1.1 Departments or organizations

1.1.1    Since indeterminate employees who are affected by work force adjustment situations are not themselves responsible for such situations, it is the responsibility of departments or organizations to ensure that affected and surplus employees are treated equitably and given every reasonable opportunity to continue their careers as public service employees.

1.1.2    Departments or organizations shall carry out effective human resource planning to minimize the impact of work force adjustment situations on indeterminate employees, on the department or organization, and on the public service.

1.1.3    Departments or organizations shall establish joint work force adjustment committees, where appropriate, to advise and consult on the work force adjustment situations within the department or organization. Terms of reference of such committees shall include a process for addressing alternation requests from other departments and organizations.

1.1.4    Departments or organizations shall, as the home department/organization, cooperate with the PSC and appointing departments/organizations in joint efforts to redeploy departmental/organizational surplus employees and laid-off persons.

1.1.5    Departments or organizations shall establish systems to facilitate redeployment or retraining of the department's/organization’s affected employees, surplus employees, and laid-off persons.

1.1.6    When a deputy head determines that the services of an employee are no longer required beyond a specified date, the deputy head shall advise the employee, in writing, which of the four workforce adjustment situations applies: lack of work, the discontinuance of a function, a relocation of a work unit or an alternative delivery initiative.

1.1.7    When the situation occurs due to lack of work or discontinuance of a function, such communication will also indicate if the employee:

  1. is being provided a guarantee of a reasonable job offer from the deputy head and that the employee will be in surplus status from that date on; or
  2. is an opting employee and has access to the options of Section 6.4 of this Directive because the employee is not in receipt of a guarantee of a reasonable job offer from the deputy head.

1.1.8    Where applicable, the communication should also provide the information relative to the employee's possible lay-off date.

1.1.9    Deputy heads will be expected to provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer for those employees subject to work force adjustment for whom they know or can predict employment availability in the core public administration.

1.1.10   Where a deputy head cannot provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer, the deputy head will provide 120 days to consider the three options outlined in Part VI of this Directive to all opting employees before a decision is required of them. If the employee fails to select an option, the employee will be deemed to have selected Option 6.4.1(a), twelve-month surplus priority period in which to secure a reasonable job offer.

1.1.11   The deputy head shall make a determination to either provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer or access to the options set out in Section 6.4 of this Directive, upon request of any indeterminate affected employee who can demonstrate that his or her duties have already ceased to exist.

1.1.12   Departments or organizations shall send written notice to the PSC of the employee's surplus status, and shall send to the PSC such details, forms, résumés, and other material as the PSC may from time to time prescribe as necessary for it to discharge its function.

1.1.13   The home department or organization shall provide the PSC with a written statement that it would be prepared to appoint the surplus employee to a suitable position in the department or organization commensurate with his/her qualifications, if such a position were available.

1.1.14   Departments or organizations shall advise and consult with the bargaining agent representatives as completely as possible regarding any work force adjustment situation as soon as possible after the decision has been made and throughout the process and will make available to the bargaining agent the name and work location of affected employees.

1.1.15   Departments or organizations shall provide the employee with a copy of this Directive simultaneous with the official notification to an employee to whom this directive applies that he or she has become subject to work force adjustment.

1.1.16   Deputy heads shall apply this Directive so as to keep actual involuntary lay-offs to a minimum, and lay-offs shall normally only occur where an individual has refused a reasonable job offer, or is not mobile, or cannot be retrained within two years, or is laid off at his or her own request.

1.1.17   Departments or organizations are responsible to counsel and advise their affected employees on their opportunities of finding continuing employment in the public service.

1.1.18   Appointment of surplus employees to alternative positions, whether with or without retraining, shall normally be at a level equivalent to that previously held by the employee, but this does not preclude appointment to a lower level. Departments or organizations shall avoid appointment to a lower level except where all other avenues have been exhausted.

1.1.19   Home departments or organizations shall appoint as many of their own surplus employees or laid-off persons as possible, or identify alternative positions (both actual and anticipated) for which individuals can be retrained.

1.1.20   Home departments or organizations shall relocate surplus employees and laid-off persons, if necessary.

1.1.21   Relocation of surplus employees or laid-off persons shall be undertaken when the individuals indicate that they are willing to relocate and relocation will enable their redeployment or reappointment, providing that:

  • there are no available priority persons, or priority persons with a higher priority, qualified and interested in the position being filled; or
  • no available local surplus employees or laid-off persons who are interested and who could qualify with retraining.

