Foreign Service Incentive Allowances consist of two tax-free allowances provided as incentives to foreign service.
The Foreign Service Premium is provided as an incentive to foreign service and as such recognizes that there are disutilities and disincentives, some of which may be financial, resulting from service outside Canada. The premium varies according to the employee's family size and service outside Canada and is payable to employees to whom the Foreign Service Directives apply in accordance with FSD 3 - Application and FSD 8 - Short-Term Assignments outside Canada.
The Post Specific Allowance is a non-accountable travel allowance designed to assist employees in travelling from post and reflects 80% of return full (Y) economy air fare between the employee's post and the headquarters city or where a Y fare is not available for a specific post, 100% of the Y2 fare. This allowance is only available when an employee is not subject to the provisions of FSD 46 - Post Leave/Option.
Note: These definitions only apply to this directive.
Child (enfant) refers to a dependant as defined in FSD 2 - Definitions.
Reside with the employee at the post (partage la résidence du fonctionnaire au poste) means that the dependant resides with the employee at the post for at least 8 months of any consecutive 12-month period.
Single parent (parent célibataire) is the parent in a family unit comprising the employee and a child.
56.1.1 Unless otherwise indicated, this directive applies to career foreign service employees and to foreign assignment employees.
56.2 Foreign Service Premium
56.2.1 In accordance with this directive, the deputy head shall authorize the payment of a Foreign Service Premium to an employee on the basis of the employee's family size and service outside Canada, calculated in accordance with:
(a) Appendix A for employees who arrive at post on or after April 1, 2009, and
(b) Appendix C for employees at post prior to April 1, 2009, until the rate under Appendix A is equal to or greater than the rate under Appendix C, or the completion of posting, excluding any extension, which ever comes earlier.
56.2.2 Appendices A and C to this directive shall be updated on April 1st, 2009, and annually thereafter on April 1st, to adjust rates of Foreign Service Premium in accordance with the methodology agreed to by the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives, and published on the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's website.
56.2.3 An employee serving at a post who is receiving a Foreign Service Premium in accordance with Appendix C, shall not receive a lesser premium on April 1st than that which would have been payable on the basis of the applicable salary group in effect on the preceding March 31st.
56.3.1 Each employee of an employee-couple who is assigned to the same post shall receive the unaccompanied rate of Foreign Service Premium except that, where a dependant resides with the employee-couple at the post, one employee shall be considered as unaccompanied and the other employee as accompanied at the appropriate dependant rate.
56.3.2 Each employee of an employee-couple who is assigned to different posts shall receive the unaccompanied rate of Foreign Service Premium except that, where a dependant resides with the employee, the employee shall be considered as accompanied at the appropriate dependant rate.
56.4 Premium Rates
56.4.1 Subject to Sections 56.8 and 56.9, an employee shall be entitled to a Foreign Service Premium:
(a) at the accompanied by one dependant rate, only if:
(i) one dependant resides with the employee at the post, or
(ii) the employee is a single parent and has a child who is a dependent student as defined in FSD 2 - Definitions;
(b) at the accompanied by two or more dependants rates, only if two or more dependants reside with the employee at the post and at least one of the dependants is a child.
56.5 Foreign Service Steps
56.5.1 In determining the appropriate step of Foreign Service Premium, an employee shall receive credit for service outside Canada and progression shall be based on points earned for such service.
56.5.2 On initial assignment outside Canada, an employee shall receive the applicable Step I rate of Foreign Service Premium.
56.5.3 Subject to Section 56.10, an employee shall receive:
(a) the Step II rate of Foreign Service Premium upon accumulation of 24 points;
(b) the Step III rate of Foreign Service Premium upon accumulation of 60 points;
(c) the Step IV rate of Foreign Service Premium upon accumulation of 96 points;
(d) the Step V rate of Foreign Service Premium upon accumulation of 132 points; and
(e) the Step VI rate of Foreign Service Premium upon accumulation of 168 points.
56.6 Foreign Service Points
56.6.1 Points shall be calculated for service outside Canada:
(a) before July 1, 1975, for foreign assignment employees, at the rate of one point per month of service from October 1, 1972, or from January 1, 1973 for those employees subject to the Foreign Service Regulations on December 31, 1972,
(b) before July 1, 1975, for career foreign service employees, at the rate of one point per month of service,
(c) between July 1, 1975, and April 1, 1979, for all employees, at the rate of:
(i) 1 point per month of service at posts which were not listed in Appendix B to FSD 58 (1975),
(ii) 1.25 points per month of service at posts which were rated at Levels I and II in Appendix B to FSD 58 (1975), and
(iii) 1.5 points per month of service at posts which were rated at Levels III and IV in Appendix B to FSD 58 (1975),
(d) effective April 1, 1979, for all employees, at the rate of one point per month of service.
56.6.2 For the purpose of calculating points under this directive, an employee shall be deemed to have a completed month of service where there is an entitlement to ten compensation days of Foreign Service Premium in a calendar month, including Foreign Service Premium which is part of a maternity or parental allowance as referred to in FSD 69.4, except that during a cross-posting an employee cannot accumulate credits on the basis of two periods of ten compensation days within the same calendar month.
