Medical Accommodation for Faculty and Librarians

UVic is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse group of exceptionally talented faculty and staff and supporting them in ways that allow them to achieve their highest potential. The university is also committed to the principles and spirit of employment equity and the provisions of the BC Human Rights Code. Our medical leave and accommodation processes are part of the many ways the university strives to achieve these goals. Both the university and the faculty member or librarian share an interest in appropriately minimizing the adverse impact of a member's illness or disability on the member's work life and career progress. We also share a mutual responsibility to cooperate in these processes.

The accommodation process for illness or disability requires:

  • collaboration between the university and the member to achieve a reasonable outcome that takes into account the specific forms of support that will permit the member to best perform their duties
  • consultation with and involvement of the member in developing a plan that respects the dignity of the individual and promotes work life integration
  • taking into account relevant medical expertise and expertise regarding workplace accommodation

Rights and Responsibilities

Article 39 of the Collective Agreement for faculty and librarians sets out the rights and responsibilities of the University, the member and their academic leader in the accommodation and return to work process. Please review the Article thoroughly to understand eligibility requirements for Sick Leave and Long Term Disability entitlements; the impact of Sick Leave or other types of Leave; Leave after Normal Retirement Date; processes for medical accommodation and return to work; and processes to resolve disagreement, should it occur.

The responsibility to manage disability lies with the member and their supervisor, supported by the Work Life Consultant and the Faculty Relations Consultant. The member may also seek the support of the Faculty Association.

Many supports are available and will be developed to address the specific medical and functional needs of the member.

Medical information received by the Work Life Consultant is held as confidential. Leaders are only entitled to know information related to prognosis and functional ability, in order to support a healthy accommodation and return to work.

The University is obligated, by law, to provide accommodation to the point of undue hardship.

Additional key resources

Managing Complex Short Term Sick Leave (COVID-19)

For complex short term sick leaves please contact your assigned Work Life Consultant as soon as you are made aware of the situation.

A complex case will include cases where the employee is not able to return to work within 1 month, there are concerns about the absence, department is unable to temporarily accommodate without assistance and/or when there are other workplace concerns. If you are unsure on how to manage a case at any time contact your assigned Work Life Consultant.

The Work Life Consulting team manages the absence and disability management program (short-term illness/injury, return to work and medical accommodations) along with coordinating health promotion initiatives for staff and faculty.

Expedited Process for Temporary COVID-19 Medical Accommodations

If you are concerned that you are medically vulnerable to COVID-19, even with the exercise of the Safe Work Plan precautions on campus and in your unit and your doctor indicates you cannot risk exposures that may occur on campus or if your safety concern is related to a COVID-19 related mental health issue that meets the threshold for a DSM-5 medical disorder, you may be eligible for a medical accommodation. If a reasonable accommodation cannot be made, you may be entitled to sick leave.

Faculty and Librarians

  1. Make accommodation request to your academic leader/University Librarian
  2. You can discuss temporary remote work arrangements, if practical.
  3. If a temporary remote work arrangement is not practical take the abbreviated COVID-19 Medical Form/Physician Statement to your treating physician, together with a description of your duties for completion. 
  4. Once the Physician Statement is completed, submit it to the Faculty & Librarian Work Life Consultant.
  5. The Work Life Consultant will review the Physician Statement, confer with the leader and will propose an accommodation to the employee (if justified), or seek further information if necessary. 
  6. Once the Accommodation Plan is agreed to, it will be drafted by the Worklife Consultant and signed by the employee, leader subject to requirements for additional approvals under the relevant collective agreement.
  7. As needed, consult with your Faculty Relations Consultant.