1.1.22   The cost of travelling to interviews for possible appointments and of relocation to the new location shall be borne by the employee's home department or organization. Such cost shall be in accordance with the NJC Travel and Relocation Directives.

1.1.23   For the purposes of the NJC Relocation Directive, surplus employees and laid-off persons who relocate under this Directive shall be deemed to be employees on employer-requested relocations. The general rule on minimum distances for relocation applies.

1.1.24   For the purposes of the Travel Directive, a laid-off person travelling to interviews for possible reappointment within the core public administration is deemed to be a “traveller” as defined in the Travel Directive.

1.1.25   For the surplus and/or lay-off priority periods, home departments or organizations shall pay the salary, salary protection and/or termination costs as well as other authorized costs such as tuition, travel, relocation, and retraining as provided for in the various collective agreements and directives. The appointing department or organization may agree to absorb all or part of these costs.

1.1.26   Where a surplus employee is appointed by another department or organization to a term position, the home department or organization is responsible for the costs above for one year from the date of such appointment, unless the home and appointing departments or organizations agree to a longer period, after which the appointing department or organization becomes the new home department or organization consistent with PSC authorities.

1.1.27   Departments or organizations shall protect the indeterminate status and surplus priority of a surplus indeterminate employee appointed to a term position under this Directive.

1.1.28   Departments or organizations shall inform the PSC in a timely fashion, and in a method directed by the PSC, of the results of all referrals made to them under this Directive. In addition, departments or organizations shall provide feedback to surplus employees and laid-off persons when they are not offered a position for which they were referred.

1.1.29   Departments or organizations shall review the use of private temporary agency personnel, contractors, consultants and their use of contracted out services, employees appointed for a specified period (terms) and all other non-indeterminate employees. Where practicable departments or organizations shall refrain from engaging or re-engaging such temporary agency personnel, consultants or contractors and their use of contracted out services, or renewing the employment of such employees referred to above where this will facilitate the appointment of surplus employees or laid-off persons.

1.1.30   Nothing in the foregoing shall restrict the right of a department or organization to engage or appoint persons to meet short-term, non-recurring requirements. Surplus and laid-off persons shall be given priority even for these short-term work opportunities.

1.1.31   Departments or organizations may lay off an employee at a date earlier than originally scheduled when the surplus employee requests them to do so in writing.

1.1.32   Departments or organizations, acting as appointing departments or organizations, shall cooperate with the PSC and other departments or organizations in accepting, to the extent possible, affected, surplus and laid-off persons, from other departments or organizations for appointment or retraining.

1.1.33   Departments or organizations shall provide surplus employees with a lay-off notice at least one month before the proposed lay-off date, if appointment efforts have been unsuccessful. A copy of this notice shall be provided to the National Head of each bargaining agent that has members involved. The notice may be sent electronically.

1.1.34   When a surplus employee refuses a reasonable job offer, he or she shall be subject to lay-off one month after the refusal, however not before six months after the surplus declaration date. The provisions of Appendix E of this Directive shall continue to apply.

1.1.35   Departments or organizations are to presume that each employee wishes to be redeployed unless the employee indicates the contrary in writing.

1.1.36   Departments or organizations shall inform and counsel affected and surplus employees as early and as completely as possible and shall, in addition, assign a counsellor to each opting and surplus employee and laid-off person to work with them throughout the process. Such counselling is to include explanations and assistance concerning:

