REMOTE WORKING POLICY
Note that currently employees are working under remote arrangement Type 4: Critical situation remote work (an unexpected, undefined, and evolving situation that forces all employees or a large percentage of employees to work from home or some other location).
Requests for remote working arrangements beyond Type 4, can occur now, but they will not be implemented until the pandemic is over and the organization declares that we are out of Type 4 remote working arrangements.
Humber’s Remote Working Policy is grounded in the philosophy that employees will work productively to achieve institutional goals and objectives when supported by a culture of performance and care. A Remote Working Policy promotes employee well-being and engagement and demonstrates a culture of care.
The Remote Working Policy includes checklists and assessments to assist staff and managers in determining whether a remote work arrangement works for their particular situation. These can be accessed below:
Note: Please ensure that you download the documents before filling them out.
This is the main policy document
Detailed guidelines that support the implementation of the Remote Working Policy
An assessment that the employee can conduct on their own remote workspace prior to requesting a remote working arrangement, to determine readiness
A printable version of the FAQs on remote working.
This is an assessment that the manager must complete when making the formal determination on a remote working arrangement prior to approval. This assessment will require input from the employee as well as other departments in Humber. The assessment includes:
- The job/work assessment
- The remote workspace safety assessment
- The equipment and resources required assessment
- The accommodation assessment (if required)
A form that can be used by managers to document resources on loan to employees who are working remotely
A sample document that can be used by managers to document the agreed details of the remote working arrangement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who does the remote working policy apply to?
The Remote Working Policy applies to all Humber and Guelph-Humber employees.
Does the Remote Working Policy include requests from employees wanting to work from remote locations out of province or in other countries?
Out of province or out of country remote working is covered in the Remote Working Guidelines document under section 3.4.
In all instances when employees request remote working arrangements that are outside the province/country of Humber, or if Humber is considering hiring an employee who will work outside of Ontario and/or Canada, the following must be taken into consideration when making a final determination:
- Collective Agreements outline that employees who are members of a bargaining unit cannot work outside the province/country of the employer/jurisdiction of the respective bargaining union.
- Where employees work outside of province or country there may be specific jurisdictional and tax implications.
- Working out of country/province may also introduce individual risks and requirements for WSIB in instances where employees get injured.
- There may be special security and border requirements/restrictions that apply.
- There may be travel, accommodations and transportation issues that can impact in instances where permission to work out of province or out of country is granted by Humber and where the employee may be asked to attend campus at short notice.
Please refer to Section 3.4 of the Guidelines document attached to the Policy, in detail as it provides guidance for a range of situations, from short term remote working to extended term remote working
How would Humber manage employees' physical safety when they are working remotely or from home during working hours?
Employee safety during working hours while working remotely is covered in the Remote Working Guidelines under section 3.11. Ensuring employees’ safety during working hours in the remote location is a joint responsibility between employees and the Health and Safety Department at Humber. As part of the workspace assessment, the manager, employee and the Health and Safety Department will conduct an assessment to ensure the employee’s physical safety in their remote workplace. Where the employee may have other safety concerns apart from physical workspace safety, they are encouraged to share this with their manager or the Health and Safety Department if it is of confidential nature.
Will Humber be issuing T2200 tax forms for employees who are working remotely?
The guidance on the issuance of the T2200 Tax form is covered in the Remote Working Guidelines under section 3.15. Given the global shift to remote working due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is reviewing its guidelines on the issuing of T2200 Forms for the 2020 Taxation year, and Humber is waiting for the required guidance from the CRA to define the conditions under which a T2200 would legitimately be provided to any impacted employees. Humber will provide T2200 forms for the 2020 taxation year, and future years, consistent with the requirements and obligations as set out by CRA. Once that direction is received, Humber will update the Humber community.
Should a remote working arrangement, result in the issuance of a T2200 Form, employees are encouraged to consult a taxation professional to determine the potential impact of working remotely on their taxes.
How would Humber ensure internal equity and consistency in who is allowed to work from home and who is not?
Guidelines are provided under sections 9.0 of the Remote Working Policy, and sections 3.2, 3.18 and 3.19 for the Remote Working Guidelines which aim to address determination of jobs that are good candidates for remote working arrangements and for achieving equity and consistency in granting such arrangements. Under the policy, employees are required to formally request a remote working arrangement, and managers are required to use defined criteria to determine if the job can be performed effectively in a remote setting. To ensure internal equity and consistency, managers are encouraged to make these assessments for all the jobs in their area, and to follow the guidelines when determining what employees and what roles appear to be strong candidates for remote working arrangements.
