Covid19 FAQ's

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF MARCH 25, 2020

We’d like to thank all of our students and employers for their flexibility, resilience and strength in the face of an unknown situation. We know there are a lot of questions and each day we are working to ensure the best support for our TRU students.

 Co-op Program support for students

At this time all TRU Co-op Program offices are open to support you; TRU Co-op Coordinators have moved to alternate remote work arrangements starting March 18, 2020. Our students and employers will continue to be served and we anticipate that there will be no reduction in service.

The decision to move to remote delivery of services to students and employers was made in order to maximize social distancing, and to protect the health and safety of our community members. We thank you for your patience in advance as we all determine how this remote work may impact our activities with you.

 Where can I find more information on the BC Government's response to COVID-19 for renters, students with loans and paying monthly bills?

For more information on the Government’s official COVID-19 response app and for the latest updates, resources, symptom tracking, and self-assessment on the following and more:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with more than 60% alcohol), especially after sneezing or coughing or if you have to go out into the public.
  • Sneeze/cough, etc. into your elbow or a tissue which you then throw away.
  • Wear gloves or otherwise protect your hands from touching surfaces (don’t forget to sanitize your gloves if they aren’t disposable).

Please visit: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

 What should I do if I want to apply to Co-op?

More updates to come as of March 27, 2020.

 How does the Co-op program support students who require employment accommodations?

The Co-op program is available to support students who require accommodations for an on-going mental or physical health condition, injury or disability. If you require guidance on how to request accommodations for your coop placement either in the workplace or working from home, please contact your coop coordinator for assistance.

 Co-op Program support for students currently on a Spring 2020 work term
 How can I best protect myself from Covid-19?

There are a number of things you can do to maximize your chance of staying healthy. Social distancing - maintaining a safe distance (2 metres) from others is one of the best ways to minimize your chances of getting sick:

  • Support for people facing job loss or reduced hours and people who are sick, quarantined or must stay home to care for children
  • Support for renters, homeowners and people experiencing homelessness
  • Support for people with student loans
  • Support for people unable to pay monthly bills
  • People in B.C. needing assistance can also benefit from Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Please visit: https://bc.thrive.health/

 What do I do if I feel sick?

See the information above. Your health is your priority, please take precautions to minimize your exposure and the exposure of others who may not be as resilient. If you feel sick, it is recommended that you stay home and advise your supervisor that you are ill. Many employers we’ve heard from are being extremely flexible for the safety of yourself and their staff – if you have concerns, of course your Co-op Coordinator.

 What should I do if I'm uncomfortable being in my work environment?

If you feel uncomfortable in your work environment, please have a conversation with your supervisor to see if you can work from remotely (i.e. from home), establish an alternate work schedule, or take time off.

If you must be physically present, you can minimize your risk by following good hand hygiene, not touching your face and being vigilant about coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow. You should also follow self-distancing recommendations. If you are concerned, please contact your Co-op Coordinator.

More info from the BC Centre for Disease Control is available here: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

 What if my job can't be done from home?

As above, we recommend you have a conversation with your supervisor to see what options exist. There are many ways to minimize your exposure, including self-distancing and good hygiene.

More info from the BC Centre for Disease Control is available here: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

 Will I be penalized by the Co-op program if I am sick and can’t work from home? What if my program is a mandatory Co-op?

No, you will not be penalized as your health and safety is the number one priority. There will be no penalties from the Co-op Program if you cannot complete your work term due to COVID-19. If you are unable to work due to illness, please inform your employer and the Co-op Program. If your work term ends early due to COVID-19 there will be no penalties from the Co-op Program. Please contact your Co-op Coordinator if you are in this situation.

For students in a mandatory Co-op Program, we are working on this information. As this information becomes available we will let you know as soon as possible.

 How do EI benefits/Emergency funding apply to my specific scenario?

Please refer to the Government of Canada website for the most updated information: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

 What if I want to end my Work Term for health and safety reasons?

