New guidelines for virtual and flexible work: We want to ensure that employees who are able to work from home receive the support they need to succeed at their work and maintain our essential operations. As phase one of our return to office plan commences this fall, new guidelines have been developed to help teams who may need to continue to work virtually for the foreseeable future. The guidelines include principles and support on managing flex-time, maintaining important connections with colleagues and how to access employee supports, including those designed to protect your health and safety while working from home. The new guidelines, along with a detailed FAQ, can be found on our dedicated virtual and flex-guidelines page. If you are currently working virtually in some capacity, we encourage you to review them and speak with your manager if you have further questions. Want to learn more about our return to office plans? Visit our dedicated page on your COVID-19 employee portal.
Update to wellness checks:
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness checkpoints were one of the many measures implemented to keep our teams and donors safe and protect our essential operations. As we continue to adapt to evolving information on the virus, these measures are being consistently reviewed to ensure we continue to safely deliver on our promise to patients and improve the donor and employee experience.
Beginning September 21, 2020, the following change will be rolled-out regarding the facilitation of the wellness checks at both donor and employee wellness checkpoints:
- Employees working at the wellness checkpoints will no longer be required to read the wellness-check questionnaire to each individual entering our sites.
- Instead, before entering our sites, individuals will be asked to read the questionnaire on a large poster prior to approaching the wellness checkpoint.
- If the individual answers “YES” to any of the questions, they will be advised that they are unable to enter our sites and will be encouraged to return when they can answer “NO” to all of the questions.
- If the individual answers “NO” to all of the questions and receives an acceptable temperature reading, they will be permitted to enter our sites for further screening.
This change will be fully implemented by September 25 and is intended to maintain safety, improve donor and employee experience, simplify the process for our teams working at wellness checkpoints and provide a consistent approach for both donors and employees entering our sites. For more information visit our dedicated wellness checkpoint page on your COVID-19 employee portal.
Stems cells saved her life, now her story is helping to save others: Mackenzie’s Curran’s stem cell journey has had many emotional moments. At just 16 years-old, the Kingston native with a love of basketball was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a condition that quickly progressed to an aggressive form of leukemia. Mackenzie was lucky enough to receive a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor. With her health restored, she began sharing her experience to encourage others to join Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. And one of her Queen’s classmates didn’t just join — he answered the call to donate less than two years later. Read more about the impact Mackenzie’s story is having on her classmates and community at blood.ca/stories.
World Marrow Donor Day: Saturday, September 19 is World Marrow Donor Day. We celebrate this awareness day at Canadian Blood Services each year, as it is a chance for us to thank all stem cell and cord blood donors around the world for being heroes and helping to save lives. It is also an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to those who have joined the global registry and are waiting to donate their stem cells to a patient in need. To motivate potential donors to join our stem cell registry, we will be sharing inspirational stories of donors and recipients on our channels in the coming days and encouraging eligible registrants to sign up online to get their swab kit delivered in the mail. Stay tuned to our social media accounts (@canadaslifeline) and blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: We are required to wear masks on site. Can you clarify whether Canadian Blood Services is supplying masks for employees working in a lab or a clinic? I am being told by my manager I need to bring my own.
We are sorry to learn that some employees are being told that they must bring in their own masks to work with them.
We are providing up to two surgical masks per shift for our teams working in operations and collections environments and cloth masks for our teams working in administrative environments. If your mask becomes wet or soiled, more will be made available as needed.
You can access these masks at the wellness checkpoint when you arrive. If you are in operational or collections settings and require additional masks, they are available through your supervisor.
Misunderstandings about the protective equipment Canadian Blood Services provides will be addressed at the next managers call to ensure our teams across the country have access to the protective equipment required to be on our sites.
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This digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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