CHRO Update - May 12, 2020


This page is intended for all RCMP employees.

You should contact your manager if you have any questions specific to your situation.

CHRO's broadcast sent May 12, 2020

Hello again, everyone.

We're almost two months into this pandemic and by now, most of us have become comfortable, or at least better accustomed, to working remotely. Sheltering in place and physical distancing seem to be moving our infection numbers in the right direction and we're even starting to hear the federal government, provinces and territories talk about re-opening certain sectors of the economy.

While this is encouraging, we need to accept that we're facing a new normal and we need to pace ourselves. We don't want to move too quickly and risk a spike in illnesses – we've come too far. Much has happened since my last broadcast; here's what's at the top of my list:

COVID-related leave descriptions (Code 699)

If you're submitting leave using code 699, please ensure you use a proper description in the "Employee Comments" section in HRMIS. You must use one of the options below and enter it exactly as shown.

  • COVID_Illness
  • COVID_FamilyCare
  • COVID_Technology
  • COVID_WorkLimitation
  • COVID_Other

Do not include any other information in the "Employee Comments" section, as doing so will prevent us from capturing the data. If you need to provide additional details about your 699 leave, please email your manager. Managers who have Section 32 and/or 34 financial delegation can approve up to 90 days of this leave and are responsible for ensuring that employees enter the information correctly, so please take an extra minute to verify it before approving.

More information on is available on the COVID-19 Important Topics page.

Application of COVID-related leave for childcare

With certain provinces and territories beginning to slowly relax some measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I know many of you are wondering about what this may mean for you and your family. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) has provided guidance regarding the reopening of schools and daycares.

As schools and daycares are reopened, there is an expectation that employees who could not work due to childcare obligations will be able to return to work.

However, there will be some instances where employees may be unable to work their full hours if their children are unable to return to school or daycare due to health reasons, limited availability of spaces or other restrictions put in place by provincial or territorial authorities.

In these cases, employees may use 'Other Leave With Pay (699)' for hours not worked, if they are unable to make alternate childcare arrangements. Employees should continue to adopt a good faith approach in using this leave, keeping in mind their important role in providing services to Canadians. Managers and employees should have a conversation regarding how best to manage leave requests in this context, including employees' ability to return to work or whether flexible working arrangements would be a reasonable alternative to taking leave.

Getting your office workstation equipment

We all know that working from home has its ergonomic challenges so some employees will be allowed to pick up their workstation equipment. You must complete the form and your manager will require written approval from the CO of your division or the DG NHQ.

Priority will be given to employees identified as delivering critical services who have:

  • Acquired equipment from an official ergonomic evaluation on their workstation
  • Been identified in a medical report as needing their equipment as part of a duty to accommodate

Requests should only be made for small items such as screens, mice and keyboards. Ergonomic chairs can be included in the request if employees have the means to transport them. In exceptional circumstances, managers may approve the purchase of new equipment.

More information, including the , is available on the Infoweb.

In-person fit testing of respirators

You may have also seen, or heard about, online videos that provide information about fitting your respirators. While the videos may provide good information that supplements our training material, you should never rely on them exclusively. More importantly, I would like to reinforce that no video or training should ever replace in-person fit testing. Trained personnel will test parameters, assess fit, and ensure that proper protocols are followed, while taking all necessary precautions such as wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), using proper hand hygiene, and whenever possible, maintaining physical distancing.

A new Respiratory Protection Program Resource Guide, available in Agora, highlights the importance of properly using, taking care of, cleaning, inspecting and storing your respirators, prior to your in-person fit test. Please review the guide by logging on to and searching for "Respiratory Protection".

If you'd like more information on respirator fit testing, please contact your .

COVID-19 learning from home

The new provides a list of online courses available to employees on Agora, Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) and the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) that can help with COVID-related situations. Don't forget to discuss these learning activities with your supervisor and update your !

As the Commissioner said in her last broadcast, "You are the strength and foundation of this organization, so your health and safety is the greatest driving factor in our planning". I agree wholeheartedly when she says that we won't go back to our usual work locations until it's safe to do so. Until then, let's focus on the positives, like the convenient upstairs / downstairs commute, brighter days and the pleasure of having more time with our loved ones. I'm so proud of how well we've handled this situation, adapting quickly to challenging new circumstances and ensuring that our work gets done. Thank you so much.

Gail Johnson
Chief Human Resources

Date modified: