Effective planning for a pandemic is essential to minimize the pandemic’s impact. In addition to prioritizing the well-being of our employees we are also responsible for maintaining business continuity.

It is likely that during the peak pandemic, a number of university employees will be unable to perform some of their regular responsibilities, either on campus or remotely. Regardless of the reason, clients will expect that services will continue uninterrupted or with minimal interruption.

Without impacting the health of our employees or students, institutionally, our goal is to ensure service interruption is minimized.

To minimize the pandemic’s impact on university operations, there are several critical roles the manager will perform. These roles are highlighted below. Detailed information pertaining to the roles or issues the manager may encounter can be accessed within the relevant sections of this document.

During a pandemic, managers are responsible for:

  • Assessing impact and potential risk of an employees’ inability to perform their regular responsibilities, either on campus or remotely (refer to business continuity and employee absenteeism section).

  • Considering cross-training.

  • Providing access to information.

  • Reporting of issues and updates to operations.

  • Use of technology (availability to support needs for working from home).

  • Monitoring employee morale and well-being. Encouraging open dialogue to address concerns that may arise.

  • Collecting and maintaining a current contact listing of direct reports.

  • Ensuring that employees use appropriate hygiene and safety practices in the workplace.

  • Being in regular consultation with the department head.

  • Ensuring the area emergency preparedness first aid kit is stocked.
  • Checking updates from senior leadership, emails and the Daily Bulletin every day.

  • Referring workplace questions to your HR Partner. General questions on the university’s response can be sent to coronavirus@uwaterloo.ca.

  • Managing and tracking sick time in Workday (for Staff employees) and working with Occupational Health if the number of sick days exceeds 5 consecutive workdays. (See Employee Impact, Absenteeism section for more details.)
  • Supporting employees when they are ill or have been exposed or potentially been exposed to COVID-19 (see procedure below).

  • Communicating the following expectations to employees who are working from home:
    • Be available for contact during regular work hours and maintain regular contact schedule with their manager.
    • Have regular discussions about work priorities and other matters that relate to the work.
    • Be available for any meetings by electronic means for which participation is required, unless the employee is sick, participating in another work-related meeting, or has booked approved vacation or personal time.
    • Refer employees to the IST website for technical assistance in working from home or their departmental IT team.

Reporting inability to work

  • Maintaining confidentiality of personal information (as appropriate based on reporting below)

  • Providing a daily update on impacts to the operations of your unit, including absences (i.e., staff and faculty levels, issues) to the appropriate department Head, Vice-President, Associate Provost, University Secretary or Dean.

  • Other roles as required by your department.