Health guidelines for employees

This page tells employees of McGill University what to do if you have symptoms or have received a diagnosis of COVID-19, are at high risk, or have concerns about your work environment. 

Everyone at McGill must read and follow the general Health guidelines. Employees who are also students should also consult the Health guidelines for students.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive

Follow McGill's COVID-19 Reporting Process Questionnaire to determine your next steps.

Employees returning to campus 

If you had symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, the requirement for self-isolation ends when you meet all of the following three conditions: 

  1. At least 10 days have passed since:
    • your symptoms first appeared, if you have symptoms OR
    • the date of your test, if you tested positive, but have not had symptoms
  2. You have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours (except cough and loss of smell, which can take a longer time to go away)
  3. You have not had a fever for at least 48 hours 

Important: If you had symptoms or a fever on day 10, you must remain in isolation until you have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours and without fever for at least 48 hours. 

Of course, if your doctor recommends a different course of action, please follow the advice of your health professional.

Employees with a weakened immune system or chronic conditions

Employees who are at risk of developing complications from COVID-19 will be asked to provide medical information to disability.hr [at] mcgill.ca to document their condition. A review of the information provided will be performed and if required, possible accommodation measures determined. If it is determined that:

  • the medical condition does not put the employee at risk of complications, the employee will be asked to return to work on campus.
  • the medical condition puts the employee at risk of complications, should the employee be diagnosed with COVID-19, the following can take place:
    • The University will have the responsibility to put in place the recommendations of the Direction de la santé publique (DSP) in the workplace, and the employee will have to apply them. Should the employee have reasonable motives to believe that the work environment puts their health at risk, they can exercise their right to refuse work as per section 12 of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (LSST). See Refusal to work.
    • The danger must be real and objective and not be based on apprehension. A fear or worry is not sufficient to conclude that there is a danger. The University may decide to reassign the employee to other tasks. This must be done in consultation with Human Resources (HR) and/or Labour & Employee Relations (LER).
    • The employee retains the right to remain at work insofar as the employee has been adequately informed about the risks related to the work and that the University has taken all necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
    • If the University determines that it is not possible to make the necessary accommodations to safely return the employee to the workplace, the employee will be invited to take vacation days, banked overtime, floating days or an unpaid leave of absence subject to University policies.
  • This list of diseases that put individuals at risk of complications from COVID-19 is based on interim recommendations published by INSPQ. To this end, see the following links:
  • https://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/2914-protection-travailleurs-immunosupprimes-covid19
  • https://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/2967-protection-travailleurs-maladies-chroniques-covid-19

Employee refusal to work for health and safety reasons 

Our workplace is still a safe environment. The measures that have been put in place are meant to limit the propagation of the virus. Therefore, we ask all our employees who are coming into work to apply the recommended health guidelines

If employees have reasonable grounds to believe the workplace presents unsafe working conditions, they may initiate a refusal to work process in accordance with the Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety. The law provides that an employee has a right to refuse to perform particular work if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the performance of that work would expose them to danger to their health, safety or physical well-being, or would expose another person to a similar danger.  

Employees are invited to contact their manager to discuss their specific situation and concerns before or as they initiate a refusal to work process in order to explore if additional safety measures could be implemented to make the working environment safer. 

The refusal to work process must be documented by the immediate supervisor. Without reasonable grounds, a work refusal may be considered an unjustified absence. Supervisors and managers facing such a situation must consult with Human Resources. 

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