FSD 69 - Calculation of allowances
This directive outlines the general method of calculation of allowances, but is superseded by any method outlined in a specific directive.
69.01 This directive is superseded by any directive which outlines a specific method of calculation or payment condition.
69.02 Subject to Section 69.03, where an employee becomes eligible for a new rate of allowance or other payment under these directives because of a change in classification or pay, the effective date of eligibility shall be the effective date of the change.
The effective date of the change (date d'entrée en vigueur du changement) referred to in Section 69.02 is the effective date of the change in classification or pay specified in the collective agreement, arbitral award or other authority.
(a) Where a retroactive salary adjustment is authorized for employees subject to these directives, either as a result of a collective agreement or unilateral action by the employer, the effective date of the employee's eligibility for a new rate of allowance or provision under these directives (with the exception of FSD 55 - Post living allowance) shall be the date of the instrument effecting such change (that is, the date of signing of a collective agreement, or an Arbitral Award, or the date of approval of the revision in the case of excluded employees).
(b) Where a retroactive salary adjustment is authorized on or after October 1, 1989, for employees subject to these directives, either as a result of a collective agreement or unilateral action by the employer, the effective date of the employee's eligibility for a new rate of post living allowance under FSD 55 shall be the effective date of the change in salary, not the date of the instrument effecting the change.
69.04 Where an employee is entitled to an allowance for less than a complete calendar month, the allowance shall be calculated as follows:
R x E
R is the annual rate of allowance,
C is the number of compensation days in a year, and
E is the total number of days of entitlement in that month, including:
(a) each compensation day on which the employee is on duty or on authorized leave with pay; and
(b) each day authorized by competent authority as a general holiday with pay, unless it falls within a period of leave without pay or immediately precedes the first day of employment or immediately follows the last day of employment.
69.05 Notwithstanding the provisions of the Treasury Board policy on strikes, the Foreign Service Directives, with the exception of FSD 56 - Foreign service incentive alloances and FSD 58 - Post differential allowance shall continue to apply in a legal strike situation.
69.06 Subject to the provisions of Section 69.07, the Foreign Service Directives, with the exception of FSD 56 - Foreign service incentive allowances and FSD 58 - Post differential allowance, shall continue to apply when an employee is absent without leave or on leave without pay during an assignment outside Canada.
69.07 Employees who are in receipt of a maternity or parental allowance in accordance with their collective agreement, or other appropriate authority, who are subject to the Foreign Service Directives, and who are authorized to remain at post during maternity or parental leave, shall receive post living allowance (FSD 55), foreign service incentive allowances (FSD 56) and post differential allowance (FSD 58), as outlined below:
(a) An employee is entitled to 93% of post living allowance (FSD 55), foreign service incentive allowances (FSD 56) and post differential allowance (FSD 58) for the same period as a maternity or parental allowance is authorized, to ensure that allowance payments under the Foreign Service Directives are consistent with provisions for maternity and parental allowances.
(b) Where an employee at a post is or will be receiving a maternity or parental allowance for less than 12 weeks, post living allowance (FSD 55), foreign service incentive allowances (FSD 56) and post differential allowance (FSD 58), less the appropriate shelter cost payable under FSD 25 - Shelter, shall be paid to the employee in full upon the employee's return to work.
(c) Where an employee at a post is or will be receiving a maternity or parental allowance for 12 weeks or more, 50% of post living allowance (FSD 55), foreign service incentive allowances (FSD 56) and post differential allowance (FSD 58), less 50% of the appropriate shelter cost payable under FSD 25 - Shelter, shall be paid in advance of the commencement of maternity or parental leave, and the outstanding balance, including any necessary adjustments, shall be paid upon the employee's return to work.
(d) Post living allowance (FSD 55), foreign service incentive allowances (FSD 56) and post differential allowance (FSD 58) shall be adjusted in accordance with the special provisions of these directives to recognize:
(i) an increase in salary,
(ii) a change in family status,
(iii) a change in the Post Index,
(iv) a revision to the Foreign Service Premium table (Appendix A to FSD 56), and the Post Specific Allowance table (Appendix B to FSD 56)
(v) a revision to the Post Differential Allowance table (Appendix to FSD 58),
(vi) a change in post differential allowance rating level,
(vii) no adjustment shall be made which is based entirely on service outside Canada (e.g. a 50% bonus under FSD 58 - Post differential allowance, or a step progression in the Foreign Service Premium table under FSD 56).
Where an employee is temporarily absent from the post in excess of 25 compensation days, post living allowance and post differential allowance shall cease with effect from the 26th compensation day of absence.
FSD 70 - Reporting requirements and verification of allowances
The 1997 conversion of travel entitlements to non-accountable allowances has resulted in significant changes to administrative procedures.
This directive sets out the reporting requirements under the Foreign Service Directives, and specifies the administrative procedures for the issue and verification of travel allowances.
70.01 For purposes of this directive, the deputy head is the deputy head of the employing department, except where arrangements have been made with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for the administration of the Foreign Service Directives, in which case the reports shall be submitted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
70.02 Annually, on November 1st, the deputy head shall submit reports to the Interdepartmental Working Group A, as follows:
(a) total number of employees at posts under the full or partial provisions of the FSDs,
(b) a listing of employees continuing to receive the foreign service premium (FSD 56) after serving at the same post for seven consecutive years or more, and the reason for continuing the payment.
(c) on designation of a dependant, pursuant to FSD 2.01(j)(iii), providing the details involved, and
(d) on exercise of deputy head discretion to continue payment of the foreign service premium during the temporary absence of a dependant under FSD 56.09(b).
70.03 Departments and agencies are also required to keep records of each case of Special Short-Term Separation Assistance for Spouses or Common-law Partners (FSD 17) and to submit them to DFAIT on an annual basis.
