Leaders in Environmental and Transportation Infrastructure Services

COVID-19 Information for Employees

Important COVID-19 Information

Message from our CEO

Dear employees,

Tomlinson is monitoring the status of the novel coronavirus in Ottawa and surrounding areas. We want to assure our employees and customers that we are currently operating and continuing to provide service to our customers. 

We are following the updates and protocols posted from the Ottawa Public Health, Government of Canada Health and Safety guidelines, WHO, and will take additional measures as they arise.  Hygiene and cleaning standards have been increased for equipment, vehicles and workspaces. Our top priority is the health of our employees and the public.

All our worksites, processing facilities, hauling districts, plants, quarries and pits remain open and in full operation

  • All waste services are running as usual
  • Our facilities and trucks are operational, we will still deliver your construction material with no delays
  • Our construction sites will still be active following their original schedule

To protect the health and well-being of our employees and customers we are implementing the following changes:

  • Avoid in person contacts when possible
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols at the offices, job sites and vehicles will be performed
  • Any employee who travelled abroad including to the United States is mandated to self-isolate for 14 days

As we continue operating under these circumstances, rest assured that The Tomlinson Group and all our employees will continue offering the highest and safest level of service.

Feel free to contact us with any question through our standard channels or at info@tomlinsongroup.com

Sincerely,

Ron Tomlinson

Frequently Asked Questions About Managing During COVID-19

The situation is changing frequently.  We do not have all of the answers, but we will try to get answers for you a quickly as possible.  We know that some plans we make will indeed need to change as new information becomes available.  Please send questions directly to HR@tomlinsongroup.com and we will update this FAQ as information becomes available.

NEW Can we still have training, meetings and continue coming to work if we’re over 5 people?

Our work is deemed essential services, therefore we are exempt from this limitation.  However, we should still limit any in-person contact as much as possible.  Essential meetings and training still need to continue, but physical distancing of 2 meters should already be in place and should continue.  For a job location, if 2 meters is not possible the proper PPE should be worn including eye protection, gloves, face masks and face shields.

 

NEW What are close contacts and spent extensive time with?

The Ottawa Public Health site defines close contacts as someone you are caring for or living with.  Spent extensive time within a 2-metre radius is not defined in a specific amount of time on the Ottawa Public Health site.

 

Do I need to stay home?

Even if you do not have symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • You have travelled anywhere outside of Canada (including the United States of America).
  • You live with, provided care for, or spent extensive time with someone who has:
    • Tested positive for COVID-19, OR is suspected to have COVID-19, OR who has respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) that started within 14 days of travel outside of Canada.

If you have MILD symptoms, where you are NOT short of breath and can manage symptoms reasonably at home.  You must Self-isolate until 24 hours AFTER symptoms have FULLY resolved or 14 days from returning home, whichever is LONGER.

 

How to protect or portable toilets and hand washing stations from being vandalized?

We have had an increase in units being vandalized with people stealing toilet paper and hand sanitizer units.  To help protect against this to ensure we maintain enough units for our work sites, please lock the units where possible or block entry to the unit at the end of the work day.

 

Can I change my RRSP deductions?

Yes.  You can change your RRSP deductions at any point.  Please email hr@tomlinsongroup.com  and tell us what you would like to change the deduction amount to and we will make the adjustments to the RRSP and matching DPSP.  If you change the deduction amount to $0, your account will remain open and you can make an adjustment at another time.

 

What do I do with the garbage generated from cleaning due to COVID-19?

Cleaning waste is to be collected into smaller, tear-resistant plastic garbage bags and sealed.  Place the sealed garbage bags in the usual waste collection containers. These will be emptied as usual.

 

If I don’t feel safe at work because I’m afraid one of my coworkers has been in contact with someone that was sick, what should I do?

If you don’t feel safe, you can go home.  There will be no repercussions or disciplinary actions taken.  The Ottawa Public Health site recommends that even if you do not have symptoms, it is recommended to self-isolate for 14 days if you have spent extensive time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19.

 

If you have MILD symptoms, where you are NOT short of breath and can manage symptoms reasonably at home you can self-isolated until 24 hours AFTER symptoms have FULLY resolved

 

What do I do if I have a direct family member at home that is at risk?

If you don’t feel safe, you can go home.  If you feel you are exposing yourself and your “at risk” family member, you can go home.  There will be no repercussions or disciplinary actions taken.

 

Are we still hiring new employees?

Yes.  We are still recruiting, hiring and on-boarding new employees.  Recruiting is being done by phone and Skype interviews wherever possible.  In person interviews are being conducted outside, or if in an office with 1-2 meters of separation.  The work surfaces are being wiped down at the end of the meeting.

 

We will still get our salary and rate increases as of March 30?

Yes.  We are still going through the salary and rate increases process.  This year we committed to an increase date of March 30.  It is unlikely all non-union groups will meet that date, however, we can commit to paying increases retroactive to March 30.

 

Are we still using hand-punches on site for hours?

We are changing how hours are submitted in several areas.  We are implementing new software options where possible.  If not in place yet, hand-punch machines should be wiped down after each use.

 

If you have recently travelled anywhere outside of Canada, you need to self-isolate.  What does self-isolation look like?

Per the Ottawa Public Health guidelines, this means you cannot come to work until you complete the 14-day self-isolation period.

 

You need to advise your supervisor of your travel dates.  If you are unable to work remotely, your supervisor will ask payroll@tomlinsongroup.com to issue Record of Employment (quarantine) and you will need to apply for Employment Insurance.

 

If required, LiUNA members would need to submit an Application for Early Vacation Pay Withdrawal directly to LiUNA, this can only be done once for COVID-19.  Operators Union pays vacation with each pay period.  Non-union employees can email payroll@tomlinsongroup.com to have vacation paid out.

