<
 
 
 
 
ž
>
Vous consultez une page Web conservée, recueillie par Bibliothèque et Archives Canada le 2006-02-23 à 00:14:18. Il se peut que les informations sur cette page Web soient obsolètes, et que les liens hypertextes externes, les formulaires web, les boîtes de recherche et les éléments technologiques dynamiques ne fonctionnent pas. Voir toutes les versions de cette page conservée.
Chargement des informations sur les médias

You are viewing a preserved web page, collected by Library and Archives Canada on 2006-02-23 at 00:14:18. The information on this web page may be out of date and external links, forms, search boxes and dynamic technology elements may not function. See all versions of this preserved page.
Loading media information
X
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - Government of Canada
Skip all menusSkip first menu
Français Contact Us Help Search Publiservice
What's New About Us Policies Site Map Home

Human
Resources
Information Notice
Introduction
Part 1  Conflict of Interest
Part 2  Security
Part 3  Human resources management
Part 4   Financial Management
Part 5  Office Accommodation and Supplies
Part 6  Travel
Part 7  Contracting
Part 8  Services and Hospitality
Part 9  Official Languages
Part 10    Information Management
Appendix A: Exempt Staff Position Structure
Appendix B: Current Provisions—Salaries for Exempt Staff
Appendix C: Budgets and Staff Complements for Ministers
Appendix D: National Defence Guidelines for the Use of Government Administrative Aircraft
Appendix E: Letter from the Minister of Finance to Cabinet Ministers, December 1963
Appendix F: Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury Board With Respect to Access to Information Requests of Ministerial Expense Claims
Archived Version
Alternate Format(s)
Printable Version

Guidelines for Ministers' Offices (2006)

Previous Table of Contents Next

Part 3     Human resources management

3.1  Employment equity

Ministers are not bound by employment equity legislation in the appointment of exempt staff. Nevertheless, the government has expressed its commitment to the principles and to following the spirit of employment equity. Even though the number of exempt staff is small, ministers may wish to ensure that there is a reasonable mix of men and women on their exempt staff, including individuals from designated groups (i.e. Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons in a visible minority group).

3.2  Staffing

Members of a minister's exempt staff are appointed by the minister pursuant to section 41 of the Public Service Employment Act and are "exempt" from the appointing procedures of the Public Service.

3.2.1  Exempt staff in a minister's office

The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) identifies the following job titles for a minister's exempt staff: executive assistant, special assistant, and private secretary. Other job titles also exist for exempt staff. The Exempt Staff Position Structure is available in Appendix A. Ministers have the flexibility to configure the complement of exempt staff in their own offices. Please see Appendix C for budget information.

A minister must respect the following conditions:

  • there is a maximum of one chief of staff for any minister's office;
  • rules regarding position titles and respective salary increments and ranges must be observed; and
  • while the number of exempt staff may vary, depending upon salaries paid, the budget for exempt staff salaries granted to a minister, as set out via written communication, must never be exceeded without prior Treasury Board approval.

A minister may use the following positions and salary ranges:

  • Chief of Staff (equivalent to the salary for the EX‑02, EX‑03, or EX‑04 level);
  • Senior Policy Advisor (equivalent to the salary for the EX‑02 level);
  • Director of Communications (equivalent to the salary for the EX‑02 level);
  • Director of Parliamentary Affairs (equivalent to the salary for the EX‑02 level);
  • Policy Advisor (equivalent to the salary for the AS-08 level);
  • Senior Special Assistant (equivalent to the salary for the AS-07 level);
  • Special Assistant for Communications, Parliamentary Affairs, and Regional Offices (equivalent to the salary for the AS-05 level);
  • Special Assistant (equivalent to the salary for the AS-05 level); and
  • support staff (equivalent to the salary for the CR-05 level).
3.2.1.1   Exempt staff in ministers' regional offices (see Appendix C for budget information)

The following exempt staff are specific to ministers with regional representation budgets. Regional exempt staff, unlike other exempt staff who have the offices of ministers as their work location, have the MRO as their work location.

  • Regional Affairs Director (equivalent to the salary for the EX‑01 level);
  • Regional Communications Advisor (equivalent to the salary for the IS-05 level); and
  • Special Assistant, Regional Affairs (equivalent to the salary for the AS-05 level).

Ministers with regional representation budgets have the flexibility to configure their own regional exempt staff complement using existing approved salary ranges for exempt staff; however, they must observe rules regarding position titles and respective salary increments and ranges.

