To assist employees at missions where the cost of living is higher than in Ottawa/Gatineau, the employer provides a non-accountable allowance to compensate for the higher costs of purchasing goods and services at post.
55.01 The deputy head shall authorize a Post Living Allowance (PLA) for each employee serving at a post for which the Post Index is greater than 100, in accordance with the appendix to this directive, where:
(a) employees shall be compensated for the actual % of salary spent at post, calculated on the basis of their nominal salary, and reflecting the Post Index adjustment;
(b) nominal salary is the mid-point of an employee's salary band, as shown in the appendix to this directive; and
(c) the Post Index expresses the price differential between the post and Ottawa, as reported to the deputy head on a monthly basis by Statistics Canada.
1. Effective June 1, 2001, the methodology for the determination of the Post Index has been revised to reflect only those expenditures actually incurred at post for the purchase of goods and services. Expenditures for which provision is made elsewhere in the Foreign Service Directives are specifically excluded, as are those expenses which are incurred in Canada. The revised methodology recognizes that employees at different salary levels spend differing percentages of salary for post-related expenses.
2. Effective June 1, 2009, the methodology for the determination of Post Living Allowance has been revised to include an adjustment to recognize annual inflation, as reflected in the Consumer Price Index for the preceding twelve month period ending December 31st.
3. Post Indices are determined by Statistics Canada on a monthly basis, and:
(a) are published on the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's website; and
(b) are available on the Statistics Canada website.
55.02 The appendix to this directive shall be revised, in accordance with the methodology agreed to in the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives:
(a) on June 1st of each year, to reflect annual inflation as reported by Statistics Canada, and
(b) on June 1st following the publication of the results of Statistics Canada's Survey of Household Spending (SHS) conducted on a four-year cycle.
55.03 Except where otherwise provided, the PLA shall commence on the first compensation day following the employee's arrival at a post and shall cease on the first compensation day following the employee's final departure from that post.
1. For purposes of Section 55.03, "the first compensation day following the employee's final departure from that post", means the first compensation day following the employee's last day on duty at that post.
2. The deputy head shall apply the Post Index communicated to the department on a monthly basis by Statistics Canada in accordance with the methodology agreed to in the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives.
55.04 The PLA shall be adjusted to reflect any change in the employee's gross annual salary, including acting pay for the performance of regular duties or for the performance of duties in another position on a temporary basis during an assignment at a post, where such change results in movement to a higher salary band for the purpose of determining the employee's nominal salary.
55.05 Where an unaccompanied employee is absent from the post on temporary duty, under emergency evacuation conditions or on leave with pay, for more than 25 compensation days, the PLA shall cease on the 26th compensation day and shall resume on the first compensation day following the employee's return to the post.
55.06 Where an accompanied employee is absent from the post on temporary duty, under emergency evacuation conditions or on leave with pay, for more than 25 compensation days, the PLA:
(a) shall continue to be paid as long as a dependant remains in the employee's residence at the post with the approval of the deputy head;
(b) shall terminate on the first compensation day following the date of departure of the last of the dependants from the employee's residence at the post, or on the 26th compensation day following the employee's departure, whichever is the later; and
(c) shall resume on the first compensation day following either the return of the employee or of a dependant, with deputy head approval, whichever return date is the earlier.
55.07 Where an employee is transferred from one post to another, the PLA calculated in accordance with Section 55.01 shall continue until the day of the employee's arrival at the new post except, where:
(a) that day is not a compensation day, in which case the PLA shall continue until the last compensation day immediately prior to the day of arrival at the new post; or
(b) 25 compensation days have elapsed since the employee departed the previous post, in which case continuation of the PLA shall be subject to Section 55.03 or 55.04 as applicable.
(a) A PLA shall be applied by the deputy head on the validity date determined on the basis of statistical information provided on a monthly basis by Statistics Canada.
(b) Changes to the Post Index shall be effective on validity dates as follows:
(i) in the case of changes resulting from a full-scale survey, on the first day of the month next following the month in which Statistics Canada has made its determination;
(ii) in the case of devaluation or revaluation of a currency, on the first day of the month next following such change;
(iii) in the case of revisions resulting from the monthly review of Post Indexes by Statistics Canada, on the first day of the month next following determination of the requirement for revision.
(c) International retail prices and costs surveys which are required to establish Post Indexes for the purpose of this directive are scheduled by Statistics Canada from time to time. Such surveys are to be completed in a timely manner, subject to operational requirements of the Post being surveyed.
55.09 Notwithstanding Section 107 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, a revision to a Post Index (PI) and resultant change in the PLA shall not constitute a change in terms and conditions of employment for an employee subject to the Foreign Service Directives.
55.10 At posts where exchange rate information may be deficient with respect to the application of Post Index methodology by Statistics Canada, as agreed to in the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives, employees may be required to document the exchange rates received for their purchases of local currency on a monthly basis.
TBC 330-35 - Monthly Exchange Rate Report