Message form the NHSPC co-chairs – COVID-19

March 26, 2020

We understand that these are extraordinary circumstances for everyone and that this is a difficult time for many of you and your families. We also recognize that many of you are performing critical functions while also supporting your colleagues as a health and safety committee member (HSC) or representative (HSR). As this situation continues to evolve, we want to reassure you that our primary focus continues to be the health and safety of all employees.

Representatives of the National Health and Safety Policy Committee (NHSPC) are meeting on a daily basis to ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) response to this pandemic aligns with the guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government Operations Centre, and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. On March 24, 2020, the NHSPC met to discuss the Agency’s response and, following this meeting, we want to let you know that you have our full support as we navigate through this together.

We would like to inform you that the CRA has consulted the Labour Program and they have confirmed that the requirements concerning health and safety under the Canada Labour Code, Part II, continue to apply at this time. For a full list of considerations, please consult the appendix attached. These requirements only apply to buildings that remain open.

We recognize that some members of your HSC may no longer be in the workplace, which could present some challenges to conducting these key activities.  Management must determine whether or not there is adequate HSC or HSR coverage in the building, in order to meet legislative requirements. Management should contact their regional OHS officer for guidance on HSC/HSR representation, and be in touch with local union representatives.

Due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, we encourage you to regularly consult the dedicated InfoZone page on COVID-19, which includes a number of useful resources, including the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 intranet page.

It is important that we all support one another through this difficult time. If you need to seek support, please consider contacting the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on InfoZone, on the CRA’s external site, or by phone (1-833-EAP PAE2 (327-7232)).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your regional OHS Officer by using the HR Service Centre.

We thank you for your efforts and continued cooperation during this time.

Dan Couture                                                                      Doug Gaetz
Employer Co-Chair                                                           Employee Co-Chair