Terms and conditions applying to Governor in Council appointees
Effective Date: This document takes effect on September 20, 2022.
These terms and conditions apply to all Governor in Council appointees.
- With the exception of sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 these terms and conditions do not apply to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Crown Corporations.
- Section 3 does not apply to appointees occupying a position that is classified as “GCQ” (positions that require independence from government in their decision making).
- With the exception of sections 1, 2 and 4 these terms and conditions do not apply to part-time Governor in Council appointees.
This document is intended to set out in one place the majority of the terms, conditions, obligations and entitlements that apply to Governor in Council appointees (terms and conditions). However, since particular terms and conditions will apply differently, or not at all, to certain Governor in Council appointees, careful attention should be given to the “Application” provision. In addition, not all terms and conditions applicable to an appointment will be set out or referred to in this document. For example, terms and conditions specific to a particular appointee or position, such as those contained in the schedule to the appointment Order in Council or in the statute establishing the position will not typically be included in this document.
These terms and conditions contain three types of information:
- Incorporated: The first type of information relates to terms and conditions that arise from a source external to this document. For example a statute, a document in the Treasury Board policy suite or some other source. This type of information is referred to as “incorporated” information, meaning that the source document is incorporated by reference into this document. For incorporated information, this document provides a short summary of the most important terms and conditions along with the proper name of the source document and, if possible, a link to it. For incorporated information, appointees should always consult the source document in order to fully understand the scope of the terms and conditions that arise from it. In the event of inconsistency between this document and a source document in relation to incorporated information, the source document prevails.
- Internal: The second type of information consists of substantive terms and conditions applicable to appointees that arise from this document itself as opposed to an external source. These are referred to as “internal” terms and conditions.
- Contextual: The third type is “contextual” information which does not form part of an appointee’s terms and conditions directly but is helpful in understanding the framework applicable to Governor in Council appointments.
1. Appointment, Tenure and Related Matters (Contextual)
Appointments made by the Governor in Council, that is, by the Governor General on the advice of the King's Privy Council as represented by Cabinet, are brought into effect through an Order in Council. An Order in Council is a legal instrument made by the Governor in Council pursuant to a statutory authority or the royal prerogative. Orders in council are made on the recommendation of the responsible Minister of the Crown and take legal effect only when signed by the Governor General.
The appointing Order in Council normally specifies the effective date of the appointment, the term length (where applicable), tenure of the appointment, and the applicable classification and salary range. The specific remuneration amount and other individualized terms and conditions of employment are either included in a schedule to the appointing Order in Council or in a schedule to a separate Order in Council for a class of positions in an organization. An individual's salary is personal information and protected in accordance with provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
Appointments are for either a fixed term or an indeterminate period and appointees hold office either "during good behaviour" or "during pleasure". Appointees who hold office during pleasure may be removed from office at the discretion of the Governor in Council. Appointees who serve during good behavior may only be removed for cause, which threshold may vary in accordance with the precise wording set out in the legislation or other statutory instrument that establishes the position and authorizes the appointment and in accordance with their terms and conditions of appointment.
When a term is specified in an Order in Council, the appointment ends on its expiration, unless there is a legislative provision to the contrary. Unless legislation provides otherwise, the Governor in Council will typically retain the discretion to appoint an incumbent to a subsequent term in the same position. However, as an appointment to a position is a formal discretion of the Governor in Council, a subsequent appointment cannot be guaranteed and is not automatic. Some statutory schemes prohibit the subsequent appointment of an appointee to the same position.
Where no term length is specified in the Order in Council, appointees continue in office until they resign, are appointed to another position, are replaced or are removed from office. Should a Governor in Council appointee choose to resign, a letter of resignation should be provided to the deputy head, the responsible minister, or the Clerk of the Privy Council, as applicable. Chief Executive Officers of Crown Corporations should follow the requirements for resignation set out in s. 107 of the Financial Administration Act.
2. Responsibilities of Public Office Holders
2.1 Standards of Behaviour (Internal)
Governor in Council appointees shall uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times.
The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner. Unacceptable behaviour towards others, for example, discrimination, harassment, bullying or creating an intimidating or hostile environment will not be tolerated and may constitute a breach of the terms and conditions of appointment and grounds for termination for cause.
Governor in Council appointees are also expected to respect the principles of any code of conduct applicable to the organization to which he or she is appointed.
2.2 Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders (Incorporated)
In accordance with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders Governor in Council appointees shall act with honesty and uphold the highest ethical standards so that public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the government are conserved and enhanced.
