Single-Site Directive: What You Need to Know
- The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry has given health authority medical health officers (MHOs) emergency powers to restrict long-term care workers to a single site in an effort to prevent transmission of COVID-19 to vulnerable seniors and health care workers.
- MHOs may apply this order to their entire health authority region, or to part of it.
- This applies to all operators and to subcontractors, and with few exceptions (such as paramedics, pharmacists, dietitians, doctors and others) all workers are included in the order.
- Employers cannot penalize or terminate employees who are directed to work at another site under this order.
- Employers must continue benefits to workers even if they are directed to other sites.
- MHOs can make exceptions to single site staffing if necessary to ensure safe staffing.
- The B.C. government has directed that wage rates for affected workers moved to a single site be increased to Facilities and Nurses master agreement rates until such time as the Orders for single-site employment are lifted.
- In the days ahead, it’s expected that this order will extended across the Province and will include assisted living and provincial mental health facilities.
- Workers can still hold an additional job(s) in community health or community social services.
- At this point single site restriction would exclude long-term care staff from also working in hospitals/acute care. Exemptions to this restriction are at the discretion of local Medical Health Officers.
- The PHO has also ordered operators (including subcontractors) to submit employee lists by March 28 so that central staffing decisions can be made to implement single site staffing.
- Workers in the sector will have access to a mobile app to indicate their preference for the single site they wish to work at for the duration of the Order. Preferences are not guaranteed. Final decisions will be based on staffing requirements.
- HEU and other unions have advocated for a central staffing system in an effort to protect workers’ rights and income in the face of these emergency orders during the pandemic.