Spring 2020 co-op work term updates (as of March 30, 2020)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Co-op students at the Tatham Centre

Updated as of March 30, 2020.

Learn more about changes to your Spring 2020 co-op work term. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Co-op Advisor by messaging them via WaterlooWorks. These changes are in place only for the Spring 2020 work term in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be reviewed each term until no longer required.  

Travel limitations - all Spring 2020 work terms are required to be within Canada

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. In alignment with this advisory, Waterloo has suspended all University-related travel outside of Canada, including co-op work terms.

This decision follows direction from the University travel policy, the Faculties and our existing travel advisory policy for international work terms. Work terms outside of Canada have always been assessed based on the risk level published by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) travel advisories, in conjunction with any overall directives from our central University leadership.

When the GAC risk level for a country is listed as high ("Avoid non-essential travel" or "Avoid all travel") prior to the start of a work term, the University will not approve a work term for co-op credit. This applies to all individuals, regardless of citizenship or intended destination.

Given Waterloo’s decision to suspend all University-related travel and GAC’s listing of all countries as high risk, we are required to follow that direction and can’t approve work terms outside of Canada for credit for the Spring 2020 term.

Spring 2020 work terms with employers based outside of Canada, including an Arrange Own Job (AOJ), can still go ahead if employers can relocate you to their Canadian office or allow you to legally work remotely from within Canada.

  • Your employer is expected to do their due diligence about the legality of remote work and investigate any inter-country restrictions (e.g., payroll, workplace insurance). Although rules vary by location, we’ve collected some key questions that employers should consider when hiring a remote worker from Canada. The University cannot consult or advise in any manner. If your employer has questions, they need to seek their own independent legal counsel.
  • Additional details on how you can submit an AOJ form to work remotely from within Canada for an internationally-based employer (including the USA) will be shared soon.
  • For students who are new to working remotely, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate the transition.

We’ve developed Flexible Pathways for students to complete a work term in Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 work term is going to present unique challenges for you and your employer. To address that, we’ve developed a number of flexible pathways to help you complete your work term.

Note: If you’re a GBDA or Pharmacy student, please reach out to your program to learn about flexible pathways available to you:

PD and Work Term Report requirements for Spring 2020

  • We are maintaining the number of PD and work term report requirements. However, programs may make adjustments as required through their normal processes.
  • If you choose to replace your spring work term with academic courses, you can still take your PD course. If you have concerns about completing your PD course requirements, you can contact watpd@uwaterloo.ca or your academic program advisor. If you have questions about work term reports, please contact your academic program advisor.