Policy and Procedure #219.0, Healthy Workplaces

WORKING DOCUMENT

Board Policy and Procedures #219.0, Healthy Workplaces addresses the well-being of York Region District School Board (YRDSB) employees.

On this page:

  • Board Policy #219.0 Healthy Workplaces

  • Board Procedure #219.1 Disconnecting from Work

  • Board Procedure #219.2 Substance Use

  • Board Procedure #219.3 Attendance Support

  • Board Procedure #219.4 Health Promotion

  • Board Procedure #219.5 Mental Health

  • Board Procedure #219.6 Disability Management


What has Changed?

Major changes to the document: New policy and procedures.

Reason for review: Due for review.

Who is affected by these changes and what is the impact on current practice? All stakeholders with responsibilities below.

Implementation timelines: Immediate.

Lead Superintendent(s)/Subject Matter Expert(s): Superintendent of Human Resources and Chief Negotiator, and Wellness Advisor, Human Resource Services.

 

Stakeholder Groups with Responsibilities under this Policy and Procedure

  • Director of Education

  • Associate Directors of Education

  • Superintendent of Human Resources & Chief Negotiator

  • Superintendents of Education

  • Senior Team

  • Supervisors of Facility Services

  • Principals

  • Managers

  • All Staff

 

Relationship to Board Priorities

The Healthy Workplaces policy and procedures supports the Multi-Year Strategic Plan and Directors Action Plan in creating the conditions that promote the well-being and success of all YRDSB students, families and employees. This policy recognizes that there is a disproportional health impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities who have been and continue to be underserved based on their social identities, including Indigeneity, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith, social class, ability, newcomer status and multilingual profiles. As such, YRDSB will use anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-oppressive frameworks to address systemic barriers as we establish safe, healthy and inclusive working space for all.

 

Timelines and Next Steps

This policy was scheduled for first review at the June 20, 2023 Policy and By-Law Standing Committee meeting.

 

Providing Feedback

Questions about this policy and/or procedure should be raised with your principal, manager or supervisor. If additional clarification is required, principals, managers and supervisors may contact the lead superintendent and/or subject matter expert and Trustee Services.

In accordance with Board Policy 285.0, Board Policies, Procedures and Supporting Documents, the Board welcomes all comments and suggestions on Board policy.

Input is an important component of the review process. If you feel a policy and/or procedure needs to be revised, feedback may be submitted through the school council or by submitting the online form. In your response please:

  • outline clearly the specific section(s) of the policy and/or procedure in which you are not comfortable,

  • suggest specific alternate wording to reflect your position, and

  • identify the reason(s) for your concern(s).

Specific recommendations or questions about the review process should be submitted using the online form or sent to the Policy Officer via email at policy.committee@yrdsb.ca, or via telephone at 905-727-0022 extension 2570 or in hard copy at The Education Centre – Aurora.

 

Contact

Human Resource Services

 

Legislative Context

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Ontario Human Rights Code

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Working for Workers Act, 2021

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA)

 

Related Documents

National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace  

Staff Well-Being and Mental Health Strategy

Indigenous Education and Equity Strategy

Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy

Policy #103.0 Awards

Policy #235.0 Environmental Responsibility

Policy #250.0 Violence Prevention and Intervention and Non-Code Workplace Related Harassment

Policy 261.0 Equity and Inclusivity

Policy #407.0 Accessibility

Policy #461 Tobacco and Smoke Free Environments

Policy #540.0 Health and Safety - Employees

Policy #532.0 Recruitment and Promotion

Policy #577.0 Staff Progressive Discipline

Policy #240.0 Human Rights: Code-Related Harassment and Discrimination

 


It is the expectation of the York Region District School Board that all employees, students and persons invited to or visiting Board property, or partaking/volunteering in Board or school-sponsored events and activities, will respect the policies and procedures of the Board.


 

Return to top

 

Board Policy #219.0 Healthy Workplaces

 

1. Policy Statement

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) is committed to creating conditions to support safe, healthy, inclusive learning and working spaces, and acknowledges how systemic oppression and racism have resulted in disproportionalities, including health outcomes, for Indigenous and Black people as well as other marginalized communities.  YRDSB believes that healthy learning and working spaces have a positive effect on achievement, well-being, and contribute to mattering and belonging.  YRDSB also views well-being as a relational concept; the wellness of one individual can impact the wellness of others. Therefore, organizational conditions that support the well-being of employees, impact and support the well-being and health of students. The Healthy Workplaces policy and procedures support the Multi-Year Strategic Plan, Board priorities, and applicable legislation, creating the conditions to support the well-being and success of all YRDSB employees and students.