3.2.1.2   Exempt staff in the offices of ministers with a parliamentary secretary (see Appendix C for budget information)

Ministers who have parliamentary secretaries within their portfolio are authorized to hire one exempt staff member dedicated to support the parliamentary secretary. The salary of the parliamentary secretary's assistant is equivalent to that of the AS-05 level.

3.2.2  Status of exempt staff after a change in Cabinet

A member of a minister's exempt staff ceases to be so employed 30 calendar days after the minister ceases to be a minister of a given portfolio unless, within that 30‑day period:

  • the minister appoints that person to his or her new portfolio;
  • the person is appointed to the exempt staff of another minister; or
  • if entitled, the person is appointed by the Public Service Commission of Canada to a position in the Public Service.
3.2.2.1   Exempt staff who remain employed by the same minister
  • When exempt staff remain in the employ of the same minister, either in the original or a new portfolio, they do not receive severance pay, separation pay, or a salary extension for 30 calendar days because their employment does not terminate.
  • The minister may grant a salary increase for a promotion to a higher level of responsibility as defined in the Exempt Staff Position Structure (see Appendix A). Otherwise, the fact that there has been a change in Cabinet does not provide sufficient justification for salary increases for exempt staff. There should therefore be no salary increases.
  • The cashing out of accumulated annual leave credits is at the discretion of the minister and is to be done according to the applicable terms and conditions of employment.
3.2.2.2   Exempt staff appointed by another minister

If another minister employs exempt staff within the 30 calendar days:

  • they will continue to receive the same rate of pay if appointed to the same exempt staff position;
  • they may receive a salary increase only on promotion to a more senior exempt staff position (see Appendix A);
  • they do not receive severance pay, separation pay, or a salary extension for 30 calendar days because their employment does not terminate; and
  • the cashing out of accumulated annual leave credits is at the discretion of the minister (see section 3.5.1).
3.2.2.3   If exempt staff do not find employment with any minister within the 30 calendar days

In such cases:

  • they are entitled to receive severance pay calculated at the rate of two weeks' pay for each year of service as exempt staff, pro-rated with respect to part of a year's service; there is no minimum period of employment to receive severance; and
  • they may be entitled to separation pay, which is a discretionary payment made only by the minister. Refer to section 3.7.2 for further details.
3.2.2.4   Exempt staff hired after the 30 calendar-day period

Ministers are encouraged to make decisions as soon as possible within the 30 calendar days after their new appointment or their termination of office to retain or to release exempt staff members. If exempt staff are hired only after the 30 calendar days:

  • they retain the full amount of any severance pay received; and
  • they must reimburse a proportionate amount of any separation pay if re-hired or engaged under contract, either directly or hired by or engaged under contract with a government contractor, during the period the payment covers (e.g. if paid four months' separation pay and hired two months after her or his minister left or changed portfolio, the exempt staff member would have to repay two months' separation pay).

3.2.3  Contracting for professional or temporary help services

When contracting for professional or temporary help services, the additional requirements and obligations found under Part 7 of these Guidelines must also be met. Neither professional services contracts nor contracts for temporary help are employment contracts. No employer-employee relationship can be created when entering into such a contract (see section 7.2 for more information).

3.2.4  Other staffing issues

A minister has discretionary authority to use the services of any member of the exempt staff on public business outside the National Capital Region. The salary or fee for that person is chargeable to the minister's exempt staff budget.

Exempt staff members' names and the positions they hold are not considered as confidential and could be released under any access to information request.

For information on security issues for employees, please see section 2.2 of this document.

3.3  Pay

3.3.1  Salary rates

These are the permissible salaries for the following positions.

Title

Salary range and increments ($)
Effective February 6, 2006

 

Minimum

 

 

 

Maximum

Position (Minister's Office)

 

 

 

 

 

Chief of Staff (EX-04) or
                        (EX-03) or
                        (EX-02)

132,200
115,100
102,800

 

 

 

155,600
135,500
121,000

Senior Policy Advisor (EX-02)

102,800

 

 

 

121,000

Director of Communications (EX-02)

102,800

 

 

 

121,000

Director of Parliamentary Affairs (EX-02)

102,800

 

 

 

121,000

Policy Advisor (AS-08)

79,662

 

 

 

93,767

Senior Special Assistant (AS-07)

77,151

80,085

83,126

85,622

88,215

Special Assistant, Communications (AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