 

If you have vacation or discretionary days available, you can utilize those days first.  If you are able to work from home for the 14-day isolation period, you will need to discuss your working day and assignments with your direct supervisor.

 

If an employee has returned from vacation and now are required to self-isolate for 14 days, and they are an operator or they work alone and do not interact with others what options do they have?

Per the Ottawa Public Health guidelines the employee is not able to come to work for 14 days and should Self-isolate.

 

What to do if you have been sick?

If you have mild symptoms, where you are not short of breath and can manage symptoms reasonably at home.  Self-isolate until 24 hours after symptoms have fully resolved.  Do not come to work until after the 24-hour period.

 

Can a supervisor send an employee home, even if they employee says they are not sick and will they be paid?

Supervisors need to ensure the health and safety of all workers. A supervisor should send an employee home if they are showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19.  The employee would be paid a minimum of four hours for the day.

 

If an employee is on self-isolation, will they be able to come back to work?

We will provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures. Employee will not be required to provide a medical note if they take the leave.

 

If an employee’s family member returned to the country, and now the family member is on self-isolation, does the employee need to self-isolate?

If the employee has had exposure to the returning family member, then yes they should Self-isolate for 14 days.

 

How can we practice physical-distancing at work?

Keep 2 metres between each other.  Do not sit next to each other or directly across from each other.  When using public areas, please wipe the tables, chairs and door handles before and after use.

 

Where can I access support for my general well-being if I am experience distress about the risk of COVID-19?

Tomlinson’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all leaders and employees and can provide support with anxiety and stress to help support both your work and personal well-being. Morneau Shepell is aware that this may be an area of concern for employees.  You can call them 24/7 at 1-800-387-4765 information is available on line as well at www.workhealthlife.com.

 

What happens if an employee still took vacation after March 14?

The Government of Canada has advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.  If employee chooses to still go on vacation outside of Canada after the posted advisement on March 14, the employee will be required to be on a 14-day self-isolation period.  The employee will need to apply for Employment Insurance through Service Canada to cover the self-isolation period.

 

Do I need a doctor’s note?

You do not need a doctor’s note to stay at home for the 14-day isolation period or if you are exhibiting any symptoms.

 

How do I claim Employment Insurance (EI)?

Your Record of Employment (ROE) will be issued after your last pay.  Service Canada is giving priority to EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine. People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate. People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay

 

What is Tomlinson doing?

We have established a Covid-19 Task Force, enhanced Health & Safety protocols, increased cleaning and hygiene, practicing physical distancing, and implemented broad communication plans to our assist employees. Other initiatives are being implemented regularly during these fluid times and as new information becomes available.

 

Where can I find additional information on CoVid-19?

Service Ontario

Service Ontario is trying to reduce the amount of customers they received as a result of the COVID-19 situation. As a result of this the following items that are recently expired or may soon expire are still permitted to be used and their expiry dates will be extended in the system despite them physically showing as expired.

  • Drivers Licences
  • Health Care Cards
  • Ownerships/Licence Plate Stickers
  • CVOR Certificates

Any Tomlinson drivers with recently expired or expiring licenses are still considered legally licensed to operate our vehicles. If you use a Tomlinson vehicle with expired/flaky license plates or license plate stickers, please update your supervisor so we can keep a running list to be addressed.

Once things are back to normal and the Province announces that this extension will no longer be valid, we will communicate at that time with all of you.

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP)

Q: Where can I access support for my general well-being if I am experience distress about the risk of COVID-19?

A: Tomlinson’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all leaders and employees and can provide support with anxiety and stress to help support both your work and personal well-being. Morneau Shepell is aware that this may be an area of concern for employees.  You can call them 24/7 at 1-800-387-4765.  Information on managing during this period can also be found at www.workhealthlife.com

 

If you are experiencing financial hardship, requests for vacation payouts will be processed with each payroll contact payroll@tomlinsongroup.com ; requests for payroll advances should be submitted to hr@tomlinsongroup.com.

Out of Country Coverage

This information applies to Out of Country (OOC) coverage that is part of our Extended Health Care (EHC) travel benefit.  This benefit is provided through Sun Life.  All eligibility requirements and terms of contract are defined by Sun Life.  Please contact Sun Life directly for more information or clarity on the information provided below, you can contact the Client Service Administrator at 1-877-786-7227.

For travellers leaving Canada on or after March 19, 2020, Sun Life will not apply the administrative exceptions announced in February. This step supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to prevent non-essential travel and repatriate Canadians traveling abroad. We urge plan members to follow the recommendations of the Government of Canada Travel Advisory. By staying in Canada, we can all help to curb the further spread of COVID-19.

What this means for plan members

The following is not available under our OOC travel benefit:

  • Coverage of any expenses during and after a period of quarantine (directed by a doctor or public health official),unless the member shows symptoms of or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Any request for extension of OOC coverage beyond the travel duration limit as set out in the contract
  • For emergency medical expenses to be eligible for coverage, members must meet the definitions in our contract for “emergency” and “emergency services”.

 

These definitions have not changed:

  • We will treat a medical emergency resulting from COVID-19 in the same way as any other medical emergency outside Canada.

For members who are currently abroad, not in quarantine and cannot return home:

  • They will have their OOC coverage up to their 60 day limit, or if different, the limit defined in their contract
  • After this time, they will not have any OOC coverage through their Sun Life plan

If a plan member or dependent needs the immediate attention of a doctor for a medical emergency, they must contact Allianz for assistance:

  • In the USA and Canada call: 1-800-511-4610
  • From anywhere else: 1-519-514-0351 *

* Members can call this number collect through an international operator