Collective Agreement

This directive is deemed to be part of collective agreements between the parties to the National Joint Council (NJC) 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 Public Service Labour Relations Act will be in accordance with Part 15 of the National Joint Council By-Laws. For unrepresented employees, the departmental grievance procedure applies.

Effective Date

This directive is effective on March 1, 2017, unless otherwise specified.


This Directive applies to employees in the Public Service.

Public Service defined as:

  1. all departments and other portions of the Public Service of Canada listed in Schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act; and
  2. any employer listed in Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, who is a member of the National Joint Council and who has opted to follow this Directive.

Subject to the above noted paragraphs, this directive excludes:

  1. members of the Canadian Forces, and
  2. employees who occupy positions in the lightkeepers occupational group.


  1. employed for a specified term of less than three (3) months, or
  2. not ordinarily required to work more than one-third of the normal working hours of a full-time employee of the same occupational group and level (part time worker), or
  3. who are students covered by the Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students

are not eligible for any of the benefits provided in Part III of this directive. They are, however, eligible for the allowances paid at their particular headquarters.

For the purposes of this directive, employees who reside outside their headquarters and commute daily from their residence to work shall:

  1. be deemed to be residing at the headquarters, if their residence is in a location that is or would qualify as an isolated post; or
  2. be considered an employee without dependants, if the residence is in a location that is not or would not qualify as an isolated post.

The application of this directive to the employees in the Ships' Officers and Ships' Crews occupational groups is outlined in Appendix E.

Part VI of this Directive is concerned only with employees who are "permanent" occupants of government housing provided in Canada. It does not apply to employees on travel status or otherwise considered transient, or to employees living outside Canada.

Government housing provided by the Department of National Defence to members of the Canadian Forces is subject to the provisions of the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this directive is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of staff delivering government programs in isolated locations. Its provisions are designed to assist in offsetting some of the higher costs and to recognize the inherent disadvantages associated with living and working in isolated posts. It also describes how employees will be treated when renting crown owned accommodations. These provisions do not constitute income or other compensation that would open the way for personal gain.

Under 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, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee with a disability(ies) is fully accommodated to the point of undue hardship. Decisions and practices flowing from this directive shall be inclusive and barrier free.


Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat shall revise relevant portions of this Directive as required from time to time on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, and advise departments who in turn will notify employees in writing of any changes that may affect them. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat shall also advise departments on and monitor their interpretation and application of this directive.

Statistics Canada: Statistics Canada shall conduct research and surveys with respect to the Fuel and Utilities Differential (F&UD) and the Living Cost Differential (LCD) Allowances and shall verify the Environment Allowance (EA) levels during their survey visits and report the results to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Contracted Service Provider (CSP): The contracted service provider is responsible for the provision of base shelter values (BSVs), upon departmental request. The contracted service provider shall provide the revised BSVs. Reporting shall be limited to the property address requested and the revised BSVs.

Departments shall maintain an inventory of all self-contained government-owned or managed living accommodation. By October 15 of each year departments shall provide the contracted service provider with complete lists of living accommodation subject to the annual review that it operates. These lists shall include all information necessary to locate and identify each unit (i.e. location, address, building and appraisal numbers, type of accommodation, number of rooms, bedrooms, floor area, type of construction, an indication of changes which have occurred to the property, and a list of separately-provided parking). Accommodation lists and requests for appraisals shall be addressed to the contracted service provider.

Requests for appraisals of newly acquired living accommodation or accommodation to be leased shall be addressed to the contracted service provider.

Health Canada: Health Canada is responsible for determining whether employees and their dependant(s) are medically fit for assignment to an isolated post. Health Canada, in accordance with the Treasury Board Occupational Health Evaluation Standard, is also responsible for the ongoing occupational health assessment of employees serving at isolated posts.

Departments: Departments shall ensure that each employee is provided with access to or a copy of this directive upon request. Employees in government housing shall also be supplied in writing with: the BSV for their unit; information showing how the rental charge was established from the BSV; and the name of the departmental administrator to contact for information, questions, complaints, etc. Departments shall develop comprehensive information packages on the directive (i.e. list of questions and answers, eligibility criteria for the allowances and benefits etc.).

Employee: It is the employee's responsibility to notify their manager and their departmental administrator as soon as possible where changes to their circumstances have an impact on housing, allowances, and benefits they receive under this directive.

Failure to do so may result in recovery of overpayments.


In order to qualify as an isolated post, a location must meet the criteria outlined in Part II qualifying it for an environment allowance. Qualification for an environment allowance is a prerequisite for all other allowances and, subject to subsection 1.14.2, for benefits under this directive, except for the special location allowance.