2.2 (2) Conflict of Interest and Ethics
Governor in Council appointees are required to perform their duties in the public interest. Their personal and professional conduct must be beyond reproach. Consequently, Parliament has established clear conflict of interest and post-employment rules for public office holders, in the Conflict of Interest Act, which explain the steps to be taken to avoid real or apparent conflicts between their private interests and public responsibilities.
The Act sets standards to maintain and enhance public confidence in the integrity of public office holders. It contains measures for compliance while in office and post-employment. Specific requirements include the types of assets that public office holders may have and the outside activities in which they may engage.
The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Act. Appointees may discuss their circumstances in confidence with officials in the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
2.2 (3) Political Activities
The Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders is set out the Guidelines for the Political Activities of Public Office Holders. Some Governor in Council appointees, including Deputy Ministers, CEOs of departmental corporations and deputy heads of agencies are also subject to Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act, related to political activities. Compliance with these instruments is a condition of employment. Governor in Council appointees should not participate in a political activity where it may reasonably be seen to be incompatible with their duty, or reasonably seen to impair their ability to discharge their public duties in a politically impartial fashion, or would cast doubt on the integrity or impartiality of the office. Any questions regarding obligations under the guidelines should be directed to the Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office.
2.2 (4) The Lobbying Act
Public office holders also have certain responsibilities under the Lobbying Act. Upon assuming a Governor in Council position, the appointee must ensure that all obligations under the Lobbying Act and its regulations are met. Appointees should note that Public office holders are subject to a five-year post-employment restriction under section 10.11 of the Lobbying Act. The Commissioner of Lobbying is responsible for ensuring compliance with this Act. Appointees may discuss their circumstances in confidence with officials in the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying.
2.3 Respecting Acts of Parliament (Contextual)
Failing to respect an Act of Parliament that imposes obligations on a Governor in Council appointee, such as the Conflict of Interest Act, could, in addition to any sanction spelled out in the Act, be a consideration taken into account by the Governor in Council in removing an appointee from office for cause.
3. Performance Management Program (Internal and Incorporated)
The Performance Management Program for full-time Governor in Council appointees also forms part of the terms and conditions. The guidelines setting out the parameters of the program can be found in the links below:
- Performance Management Program for Deputy Ministers, Associate Deputy Ministers, and Individuals Paid in the GX Range
- Performance Management Program Guidelines - Chief Executive Officers of Crown Corporations
- Performance Management Program Guidelines - Heads of Agencies and other Governor in Council Appoint
Recovery of Performance Pay
The Performance Management Program for Governor in Council appointees incents performance by linking a portion of compensation to the achievement of results. A rigorous evaluation process and the ability to accurately compensate for results are essential to the program’s integrity. On occasion, information may come to light following the evaluation period that is relevant to the assessment and performance pay that was provided to an appointee:
- when it has been determined, following due process, that an appointee willfully or recklessly sought to hide or misrepresent their achievements such that any deficiencies would have been difficult to detect at the time of evaluation; or
- when it has been determined, following due process, that an appointee committed serious breaches of conduct or mismanagement within a particular performance period that would have had such a negative effect on the rating provided that they would have received a rating of “did not meet”.
- the amounts eligible for recovery are deemed to be an overpayment under s.155 of the Financial Administration Act; and,
- the amounts eligible for recovery include any at-risk pay, bonus and in-range movement earned as a result of the initial rating assigned during the performance cycle in question. This also includes a recalculation of pension entitlements, should the appointee have retired and recovery of any overpayments as a result.
4. Official Languages (Incorporated)
The Official Languages Act builds on the principles related to Canada’s official languages found in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Official Languages Act applies to all federal institutions, including departments, agencies, and Crown corporations.
The objectives of the government's official languages program are to provide service to the public in the official language of its choice as set out in the Official Languages Act and Regulations, as required under the Act, to allow employees in federal institutions to work in the official language of their choice, and to provide the two official language groups with equal opportunities to participate in federal institutions.
The government expects that senior officers, executives and Governor in Council appointees will support and promote these objectives and its commitment under the Act by assisting in the development of official language minority communities, by fully recognizing the use of both English and French in Canadian society, and by personally promoting the use of both official languages in their institutions.
Furthermore, the Act specifies that both English and French are the official languages of federal courts and that everyone is entitled to use one or the other in all matters brought before the courts. Federal courts, including administrative tribunals, must ensure that the individuals hearing the proceedings understand English or French, or both, without the assistance of an interpreter.
