2019-2020 PEY Co-op Covid 19 FAQs

To our 2019 -2020 students currently on their PEY Co-op term we understand it can be a very challenging time, and many of you may have questions. We have compiled some FAQs to help you through this trying time. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us at pey.coop@utoronto.ca if you have any questions.

My employer has already made arrangements for me to work from home until further notice. Do I have to notify the ECC?
If you are, or will be, in a safe working environment and can continue your work, there is no need to notify our office.

If any details of your work term has changed, like your start or end date, please let us know by e-mailing the details to pey.coop@utoronto.ca.

My employer has notified me that my work term has been terminated due to Covid-19. What are my options?
We recognize that this is an unfortunate result of the unforeseen pandemic.  The current situation may directly or indirectly affect everyone in the workplace, including PEY Co-op and ESIP students.

The Engineering Career Centre is committed to supporting you and ensuring that you will be eligible for the full PEY Co-op credit.  Completion of the Final Self-Evaluation, Final Supervisor Evaluation and Final PEY Co-op Report will still be mandatory.

Please notify the ECC by e-mail at pey.coop@utoronto.ca, and include your supervisor or HR representative’s contact information.

To determine whether you qualify for Employment Insurance benefits or for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), please visit the Government of Canada website.

What happens if my PEY Co-op work term is less than 12 months?
The PEY Co-op office is committed to staying flexible regarding PEY Co-op credits in these scenarios and grant students their PEY Co-op credit where possible.

Completion of the Final Self-Evaluation, Final Supervisor Evaluation and Final PEY Co-op Report will still be mandatory.

What should I do if I decide to shorten my term?
If you would like to change the end date of your contract due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the PEY Co-op office must conduct further assessment.

  • Are you still working on-site and feel at risk?
  • Can your employer make the necessary arrangements for you to work from home?
  • Was there a change in the terms of your employment agreement?
  • Is there a critical situation at your own home that needs to be taken care of?


Contact us at pey.coop@utoronto.ca to discuss your options.


If you are shortening your contract for any other reason than Covid-19, the ECC will assess your credit eligibility based on our previous policies.  Please note that these policies state that you are required to adhere to the duration of your agreed upon contract in order to be eligible for the PEY Co-op credit.

I am still working on-site, however I do not feel safe going to and coming from work. I am not able to complete my work from home.
We recognize that some of our employer partners are still operating on location.  The health and safety of our co-op students are paramount, and the University through the PEY Co-op program expects that any organization remaining open and willing to host students will maintain safe and clean work environments and adhere to all relevant federal and provincial government and University health regulations and requirements.


  • Minimize in-person interaction
  • Follow guidance about social distancing


Students should not feel compelled to do something that, under the circumstances, feels unsafe.  Contact pey.coop@utoronto.ca with the contact information of your supervisor and/or HR representative.  We will assess any alternative arrangements that can be made for you in line with your employer’s business continuity plan.


Please note: for some students in similar situations, this assessment resulted in early termination of the contract.  Your PEY Co-op credit will not be at risk if you decide to leave the company as a result of Covid-19.

Completion of the Final Self-Evaluation, Final Supervisor Evaluation and Final PEY Co-op Report will still be mandatory.

What happens to my student status within U of T if I terminate or shorten my work term with the company?
The pandemic situation is unique and falls under the category of ‘extenuating circumstances’.  If your work term was shortened or terminated by you or your employer as a result of Covid-19, your student status remains the same until the end of the Winter 2020 term.

My employer has notified me of their decision to temporarily lay off co-op students, which may or may not result in rehiring within 13 weeks. Do I need to notify the ECC?
Yes.  Please follow the steps below.

  • Upload a copy of your lay-off letter to your Engineering Career Portal profile under “Documents”
  • If you are re-hired for the same position at the same company, upload your new contract, and send an e-mail to pey.coop@utoronto.ca

Your PEY Co-op work term will not be deleted from our system.  Instead, we will make a note on your page that you have been laid off temporarily.  Your PEY Co-op credit will not be at risk during the temporary lay-off or if you are re-hired at the company.

Completion of the Final Self-Evaluation, Final Supervisor Evaluation and Final PEY Co-op Report will still be mandatory.

Are students able to access any financial reimbursement as a result of loss of work?

For students who have been laid off or have stopped working because of COVID-19, some financial resources may be available to you during this time. To determine whether you qualify for Employment Insurance benefits or for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), please visit the Government of Canada website.

The University of Toronto has Emergency Assistance Grants available to assist current U of T undergraduate students impacted by COVID-19.  Please visit the University of Toronto Finances page for more information.

Students who are or were outside of Canada who have questions related to flight bookings and related expenses should contact the Safety Abroad Office for guidance at safety.abroad@utoronto.ca.

If you have other specific concerns, please reach out to our office directly.

What happens to my health insurance if I am temporarily laid off or terminated early?
PEY Co-op students automatically have health and dental insurance coverage through Green Shield when they pay their part-time incidental fees, as part of the Association of Part-Time Undergraduate Students (APUS).  To access Green Shield and submit claims, please see below.


How to Access Green Shield

  • Under “Register Here”
    • Plan Number ID: APU+studentID (ex.: APU1234567890)
    • Registration key + your date of birth
    • Don’t have a registration key? Click here for a step-by-step instruction guide on how to get a registration key


Benefits and Claims

  • Please review your Benefits Booklet to learn more about your coverage and the Student Online Claims booklet for more information
  • Some health and dental providers (for example: pharmacists and dentists) may be able to submit claims electronically on your behalf directly to Green Shield Canada (GSC)
    • In these cases, provide them with your policy number (APU+studentID) and they will send a claim to the insurance provider for the amount covered by the plan
    • You will then only need to pay the remaining balance upfront
  • You can use the Find a Health Provider search tool in Online Services to see if the provider is eligible with GSC and can bill directly
    • You can also ask your current provider what they are able to submit on your behalf
  • You may submit eligible claims online
    • By creating an online account and submitting claims electronically, you are eligible to get your money back faster
    • You are able to enter your direct deposit information or receive reimbursements by cheque in the mail


For any additional questions, please contact APUS directly at services@apus.ca..


I am on a co-op work term abroad. What should I do?
The Engineering Career Centre has been advised by the Safety Abroad Office that all students currently outside of Canada should return to Toronto or their home cities.  You are requested to book your own travel arrangements, and share the itinerary with both the Safety Abroad Office and the ECC (e-mail addresses below).


If your employer can make the necessary arrangements for you to work remotely, there will be no need to change the details of your work term.  If your employer cannot make these arrangements, please put us in contact with your supervisor or HR representative so we can discuss the options available to you and them.


If you are an international student and are unable to return to your home country, you may be allowed to enter Canada with your valid study permit.  On March 20th, the Government of Canada announced that foreign nationals overseas will be permitted to return to Canada if they:


  • Have valid study or work permits
  • Have been approved for a study permit prior to the travel restrictions on March 18th, 2020
  • Aren’t exhibiting any symptoms related to Covid-19


Before trying to travel, please check the Government of Canada Covid-19 site to check the exemption status.  When you arrive in Canada your health will be assessed before you leave the port of entry.  You must isolate for 14 days even if you have symptoms.  This is mandatory under a federal Quarantine Act order.


Safety Abroad Office: safety.abroad@utoronto.ca

Nabeela Rahman: nabeela.rahman@utoronto.ca