1.1.1 The Deputy Head will authorize Commuting Assistance only when:
- adequate public transportation is not available between a suitable residential community and the worksite; and
- no suitable residential community is located within a direct road distance of 16 kilometres from the worksite.
1.1.2 A community will be deemed to be a suitable residential community:
- upon the mutual consent of the deputy head and the local representatives of the employees affected, or
- if the majority of the employees reside within 16 kilometres of the worksite.
1.2.1 Following consultation with the designated representative(s) of the affected bargaining agent(s), an authorization shall:
- designate a suitable residential community;
- specify the form of commuting assistance to be provided; and
- be limited to the most practical and economical form of commuting assistance.
1.2.2 Where practical and reasonable, the same form of commuting assistance shall be authorized for employees of all departments at a worksite.
1.2.3 A deputy head shall consider energy conservation when choosing the form of commuting assistance.
1.2.4 Where there is a large number of employees at a worksite or where there are a number of suitable residential communities adjacent to the worksite, more than one suitable residential community may be designated.
1.2.5 A deputy head shall review an authorization referred to in this section at least once each fiscal year and, subject to 1.6, may continue, modify or revoke it.
1.3 More than one Department
1.3.1 When more than one department has employees at a worksite, the deputy heads shall determine collectively:
- how this directive will be applied and implemented; and
- what form of commuting assistance will be authorized.
1.3.2 Where the deputy heads are unable to arrive at a consensus, the matter may be referred to the National Joint Council for recommendation. The Treasury Board Secretariat, on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, shall resolve the matter.
1.3.3 Subject to 1.3.2, the authorization that is given by the deputy head of each department shall conform with the resolution.
1.3.4 While Departments may seek to establish cost sharing arrangements, each department shall be responsible for the cost of providing commuting assistance for their employees.
Types of Assistance
Commuting assistance will normally be provided by the use of Crown-owned vehicles, charter services, taxi pools or subsidizing regular commercial transportation fares. The use of privately-owned vehicles should only be authorized under exceptional circumstances where it can be clearly shown to be cost effective.
1.4 Employer provided
1.4.1 When a deputy head determines that the most practical and economical form of commuting assistance is to provide a government owned or chartered vehicle service, he or she shall direct that employees using the service pay a contribution towards the cost of the service.
1.4.2 When the vehicle service provides transportation only to and from the public transportation stop that is closest to the worksite, the deputy head shall not direct that employees pay a contribution.
1.4.3 When a vehicle service is provided between the designated suitable residential community and the worksite, the employee contribution for each one-way trip shall be $1.75 if no local public transportation system exists or an amount equal to the regular fare of the local public transportation system, whichever is less.
1.4.4 The rate of contribution will be reviewed at the next cyclical review, taking into account the approved methodology.
1.4.5 When the rates are changed, each employee and designated representative of the affected bargaining agent(s) shall be given written notice of the change. Such change shall be effective on the first day of the third month following employees' receipt of the written notice, or the effective date of the change, whichever is later.
1.4.6 The vehicle service may be permitted to stop along its normal direct route to pick up other employees. These passengers shall contribute the same amount as others.
1.4.7 When possible and practicable, the contribution may be collected through payroll deduction.
1.5 Private motor vehicle (PMV)
1.5.1 When a deputy head determines that the use of private vehicles is the most practical and economical form of commuting assistance, the rate of commuting assistance shall be the rate as prescribed in Appendix A.
1.5.2 The amount of commuting assistance to which employees are entitled for each working day they report to work shall be calculated by multiplying the rate:
- for an employee who resides in a designated suitable residential community, by the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the geographical centre of that designated suitable residential community less 32 kilometres; or
- for an employee who does not reside in a designated suitable residential community, by the lesser of:
- the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the employee's residence less 32 kilometres; and
- the shortest return road distance between the worksite and the geographical centre of the farthest designated suitable residential community less 32 kilometres.
1.6 Consultation on changes
1.6.1 The designated representative of the affected bargaining agent(s) shall be consulted concerning:
- any proposed change in the form of commuting assistance;
- any modification in or revocation of commuting assistance; and
- the effective date of any modification to or revocation of commuting assistance authorized under this directive.
1.6.2 When commuting assistance is modified or revoked, each employee and designated representative of the affected bargaining agent(s) shall be given written notice of the change. Such change shall be effective on the first day of the third month following employees' receipt of the written notice, or the effective date of the change, whichever is later.
1.7.1 Where deputy heads are of the opinion that they are not permitted by this directive to authorize commuting assistance, either they or the bargaining agent may submit the matter to the National Joint Council. The Treasury Board Secretariat may, on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, make a determination.
1.7.2 The documentation submitted to the National Joint Council shall include a statement:
- to the effect that consultations with the designated representative(s) of the affected bargaining agent(s) have taken place; and
- identifying the abnormal circumstances supporting a recommendation that commuting assistance be authorized, even though such circumstances clearly lie outside these guidelines.
1.7.3 Examples of such circumstances are:
- difficulties in recruiting and retaining employees that are directly attributable to the lack of commuting assistance;
- the practice of private employers in the area of the worksite;
- excessive commuting costs;
- significant alterations to transportation patterns; and
- major changes to operational requirements of the employer.
1.8.1 Each deputy head shall maintain records that may be examined by the Treasury Board Secretariat or form the basis of reports when requested.
1.8.2 The records shall include:
- by worksite, a statement of the annual commuting assistance costs, the number of employees who are receiving commuting assistance at the end of the fiscal year and the form of commuting assistance provided;
- by worksite, the names of other participating departments;
- a statement and explanation of any changes in the commuting assistance from the previous fiscal year, giving the estimated increase or reduction in cost associated with each change;
- the results of any review referred to in 1.2.5; and
- the number of situations that were referred to the National Joint Council for resolution and the number that were dealt with within the department.