COVID-19 SCS Administrative Staff FAQ

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Please also refer to the various guidelines for working at home and the University’s FAQs for more information:



Can I come into work on campus during the suspension period?

Building access is restricted to employees who need to provide necessary functions. Employees who are required to be on campus to provide necessary functions will be notified by their supervisors.


What happens if I cannot use up my vacation bank by the end of May? Will I be able to carry-forward my days?

Vacation-day balances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your supervisor to discuss your specific case.


This is a stressful time – how can I get assistance?

If you are feeling stressed, you may contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-844-880-9142. You can also visit the McGill Employee and Family Assistance Program page. Remember that all contact between you and your EAP counsellor is confidential and at no cost to you. Additional staff resources are available on the page below.

Will casual employees be paid during the suspension period?

All contractual University employees who have a valid contract after May 1, including casual and work study employees who were scheduled to work, will continue to be paid for the pre-established hours that they would have worked.

What is the process to follow for submitting timesheets?

Casual employees are expected to submit timesheets as if they were at work. Exceptionally during this period, signatures and approval via email are acceptable. Once normal operations resume, paper time sheets must be completed, signed and retained by the unit as a matter of record to ensure compliance.

Are tools available to hold virtual meetings or to enable collaboration?

Please see IT’s website, Working Remotely, which provides extensive information.
  • Zoom is available to instructors, and reserved for teaching and learning activities
  • MS Teams is available to all employees for collaborative work (web conferencing, chat, etc.)
  • WebEx is available to employees for all Web conferencing needs.

Will R2R training still go ahead in May and June?

Yes, the R2R Training Program has been modified so that all activities can be attended remotely. We are continuing to prepare for the July go-live date. More information.


If I forgot something at the office can I go to pick it up?

You may access the building only to pick up essential items. The buildings are currently open during daytime hours, Monday to Friday. Card-reader access will be required for unit offices (while the campus buildings are open).

Although the University is operational for the time being, the situation is extremely fluid and it is possible that new directives might require a full shutdown of buildings. We, therefore, recommend that you pick up your essential items at your earliest possible convenience. Please contact Andrée LaHaise (andree.lahaise [at] ) if you do not have card access to the 680/688 outside normal hours.


Am I expected to answer student e-mails and calls like I would at the office?

With the exception of employees who are ill, or who do not have the ability to work remotely, all employees are expected to work remotely during their regular schedules. If you believe that you have exceptional circumstances, you must speak to your supervisor.


What are essential services?

Based on McGill’s guidelines, each unit has determined for everyone’s function what the essential services are. In general, however, these are restricted to individuals required to be on campus during events such as snowstorms to maintain or secure facilities and keep animals and scientific experiments alive or supporting students in residence halls. Most staff at SCS do not fall in this category.


Am I allowed to do overtime while I am working remotely?

Overtime must be pre-approved by your supervisor, as per the usual overtime policy at SCS.


While working remotely, if I have a question, who do I go to?

Each staff member should communicate with their direct supervisor for any questions/inquiries while they are working remotely.


If my tasks require access to a scanner, or appending copies to a printed confirmation of a POPs payment, what can be done?

Staff can install a mobile phone scanning application such as Simpleocr or Microsoft Office Lens (available for android or iOS phone applications) and use it to scan supporting documents for transactions. All documents should be saved on the shared drive so that can be backed up by IT. 


Some Course Lecturers may not be able to scan contracts for return via email. In such cases, would camera phone images be acceptable?

Staff can install a mobile phone scanning application such as Office Lens and use it to scan supporting documents for transactions.


Can I enable call forwarding remotely?

Most telephone lines can be forwarded. Please refer to the instructions emailed by Andrée LaHaise. In some cases, this is not possible. For these cases, we recommend you change your voicemail message to reflect an alternative communication method. For e.g., “Hi, you’ve reached John Smith. I am not currently in the office, so please contact me by email at "”. To record your greeting:

  1. Call 514.398.8227 to get to the Call Pilot entry
  2. Enter your extension followed by #
  3. Enter your PIN followed by #
  4. Press 8 2
  5. Press 1 for external greeting, 2 for internal, 3 for temporary
  6. Press 5 to record
  7. Press # to end the recording
  8. The greeting will automatically be saved

To play, delete, re-record, or add to your greeting:

  • To play your greeting, press 2
  • To delete your greeting, press 7 6
  • To re-record your greeting press 5
  • To add to your greeting, press 5 at the point in the greeting where you want to start. Record the new greeting, then press #

Please note that you can also access your messages by calling 514-398-8227, and entering your extension followed by # and your PIN followed by #.

When campus re-opens, can I continue to work from home to reduce exposure, the exception being those days when coverage is needed for student/client-facing work (e.g., reception)?

SCS will follow University guidelines as to whether staff should work remotely or in the office. The individual staff member cannot decide to work from home if the University directive is that all staff can resume working from campus.

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