5. Compensation (Contextual)
Deputy Ministers are appointed to level. That is, they are paid within the DM 1, 2, 3 or 4 salary ranges depending on the scope and complexity of their responsibilities, the level of their experience and their performance.
Other Governor in Council appointees (in agencies, boards, and commissions) deliver public policy or perform quasi-judicial or regulatory functions and are paid within the salary range of the classified level of their position. The level of a position is determined through the application of the Hay position evaluation plan, which ensures consistency and equity in the determination of compensation across organizations. These positions are classified as GC levels 1 – 10 (or GCQ levels 1 – 10 for positions ineligible for performance pay).
Deputy Ministers and some Governor in Council appointees receive compensation which is comprised of a base salary and an annual re-earnable lump sum payment known as “at-risk” pay. Salary progression through the salary range and the award of at-risk pay, subject to Governor in Council approval, are based on the individual's performance which is evaluated annually against pre-established commitments.
Governor in Council appointees in regulatory agencies or administrative tribunals are not eligible for at-risk pay because they require independence from government in their decision making. In establishing the job rate for GCQs, a portion of the maximum at-risk pay applicable to a GC position was added to the job rate to establish a GCQ rate of pay for an equivalent level. GCQ positions are found in organizations such as the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the Immigration and Refugee Board, the National Parole Board and the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Direct deposit of pay is required for all full-time appointees. The pay is deposited on a bi-weekly basis.
6. Leave With and Without Pay (Internal and Incorporated)
The following section outlines leave benefits available to Governor in Council appointees. It supercedes sections 4 through 14 of Appendix C of the Directive on Executive Compensation.
Governor in Council appointees may be awarded different types of leave during the period of their appointments. Depending on the reason for the leave, it may be with or without pay and approval is required by the immediate supervisor. In the case of deputy heads, a designated individual should be appointed in accordance with PCO's Leave Administration Guidelines for Deputy Ministers and Heads of Agencies, Boards and Commissions, to manage the deputy head's leave, see section 6.8.
The following is a description of these different types of leave:
6.1 Paid Vacation Leave
Four (4) weeks of leave per fiscal year on appointment to the public service, accrued at the rate of 1 2/3 days for each month that the appointee earned 10 or more days' pay.
Five (5) weeks of leave per fiscal year accrued at the rate of 2 1/12 days for each month that the appointee earned 10 or more days' pay when the appointee has completed:
- 10 years of service as a Governor in Council appointee or as a member of the Executive Group in the public service;
- 15 years of service of which at least 5 are as an appointee or a member of the Executive Group in the public service;
- 20 years of public service; or
- the appointee is already entitled to this number of weeks of vacation leave on appointment from another group in the public service or another federal Crown organization. In order to be eligible for an accumulation rate of over 1 2/3 days per month, appointees may be asked to provide evidence of their current rate of accumulation.
Since April 1, 2000, six (6) weeks of leave per fiscal year, accrued at the rate of 2 ½ days for each month that the appointee earned 10 or more days' pay, when the appointee has completed a total of 28 years of service or the appointee is already entitled to this number of weeks of vacation leave in the public service or another federal Crown organization. Service for these purposes does not include pensionable service transferred from another pension plan through a Pension Transfer Agreement.
Under certain circumstances, appointees from another federal Crown organization may be able to transfer accumulated vacation leave credits at the time of appointment to the organization to which they are being appointed.
Vacation leave is intended for use in the year in which it is earned. Leave not used during that time may be carried forward, but the accumulation of vacation leave is generally limited to one year's entitlement. In compliance with the terms stated in Appendix C of the Directive on Executive Compensation, section 6.4.2, at the end of the fiscal year, organizations normally make cash payments for accumulated vacation leave that cannot be carried forward. Both voluntary and mandatory cash-out of leave are for earned but unused vacation leave credits only. Earned but unused vacation leave credits are automatically paid in cash on termination.
With the approval of the immediate supervisor, or in the case of deputy heads, the designated individual identified in the PCO Leave Administration Guidelines for Deputy Ministers and Heads of Agencies, Boards and Commissions (section 6.8), the appointee may carry forward up to one year's entitlement of earned but unused vacation leave credits beyond the permitted maximum accumulation. Any leave carried forward under this exception must be used within the immediate fiscal year or be subject to mandatory cash-out at the end of the fiscal year. Appointees with deputy head status should refer to section 6.8 for further guidance on leave administration.
6.2 Paid Statutory Holidays
There are twelve (12) paid statutory holidays per year:
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Victoria Day
- Canada Day
- Labour Day
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Thanksgiving Day
- Remembrance Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- A provincial or civic holiday
6.3 Personal Leave
Governor in Council appointees are eligible for two (2) days of leave with pay for reasons of a personal nature in each fiscal year, on approval from the designated manager, and subject to operational requirements.