 

2. Application

This policy applies to all Board employees during working hours and at Board sponsored events.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

  1. reviewing the Healthy Workplaces policy in accordance with the priorities in the Trustees’ Multi-Year Plan and the approved policy review cycle; and

  2. understanding and communicating with members of the community about the Healthy Workplaces policy, as required.

 

3.2 The Director of Education is responsible for:

  1. implementing and operationalizing the Healthy Workplaces policy; and

  2. providing system leadership for creating and maintaining healthy workplaces, including, but not limited to:

    • establishing cross-functional committees to integrate strategies for creating safe, healthy and inclusive working spaces; and

    • ensuring all employees, through principles, supervisors and managers, have access to and are provided information on employee well-being and safe, healthy, and inclusive working spaces.

 

3.3 Superintendent, Human Resource Services and Chief Negotiator are responsible for:

  1. providing executive leadership in the ongoing implementation of the National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace; and

  2. ensuring providers for employee health supports (i.e. Employee and Family Assistance Program) are secured.

 

3.4 Superintendents are responsible for:

  1. supporting and maintaining safe, healthy, and inclusive working spaces;

  2. providing leadership to ensure the effective implementation of the Healthy Workplaces policy; and

  3. ensuring employees have opportunities to contribute to creating healthy workplaces.

 

3.5 Principals, Managers and Supervisors are responsible for:

  1. supporting and maintaining a safe, healthy, and inclusive working space; and

  2. providing leadership and identifying learning opportunities for employees in accordance with relevant procedure(s).

 

3.6 All staff members are responsible for:

  1. supporting and maintaining a safe, healthy, and inclusive working space by following the procedures outlined in the Healthy Workplaces policy.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Healthy Workplaces

A healthy workplace is one where an organization addresses the physical and psychological health and safety of its employees and establishes systems and programs to achieve health (adapted from Excellence Canada, 2015).

 

4.2 Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

The voluntary standard was commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and developed by the Canadian Standards Association. The standard has been designed to help organizations strive towards becoming workplaces that actively promote psychological well-being and prevent harm to employee psychological health, including in negligent, reckless, or intentional ways, and promote psychological well-being.

 

4.3 Well-being

The positive sense of self, spirit and belonging that we feel when our cognitive, emotional, social and physical needs are being met. It is supported through equity and respect for our diverse identities and strengths.  As our Indigenous partners have long affirmed, healthy development of the mind, body and spirits is contingent on balance and interconnectedness (Ontario’s Well-Being Strategy for Education, 2016).

 

5. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Drafted: September 2022

Working Document: September 2023

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.1 Disconnecting from Work

 

1. Procedure Statement

Employee well-being is important to the York Region District School Board. Disconnecting from work at appropriate times is a significant part of achieving personal well-being and sustaining healthy work-life balance. This procedure has been established to support employee wellness and help employees disconnect from their work outside of their regular working hours.  This procedure assists in creating a safe, healthy and inclusive work environment at York Region District School Board.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all York Region District School Board employees, whether they are working in the workplace, remotely or in a flexible work arrangement, and is informed by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

This procedure supports each employee in disconnecting from work outside of their normal working hours, subject to reasonable exceptions.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate employees and resources to support the Disconnecting from Work procedure.

 

3.2 The Superintendent of Education, School and System Operations shall:

  1. develop, implement and evaluate communication on the Disconnecting from Work procedure;

  2. provide a copy of this procedure to all York Region District School Board employees within 30 days of preparation and when any revisions are made. A copy of this procedure shall also be provided to all new employees within 30 days of the employee joining the York Region District School Board; and

  3. support the review and amendment of this procedure, as may be required.

 

3.3 Superintendents, Principals, Managers, Supervisors shall:

  1. engage in conversations related to work-life balance and realistic workload which includes setting clear and achievable deadlines with direct reports;

  2. consider the application of this procedure and email tools (e.g. delay delivery) in communicating with direct reports outside of their normal working hours (i.e., during their non-working hours);

  3. consider the application of this procedure for non-urgent mass emails; and

  4. set an ‘out of office’ notification during periods of vacation.

 

3.4 All staff members shall:

  1. endeavour to disconnect from work during non-working hours, unless the matter can reasonably be constituted as an emergency or a significant event that calls for immediate action;

  2. understand there is not a requirement to reply to non-urgent emails, telephone calls, texts, etc., outside of working hours (i.e., during non-working hours) unless there is an emergency or a significant event that calls for immediate action;

  3. consider delaying the delivery of emails to correspond with working hours. Email messages can be programmed to be time delayed and delivered on the next working day; and

  4. set an ‘out of office’ notification during periods of vacation.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Disconnecting from work

Not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing messages to be free from the performance of work in accordance with the ESA and this procedure including the exceptions detailed (Employment Standards Act).

