COVID-19 | Coronavirus Disease

We are working closely with provincial partners to prepare and respond to the increased likelihood of more COVID-19 infections in Canada.

The health and wellness of our employees and residents is our main priority.

We are working closely with provincial partners to prepare and respond to the increased likelihood of more COVID-19 infections in Canada.

The health and wellness of our employees and residents is our main priority.

  • June 18 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way many of us work, and as the municipality begins to broaden our services, it will continue to transform how we focus on workplace safety over the months ahead.

    To support these efforts, we have established a Task Force, led by Chief Ken Stuebing of Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency. Flexibility will be key to our success. Different Business Units have different needs, and our approach will allow teams to adapt to unique circumstances of their workspaces and staffing requirements.

    The Task Force will work collaboratively with Business Units to continue to adapt our operations in response to the pandemic. They will provide tools, training and support to establish clarity and consistency of protocols, so employees are informed and safe throughout the recovery phases.

    Parallel, we continue to focus on priority public-facing services, including Parks & Recreation and Halifax Transit. To read the latest updates on municipal services please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    I want to express a sincere thank you to everyone for your dedication and professionalism in supporting the revised 2020-21 municipal budget approved last week by Regional Council.

    It’s been a challenging few months, and many of us are needing to recharge. As the weather improves and certain restrictions ease, I’d like to remind you to consult with your manager/supervisor about taking time off as schedules allow. Sometimes it feels hard to get away but taking vacation time is essential for our health and wellbeing.

    June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. It’s a day for all Canadians to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. I encourage you to explore virtual celebrations honouring the storied history and culture of Mi’kmaw communities.

    As we work through the next phases of the pandemic, our priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our employees and residents.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068

  • June 5, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    Today Nova Scotia has reached a welcomed milestone. Many businesses and services are reopening to the public as directed by the Province. And, our reopening plans are beginning to take shape as well.

    At a municipal level, our initial plans focus on priority public-facing services, including Parks & Recreation, and Halifax Transit.

    We continue to maintain an absolute commitment to the health and safety of our colleagues and residents. As such, we’re expanding services and reopening spaces slowly and carefully, in accordance with public health guidelines to ensure everyone is properly protected. To read the latest updates on municipal services please visit halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    Over the past two months, many of us have transitioned successfully to working from home. This will remain for the foreseeable future as we continue to work together to consider the diverse needs of our teams and how best to adapt our workplaces.

    Thank you all for making a difference and for doing your share in support of our reopening efforts.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068 or 902.237.90

  • May 25, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    As many of you know, there was a wild fire in the Porters Lake area over the weekend. I want to commend Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency crews - including career and volunteer firefighters, logistics staff and senior officers - along with Ground Search & Rescue, emergency management volunteers, RCMP and the Province for tremendous work during a very scary time for residents of this community.

    Earlier today we held a media briefing, and so I’d like to update you on a few highlights I shared as we move into the beginning of the COVID-19 recovery stages.

    While we look toward next steps, municipal staff and Regional Council have continued discussions regarding a revised budget to account for the financial impacts of COVID-19.

    Thank you to all involved for your diligence throughout the revised budget process. Your ability to adapt and work as a team through this unpredictable time has been exceptional.

    There is one more virtual Special Budget Committee meeting scheduled for May 26. The final budget will be presented to Regional Council on June 9. Once these discussions have finished, we will have a clear picture of the impacts to capital and operating budgets.

    In the meantime, we have begun to plan for the first stage of recovery and are exploring and developing safe ways to help reopen our economy.

    As the need for social distancing will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and transportation patterns evolve throughout the recovery phases, it’s important we identify the necessary changes to our streets, sidewalks and bike lanes as part of our collective effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    Today we announced phase one of theHalifax Mobility Response Plan. This plan includes measures that can be deployed quickly, while also considering what will be needed over the coming months in response to public health directives.

    For further details from today’s announcement, please visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.

    It goes without saying that the past few months have been challenging on us all, as it feels like nearly every aspect of daily life is impacted by COVID-19.

    We’ve seen some positive signs regarding reduced community spread of COVID-19 over the last couple of weeks and I can sense an improvement to our collective morale. It feels good to see more smiling faces walking down our streets and enjoying trails and parks while practicing social distancing.

    Please continue to stay safe and follow public health directives. We’ve made a lot of progress and don’t want to take any steps back as we continue through the recovery phases.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087

  • May 22, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    With the warm and sunny weather upon us, the introduction of household bubbles and the gradual re-opening of some public spaces, I find myself feeling hopeful.

    While it’s clear that the future is still unknown, and adhering to public health directives remains crucial, I very much look forward to an eventual return to more normal operations. As we look to what’s next, I want to provide reassurance that we are developing plans, processes and protocols with your safety and wellbeing top of mind.

