Foreign Service Directives Committee

The National Joint Council (NJC) is pleased to announce that it recently accepted the report of the Foreign Service Directives Committee in regard to the Cyclical Review of the Directives (FSDs).

The revised Directives apply to represented employees of the public service for whom bargaining agents are members of the NJC. Its provisions form part of the collective agreements of the participating parties under the By-Laws of the National Joint Council.

Implementation Date

The new NJC Foreign Service Directives are effective April 1, 2009.

Introduction

Provision is made under the Foreign Service Directives (FSD) to revise certain allowance and dollar amounts on the first of April each year in accordance with the methodologies agreed to in the National Joint Council Committee (NJC) on Foreign Service Directives.When published, the revised Foreign Service Directives effective April 1, 2009 will include where applicable the revised allowances and dollar amounts for 2009.The Directives were reviewed in light of current societal conditions, consideration for families and dependants, and the modernization of some provisions to reflect current practices and provide increased flexibility. As well, some provisions have been streamlined in order to further simplify the administration of the directives.Editorial changes have been made throughout the directives to facilitate the use and understanding of the Directives. Changes also include translation corrections, updated reference information, new sequence to enhance clarity and logic, and renumbering of subsections to accommodate additions and/or deletions.Listed below are significant changes to the Directives. As the Foreign Service Directives have been revised as a whole in order to ensure consistency, users are encouraged to consult the new text and understand the changes within the context of the revised directives.

The new directive will be available April 1, 2009 on the NJC website: http://www.njc-cnm.gc.ca.

List of Changes to the Directives

FSD 3 – Application

The application of the directives to each employee of an employee-couple has been clarified to address situations where the employee-couple are assigned to different posts, in addition to those situations where they are assigned to the same post.

In cases where an assignment agreement is arranged under FSD 3.01(g), employees must be fully briefed on the specific application of the Foreign Service Directives and the agreement must be signed by the employee, the employee's bargaining agent, the departmental representative and the Treasury Board Secretariat staff representative.

FSD 8 – Short-term assignments outside Canada

This new directive replaces Appendix A to FSD 3 (Short-term Relocation Outside Canada and USA) and reflects current provisions for official travel and for foreign service, as applicable. The new directive applies to assignments defined in FSD 3 – Application.

FSD 8 applies to all assignments outside Canada, including the USA, of more than 30 consecutive days and less than one year. In certain situations, assignments of 120 consecutive days or less, and assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days are differentiated to ensure cost containment and practicality. Provisions have been increased and modified as follows:

Relocation travel

The relocation travel provisions of FSD 15 shall apply.

It should be noted that where a non-accountable allowance is authorized, in accordance with FSD 15.04, inclusion of 2 days living expenses at each of the new and old places of duty, is not allowed when, in accordance with FSD 15.33, an employee is able to occupy permanent accommodation.

Shipment and storage of household effects

For assignments of 120 consecutive days or less, shipment of up to 150 kilos (net) of household effects as accompanying baggage or air cargo can be authorized;

For assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, the weight of shipment of household effects shall not exceed 50% of the limit for furnished accommodation, in accordance with FSD 15.14.

Storage of household effects, including a PMV, may be authorized for assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, if the employee is no longer maintaining a principal residence.

Storage of household effects for assignments of less than 121 consecutive days shall not normally be approved except in special circumstances, as determined by deputy head.

Accommodation

Payment of actual and reasonable costs for accommodation shall be authorized. (no change)

Shelter cost

Where an employee's household effects have been placed in storage at public expense in accordance with FSD 15 – Relocation, the employee shall pay a shelter cost in accordance with FSD 25 – Shelter at the "one in household "rate.

Meal cost assistance

The daily meal allowance, as specified in the NJC Travel Directive, Appendix C and/or D as applicable, shall apply for the first 30 consecutive days.

Employees in hotel accommodation without meal preparation facilities shall receive 75% of the daily meal allowance from the 31st consecutive day.

Employees in self-contained commercial or private non-commercial accommodation shall receive 75% of the daily meal allowance from day 31 to day 120, and then 50% of the daily meal allowance commencing from day 121.

