6.1.1 Deputy heads will be expected to provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer for those affected employees who will be declared surplus and for whom they know or can predict employment availability. A deputy head who cannot provide such a guarantee shall provide his or her reasons in writing, if requested by the employee. Employees in receipt of this guarantee would not have access to the choice of options below.
6.1.2 Employees who are not in receipt of a guarantee of a reasonable job offer from their deputy head have 120 days to consider the three options below before a decision is required of them.
6.1.3 The opting employee must choose, in writing, one of the three options of Section 6.4 of this Directive within the 120-day window. The employee cannot change options once having made a written choice.
6.1.4 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 at the end of the 120-day window.
6.1.5 If a reasonable job offer which does not require a relocation is made at any time during the 120-day opting period and prior to the written acceptance of the Transition Support Measure (TSM) or the Education Allowance option, the employee is ineligible for the TSM or the Education Allowance.
6.2 Voluntary departure programs
6.2.1 Departments and organizations may establish voluntary departure programs where:
- positions are being eliminated as a result of work force adjustment situations involving less than five affected employees working at the same group and level and in the same work unit; and
- the DH cannot provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer to the less than 5 affected employees working at the same group and level in the same work unit.
6.2.2 Departments and organizations shall establish voluntary departure programs where:
- positions are being eliminated as a result of work force adjustment situations involving five or more affected employees working at the same group and level and in the same work unit; and
- the DH cannot provide a guarantee of a reasonable job offer to all five or more affected employees working at the same group and level in the same work unit.
6.2.3 If a voluntary program is established as per 6.2.1 or 6.2.2, such program shall:
- be the subject of meaningful consultation through joint union-management WFA committees;
- volunteer programs shall not be used to exceed reduction targets. Where reasonably possible, departments and organizations will identify the number of positions for reduction in advance of the voluntary programs commencing;
- take place after affected letters have been delivered to employees;
- take place before the department or organization engages in the SERLO process;
- provide for a minimum of 30 calendar days for employees to decide whether they wish to participate;
- allow employees to select Options 6.4.1(b), 6.4.1(c)(i) or 6.4.1(c)(ii);
- provide that when the number of volunteers is larger than the required number of positions to be eliminated, volunteers will be selected based on seniority (total years of service in the public service, whether continuous or discontinuous).
6.3.1 All departments or organizations must participate in the alternation process.
6.3.2 An alternation occurs when an opting employee who wishes to remain in the core public administration exchanges positions with a non-affected employee (the alternate) willing to leave the core public administration under the terms of Part VI of this Directive.
6.3.3 Only opting and surplus employees who are surplus as a result of having chosen Option 6.4.1(a) may alternate into an indeterminate position that remains in the core public administration.
6.3.4 If an alternation is proposed for a surplus employee, as opposed to an opting employee, the Transition Support Measure that is available to the alternate under 6.4.1(b) or 6.4.1(c)(i) shall be reduced by one week for each completed week between the beginning of the employee’s surplus priority period and the date the alternation is proposed.
6.3.5 An indeterminate employee wishing to leave the core public administration may express an interest in alternating with an opting employee or a surplus employee who is surplus as result of having chosen Option 6.4.1(a). Management will decide, however, whether a proposed alternation will result in retaining the skills required to meet the ongoing needs of the position and the core public administration.
6.3.6 An alternation must permanently eliminate a function or a position.
6.3.7 The opting employee moving into the unaffected position must meet the requirements for appointment to the position; for greater clarity, that appointment is subject to all Public Service Commission requirements for the appointment or deployment of an affected employee from his or her surplus position into an unaffected position; this includes language requirements and the determination of applicable equivalencies for staffing purposes. The alternate moving into the opting position must meet the requirements of the position, except if the alternate will not be performing the duties of the position and the alternate will be struck off strength within five days of the alternation.
6.3.8 If an alternation is denied, a meeting to discuss the rationale for the decision will be held at the employee’s request. The bargaining agent representative may attend the meeting.
6.3.9 An alternation should normally occur between employees at the same group and level. When the two positions are not the same group and level, alternation can still occur when the positions can be considered equivalent. They are considered equal when the maximum rate of pay for the higher paid position is no more than 6 percent higher than the maximum rate of pay for the lower paid position.
6.3.10 An alternation must occur on a given date, i.e., two employees directly exchange positions on the same day. There is no provision in alternation for a “domino” effect or for “future considerations”.
6.3.11 For clarity, the alternation will not be denied solely as a result of untimely administrative process.
6.4.1 Only opting employees who are not in receipt of the guarantee of a reasonable job offer from the deputy head will have access to the choice of options below:
- Option A:
- Twelve-month surplus priority period in which to secure a reasonable job offer. Should a reasonable job offer not be made within a period of twelve months, the employee will be laid off in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act. Employees who choose or are deemed to have chosen this option are surplus employees.
- At the request of the employee, this twelve-month surplus priority period shall be extended by the unused portion of the 120-day opting period referred to in subsection 6.1.2 which remains once the employee has selected in writing Option 6.4.1(a).
- When a surplus employee who has chosen, or who is deemed to have chosen, Option 6.4.1(a) offers to resign before the end of the twelve-month surplus priority period, the deputy head may authorize a lump-sum payment equal to the surplus employee’s pay for the substantive position for the balance of the surplus period, up to a maximum of six months. The amount of the lump-sum payment for the pay in lieu cannot exceed the maximum of that which he or she would have received had they chosen Option 6.4.1(b), the TSM.