    We understand that this process will be another complex undertaking, that must consider the diverse needs of our workforce and work environments. We will continue to work closely with business units to determine employee-based solutions that work for all.

    Our organization’s ability to provide high-quality public services wouldn’t be possible without all of you. And because of that, it’s our job to provide you with the support and flexibility you need to make a difference in our communities.

    We also continue to evaluate and adapt our safety practices to help ensure those who work in the public are protected.

    As you know, Regional Council is concluding the second week of budget deliberations today. I will provide a further update about how their decisions will impact our operational and capital budget in the coming weeks.

    Thank you all for your perseverance and patience as we work to get through this rare and challenging time together.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087

  • COVID-19 Update - Budget - May 12, 2020

    Colleagues,

    Like so many others in our region and across the country, the impact of COVID-19 has placed considerable and unforeseen financial pressures on our municipality. While our collective efforts to reduce the spread of disease are necessary, they’ve come at an unavoidable cost to our organization.

    Over the past several weeks, staff have worked hard to provide a revised municipal budget to Regional Council for consideration. This has not been an easy task, and the decisions that follow will surely be difficult.

    Council will begin deliberations tomorrow, May 12 and will continue for several weeks before decisions are finalized. These special meetings by the Budget Committee and Regional Council meetings will be held virtually. View the Proposed 2020/21 Budget Recast for COVID-19 Impacts to learn more.

    The municipality takes its role of financial stewardship very seriously. I would like to thank you - Mayor Savage and Members of Regional Council and Directors, Union leaders and all staff, for your continued dedication to safely providing public services upon which our residents depend.

    As the duration of this situation remains unknown, I know it continues to be a difficult time, both personally and professionally. We will evaluate the organizational impacts and provide additional information as it becomes available.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087

  • COVID-19 Resources for Employees & Leaders

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    Human Resources has developed a new COVID-19 Resource for Employees & Leaders. This online resource contains tools and information to help you at work during COVID-19.

    It discusses healthy ergonomics, physical and mental health resources, employee engagement tips and much more.

    During these difficult and unpredictable times, employees are encouraged to reach out to Human Resources for support. For centralized access to employee services, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145. You can also review the COVID-19 Employee FAQ for answers to common questions.

  • Employee and Family Assistance Programs (EFAP) 24/7 access to services and resources

    If you, or a direct family member, are experiencing increased worry or anxiety, you can reach out to your respective Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) 24 hours a day, seven days a week for support.

    Homewood Health’s EFAP

    Through Homewood Health, our corporate EFAP provider, eligible employees of the Halifax Regional Municipality and family members* can receive free and confidential support services.

    All Homewood Health EFAP services are still being offered and have been modified to maintain social (physical) distancing. Counseling is now being offered via telephone, email and video.

    To speak to someone in confidence, book an appointment, or for crisis services call 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142. The intake counselor will help guide you to the appropriate service or resource.

    To access electronic supports, register at HomeWeb.ca. You will be required to provide an email address and password to set up your account.

    For detailed instructions and an overview of services, see Get to know your EFAP.


    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP

    Contact 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296 for more information.


    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP

    Contact 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087 for more information.


    MyHR

    Employees can also email MyHR@halifax.ca or phone 902.490.6145 for centralized access to employee services. Click here to learn more about MyHR.


    * Full-time employees (within non-union, NSUPE, CUPE and ATU groups) and their immediate family members are eligible to access the Homewood Health EFAP.

    Note: employee members of the Halifax Regional Police Association (HRPA) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) have their own respective EFAPs listed above.

  • MyHR – Central access to employee services

    MyHR offers simple, central access to employee services including benefits, pension, training and general HR inquiries. Available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MyHR provides timely service to address many of your HR questions and needs. Contact MyHR by phone 902.490.6145 or by email MyHR@halifax.ca for assistance.

    For more information on MyHR and other available HR services, visit intranet.halifax.ca/BusinessUnits/HumanResources/.

  • April 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

    Colleagues,

    I continue to be grateful to every municipal employee for their ongoing efforts on behalf of our residents and employees. I know so much of this work goes on behind the scenes, and I want everyone to know your contributions are sincerely appreciated.

    I’m pleased to share that the office of Human Resources has developed a new COVID-19 Resource for Employees & Leaders. This online resource contains tools and information to help you at work during COVID-19.

    During these difficult and unpredictable times, our partners in Human Resources are here for you. For centralized access to employee services, please contact MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145.

    Public Service Announcement (PSA):

    Our service levels continue to change as necessary to meet the needs of our residents during this time. Here are some highlights from today’s PSA regarding changes to Halifax Transit beginning Monday, May 4.