Incidental relocation expense allowance

For assignments of 120 consecutive days or less, an allowance of $250 shall be authorized.

For assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, 50% of the incidental relocation expense allowance in accordance with FSD 15.31 shall be authorized.

Laundry and dry cleaning

The actual costs for laundry shall be authorized where employees occupy accommodation which is not provided with laundry facilities. (no change)

50% of the actual costs of dry cleaning may be reimbursed where cleaning costs significantly exceed those in the headquarters city. (no change)

Commuting Assistance

Excess home/office commuting costs may be authorized under FSD 30 – Post Transportation and related expenses. (no change)

NJC Travel Directive

The provisions of the NJC Travel Directive for currency exchange, dependant care, home communication and weekend travel home shall apply.

Medical and health care

The provisions of FSD 9 – Medical and dental examinations, shall apply to employees on assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days to missions designated as unhealthy under FSD 38 – Preventive medical services expenses.

Foreign service premium

For assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, including any extension, the foreign service premium is payable and foreign service premium points shall be calculated in accordance with FSD 56.

Post differential allowance

Where the assignment to a hardship post is in excess of 120 consecutive days, including any extension, and the employee occupies self-contained accommodation, post differential allowance shall be authorized in accordance with FSD 58. (no change)

Where an additional payment has been authorized under FSD 58.09, this allowance is payable from the first day of an assignment to a hardship post, notwithstanding that the employee may not otherwise be subject to the provisions of FSD 58 Post Differential Allowance. (no change)

Employee accompanied by dependants

Subject to certain conditions and limitations, in rare and unusual cases the deputy head may authorize the employee's spouse (or common-law partner) and any dependant(s) normally residing with the employee to accompany the employee. (no change)

Assistance for single parents

The provisions of FSD 13 – Assistance for single parents on training or temporary duty assignments outside Canada, have been transferred and incorporated into this new directive.

As well, where a child accompanies the employee on training or temporary duty outside Canada, the employee may now claim expenses for vaccinations and / or inoculations for the child.

FSD 9 – Medical and dental examinations

Where the location of posting is a hardship post, as listed in FSD 58 – Appendix, the cost of a pre-posting eye examination will be reimbursed for employees and their dependants.

FSD 13 – Assistance for single parents on training or temporary duty assignments outside Canada

Provisions under FSD 13 have been transferred entirely into the new FSD 8.

FSD 15 – Relocation

15.01(f): Text has been clarified to ensure that the provisions for reasonable time off with pay to effect the relocation will be based on individual circumstances.

15.14: Weight limitations for the total quantity of household effects the deputy head can normally approve for shipment have been increased for one in household from 2700 kg net (5940 lbs) to 3100 kg net (6820 lbs) for furnished accommodation and from 4600 kg net (10,120 lbs) to 4700 kg net (10,340 lbs) for unfurnished.

15.31: The incidental relocation expense allowance has been increased by $100 for housecleaning which was previously included under FSD 16.

15.32: The deputy head may now authorize additional financial assistance on an exceptional basis for car rental expenses for an employee awaiting the arrival of a PMV being shipped to a new place of duty where assistance is not provided by the transportation company.

15.33: Provisions for Living expenses in temporary accommodation have been modified where appropriate to take into account the provisions of the NJC Travel Directive. (see Appendix A and A1 to FSD 15)

15.34: Provisions for family separation expenses have been transferred to FSD 18 or FSD 15.33, as applicable.

15.41: Where a common-law partner becomes a dependant in mid-tour, actual and reasonable expenses for packing, crating, cartage, transportation and unpacking of household effects may be claimed from that common law partner's previous place of residence, up to the cost of shipment from the employee's headquarters city to the employee's post.

A new Appendix A1 to FSD 15 has been added to specify provisions for Living Expenses in Temporary Accommodation – Relocation to a Place of Duty in Canada.

FSD 16 – Assistance for a principal residence

Property management fees are no longer reimbursable. As such, 16.04(b), and all references to the said provision, have been removed from the directive.

