Expression of Interest in Advisory Committee to UBC’s Indigenous Research Support Initiative: Deadline June 1, 2018

UBC’s Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI) invites individuals from Indigenous communities, UBC faculty and UBC staff to express their interest for an advisory role as part of IRSI’s Indigenous Advisory Committee.

The ISRI commits to enabling collaborative research, better practices of engagement, and supporting research excellence.

The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide culturally-relevant advice, leadership and guidance to the staff and leadership team of the IRSI on matters relating to but not limited to: strategic direction of the network, research and ethics protocols, community outreach, governance, procedures and processes of the network.

Expression of interest closing date: June 1, 2018

Full details:

Maternity/Parental/Adoptive Leave EI Benefit Changes – Information for Administrators

In the February issue of Benefits FYI, we highlighted the federal government changes to EI benefits for maternity, parental and adoptive leaves that came into effect on Dec. 3, 2017. We also detailed how these benefits work with UBC’s SEB top-up and provided four scenarios to help illustrate the information.

Summary of Key Points

  1. In addition to the two parental EI benefits options (standard and extended), note that employees may be off for a longer period of time if they select the extended parental EI benefits.
  2. Any additional leave taken beyond what is stipulated in the BC Employment Standards Act will be considered general unpaid leave and the employee is responsible for the full cost of the benefits and pension they wish to continue.
  3. There are no changes to how top-up is calculated for maternity leave for birth mothers.
  4. With the exception of BCGEU Okanagan, birth parents with staff appointments (mothers and fathers) are not eligible for top-up during parental leave. As such, during the parental leave they will receive standard or extended parental EI benefits only.
  5. BCGEU Okanagan birth parents (mothers and fathers) are eligible for top-up during parental leave; however, the top-up calculation is under development with the introduction of the extended EI parental benefit. More information will be available soon.
  6. Birth parents with faculty appointments (mothers and fathers) are eligible for top-up during parental leave, and if the extended EI parental benefits is chosen, the top-up will be calculated based on the standard option. This includes Academic Executives and Postdoctoral Fellows (employees).

For HR Administrators

If you have staff who will be taking maternity, parental or adoptive leave, we encourage you to consider how you will fill your department’s staffing requirements during the employee’s leave. If you have any questions on how to fill leave replacement positions over the new extended parental leave periods, please contact your HR Advisor.

When using ePAF (for a staff leave) or paper form (for a faculty leave) to notify Payroll of a leave, make sure you correctly code the leave for Payroll purposes. For example, if you have an employee who fits key point #2 above, please code the additional leave beyond 52 weeks for birth mothers, and 37 weeks for birth fathers and adopting parents as general unpaid (personal) leave.

More information

Family Caregiver EI Benefits – Information for Administrators

In the February issue of Benefits FYI, we detailed the federal government’s new EI family caregiver benefits, which help families care for a critically ill/injured family member or person that considers you a family member. The new benefits were introduced on Dec. 3, 2017, and are offered in addition to EI compassionate care benefits.

Summary of Key Points

  • The EI family caregiver benefit for children and adults are offered in addition to compassionate care EI benefits. An employee may apply for family caregiver benefits to care for a critically ill/injured family member or person who considers them a family member, whereas compassionate care benefits apply if the employee is caring for a terminally ill family member or person who considers them a family member (must be significant risk of death within 26 weeks).
  • The BC Employment Standards Act currently provides eight weeks of job-protected leave for compassionate care, but does not include family caregiver leave. If an employee applies for family caregiving EI benefits, they will need to apply for a general unpaid leave and they will be responsible for paying the full cost of the benefits and pension they choose to maintain.

For HR Administrators

If you have an employee where the above scenarios or situations apply, please ensure that you correctly code the leave for Payroll purposes.

For example, if you have an employee applying for family caregiving EI benefits, please use the code Leave of Absence, Family Caregiver Leave (LOA/FAM) if you are using ePAF (for a staff leave) or paper form (for a faculty leave). A new code was created to ensure a Record of Employment would be generated and sent to Service Canada.

If the employee is applying for a compassionate care leave, please continue to use Leave of Absence, Compassionate Leave (LOA/COM) for the first eight weeks of leave and general unpaid (personal) leave for any additional leave.

If you have any questions or concerns about backfilling staff positions, please speak with your HR Associate or Advisor.

More Information

Daylight Saving Time Begins March 11, 2018

Daylight Saving Time begins on March 11, 2018 – clocks move forward one hour on Sunday morning. Please share this with your staff so they can plan a safe commute on Monday.

Your Help Needed: Tell Us How We Can Improve the HR Website

We are starting a year-long process to update and expand the HR website, and we are asking key users of HR services to help us by filling out a quick survey on how you use the HR site, and what we could add to make the site more user-friendly and useful to you.

The survey is available at until March 2, 2018.

If you have any questions, or if you would prefer to share your thoughts in person, please contact HR Communications at If you have already completed the survey, we thank you.

Take Part in the Seasonal Shutdown

Take Part in the Seasonal Shutdown

It’s time for UBC’s Seasonal Shutdown. Send in an energy-saving checklist before winter break for a chance to win prizes.

Simple actions like unplugging electronic equipment and turning off lights save thousands of dollars each year.

Before you leave for the holidays:

  • Switch off electronics
  • Unplug small appliances
  • Turn off the lights
  • Close windows and blinds
  • Report any air or water leaks
  • Shut fume hood sashes
  • Shut down non-essential lab equipment

Help us save even more energy this year by completing some simple actions and filling out the Shutdown Checklist!

Interim Vice President Human Resources: Linda McKnight

Lisa Castle will be retiring from her role of Vice President, Human Resources, on Dec. 6, 2017. With the recruitment process for the next vice president still under way, Linda McKnight, Managing Director, Human Resources, Strategic Staff Relations, has agreed to act as interim Vice President Human Resources until the new vice president begins their term. As interim vice president, Linda will have the full authority and responsibilities of the role including being a member of the UBC Executive team, supporting the Board of Governors in its governance responsibilities and providing institutional people leadership.  We are grateful to Linda for her willingness to step into this role into the first part of 2018.

Linda is a graduate of the University of Victoria.  She started her HR career at deHavilland Aircraft in Toronto, where she was responsible for employment equity when it was in its infancy.  After her time in Ontario, she returned to Vancouver where she enjoyed a 12-year career at Vancouver Coastal Health working as a Labour Relations Consultant, and then Director, Human Resources.  Linda came to UBC in 2002 as the Director, Human Resources Advisory Services. In her time here, she has built a strong team of HR professionals who provide values-driven institution-wide HR advice to managers and staff, and a thoughtful and measured approach to collective bargaining. In addition, she has provided leadership across the university in furthering the fundamental values of fair process and a respectful work environment.

Linda can be reached at

Lisa Castle Retirement Celebration Open House: Dec. 12, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

As Lisa Castle, Vice President, Human Resources, prepares for her retirement, Human Resources is hosting an open house reception at the Vancouver campus. We would like to invite UBC staff and faculty join us for a celebration of all the wonderful programs and initiatives that we have successfully accomplished as a community to build a positive and respectful work environment.

Please, join us as we look back at our accomplishments, and as we look to the future to continue build an outstanding work environment for everyone at UBC to reach their potential.

Open House Details

  • Date: Dec. 12, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Location: Rm. 610 – Human Resources, 6190 Agronomy Road [Map]

Cake and fruit will be available.

We will have a guestbook available for you to share your best wishes/memories with Lisa.

Questions? Please contact