Foreign Service Directives Cyclical Review

The Foreign Service Directives Committee has developed the following questions and answers specific to the new FSD 8 – Short Term assignments outside Canada.

FSD 8 - Short-term assignments outside Canada

1. Question:

How does my departmental Administrator determine if I am subject to FSD 8?

Answer:

Your assignment must meet the definition of "assignment" under the Foreign Service Directives. This has not been modified in cyclical review. As such, if your assignment falls within one of the definitions of "assignment" found under FSD 3.01 – Application and the duration of the "assignment" is greater than 30 days, but less than one year, the provisions of FSD 8 will apply. If your assignment does not meet the definition of "assignment" under FSD 3.01 – Application, you fall under the provisions of the NJC Travel Directive.

2. Question:

I am travelling for six weeks to several international locations, am I subject to the new FSD 8?

Answer:

No, this does not meet the criteria of assignment under FSD 3 – Application. As such, it is not considered to be an assignment to a post outside Canada under FSD 8.

3. Question:

I commence an assignment of 4 weeks (less than 31 days) on August 1, 2009. My assignment is subsequently extended for an additional 2 weeks. Do I remain under the NJC Travel Directive or am I now subject to FSD 8? If I am subject to FSD 8, when will this take effect?

Answer:

If you are assigned in accordance with FSD 3 – Application and your assignment is extended, you will become subject to FSD 8 on the date which you accept your extension.

If you are not assigned in accordance with FSD 3 – Application, you remain under the NJC Travel Directive as you are considered to be on "government travel" and not an assignment as per the Foreign Service Directives.

4. Question:

What happens if my short-term assignment is extended beyond one year? Do I remain under the provisions of FSD 8?

Answer:

The provisions of FSD 8 apply to all assignments outside Canada, including the U.S.A., of more than 30 consecutive days, but less than one year. Should you be extended beyond one year, the full provisions of the Foreign Service Directives apply effective on the date you accept your extension.

5. Question:

I commenced a 5-month assignment on February 1, 2009 under FSD 3 – Appendix A. What happens on April 1, 2009?

Answer:

Employees on assignment outside Canada on April 1, 2009, under the provisions of Appendix A to FSD 3 – Short-term relocation outside Canada and the U.S.A., shall come under the provisions of FSD 8 commencing April 1st.

6. Question:

I commenced a 3-month assignment to the U.S.A. on March 1, 2009 under the NJC Travel Directive. What happens on April 1, 2009?

Answer:

Employees on assignment outside Canada under the provisions of the NJC Travel Directive on April 1, 2009 shall be given the option of remaining under the NJC Travel Directive for the remainder of their assignment, not including any extension, or alternatively, electing for the new provisions of FSD 8. You will need to consult your departmental coordinator for further details.

7. Question:

If I am on assignment under FSD 8, do I require dental and medical examinations in accordance with FSD 9 – Medical and dental examinations?

Answer:

Medical examinations shall apply if your assignment commences on or after April 1, 2009, and is in excess of 120 consecutive days to a mission designated as unhealthy under FSD 38 – Preventative medical services expenses.

Dental examinations shall apply if your assignment commences on or after April 1, 2009 and is in excess of 120 consecutive days to a mission designated as unhealthy as unhealthy under FSD 38 – Preventative medical services, and the location is also listed in the Appendix to FSD 9.

8. Question:

What happens to my health care and dental coverage on short-term assignments?

Answer:

Under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), you are eligible for Supplementary Coverage so long as you remain covered under a provincial plan. When on assignment under FSD 8, to maintain provincial coverage, it is essential that you inform your provincial plan that you will be out of the country for an extended period of time. They will then inform you of the information required to maintain provincial coverage. Should your assignment be extended beyond one year, then you must change your coverage under the PSHCP from Supplementary Coverage, to Comprehensive Coverage.

Coverage under the Public Service Dental Care Plan continues while on assignment under FSD 8.

9. Question:

Am I eligible to receive Foreign Service Premium (FSP) under FSD 8?

Answer:

Yes,

(a) For assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, including any extension, where the assignment commences:

(i) prior to April 1, 2009, the FSP and points will commence on April 1, 2009.

(ii) on or after April 1, 2009, the FSP and points will commence on the first day of the assignment.

(b) For assignments of less than 121 consecutive days, and your assignment is subsequently extended to a total period of 121 consecutive days or more, the FSP and points will commence the date you accept the extension.

10. Question:

Am I eligible for Post Differential Allowance (PDA) under FSD 8?

Answer:

Yes, when an employee is in self-contained accommodation at a hardship post,

(a) For assignments in excess of 120 consecutive days, including any extension, where the assignment commences:

(i) prior to April 1, 2009, your PDA continues on April 1, 2009

(ii) on or after April 1, 2009, your PDA will commence on the first day of the assignment

(b) For assignments of less than 121 consecutive days, on or after April 1, 2009, and subsequently extended to a total period of 121 consecutive days or more, the provisions of FSD 58 – Post Differential Allowance will commence the date you accept the extension.

11. Question:

Will the months in which I receive Post Differential Allowance under a short-term assignment count towards the 50% bonus under FSD 58.06?

Answer:

Yes, and this period counts towards the 24 consecutive months of service at one or more posts for which a post differential allowance is payable so long as your assignment in Canada between postings does not exceed 30 consecutive months, including periods of leave without pay. (Refer to FSD 58.06)

12. Question:

I am travelling under the NJC Travel Directive to location which has a Hostility Bonus under FSD 58 – Post differential allowance. Am I entitled to this bonus?

Answer:

Yes, for every compensation day you are at the hardship location you are entitled to the Hostility Bonus. Currently, these locations are Baghdad, Islamabad, Kabul and Kandahar. (Source: FSD 58.09)

13. Question:

I am a single parent going on an assignment for less than 121 days and have been authorized to bring my pre-school age child with me. What additional assistance am I entitled to?

Answer:

You are entitled to the following provisions in accordance with FSD 8.22: