COVID-19: Workplace resumption
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease across various provinces and territories, and municipalities, the IRB is actively working towards increasing access to work sites while doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of all employees.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the official
Government of Canada web presence as well as the
information for Public Service employees.
Starting the week of September 14,
in-person refugee hearings will begin. Stay tuned for news about other changes to in person hearings in the coming weeks.
As of now, we expect that all employees who can work from home will continue to do so until at least
On this page
Status of buildings and operations
All IRB buildings are now open and hearings have resumed. Staff and visitors are required to follow the
COVID-19 health and safety measures. Find out how COVID-19 is impacting those who
appear before the Board.
Browse our new
COVID health and safety image gallery. Photos represent a standard set in place across all of our IRB offices.
New building access procedure for return to the workplace
For staff identified to return to the workplace, safety procedures have been put in place to help ensure safe and efficient traffic flow within our buildings. Once you enter the building, ensure to follow all directional floor and wall arrows and other signage. Ensure to also maintain a 2-metre (6 feet) physical distance with other employees and visitors.
These measures have been put in place to protect the health and safety of all IRB employees and to adhere to provincial and municipal directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If employees working off-site need to retrieve personal items or documents left in the office, they
must get approval from their manager. Approval from the Chief Security Officer is no longer required.
24 hours in advance of an employee entering IRB premises, managers are required to:
approval from the Regional Security and Safety Officer and provide the following information:
- Name of employee
- Purpose of the visit
- Date and time that employee will arrive on site
- Floor employee is visiting
Employees must limit their time at the office to a maximum of
one hour and retrieve documents as per transportation of document procedures (i.e. briefcase or other travel case).
Regional Security Offices contact information
Reminder: You are required to obtain your manager’s approval prior to taking any IRB equipment home from the office.
New safety measures
July 15 2020, masks or face coverings are mandatory in all IRB premises.
To help ensure the health and safety of employees returning to the office, the following procedures have been implemented:
- High touchpoints, like door handles and surfaces in common areas will be disinfected
three times per day
- Employees will be redistributed among workstations to ensure proper physical distancing
- Employees will be provided gloves and non-medical masks by request—upon entering the building, as well as cleaning supplies to use at their workstations.
Procedures for employees returning to the office
It is important to follow the procedures listed below.
Procedures may differ depending on the province, municipality, or building. A list of building- and region-specific Health and Safety Protocols is available below:
Do not come into the office if you are ill, or have been in contact with someone who is/was.
You must also inform your manager/supervisor is you or someone you live with is sick.
Health and safety supplies
When wearing a mask, employees must follow the
GC guidelines on wearing masks and non-medical face coverings.
Health and safety supplies--including masks, gloves hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes--are available in various locations on each occupied floor. Employees are asked to only utilize the supplies they need at any given time. Supplies should not be stockpiled at workstations or removed from the building (with the exceptions of masks that are already being worn).
Protocols for entering/exiting the building will differ depending on the building. Please refer to your building’s specific Health and Safety Guidelines for more information.
Elevators and stairwells
Protocols for elevators and stairwells will differ depending on the building. Employees must maintain proper physical distancing when using elevators and stairwells, as well as follow any direction/flow requirements. Please refer to your building’s specific Health and Safety Guidelines for more information.
- Certain workstations will be closed to ensure employees are properly distanced from one another.
- Employees will be responsible for keeping workstations clean, and for disinfecting them at the end of the day with the provided supplies.
- Signage will be in place to direct traffic flow and ensure physical distancing.
- Depending on the building and team functions, employees will be distributed in a way to ensure physical distancing.
- Please refer to your building’s specific Health and Safety Guidelines for more information.
Handling materials (mail, documents)
- If not wearing gloves, employees must regularly wash or sanitize their hands when regularly handling physical documents.