- Departments or organizations will make every reasonable effort to market a surplus employee during the employee’s surplus period within his or her preferred area of mobility.
- Option B:
TSM is a cash payment, based on the employee’s years of service in the public service (see Appendix C) made to an opting employee. Employees choosing this option must resign but will be considered to be laid off for purposes of severance pay. The TSM shall be paid in one or two lump-sum amounts over a maximum two-year period.
- Option C:
Education Allowance is a TSM (see Option 6.4.1(b)) plus an amount of not more than $17,000 for reimbursement of receipted expenses of an opting employee for tuition from a learning institution and costs of books and relevant equipment. Employees choosing Option 6.4.1(c) could either:
- resign from the core public administration but be considered to be laid off for severance pay purposes on the date of their departure. The TSM shall be paid in one or two lump-sum amounts over a maximum two-year period; or
- delay their departure date and go on leave without pay for a maximum period of two years, while attending the learning institution. The TSM shall be paid in one or two lump-sum amounts over a maximum two-year period. During this period, employees could continue to be public service benefit plan members and contribute both employer and employee share to the benefits plans and the Public Service Superannuation Plan. At the end of the two-year leave without pay period, unless the employee has found alternate employment in the core public administration, the employee will be laid off in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.
6.4.2 Management will establish the departure date of opting employees who choose Option 6.4.1(b) or Option 6.4.1(c) above.
6.4.3 The TSM, pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period and the Education Allowance cannot be combined with any other payment under the Work Force Adjustment Directive.
6.4.4 In the cases of: pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period, Options 6.4.1(b) and 6.4.1(c)(i), the employee relinquishes any priority entitlements for reappointment upon acceptance of his or her resignation.
6.4.5 Employees choosing Option 6.4.1(c)(ii) who have not provided their department or organization with a proof of registration from a learning institution 12 months after starting their leave without pay period will be deemed to have resigned from the core public administration, and be considered to be laid off for purposes of severance pay.
6.4.6 All opting employees will be entitled to up to $1,200 towards counselling services in respect of their potential re‑employment or retirement. Such counselling services may include financial, and job placement counselling services.
6.4.7 An opting employee who has received pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period, a TSM or an Education Allowance and is appointed to the public service shall reimburse the Receiver General for Canada by an amount corresponding to the period from the effective date of such reappointment or hiring, to the end of the original period for which the TSM or Education Allowance was paid.
6.4.8 Notwithstanding subsection 6.4.7, an opting employee who has received an Education Allowance will not be required to reimburse tuition expenses, costs of books and relevant equipment, for which he or she cannot get a refund.
6.4.9 The deputy head shall ensure that pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period is only authorized where the employee's work can be discontinued on the resignation date and no additional costs will be incurred in having the work done in any other way during that period.
6.4.10 If a surplus employee who has chosen, or is deemed to have chosen, Option 6.4.1(a) refuses a reasonable job offer at any time during the twelve-month surplus priority period, the employee is ineligible for pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period.
6.4.11 Approval of pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period is at the discretion of management, but shall not be unreasonably denied.
6.5 Retention payment
6.5.1 There are three situations in which an employee may be eligible to receive a retention payment. These are total facility closures, relocation of work units and alternative delivery initiatives.
6.5.2 All employees accepting retention payments must agree to leave the core public administration without priority entitlements.
6.5.3 An individual who has received a retention payment and, as applicable, is either reappointed to that portion of the core public administration specified from time to time in Schedules I and IV to the Financial Administration Act, or is hired by the new employer within the six months immediately following his or her resignation, shall reimburse the Receiver General for Canada by an amount corresponding to the period from the effective date of such reappointment or hiring, to the end of the original period for which the lump sum was paid.
6.5.4 The provisions of subsection 6.5.5 shall apply in total facility closures where public service jobs are to cease, and:
- such jobs are in remote areas of the country; or
- retraining and relocation costs are prohibitive; or
- prospects of reasonable alternative local employment (whether within or outside the core public administration) are poor.
6.5.5 Subject to subsection 6.5.4, the deputy head shall pay to each employee who is asked to remain until closure of the work unit and offers a resignation from the core public administration to take effect on that closure date, a sum equivalent to six months' pay payable upon the day on which the departmental/organizational operation ceases, provided the employee has not separated prematurely.
6.5.6 The provisions of subsection 6.5.7 shall apply in relocation of work units where core public administration work units:
- are being relocated; and
- when the deputy head of the home department or organization decides that, in comparison to other options, it is preferable that certain employees be encouraged to stay in their jobs until the day of workplace relocation; and
- where the employee has opted not to relocate with the function.
6.5.7 Subject to subsection 6.5.6, the deputy head shall pay to each employee who is asked to remain until the relocation of the work unit and offers a resignation from the core public administration to take effect on the relocation date, a sum equivalent to six months' pay payable upon the day on which the departmental/organizational operation relocates, provided the employee has not separated prematurely.
6.5.8 The provisions of subsection 6.5.9 shall apply in alternative delivery initiatives:
- where the core public administration work units are affected by alternative delivery initiatives;
- when the deputy head of the home department or organization decides that, compared to other options, it is preferable that certain employees be encouraged to stay in their jobs until the day of the transfer to the new employer; and
- where the employee has not received a job offer from the new employer or has received an offer and did not accept it.
6.5.9 Subject to subsection 6.5.8, the deputy head shall pay to each employee who is asked to remain until the transfer date and who offers a resignation from the core public administration to take effect on the transfer date, a sum equivalent to six months’ pay payable upon the transfer date, provided the employee has not separated prematurely.