    • Halifax Transit will implement a further reduction in weekday transit services.
    • Both the Alderney and Woodside ferries will be reduced to half hour, peak period service on weekdays. There will be no mid-day, evening or weekend service until further notice.
    • Visit halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/coronavirus for more information on the upcoming service schedule adjustments.

    I hope you’re all finding new ways to adapt and stay connected as we continue to persevere through this unique health crisis.

    Kind regards, amitiés, wela’lioq,

    Jacques

    Recognizing that the duration of this situation is unknown, and to streamline your access to information, below is list of important links.

    Employee updates: hrmmatters.ca/coronavirus

    Municipal service adjustments: halifax.ca/coronavirus

    hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system: halifax.ca/hfxalert

    Municipal media briefings: Follow @hfxgov on Twitter for details regarding live streaming

    Public health information: Public Health Agency of Canada and Nova Scotia Health and Wellness

    Human Resources: MyHR@halifax.ca or 902.490.6145

    Homewood Health’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 902.466.3327 or 1.800.663.1142

    Halifax Regional Police Association EFAP: 902.430.8295 or 902.430.8296

    International Association of Fire Fighters FFAP: 902.483.6068 or 902.237.9087


  • Organizational Impacts


    *Do you have information that needs to be shared with all Municipal Employees? Email EmployeeBulletin@halifax.ca.

    For additional information, please read the Employee FAQ.


    General Updates

    • Until further notice:
      • Employees who can work from home are directed to do so
      • Requests for business travel outside of Nova Scotia will not be approved
      • The Attendance Support Policy has been suspended
      • Medical notes related to short-term sick leave absences are not required

    Virtual Regional Council meetings

    To continue to practice safe social distancing, there will be four virtual special meetings of Regional Council on April 2, April 9, April 14 and April 28, each starting at 1 p.m. The purpose of these special meetings is to deal with matters as determined by the CAO and Mayor.

    Click the video link on Halifax.ca to “watch on web” and enter the webcast by selecting ‘join anonymously’.

    Finance & Asset Management

    • Our municipal payroll operations continue to function as normal.
    • Part-time/casual employees will be paid according to what has been scheduled for the upcoming two weeks.
    • Regular full-time employees, who are currently working, will continue to be paid as normal.
    • Regular full-time employees who have been advised by their manager not to attend work, as the service they provide has been reduced or suspended, will be paid for their regular hours for the next four weeks ending April 25. The deposit date for this pay period is May 7. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.
    • After the two-week period ending March 28, we will pay all part time/ casual/ temporary employees based on an average of their pay from the last fiscal year for another four-week period to pay period ending April 25, with deposit on May 7. This will be reviewed during the four-week period to determine next steps.
    • Any seasonal employees who are not currently working but had an anticipated return for the spring/ summer season, will receive a separate communication in the coming weeks regarding next steps.

    Human Resources

    • Benefits Re-enrollment deadline extended until May 1, 2020. HR will process requests for re-enrolment packages up to March 31. Contact MyHR@halifax.ca with questions.
    • Employee Services: As part of the Employee Recognition Program, HR will be unable to fulfill gift card orders at this time. Any existing orders will be held and processed when staff are back in the office again.
    • Training & Development: All Corporate Training classes are cancelled until further notice.
    • The Spring Leadership Summit scheduled for April 8 has been cancelled.
    • View the Work from Home Toolkit aimed at helping individuals get set up to work efficiently from home.

    EPass Program

    • In light of the current situation, Halifax Transit has suspended all fare collection on bus and ferry services effective Wednesday, March 18.
    • As a result of this decision, EPass payroll deductions are suspended effective pay period 8 (from March 16 to March 28 – deposit date April 9) until further notice.

    HRM Pension Office

    • Effective March 17, the HRM Pension Plan Office is no longer conducting in-person appointments until further notice.

    Access & Privacy Office

    • The Access & Privacy Office is advising potential applicants to expect delays in the processing of requests, as many municipal staff are working remotely and are not in a position to search for records responsive to requests.

    Corporate & Customer Services

    • Corporate Security: Effective March 16, Corporate Security is suspending the issuing of new ID badges unless there is an urgent requirement (ie. police, EMO, Fire). If you have an issue with your ID badge, please contact the Operations Centre (ext. 2555).
    • Print Services: Effective immediately, the Print Centre will be prioritizing Tax Bill fulfillment and communications regarding COVID-19. This may result in longer wait times for other print services support. Thank-you for your understanding.
    • Effective March 23, interdepartmental mail has been reduced to Tuesdays and Fridays. As such, incoming/outgoing mail through Canada Post will only be handled on these days.
    • Canada Post is no longer taking signatures. As a result, Registered Letters will not be signed for.
    • The Print Services team in Corporate Communications will be working with Business Units Coordinators to determine specific arrangements as required.

    Municipal service updates can be found on halifax.ca/coronavirus.