Updated on April 1, 2020 at 6pm EST
- What can I do to protect myself? Updated
- When should I call Public Health?
- What is “social distancing” and how will it affect my work?
- Do the limits on social gatherings apply to workplaces?
- What is our new process for delivering Personal Contact Items (PCIs)?
Travel – personal and for business
- What do I do if I am returning from international travel?
- If I am returning from an international trip, do I have to contact Public Health or a physician?
- Can I go on international travel for business or personal reasons?
- Do I need to cancel business trips or events I was planning to attend in Canada?
Group meetings and training
- Is anything changing about group meetings, including those for training?
- Can we continue to ask JLL to fix issues and remove hazards in our buildings at this time?
Mail Processing / Collection & Delivery
- Is it safe to handle mail and parcels?
- If you deliver to a site known to be under quarantine, should you disinfect your vehicle?
- If you deliver to a site in quarantine (before it was shut down) what are you supposed to do?
- You are scheduled to deliver to an address known to be under quarantine. What’s the process?
- If you are delivering to an individual customer’s home and learn that they are under quarantine or have COVID-19, here’s what to do.
- Should you report points of call that can’t be delivered to due to a quarantine?
- Will scheduled volume counts continue unchanged?
- Does the new Knock, Drop and Go policy for Personal Contact Items apply to RSMCs?
- Is Canada Post still delivering passports?
- How is Canada Post protecting employee safety if transportation contractors are accessing our facilities? New
Retail / New processes
- What is the process for handling Personal Contact Items at the retail counter?
- How should the Verifone key pad be sanitized?
- What more are you doing to keep us and our customers safe in Retail post offices?
- What is the process now at Retail if Domestic, U.S. or International Lettermail has insufficient postage?
- Who is required to be in quarantine / self-isolation?
- Will I be paid if I am in quarantine?
- What help is available for employees who need to care for their children due to school and daycare closures?
- What help is available for employees who care for an elder?
- What if I previously booked a vacation and can’t take it now because of the COVID-19 situation?
- I don’t qualify for paid quarantine leave. Am I entitled to any form of compensation while away from work?
- Can I get a Record of Employment (ROE)? Updated
To help protect yourself, follow these recommended general hygiene measures:
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with gloved or unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people showing symptoms of respiratory illnesses.
- Avoid shaking hands and practise physical distancing:
Keep 2 metres (twice an arm’s length) between yourself and others – when arriving at and leaving work, at breaks, and as much as you reasonably can while working in a facility or dealing with the public.
Employees should continue to use nitrile gloves that are provided to help keep their hands clean. Refer to this job aid for removing disposable gloves.
Public Health refers to a provincial public health authority that you can contact to discuss your symptoms/situation and to determine if self-quarantine and/or further testing for COVID-19 is required. You can find the contact information for your provincial public health authority here.
Social distancing is when we deliberately avoid large crowds, limit the number we come into close contact with, and increase the physical space between people to avoid spreading a disease within the community.
This safe practice is one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19.
The general rule of thumb is to stay at least two metres (six feet) away from other people to lessen your chances of catching COVID-19.
In our plants and depots, where distancing is harder to achieve due to space constraints and tasks requiring two people, we are trying to minimize how often employees are in close proximity.
We have urged team leaders in Operations to stagger start times when possible to allow employees taking public transit to avoid rush-hour commutes. We’ve also encouraged them to stagger breaks and lunch periods to avoid large crowding in break rooms.
In addition to regular hand-washing, all employees are being urged to avoid direct physical contact, such as handshaking or hugging. We recommend you keep twice an arm’s length between yourself and others when arriving and leaving work, walking hallways or at breaks.
Other valuable tips on social distancing can be found in documents prepared for different groups in our plants and depots:
As we’ve seen, public health officials strongly advise against social gatherings to minimize the risk of the virus spreading. To help reduce the potential for social gatherings, we’ve seen limitation or closures of bars, restaurants and other public social places across the country.
Along with many other government organizations, we provide a critical service to Canadians, especially during this difficult time. We are all following the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada to keep people safe as we continue to operate.
Most important, we have issued social distancing instructions for all plants, depots and post offices (See links in social distancing, above) to minimize the need for employees to be in close proximity in the workplace. If you have questions, please talk to your team leader.
