Collective agreement

This directive is deemed to be part of collective agreements between the parties represented on the National Joint Council and employees are to be afforded ready access to this directive.

Grievance procedure

In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of this directive, the grievance procedure, for all represented employees within the meaning of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act will be in accordance with section 15 of the National Joint Council By‑Laws. For unrepresented employees, the departmental or agency grievance procedure applies.

Effective date

This directive is effective on October 1, 2020.


Commuting assistance is provided to help defray excessive costs incurred in employees' daily travel to and from the regularly assigned worksite on the days when they are required by management to report for work and so report and to facilitate the recruitment and retention of staff delivering government programs at these remote worksites.

Normally, employees are expected to report for work at their own expense since they are free to choose where they will live. However, for some worksites, there are no reasonably close suitable residential communities. Consequently, some employees may be subject to higher transportation costs.

The Canadian Human Rights Act and the Treasury Board Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, as amended from time to time, apply to this directive.  Decisions and practices flowing from this directive shall be inclusive and barrier free. For instance, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee with a disability(ies) is fully accommodated to the point of undue hardship.


This directive applies to all employees at a worksite where commuting assistance has been authorized, and does not apply:

  1. to additional kilometres driven for personal reasons (e.g. the transportation of children to school or day-care);
  2. to those employees who normally take public transportation to and from the worksite and who are unable to do so because of an interruption in service caused by a work stoppage of the public transportation employees;
  3. to transportation to and from a place of work other than the regularly assigned worksite or between the worksite and another place of work;
  4. where adequate public transportation operates between a worksite and a suitable residential community, irrespective of the distance criteria;
  5. to those employees who ride as a passenger in a vehicle where another employee is eligible and claiming the assistance; or
  6. to employees who, when they are assigned to the worksite, decline without compelling reason, in the opinion of the deputy head, a written offer of Crown‑owned or Crown-controlled living accommodation either at or within 16 kilometres from the worksite using the most direct, safe and practical route and choose to reside elsewhere.

Allowances authorized under the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive shall not be construed to include commuting assistance. The criteria outlined in this directive will be used to determine whether commuting assistance will be authorized at isolated posts.


In this directive,

adequate public transportation (transports en commun adéquats) – means public transportation serving the worksite,

  1. where the schedule enables employees to report for work at their assigned times and to depart for home within a reasonable time after the end of their scheduled work period;
  2. that has the capacity to carry the employees; and
  3. that is available to employees at reasonable cost.

commuting assistance (aide au transport quotidien) – means the assistance provided to an employee under this directive.

department (ministère) – means a department or other portion of the public service,

  1. listed in Schedules I and IV to the Financial Administration Act; or
  2. listed in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act and which is a member of the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada.

deputy head (administrateur général) – means the deputy minister or other chief executive officer of a department or agency and includes any employee of the department or agency who has been authorized to act on behalf of the deputy head or chief executive officer for the purposes of this directive.

employee (fonctionnaire) – means a person

  1. employed in the public service;
  2. whose salary is paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund; and
  3. including a member of the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

majority of the employees (majorité des fonctionnaires) – means 50 per cent or more of the employees at a worksite, excluding those occupying Crown-owned or Crown-leased accommodation that is located at the worksite.

Public service (fonction publique) – for the purposes of this directive, "public service" shall include the same parties and persons outlined in section 1 of the National Joint Council By-Laws.

suitable residential community (quartier résidentiel convenable) (refer to Appendix C for guidance) – means a location where,

  1. taking the vacancy rate into account, excluding vacant lots, the majority of employees could reside;
  2. adequate utilities and educational and commercial facilities are available; and
  3. road routes to the worksite are the most direct, safe and practical.

worksite (lieu de travail) – means the location at or from which employees ordinarily perform the duties of their positions and, in the case of employees whose duties are of an itinerant nature, the actual building to which they return to prepare and/or submit reports, etc., and where other administrative matters pertaining to their employment are conducted.