Handling Disability Management Cases - Priority Entitlement

Employees may be registered for priority entitlement as a result of becoming disabled. Priority entitlements are administered by the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC), but several departments have complementary internal mechanisms.

The person applying for priority entitlement due to a disability must:

  • Have been an indeterminate employee when they became disabled;
  • Have qualified for disability compensation;
  • Be certified fit for work by a competent authority within five years of qualifying for disability benefits; and
  • Be unable to return to his or her substantive position.

To facilitate the return to work:

  • The organization could proceed with a secondment, assignment or term appointment, in the effort to explore the employee's capacity to take on other sorts of positions and duties. It must be clearly indicated that the employee is being reintegrated and is not returning to his or her substantive position.
  • If the employee is retaken on strength in the former substantive position, the priority entitlement is terminated.

Roles and Responsibilities

The PSC:

  • Sets and maintains an administrative infrastructure (which includes the Priority Information Management System) to link priority persons with jobs being staffed;
  • Provides information and guidance to federal public service organizations; and
  • Monitors the validity of individual entitlements and organizational respect for entitlements.

The department/agency:

  • Ensures that problems related to discipline or performance have been resolved before employees become entitled to a priority;
  • Advises employees on the benefits and obligations of priority entitlement and on the role that the organization will play in supporting career transition;
  • Provides career counselling, advice or training in job search preparation, including access to information about accommodation and technical aids available for employment assessment and on-the-job performance;
  • Continues to search for reintegration and accommodation opportunities, both within the home organization and within other federal organizations; and
  • Works actively with the PSC and other hiring organizations to support the employee's reintegration.

Employees on priority entitlement:

  • Participate actively in the PSC's priority registration and referral processes;
  • Conduct independent job searches; and
  • Self-refer for job opportunities if they believe they meet the essential qualifications.

Start, Duration and End of Priority Placement

  • Termination of employment for cause during the five-year qualifying period or during the two-year priority period does not terminate the disability priority entitlement, and it does not exempt the home organization from responsibility for the person should he or she be able to return to work and exercise this priority entitlement.
  • If the person is still an employee at the end of the entitlement, the expiry of the priority entitlement does not terminate an employee's employment.
  • Confidential medical records and diagnostic assessments are not to be disclosed to the PSC or to potential hiring organizations.
  • Entitlement may run concurrently with other priority entitlements.

The Guide on Priority Administration is available on the Priority Administration: Overview website of the PSC.

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