In addition we’re also asking employees to:
- Wash hands regularly.
- Avoid direct physical contact, such as handshaking.
- Keep twice an arm’s length distance between themselves and others when arriving and leaving work or walking the hallways.
We encourage all employees to apply the recommendations from public health officials when outside the workplace, for your safety and that of your friends and families, just as we apply their recommendations for the workplace.
To eliminate the need for signatures at the door, we have implemented a Knock, Drop and Go approach to delivery.
This policy strengthens our efforts around social distancing, including reducing traffic in our post offices.
After scanning the item, delivery agents will:
- Knock or ring at the address to alert the customer.
- Drop the item in the safest available location.
- Go to the next address on your route.
Items that require Proof of Age, ID or Customs payments will be sent directly from our depots to a retail post office for pick-up, with no restrictions on when customers can pick up the item.
- “Do Not Safe Drop” items will be left at the delivery address.
- Registered Mail and Xpresspost Certified packets will be left at the delivery address.
- For Proof of Age, Proof of Identity and Customs-Owing items: these will be carded for pickup in the depot, and transferred to retail.
- The Government of Canada has stopped sending passports to Canadians’ homes for the time being, so we will no longer be delivering them. Urgent or sensitive documents will be sent via Xpresspost Certified, which can be left at the delivery address.
- Pascal Brikh (East): 435-885-9656
- Jeff Rudling (Central): 416-407-7969
- Bradley Wallis (West): 403-827-8011
- Andrew Fisher (National) 613-734-3000 ext. 5-5884
- Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada.
- Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
- Continue to isolate yourself from others
- Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and describe your symptoms and travel history. Follow their instructions carefully.
- avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth;
- consistently use good hand hygiene measures, which include frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
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- Use this talk track to share this news with your teams.
- If you have questions please reach out to your Route Optimization Manager:
- Atlantic: John Symonds
- Quebec: Sylvain Gaudette
- Ontario: Blake Bradshaw
- GTA: Sandra Dyment
- Prairie: Colin Gill
- Pacific: Alain Pinard
- Continue to follow our standard dock and yard process. If there is a change to our process, we will advise team leaders and employees of this through national communications channels.
- Keep twice an arm’s length (two metres or six feet) between you and others on our docks or in our facilities.
- Wash your hands regularly and frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed or gloved hands.
- Do your best to sit away from others in lunchrooms and break rooms.
- Hand off paperwork without coming into contact with others. For example, placing paperwork in a basket, or on a clipboard, desk, or another location that allows the driver to collect it without it being passed by the employee.
- Do not prevent contractors from entering our facilities.
- Do not prevent contractors from using our washrooms.
- Do not ask drivers to drop their trailers in the yard.
- Do not decline to accept or exchange paperwork (see above).
- Do not change our standard dock and yard process.
- Xpresspost Certified
- Registered Mail
- Proof of Identity (POI) items
- Proof of Age (POA) items
- COD items
- Items with customs due
- All employees who returned from international travel (including the U.S.) since March 14
- Employees who returned from Hubei Province (China), Iran or Italy prior to March 14
- Employees who returned from any other country prior to March 14 and had symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) are required to contact Public Health or their physician to determine the need for them to be quarantined.
- Employees who left Canada on or after March 16 and are returning are required to quarantine for 14 days but will not be entitled to Quarantine Leave through Canada Post.
- Anyone directed to quarantine by their public health authority or medical physician based on symptoms and exposure.
If you have questions, ask your team leader, or contact your regional specialist:
Travel – personal and for business
As of March 14, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada advises travellers upon their return to Canada as follows:
If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days:
Since March 5, 2020, travellers entering Canada by land, rail and ferry have been subject to the same screenings as international air travellers. Travellers will be transferred to PHAC if deemed at risk.
If you are an employee returning from international travel, or live with someone who returned from international travel and have concerns, please call your team leader before coming to work.
If you have returned since the Public Health Agency of Canada recommended a 14-day self-isolation for all returning travelers, you only need to contact public health or a physician if you have symptoms of COVID-19. They are fever, cough and difficulty breathing. This also applies to if you have travelled to the U.S.
Business Travel – We ask that you cancel all international business travel. The coronavirus situation is unpredictable and changing very fast. We don’t want our employees to become stuck in another country while travelling for work.