 

4.2 Non-Working Hours

Non-working hours refers to time outside of an employee's regularly established work hours and schedule.

 

4.3 Psychologically healthy and safe workplace

A workplace that promotes an employees’ psychological health and well-being and actively works to prevent harm to worker psychological health.

 

5. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Drafted: September 2022

Working Document: September 2023

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.2 Substance Use

 

Procedure Statement

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) recognizes that minimizing harm associated with substance use has a positive impact on well-being, and the safety of students, and employees. Substance use can impair achievement, readiness to work, and impact mental health. All employees are expected to be well enough to report to and remain fit and ready for work. In order to eliminate the safety risk due to substance use, the following are prohibited for employees in all job categories at the workplace: possession and/or use of (or after effects of) alcohol or other drugs or substances, including marijuana, illegal substances or prescribed and over the counter medications that may impair performance, safety at work or the ability to drive a vehicle.

YRDSB is committed to work with employees to address substance use which impairs performance to create safe, healthy and inclusive workplaces. This procedure outlines the process for responding to substance use of employees, when substance use negatively affects work performance or health and safety within the workplace. This procedure respects the dignity and privacy of employees and places a priority on stigma-reduction, prevention, treatment, successful recovery and re-entry into the workplace for employees who may have a substance use problem and/or addiction. Managing substance use helps to lay the foundation for healthy, productive lives.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all YRDSB employees, whether they are working in the workplace, remotely or in a flexible work arrangement.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support the Substance Use procedure.

 

3.2 Human Resources Services shall:

  1. provide learning opportunities for system leaders on how to recognize signs of workplace impairment due to substance use and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to support employee mental health including, identifying when an employee may be struggling in the workplace, what to offer employees as appropriate support and accommodations, and how to address performance concerns where mental health is a factor;

  2. with regard to employee member substance use and related behavior:

    • work with the immediate supervisor to safely remove the employee from their responsibilities in the workplace;

    • based on reasonable cause, activate the appropriate Fit for Duty Process, arrange, if appropriate, for worksite drug testing;

    • refer or provide access to support as required, such as, but not limited to, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), disability management team and/or community supports, and

    • determine appropriate discipline in conjunction with the immediate supervisor and according to the Staff Progressive Discipline policy and procedure.

 

3.3 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. ensure that all employees are aware that the use, possession or presence in the body of alcohol, or other drugs or substances, including marijuana, illegal substances or prescribed and over the counter medications that impair performance, are prohibited during working hours, on Board property, at school- or Board-sponsored events while in the direct supervision of students, or while operating any Board vehicles or equipment;

  2. ensure that employees are provided with information on the dangers of using equipment or machinery while impaired due to substance use;

  3. ensure that employees are aware of and comply with this procedure;

  4. ensure that employees are aware of their responsibilities under Tobacco and Smoke-Free space policy and procedure;

  5. provide employees with information about addiction or family support programs, as required;

  6. assess the workplace on an ongoing basis to make sure employees are not:

    • impaired while performing their work; and

    • introducing hazards to the workplace because of being impaired due to substance use

  7. with regard to employee’s substance use and related behaviour, ensure appropriate actions are taken:

    • ensure that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect the safety of all students and employees, including addressing workplace hazards due to substance-related impairment;

    • based on reasonable cause, work with Human Resource Services to safely remove the employee from their responsibilities in the workplace;

    • contact Human Resource Services to activate the appropriate Fit for Duty Process;

    • refer employees with self-identified addiction and/or related behavioural issues to supports such as, but not limited to, the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), disability management team, and/or community supports;

    • if the employee is to return home, ensure that transportation is arranged, and this could include expensing transportation;

    • work with Human Resource Services to determine if disciplinary consequences or corrective actions are required according to the Staff Progressive Discipline policy and procedure; and

    • Employee return to work would be governed by the Disability Management Procedure.

 

3.4 All staff members shall:

  1. not be impaired, use, be in possession and/or be under the influence, effect, or after-effect of alcohol, or other drugs or substances, including marijuana, illegal substances or prescribed and over the counter medications that impacts performance, safety at work, or possess drug paraphernalia during working hours, on Board property, at school- or Board-sponsored events while in the direct supervision of students, while operating any Board vehicles or equipment, or in personal vehicles while parked on Board property;

  2. understand and comply with this  procedure;

  3. report to their principal, manager or supervisor if there is reasonable cause to suspect another employee is under the influence of alcohol, other substances, or demonstrating related behaviour during working hours; and

  4. if an employee is prescribed medication (e.g. medical marijuana, narcotics, etc.) that may impact/impair their job performance or their safety and/or the safety of others, and such medication has to be taken during working hours and/or in the workplace, staff must report to the disability management team. 

