Severe Weather Guidelines
In the event that severe weather affects operations at SFU campuses the following guidelines have been put in place. The safety of the campus community is always the university’s first priority and this guideline and FAQ is intended to provide clarity for how to safely advise staff during severe weather.
If you have any questions about the severe weather guidelines for staff please contact your HR Specialist.
Severe Weather and Campus Closure
During severe weather, the University will rely on reports from Environment Canada, TransLink and observed conditions at each campus to determine if it is safe for the normal operation of university services. Decisions related to class cancellations and campus closures are made by the SFU President as per GP 04 Unscheduled Cancellations of Classes.
Should campus closure be deemed appropriate, communications will be sent to the SFU community through appropriate SFU Alerts channels. Be sure to download the SFU snap app on your mobile device and enable push notifications. For the most current updates on class and campus status follow SFU.ca and @SFU on Twitter.
If you are on campus when the decision is made to close, staff should consult with their supervisors in preparation to leave campus in an orderly way.
Employees not on campus when the decision is made to close and are scheduled to work at the affected campus should be directed to not travel to work and consult with their supervisor. Should severe weather be forecasted, updates will be provided on SFU.ca and @SFU on Twitter by 6:00am.
When the university returns to on-campus operations, information on SFU.ca will be updated to reflect the status change. Employees should be asked by their supervisors to monitor SFU.ca and to return to work on campus if their duties require it.
Note that during a campus closure, SFU will continue to maintain a basic level of service to student residences, campus security, facilities services, food services and other campus services which operate continually.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are employees expected to work from home if campuses are closed due to severe weather?
Those able to do so are expected to continue to perform their duties remotely; those not able to do so will suffer no loss of pay. Employees who are not able to perform work remotely during a severe weather event will be compensated in accordance with GP-04.
Those who are working on campus during a severe weather event, or are due to report to work on campus when a severe weather alert is issued, will be required to follow the direction of Safety and Risk Services and either leave campus or stay away from campus.
2. Are staff paid if the university closes during severe weather?
For staff that are directed to leave campus due to severe weather or are directed to not travel to campus due to severe weather and are not able to perform their duties remotely, their salaries are maintained for the time that they are away from the office. Please refer to Policy GP – 04 (3.9) for details on how to handle time coding for relevant days.
Salary maintenance should be recorded on timesheets as:
- Salary 530 University Closure
- Hourly 285 University Closure
3. What if the university is operating as usual but staff are not able to safely make their way to campus? Are they paid?
Unless advised by your supervisor that remote work is an option employees are expected to report for work while the university remains in normal operations. While the university remains in normal operations, employees who are unable to report for work or employees who may wish to remain at home may request to have their time coded as vacation or leave without pay.
4. What happens if the university moves from closed to normal operations halfway through the day? What should staff do?
If the university returns to normal operations part way through the day then SFU will provide two hours’ notice via SFU.ca and @SFU on Twitter to allow reasonable time for travel to campus to resume normal operations. Staff are expected to attend work during partial days unless they have previously had a vacation day approved, are taking time off without pay (with approval), or have an alternate arrangement approved by their supervisor.
5. What if a staff member has a vacation day or other leave scheduled when the university closes?
If a staff member is not scheduled to work, is on sick leave, receiving compensating time off for overtime, days off in lieu of statutory holidays, modified days off, normal days off, personal leave etc. their time should be recorded to reflect the leave approved before the decision to close campus has been made.
6. I have more questions regarding severe weather and how it may affect my team, who can I contact?
For up to date information during severe weather:
- Check your SFU email inbox for updates
- Look at SFU.ca for updates and follow SFU on Twitter @SFU.
- Check the roads status on the Burnaby Campus here: SFU Road Report page.
- Follow Translink on Twitter @Translink or subscribe to Transit Alerts for the status of public transit
- Visit’s Safety and Risk Services Severe Weather page for safety tips and resources