Personal Travel – The Government of Canada has advised Canadians to cancel or postpone all non-essential travel outside Canada. We encourage employees to follow this advice and think carefully about any non-essential travel outside the country.
Canada Post is following the guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada. For the most up-to-date travel notifications and advisories, please visit the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices.
At this time, please defer all but essential air or rail travel within Canada. If travel within Canada is necessary, talk to your team leader and follow the pre-approval process. We continue to encourage those who travel by vehicle for business to do so.
Group meetings and training
Please look for reasonable ways to minimize the size of your meetings or utilize other options such as video-conferencing or conference calls.
Please talk to your team leader and postpone all non-mandatory training. Online training can continue, but sessions involving travel or groups can certainly occur at a later date.
We are working closely with JLL, our facility management service provider, to manage requests for repairs.
With physical distancing being practised in our buildings, JLL will only complete work orders that are considered an emergency. JLL has mobile technicians and teams to serve locations that it does not normally staff.
Non-emergency work orders will continue to be completed based on the resource availability and priority.
Mail Processing / Collection & Delivery
The following is from World Health Organization:
Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?
Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
Is it safe to handle mail and parcels from China and other regions?
Yes. The World Health Organization and PHAC maintain it is safe to handle international mail, including mail from China.
China Post has been disinfecting its mail since January 27th with a bleach-like compound that is safe and commonly found in household products. To avoid minor skin irritation, nitrile gloves are recommended as a precaution. Masks are not required, but employees with a higher sensitivity to smell may wish to use one.
Our current N95 masks are suited for this purpose though may not be readily available due to an international shortage of supplies.
Our International Relations teams continue to be in contact with other Postal Operations and no safety risks have been identified.
Based on current information provided by PHAC, coronaviruses have poor survivability on surfaces, and are generally thought to be spread by respiratory droplets from coughs or sneezes.
The best way to prevent respiratory and other illnesses is to:
Cleaning wipes are available if you want them in your workspace.
If you have a COVID-related workplace concern, consult your team leader.
PHAC recommends that, if you are concerned about exposure, to monitor yourself for fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Consult your health care provider or contact your provincial public health authority as soon as possible, if concerned about symptoms. If you have a related workplace concern, connect with your team leader.
Do not deliver to the address in question.
Notify your supervisor of the situation at that point of call (i.e. place under quarantine).
If you are delivering to an individual customer’s home and learn that they are under quarantine or have COVID-19, what process should I follow?
Leave a Delivery Notice Card (DNC) and ask the customer to have someone who is not under quarantine pick up their item(s) on their behalf. If you have any concerns for your safety, do not deliver to the address in question, and notify your supervisor of the situation at the address.
Yes. Please report any such point of call. It must be added to the OPS system (detail and rural post office), as per normal process.
In the event your post office closes for any reason, who do you report to and how are customers advised?
Notify your team leader, who will contact the appropriate Area Performance Centre (APC).
Volume counts require a lot of attention from Managers, Superintendents and Supervisors, all of whom are focused on supporting their teams during this difficult time. As a result, scheduled volume counts will be cancelled in the following depots until further notice:
This will relieve pressure on team leaders – allowing them to communicate with employees and focus on ensuring their safety.
Restructure schedules will be adjusted accordingly and employees updated with a new timeline for volume counts and restructures.
We have shared this decision with our bargaining agents and will work with them to reschedule the volume count once the situation stabilizes.
What you need to do
Yes. With the exception of Proof of Age, Proof of Identity or Customs Owing items, if the package does not fit in the mail receptacle, RSMCs are asked to deliver the item to the addressee. Scan the item, ring or knock on the door, leave the item and proceed to the next point of call. If at any point, the delivery employee believes the situation is unsafe, they should card the item or bring it back to the delivery facility and alert their Team Leader.
The Government of Canada has stopped mailing passports to Canadians for the time being, so we will no longer be delivering them unless they are already in our network. Passports that are already in our network can be left at the delivery address, as part of our Knock, Drop and Go policy. Knock, Drop and Go means scan the item, knock on the door, leave the item and proceed on your route.
Other urgent or sensitive documents will be sent via Xpresspost Certified, which can be left at the delivery address.
