Human Resources information

Information re. remote working, core operations, etc.

During this time of disruption due to COVID-19 the university has transitioned to operating as a virtual campus and is focused on core operations, meeting the needs of students for academic continuity and supporting students who remain in residence. It is important that the staff needed to support core operations attend work where they are able to support activities related to health and safety, essential student services and academic continuity of the term.

The university will continue to review and reassess needs and service delivery based on changing conditions.

For employees who are ill at any point 
 
They would follow normal sick leave procedures.

For employees affected by school and/or daycare closures or who have direct eldercare responsibilities

  • Employees should consult with their manager who will consult with Human Resources.
  • The manager will evaluate working from home opportunities.
  • Those impacted by school and/or daycare closure or who have direct eldercare responsibilities will require daily check-in with their manager/supervisor.
  • They will not be required to draw on leave banks.

For employees required in the workplace to carry out core duties but who request to stay home
 
Where working from home is not possible given the nature of the duties and an employee requests to stay home they may draw from their available leave banks in the following order: vacation, lieu time, sick leave. 

2020 TAX YEAR AND WORK FROM HOME EXPENSES

COVID- 19 has resulted in many employers transitioning to virtual operations. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided the ability for employees to claim home expenses for the 2020 tax year. Saint Mary’s University is providing the attached T2200S to assist employees who are able to claim a deduction for directly related COVID-19 work from home expenses on their 2020 Canadian income tax return.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided two methods, simplified or detailed, to claim these expenses. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for deductions greater than the $400 maximum deduction allowable with the simplified method. CRA has provided a tool, Home office expenses for employees - Canada.ca, to help you determine which method is best for you.

A completed T2200S- Declaration of Conditions of Employment for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 is attached, as it will be required if you decide to claim expenses using the detailed method.

Note: Part B- Conditions of Employment, Question 2 on the attached T2200S is unanswered. If you were in receipt of reimbursement for any of your home office expenses, the answer to question 2 is ‘YES’. If not, the answer to this question is ‘NO’.

Eligibility Criteria:

It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure they meet the requirements as laid out by Canada Revenue Agency. You must determine that you are eligible by meeting all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • You worked from home in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (even if you were not required to work from home, but your employer allowed you to work from home due to the pandemic, you would meet this criteria)
  • You worked from home for at least 50% of the time for a minimum duration of 4 consecutive weeks.
  • You are only claiming home office expenses and are not claiming any other employment expenses
  • Your employer did not reimburse you for all of your work from home expenses (if you received partial reimbursement, you would still meet this criteria)

1) Simplified Method

The simplified method will allow employees who meet the above criteria to claim an amount of $2.00 per working day (up to a maximum deduction of $400). This method does not require you to submit a T2200S form or maintain documented receipts to validate your claim. CRA may request the form later. All employees who meet the eligibility criteria will be required to complete a 777S as part of their personal income tax return:

This information is accurate as of the date of distribution. Please refer to CRA Income Tax Guidelines for
further changes.

Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 (canada.ca)

The following information and chart are provided as an example to help you determine how many days you are eligible to submit a claim. Working days include any day during which an employee performs work, at their home, for the employer. There are no minimum hours attached to this. Both full-time and part-time employees may count any day on which they performed work for the employer.

March 23, 2020 was the first day Saint Mary’s University moved to virtual operations. If you worked at home from that day until the holiday closure on December 22, 2020 and assuming a 5-day work week, the total number of workdays was 188 for 2020.

Below is a chart that shows the number of workdays in 2020 for each month excluding weekends, statutory and University holidays. You will have to deduct all other non-workdays, such as vacation or sick days from this total. You can only claim a daily amount of $2.00 until December 31, 2020, or the day you returned to work on campus, whichever is earlier.

Workdays per month:

March 2020 – 7 days Aug 2020 – 20 days
April 2020 – 20 days Sept 2020 – 21 days
May 2020 – 20 days Oct 2020 – 21 days
June 2020 – 22 days Nov 2020 – 20 days
July 2020 – 22 days Dec 2020 – 15 days

2) Detailed Method

To make a detailed claim, you will require the attached T2200S form. This form and your completed T777S - Statement of Employment Expenses for Working at Home Due to COVID-19 are required to make a detailed claim. Please note this form only validates the condition of employment requiring you to work virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not contain specific information about your eligible deductions, as that is a personal tax matter.

CRA tools:
We have included a link ( Home office expenses for employees - Canada.ca ) to the tools that CRA has provided to assist you in making a decision re: which method to choose.

As payroll professionals, we can not provide tax advice. Please refer to the Personal Income Tax section of the CRA website, or your tax professional for assistance.

This information is accurate as of the date of distribution. Please refer to CRA Income Tax Guidelines for further changes.

If you have checked the eligibility criteria in the updated information and feel you are eligible, but did not receive one via e-mail from tricia.macphee@smu.ca with the subject line T2200S - 2020 Work from Home Information please contact me at  tricia.macphee@smu.ca and we will send one to you. 

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