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ITS working from home and reassignment clarification

Published on: March 15, 2020

Thank you to all of those putting in time this weekend. You are providing enormous support to our community. The systems and services we support are critical for the University of Toronto to deal with these unprecedented issues.

You may have seen the message yesterday from the Office of the Provost. The directors and I have been meeting to discuss this and I would like to offer the following clarification and guidance.

As of now the University remains open and operational. Employees should report to work as normal.

Request to work from home must be in writing and approved by your manager
Starting March 16, 2020 there will be an option to work at home (pending manager approval and criteria are met), provided there are no operational impacts. As an information technology (IT) organization this should be feasible for many of you. I encourage you to read the COVID-19 – Temporary Special Telecommuting Guidelines attached to the Office of the Provost memo.

Requests to work from home must be made in writing to your manager and approved. We will be tracking work from home arrangements for the entire ITS portfolio within Business Operations and Administration. The expectation is that you will be performing your normal work duties and available during normal business hours. Meetings can be facilitated online, using Office365 Teams.

Absence tracking
There are a number of absences related directly to COVID-19 that will be tracked by Human Resources (HR), these are:

  • Self-isolation
  • Cases of immune-compromised status
  • Caregiver responsibilities

In the cases cited above, it is expected that you are working from home under these circumstances and this has been approved by your manager. Staff who deem it necessary to work at home due to these reasons should complete the COVID-19 Self-Isolation/Illness Declaration Form:

Staff who are sick and will be absent should continue to inform their manager and report this absence using Employee Self-Service (ESS). If the illness is COVID-19 related, employees are requested to complete one of the HR forms above for record keeping purposes, selecting absence type “Sick Leave” on the form.

Telecommuting request criteria and reassignment
Should prioritization of telecommuting requests be required, the following criteria will be used:

  • Colleagues who are over 60, have pre-existing health conditions or live with someone who does
  • Staff who have traveled out of Canada recently and must self-isolate, or who have childcare needs resulting from COVID-19 related closures/cancellations.

If you do not fall into one of those categories, you may be reassigned to other work to assist your colleagues.

The managers in your units, have either already met, or will be meeting soon and can help answer your questions. We deeply appreciate your understanding during this very difficult time. 

Thank you,
Bo Wandschneider
Chief Information Officer
Information Technology Services, University of Toronto