Special Assistant, Parliamentary Affairs (AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

Special Assistant, Regional Desk (AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

Special Assistant (AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

Support Staff (CR-05)

42,757

43,932

45,116

 

46,290

 

 

 

 

 

 

Position (Ministers with regional representation budgets)

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Affairs Director (EX-01)

91,800

 

 

 

108,000

Regional Communications Advisor (IS-05)

73,294

76,079

 

 

79,069

Special Assistant, Regional Affairs (AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

 

 

 

 

 

 

Position (Ministers with a parliamentary secretary)

 

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Secretary's Assistant
(AS-05)

65,801

68,302

 

 

71,140

Note:  All salaries for exempt staff will be deemed to include compensation for overtime.

Ministers may authorize exempt staff salary increases up to the permitted maximum, using approved salary increments. An exempt staff member should not be paid the maximum salary unless it can be fully justified by his or her experience and qualifications.

In exceptional circumstances, a minister may, with the prior approval of the Treasury Board, pay an exempt staff member a salary above the permitted maximum. The minister and the president of the Treasury Board should first discuss all requests for salaries above the permitted maximum.

The Treasury Board may authorize other exceptions to these guidelines in special circumstances. The minister and the president of the Treasury Board should discuss all such requests first.

3.3.2  Salary increases

Only a minister has the discretionary authority to award or withhold salary increases. Salary increases are awarded based on fully satisfactory performance.

Provided funds are available in the exempt staff budget, a minister may authorize salary increases as follows:

  • salary increases for exempt staff with equivalent salary to the PA group (with the exception of equivalent AS-08) will be according to the increments prescribed for the PA group;
  • salary increases for exempt staff with equivalent salary to the AS-08 level will be according to increments of 5 per cent of the actual rate;
  • salary increases for exempt staff with equivalent salary to the EX group will be according to increments of 5 per cent of the actual rate;
  • for those exempt staff members whose salaries are below the permissible maximum, a minister may increase their salaries as required, not more than once a year until the maximum is reached;
  • for those exempt staff members whose salaries are at the permissible maximum, a minister may not increase their salaries without Treasury Board approval; and
  • for those exempt staff members whose salaries have been approved by the Treasury Board above the permissible maximum, a minister may increase their salaries by no more than the most recent percentage increase authorized for the corresponding public service group and level. A minister may not authorize such increases before the anniversary date of the exempt staff member's appointment or last increase, whichever is later, unless Treasury Board approval is obtained.

3.3.3  Acting pay

A minister may authorize acting pay when an exempt staff member temporarily performs the duties of a higher position. To qualify for acting pay, exempt staff members must continuously perform the temporary duties for a minimum of 10 consecutive working days.

3.3.4  Hours of work

The scheduled work week is usually 37 1/2 hours from Monday to Friday inclusively, and the scheduled work day is usually 7 1/2 hours.

For information on transportation allowances for exempt staff overtime, please see section 6.9 of this document.

3.3.4.1   Exempt staff and overtime

Exempt staff are not eligible for overtime pay. Instead, when exempt staff members must work overtime hours, or when they work or travel on a day of rest or on a holiday, they may be granted management leave (leave with pay). This leave is granted as a minister considers appropriate, with the appropriate documentation. Management leave should be granted as soon as possible after the period that justifies it and should not exceed the overtime hours worked or spent in travel. In no circumstances shall management leave be granted after an election has been called or as compensation for election activities. (Please see section 3.5.4.)

3.3.4.2   Meals

An exempt staff member who works overtime extending beyond the normal meal period or who works at least three hours on a day of rest or on a designated holiday, may be reimbursed based on receipts for one or more meals (depending upon the number of meal periods occurring in the overtime period) in accordance with the amounts prescribed in the Treasury Board Travel Directive or with the meal rate negotiated for equivalent groups and levels under collective bargaining of the Program and Administrative Services (PA) Group.

Rates for meals are updated regularly; consult departmental financial services for current rates.

3.4  Employee benefits

This section summarizes the major non‑salary compensation provisions in the areas of pensions and insurance. More comprehensive information on these terms and conditions of employment, and help in administering them, is available from departmental human resources offices.

For the purposes of entitlements under the public service group insurance plans, Chief of Staff, Senior Policy Advisor, Director of Communications, Director of Parliamentary Affairs, and Regional Affairs Director are in accordance with the Executive (EX) Group, and Policy Advisor, Senior Special Assistant, Special Assistants (Communications, Parliamentary Affairs, Regional Desk, Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary), Regional Communications Advisor, and Support Staff are in accordance with the PA Group excluded from collective bargaining.

