Information for NAIT Staff

Posted: Mar 13, 2020 7:35 PM   |  Updated: Mar 26, 2020 1:36 PM

NAIT's Emergency Operations Centre is leading our response to COVID-19 in consultation with the Government of Alberta and other post-secondary institutions.  

We know these are unprecedented times and we appreciate the dedication and patience of all staff as we work through this together. We are committed to keeping you informed as things change and as we have new or updated information to share.

This page provides important information that staff need to know about access to our buildings, working from home, taking absences, and requirements to report your working location and status. We also have answers to some frequently asked questions for all staff, which are being updated regularly.

All NAIT staff should review the information on this page and also the information on NAIT’s guide to working from home.

If you have questions or want to discuss your personal circumstances, please contact your Human Resource Consultant or Human Resource Assistant, or reach out to your supervisor or department head.


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 Understanding COVID-19 health directives

The provincial and federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change daily. It is important that all staff who have travelled recently, are returning from travel, or who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 follow the provincial public health directives

If you believe you have contracted COVID-19:

  • AHS has developed a simple online assessment tool that will guide you through questions about your symptoms and help determine whether you need to call 811 to be tested for COVID-19
  • It will also provide reassurance to those who don’t require further testing and will reduce call volumes to Health Link at 811 for those whose symptoms are not serious at this time
  • If you do need to contact 811 to speak with AHS, they will assist you to determine appropriate next steps 
  • Continue working from home if you are able to do so
  • You are entitled to use your 10 additional paid days if you are unable to work 

Further, staff should understand the travel advisories that the Government of Canada has now put in place. Canadians are asked to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

If you choose to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • you will be required to self-isolate when you return as per the federal and provincial directives
  • you will not be eligible to use the 10 paid COVID-19 days, since the trip was your choice and was taken after travel advisories were issued. 

For more information about COVID-19 and the federal and provincial response, please visit:


Building access

In keeping with direction from the Government of Canada and Alberta Health Services, we have closed several campuses, buildings and wings and have restricted access to others. Only staff whose jobs require them to be on site and who have their supervisor’s permission are allowed on campus. 

Staff can find refer to the Facility and Service Status for ongoing updates on the status of buildings and services on campus. This includes a map that shows the status of buildings on Main Campus. Souch, Patricia and Spruce Grove campuses are closed.

All staff were required to collect essential items by March 24. If there is something essential staff need to retrieve, they should contact their supervisor to determine if access is available.


Working from home during COVID-19

Unless your job requires you to be on campus and you have permission from your supervisor, all staff who are able to work from home should now be doing so. To ensure NAIT aligns with direction from the Government of Canada and Alberta Health Services, we have closed most campuses, buildings and wings, and have restricted access to others.

To help support this transition and make sure working from home is done responsibly and safely, all staff are required to review:


Absences related to COVID-19

NAIT understands that these are exceptional times for staff, and absences may be required for a variety of reasons – including childcare, self-isolation, illness, and/or not being able to work from home.

All salaried (full-time, part-time or temporary), sessional and casual staff at NAIT are entitled to take 10 paid days during the COVID-19 pandemic for absences related to COVID-19. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • requirement to self-isolate, as per the Alberta Health directive, and unable to work from home 
  • childcare or dependent care due to school or daycare closures, or illness, and unable to work from home
  • unable to work from home for other reasons

These 10 COVID-19 days are in addition to the 10 days casual illness leave and 80 days general illness leave outlined in our collective agreements and our HR procedures for MAE staff, and align with changes to the Employment Standards Code. 

If staff are sick and need to access general illness for any COVID-19 or non-COVID related illness or injury, they are not required to provide medical notes until further notice. NAIT does not want to put further stress on our health care system during the pandemic. 

For staff who are trying to balance their personal and work situation due to COVID-19, there are a number of options for taking time off if working from home isn’t an option (or is only an option some of the time). In addition to the 10 paid COVID days:

  • Salaried full- and part-time employees can use their 2020 wellness day (AUPE and MAE only) 
  • Special leave days can be used; we’ve relaxed the rules to allow staff to access these days if you need them 
  • Vacation days can be used 

Tracking working location/status and recording absences

All staff, regardless of current working status, are required to record COVID-related absences through the online absence management system and report work location and status (including any changes) through the COVID-19 Tracking System

This includes staff who are:

  • working from home 
  • home caring for dependents and not working
  • working at NAIT
  • self-isolating, quarantined out of country, or sick with COVID-19.
     

COVID-19 Tracking System

All staff are required to update their status and work location using the COVID-19 Tracking System. This is an important health and safety tool being used by the EOC. Updates only need to be made when your working status or location changes (e.g. you are not able to work, or you have started working from home).

There are a few fields that staff need to fill out in the tracking system:

  1. Effective date: this is the date that the status takes effect  
  2. Reporting status: this is your primary reason for reporting (e.g. NAIT Closure/Office Relocation, for those who have been asked to work from home)  
  3. Work status: select whether you are working or unable to work  
  4. Work location: where you are working (e.g. home) – we do not require a physical address  

For staff who are taking some time off to deal with childcare issues, you will be required to update your status every time you are not working. For example, if you are working half-days, you would make two updates per day, such as:

  • Morning: NAIT Closures/Office Relocation & Working Remotely 
  • Afternoon: NAIT Closures/Office Relocation & Unable to Work 

If you are not able to update the tracking system, please contact your supervisor. They can make entries on your behalf. 

Talk to your Human Resource Assistant if you have questions about your specific circumstance and how to use the system.


Entering absences

Please make sure you enter all absences, regardless of the reason, through the online absence system (accessible through MyProfile) as you normally would. Use the appropriate leave codes.

  • If you are unable to work (e.g. taking time off to care for children) and are using some of your 10 COVID-19 days, you must select “pandemic” as the absence type and “COVID-19” as the absence code. This is important for tracking purposes.


Absences not related to COVID-19

Absences not related to COVID-19 (e.g. annual vacation, illness not related to COVID-19) should continue to be reported as usual, including notifying your supervisor. 


If you are working on campus

If you are one of the few staff members who are still required to work on campus and have the permission of your supervisor to do so, you may find yourself working alone and should follow safe working alone practices. 

If you need to work on campus:

  • ensure you coordinate a check-in procedure with your supervisor
  • additionally, you can use the NAIT Alert - Work Alone feature

Staff should also follow these safety precautions:

  • Close all doors fully as you exit 
  • Do not give unauthorized access into NAIT buildings 
  • Know what to do in an emergency
  • Know how to call for help 
  • Download the NAIT Alert mobile app, where you can access safety features
  • Report your working location through the COVID-19 Tracking System

It is also important to remember that many Emergency Wardens are now working at home and you may need to act as an interim Emergency Warden. Staff who remain on campus should:

  • Review the guidelines for Emergency Procedures  
  • During an Emergency, sweep and clear workspaces and common areas
  • Review your primary and secondary egress routes and know where you muster location is
  • Review assistance plans for those staff still in the area who have mobility issues

Update your contact information

In an emergency, NAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre may need to reach you to confirm you are safe, or to reach your designated contacts. Please take a few minutes to update your contact information and emergency contact information on the My Profile section of the staff intranet.