6.4 Paid Sick Leave
Appointees are entitled to fifteen (15) days of paid sick leave per fiscal year, accrued at the rate of 1 1/4 days for each month that the appointee earned at least 10 days' pay, with no limit on the total days accumulated.
To support the use of sick leave, a medical certificate may be required by the deputy head.
At the discretion of the deputy head, appointees may be granted up to 130 days of paid sick leave if they have not accumulated enough credits to cover an illness. This additional leave, known as Special Sick Leave, may be granted only once in a person's career, will not be recovered from future sick leave credits and must fulfill the following conditions:
- Insufficient sick leave credits to cover the entire period
- All accumulated sick leave credits are exhausted
- Can be granted in several periods as required depending on the appointee's progress towards recovery
- Requires a medical certificate
Under certain circumstances, appointees from another federal Crown organization may be able to transfer accumulated sick leave credits at the time of appointment to the organization to which they are being appointed.
No compensation is paid for unused sick leave credits upon termination.
6.5 Leave for Family Responsibilities
See Appendix C of the Directive on Executive Compensation, section 7.
6.5.1 Leave with Pay (Discretionary)
Appointees may be granted a total of five days' (37.5 hours) leave with pay during any fiscal year for family-related responsibilities such as:
- care of a sick member of the family;
- needs related to the birth or adoption of a child; or
- to take a member of the family to a health or education-related appointment.
6.5.2 Leave without Pay (Mandatory)
a. Maternity Leave - An appointee who is pregnant, shall, at her request, be granted maternity leave without pay commencing before, on or after the date of childbirth, as the appointee decides, and ending not later than 18 weeks following the date of childbirth. A maternity allowance provides income maintenance to the level of 93% of salary for a period of up to 18 weeks, inclusive of the two-week waiting period under the Employment Insurance program or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. The combined period of maternity leave without pay and parental leave without pay available to a female appointee after childbirth is limited to 52 weeks.
The eligibility to receive maternity allowance is dependent on the following conditions:
- has completed at least six (6) months of continuous employment; and
- provides the immediate supervisor with proof that she has applied for and is eligible to receive maternity benefits under the Employment Insurance program or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan
b. Parental Leave - An appointee, male or female, who becomes a parent through the birth or adoption of a child, shall be granted parental leave without pay for a single period of up to 37 consecutive weeks beginning on or after the date of the child's birth or in the case of adoption, the date of the acceptance of custody of the child.
A parental allowance provides income maintenance to the level of 93% of salary for a period of up to 37 weeks, within the 52 weeks of the birth of the child, or in the case of adoption, the date of the acceptance of custody of the child, under the Employment Insurance program or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
The eligibility to receive parental allowance is dependent on the following conditions:
- has completed at least six (6) months of continuous employment; and
- provides the immediate supervisor with proof that she has applied for and is eligible to receive parental or adoption benefits under the Employment Insurance program or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
c. Care of Immediate Family Member Leave - At the appointee's request, leave without pay shall be granted, in one or more periods (minimum six (6) months each occurrence) not exceeding five (5) years in total, for the care of immediate family. In special circumstances, such leave may be authorized for periods of less than six (6) months.
6.6 Special Leave
6.6.1 Special Leave with Pay (Mandatory)
Special leave with pay shall be granted for:
- jury duty;
- appearing before any body authorized by law to compel the attendance of witnesses; or
- participating in a personnel selection process or an appeal process for any position within an organization in the Government of Canada
6.6.2 Special Leave with Pay (Discretionary)
At the discretion of the deputy head, special leave with pay may be granted for any purpose not otherwise specified. Examples where such leave might be granted are bereavement, marriage, or significant excessive hours worked.
In the case of excessive hours work over a prolonged period of time, appointees are eligible for special leave with pay for a period of up to five (5) days in a fiscal year, not to be used as a substitute for vacation leave.
Under exceptional circumstances, the deputy head can approve exceptional leave with pay for a period exceeding the five (5) days. This authority cannot be sub-delegated. The request for such leave needs to be substantiated.
6.6.3 Special Leave without Pay (Discretionary)
With approval from the deputy head an appointee is eligible for leave without pay for any purpose not otherwise specified. This authority cannot be sub-delegated. An example where such leave might be granted is an assignment with an international organization. Since most Governor in Council appointments are for a specified term and renewal is not automatic, this type of leave would likely be granted only under exceptional circumstances.