56.6.3 Subject to Section 56.10, points accumulated for service outside Canada are portable and non-lapsing. Consequently, progression from one step to the next higher step may occur in mid-tour.
56.6.4 In determining the rate of Foreign Service Premium under this directive, an employee shall receive credit for Foreign Service Premium points earned under the Military Foreign Service Instructions (MFSI). This provision extends to public service employees with service under the MFSI and to members of the Canadian Forces where such service qualifies as continuous employment in the public service for leave and severance pay purposes.
56.7 Effective Date
56.7.1 Except where otherwise provided, unless an employee is cross-posted from one post to another post, in which case the Foreign Service Premium shall continue without interruption, an employee's entitlement to a Foreign Service Premium shall:
(a) commence on the first compensation day following the employee's arrival at the post; and
(b) cease on the first compensation day following the employee's last day on duty at the post.
56.8 Change in Family Size
56.8.1 Where an employee is in receipt of a Foreign Service Premium in accordance with Section 56.2, the premium shall be adjusted to reflect a change in family size where a dependant:
(a) takes up permanent residence with the employee at the post; or
(b) ceases to be a dependant or takes up a separate domicile; or
(c) departs the post permanently in advance of an employee.
56.8.2 The change shall be effective on the first compensation day following the event except that, where a dependant has left the employee's post in advance of a cross-posting, such departure shall be considered as a temporary absence and the provisions of subsection 56.9.1 shall apply.
56.9 Temporary Absence of Dependant
56.9.1 Where an employee receives an accompanied rate of Foreign Service Premium in accordance with subsection 56.4.1, the premium shall be adjusted to reflect a change in family size where a dependant is temporarily absent from the employee's post for more than 25 compensation days. The change will be effective on the 26th compensation day and shall resume on the first compensation day following the return of the dependant to the employee's residence, except that:
(a) this section shall not apply to an employee who is in receipt of the "accompanied by one dependant" rate of premium where the dependant is a child under subparagraph 56.4.1(a)(ii); and
(b) in cases of absence of a dependant from the employee's post, the deputy head may authorize continued payment of the Foreign Service Premium at the appropriate accompanied rate for a period of up to six months from the date of departure of the dependant, where, in the deputy head's opinion, such continuation will facilitate operational objectives. Such cases shall be reported to the appropriate foreign service interdepartmental co-ordinating committee.
56.10 Termination of Premium
56.10.1 Notwithstanding Section 56.5, no premium is payable, without the approval of the deputy head, to an employee who has served seven consecutive years at the same post. Where an exception is made, a report shall be made to the Treasury Board Secretariat outlining the program-related circumstances which justify this exception.
56.10.2 Notwithstanding subsection 56.6.1, where payment of the premium has been terminated in accordance with subsection 56.10.1, the employee shall cease to accumulate points for service outside Canada during the period in which payment of the premium is not authorized.
56.11 Post Specific Allowance
56.11.1 Subject to the provisions of subsections 56.11.4 and 56.11.5, an employee is entitled to a non-accountable Post Specific Allowance, payable on a monthly basis to reflect one-twelfth of the annual rate, in accordance with Appendix B to this directive.
56.11.2 The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs has been authorized to revise Appendix B to this directive, on the recommendation of the appropriate foreign service interdepartmental co-ordinating committee, in accordance with the methodology agreed to by the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives, annually on June 1st, to reflect 80% of return full (Y) economy air fare from the post to the employee's headquarters city. Where a full (Y) economy fare is not available for a specific post, 100% of a discounted economy (Y2) fare shall be used for that post.
56.11.3 The intent of this allowance is to assist an employee with miscellaneous travel requirements, which are a consequence of foreign service, formerly provided under FSD 45 - Foreign Service Travel of the 1993 and 1997 Foreign Service Directives. There is no requirement for employees to maintain or provide proof of travel.
56.11.4 The Post Specific Allowance becomes payable:
(a) on June 1, 2001, for employees on posting who have not elected for the provisions of FSD 46 - Post Leave/Option, and/or who are not subject to the transitional provisions of FSD 46.2;
(b) on or after June 1, 2001, as applicable, for employees who arrive at post on or after this date and who have not elected for the provisions of FSD 46 - Post Leave/Option; or
(c) on such date as may be determined by the deputy head, subsequent to June 1, 2001, for employees who are on posting and are subject to the provisions of FSD 46.1.3(b) of FSD 46 - Post Leave/Option, having accumulated 40 days of post leave credits.
56.11.5 Except that, following receipt of a Posting Confirmation Form (or equivalent) and prior to arrival at post, an employee may request an advance of one year's Post Specific Allowance, for the purpose of a spousal job-hunting trip at the post, or for making arrangements at post for education of one or more accompanying dependants. Where an advance has been authorized, the employee will be required to provide evidence that the allowance was used for the purpose it was issued.
56.11.6 An employee may elect for post leave, in accordance with FSD 46 - Post Leave/Option, in lieu of the Post Specific Allowance, at any time after the commencement of payment of the Post Specific Allowance, by advising their FSD Administrator in writing two months prior to the date of the desired change. Employees may change their election no more than once per year.