A minister's exempt staff participates in the following plans:

3.4.1  Compulsory plans

3.4.1.1   For all exempt staff
  • Employment Insurance plan;
  • provincial health insurance plans; and
  • Canada or Quebec pension plans.
3.4.1.2   Compulsory plans, subject to the normal eligibility requirements
of each plan
  • Public Service Superannuation Plan;
  • Supplementary Death Benefit (Part II of the Public Service Superannuation Act);
  • Long‑term Disability (LTD) insurance (part of the Public Service Management Insurance Plan); and
  • Public Service Dental Care Plan.

3.4.2  Automatic plans (government‑paid) for those exempt staff positions whose salary maximums are equivalent to the Public Service EX occupational group

  • The following components of the Public Service Management Insurance Plan:
    • basic life insurance equal to twice the adjusted annual salary;
    • accidental death and dismemberment insurance of $250,000; and
    • dependants' insurance.
  • The following components of the Public Service Health Care Plan:
    • single or family Extended Health Care Coverage; and
    • Hospital Benefit, Level III.

3.4.3  Optional plans (member-paid)

3.4.3.1   For those exempt staff positions whose salary maximums are equivalent to the Public Service PA occupational group
  • Public Service Health Care Plan (Extended Health Provision plus Hospital Level I, government-paid; Optional Hospital Levels II and III, member-paid).
  • The following components of the Public Service Management Insurance Plan:
    • basic and supplementary life insurance, both equal to the adjusted annual salary;
    • accidental death and dismemberment insurance up to $250,000; and
    • dependants' insurance.
3.4.3.2   For those exempt staff positions whose salary maximums are equivalent to the Public Service EX occupational group

The following component of the Public Service Management Insurance Plan: additional supplementary life insurance equal to the adjusted annual salary.

3.5  Leave

Costs for leave with pay are charged to the minister's exempt staff budget. Leave for those exempt staff positions whose salaries are equivalent to the Public Service EX occupational group follows the terms and conditions of the Executive Group, which can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/tbm_114/termcondemploy_e.asp. These terms and conditions are amended from time to time. For all other exempt staff members whose salaries are equivalent to the Public Service PA occupational group, leave follows the collective agreement for that group and can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/coll_agre/table1_e.asp, as amended from time to time.

3.5.1  Vacation leave

Vacation leave entitlements

Determination of leave entitlements is in accordance with section 3.5 above, with the exception that service for the accumulation of vacation leave under this clause will include employment with any government department, as defined in the Financial Administration Act if severance has not been issued upon termination of such employment (see http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/F-11/index.html). Vacation entitlements are as follows:

Those exempt staff positions whose salary maximums are equivalent to the Public Service EX occupational group

Those exempt staff positions whose salary maximums are equivalent to the Public Service PA occupational group

4 weeks per year on appointment

3 weeks per year on appointment

5 weeks per year after eight years

4 weeks per year after 8 years

  • 10 years of service as an Executive Group equivalent and/or as a member of the Executive Group; or

4 weeks and 2 days after 16 years

  • 15 years' service, of which 5 years or more are as an Executive Group equivalent or in the Executive Group; or

4 weeks and 3 days per year after 17 years

  • 20 years' service

5 weeks per year after 18 years

6 weeks per year after completion of 28 years of service

5 weeks and 2 days per year after 27 years

 

6 weeks after 28 years

 A minister may authorize an advance payment of the estimated net salary for vacations of two or more complete weeks if this is requested in writing at least six weeks before the last pay day before the vacation begins.

When exempt staff are recalled from vacation leave, they shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, as the Treasury Board normally defines them, incurred in travelling to the place of duty and back to the place where they were vacationing, if they resume the vacation immediately. They must submit expense accounts with receipts. When the minister cancels or alters vacation leave that was previously approved, the employee shall be reimbursed for any reasonable monetary penalty incurred in cancelling reservations.

If a person on the minister's exempt staff ceases to be employed or dies, the person or the estate shall be paid for any earned but unused vacation leave, except management leave, according to the following formula:

(days of unused vacation)     X     (daily pay rate on the day service ends)

In the event of the termination of employment for reasons other than death, a change in government, or when the minister ceases to be a minister, unearned vacation leave taken by the employee will be recovered from any monies owed upon termination.