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Fit for Duty Process

A process used by Human Resource Services to determine if a staff member is able to safely and/or acceptably perform assigned duties without any limitations resulting from, but not limited to: impairment, being under the influence or effect of or after-effects of alcohol, substances including but not limited to cannabis; the misuse of and/or failure to take prescribed medications; and/or extreme fatigue.

 

4.2 Drug Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia is any equipment, product or material that is used to produce, conceal, consume or distribute substances. This may include, but is not limited to, bongs, roach clips, miniature spoons, electronic vaporizers, straws, needles and various types of pipes (National Anti-Drug Strategy).

 

4.3 Reasonable Cause

Reasonable cause is determined by firsthand observation of diminished performance or overall demeanour including, but not limited to, situations where the individual:

  1. is noticeably and clearly impaired;

  2. has impaired alertness, coordination, reactions, responses or effort;

  3. exhibits a condition that threatens personal safety or that of others;

  4. exhibits physical characteristics such as glassy and/or bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol and/or illicit substances, or slurred speech;

  5. demonstrates impaired capacity to learn or work due to dependence on a substance or activity; and/or

  6. exhibits a condition or behavior that presents the appearance of inappropriate and/or unprofessional conduct or impaired judgment.

Any of the above may be detrimental to students, the school community and/or co-workers. Reasonable cause should be determined by at least two individuals, including the principal, supervisor or manager and another individual who observed the person.

 

4.4 Substance Use

The use of alcohol and other drugs or substances, including marijuana, illegal substances or prescribed and over the counter medications that may impair performance, safety at work or the ability to drive safely. Substance use may lead to substance use disorders, overdose, infectious diseases or other complications. Reducing the harms associated with substance use can prevent injury, illness or death (Public Health Ontario)

 

5. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Drafted: May 2023

Replaces Policy #604.0, Substance Abuse

Approved: 2009

Working Document: June 2014

Revised: January 2016

Revised: November 2018

Revised: February 2021

Revised: May 2023

Working Document: September 2023

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.3 Attendance Support

 

1. Procedure Statement

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) recognizes that regular and consistent attendance by all employees is essential for student learning and employee well-being.  The Board believes that individual and organizational health are important factors affecting the ability of employees to attend work and to carry out their duties and responsibilities. YRDSB supports employee well-being, and organizational health, by creating a supportive environment, whereby employees are offered assistance on an individual basis with their regular attendance.

This procedure outlines the attendance support process. The process follows a relationship-based, supportive approach with the goal of identifying employee concerns, exploring support and resources, and developing strategies for improved attendance thereby fostering employee well-being. 

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all Board employees including full-time, part-time, long term occasional and temp/term employees.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support the Attendance Support procedure.

 

3.2 Human Resources shall:

  1. provide training to principals, supervisors and managers on this procedure and the Attendance Support Process;

  2. develop, update and maintain the Attendance Support Process document;

  3. review attendance data bi-weekly;

  4. provide attendance data to the area/department Superintendent for employees who are not receiving support by the disability management team and/or workplace safety and insurance board (WSIB), and who meet or exceed the attendance threshold;

  5. provide guidance and support to principals, supervisors and managers on individual cases; and

  6. ensure the confidentiality and privacy of employee medical information.

 

3.3 Superintendents shall:

  1. demonstrate a commitment to the Employee Attendance Support Process by ensuring that there is a fair and equitable application of the process; and

  2. direct the request for medical documentation where applicable as per the applicable Collective Agreement or Employee Handbook.

 

3.4 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. build trusting relationships based on respectful and responsive communication;

  2. communicate attendance expectations to employees including the absence call-in procedure in place at their work location;

  3. ensure a fair and equitable application of the Employee Attendance Support Process;

  4. review attendance reports provided by the area/department Superintendent and follow-up with area/department Superintendent, as needed; 

  5. monitor employee well-being and attendance and where able, be cognizant of any extenuating circumstances and offer appropriate support in consultation with Human Resources Services (HRS);

  6. provide assistance and support to employees who may be struggling with attendance through supportive conservations (see definition below) and employee wellness resources, as appropriate;

  7. ensure the confidentiality and privacy of any personal and/or medical information voluntarily disclosed by an employee; and

  8. direct an individual to contact a representative from the Disability Management Team, if at any time an employee discloses that they have a disability that requires a workplace accommodation, for which the supervisor was not previously aware.

