This directive is deemed to be part of collective agreements between the parties to the National Joint Council (NJC) and employees are to be afforded ready access to this directive.
In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of this directive, the grievance procedure, for all represented employees within the meaning of the Public Service Labour Relations Act will be in accordance with Section 15 of the National Joint Council By‑Laws. For unrepresented employees, the departmental grievance procedure applies.
This directive is effective on August 1, 2007, unless otherwise specified.
This Directive applies to:
- all departments and other portions of the Public Service of Canada listed in Schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act; and
- any employer listed in Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, who is a member of the National Joint Council and who has opted to follow this Directive.
Subject to the above noted paragraphs, this directive does not apply to:
- a member of the Canadian Forces, or
- an employee who occupies a position in the lightkeepers occupational group.
- employed for a specified term of less than three (3) months or
- not ordinarily required to work more than one-third of the normal working hours of a full-time employee of the same occupational group and level (part time worker)
are not eligible for any of the benefits provided in Part III of this directive.
They are, however, eligible for the allowances paid at their particular headquarters.
For the purposes of this directive, employees who reside outside their headquarters and commute daily from their residence to work shall:
- be deemed to be residing at the headquarters, if their residence is in a location that is or would qualify as an isolated post; or
- be considered an employee without dependants, if the residence is in a location that is not or would not qualify as an isolated post.
The application of this directive to the employees in the Ships' Officers and Ships' Crews occupational groups is outlined in Appendix E.
Part VI of this Directive is concerned only with employees who are "permanent" occupants of government housing provided in Canada. It does not apply to employees on travel status or otherwise considered transient, or to employees living outside Canada.
Government housing provided by the Department of National Defence to members of the Canadian Forces is subject to the provisions of the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this directive is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of staff delivering government programs in isolated locations. Its provisions are designed to recognize the inherent disadvantages and abnormally higher costs of living and working in isolated posts, as well as to ensure that employees in government housing are treated in a manner equivalent to employees renting/owning similar accommodation from private or commercial sources. These provisions do not constitute income or other compensation that would open the way for personal gain.
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Treasury Board Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, as amended from time to time, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee with a disability(ies) is fully accommodated to the point of undue hardship. Decisions and practices flowing from this directive shall be inclusive and barrier free.
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat shall revise relevant portions of this Directive as required from time to time on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, and advise departments and cause employees to be advised, in writing, of any changes that may affect them. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat shall also advise departments on, and monitor their interpretation and application of, this directive.
Statistics Canada: Statistics Canada shall conduct research and surveys with respect to the Fuel and Utilities Differential (F&UD) and the Living Cost Differential (LCD) Allowances and shall verify the Environment Allowance (EA) levels during their survey visits and report the results to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is responsible for the provision of base shelter values (BSVs), upon departmental request. CMHC shall provide the revised BSVs. Reporting shall be limited to the property address requested and the revised BSVs.
Departments shall maintain an inventory of all self contained government-owned or managed living accommodation. By October 15 of each year departments shall provide CMHC with complete lists of living accommodation subject to the annual review that it operates. These lists shall include all information necessary to locate and identify each unit (i.e. location, address, building and appraisal numbers, type of accommodation, number of rooms, bedrooms, floor area, type of construction, an indication of changes which have occurred to the property, and a list of separately-provided parking). A separate listing shall be provided for each CMHC field office of all government living accommodation within that office's territory.
Requests for appraisals of newly acquired living accommodation or accommodation to be leased shall be addressed to the CMHC Calgary Business Centre.
Health Canada: Health Canada is responsible for determining whether employees and their dependant(s) are medically fit for assignment to an isolated post. Health Canada, in accordance with the Treasury Board Occupational Health Evaluation Standard, is also responsible for the ongoing occupational health assessment of employees serving at isolated posts.
Departments: Departments shall ensure that each employee is provided with a copy of this directive. Employees in government housing shall also be supplied in writing with: the BSV for their unit; information showing how the rental charge was established from the BSV; and the name of the departmental administrator to contact for information, questions, complaints, etc.
Employee: It is the employee's responsibility to notify their manager and their departmental administrator as soon as possible where changes to their circumstances have an impact on housing, allowances, and benefits they receive under this directive.
Failure to do so may result in recovery of overpayments.
In order to qualify as an isolated post, a location must meet the criteria outlined in Part II qualifying it for an environment allowance. Qualification for an environment allowance is a prerequisite for all other allowances and, subject to subsection 1.14.2, for benefits under this directive, except for the special location allowance.
Environment Allowance (EA): The EA is assessed according to five classification levels by allocating points for the population, climate and availability of commercial transportation or access by all-weather roads. (See Section 1.7 and Appendix H, Section 1 for qualifying criteria.)
Living Cost Differential (LCD): A LCD is payable at an isolated post where prices for food and other goods and services are abnormally high relative to the location identified as its point of comparison and is intended to assist employees to meet those higher costs. (See Section 1.8 and Appendix H, Section 2 for qualifying criteria.)