A second finder's fee (waiver of up to one month's shelter cost) may now be authorized to find a second or subsequent tenant for the employee's principal residence, within the maximum of nine months.

The provision of $100 for the cleaning of an employee's residence has been moved to FSD 15.31 – Incidental Relocation Expense Allowance.

FSD 17 – Assistance for spouses or common-law partners

The allowance for employment related expenses for spouses or common law partners may now be claimed for a period up to two years after arrival at the new place of duty, or upon official confirmation of a posting or assignment to Canada.

The provisions of FSD 17.04, FSD 17.05 and the appendix to FSD 17 have been transferred to FSD 18 – Special Family Separation Assistance.

FSD 18 – Special Family Separation Assistance

The following sections have been consolidated and expanded into one new directive FSD 18.

Benefits and provisions have been increased or clarified in the following areas.

Assistance is designed to recognize those situations which are attributable to foreign service, rather than those situations which result from personal choice and includes situations of separated families where an employee is accompanied by a dependant(s).

Assistance is available on more than one occasion, subject to specific conditions and limitations.

Waiver of shelter cost may only be claimed where the spouse/common-law partner resides in the employee's headquarters city, and incurs costs for shelter.

As long as the separation is for a minimum of 6 months, family reunion travel is available for separated dependants.

Where family reunion travel is authorized for separated dependant(s) who do not reside in the employee's headquarters city, the employee is responsible for return travel between the location of the separated dependant(s) and the headquarters city, unless the employee accepts the assignment on an unaccompanied basis.

In this case, the cost of travel is limited to return travel between the headquarters city and the employee's post, or, between the employee's post and the headquarters city, as applicable.

Education and education-related costs/expenses are now payable for secondary level education in addition to kindergarten and primary education of accompanying dependent children at the employee's post, in accordance with FSD 30 – Post transportation and related expenses, FSD 34 – Education allowances and FSD 35 – Education travel (subject to certain conditions).

Education expenses at a Lycée in Canada are payable in accordance with FSD 33 for a child residing with the employee's spouse or common-law partner in the headquarters city.

Relocation travel to and from the employee's mission for all separated dependants shall be authorized once during the employee's assignment if requested, except that, where the separated dependant(s) are not residing in the headquarters city, the employee shall be responsible for travel between the location of the separated dependant(s) and the headquarters city.

In this case, the relocation travel allowance shall be based on relocation travel from the employee's headquarters city to the employee's mission and from the employee's mission to the employee's headquarters city.

Payment of relocation expenses (including relocation travel) for separated dependants shall be approved for periods of 12 months or longer at the mission. The deputy head may approve assistance for periods of less than 12 months at the mission.

Except for relocation travel, there is no entitlement to relocation provisions under FSD 15 – Relocation, where the separated dependant(s) are not residing in the headquarters city.

A managerial discretion clause has been added, for situations where the assistance is clearly inadequate for an employee because of special circumstances not taken into account by FSD 18.

FSD 32 – Daycare assistance

The revised methodology includes increased flexibility to employees and their spouses and reflects a more contemporary approach to daycare.

The annual survey has been expanded to include 8 daycare centers in the Ottawa area instead of 4.

Employees may also now opt for an outside licensed private home daycare, when there is no space available in a licensed daycare centre.

Deductibles are now based on three age categories: infant, toddler and preschool. Pro-rating of daycare costs has been introduced for both a deductible and ceiling which can be adjusted based on the number of half-day periods used per month.

As of April 1, 2009, the monthly deductible for daycare is $1,447 for infants (0 to less than 18 months), $1,241 for toddlers (18 months to less than 2.5 years), and $935 for preschool aged children (2.5 years and older).

Registration fees will be reimbursable up to $250 once per calendar year per child.

FSD 33 – Education assistance at a Lycée in Canada

Provisions of this directive are now available to career rotational employees on assignment in Canada, outside the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

The directive has also been amended to clarify that a child must be aged 3 years and 8 months as of September 1st of the school year to qualify for assistance.