Environment Allowance (EA): The EA is assessed according to five classification levels by allocating points for the population, climate and availability of commercial transportation or access by all-weather roads. (See Section 1.7 and Appendix H, section 1 for qualifying criteria.)

Living Cost Differential (LCD): An LCD is payable at an isolated post where prices for goods and services are at least 15% higher than those available in the location identified as its point of comparison as measured by Statistics Canada and is intended to assist employees in meeting those costs. The amount of LCD depends on the price differentials, as measured by Statistics Canada, between an isolated post and its point of comparison. (See Section 1.8 and Appendix H, section 2 for qualifying criteria.)

Fuel and Utilities Differential (F&UD): An F&UD is payable at designated isolated posts where prices for fuel and utilities are at least 15% higher than the National Average Expenditure due to transportation costs and consumption rates inherent to the geographical location. (See Section 1.9 and Appendix H, section 3 for qualifying criteria.) It is intended to assist employees to offset those associated costs.

Shelter Cost Differential (SCD): An SCD is payable at designated isolated posts where shelter costs are at least 15% higher in comparison with the national average rents in Southern Canada for the benchmark model. (See Section 1.10 and Appendix H, section 4 for qualifying criteria.)

Special Location Allowance: A special location allowance is payable to employees at locations listed in Appendix G. (See Section 1.11 and Appendix H, section 5 for qualifying criteria.)


All-weather road (route praticable en tout temps) means a gravel or higher standard road that extends between a location and a place named in the definition of point of departure that is impassable for less than three consecutive weeks during freeze-up and three consecutive weeks during break-up periods, and includes daily ferry service.

Appropriate governing and/or delegating authority (autorisation appropriée), with reference to an employee, means one or more of the following that is applicable to the employee in the circumstances:

  1. an Act of Parliament or a statutory instrument made thereunder,
  2. a current collective agreement,
  3. a current compendium of terms and conditions of employment, or
  4. a Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat authority other than this directive.

Assignment/Assigned to isolated post (affectation/affecté au poste isolé) for the purposes of this Directive, means employment at the isolated post/employed at the isolated post.

Availability to the public (disponibilité au public) refers to the situation in which an employee, as the occupant of a particular residence, is recognized as a government official and therefore may be called upon by the public outside normal working hours.

Base shelter value (BSV) (valeur de base des logements (VBL)) is the value assessed by the contracted service provider for the occupation of a housing unit, and accounts for the physical and locational characteristics of the unit and external influences. The BSV excludes utilities (heat, electricity, water and sewer), furniture and appliances. It also excludes any rental charge adjustment and/or special reduction.

Benchmark model (modèle de référence) means the housing unit used as a model for the calculation of the SCD and is a 3-bedroom detached bungalow.

Common-law partner (conjoint de fait), see definition of Spouse or common-law partner.

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

  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.

Dependant (personne à charge), with reference to an employee, means a person, other than an employee or a member of the Canadian Forces receiving an "isolation allowance" under the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces, who resides with the employee at the employee's headquarters residence and is:

  1. the spouse of that employee or the person named in the common-law partner declaration; or
  2. one for whom the employee is eligible to claim a tax credit under the Income Tax Act; or
  3. a biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or legal ward who:
    1. is unmarried with no spouse or common law partner and is under the age of 18, or,
    2. is dependant on the employee by reason of mental or physical disability, or
    3. has not yet attained 24 years of age and is in full-time attendance at a recognized educational institution.

Deputy head (administrateur général)

  1. in relation to a department named in Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act, its deputy minister;
  2. in relation to any portion of the core public administration named in Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act, or in relation to any separate agency named in Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, its chief executive officer, or if there is no chief executive officer, its statutory head, or if there is neither, the person who occupies the position designated under subsection 11(2) of the Financial Administration Act, in respect of that portion or that separate agency.

Economy airfare (classe économique) means a return full fare economy class ticket (fully refundable) on most commercial airlines. Economy class is the standard class of air travel and excludes first and business class or equivalents.

Employee (fonctionnaire) means, subject to the Application section, a person who is employed in a department or with a separate employer which is a member of the NJC.

Employee with dependants (fonctionnaire avec personnes à charge) is an employee with whom at least one dependant resides at the employee's headquarters residence.

Employee without dependants (fonctionnaire sans personnes à charge) means an employee with whom no dependant resides at the employee's headquarters residence.

Fiscal year (année financière) means the period beginning on the first day of April in one year and ending on the thirty-first day of March in the next year.

Government housing (logement de l'État)is residential accommodation, owned or leased by the Government of Canada, intended primarily for employees of the Government of Canada. Such accommodation may be either:

  1. self-contained, i.e. a single-family dwelling (detached, semi-detached or row housing) or apartment; or
  2. shared accommodation, i.e. means a self-contained dwelling where employees have private bedrooms, but share common areas.

