Novel Coronavirus Pandemic Precautions & Information

Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the public health advice has gone through numerous transformation and permutations, and the situation continues to evolve. In order to stay safe as workers and community members, we've drafted this document, which contains our pandemic-specific policies and guidance, resources, and information on business and personal supports for responding to COVID-19. It also includes a link to the detailed resource we created that outlines practices and tools we use to effectively run a virtual office. This page was last updated on April 22, 2022.

Working in the Time of COVID-19

Hypha has adopted the following policy to protect ourselves as member-workers and to protect the communities we serve:

  • Member-worker's should work from places they are comfortable; most often their home office
    • Client work and internal meetings are primarily virtual meetings although people are free to arrange co-working sessions if they so choose
    • Work-related travel or professional gatherings/onsite meetings can happen at the discretion of those involved; there will be no obligation to attend in-person gatherings if people do not feel it's safe
    • Due to the nature of our work (virtual office, remote) we are not providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Member-workers should take care of the health (including mental health) of themselves and their loved ones first

    • As always, we encourage all member-workers to take the time they need to ensure that their mental and physical health come first
    • Please communicate and be proactive to other member-workers around shifting work and deadlines

    As an act of solidarity, Hypha created a resource for collaborating and working in a virtual office. This document is not updated, but serves as a point-in-time guide to tools and practices current in 2020.

Communication and Education

Any questions and concerns should be brought to the Operations WG.

Health and Safety Considerations

All employees have the right to refuse unsafe work, specifically, work that would endanger your immediate or long term health or that of another worker (Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 43). See the poster on our Health and Safety Bulletin Board.

As an employer we recognize/commit to the following:

  • Our duty is to provide the safest workplace for our employees (and our communities)
  • We follow public health guidelines
  • We will honour our employment agreements
  • We will be responsive to member-workers needs in implementing additional measures

Social Distancing and Self Isolation

  • We strongly encourage employees to follow public health guidelines on precautions; for the most up to date information please visit Toronto Public Health and Ontario Ministry of Health, or local public health guidelines in your area.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Due to the virtual nature of our workplace, we are not currently providing PPE

Assessing Symptoms, Seeking Testing, Treatment, and Quarantine

  • If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the Ontario self-assessment tool to determine how to seek further care.
  • If you need to seek testing to determine whether you have COVID-19, please do so
    • We encourage you to seek testing if you suspect you have COVID-19
    • While awaiting results (if a PCR test is required), Hypha will respect self-isolation protocols and encourage you to follow them
    • If there is a way Hypha can assist with material aspects (e.g., delivering stuff) let Operations WG know
  • If you fall ill or are diagnosed with COVID-19 you do not have to work and are highly encouraged to take the full time off
    • Hypha does not have a formal sick leave policy and you are able to take unlimited sick leave for yourself or to care for someone else with COVID-19
    • We ask you to be proactive and communicate your availability with Operations WG as soon as possible, especially if you are responsible for critical processes (e.g., Finance WG, lead on client project)

Vaccinations

  • Per the changes introduced by Ontario April 29, 2021, all employees have the right to 3 paid days of infectious disease emergency leave for COVID-19. The entitlement is retroactive to April 19, 2021 and will end July 31, 2022.
  • Employees are entitled to three days of paid leave without providing a medical note if they are:
    • Under medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to COVID-19;
    • Going to get vaccinated;
    • Experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19 vaccination;
    • Under a direction from their employer, medical practitioner or other authority to self-isolate;
    • Providing care or support to a dependent who is:
      • Sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19; or
      • Self-isolating due to COVID-19

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