Reports required under this directive should be submitted to:
Chair, Working Group A on the Foreign Service Directives
Safety, Health & Employee Services Group
Human Resources Policy Branch
Treasury Board Secretariat
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R5
Travel Allowances - Issue and Verification
70.04 New Administrative Procedures
The 1997 conversion of some entitlements and reimbursements to non-accountable allowances has resulted in significant changes to administrative procedures. Detailed accountability procedures requiring a list of exact expenditures, with supporting receipts, no longer apply.
However, one of the conditions of the tax-free status of the allowances is that they are spent only for the specific purpose identified by the employer.
The onus continues to be on the employee to demonstrate that the funds were spent for the specific purpose for which they were issued.
70.05 The issue and verification procedures apply to the following allowances:
FSD 35 - Education travel allowance
FSD 41.04(b) - Health care travel allowance (Provisions for the balance of FSD 41 are fully accountable)
FSD 45 - Foreign service travel credit bank
FSD 50 - Vacation travel allowance
FSD 51 - Family reunion travel allowance
FSD 54 - Compassionate travel allowance
70.06 Issuing the allowances
(a) Allowances shall be issued as close to the proposed date of travel as possible, taking into account the need to book tickets in advance.
(b) The employee must present a signed travel plan that identifies proposed travel and anticipated costs to the extent of the allowance. Where applicable, this should be accompanied with a request for leave.
(c) It is understood that employees' travel plans may change, and planned travel may have to be cancelled or amended. Amendments to the plan may be made as necessary.
70.07 Use of the allowances
(a) Where an FSD 45 travel credit is used in conjunction with family reunion or compassionate travel, the FSD 45 trip must be related to the purpose of the other travel. Examples are: another family member travelling from post on compassionate travel, e.g. a child to the funeral of a grandparent; a side-trip to visit parents; another family member, or close friend joining the family on family reunion.
(b) FSD 45 - Foreign service travel credit bank and FSD 50 - Vacation travel allowance are fixed allowances which must be spent in their entirety on travel and travel-related expenses, whether on one trip or more. These two allowances cannot be combined.
(c) At the discretion of the deputy head, FSD 45 and FSD 50 travel allowances, when intended for use for more than one trip, may be issued in segments to recognize proposed travel plans. The allowance will be based on the entitlement at the time the allowance was first issued.
(d) Employees are required to use at least 50% of the allowance issued under FSD 50, and 70% of the allowance issued under FSD 45 for transportation expenses.
(e) Employees are expected to demonstrate that at least 90% of an allowance issued under FSD 45 or FSD 50 was spent on travel and travel-related expenses, including transportation, accommodation, meals and incidental travel expenses such as tours, entry fees, etc.
70.08 Verification of the use of the allowances
(a) While the allowances specified in Section 70.05 are non-accountable, the employee is required, when requested by the deputy head, to demonstrate that the allowance has been used for the purpose intended.
(b) Within time-limits as specified below, employees must complete and submit the Travel Certification Form in the Appendix to this directive. This certification, which must be signed or sent by e-mail from the employee's e-mail account, will form the basis for any subsequent audit. In addition, Mission administration may be requested by the deputy head to verify details.
(c) Employees are required to retain evidence of travel to support the purpose of the allowance for a period of seven years. If employees cannot demonstrate that the allowance has been used for the purpose intended, when requested to do so, the allowance will be adjusted and reduced by that portion of the allowance the use of which cannot be substantiated.
(d) Under normal circumstances, no further travel allowances under the Foreign Service Directives will be issued until the employee has submitted any required/requested documentation regarding a previous travel allowance.
(e) Except as otherwise specified in this section, the employee should provide evidence of travel:
(i) at the end of the travel, where the allowance has been exhausted, or
(ii) at the end of 12 months from the date on which the allowance was issued, or
(iii) at the end of the posting,
whichever is earlier.
(f) In the case of education travel (FSD 35), health care travel (FSD 41.04(b)), compassionate travel (FSD 54) or family reunion travel (FSD 51), the employee is required to show evidence of travel within 30 days of completion of travel.
(g) When the allowance for travel under FSD 45 - Foreign service travel credit bank or FSD 50 - Vacation travel allowance is used for one trip, the employee is required to show evidence of travel within 30 days of completion of travel.
(h) When the allowance for travel under FSD 45 - Foreign service travel credit bank or FSD 50 - Vacation travel allowance is used for more than one trip, the employee may be requested to show evidence of travel at the end of each segment of the projected travel.
A family of four travels under FSD 50 from Athens. The routing is London, Hong Kong, Manila and return. The allowance is $10,000. The employee's travel plan shows that the trip will last 15 days. The employee proposes excursion fare travel for approximately $8,000.
On return, the employee provides certification for the use of the allowance. Later, as part of the verification process, the Mission was requested by the deputy head to verify that the family travelled to Manila, which the employee demonstrated by passport entry stamps and hotel bills. Given that the airfare amount was reasonable, and that some commercial accommodation was used, it is assumed that most, if not all, of the allowance was spent on the purpose intended.
The same family files the same travel plan. On their return, the employee indicates on the Travel Certification Form that the family travelled to Rome. On request, the employee was not able to show any airline tickets to Mission administration, but did show boarding cards. It is known that an excursion fare to Rome would cost no more than $800 each, total $3200. The employee has no evidence of commercial accommodation, no car rental agreements or other transportation vouchers. Considering the family has been away 15 days, it can be assumed that some commercial meals will have been taken, but the employee has not demonstrated that the allowance was spent as intended.
The employee shall be given the choice of returning the unsubstantiated portion of the allowance or amending the plan to use the allowance for future travel, normally before the end of of 12 months from the date on which the allowance was issued.