Rescinded [2009-04-01] - Leave with Income Averaging Policy

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The Treasury Board, as Employer of the Public Service, is committed to providing policies and provisions designed to help employees balance their work, personal, and family responsibilities. In keeping with our goal of being an employer of choice, this policy will assist in meeting business objectives while satisfying the growing needs of employees to improve their overall quality of life.

Flexibility in the workplace to accommodate work, personal and family needs, can result in benefits to organizations such as:

- a competitive edge for attracting and retaining highly skilled individuals

- reduced levels of employee stress and conflict

- higher levels of productivity and output and reduced absenteeism

- higher levels of employee satisfaction and motivation

- a more satisfying work environment.

Both managers and employees are responsible to ensure that operational needs of the organization are met and that neither productivity nor costs are negatively impacted by the application of this policy.

1. Effective date

This policy is effective as of February 1, 1999.

2. Policy objective

To provide flexibility in working arrangements to help employees better balance their work and personal lives, while at the same time helping departmental managers reduce salary budgets.

3. Policy statement

It is the policy of the employer to create a work environment that allows employees the flexibility to better manage their work and personal lives while meeting operational requirements at a reasonable cost. This policy is one of several voluntary flexible working arrangements available to employees and managers.

4. Application

This policy applies to all employees for whom Treasury Board is the employer under the Public Service Staff Relations Act, Schedule I, Part I.

5. Policy requirements

Leave with income averaging is an arrangement that enables employees to reduce the number of weeks worked in a specific 12-month period by taking leave without pay for a period of between 5 weeks and 3 months. Although pay for participating employees would be reduced and averaged out over the year to reflect the reduced time at work, pension and benefit coverages, as well as premiums or contributions, would continue at pre-arrangement levels. Under this policy, employees are responsible for their share of premiums or contributions because pension and benefits coverage will continue at pre-arrangement levels.

Leave with income averaging is subject to managerial approval and discretion, based on operational feasibility (e.g. depending on the potential for adverse effects on service quality or costs).

To be eligible for this type of leave, employees must:

- be indeterminate (Executive group included) in a department for which the Treasury Board is the employer, under the Public Service Staff Relations Act, Schedule I, Part I.

- not be surplus at the start of the leave arrangement;

- agree not to work for the federal Public Service while on leave; and

- agree to respect the Conflict of Interest Guidelines while on leave.

Changes to approved leave arrangements may be made only in rare and unforeseen circumstances, and must occur within the originally approved 12-month income averaging period.

Cancellation of approved leave arrangements will be approved only in exceptional or unforeseen circumstances. In the few cases where the cancellation is initiated by management, employees shall be reimbursed for certain reasonable expenses as determined by the employer (e.g. non-refundable portion of vacation contracts).

Employee-requested changes to, or cancellation of, leave arrangements may occur only prior to the end of the leave period, otherwise the employee will already have received the benefit. In addition, employee requests to change or cancel leave arrangements must be provided in writing, with reasonable notice. Approval will be at the discretion of the manager.

6. Monitoring

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat will monitor participation in this program through the PWGSC pay system and the service-wide LWOP system.

7. References

- Collective agreements

- Terms and Conditions of Employment Regulations

- Leave without Pay Policy

- Income Tax Act and Regulations

- Financial Administration Act

- Public Service Superannuation Act

- Supplementary Retirement Benefits Act

- Public Service Staff Relations Act

- Conflict of Interest Guidelines

8. Enquiries

Enquiries relating to this policy should be referred to the responsible officer designated in departmental/organizational headquarters, who in turn may direct questions regarding interpretation to the Human Resources Branch of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

9. Definitions

Leave arrangement (Entente relative au congé) - This refers to the 12-month 'block' of time an employee is participating in a leave with income averaging arrangement.

Leave (Congé) - This is the leave without pay portion of the leave arrangement. It will be treated as leave without pay with respect to pay, deductions, allowances, other leave, benefits, and pensions.