Appendix B: FAQs for Supervisors

Can I require staff to work from campus?

Remote working arrangements that were not in place before the pandemic should be treated as temporary.

Recognizing the importance of a vibrant on campus experience at SFU, including in-person interactions, collaboration and engagement to fulfill our teaching, research and learning mandates, leaders should plan to have all staff return to campus in some capacity during the transition.

Supervisors will work with their teams to transition back to campus activity in a safe and supportive way. A Guidance for Supervisors – Return to Campus tool has been developed to support this planning. Supervisors will develop staffing plans for return to campus transition aligning with Faculty/ unit plans and the university-wide return to campus recovery plan, as well as SFU’s Go Forward Plan and related sector/ Provincial Health Office guidance.

Can I continue to have my team members work remotely during the transition back to campus if it makes sense operationally and/or if we have space constraints?

Recognizing the importance of a vibrant SFU on campus community and experience leaders should plan to have all staff return to campus in some capacity during the transition.

Each Faculty/unit will determine needs and approach for their specific area, taking into account safety plan requirements and space constraints, which may mean not everyone can be on campus at the same time.

Planning is underway to inform SFU’s longer term future of work strategy.

If I have an employee that refuses to work on campus, what do I do?

Supervisors will need to find out the employee’s reasons for not being able or willing to attend the workplace and address each case based on individual circumstances. Support is available through Human Resources.

There may be a duty to accommodate based on grounds protected by the BC Human Rights Code, such as disability or family status. Employers are expected to be adaptable and accommodate up to the point of undue hardship, including considering requests for remote working where operationally feasible. Visit Wellness & Recovery for information on SFU's workplace accommodation process.

What safety plan and training requirements must be in place before staff can return to campus?

An approved safety plan needs to be in place before anyone attends a work area. Safety Plans must be developed in consultation with your local safety committee and employees.

Supervisors must also ensure staff have completed the online COVID-19 Awareness and Safe Return to Work training module as well as any unit specific safety training before attending campus as well as ensuring daily health self-assessments are completed (presently a requirement when required to work on campus).

SFU COVID-19 Go Forward Plan is updated regularly outlining required safety measures.

Do I need to make special work arrangements when requested by staff?

Leaders do not have an obligation to accommodate preferences or personal circumstances, outside of a need for accommodation based on grounds protected by the Human Rights Code. Supervisors are encouraged to rely upon the inclusive and collaborative approach outlined in the Guidance for Supervisors – Return to Campus tool when planning for return and managing related transition activities, recognizing the importance of two-way communication, keeping safety at the forefront, and understanding unique needs of team members.

Under what circumstances might an accommodation be required?

Supervisors and team members are encouraged to watch the Post-Secondary Town Hall with Bonnie Henry recording, including our Provincial Health Officer’s responses to workplace accommodation questions.

Employees may indicate a need for accommodation based on grounds protected by the Human Rights Code, such as disability or family status. Employees will notify their supervisor in writing that they have a requirement for accommodation (see GP-40, Disability Accommodation in the Workplace Procedures, art. 2.1; note that GP-40 and its associated procedures are in the process of being revised to provide more fulsome guidance, with implementation being targeted for the fall semester); Supervisors will work with Human Resources with the support of the Wellness & Recovery team along with other expertise as needed. Faculty or unit-level processes may also be in place and may vary across areas.

Visit the Wellness & Recovery website for information on SFU's workplace accommodation process.

Can I require my employees to inform me if they have been vaccinated?

No. 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.

Will the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) be made available for all employee groups and classifications, including contract and temporary status?

Yes. Access to SFU’s Employee and Family Assistance Program will continue to be temporarily extended to all employee classifications, including contract and temporary status. To access these services, faculty and staff will need to have their employee ID number when calling in.

Is my employee required to return to campus if their doctor says it is unsafe due to a preexisting medical condition?

Employees should speak to their supervisors and inform them in writing if they require an accommodation due to disability or other protected grounds under the Human Rights Code. Accommodations will be addressed on a case by case basis, in accordance with GP40 and human rights legislation. (note that GP-40 and its associated procedures are in the process of being revised to provide more fulsome guidance, with implementation being targeted for the fall semester).

Does my employee need to live in the Greater Vancouver area to work at SFU?

SFU does not mandate where employees choose to live. However, employees are expected to work on campus in alignment with operational needs and when requested by their supervisor. Out of province arrangements are not permitted without consultation and SFU approval due to legal risks.

What do I do if my employee indicates that they don’t have childcare in place to enable them to work on campus?

Employees should make every effort to secure childcare arrangements in advance of their anticipated return to work. Employees who encounter serious challenges in meeting this expectation should bring circumstances to their supervisor’s attention at the first reasonable opportunity.

What do I do if my employee indicates that they are ill and want to work from home?

Employees who are unwell should be encouraged to stay home, rest and recover. Normal sick leave protocols would apply.