Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan

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Personal Health Risks

Members with pre-existing health conditions which would place them at high risk if exposed to Covid-19 have voiced their concerns and asked questions.

What we know:

AS OF APRIL 27, 2020

On April 17, 2020, HSAS, along with all healthcare unions, SHA and SAHO signed a temporary Letter of Understanding (LOU)  which outlines the agreed- to guidelines that will govern the use of a Labour Pool and movement of members during the province’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines as well as the protection provided to those members.

The LOU also addresses personal circumstances which may prevent deployment of a member from taking place.  Among a number of circumstances, one may be a member’s health such as an immune-compromised status.  The exclusion to deployment on medical grounds may require the member to provide medical information.

Should your physician determine that it would not be appropriate for you to be within your workplace because of your health status, your Employer would have a Duty to Accommodate your restrictions (Article 12.11).  HSAS Labour Relations must be involved in the conversations pertaining to accommodations and can be reached at labourrelations@hsas.ca.  Accommodation could include working from home – if your type of work could be performed remotely.  Access to your sick leave credits is also another alternative- again depending on your specific circumstances. We would also advise that you have a conversation with your manager to ensure that all options and avenues can be discussed.

A need for an accommodation may also apply to those members who have not been assigned to a Labour Pool or selected for deployment, but who have pre-existing health conditions putting them at risk within their usual workplace.

For health conditions which do not indicate a need for an accommodation or which would not be covered by sick leave, there may be other options.   There are a number of banks within your collective agreement which you may be able to access, depending upon your individual circumstances.

They are:

Article 11.01 A –Leave without Pay

Article 11.04 – Pressing Necessity

Article 11.08 – Service Leave

Article 13 – Vacation

Article 15.05 – Time Off In Lieu of Overtime

For questions or concerns, please email labourrelations@hsas.ca.

AS OF MARCH 22, 2020

In daily meetings held with the Ministry of Health and the SHA, there was acknowledgement that each union would have members who would be considered at higher risk if exposed to Covid-19.  There was some suggestion of remote work as a possibility but to date there has not been a plan put forward by the SHA in this regard.

 We can advise that there are a number of banks within your collective agreement which you may be able to access, depending upon your individual circumstances.

They are:

Article 11.01 A –Leave without Pay

Article 11.04 – Pressing Necessity

Article 11.08 – Service Leave

Article 13 – Vacation

Article 15.05 – Time Off In Lieu of Overtime

Additionally, should your physician determine that it would not be appropriate for you to be within your workplace because of your health status, your Employer would have a Duty to Accommodate you and your restrictions. HSAS Labour Relations must be involved in the conversations pertaining to accommodations.  Accommodation could include working from home – if your type of work could be performed remotely.  Access to your sick leave credits is also another alternative- again depending on your specific circumstances. We would also advise that you have a conversation with your manager to ensure that all options and avenues can be discussed.

We do expect the Employer to provide you with the appropriate level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the type of work you perform and your potential for exposure for any time which you are within your workplace.

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