 

3.5 All Staff Members shall:

  1. attend work regularly;

  2. make reasonable effort to schedule medical/dental appointments outside of working hours;

  3. understand that sick leave and/or other paid absence provisions are a benefit to be used in keeping with the purposes and specific reasons as outlined in respective Collective Agreements or Employee Handbooks;

  4. report absences in accordance with the absence call-in procedure in place at their work location;

  5. provide suitable medical documentation in line with applicable Collective Agreement, Employee Handbook, Board policy and procedure; and

  6. understand that as an employee you are not required to disclose confidential medical information to your principal, manager and/or supervisor.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Non-culpable absences

Absences not within an employee’s control which include legitimate absences that relate to illness or injury. These absences are also referred to as involuntary or innocent absences. The Employee Attendance Support Process addresses non-culpable absences only.

 

4.2 Culpable absences

Absences that are within an employee’s control and may involve deliberate misrepresentation or misuse of sick leave. Lateness and failure to attend work without notifying the employer are examples of culpable absences. Employees with culpable absences are subject to progressive discipline in accordance with the Board’s Staff Progressive Discipline Policy. Culpable absences are not addressed through the Employee Attendance Support Process.

 

4.3 Supportive Conversations

The process was developed to facilitate communication between an employee and their supervisor with the purpose of exploring available resources to assist an employee in improving their well-being and attendance. This will be achieved through supportive conversations based upon mutual respect. If absences continue following a supportive conversation, a supervisor will review any known circumstances to determine whether or not a follow up conversation is appropriate. It is important to note that there are no defined thresholds for subsequent supportive conversations. Determining next steps will involve a review of an employee’s attendance since the last supportive conversation and any known circumstances.

 

4.4 Initial Supportive Conversation

The purpose of an initial supportive conversation is to highlight an employee’s absences, discuss the impact of the absences and to identify any supports that may assist an employee with attending work on a regular basis.

 

4.5 Follow Up Conversation

The purpose of a follow up conversation is to review subsequent absences since the initial conversation, what was discussed during the initial conversation and to explore what additional supports may be required.

 

4.6 Documented Conversation

The purpose of the documented conversation is to focus on working with an employee to improve their attendance where, to date, the employee continues to struggle. The union/federation representative will be involved, if applicable, to explore further possible available supports. The employee will receive a letter confirming the conversation. This may include a written request for medical documentation to support each personal illness absence going forward as per the applicable Collective Agreement or Employee handbook.

 

4.7 Absence Threshold

The Board uses an absence threshold to identify when an employee may require support. The absence threshold at this time has been established at eleven (11) days of personal illness absences, with a minimum of three (3) occurrences. An occurrence is a single absence or a period of consecutive absences.

 

5. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Drafted: May 2023

Working Document: September 2023

 

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.4 Health Promotion

 

1. Procedure Statement

The York Region District School Board recognizes organizational health promotion programs and initiatives that enable employees to engage in health promoting practices (physical activity, nutrition, and positive mental health practices) can support well-being, reduce the risk of, and management of chronic diseases, and contribute to organizational health.

 

2. Application

This procedure applies to all Board staff during working hours and at Board sponsored events.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support Procedure 219.4: Health Promotion; and

  2. allocate staff and resources to support the implementation of the Healthy Workplaces Program.

 

3.2 Human Resources shall:

  1. analyze available employee health data to help prioritize (system) health promotion topics, and provide leadership and learning opportunities for employees in accordance with the Healthy Workplaces Framework (examples including but not limited to, physical literacy, food literacy, mental health literacy);

  2. develop, maintain and/or raise awareness of guidelines (e.g. healthy meeting guidelines) and resources (e.g. employee wellness resource guide, employee and family assistance program, healthy workplaces framework and action plans) that support employee health promotion and well-being; and

  3. provide operational leadership to the administration of the healthy workplaces program by:

    • providing consultations, as needed/requested, to workplaces on the development, submissions and implementation of the healthy workplaces action plan using the Healthy Schools and Workplaces Framework to guide planning and implementation of healthy workplace initiatives

    • actively support the Inter-Building Wellness Committee and Networking events and conferences to ensure collaboration between healthy schools and healthy workplaces in a whole school community approach

 

3.3 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. provide leadership and identify learning opportunities for employees, in alignment with the Healthy Workplaces Framework;

  2. consider the Healthy Meeting Guidelines in planning for meetings and events;

  3.  encourage employees to maintain proper hydration in all weather conditions in accordance with recommendations from the Extreme Hot and Cold Weather and UV Protection Guideline; and

  4.  encourage the use of reusable containers according to the Reusable Beverage Containers procedure; and

  5. consider including healthy food and beverage choices according to Canada’s Food Guide when providing food and beverages for participants at meetings and events.