Please contact your Co-op Coordinator before you elect to end your work term early. We understand your concerns and want to work with you and your employer. Students will not be penalized for work terms that are ended early as your health and safety is the number one priority. There will be no penalties from the co-op program due to COVID-19 or other health concerns.

 What if my employer has already ended my work term and/or has decided not to extend my spring semester into the summer semester?

Please contact your Co-op Coordinator before you elect to end your work term early. We understand your concerns and want to work with you and your employer. Students will not be penalized for work terms that are ended early as your health and safety is the number one priority. There will be no penalties from the co-op program due to COVID-19 or other health concerns.

Please note that the TRU Co-op Program has sent information to Co-op employers to explore remote work options, and if necessary, on how to end work terms early.

Ultimately if you are feeling uncomfortable in your workplace, the decision to end your work term is yours, but please confer with your employer and Co-op Coordinator before making a final decision. There will be no penalties from the Co-op Program due to the impact of COVID-19.

 Co-op Program support for students who have secured a Summer 2020 work term
 What if my employer has decided not to extend a Summer Co-op work-term offer?

Contact your Co-op Coordinator immediately and provide them with the details. We are also recommending that all Co-op students who have not secured a summer work term to make a ‘back-up’ plan for the Summer semester (i.e. register for courses, put yourself on waitlists), in the case that our current COVID-19 circumstances last longer than anticipated.

 Co-op Program support for students who are still seeking a summer 2020 work term

The TRU Co-op Program is informing local and national Co-op employers that are currently in the process of recruiting Co-op students for Summer 2020, that they are welcome to decide how they would like to proceed. Employers are aware that students are still keen to apply and interview (albeit remotely) and have been advised that Summer semester start dates could be delayed until such time as it is safe to return to regular workplace environments.

At this time, the TRU Co-op Program is suggesting that employers implement secondary work plans for a delayed start date of June 1, 2020 or make plans for remote working options in the case that our current COVID-19 circumstances last longer than anticipated.

 I am interested in starting an International Work Term this summer. What are my options?

Currently TRU has suspended all international travel for TRU students. This will include work terms for Summer 2020. The exception could be if the employer is able to offer a position to a TRU student and that they (the student) are able to work remotely from within Canada.

 What should I do if I have an interview?

If the employer has contacted you directly, please connect with them and ask if they plan to go ahead with interviews at this time. They most likely will suggest an web based program such as Zoom/Skype/phone instead of an in-person interview, or they may prefer to reschedule. If the employer has contacted the Co-op program to set up your interview-one of the TRU Co-op Program Assistants will be contact with you for the interview details.

If you’ve been short-listed for an interview through the Co-op Program let us know if you are unable to attend the interview as scheduled. Your Co-op Coordinator will contact the employer on your behalf.

 I am supposed to be moving for my summer work term, what should I do?

For now, we recommend you:

  • discuss remote work options or delaying the start date with your employer
  • check with the airline policy in respect to flight changes or cancellations, also consider delaying booking any flights
  • do not sign a lease for an apartment if you haven’t yet
  • make a back-up plan in the case that you aren’t able to relocate – register for Summer courses, get on wait lists and/or consider other potential plans.

If you have already booked flights, check with the airline to determine what options are available for flight changes or cancellations.

If you have already signed a lease, ask your landlord what your options are to make changes. If they are inflexible, please contact your Co-op Coordinator

 Will I be penalized by the Co-op program if I can’t start my work term when expected?

No. Your health and safety is our number one priority. There will be no penalties from the Co-op Program for COVID-19 related situations.

 Can I cancel my work term if I’ve already accepted a position?

Please contact your Co-op coordinator first.

 What if I want to stop looking for a Co-op work term?

You can elect to halt your seeking activities, but please contact your Co-op Coordinator to discuss, as there may be other options (pausing your search for a few weeks, etc.).

 I am a TRU Post Bac student and my only option is to do a Co-op this summer, what should I do?

You are welcome to continue to apply for posted positions, but please consider a back-up plan, like registering for courses or alternate work options. We’re currently exploring options to accommodate students who must complete Co-op this Summer. We will advise when we have more information.

