Calgary

MRU expands mandatory unpaid leave for employees as COVID crisis continues

Mount Royal University has told employees that an increasing number of them will have to go on mandatory unpaid leave as the COVID-19 emergency stretches well into springtime.

'We recognize these decisions have significant impacts on employees'

Mount Royal University is widening its use of mandatory furlough. (CBC)

Mount Royal University has told employees that an increasing number of them will have to go on mandatory unpaid leave as the COVID-19 emergency continues.

Employees whose positions cannot be performed at home or who have seen a significant reduction in work volume will be put on mandatory furlough (leave without pay), under a new memorandum of understanding reached between the Mount Royal Staff Association and the university.

The agreement was announced in a letter to staff from Trika Macdonald, MRU's associate vice-president for human resources.

The Calgary post-secondary school is also inviting employees to apply for unpaid leaves of absence, saying "requests will not be unreasonably denied."

"Furlough leave is a mandatory — but temporary — suspension from work without pay, where the employment relationship between the employee and the university continues," the letter said.

"We recognize these decisions have significant impacts on employees."

Nearly all of MRU's activities have moved to online delivery or remote work.  

MRU says the agreement allows people to remain employees and have full benefits coverage while still being eligible to receive government support programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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