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  • 1

    Manager Resource Guide:

    Staff Working Remotely

    March 18, 2020

  • 2

    Table of Contents

    Introduction 3

    Principles 4

    Managing a Virtual Team 4

    Requesting Time Off 5

    Payroll, Records, HRIM, Pension and Benefits Information 6

    Responsibility for Protection of IT Resources 8

    Talent Acquisition Student Redeployment Service 9

    Talent Development Service Delivery 9

    UIT and Telecom Resources 10

    Parking Guidance 10

    Mail Service 10

    Pay Considerations 11

    Health, Safety and Well-Being Resources 13

    Building Access Arrangements 14

    Appendix A: Working from Home Protocol March 9, 2020

    Appendix B: Memorandum Working from Home March 13, 2020

  • 3

    Introduction

    As a follow-up to President Lenton’s community message earlier, to ensure the health and safety of our

    campus communities, support government recommendations and to prevent the risk and spread of

    COVID-19, York has moved to required services only on our campuses. This means that effective by end

    of day on Thursday, March 19, 2020, buildings on our campuses will close with limited access as needed

    for required services. Only staff who are required to be physically present on York campuses to deliver

    services will remain. All other staff will be working in virtually mode. We intend to operate virtually as

    much as possible. Please note that while the University has moved to a required services model,

    employees may be redeployed to other critical work priorities while working remotely. Managers should

    be guided by their Business Continuity Plans regarding the assignment of work.

    NOTES:

    i. These guidelines have been developed to help managers to navigate working from home

    arrangements and they supersede the previous Working from Home communications of

    March 9th and March 13th, appended for your reference to this resource guide.

    ii. Appendix A should be signed as a best practise. If this isn’t possible as your staff who are not

    required to be physically present on campus to deliver services are working remotely

    beginning March 20th, e-submission to the Manager can follow.

  • 4

    Principles for Working Remotely

    • Working from a remote location or alternate work site (e.g. from an employee’s home) is an

    arrangement whereby the employee will continue to perform the duties of their position and

    will be expected to continue meeting the requirements of their position.

    • The arrangement is only in effect during the time strictly established by the University due to

    the COVID–19 outbreak. Once the working from home arrangement ceases, the employee

    returns to performing the duties of their job at the designated University campus. The work

    from home arrangement may be terminated at the sole discretion of the University at any time

    without the requirement for the University to provide any advance notice.

    • The working from home arrangement does not change the employee’s basic terms and

    conditions of employment with the University under the applicable collective agreement,

    employment contract, policies and laws.

    • The approval of a working from home arrangement in response to COVID-19 is not a guarantee

    that the employee will be approved for working remotely e.g. working from home, in the future.

    Managing Your Team Remotely

    • Managers will engage in discussions with staff to confirm their work plan(s) while staff are

    working remotely:

    o Set clear expectations, objectives and standards

    o Set core hours based on operational requirements

    o Communicate on a regular basis – let employees know that you are there for them,

    provide regular feedback

    o Establish schedules for regular updates with employees both individually and as a work

    group

    o For safety reasons, employees cannot meet with students, coworkers, clients at their

    home.

    o Trust your staff

    ▪ Don't check up all the time e.g. calling early in the morning to make sure that

    they are at work

    ▪ Don't ignore your staff

    ▪ Don’t expect things to go smoothly all the time

    ▪ Don’t expect perfection – there will be a need for adjustments

    ▪ Do provide support

    ▪ Do encourage them to reach out to you with questions

    ▪ Do continue your regular work pattern with your staff to the extent possible as

    facilitated by alternate means of technology enabled interactions

    ▪ Do continue to have regular discussions about work priorities and other matters

    that relate to the work

    Look for the 2020 Managing a Virtual Team Resource Guide prepared by Talent Acquisition and

    Development on the YU Link Managers Resources site https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/manager-

    resources/ for further helpful information. Coming soon, you and your staff can also access a 2020

    Employee’s Guide to Working Remotely at https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/employee-

    resources.

    https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/manager-resources/ https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/manager-resources/ https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/employee-resources https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/group/yulink/employee-resources

  • 5

    Requesting Vacation, Overtime, Personal Days, etc.

    • Normal processes apply for seeking approval for requesting vacation, personal days, overtime

    and other absences. For clarity, working from home arrangements, in and of themselves, shall

    not trigger overtime. Contact your HR/LR representative if you have questions.

    • Managers shall not require an employee to take vacation time or utilize vacation time. Vacation

    time may be granted, if requested by the employee. York has sought legal advice in this matter.

    As a regular business practise, York hasn’t scheduled mandatory employee vacations. To do so,

    in this circumstance, could cause reputational harm. Staff may not feel as though there is really

    a vacation for them to take at this time given travel, food and entertainment restrictions.

    • Any absence request must be entered and approved, in advance, in the Time Reporting Tool

    (TRT) or tracked by email and maintained per department practice for those employee groups

    who don’t utilize TRT.

  • 6

    Payroll, Records, HRIM, Pension and Benefits Information for processing transactions

    York University has announced initiatives from the Emergency Operations Centre to address the COVID-

    19 pandemic. Effective immediately, the Records, Payroll and Pension & Benefits Departments are

    implementing the following procedures to support and maintain the continuity of Operations during this

    pandemic situation.

    Employee Transaction Form (ETF)

    High priority Employee Transaction Forms (ETFs) will be accepted by email with supporting approvals, as

    described below, to hrhelp@yorku.ca with a copy to askpb@yorku.ca. These email addresses are

    monitored by numerous staff who triage inquiries. As such, emails sent to individual staff York email

    inboxes will not be processed.

    Below is a list of the high priority transactions. To support electronic workflow routing please adhere to

    the following subject line format when submitting ETFs and other pay transactions via email:

    1. ETF – Hire/Rehire

    2. ETF _ Pay Rate Changes

    3. ETF – All Leaves (Paid/Unpaid)

    4. ETF – Termination and Retirements

    5. Honorarium and Invigilation payments

    6. Excess Vacation Payout

    All other ETF changes are to be held until the University returns to normal operations. To avoid duplication

    of transactions, it is the Department’s responsibility to retain the original for future access.

    Acceptable supporting Approvals:

    1. The individual under the role of “Approved by” signatory directs the “Completed by” signatory

    by email to complete the ETF.

    2. The “Completed by” signatory completes the ETF, provides electronic back up documentation, if

    applicable / required and emails the attachment to hrhelp@yorku.ca as well as askpb@yorku.ca.

    The “Approved by” individual must be copied on the email request.

    3. In situations where the ETF needs to be approved by the Provost office the “Approved by”

    signatory should direct the “Completed by” signatory by email to complete the ETF. The

    “Completed by” signatory completes the ETF, provide electronic back up documentation, if

    applicable / required and emails the attachment to hrhelp@yorku.ca as well as askpb@yorku.ca

    with a copy to the “Approved by” and the Provost office.

    Email is the most effective means of communication to support continuous operations therefore please

    email us at hrhelp@yorku.ca and askpb@yorku.ca.

    Important to Note:

    1. Payroll schedule deadlines will remain the same as posted on YU link under Forms &

    Documents.

    mailto:hrhelp@yorku.ca mailto:askpb@yorku.ca mailto

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