 

3.4 All Staff Members shall:

  1. consider the use of reusable containers according to the Reusable Beverage Containers procedure;

  2. consider including food and beverage choices according to Canada’s Food Guide when providing food and beverages for participants at meetings and events

  3. consider following the recommendations for hydration from the Extreme Hot and Cold Weather and UV Protection Guideline

  4. consider the Healthy Meeting Guidelines in planning for meetings and events;

  5. consider active transportation and appropriate footwear, as applicable/able;

  6. consider their personal health status and readiness to participate in each physical activity opportunity and be mindful of safe practices while participating; and

  7. recognize that voluntary participation in recreational or fitness activities on personal time during breaks, lunch, and after regular working hours is considered outside the scope of employment and that WSIB benefits would not be applicable in the event of an injury. In addition, student weight rooms are not for employee personal use.

 

4. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

5. History

Drafted: May 2023

Working Document: September 2023

 

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.5 Mental Health

 

1. Procedure Statement

The York Region District School Board recognizes the importance of psychological health and safety in the workplace. While it is understood that there are varying degrees of stress inherent in work, using the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety, and the 13 Psychosocial Risk Factors in the Workplace as a guide, YRDSB aspires to foster working environments where improvement in work practices and processes address psychological safety, contribute to healthy and inclusive working spaces, and employee mental health.

 

2. Responsibilities

 

2.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support Procedure 219.5: Mental Health; and

  2. allocate staff and resources to support implementation of the Staff Well-Being and Mental Health Strategy

 

2.2 Human Resources shall:

  1. as needed, conduct and report on measurement activities to assess psychological health and safety in the workplace;

  2. implement and evaluate policies, procedures and standards relating to psychologically safe working conditions and work practices in response to assessment activities;

  3. provide leadership and learning opportunities for all staff members related to mental health knowledge (literacy), and stigma reduction;

  4. provide supervisor/manager education in employee mental health;

  5. secure an employee and family assistance support provider in accordance with this procedure. Services may include counseling, financial, legal and work-life balance supports; and 

  6. provide information on mental health services and return to work.

 

2.3 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. model and promote positive workplace practices (see Disconnecting from Work Procedure) to strengthen organizational culture and foster a psychologically healthy and safe work environment;

  2. provide leadership and learning opportunities for employees, to build mental health knowledge, promote mental health literacy, reduce stigma and foster mattering and belonging;

  3. practice self-reflection to improve personal leadership practices using tools such as the YRDSB leadership framework;

  4. follow the Discriminatory Slurs and Statements Protocol, as required;

  5. enact theTraumatic Events Response, as required, following the Traumatic Events Systems Response Guideline;

  6. support employees struggling with mental health challenges to seek appropriate individual assistance and/or short-term counseling, such as, but not limited to, by referring to Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Disability Management or community agencies; and

  7. provide employees with information about programs available to support them and their families with mental health through board communications such as the staff well-being newsletter, employee wellness resource guides and well-being memos.

 

2.4 All Staff Members shall:

  1. be aware of and model behaviours consistent with the Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace including but not limited to respect, inclusiveness, open communication, and non-judgement;

  2. communicate issues/ideas regarding psychological health, safety and wellness to managers and supervisors;

  3. seek appropriate support for personal mental health challenges as necessary; and

  4. using professional judgment, discuss with the principal, when appropriate, critical concerns about an employee's mental health.

 

3. Definitions

 

3.1 Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace

A workplace that promotes an employee's psychological well-being and actively works to prevent harm to an employees’ psychological health in negligent, reckless or intentional ways. The focus is not on individual employees’ health status but rather on organizational factors that support mental health.

 

4. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

5. History

Drafted: May 2023

Working Document: September 2023

 

Return to top

 

Board Procedure #219.6 Disability Management

 

1. Procedure Statement

The York Region District School Board is committed to accommodating employees with disabilities within the workplace, consistent with the principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity. The Board strives to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities and recognizes that employees with disabilities have a right to privacy and to accommodation, in keeping with current legislation.

 

2. Application

The Disability Management procedure outlines the process for:

  1. identifying employees who require assistance from the disability management process;

  2. creating individual workplace accommodation plans;

  3. creating return to work plans; and

  4. supporting the application of any income protection benefits.

 

3. Responsibilities

 

3.1 The Director of Education shall:

  1. allocate staff and resources to support the Disability Management procedure.

