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.

Summary

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: Percentage of employees having been approved 699 leave across all organizations included in this data set
Percentage of employees having been approved 699 leave across all organizations included in this dataset. Text version below:
Figure 1 - Text version
Figure 1: Percentage of employees having been approved 699 leave across all organizations included in this data set
  Percentage of employees
Not having taken leave 61%
Having taken leave 39%
Figure 2: Total number of employees across organizations included in this data set
Total number of employees across organizations included in this dataset. Text version below:
Figure 2 - Text version
Figure 2: Total number of employees across organizations included in this data set
  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.
Total population 305,827
Population of organizations included in this data set 303,957

Number of organizations included in this data set

86

out of 89 organizations

Number of employees who claimed 699 leave in organizations included in this data set

117K

Total number of 699 leave hours approved out of 89 organizations

19.87M

Average number of hours of leave approved for workforce of organizations included in this data set

65

Figure 3: Total distinct employees having been approved 699 leave
Total distinct employees having been approved 699 leave. Text version below:
Figure 3 - Text version
Figure 3: Total distinct employees having been approved 699 leave
Week Ending Distinct employees taking leaveFootnote *
15/03/2020 1,707
22/03/2020 49,111
29/03/2020 51,916
05/04/2020 59,146
12/04/2020 48,840
19/04/2020 47,249
26/04/2020 47,779
03/05/2020 51,771
10/05/2020 42,266
17/05/2020 38,941
24/05/2020 34,620
31/05/2020 39,317
07/06/2020 31,308
14/06/2020 30,258
21/06/2020 29,567
28/06/2020 25,798
05/07/2020 22,585
12/07/2020 19,495
19/07/2020 16,091
26/07/2020 14,539
02/08/2020 14,394
09/08/2020 10,741
16/08/2020 10,542
23/08/2020 10,121
30/08/2020 10,284
06/09/2020 10,425
13/09/2020 7,706
20/09/2020 8,379
27/09/2020 7,695
04/10/2020 7,982
11/10/2020 6,570
18/10/2020 5,383
25/10/2020 6,142
01/11/2020 5,483
08/11/2020 4,856
15/11/2020 2,982
22/11/2020 2,893
29/11/2020 3,081
06/12/2020 1,034
Figure 4: Total number of 699 leave hours approved
Total number of 699 leave hours approved. Text version below:
Figure 4 - Text version
Figure 4: Total number of 699 leave hours approved
Week Ending Total hours of leave approvedFootnote **
15/03/2020 10,599
22/03/2020 1,304,005
29/03/2020 1,499,138
05/04/2020 1,718,556
12/04/2020 1,114,128
19/04/2020 1,031,972
26/04/2020 1,249,654
03/05/2020 1,537,971
10/05/2020 967,757
17/05/2020 908,159
24/05/2020 656,040
31/05/2020 1,184,308
07/06/2020 631,710
14/06/2020 635,575
21/06/2020 579,199
28/06/2020 519,113
05/07/2020 619,563
12/07/2020 389,231
19/07/2020 311,508
26/07/2020 303,766
02/08/2020 382,040
09/08/2020 177,037
16/08/2020 184,978
23/08/2020 182,491
30/08/2020 184,413
06/09/2020 233,444
13/09/2020 132,118
20/09/2020 142,252
27/09/2020 134,612
04/10/2020 195,977
11/10/2020 145,048
18/10/2020 106,934
25/10/2020 101,415
01/11/2020 120,363
08/11/2020 104,969
15/11/2020 53,155
22/11/2020 54,129
29/11/2020 51,329
06/12/2020 13,364

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).
Hours:
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.
Population:
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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