The amount of LCD depends on the price differentials, as measured by Statistics Canada, between an isolated post and its point of comparison.
Fuel and Utilities Differential (F&UD): A F&UD is payable at designated isolated posts where prices for fuel and utilities are abnormally high due to higher transportation costs and consumption rates imposed by the geographical location. The F&UD is intended to supplement employees' incomes and help them offset those higher costs. (See Section 1.9 and Appendix H, Section 3 for qualifying criteria.)
Shelter Cost Differential (SCD): A SCD is payable at designated isolated posts where shelter costs are abnormally high in comparison with the national average rents in Southern Canada for the benchmark model. (See Section 1.10 and Appendix H, Section 4 for qualifying criteria.)
Special Location Allowance: A special location allowance is payable to employees at locations listed in Appendix G. (See Section 1.11 and Appendix H, Section 5 for qualifying criteria.)
Communication with Employees
Departments shall develop comprehensive information packages on the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive that shall include a copy of the directive and an explanation of all the allowances and benefits to which an employee is eligible. Further, the information package shall provide the eligibility criteria for each of the allowances and benefits as well as a list of the most common questions and answers. The information package shall clearly describe employees' responsibilities whenever their personal situation changes, which may have an impact on their allowances and benefits.
All-weather road (route praticable en tout temps) means a gravel or higher standard road that extends between a location and a place named in the definition of point of departure that is impassable for less than three consecutive weeks during freeze-up and three consecutive weeks during break-up periods, and includes daily ferry service.
Appropriate governing authority (autorisation appropriée), with reference to an employee, means one or more of the following that is applicable to the employee in the circumstances:
- an Act of Parliament or a statutory instrument made thereunder,
- a current collective agreement,
- a current compendium of terms and conditions of employment, or
- a Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat authority other than this directive.
Assignment/Assigned to isolated post (affectation/affecté au poste isolé) for the purposes of this Directive, means employment at the isolated post/employed at the isolated post.
Availability to the public (disponibilité au public) refers to the situation in which an employee, as the occupant of a particular residence, is recognized as a government official and therefore may be called upon by the public outside normal working hours.
Base shelter value (BSV) (valeur de base des logements (VBL)) is the value assessed by CMHC for the occupation of a housing unit, and accounts for the physical and locational characteristics of the unit and external influences. The BSV excludes utilities (heat, electricity, water and sewer), furniture and appliances. It also excludes any rental charge adjustment and/or special reduction.
Benchmark model (modèle de référence) means the housing unit used as a model for the calculation of the SCD and is a 3-bedroom detached bungalow.
Common-law partner (conjoint de fait), see definition of Spouse or common-law partner.
Department (ministère) means a department or other portion of the public service of Canada,
- listed in Schedules I and IV to the Financial Administration Act; or
- listed in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act and which is a member of the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada.
Dependant (personne à charge), with reference to an employee, means a person, other than an employee or a member of the Canadian Forces receiving an "isolation allowance" under the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces, who resides with the employee at the employee's headquarters residence and is
- the spouse of that employee or the person named in the common-law partner declaration, or
- one for whom the employee is eligible to claim a tax credit under the Income Tax Act, or
- a biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or legal ward who
- is unmarried,
- does not qualify under (b), and
- who has not yet attained 24 years of age and is in full-time attendance at a recognized educational institution.
Deputy head (administrateur général)
- in relation to a department named in Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act, its deputy minister;
- in relation to any portion of the core public administration named in Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act, or in relation to any separate agency named in Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, its chief executive officer, or if there is no chief executive officer, its statutory head, or if there is neither, the person who occupies the position designated under subsection 11(2) of the Financial Administration Act, in respect of that portion or that separate agency.
Economy airfare (classe économique) means a full fare economy class ticket, also referred to as the Y class airfare (ticket without restrictions) on most commercial airlines. Economy class is the standard class of air travel. It excludes first and business class or equivalents.
Employee (fonctionnaire) means, subject to the Application section, a person
- to whom this directive applies,
- who is employed in a department or with a separate employer which is a member of the NJC, and
- whose salary is paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Employee with dependants (fonctionnaire avec personnes à charge) is an employee with whom at least one dependant resides at the employee's headquarters residence.
Employee without dependants (fonctionnaire sans personnes à charge) means an employee with whom no dependant resides at the employee's headquarters residence.
Fiscal year (année financière) means the period beginning on the first day of April in one year and ending on the thirty-first day of March in the next year.
Government housing (logement de l'État)is residential accommodation, owned or leased by the Government of Canada, intended primarily for employees of the Government of Canada. Such accommodation may be either:
- self-contained, i.e. a single-family dwelling (detached, semi-detached or row housing) or apartment; or
- shared accommodation, i.e. means a self-contained dwelling where employees have private bedrooms, but share common areas.