 

3.2 Disability Management Case Representatives shall:

  1. identify employees who have been absent from work for 15 consecutive days or longer;

  2. create the Notice of Prolonged Absence (NPA) Report form to contact absent employees and outline the disability management services available;

  3. provide federations/unions with NPA reports for their members;

  4. provide employees with a Functional Abilities Report (FAR) to be completed by their treating health care provider(s);

  5. review medical documentation to determine next steps, including, but not limited to;

    • transferring the file to a case manager where a workplace accommodation is required,

    • scheduling a follow-up conversation in cases where a follow-up medical appointment is required,

    • advising the principal, manager or supervisor of the duration of work absence, return to work date or required accommodations, and

    • providing employees with information related to income replacement benefits, including sick leave and short-term disability leave benefits, long-term disability benefits and employment insurance sick leave benefits;

  6.  recording all contact employees in accordance with appropriate Board protocol;

  7. store medical documentation in the employees’ disability management file;

  8. except as required by law, ensure that no medical information is shared with any person other than Disability Management Team members to support the employee  with their absence or return to work;

  9. ensure that disability management files are stored and destroyed in accordance with the Board’s records management procedures; and

  10. authorize payment for the Functional Abilities Report.

 

3.3 Case Managers shall:

  1. receive disability management files from the case representatives;

  2. contact the employee to support with the development of a workplace accommodation plan and/or a return to work plan;

  3. support the employee throughout the disability management process by providing appropriate resources;

  4. with employee consent, communicate with the employee’s health-care provider(s), where applicable, to better understand any potential barriers the employee may face in the workplace;

  5. ensure the employees’ principal, manager, supervisor and union/federation representatives, where applicable, are aware of the workplace accommodation plan or return to work plan;

  6. document all communications and workplace accommodation/return to work plans including follow up meetings/review dates in accordance with Board protocol;

  7. indicate in the workplace accommodation/return to work plan if an Employee Emergency Response Plan is required;

  8. ensure the Employee Emergency Response Plan takes into consideration the individual’s accessibility needs;

  9. store medical documentation in the employee’s disability management file;

  10. except as required by law, ensure that no medical information is shared with any person other than Disability Management Team members;

  11. make a referral for an independent medical evaluation, functional abilities evaluation or medical file review when medical information is complex, controversial or, in extenuating circumstances, to assist the Board in determining if an accommodation can be achieved and if so, how this accommodation can be made;

  12. obtain employee consent to release personal medical information if required;

  13. liaise with external service providers including, but not limited to, long-term disability carriers for all employee plans;

  14. provide employees with information related to income replacement benefits including sick leave and short-term disability leave benefits, long-term disability benefits and employment insurance sick leave benefits;

  15. notify employees when submitted medical documentation is not satisfactory to the Board to support the use of sick leave and/or short-term sick leave; and

  16. ensure that the disability management procedure and related supporting documentation reflect Board and legislative requirements.

 

3.4 Superintendents shall:

  1. support principals, managers and supervisors when implementing a workplace accommodation or return to work plan.

 

3.5 Principals, Managers and Supervisors shall:

  1. ensure employees are aware that the Board is supportive of accommodating disabilities in the workplace;

  2. refer employees who request a workplace accommodation to the Disability Management Team;

  3. participate in the development of a workplace accommodation plan or return to work plan with the Disability Management Team;

  4. make arrangements for required supports identified in the workplace accommodation/return to work plan;

  5. regularly follow up with employees who have workplace accommodation/return to work plans to ensure that their plan has been implemented appropriately and is meeting their needs;

  6. address challenges with the implementation of workplace accommodation/return to work plans;

  7. ensure that other employees are aware of their role in supporting their colleagues if applicable;

  8. ensure that workplace accommodation/return to work plans are only shared with those needing to know;

  9. keep a disability file, containing information on required workplace accommodations, for applicable employees in a secured file location.  These confidential files should be shared and reviewed with any new principal, manager or supervisor to whom the employee directly reports;

  10. understand that only functional and/or cognitive restrictions and limitations may be shared with appropriate employees and that specific details about medical conditions, if known, are confidential;

  11. ensure any medical information the employee discloses to you is kept strictly confidential;

  12. ensure that no medical documentation is stored in the employees’ school/department file;

  13. with the employee, complete an Employee Emergency Response Plan if required;

  14. provide general education to all staff on the importance of supporting employees who may be involved in the disability management program; and

  15. destroy the confidential employee disability management file in line with the board's retention process.