FSD 34 – Education allowances

University application fees and academic course evaluation fees which are in excess of those paid by students residing in Ontario, where such costs are incurred while attending the final year of secondary schooling within 12 months of graduation are now reimbursable.

Where an employee was required to pay school fees in advance of a school term at a private school in the headquarters city (e.g. Ashbury/Elmwood) and is subsequently posted prior to the commencement of that school term, the employer will make every effort possible to recover such fees from the school on behalf of the employee.

FSD 35 – Education travel

Situations where a parent may be reimbursed for return traveling expenses when accompanying a student to school in Canada have been expanded to include accompanying a student graduating from a secondary school outside Canada and who is under the age of 21 at the start of the school year at a post secondary educational institution in Canada; the provision will not be authorized where a legal guardian of the dependent student resides in Canada.

FSD 39 – Health care expenses

Where the treating physician certifies that a psychiatrist is not available at mission and therefore recommends treatment by a psychologist, reimbursement of psychologist fees which are in excess of the maximum amount reimbursable under the PSHCP may be authorized.

Where a Health Canada physician certifies and where the appropriate foreign service inter-departmental coordinating committee recommends that the treatment that occurred is consistent with the treatment which would have occurred within a hospital, reimbursement of a claim that has been denied by the Public Service Health Care Plan may be authorized.

FSD 41 – Health care travel

The cost of board, lodging, and laundry in private accommodation while on health care travel leave is now reimbursable up to a maximum of $50 a day CDN, as per Appendix C and D of the NJC Travel Directive.

FSD 50 – Vacation travel assistance (VTA)

The revised methodology reflects the Post Specific Allowance methodology in FSD 56.10. It is based on 80% of full Y fare for all posts (as opposed to 90% for those posts where a stopover would be authorized on relocation) and 100% of Y2 fare for posts where there is no full Y fare. As well, the rates/allowances are established annually on June 1st, rather than at the time the allowance is authorized.

Employees should anticipate changes in family size when applying for VTA. Once issued, VTA cannot be adjusted to recognize the arrival or departure of a dependant.

Where a VTA is authorized, dependants are no longer required to travel together or with the employee.

There is no longer a minimum of 10 compensation days of leave with pay which must be taken for vacation travel assistance.The allowance must be used for travel outside the mission, and may be used on one or more occasions. A travel plan must be submitted for everyone for whom an allowance has been authorized.Employees are expected to demonstrate that a minimum of 75% of the allowance is spent on travel and travel related expenses, including transportation, accommodation, meals and incidental travel expenses such as tours, entry fees etc. Certification is required on completion of travel or at the end of the posting.When travel is by PMV or rental vehicle, an employee may include expenses for vehicle rental, fuel, oil, road/bridge tolls, ferries and other transportation charges/fees, but may not base travel on a mileage/kilometric rate.

FSD 51 – Family reunion travel

Documentation from the airline is required when a child is not permitted to travel alone or when a child with special needs requires an escort.Travel to a third location for family reunion is no longer limited to a direct routing, and can be up to the cost of travel between the mission and the headquarters city.

FSD 54 – Compassionate travel

In the event of death of a parent of either an employee or of an employee's spouse or common-law partner, the deputy head shall now authorize travel for a minor child (under the age of 18).

FSD 55 – Post Living Allowance

The Post Living Allowance will be adjusted annually on June 1st to reflect the spendable income curve based on the inflation rate reported by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous calendar year.

The Post Living Allowance will continue to be revised on a four-year cycle based on the repositioning of the income curve resulting from Statistics Canada's Survey of Household Spending (SHS).

FSD 56 – Foreign Service Premium

The revised Foreign Service Premium methodology provides rate increases for the majority of employees, particularly for lower-salaried employees, and includes rates recognizing up to four or more dependants. Salary bands have been removed from the table (see Appendix A and C to FSD 56).

Where an employee at a post on April 1, 2009 is receiving a higher rate of Foreign Service Premium than would be received under the revised Foreign Service Premium table, such payments shall continue until the rate under the revised table equals or exceeds that rate, or on completion of posting, excluding any extension, whichever comes earlier.

