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Message from Bill Kroll, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector

Update # 16: May 8 – Putting Employees First

Dear colleagues,

In my last update, I outlined the guiding principles for planning for our future workplace as we prepare for the transition toward resuming regular operations, when ready. Today, I want to share further information about how that work is taking shape, and how your well-being is at the forefront of every discussion.

We have established a Departmental Recovery Committee to make sure that all employees and managers have the support, information and tools needed to adjust successfully to workplace recovery and its different phases. The Committee brings together a broad range of perspectives from across the Department to focus on employee well-being. It will look at many factors that will influence our days ahead, even beyond the workplace – including caring for family members, commuting or other challenges, and also turning our minds to the specific concerns of employment equity groups and managers – to ensure that all the necessary supports are in place.

Another element of our transition planning is being led by our COVID-19 Tiger Team. That team is working on a very detailed roadmap to support planning for our return to the workplace. Working from home will continue, for the time-being, as the primary means of conducting business. Any required access to buildings and other workplaces will be based on need, as determined by managers, with the necessary safety precautions in place and with employee well-being as top-of-mind. We also recognize for our employees in legal services units, as well a staff in buildings with other government departments, that added coordination will be needed. We understand that many of you are anxious to receive detailed information, and we will continue to keep you informed.

Next week, a new employee survey will give you an opportunity to share any questions, concerns and preoccupations you have about our phased transition back to the workplace so that they can be addressed proactively. As we continue with transition planning on multiple fronts, hearing from you directly will help inform our decision-making and make sure that we’re guided by employee needs.

We expect further information and guidance from Treasury Board next week. We will continue to adjust our efforts accordingly and will share open and timely information with you as it becomes available.

We are preparing for an eventual phased return to the workplace – but only when the time is right. We will not rush this process. Our transition will be measured and gradual. Your well-being remains of paramount importance.

Please be well, and thank you all for your patience and support. Have a great weekend.

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