How is Canada Post protecting employee safety if transportation contractors are accessing our facilities? New
Contractors are vital to our supply chain, performing critical work for Canada Post. Everyone, including contractors, must follow our dock safety processes at all times, as well as recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Importantly, our contractors are required to disclose whether they have travelled internationally, exhibit symptoms or any other risk factors associated with COVID-19. If they are deemed to be a risk, they are not permitted on our property. So, there is no good reason to stand in the way of contractors doing their jobs:
Retail / New processes
Do not sell the signature option to customers or ask for signature-only items, with the following exceptions:
The following items must be signed for by the customer at the counter:
Be aware that we’ve extended the return to sender (RTS) period for carded items. We will now hold carded items at Retail beyond the usual 15-day time limit. This gives customers more time to pick up their items, which lessens the risk that someone who should be self-isolating feels compelled to retrieve their item immediately.
Should retail employees continue to sell signature option?
No. Until further notice, we will not offer the signature option to customers.
Senders will still have access to up-to-date tracking information and will receive confirmation of delivery – just without the receiver’s signature. This also applies to items for which signature is included.
What is the new process for short paid items?
To help reduce contact between customers and retail employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, any letters that are short paid in the mail stream should be delivered as if they were fully paid.
Do not “RTS” any short paid items found in the mail stream. Forward them to the depots to get delivered.
Follow the current process for items found unpaid in the mail stream (i.e. no stamps, postage meter impression or indicia).
The Verifone key pad is something that the public touches, so it should be sanitized after each use. Use nitrile gloves (be sure not to touch your face), take a Lysol wipe (or equivalent) to sanitize and wipe it down. Carefully dispose of the wipe, remove the gloves and put them in the garbage. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water if available for 20 seconds or more, or use hand sanitizer.
Encourage customers to use the tap function for payments.
We are taking action through a number of activities designed to protect your health and safety and the safety of our customers, while maintaining mail service to all Canadians.
We are in the process of securing a bulk order of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and nitrile gloves, and will distribute supplies to all post offices upon receipt. Some offices were able to source these products locally, and we would encourage you to continue to do so if possible. If you don’t have hand sanitizer and are unable to find any locally, please take the time to wash your hands as often as possible throughout the day. Health experts agree that hand washing is the single most effective method of preventing the spread of the virus.
Parcel delivery and carding: To minimize customer contact we have revised our safe drop process for our Retail clerks and our delivery agents by removing the requirement to capture signatures for most deliveries to the door and for carded items. We have also extended the return to sender (RTS) period to keep carded items beyond the usual 15-day time limit at Retail. Providing customers with additional time lessens the risk that someone who should be self-isolating feels compelled to retrieve their item immediately.
Hours of service: Where it is possible to do so, we are reducing hours of service in corporate post offices, by opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier. Those hours can be used to further sanitize your office and restock shelves and slat walls.
For the first hour each day, please offer priority service to higher-risk customers (the elderly or people with compromised immune systems).
Social distancing: For your safety and the safety of your customers, waiting customers should be spaced 2 metres (6 feet) apart. For larger offices, signage and floor decals will be provided to you shortly. For smaller offices, limit the number of customers in the office at any one time. If that means locking the doors and having customers queue outside, please do so. We are also working on sourcing clear barriers for placement at the counter, and we will be providing further information on this shortly.
Stamp/coin allocations: We are suspending the allocation of all philatelic products and coins at this time. Customers seeking newly issued products should be encouraged to place orders online through canadapost.ca.
Encourage paperless transactions: Please encourage all customers to use the tap function on their credit/debit cards whenever possible. If a customer is not able to pay by tap, we will continue to accept cash as a method of payment.
Limiting PIN pad interactions with the customer: We are working on suppressing as many processes as possible that require the customer to input information with the VeriFone PIN pad (mail forwarding, scale transactions, MoneyGram, money orders, etc.) In the meantime, customers who do not wish to use the PIN pad can elect not to, and once the process times out (it takes 30 seconds) you can still complete the transaction within RPS.
What is the process now at Retail if Domestic, U.S. or International Lettermail has insufficient postage?
To help reduce contact between customers and retail employees, any letters that are short paid in the mail stream should be delivered as if they were fully paid. Do not RTS these items.
Any items found unpaid (no stamps, postage meter impression or indicia on the mail items) in the mail stream are to continue to follow the current process.