If an employee feels that their request has been denied unfairly, they should discuss this with their manager and if needed, reach out to their Human Resources Business Partner for assistance.
How would managers assist employees to understand the expectations of working remotely?
Remote working arrangements are very different from working on campus. Although employees have gotten a sense of this type of work arrangement over the last couple of months, with Covid-19, it is expected that remote working may look different for employees who would prefer to work remotely when the majority of their team is back on campus. Expectations for remote working are described in detail under many sections of the Remote Working Guidelines and managers are encouraged to review and discuss, in particular section 3.25 of the Guidelines, the pros and cons of remote working including the physical and psychological effects.
Who pays for what with respect to remote working arrangements?
Key to the remote working arrangement is the clear determination of what costs related to remote working arrangements sit with the employee and what costs will be covered by Humber. Cost responsibility is dependent mainly on the type of remote working arrangement and on the determination of what can be considered bona fide work-related costs. Guidelines for this determination are provided under sections 3.22 and 3.23 of the Remote Working Guidelines.
Where Humber requires employees to work remotely, or specifically under remote working type 8.4 of the Remote Working Policy – Critical Situation Remote Work – Humber would assume costs necessary to ensure tools and resources required to effectively perform the work. This may include computer hardware, computer software, voice communication, email, voicemail, connectivity to host applications, and other applicable equipment as deemed necessary. Any of these resources provided by Humber, including Humber furniture, must be returned to Humber upon request. It is the employee’s responsibility to protect Humber’s equipment while in the employee’s care.
Where a remote working request is initiated by the employee, it is expected that the employee would be responsible for furnishing, equipping, and maintaining their home/remote office so that they have a safe, secure, healthful, comfortable and distraction free work environment where they can accomplish their work in an efficient and expeditious manner.
Humber will not assume costs related to remodeling, furnishings (such as chairs, desks, filing cabinets, printers, etc.) or maintaining (such as electricity, internet, heat, hydro, etc.) the remote workspace of the employee. Any other resources normally provided to the role (laptop, cell phone, etc.) regardless of where the work is completed, would continue to be provided by Humber.
How would Humber employees ensure equity in instances where some employees cannot work remotely and must come to campus, and, therefore must pay for parking while other employees who are working remotely will not incur the cost of parking?
Whether an employee works remotely or not, is not related to how they choose to come to work. It is not anticipated that Humber will have many staff who are considered “permanent remote workers” and therefore it is expected that other than by exception, Humber employees will be required to come to campus either every day or as detailed in their remote working arrangement. How employees choose to commute is their own responsibility and the costs of public transit, driving, and/or parking is not the responsibility of Humber.
If any employee feels that their request to work remotely is not fair and equitable compared to other similar roles in their department, they should seek clarification from their manager and/or reach out to Human Resources for assistance.
How would Humber keep track of resources like computers and chairs loaned to employees who are working remotely, to be able to recover them if the employee retires or ceases to be employed by Humber?
Keeping track of resources in the possession of employees who are working remotely is covered under section 3.23 of the Remote Working Guidelines and would be no different than how we track those resources with on campus employees. Managers are expected to maintain a tracking log of all resources belonging to Humber that are on loan to employees who are working remotely or provided as part of the employment relationship. Additionally, as part of the remote working resources, an Inventory Form is provided for managers to utilize for this record keeping.
How is Humber planning to rationalize offices and spaces previously occupied by employees who are now working remotely?
Remote working presents new opportunities for Humber to capitalize on better space utilization. As we review the number of employees making use of the remote working arrangement, the Capital Development and Facilities Management Department will consider the opportunities that exists to manage space more efficiently.
How would Humber manage the potential risk that an employee who is working remotely may take on additional jobs at Humber or work for other organizations?
Employees are expected to dedicate themselves fully to the role they are hired to do. Where employees are desirous of taking on additional jobs within Humber such as teaching courses, this must be disclosed to their manager and a discussion on how this may impact their current role should occur. Additionally, employees are expected to disclose any work with other organizations that may create a conflict of interest and/or impact their ability to perform and be available to dedicate themselves to the role they were hired to do.
How would an employee go about obtaining approval to work remotely?
Employees desirous of working remotely are encouraged to first thoroughly read the Remote Working Policy and accompanying Remote Working Guidelines. Once they have done so, employees can complete the Remote Workspace Self-Assessment Checklist. This checklist will help them determine if they can effectively work remotely. The next step would be for employees to make a formal request to their manager for a remote working arrangement.
Upon receipt of the request, managers will work with employee to complete a series of assessments based on the type of remote working arrangement requested and will then make a determination leading to approval/non approval.