FSD 58 – Post differential allowance

Consistent with FSD 56, the Post Differential Allowance table has been expanded to include rates recognizing up to 4 or more dependants.

The special payment to recognize active hostilities has been amended to include extraordinary conditions such as natural disasters. It has also been increased to up to 100% of the basic level V post differential allowance. Special payments in excess of 50% of the basic level V PDA, or additional assistance authorized by the President of the Treasury Board due to extraordinary conditions will now be reported to the NJC FSD Committee. (see Appendix to FSD 58)

For purposes of determining bonus payments, assignments in Canada between postings, which do not constitute a break in service, have been increased from 24 to 30 consecutive months, including periods of leave without pay.

Where following final departure from post, an employee is granted leave without pay prior to reporting for duty in Canada, the date of assignment in Canada, for purposes of FSD 58.06, is the date of commencement of leave without pay however, where not preceded by a period of leave without pay, assignments in Canada commence on the date the employee reports for duty in Canada.

FSD 64 – Emergency evacuation and loss

Where the deputy head approves reimbursement for costs related to emergency evacuations which are not otherwise covered, the accountable commercial transportation allowance of $100 weekly in Canada may be used for taxis or car rentals.

Rental of a mid-size vehicle rather than a compact vehicle will be authorized.

FSD 70 – Reporting requirements and verification of allowances

Changes to reporting requirements have been made, especially for Vacation travel assistance under FSD 50.

Enquiries

Requests for more information or clarification should be addressed to departmental designated officials.

Designated departmental officials may contact either:

Cynthia Nash
Senior Policy Analyst
Excluded Groups and Administrative Policies
Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Telephone (613) 946-3714
Fax (613) 952-3002
cynthia.nash@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Kimberley Gowing
Policy Analyst
Excluded Groups and Administrative Policies
Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
Telephone (613) 952-3256
Fax (613) 952-3002
kim.gowing@tbs-sct.gc.ca