 

3.6 Unions/Federations shall:

  1. cooperate in the development of a workplace accommodation plan or return to work plan, where applicable.

 

3.7 Staff Members shall:

  1. advise their principal, manager or supervisor that they are requesting a workplace accommodation;

  2. contact a member of the Disability Management Team if they feel a workplace accommodation plan is required;

  3. contact their union or federation for representation, if applicable;

  4. provide the Disability Management Team with medical documentation suitable to the Board to support their request for workplace accommodation;

  5. provide case managers with medical documentation suitable to the Board to support the use of short-term sick leave and short term disability leave days;

  6. maintain reasonable and regular contact with the Disability Management Team to provide updates on status and changes in condition, and review progress through their workplace accommodation/return to work plan;

  7. complete, with the principal, manager or supervisor, an Employee Emergency Response Plan, if required;

  8. provide case managers with sufficient notice to support return to work or required accommodations;

  9. cooperate in the development of a workplace accommodation plan or a return-to-work plan;

  10. ensure that no tasks are being performed other than those outlined in the workplace accommodation or return to work plan;

  11. schedule medical appointments, when possible, so that they do not interfere with normal work hours set out in the workplace accommodation/return to work plan; and

  12. when applying for alternative positions within the board ensure in collaboration with assigned case manager that medical accommodations can be supported allowing the essential duties of the position to be completed.

 

4. Definitions

 

4.1 Psychological Consent to Obtain and Release Information

Signature of the staff member allows the case manager to obtain and release medical information for the purpose of assisting the employee with their return to work and/or any required workplace accommodations when necessary.

 

4.2 Disability

As per Ontario’s Human Rights Code, a disability is defined as any of the following:

  1. Any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness, including, but not limited to, diabetes, mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment; muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;

  2. A condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;

  3. A learning disability or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;

  4. A mental disorder;

  5. An injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

 

4.3 Employee Disability File

An individual’s file which contains confidential medical documentation related to an employee’s disability, including any physical/cognitive functional restrictions and limitations. This file is kept separate from their personnel file and is secured within the Disability Management area.

 

4.4 Employee Emergency Response Plan

A plan to ensure the safety of an employee with a disability in the case of an emergency within the school/building.

 

4.5 Employment Insurance Sick Leave Benefits

Sick leave income replacement benefits provided to eligible employees through Service Canada.

 

4.6 Functional Abilities Evaluation

An objective assessment of a staff member’s functional capabilities. The evaluation involves a standard set of tests to assess level of function. The information assists in identifying where potential barriers or gaps exist between the functional demands of the job and the staff member’s capabilities.

 

4.7 Functional Abilities Report

This form is to be completed by the staff member’s treating health care specialist(s) providing information related to the staff member’s physical and cognitive functional restrictions and limitations, the date the employee will be re-assessed, and any potential return to work date including any modification in working hours.

 

4.8 Independent Medical Evaluation

A medical evaluation of a staff member provided by a third party, who has not treated or previously seen the individual. There is no health professional-patient relationship.

 

4.9 Long-Term Disability Benefits

Employees are paid income replacement benefits when disabled from working in accordance with the applicable Long-Term Disability policy.

 

4.10 Medical File Review

An independent medical review of the employee’s file provided by a third party, who has not treated or previously seen the individual. There is no health professional-patient relationship.

 

4.11 Notice of Prolonged Absence Report

Report required by the Long-Term Disability (LTD) carrier as part of the LTD plan. Notifies the Ontario Teachers’ Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the applicable federation/union when an employee has been absent for a set period of time.

 

4.12 Return to Work Plan

An individual plan developed to support the employee in returning to work after a long-term absence based on the employee’s physical and/or cognitive functional restrictions and limitations.

 

4.13 Sick Leave and Short-Term Disability Leave Benefits

Days provided for personal illness reasons for short-term disability leave as per the applicable collective agreement  or the Employee Handbook for Non-Union Staff.

 

4.14 Workplace Accommodation Plan:

A workplace accommodation plan includes an adaptation or adjustment to enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential duties of their job. There is a duty to accommodate on the part of the employer, short of undue hardship, to provide reasonable accommodation for the employee with a disability as defined by Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

This includes:

  1. a review of the current functional abilities of the employee with a disability, as outlined and supported by suitable medical documentation;

  2. a process that respects the dignity and confidentiality of the employee with a disability;

  3. an individualized, case by case approach, in attempting to meet the restrictions and

  4. limitations of the employee with a disability; and

  5. a collaborative, problem-solving process.

 

5. Contact

Human Resource Services

 

6. History

Working Document June 2014

Revised January 2016

Revised: May 2023

Working Document: September 2023