National COVID-19 Update – March 19, 2020
This page is intended for all RCMP employees.
You should contact your manager if you have any questions specific to your situation.
Commissioner's broadcast sent March 19, 2020
As we approach the end of the week, I want to say how proud I am of the flexibility, resilience and dedication of our employees across the country. I know you are out there keeping yourselves – and Canadians – safe by rolling with the direction coming in in response to this rapidly evolving situation.
We continue to update our main national COVID-19 Infoweb site to provide you the most important information.
N95 mask and facial hair
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global issue, and the RCMP is a vital safety service for Canadians. In the interest of your health and safety, we are suspending the facial hair provisions of our Uniform and Dress Manual. All front-line regular members must report to work clean-shaven (or with moustaches of appropriate length) unless subject to a specific approved exemption. This is to ensure that the N95 respiratory mask is able to properly protect you in the event that it is needed on short notice.
If you require an exemption on religious or health grounds, you must speak with your manager.
As outlined in our Occupational Health Advisory on COVID-19, you must ensure your respirator is sealed correctly. Any break in that seal can put you at risk, and one of the most common causes of a breached seal is facial hair.
Effective immediately, new requests for annual/vacation leave are restricted between April 1 and July 1, 2020, for all categories of employees. Consideration may be given to exceptional circumstances at the CO or NHQ Director General level. Any leave requests already approved will be reviewed, subject to any provisions of our collective agreements. These measures are necessary to ensure we meet our operational requirements – that we have sufficient capacity to meet our mandate, and as with most direction related to COVID-19, the need for this may change as the situation evolves.
I know the RCMP is one of the most selfless groups of employees out there. Most, if not all, of you chose this organization because you want to help others. But we can't do our duty if we don't protect our personal health.
Public health officials know there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for some Canadians:
- aged 65 and over
- with compromised immune systems
- with underlying medical conditions
If you fall into one of these categories, we urge you to speak to your manager and work from home if able to, or if unable to telework, to submit "other leave with pay," (leave code 699).
At this time, public health officials have indicated there is insufficient evidence to say that pregnant women are at greater risk; however, we encourage our pregnant employees to consult their health care providers and talk to their managers about working from home.
Please continue to monitor your mailboxes and Infoweb on a daily basis. You may also want to follow our RCMP corporate social media accounts.
Thank you for your continued professionalism, support and patience.
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