Subject: Maximizing social distancing across campuses

By reducing the number of people on our campuses, we are able to maximize social distancing and offer the strongest solution to the SFU community. To protect the health and safety of our community in a manner consistent with the Provincial Health Officer’s advice and meet our continuing commitment to provide educational services to students, we have made a number of decisions.

In an effort to support all employees in caring for their health and reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19, supervisors and their teams are asked to think of creative solutions to how work can be done differently including consideration of strategies for social distancing if it is necessary to come to campuses and the opportunity for employees to work from home. Because of the variety and nature of work at SFU, one solution will not work for all jobs.

These decisions need to be taken at the supervisor’s discretion, and fairness for teams should be considered while maximizing measures for health and safety. We expect supervisors to devote Tuesday, March 17 to these changes and implementation should begin Wednesday, March 18.

For those employees who are not able to work from home, please consult with your supervisor to find ways to minimize person-to-person contact, including alternate work locations, staggering shifts, social distancing protocols and increasing the use of technology.

In addition to this decision:

  • SFU will expand sick pay coverage to those employees who have no or limited coverage
  • We will not be requiring medical notes for illnesses related to COVID-19 or flu at this time in order to prevent overburdening the medical system
  • Employees who notify their supervisor that they must absent themselves from work in order to care for a family member due to illness will be placed on a leave of absence without loss of pay
  • Access to certified counsellors and registered psychologists will be extended to all temporary employees through an external program provider, Homewood Health, who can be reached at 1-800-663-1142
  • Employees with special situations such as compromised immune systems should speak to their supervisor to determine appropriate solutions

These are challenging times and will require flexibility and cooperation. We appreciate your patience and commitment to the health and safety of our community.

For answers to frequently asked questions, visit

Jonathan C. Driver, PhD, RPA
Vice-President Academic and Provost pro tem
Simon Fraser University