Majority of GNWT staff told to work from home starting Thursday

Last modified: March 17, 2020 at 5:03pm

The majority of NWT government staff are being asked to work from home beginning on Thursday, March 19, as a social distancing measure.

Staff were told by email on Tuesday afternoon. Only employees “providing critical services requiring on-site presence” will be expected to report to work in person.

All other staff are being told to work from home indefinitely from Thursday.


Critical staff who must continue working on-site would be notified by 9pm on Wednesday, the territorial government said in an email to all employees.

The immediate impact on NWT government services was not clear.

The Union of Northern Workers similarly on Tuesday said its offices in Yellowknife, Hay River, and Inuvik would be closed until further notice from 5pm on Tuesday. Staff will work from home.

In full: The NWT government’s notice to employees

“Managers will be contacting you and will be as flexible as possible while ensuring continued essential government operations and services to residents of the NWT,” the territorial government’s email to staff read.


“Your manager will discuss with you the feasibility, logistics, and expectations of working from home.

“We can assure you that all employees – regardless of the particular circumstance – will continue to be paid through regular time, or through a form of paid leave (special leave if caring for an ill dependent, providing childcare, or self-isolating, or sick leave if ill).”

Staff who can work from home but need some form of access to an office were told they could make arrangements with a manager as long as they were not self-isolating.

The territory said it hoped the measures would “assist in mitigating and containing the possible risk to the health of our employees and to all the residents of the NWT.”