Headquarters (lieu d'affectation) means the isolated post to which the employee is assigned.
Household income (revenu du ménage) is the total gross income, in whatever form received, of all members of the family, or of an individual, where applicable, excluding:
- earnings of children or funds for the tuition of children in regular attendance at recognized institutions of learning such as scholarships, bursaries and contributions from non-resident family members,
- earnings of a working spouse or common-law partner up to the amount that may be claimed as a "spousal amount" as specified in the Federal General Income Tax and Benefit Guide, as amended from time to time.
Immediate family (famille immédiate) for employees, means father, mother (or alternatively stepfather, stepmother, or foster parent), brother, sister, spouse, common-law partner resident with the employee, child (including child of the common-law partner), grandchild, grandparent, stepchild or ward of the employee, father-in-law, mother-in-law and relatives permanently residing in the employee's household or with whom the employee permanently resides.
Isolated post (poste isolé) means a location named in Appendix A.
NJC Integrated Relocation Directive (IRD) (Directive sur la réinstallation intégrée du CNM (DRI)) is the National Joint Council Directive pertaining to relocation, as applicable, as amended from time to time.
Normal place of residence (lieu de résidence ordinaire) means
- the last place in Canada where employees permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post, or
- where paragraph (a) does not apply or employees are not returning to the place referred to in paragraph (a), the place in Canada determined by the deputy head to be their normal place of residence.
Normal working hours (heures de travail normales) means the number and schedule of hours that a full-time indeterminate employee is required to work pursuant to an appropriate governing authority.
Offensive noise (bruits gênants) includes any recurring noise which disturbs the quiet enjoyment of the premises, e.g. noises which originate within the building such as generators or communications equipment such as telephones, doorbell, etc, and noises which may be associated with crisis situations (e.g. patients in nursing stations, disorderly inmates, etc). Also, employees on "shift work" who occupy shared accommodation are considered to be subject to "moderate" offensive noise, when there are other occupants of the same shared accommodation who also work shift work. Noises that originate from outside the building such as aircraft, motorboats, motor vehicles, etc, shall be accounted for by the BSV.
Part-time employee (employé à temps partiel) means a person employed to work less than the normal daily or weekly hours of work established for a full-time employee of the same occupational group and level.
Point of comparison (point de comparaison) specifically refers to Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal or St.John's. Price differences at each isolated post are measured against those prevailing in one of the above-noted cities as established by the National Joint Council Isolated Posts and Government Housing Committee. These price differentials are calculated on items that fall within the approved Basket of Goods and Services included in Isolated Posts Living Cost Differential Indexes.
Point of departure (point de départ) means Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, or St. John's, whichever of these places is the nearest to the headquarters of an employee by the most practical route and means of transportation.
Public use of living facilities (usage du logement par le public) involves the use by the public or other government employees of the private living facilities provided to the occupant such as bathroom, bedroom, communications equipment, etc.
Relocation (réinstallation) means the authorized move of an employee from one place of duty to another or the authorized move of an employee from the employee's place of residence to the employee's first place of duty upon appointment to a position in the public service.
Rent (loyer) means the monthly amount charged to an employee for the occupation and use of a government housing unit. It includes fuel and utilities charges, where applicable.
Road kilometres (kilomètres routiers) means the official distance shown on the most recent provincial or territorial highway map(s).
Seasonal employee (employé saisonnier) means a person appointed on an indeterminate basis who works for one or more specified portions of a fiscal year, each year.
Shelter charge (frais de gîte) means the amount assessed for a government housing unit after deducting from the base shelter value any rental charge adjustment and/or special reduction. It does not include fuel and utilities charges.
Special location (localité spéciale) means a place named in Appendix G.
Spouse or common-law partner (époux ou conjoint de fait) The term common-law partner refers to a person living in a conjugal relationship with an employee for a continuous period of at least one year. The term spouse refers to the person married to the employee.
Transportation expenses (frais de transport) means the expenses referred to in the NJC Integrated Relocation Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for transportation.
Travel Directive (Directive sur les voyages) means the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive, as amended from time to time.
Travelling expenses (frais de voyage) means the expenses referred to in the NJC Integrated Relocation Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for accommodations, meals and incidentals.
When required by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the deputy head shall submit a consolidated departmental report.
Common-law Partner Declaration
This declaration will serve to designate an individual as a common-law partner for purposes of the IPGH directive and for the relevant benefits to be accorded thereunder.
We, _______________ and _________________ solemnly declare that our relationship is and has been demonstrated by our cohabitation in a conjugal relationship. This relationship is and has been recognized for a period of at least one year in the community or communities in which we have lived.***
Where these conditions cease to exist we acknowledge the right of the deputy head to recover the amounts of money paid on the basis of the existence of such conditions.
*** In specific cases, this declaration may be used where there has been a break in the period of cohabitation for reasons beyond the control of the employee or the individual to be designated as common-law partner.