 I am an international Co-op student at TRU what can I do if I do not get a summer work-term?

Please contact your Co-op Coordinator to discuss possibilities and options. As mentioned, the TRU Co-op program is currently discussing a variety of options. More information will be provided once we have it available.

Additionally, have a backup plan to accept other non-co-op work or research what courses you can take in the summer either on campus or through TRU Open Learning.

 Co-op Program support for employers

Thank you to all our co-op employers who are managing these challenging and unknown times. As you may have heard, TRU released a statement confirming a movement away from in-person classes effectively immediately and until the end of the semester (April, 2020). However, we want to let you know that the TRU Co-op office has successfully transitioned to managing the program remotely and is open to accept postings, manage student applications, assist with interview set up and job offers.

 I am interested in starting an International Work Term this summer. What are my options?

Currently TRU has suspended all international travel for TRU students. This will include work terms for Summer 2020. The exception could be if the employer is able to offer a position to a TRU student and that they (the student) are able to work remotely from within Canada.

 Are the TRU Co-op offices still open?

At this time our Co-op offices are still open our TRU Coordinators and Program Assistants have moved to alternate remote work arrangements. Our students and employers will continue to be served and we anticipate that there will be no reduction in service.

We thank you for your patience in advance as we all determine how this may impact our working activities with you. The decision to move to remote delivery of services to students and employers was made in order to maximize social distancing, and to protect the health and safety of our community members.

 If my current Co-op student is ill, what do we do next?

We have also advised students that they need to inform their employer if they are ill. Many students are concerned about the financial repercussions of staying home, and if your organization is able to offer sick pay, we encourage that communication. Please contact the TRU Co-op Coordinator you have been working with to discuss further options.

 Is there funding available for Co-op student work terms impacted by COVID-19 at this time?

The federal government announced on Wed., March 18, 2020 a number of financial aid measures, to support workers across Canada if they are unable to work due to COVID-19. Measures include the reduction of wait times for Employment Insurance, a wage subsidy for small businesses to help them retain staff, pause of Canada Student Loan payments for six months and the establishment of emergency benefits for people who do not qualify for Employment Insurance.

The TRU Co-op office is checking to determine how or if these measures impact co-op students for both the Spring and Summer 2020 work term semesters. The TRU Co-op program is also checking on which BC Wage Subsidy programs will remain in place for the summer 2020 and fall 2020 work terms. As we obtain more information, we will forward it to students and employers.

 What is the process if we choose to end a Co-op students work term early due to COVID-19?

In the case that a student is either home ill or has decided to stay home to self-isolate, is uncomfortable working in-person, or if your business is unable to continue to operate, ending a work term early is an option. From the TRU perspective, we understand this situation and we ask that if you need to end a work term early, to please contact the TRU Co-op Coordinator you work with to discuss the logistics and see how we can best support you and our student(s). For our students in this situation, there will be no academic penalties or negative impact on their co-op work term grade.

 What is happening with summer 2020 TRU work terms due to COVID-19?

Whether you have already hired a TRU Co-op student for Summer 2020, plan to extend a current student to work during the summer, or are in the midst of hiring, you are welcome to decide how you would like to proceed. Students are still keen to apply and interview (albeit remotely) and have been advised that start dates may well be postponed until such time as it is safe to return to regular workplace environments, or that remote working situations may be considered.

 What are some recommendations if we choose to move ahead with our summer 2020 work term?

That is great news! We thank you for your support of our Co-op students.

The TRU office is open remotely and is ready to work with you on all aspects of posting positions, interview scheduling support and assisting with the offers to students.

 What supports for employers who have Co-op students requiring employment accommodations are available?

The Co-op program is available to support employers who will be hiring or have hired a coop student who requires accommodations for an on-going mental or physical health condition, injury or disability. If your student has disclosed to you that they require accommodations either in the workplace or working from home and has given you permission to contact us, feel free to connect with the student's co-op coordinator for guidance if needed.

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