If a fellow employee doing the same job as I do, gets approval for a remote working arrangement, can I also expect that I will be approved?
It is important to note that the determination of a job that is a good candidate for a remote working arrangement will apply to all of the same jobs. However, the work or job assessment is only one element of the overall decision to approve or not approve a remote working arrangement. Other assessments include: assessing the remote work location of the employee to determine if it is appropriate for remote work; whether the employee requires more face to face supervision and coaching and therefore requires more time on campus. Assessments are both role specific and individualized and will be specific to each employee and manager. It is therefore possible that after all assessments are completed, one employee can be approved for a remote working arrangement whilst another employee with the exact same job, may not. In arriving at a final decision, managers are encouraged to ensure they abide by the guidance provided under section 3.19 of the Remote Working Guidelines.
If employees are expected to be available to respond on their phones, what if they do not have, or not qualify for, a Humber provided phone or phone plan?
In addition to the assessments conducted by managers related to the job and the resources eligible to employees in a remote working arrangement, it is advisable that managers consider and discuss the availability requirements of employees prior to the commencement of the remote working arrangement and document this in the Remote Working Agreement. Eligibility for Humber supplied phones and participation in the phone plans are role based and defined under the guidelines provided for these resources.
I would like to work remotely, but I do not have a reliable internet service or high-speed internet. Will Humber pay the costs related to internet for me to work remotely?
As outlined under section 3.22 and 3.23 of the Remote Working Guidelines, the costs related to the provision of internet services for employees granted a remote working arrangement will not be a typical expense that Humber will assume. If the employee is requesting the remote working arrangement, it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure fast and reliable high-speed internet.
What steps can be taken to ensure that employees who are working remotely do not feel disadvantaged and are given equal opportunity to contribute at team meetings and other meetings?
Whereas prior to the Covid-19 situation, the etiquette and inclusion practices for employees who were not in person at a meeting were not known or practiced consistently. If we are moving to a world where remote work is more common, there will need to be a growing awareness and practice by both managers and employees in the remote sphere. Employees and managers now have greater awareness and have developed improved skills required to manage online meetings. Humber will provide tips and guidelines to assist with building a culture of inclusion.
Going forward, will remote working guidelines be added for positions in job postings?
Once a job is being prepared for posting, it is recommended that managers take the time to assess whether the job is a candidate for remote working. If the job can be performed remotely 100% and is preferred as a fully remote job, it should be posted this way. In other instances, where the job can be performed either on campus or remotely, this may not necessarily be indicated in the posting, but the options for remote working can be discussed either during the selection process or after the employee has completed their orientation and probation.
If i work from home using my own equipment would that make me a contractor as opposed to an employee?
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) sets out a list of factors for determination of an employee vs a contractor. Ownership of equipment is just one factor. Employees working remotely will still be using Humber tools and resources such as collaboration and communication tools. The employment relationship with Humber will not change simply by virtue of a remote working arrangement.
Can some employees work from home permanently?
One of the remote working arrangement types is a permanent remote worker, who works remotely for 100% of the time and may only visit the College campus when specially requested to do so. It should be noted, however, a permanent remote worker will not be the norm and likely not appropriate for most roles.
Can two employees in the same job/role or on the same team have different remote working arrangements?
It is possible for two or more employees in the same job/role or team to have different remote working arrangements. Employees will generally request the type of work arrangement that best suits them. Once the manager assesses the requests, they can determine what is equitable and fair and approve different arrangements.
Are all jobs being assessed to determine whether they can be done remotely or only when requested by the employee?
Employees can certainly initiate the assessment process through their formal request to their manager, but managers are encouraged to consider the needs of the department and the appropriateness of the jobs within the department for remote working prior to a formal request. This way, managers can anticipate requests and be in a strong position to properly approve/disapprove remote working requests.
Will working remotely change my compensation in any way?
Remote working arrangements, on their own, do not impact compensation.
If I am working remotely, will I still be allowed to come on campus and use campus facilities such as the gym?
Employees working remotely will have the same access to benefits, perks and on campus facilities as similar on-site employees will have.
Does the policy address injuries to the employee that occur during working hours whilst in a remote working arrangement?
As outlined under 3.11 and 3.12 of the Remote Working Guidelines document, the remote working workspace is considered an extension of the workspace during working hours. Where an injury occurs in the remote working location, employees are required to follow the same established procedure as outlined by Humber’s Occupational Health and Safety Department and report the injury. Employees are covered by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) insurance coverage in the same manner as if they were working on-site.