MCIS COVID-19 Response
FAQ for Language Professionals

INTERPRETER VACCINATIONS – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I received a vaccine that has not been approved in Canada. What do I do now as I do not think it is safe for me to take another two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been reviewed and authorized for use by Health Canada?

MCIS follows provincial and federal public health guidance and policies, as well as the policies implemented by various service providers who require in-person interpretation services. At this time, policies communicated to MCIS by service providers define “fully vaccinated” as having received two doses of a vaccine authorized by Health Canada with the second dose having been administered at least 14 days prior to the in-person appointment. We continue to monitor information published by public health authorities and our policies will be updated accordingly. At this time, the Provincial Government recommends that “Individuals who have received a partial or complete COVID-19 vaccine series outside of Ontario or Canada should contact their local public health unit to have their COVID-19 immunization record documented into COVaxON.” More information is available here. We recommend that you contact your local public health unit. Should the public health unit determine that you are considered fully vaccinated, please let us know and we will update your information accordingly.

Why are vaccinated interpreters preferred for remote jobs?

This is due to the way in which our Interpretation Management System matches interpreters with assignments for different customers. As more and more customers have a requirement that interpreters be fully vaccinated, the system will prioritize offers to those interpreters meeting the requirement regardless of the type of assignment (in-person or remote). We recognize that this is not an ideal option and are currently working on making changes to the system to have this restriction removed. We expect to have a solution that will allow all interpreters to receive equal access to offers for remote jobs regardless of their vaccination status by the end of October.

Can I attend jobs right after receiving the vaccine? E.g. Vaccinated on the 4th to attend a job on the 9th

No. In order to be considered fully vaccinated you will have to wait for 14 days after you receive your second dose, and will then be able to accept in-person assignments.

Why should I wait for 14 days after receiving the second vaccine dose?

MCIS follows provincial and federal public health guidance and policies, as well as the policies implemented by various service providers who require in-person interpretation services. At this time, policies communicated to MCIS by service providers define “fully vaccinated” as having received two doses of a vaccine authorized by Health Canada with the second dose having been administered at least 14 days prior to the in person appointment. We continue to monitor information published by public health authorities and our policies will be updated accordingly.

I have a medical/other exemption for the Covid-19 vaccine. Can I attend in-person assignments?

No. MCIS follows provincial and federal public health guidance and policies, as well as the policies implemented by various service providers who require in person interpretation services. At this time, policies communicated to MCIS by hospitals and other service providers require all MCIS interpreters attending in-person appointments to be fully vaccinated. Interpreters with a medical/other exemption are still exposed to significant risk in these settings without the protection offered by vaccines. MCIS considers the safety of our interpreters, service providers and customers as an utmost priority, which is why interpreters who are not vaccinated for medical/religious/other reasons will still not be eligible to attend in-person appointments. We are working towards ensuring that interpreters in this situation will be offered remote telephone and video interpretation jobs instead.

OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I am concerned about the spread of the virus and do not want the service provider to touch my phone in order to sign the verification of service form. What should I do?

In response to feedback received from customers and interpreters, MCIS is waiving the requirement to collect the service provider’s signature on your smartphone at the end of the assignment. Instead, please sign yourself in the presence of the service provider.

I have some cold symptoms but they are mild and I am sure it’s just a cold. Can I accept assignments?

We would also like to remind you of the following requirements prior to taking an assignment, and again before leaving for an assignment:

  1. Check for any symptoms and complete an online self-assessment to reduce potential risks to yourself and others, before going on a face-to-face assignment;
  2. Inform MCIS immediately if you are unable to complete a job due to the abovementioned concerns;
  3. Follow public health guidelines at ALL times on prevention and risks, including appropriate masks/face coverings, use of gloves and hygiene practices;
  4. Do NOT accept or proceed with any in-person interpretation jobs, if you have any symptoms or have come in contact with an individual suspected of having COVID-19.

If you experience any symptoms associated with the coronavirus (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please do NOT accept any face-to-face assignments over the next 14 days. For assignments you are already booked for, please contact MCIS immediately. This is extremely important, as more and more service providers will be conducting screenings and if you show symptoms that are of concern, they may cancel the appointment to avoid risks to their staff/clients.

I was feeling fine when I accepted the assignment but now I have cold symptoms and the assignment is tomorrow. What should I do?

If you have a confirmed in-person interpretation job, and your health does not allow you to complete the job, please contact MCIS immediately so that the job can be reassigned.

Please check your inbox for emails on job status updates such as cancellation/change notifications from MCIS. There is no need to call us as we will be contacting you, and jobs are being cancelled or rescheduled based on the delivery date. The job status information and remote job opportunities are always available on our vendor portal.

Kindly note, remote interpretation (telephone or video) and can be fulfilled from a secure location at home.

If you experience any symptoms associated with the coronavirus (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), please do NOT accept any face-to-face assignments over the next 14 days. For assignments you are already booked for, please contact MCIS immediately. This is extremely important, as more and more service providers will be conducting screenings and if you show symptoms that are of concern, they may cancel the appointment to avoid risks to their staff/clients.

I have recently travelled to [anywhere outside of Canada]. What should I do?

Inform MCIS immediately if you have travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days. In addition, please refer to the Government of Canada’s emergency measures regarding recent travel.

Do I need to have my ID badge?

YES, please make sure you have your MCIS ID card on you every time you are on an assignment. Due to the outbreak, many facilities will have enhanced security and screening processes in place and you may not be permitted in the facility without your interpreter ID. If you do not have an MCIS interpreter ID, contact info@mcis.on.ca immediately, and include a headshot that can be used to create your ID.

Will I be paid if the service provider decides to cancel the assignment last minutes?

Yes. The usual cancellation rules apply. If the booked assignment is cancelled with less than 24 hours of notice, you will be paid for booked time.

If one of my family members is sick or has symptoms, what should I do? Can I still accept jobs?

Please follow/refer to public health guidelines. If you or your family members have symptoms, please inform MCIS immediately. We will work with the service provider to establish whether remote services are a possibility.

I am self-employed – what benefit is available to me if I am sick or quarantined?

As The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has come to an end, the Government has launched a suite of 3 new recovery benefits to provide needed support to Canadians who continue to face financial hardship. Based on the information currently available, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) that would provide you with an income of up to $400 per week for up to 26 weeks.

The new Canada Recovery Benefit is effective from September 27, 2020, for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI.

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19
  • are not eligible for EI
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020, and
  • have not quit their job voluntarily

In addition, the government has announced the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) which are also effective from September 27, 2020 for one year.

To request any supporting documentation from MCIS, please fill in the online information request form.

For more information, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2020/08/supporting-canadians-through-the-next-phase-of-the-economy-re-opening-increased-access-to-ei-and-recovery-benefits.html 

I have never done video interpretation before. How can I prepare to do video interpretation assignments?

There are several things you can do to prepare for video interpretation assignments. The first thing is to make sure you have a reliable internet connection, as well as a working computer, microphone and headset. You will also need to set up a quiet, private place where you can complete the assignment without interruption. As different service providers use different platforms to complete video interpretation, you can prepare ahead of time by researching the most common video conferencing tools and getting familiar with them. Some of the most commonly used video conferencing tools are: ZoomWebexGoToMeeting. They are a good start. You can also use tools available online to test your audio and video connection ahead of time, to avoid technical issues during an assignment. One such tool is available here. MCIS will also be conducting webinars on doing remote and those will be available soon, so stay tuned.