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Year 2000 Human Resources Planning and Leave Guidelines

This document provides direction concerning Human Resources planning, the designation of employees, and the approval of leave during the Year 2000 transition period for organizations in Schedule I, Part I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) for which Treasury Board is the employer.

Human Resources Planning

A key component of the Year 2000 business contingency planning is ensuring that departments have the appropriate staff in place to provide essential services to Canadians during the Year 2000 transition period.

As part of their business contingency planning, departments and agencies must identify those staff that would be considered essential to ensuring uninterrupted essential services to Canadians. Consideration should be given to Human Resources issues such as specific identification of those who are considered essential, those who will not be essential, who will be at work, on standby, including call in and call back procedures for all staff.

In the process of proposing new positions for designation (PSSRA, Section 78.4) for this round of collective bargaining, departments should review and identify for all groups, the positions that may "in whole or in part" have duties necessary in the interest to the safety and security of the Canadian Public within the context of Year 2000. Employees in positions designated as necessary for the safety and security of the public in the context of Year 2000, will not be able to legally strike.

Additionally, the use of consultants and vendors whose services will be important to the success of business contingency plans should be incorporated into departmental plans.

Leave Guidelines

Departments retain the authority to grant leave in accordance with the relevant Terms and Conditions of Employment and Collective Agreements.

Generally, management has the right to organize work and plan the leave schedule of employees in a manner that takes into account operational requirements. At the same time, employees have a right to annual leave.

It is always the intention of both parties to make every reasonable effort to have such leave requested and granted during the fiscal year in which it is earned. Accordingly, advance planning and management of leave is an important priority in the context of Year 2000.

  • Managers should identify as soon as possible employees or positions that may likely be deemed as essential as part of departmental business contingency planning for the Year 2000 transition period. Once this is done, managers are expected to discuss with these employees as soon as possible, the possibility that their leave plans could be impacted.
  • Employees who are considered essential personnel may be required to work during the Year 2000 transition period. As such, managers are responsible to plan and schedule leave in a way that does not impede the department's ability to respond to Year 2000 operational requirements. Therefore, prior to and after the Year 2000 transition period, every reasonable effort should be made to meet leave requests of these employees who may be impacted.
  • Employees considered non-essentialmay be granted leave according to the appropriate terms and conditions of employment and collective agreements. However, any leave may be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances relating to potential Year 2000 transition problems.
  • During the Year 2000 transition period, managers should take care when authorizing leave in writing in advance. Collective agreements contain provisions that require the employer to reimburse employees for the non-returnable portion of vacation contracts and reservations made by employees in respect of that period. However, the employee must make every reasonable attempt to mitigate any financial losses for the non-returnable portions of vacation contracts or reservations.

In those circumstances where the deputy head considers that all or a substantial portion of a department's workforce should be denied leave during the Y2K transition period, Directors of Personnel shall ensure that the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) is informed at least two weeks prior to any communication of such a decision. The CHRO, in consultation with the Treasury Board Secretariat's Year 2000 Project Office, will ensure that the department's plans are considered in the overall context of Year 2000 decision making and communications.

Exact dates for the Year 2000 transition period for leave approval for the whole of government cannot be provided at this time. In departmental Year 2000 business contingency plans, departments should define the timeframe for the transition period that best reflects their needs. It should be noted that this transition period may vary from one department to another. Further information will be provided subject to the additional analysis and results of the risk assessment of contingency plans. Relaxation of these guidelines may well be feasible once we are better able to assess the human resources impacts of departmental contingency plans.


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