3.5.2  Cashing out of vacation leave

Exempt staff may cash out any or all of their vacation leave at any time during the year with the approval of their minister.

3.5.3  Statutory leave

The following are designated paid holidays:

  • New Year's Day;
  • Good Friday;
  • Easter Monday;
  • the day fixed by proclamation of the Governor in Council for celebration of the Sovereign's birthday;
  • Canada Day;
  • Labour Day;
  • the day fixed by proclamation of the Governor in Council as a general day of Thanksgiving;
  • Remembrance Day;
  • Christmas Day;
  • Boxing Day; and
  • one additional day that is recognized as a provincial or civic holiday in the area where the person on a minister's exempt staff is employed or the first Monday in August in any area where no such day is recognized as a provincial, or civic holiday.

Ministers' exempt staff are not entitled to designated paid holidays if they are on leave without pay on the full working day immediately before and the full working day immediately after a designated paid holiday.

3.5.4  Election leave

A member of a minister's exempt staff is not required to resign or request leave without pay in order to seek nomination as a candidate for a federal, provincial, or territorial election, including by-elections, provided that the nomination takes place before the writs are issued.

Once the writs[1] are issued, however, any exempt staff member who is already nominated, or who seeks to be nominated, as a candidate for an election must resign or be granted leave without pay, at the minister's discretion. This resignation or leave without pay should take effect, at the latest, the day before the exempt staff member accepts in writing the official nomination[2] as an election candidate.

After the writs are issued or once Parliament or any provincial legislature or territorial council is dissolved, the exempt staff member should avoid declaring or having himself or herself declared by others to be a candidate before he or she has resigned or started the leave without pay.

Should a member of the minister's exempt staff decide to become actively involved on a full-time basis in a federal, provincial, or territorial election or by‑election, the member is required to take leave without pay or resign his or her position. If a member becomes engaged in campaign activities on a part-time basis, his or her involvement must be on his or her own time and not during regular office hours. No vacation leave or any other leave with pay will be permitted for election purposes.

Any period of leave without pay will not count as service toward qualifying for priority staffing under the Public Service Employment Act (under review; please refer to section 3.7.6). If the member of the exempt staff did not qualify for priority staffing prior to going on leave without pay, any period of leave without pay will have to be made up later to meet the PSEA's qualifying criteria.

3.5.5  Other leave

3.5.5.1   Other circumstances

A minister may grant leave of absence with pay, for a period of no longer than two weeks, when the place of work has been rendered uninhabitable and the employee cannot perform his or her duties until an alternative place has been found when the employee is required or urgently needed to help with a community emergency.

3.6  Departmental staff assigned to ministers' offices

The Treasury Board authorizes departmental staff complements and salary budgets to be provided from existing departmental resources. In keeping with the Public Service's non‑partisan tradition, departmental staff assigned to a minister's office may provide only non‑political departmental advice that falls within the scope of the minister's portfolio responsibilities. In addition, public relations functions are not to be performed by assigned departmental staff.

The duties of the departmental assistant assigned to a minister's office would normally include liaising between the minister's office and the department, as well as managing the sharing of information and documents. The duties would also include providing, in collaboration with the deputy minister and senior departmental officials, advice on departmental issues to the minister and his or her exempt staff.

A minister is permitted up to eight departmental staff, including the departmental assistant, provided the departmental staff budget granted via written communication is not exceeded. The departmental assistant could be classified at a level equivalent to PM‑06, EX‑01, or EX‑02. This would be commensurate with the breadth of knowledge and expertise of the departmental assistant. The remaining departmental staff positions are considered to be support staff positions. These support staff may only be classified up to the AS-04 level. A minister is permitted a maximum of one departmental assistant. Budget maximums may not be exceeded without prior Treasury Board approval.

Maximum levels for departmental staff for ministers' offices are indicated in the following tables:

Departmental Staff

 

Maximum Salary
($)

Maximum Salary
($)

Position Titles

Public Service Level (up to)*

Effective April 1, 2005

Effective April 1, 2006

Departmental Assistant

EX-02 or
EX-01 or
PM-06

121,000
108,000
88,215 (June 21, 2005)

121,000
108,000
90,420 (June 21, 2006)

 

 

Effective June 21, 2005

Effective June 21, 2006

Minister's Private Secretary

AS-04

59,558

61,047

Minister's Driver

CR-05

46,290

47,447

Support Staff—Chief of Staff

AS-04

59,558

61,047

Support Staff

AS-03

54,365

55,724

* Public service classified levels and salary increments within ranges will apply.

