Working during COVID-19

Learn about the resources available to you while working during COVID-19.

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave 

In May 2021, the BC government amended the Employment Standards Act to provide three days of COVID-19 paid sick leave. This new COVID-19 paid sick leave provision applies to UBC employees in certain non-unionized roles as well as employees who do not accrue paid sick leave. See which roles are eligible below.  If you are not eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave, use your paid sick leave to cover time off for COVID-19-related illness. 

Using COVID-19 paid sick leave 

COVID-19 paid sick leave covers absences for COVID-19 testing, self-isolation at the direction of a health authority, as well as absences due to COVID-19 symptoms. Staff who are eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave will record COVID-19 related absences in Workday. A new absence type “Employment Standards Act Paid Sick Leave (Covid) Time Off” is available. COVID-19 paid sick leave came into effect on May 20, 2021. It cannot be applied to absences before this date. 

If you work part-time, your COVID-19 paid sick leave amount is pro-rated based on your percentage of employment. 

Talk to your supervisor if you have questions about COVID-19 paid sick leave. 

If you need assistance entering COVID-19 related absences in Workday, view the Workday Knowledge Base Article How do I request time off? or contact the Integrated Service Centre.  

COVID-19 paid sick leave is in effect until December 31, 2021. The BC government is introducing permanent paid sick leave on January 1, 2022. Information on this leave will be shared later in 2021. 

Workplace accommodations and return to campus 

The following are guidelines and resources for faculty and staff concerns with returning to in-person work or a need for workplace accommodations in the context of COVID-19. Please review:

Are you a manager or supervisor of faculty or staff with these concerns? View relevant information and FAQ for Managing employees during COVID-19.

Guidelines for working remotely

In March 2020, the university implemented a temporary Remote Work Arrangement for employees who were able to do so. This applies to employees of the university regardless of their membership in any union or association and it includes our employees who are postdoctoral fellows, graduate students or those in student appointments.

View the guidelines, checklist agreement, and additional FAQ below. Please review these guidelines with your supervisor to ensure safety and information security are met.

See also:

Frequently asked questions

The specific circumstances that may arise in your unit or department are contextual and may not be captured within these FAQs. Please contact your HR Advisor or Faculty Relations Senior Manager with further questions. Last updated March 31, 2020.

    Mental health supports and resources

    There are a number of mental health resources available at the university:

    Are you a staff or faculty member working closely with students? Visit the Student Services' Assisting Students in Distress.

    Building a respectful work environment online

    As classes, activities and events also take place virtually, it's important to maintain the same level of respect online as we would in person. You can help ensure that your online environments are respectful, safe spaces for all. Learn more about building a respectful work environment online.

    Working well with virtual meetings

    Virtual meetings can sometimes be more fatiguing than face to face meetings as we work harder to process non-verbal cues, tone of voice, and body language, while being cognizant of our own communication and learning new technologies. The following tips and strategies are helpful whether you attend or organize meetings.

     Working Well Guidelines for Virtual Meetings (pdf)

    Learning opportunities for faculty and staff 

    Leverage these opportunities to continue your learning and development as we stretch into new technologies and ways of communicating.

    Resources for teaching online

    The Keep Teaching website offers resources and guiding principles for faculty as they plan their online classes. 



    See for university wide updates

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