  1. the work force adjustment situation and its effect on that individual;
  2. the Work Force Adjustment Directive;
  3. the PSC's Priority Information Management System and how it works from the employee's perspective;
  4. preparation of a curriculum vitae or résumé;
  5. the employee's rights and obligations;
  6. the employee's current situation (e.g., pay, benefits such as severance pay and superannuation, classification, language rights, years of service);
  7. alternatives that might be available to the employee (alternation, appointment, relocation, retraining, lower-level employment, term employment, retirement including possibility of waiver of penalty if entitled to an annual allowance, Transition Support Measure, Education Allowance, resignation, accelerated lay-off);
  8. the likelihood that the employee will be successfully appointed;
  9. the meaning of a guarantee of reasonable job offer, a twelve-month surplus priority period in which to secure a reasonable job offer, a Transition Support Measure, an Education Allowance;
  10. advice to employees on the alternation process, to seek out proposed alternations and submit requests for approval as soon as possible after being informed they will not be receiving a guarantee of a reasonable job offer;
  11. the Human Resources Centres and their services (including a recommendation that the employee register with the nearest office as soon as possible);
  12. the preparation for interviews with prospective employers;
  13. ongoing counselling as long as the individual is entitled to a staffing priority and has not been appointed;
  14. advice to employees that refusal of a reasonable job offer will jeopardize both chances for retraining and overall employment continuity;
  15. advice to employees of their right to be represented by their bargaining agent in the application of the directive; and
  16. the employee assistance program.

1.1.37   The home department or organization shall ensure that, when it is required to facilitate appointment, a retraining plan is prepared and agreed to in writing by themselves, the employee and the appointing department or organization.

1.1.38   Severance pay and other benefits flowing from other clauses in collective agreements are separate from, and in addition to, those in this Directive.

1.1.39   Any surplus employee who resigns under this Directive shall be deemed, for the purposes of severance pay and retroactive remuneration, to be involuntarily laid off on the day as of which the deputy head accepts in writing the employee's resignation.

1.1.40   The department or organization will review the status of each affected employee annually, or earlier, from the date of initial notification of affected status and determine whether the employee will remain on affected status or not.

1.1.41   The department or organization will notify the affected employee, in writing, within five (5) working days of the decision pursuant to subsection 1.1.40.

1.2 The Treasury Board Secretariat

1.2.1    It is the responsibility of the Treasury Board Secretariat to:

  1. investigate and seek to resolve situations referred by the PSC or other parties;
  2. consider departmental/organizational requests for retraining resources; and
  3. ensure that departments or organizations are provided to the extent possible with information on occupations for which there are skill shortages.

1.3 The Public Service Commission

1.3.1    Within the context of work force adjustment, and the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) governing legislation, it is the responsibility of the PSC to:

  1. ensure that priority entitlements are respected;
  2. ensure that a means exists for priority persons to be assessed against vacant positions and appointed if found qualified against the essential qualifications of the position; and
  3. ensure that priority persons are provided with information on their priority entitlements.

1.3.2    The PSC is further willing, in accordance with the Privacy Act, to:

  1. provide the Treasury Board Secretariat with information related to the administration of priority entitlements which may reflect on departments’ or organizations’ level of compliance with this Directive; and
  2. provide information to the bargaining agents on the numbers and status of their members in the Priority Information Management System, as well as information on the overall system.

1.3.3    The PSC’s roles and responsibilities flow from its governing legislation, not the collective agreement. As such, any changes made to these roles/responsibilities must be agreed upon by the PSC. For greater detail on the PSC’s role in administering surplus and lay-off priority entitlements, refer to Appendix E of this document.

1.4 Employees

1.4.1    Employees have the right to be represented by their bargaining agents in the application of this Directive.

1.4.2    Employees who are directly affected by work force adjustment situations and who receive a guarantee of a reasonable job offer, or who opt, or are deemed to have opted, for Option 6.4.1(a) of Part VI of this Directive are responsible for:

  1. actively seeking alternative employment in cooperation with their departments or organizations and the PSC, unless they have advised the department or organization and the PSC, in writing, that they are not available for appointment;
  2. seeking information about their entitlements and obligations;
  3. providing timely information to the home department or organization and to the PSC to assist them in their appointment activities (including curriculum vitae or résumés);
  4. ensuring that they can be easily contacted by the PSC and appointing departments or organizations;
  5. attending appointments made for referrals; and
  6. seriously considering job opportunities presented to them (referrals within the home department or organization, referrals from the PSC, and job offers made by departments or organizations), including retraining and relocation possibilities, specified-period appointments and lower-level appointments.

1.4.3 Opting employees are responsible for:

  1. considering the options of Part VI of this Directive;
  2. communicating their choice of options, in writing, to their manager no later than 120 days after being declared opting.

1.5 National Joint Council Work Force Adjustment Committee

1.5.1    The terms of reference of this committee are to review and, where necessary, to recommend to the National Joint Council, changes to the Work Force Adjustment Directive, and to provide interpretation of the intent of the Directive upon request.