Normally a minister will look to departmental staff for support for non‑political activities within the scope of her or his departmental or portfolio responsibilities. Departmental staff assigned to a minister's office are public service employees in the employ of their department. These persons cannot transfer with a minister when he or she changes portfolio. Persons whose main duties have been to provide a personal service to a minister (e.g. personal drivers), however, are an exception, since the personal service they provide is more important than their knowledge of departmental organizations or responsibilities. For this reason, two departments may make arrangement to transfer such persons, provided this does not duplicate roles.

The Treasury Board will consider any other requests for exceptions to this policy. In developing proposals for exceptions, ministers should give due consideration to the potential implications for departmental employees who may be displaced by other public service employees who may move from the previous portfolio.

Departmental staff may be physically located near the minister's office and normally receive direction and supervision from the minister or exempt staff members in the conduct of the business of the minister's office. They are, however, at all times an integral part of the human resources of the department and, as such, are ultimately responsible to departmental authorities.

Departmental staff in ministers' offices should not provide support services that are readily available in the department. Ministers should look to the deputy minister for professional advice and support on both policy and operations across the full range of their responsibilities.

3.7  Termination

In all cases (i.e. resignation, death, dismissal, layoff, and retirement), discretionary separation payments are in addition to any severance pay entitlement.

The minister, or his or her designate, is responsible for communicating in a timely and expeditious manner to the Office of the Ethics Commissioner the names and titles (designations) of staff members whose employment has terminated or who have transferred out. The Office of the Ethics Commissioner will communicate with exempt staff members subject to Part III—Post-Employment Measures of the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders (available at http://www.parl.gc.ca/oec/en/) regarding their post-employment obligations under the Code.

3.7.1  Severance pay and transferring in previous service

Employees have a right to severance pay when they end their services voluntarily, are dismissed, die, or are laid off owing to lack of work or discontinuance of a function. Severance pay stays the same, whatever the circumstances of termination; that is, the amounts will be the same for resignation, death, dismissal, lay-off, and retirement.

When a person on a minister's exempt staff ceases to be employed, severance pay is calculated at the rate of two weeks' pay (based on salary at termination) for each year of service. "Service" for this purpose refers to service as an exempt staff member only. Calculations are pro-rated in respect of part of a year's service. There is no ceiling on the maximum number of weeks to be paid.

Severance payments are to be funded centrally, through Treasury Board Vote 5, as required.

For severance purposes, in certain cases ministers may recognize (or "transfer in") an exempt staff member's previous service with a member of Parliament's staff or in the Public Service, as described in the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA). The exempt staff member must have gone directly from this service to the minister's office (in other words, there must not have been a break in service of more than three months). Furthermore, the exempt staff member must not have received severance payment from the House of Commons or from the previous public service employer. If the exempt staff member wants to transfer in previous service, he or she must obtain approval in writing from the minister at the time of hiring. The exempt staff member then sends one copy of this approval to the department's pay office and another copy to the House of Commons or to the previous employer. Upon termination of employment, an exempt staff member's severance pay for service as a member of Parliament's staff member or in the Public Service will be one week's pay per completed year of service (based on the salary at termination of employment as an exempt staff member) as long as the exempt staff member, with the combined service of the previous employer and service with the minister, has fulfilled the requirements of the previous employer to receive severance pay.

Note    For those exempt staff members in their 30‑day period, starting November 4, 1993, and who transferred in to a minister's office from an MP's office or the Public Service (as defined in the PSSA) immediately prior to April 1, 1987 (i.e. without a break in service of more than three months) and who did not receive severance pay for their service from the House of Commons or their previous public service employer, departments are advised that, for severance purposes, this previous service as a member of an MP's staff or in the Public Service (as defined in the PSSA) is deemed to have been transferred in with the employee. Severance for this previous service will be calculated at one week's pay per completed year of service as an MP's staff member, at the final salary at termination of employment as an exempt staff member. The regular severance pay provisions for their service as exempt staff members will also apply.

3.7.2  Separation pay

Separation pay may be paid at the discretion of the minister when the employee's services are ended. This pay is intended to compensate for possible loss of earnings resulting from an often unpredictable and, at times, abrupt termination of employment.

