rules by the federal government may be available to employees without paid sick leave to mitigate wage loss, Human Resources staff can assist with this process and provide information.  You should not attend work if you are sick as this increases the risk of exposure for others.

If you experience illness during 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 decide whether 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.

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 you are advised by a medical professional to self-isolate or required 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.

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 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.

The federal government has issued a travel advisory recommending all non-essential travel outside Canada should be avoided. International travellers returning to BC are required by law to follow guidelines related to self-quarantine and complete the federal ArriveCan application. 

If you have chosen to travel outside Canada, we can provide you no assurance that your self-quarantine period will be paid unless you are in an approved work from home situation.

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 moderate to severe symptoms (fever, cough, and respiratory problems) you should immediately contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. Please do not come to work if you become ill.

If you experience illness during 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 decide whether 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 Public Health 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.

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