To Staff and Faculty,

The Ontario government announced yesterday that the return to in-person learning for elementary school students will be delayed until January 25 due to the high positivity rate of COVID-19 in the province. We recognize this delay puts added pressure on parents and caregivers to navigate the demands of work, childcare, and other caregiver responsibilities.

Staff who are affected by the government’s announcement, including employees with essential roles that require a physical presence on-campus, are encouraged to speak to their manager to discuss flexible work arrangements, where possible. Human Resources and the Human Rights and Equity Office have developed numerous resources to provide guidance to staff and managers related to remote work and caregiver responsibilities. As it relates to faculty members, librarians, and archivists whose professional responsibilities are impacted by this announcement, Deans and the University Librarian, supported by Faculty Relations, are available to receive and consider requests for accommodation based on family status.

The Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) has also developed resources on alternate pedagogies to assist faculty members who are balancing childcare and instruction. These resources are being shared for distribution within faculties and schools. Instructors should also continue to exercise flexibility with students who may have caregiver responsibilities.

We want to acknowledge the many difficulties that all staff and faculty are facing during these challenging times. We are deeply appreciative of your ongoing efforts, flexibility, and your willingness to support one another.

We remind employees of the availability of our Employee and Family Assistance Program through Homewood Health.  Your EFAP is a confidential, professional counselling and wellness service that provides extra support and can be reached at 1.800.663.1142.  Human Resources is also regularly updating its website with health and wellness resources.

Sincerely,

Mark Green
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

Donna Janiec
Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)