Gross household income (revenu du ménage) is the total gross income, in whatever form received, of all members of the family, or of an individual, where applicable, excluding:

  1. earnings of children or funds for the tuition of children in regular attendance at recognized institutions of learning such as scholarships, bursaries and contributions from non-resident family members,
  2. earnings of a working spouse or common-law partner up to the amount that may be claimed as a "spousal amount" as specified in the Federal General Income Tax and Benefit Guide, as amended from time to time.

Headquarters (lieu d'affectation) means the isolated post to which the employee is assigned.

Immediate family (famille immédiate) for employees, means father, mother (or alternatively stepfather, stepmother, or foster parent), brother, sister, spouse, common-law partner resident with the employee, child (including child of the common-law partner), grandchild, grandparent, stepchild or ward of the employee, father-in-law, mother-in-law and relatives permanently residing in the employee's household or with whom the employee permanently resides.

Isolated post (poste isolé) means a location named in Appendix A.

NJC Relocation Directive (RD) (Directive sur la réinstallation du CNM) is the National Joint Council Directive pertaining to relocation, as applicable, as amended from time to time.

Normal place of residence (lieu de résidence ordinaire) means

  1. the last place in Canada where employees permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post, or
  2. where paragraph (a) does not apply or employees are not returning to the place referred to in paragraph (a), the place in Canada determined by the deputy head to be their normal place of residence.

Normal working hours (heures de travail normales) means the number and schedule of hours that a full-time indeterminate employee is required to work pursuant to an appropriate governing authority.

Offensive noise (bruits gênants) includes any recurring noise which disturbs the quiet enjoyment of the premises, e.g. noises which originate within the building such as generators or communications equipment such as telephones, doorbell, etc., and noises which may be associated with crisis situations (e.g. patients in nursing stations, disorderly inmates, etc.). Also, employees on "shift work" who occupy shared accommodation are considered to be subject to "moderate" offensive noise, when there are other occupants of the same shared accommodation who also work shift work. Noises that originate from outside the building such as aircraft, motorboats, motor vehicles, etc., shall be accounted for by the BSV.

Part-time employee (employé à temps partiel) means a person employed to work less than the normal daily or weekly hours of work established for a full-time employee of the same occupational group and level.

Point of comparison (point de comparaison) specifically refers to Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal or St.John's. Price differences at each isolated post are measured against those prevailing in one of the above-noted cities as established by the National Joint Council Isolated Posts and Government Housing Committee. These price differentials are calculated on items that fall within the approved Basket of Goods and Services included in Isolated Posts Living Cost Differential Indexes.

Point of departure (point de départ) means Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, or St. John's, whichever of these places is the nearest to the headquarters of an employee by the most practical route and means of transportation.

Private non-commercial accommodation (logement particulier non commercial) means private dwelling or non-commercial facilities where the traveller does not normally reside.

Public transportation (transport  public) means any form of transportation that charges set fares, runs fixed routes and is available to the public such as buses, subways, ferries and trains.

Public use of living facilities (usage du logement par le public) involves the use by the public or other government employees of the private living facilities provided to the occupant such as bathroom, bedroom, communications equipment, etc.

Relocation (réinstallation) means the authorized move of an employee from one place of duty to another or the authorized move of an employee from the employee's place of residence to the employee's first place of duty upon appointment to a position in the public service.

Rent (loyer) means the monthly amount charged to an employee for the occupation and use of a government housing unit. It includes fuel and utilities charges, where applicable.

Road kilometres (kilomètres routiers) means the official distance shown on the most recent provincial or territorial highway map or through the use of electronic mapping systems as determined by the IPGH committee.

Seasonal employee (employé saisonnier) means a person appointed on an indeterminate basis who works for one or more specified portions of a fiscal year, each year.

Shelter charge (frais de gîte) means the amount assessed for a government housing unit after deducting from the base shelter value any rental charge adjustment and/or special reduction. It does not include fuel and utilities charges.

Special location (localité spéciale) means a place named in Appendix G.

Spouse or common-law partner (époux ou conjoint de fait) The term common-law partner refers to a person living in a conjugal relationship with an employee for a continuous period of at least one year. The term spouse refers to the person married to the employee.

Transportation expenses (frais de transport) means the expenses referred to in the NJC Relocation Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for transportation.

Travel Directive (Directive sur les voyages) means the National Joint Council (NJC) Travel Directive, as amended from time to time.

Travelling expenses (frais de voyage) means the expenses referred to in the NJC Relocation Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for accommodations, meals and incidentals.


When required by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the deputy head shall submit a consolidated departmental report.