We are working on a simple process for quarantined employees so they can access paid leave without delay. It applies to the following:
- 1. An employee who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 – whether or not they have travelled – and must self-quarantine for 14 days.
- 2. Upon return to Canada: An employee who has returned from any international travel, or has been in prolonged close personal contact with someone who has returned from international travel and the traveller is exhibiting symptoms, must self-quarantine for 14 days.
Employees are asked to advise their team leader who will open a case with Canada Life and provide further instructions. Canada Life will monitor the case and advise when the employee can safely return to work. If the illness persists, the employee may be eligible for STDP.
Please note, on March 13, 2020 the Government of Canada directed all Canadians to cancel non-essential international travel. Therefore, if an employee decided to depart the country following this directive (departing on or after March 16, 2020) they will not be eligible for paid quarantine leave and will be expected to use other leave available to them such as personal days, annual leave and leave without pay.
What help is available for employees who need to care for their children due to school and daycare closures?
We want to support employees and offer some peace of mind as they seek childcare alternatives. We’ve implemented a three-stage approach which combines existing personal days, special leave provisions and a streamlined process for special cases that require additional leave. As well, we have updated our process by allowing for Special Leave up to April 10.
Employees in this situation should talk to their team leader.
- 1. Employees in this situation must use their personal days first.
- 2. A team leader can now approve Special Leave (code 9200) up to April 10 to allow the employee to find an alternative childcare arrangement.
- 3. If further leave is required following the approved Special Leave, the team leader will escalate to their general manager for review and receive a timely decision.
Employees who work in an office setting can, if needed, talk to their team leader about working from home (if they haven’t already been asked to work from home). This option needs to be approved by their general manager or designated director by email, copying their Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP).
The same policy we’ve adopted for Special Leave for child care will also apply to elder care.
Employees who need to care for elderly parents should talk to their team leaders and continue seeking alternative care arrangements. If needed, the following three-stage approach is now in place to help. As well, we have updated our process by allowing for Special Leave up to April 10.
- 1. Employees in this situation must use their remaining personal days first.
- 2. Team leaders can now approve Special Leave (code 9200) up to April 10.
- 3. If further leave is required following the additional leave, the team leader will escalate to their general manager for review and receive a timely decision.
Employees who work in an office setting are encouraged to continue seeking alternative care arrangements for elderly parents and talk with their team leaders. If needed:
- Discuss the option of working from home with their team leader (if they haven’t already been asked to work from home).
- This needs to be approved by their general manager via email, copying their Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP).
What if I previously booked a vacation for March and can’t take it now because of the COVID-19 situation?
Given the exceptional circumstances around COVID-19, we are allowing all employees in MGT & Exempt and those represented by PSAC, CUPW, APOC and CPAA to cancel vacation leave previously booked up to and until the end of April 2020.
However, the cancelled vacation leave must be rescheduled and taken before November 30, 2020.
If the vacation cannot be rebooked and taken before November 30, 2020, the cancelled vacation must be rescheduled and taken in the period from January 2, 2021 to April 30, 2021, in accordance with the provisions of their collective agreements.
If you intend to cancel your vacation leave, please advise your team leader.
I don’t qualify for paid quarantine leave. Am I entitled to any form of compensation while away from work?
Yes, through Employment Insurance (EI). To apply, you’ll need a Record of Employment (ROE).
Contact your team leader, who can request this for you.
- Employees are eligible for a Record of Employment if they find themselves under one of the following situations:
- No work available – After seven consecutive calendar days with no work
- Unable to work (Quarantine, Child Care, Illness, High-Risk Group) and no access to paid leave through Canada Post
How does an employee request a Record of Employment?
- To request a Record of employment, contact AccessHR at 1-877-807-9090.
- Provide your employee ID number, your last day paid (if known) and the reason for your request (For example: No work available; Quarantine, Caregiving for Covid-19; COVID-19 high-risk group)
- ROEs are automatically sent to Service Canada.
You can retrieve and print the ROE on the Service Canada website if you want a hard copy.
How do I contact Service Canada?
You can call Service Canada at 1-866-372-7742, or click here.
- Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices.
- List of frequently asked questions available on Health Canada’s website.
- Homewood Health: The coronavirus outbreak – fast fact and general information
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Keep wellness in mind website – Employee and Family Assistance Program