Other Leave With Pay (699) usage in the public service
The Government of Canada has taken exceptional measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health and safety of its employees and the broader population. Just as the government moved quickly to put measures in place to protect private sector employees and industries, the government moved quickly to put in place measures to support federal employees during this unprecedented situation.
Most public servants have been able to work most of the time through the pandemic. At the same time, some public servants experienced challenges in being able to work, whether because they were sick or at risk of getting sick, they didn’t have childcare, or couldn’t access their IT network.
“Other Leave with Pay (699)” is a type of paid leave provided to employees at the discretion of management for situations that are not already covered by other types of leave and normally where employees are unable to report to work for reasons beyond their control. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, some employees are using this leave only when all options have been exhausted, for example, in cases where no childcare arrangements or no flexible work arrangements can be made.
Management discretion to grant paid leave in exceptional circumstances is a provision that has existed within the public service for decades. Dating back to the 1962 Civil Service Regulations, this type of discretionary leave provision pre-dates even collective agreements. Like the federal government, many provinces and territories, including Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick continue to offer a mix of flexible work arrangements and leave to allow for the care of children. Leave usage can vary from a few hours up to full-time hours, depending on individual circumstances.
This type of leave has provided important support for federal public servants across the country in times of need, such as when they have been unable to work due to natural disasters like flooding, ice storms or forest fires, or due to unusual circumstances like being stranded abroad due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland. In each case, employees have accessed leave on the basis of need, and then returned to regular working status as soon as they were able.
From the trend line, we can observe a steady and systematic reduction of the number of employees using Other Leave with Pay (699) over the reporting period, toward a return to regular working status.
As of , that reduction is estimated at 88% from the peak. It also represents a reduction of 95% in the number of 699 leave hours approved.
The data set includes information from 86 (out of 89) organizations as of , and will evolve as organizations continue to input leave for any period starting on and ending .
Collectively, these organizations employ 99% of all employees across the public service. Within these organizations, approximately 39% of the workforce (117,386 employees) were approved 699 leave of any duration between March 15 and .
The total hours of leave represented is approximately 19.87M in organizations included in this data set.
Due to the length of reporting period, Figure 3 and Figure 4 show the monthly usage of Other Leave with Pay (699). Weekly reported totals are available in the text versions below the figures.
Figure 1 - Text version
|Percentage of employees|
|Not having taken leave||61%|
|Having taken leave||39%|
Figure 2 - Text version
|Number of employees|
|Employees across all federal public service organizations (all departments/agencies governed by the Financial Administration Act (FAA) Schedules I, IV and V) as of November 30, 2020.|
|Population of organizations included in this data set||303,957|
Number of organizations included in this data set
out of 89 organizations
Number of employees who claimed 699 leave in organizations included in this data set
Total number of 699 leave hours approved out of 89 organizations
Average number of hours of leave approved for workforce of organizations included in this data set
Figure 3 - Text version
|Week Ending||Distinct employees taking leaveFootnote *|
Figure 4 - Text version
|Week Ending||Total hours of leave approvedFootnote **|
Dataset 1: ‘Other Leave With Pay (699)’ usage by organization
Definitions, inclusions, and exclusions
Please note: The data contained within this dashboard is incomplete and continues to evolve as additional information is received from organizations for the identified reporting period.
- Distinct employees:
- Number of employees who have been approved 699 leave (employees with multiple leave entries are only counted once).
- Number of 699 leave hours approved across organizations included in this data set.
- Number of organizations included in this data set:
- Total number of organizations included in this data set.
- Number of employees who claimed 699 leave in organizations included in this data set:
- Number of distinct employees who have been approved 699 leave since March 15, 2020.
- Percentage of employees having been approved 699 leave across all organizations included in this data set:
- Proportion of total employees having been approved 699 leave across organizations included in this data set.
- Average number of hours of leave approved for workforce of organizations included in this data set:
- Average number of hours of leave approved over the entire population of departments included in this data set.
- Employees across all federal public service organizations (all departments/agencies governed by the Financial Administration Act (FAA) Schedules I, IV and V) as of November 30, 2020.
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