In certain cases, the employer provides specific financial assistance to spouses or common-law partners to assist them in securing employment at post, or upon return to Canada to facilitate re-entry into the Canadian workforce.
17.1 Association Dues
17.1.1 Where a spouse or common-law partner, who is residing with an employee at a post, is accredited to one or more professional associations in Canada, was employed in the relevant profession within one year prior to departure from Canada and is required while abroad to pay dues to such professional association(s) in order to retain professional certification, the deputy head may authorize the payment of an allowance to the employee to cover the cost, while abroad, of annual dues in respect of memberships in up to two professional associations.
17.1.2 In lieu of the provisions of subsection 17.1.1, the deputy head may authorize payment of an allowance to cover membership dues to associations which are directly related to maintaining employment contacts that facilitate re-entry into the Canadian workforce, to a maximum amount of $300 per year.
17.1.3 To claim the allowance under subsection 17.1.1, the employee must provide a letter(s) from association(s) concerned certifying as to the necessity of such dues while outside Canada. To claim the allowance under subsection 17.1.2, the employee must provide supporting documentation showing the amount of membership dues paid to the association(s). Both allowances will be pro-rated to the period of time during which the spouse resides with the employee at post.
17.1.4 The employee shall provide the employer with such proof as the employer may require in order to ensure that this allowance was utilized for the purpose intended.
17.2 Employment Related Allowance
17.2.1 An employee may claim an allowance in accordance with Appendix A of this directive for a spouse or common-law partner, to assist in finding employment following relocation to and/or from Canada or for a cross-posting, subject to the following conditions:
- the spouse or common-law partner is or has been residing with the employee in Canada and/or at post and was employed within one year prior to departure from Canada, or departure from the employee's post; and
- the expenses incurred are directly related to facilitating entry to the workforce at the new place of duty outside Canada or re-entry into the Canadian workforce.
17.2.2 Eligible expenses include:
- costs incurred for professionally prepared curriculum vitae;
- attendance fees for conferences and trade fairs;
- employment counselling;
- reference checks;
- administrative expenses associated with job searches; and
- other employment related costs.
17.2.3 The employee shall provide the employer with proof required to demonstrate that this allowance was used for the purpose intended.
17.2.4 The allowance may be claimed once per relocation, either within two years of arrival at the new place of duty, or upon official confirmation of a posting or assignment to Canada. It is recognized that eligible costs may be incurred prior to receipt of posting confirmation.
17.2.5 At the discretion of the deputy head, the provisions of this section may be extended to include situations where a spouse or common-law partner has not been employed outside Canada because paid employment was not available at the employee's post; or not employed within a year of departure from Canada due to leave for care and nurturing of pre-school age children, illness, education, or elder care.
17.3 Professional Retraining
17.3.1 Where a spouse or common-law partner, who is residing with an employee at post, is accredited to professional associations in Canada, was employed in the relevant profession within one year prior to departure from Canada and is required to undergo retraining for professional certification at the level previously held in order to be employed upon return to Canada, the deputy head may authorize reimbursement to the employee of the actual and reasonable tuition costs incurred for the required retraining courses when commenced within 12 months prior to return to Canada or within 12 months of return to Canada.
17.3.2 At the discretion of the deputy head, reimbursement of actual and reasonable costs of education/training completed may be authorized up to a maximum of $1,000 where:
- necessary upgrading of knowledge and/or skills is required due to the spouse's or common-law partner's absence from the Canadian workforce, in order to accompany the employee on posting;
- the education/training completed by the spouse or common-law partner is not otherwise provided under a government employment/training program; and
- the education/training is in the spouse's or common-law partner's area of expertise and will enhance re-employment opportunities in that area; examples include, but are not limited to, computer technician, travel agent, and secretary/administrative assistant.