Appendix to FSD 55: Annual Post Living Allowance

Effective June 1, 2008

Salary range

Midpoint/nominal salary

Adjustment

30,450

31,449

30,950

0.773

31,450

32,449

31,950

0.757

32,450

33,449

32,950

0.742

33,450

34,449

33,950

0.728

34,450

35,449

34,950

0.715

35,450

36,449

35,950

0.703

36,450

37,449

36,950

0.691

37,450

38,449

37,950

0.680

38,450

39,449

38,950

0.669

39,450

40,449

39,950

0.659

40,450

41,449

40,950

0.649

41,450

42,449

41,950

0.640

42,450

43,449

42,950

0.632

43,450

44,449

43,950

0.623

44,450

45,449

44,950

0.615

45,450

46,449

45,950

0.608

46,450

47,449

46,950

0.600

47,450

48,449

47,950

0.594

48,450

49,449

48,950

0.587

49,450

50,449

49,950

0.580

50,450

51,449

50,950

0.574

51,450

52,449

51,950

0.568

52,450

53,449

52,950

0.563

53,450

54,449

53,950

0.557

54,450

55,449

54,950

0.552

55,450

56,449

55,950

0.547

56,450

57,449

56,950

0.542

57,450

58,449

57,950

0.537

58,450

59,449

58,950

0.533

59,450

60,449

59,950

0.528

60,450

61,449

60,950

0.524

61,450

62,449

61,950

0.520

62,450

63,449

62,950

0.516

63,450

64,449

63,950

0.512

64,450

65,449

64,950

0.508

65,450

66,449

65,950

0.504

66,450

67,449

66,950

0.501

67,450

68,449

67,950

0.497

68,450

69,449

68,950

0.494

69,450

70,449

69,950

0.491

70,450

71,449

70,950

0.488

71,450

72,449

71,950

0.485

72,450

73,449

72,950

0.482

73,450

74,449

73,950

0.479

74,450

75,449

74,950

0.476

75,450

76,449

75,950

0.473

76,450

77,449

76,950

0.470

77,450

78,449

77,950

0.468

78,450

79,449

78,950

0.465

79,450

80,449

79,950

0.463

80,450

81,449

80,950

0.460

81,450

82,449

81,950

0.458

82,450

83,449

82,950

0.456

83,450

84,449

83,950

0.453

84,450

85,449

84,950

0.451

85,450

86,449

85,950

0.449

86,450

87,449

86,950

0.447

87,450

88,449

87,950

0.445

88,450

89,449

88,950

0.443

89,450

90,449

89,950

0.441

90,450

91,449

90,950

0.439

91,450

92,449

91,950

0.437

92,450

93,449

92,950

0.435

93,450

94,449

93,950

0.434

94,450

95,449

94,950

0.432

95,450

96,449

95,950

0.430

96,450

97,449

96,950

0.428

97,450

98,449

97,950

0.427

98,450

99,449

98,950

0.425

99,450

99,999

99,725

0.424

100,000

100,000+

100,000

0.422

Formula for Calculating Allowances

  1. Select the salary range in which your annual salary falls.
  2. Take the Midpoint/Nominal salary and multiply by the corresponding adjustment.
  3. Take the product and multiply by the Post Index, e.g. 130, then divide by 100.
  4. Subtract the product of #2 from the result, and you will have your annual Post Living Allowance.
  5. In accordance with the methodology agreed to in the National Joint Council Committee on Foreign Service Directives, the maximum midpoint/nominal salary is $100,000 for the purpose of determining Post Living Allowance.

Example 1

Example 2

Appendix A to FSD 56: Foreign Service premium (April 1, 2009)

UNACCOMPANIED

Steps

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Points

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

Premium

6,157

9,235

12,007

13,207

14,527

15,690

ACCOMPANIED BY ONE DEPENDANT

Steps

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Points

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

Premium

8,620

12,930

16,809

18,490

20,339

21,966

ACCOMPANIED BY TWO DEPENDANTS

Steps

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Points

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

Premium

10,344

15,516

20,171

22,188

24,406

26,359

ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DEPENDANTS
             

Steps

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Points

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

Premium

10,861

16,291

21,180

23,297

25,627

27,677

ACCOMPANIED BY FOUR OR MORE DEPENDANTS

Steps

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

Points

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

Premium

11,404

17,106

22,238

24,462

26,908

29,061

Note: These rates include the annual increases announced in the April 1, 2009 Policy notice.

Appendix C to FSD 56 – Transitional Table

Foreign Service premium (April 1, 2009)

UNACCOMPANIED

Salary ranges

Steps

 

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

$

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

             

$100,363 to $125,453

6,244

9,374

12,494

13,742

14,922

16,243

$125,454 & over

6,520

9,780

13,037

14,340

15,648

16,951

ACCOMPANIED BY ONE DEPENDANT

Salary ranges

Steps

 

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

$

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

           

$100,363 to $125,453

8,593

12,889

17,181

18,639

20,620

22,334

$125,454 & over

8,963

13,445

17,927

19,452

21,514

23,304

ACCOMPANIED BY TWO OR MORE DEPENDANTS

Salary range

Steps

 

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

$

(0-23)

(24-59)

(60-95)

(96-131)

(132-167)

(168+)

           

$100,363 to $125,453

10,545

15,815

21,082

23,194

25,298

27,403

$125,454 & over

11,003

16,500

21,993

24,200

26,394

28,602

Note: These rates include the annual increases announced in the April 1, 2009 Policy notice.

Appendix to FSD 58: Post Differential Allowance

Canadian Dollars Per Annum
April 1, 2009

Post Rating

Unaccompanied

Accompanied by One Dependant

Accompanied by Two Dependants

Accompanied by Three Dependants

Accompanied by Four or More Dependants

 

($)

($)

($)

($)

($)

I

3,010

3,913

4,519

4,666

4,786

II

4,522

5,879

6,783

7,010

7,235

III

6,021

7,827

9,034

9,333

9,633

IV

9,034

11,744

13,552

14,004

14,455

V

12,045

15,658

18,068

18,669

19,272

Note: These rates include the annual increases announced in the April 1, 2009 Policy notice.