A minister may authorize separation pay when:

  • the minister dismisses a member of the exempt staff without notice;
  • the minister ceases to be a minister;
  • the minister changes portfolios or responsibilities and does not retain the employee's services; or
  • a member of the exempt staff resigns, retires, is laid off, or dies.

3.7.3  Amount payable

To compensate for possible loss of earnings, ministers may, at their discretion, authorize a maximum of up to four months' separation pay. While a minister may authorize separation pay up to the maximum set out above, separation pay of one month per year of service is considered reasonable.

3.7.4  Reimbursement

Separation pay is not paid when a member of the exempt staff has been granted leave without pay from the Public Service to work in the minister's office. In this case, the person remains an employee in the department that granted the leave without pay, and any subsequent termination benefit would be the responsibility of that department.

Separation payments are to be funded through departmental operating budgets and not charged to the minister's exempt staff budget or operating budget.

If a person who has received separation pay works in or for another minister's office or any federal institution during the period covered by his or her separation pay, whether compensated directly as an employee or contractor, or indirectly, as an employee or subcontractor of a contractor, the separation pay is to be refunded proportionately. This provision averts a duplication of payments out of government funds (i.e. the Consolidated Revenue Fund). Refer to government Estimates and appropriations documents to determine organizations funded through the Consolidated Revenue Fund at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/estime.asp.

3.7.5  Exempt staff entitlements when a minister ceases to be a minister

When a minister ceases to be a minister, or changes portfolio and does not take a member of the exempt staff to the new portfolio, affected employees continue to draw salary for 30 calendar days, in accordance with section 128 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). Where a minister authorizes separation pay, the payment begins at the end of this 30‑day period. When ministers cease to hold office due to a Cabinet shuffle or a general election, members of their exempt staff who are not rehired by a minister or in the Public Service are to be deemed to have been laid off at the end of the 30‑day period for the purposes of the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Public Service Dental Plan.

A member of the exempt staff shall be paid according to the following formula for vacation leave that is earned but unused:

(days of unused vacation)    X     (daily pay rate on the day service ends)

Management leave may not be counted as earned vacation leave.

3.7.6  Ministers' exempt staff priority entitlements

Please note these Guidelines reflect the current legislative framework; however, the legislation is under review, with the potential that the conditions of employment may change during the period of employment. The possible loss of priority status following employment of exempt staff should be mentioned at the time of hiring.

The minister's exempt staff priority entitlement is provided for in section 41 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). The entitlement lasts for one year from the date on which the priority person ceases to be employed in the minister's office, which is either:

  • 30 days after the minister ceases to hold a portfolio; or
  • the day on which the priority person ceases to be employed in the minister's office, whichever comes first.

The priority entitlement applies to the minister's exempt staff hired to conduct activities related to the minister's portfolio. The priority applies to someone who:

  • was an employee immediately before becoming employed in the office of the minister (PSEA 41(2)(a)); or
  • while employed in the office of a minister, met the essential qualifications for appointment to the Public Service under this Act (external competition process) PSEA 41(2)(b); or
  • was employed for at least three consecutive years in the office of a minister or ministers, in successively senior capacities (PSEA 41(3)).

The minister's exempt staff priority entitlement also applies to exempt staff employed in the office of:

  • the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons;
  • the leader of the government in the Senate; and
  • the leader of the opposition in the Senate.

For additional information, see the Public Service Commission of Canada's Guide to Ministers' Exempt Staff Priority. An electronic version of the guide can be obtained at http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/staf_dot/priority-priorite/staff_priority_guide_e.htm.

3.7.7  Employment assistance: outplacement services

A minister may authorize up to $5,000 to cover fees for professional outplacement services for a member of his or her exempt staff whose employment has ended. An exempt staff member whose employment has been terminated should register with an outplacement firm within 30 days of the termination date or in the 30 days after a minister ceases to be a minister. This should be done within these time frames, even if services may be rendered at a later date. However, in all cases, services must be rendered within one year of the termination date.

Outplacement services usually provide such information as how to prepare a résumé, how to prepare for an interview, and how to present oneself at an interview. Costs for training or skills improvement, such as computer literacy or language courses, are not included.

Typically, the outplacement firm enters into a signed agreement with the member of the exempt staff that stipulates what services will be rendered. Invoices are to be sent to the departmental financial services unit. The cost of outplacement services is charged to the minister's operating budget.

 

 
Previous Table of Contents Next