6.7 Leave for Work-related Illness or Injury
Appointees may receive benefits during absences caused by occupational illness or injury. However, these benefits must be adjudicated and require the approval of the Workers' Compensation Board of the province in which the appointee works.
6.8 Leave Administration Guidelines for Deputy Ministers and Heads of Agencies, Boards and Commissions
Deputy Heads should establish a third party mechanism for the approval, usage and reporting of their own leave. The Privy Council Office recommends that a “Designated Officer” within the Deputy Head's organization be given the responsibility by the Deputy Head to ensure that the Deputy Head's leave is managed and accounted for in accordance with this document.
It is recommended that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or the Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO) be identified as the Designated Officer within the organization to sign-off on all leave requests (vacation, sick leave, leave for family responsibilities, cash-out of credits, etc.) for which the Deputy Head is the beneficiary. The Designated Officer should only sign-off on a leave request if the request is in accordance with the applicable leave provisions and available credits. The CFO or the DCFO has a responsibility to advise the Deputy Head and, if necessary, engage the Comptroller General in cases of non-compliance.
The Designated Officer will need to be informed of the Deputy Head's leave entitlements and any accumulation of leave credits in order to perform his or her role adequately.
The following leave requests by the Deputy Head should be referred by the Designated Officer to the Director of Compensation and Leadership Development, Senior Personnel, Privy Council Office for review prior to sign-off by the Designated Officer:
- to carry forward up to one year's entitlement of earned but unused vacation leave credits beyond the permitted maximum accumulation;
- to take paid sick leave when the department's practice would be to request a medical certificate;
- to be granted up to 130 continuous days of paid sick leave if the Deputy Head has not accumulated enough credits to cover an illness;
- to take mandatory leave without pay for family responsibilities – maternity leave, parental leave or care of immediate family; or
- to take mandatory or discretionary special leave with pay of up to 5 days in a fiscal year – marriage leave, for significant excessive hours worked, etc.
Comments and/or questions related to these guidelines should be referred to the Director, Compensation and Leadership Development, Senior Personnel, Privy Council Office.
7. Insurance Plans (Incorporated)
Most Governor in Council appointees are eligible for participation in the public service insurance plans listed below. Access to the links will provide you with detailed information.
7.1 Public Service Management Insurance Plan (PSMIP)
- Basic Life Insurance
- Supplementary Life Insurance
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
- Dependants' Insurance
- Post-Retirement Life Insurance
- Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)
7.2 Provincial Health Insurance Plans
The above link provides information for all provincial health insurance plans available. For provinces who levy direct premiums such as British Columbia and Alberta, the cost is shared 50/50 by the employer.
On retirement, if the appointee is entitled to receive benefits under the Public Service Superannuation Act, (PSSA), the employer continues to share the cost.
7.3 Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP)
- Supplementary Coverage - This coverage is intended for eligible participants who are covered under a provincial/territorial health insurance plan. In general, the PSHCP supplements the coverage provided under the provincial/territorial plan in the member's province/territory of residence.
- Comprehensive Coverage (Outside Canada) - This coverage is intended for members and their eligible dependants (who reside with the member) outside Canada and who are not covered under a provincial/territorial health insurance plan or under a non-government hospital insurance plan. A person covered under Comprehensive Coverage will continue to be covered under this benefit after their return to Canada until such time as they become eligible to be insured under a provincial/territorial health insurance plan.
Note 1: Appointees may be subject to a waiting period at the time of initial appointment.
Note 2: Coverage under the PSHCP may be continued if the appointee retires and is in receipt of an annuity under the PSSA, with the cost shared by the appointee and the employer.
7.4 Public Service Dental Care Plan (DCP)
The Dental Care Plan (DCP) is available to public servants and employees of a number of separate employers and provides coverage for specific services and supplies that are not covered under a provincial health or dental care plan.
Note: Coverage under the DCP ceases on termination of employment.
7.5 Pensioners Dental Services Plan (PDSP)
The PDSP is an optional contributory dental plan providing coverage for eligible pensioners (including survivors) under the Public Service Superannuation Plan and a number of other federal superannuation plans. There are three possible levels of coverage:
- Pensioner only
- Pensioner and one eligible family member
- Pensioner and more than one eligible family member
8. Pension Plan and Supplementary Death Benefits (Incorporated and Internal)
8.1 Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) / Special Retirement Arrangements Act (SRAA)
Most Governor in Council appointees are eligible to participate in the public service pension plan. In certain cases, participation may require Governor in Council approval. In some cases, however, legislation prevents a Governor in Council appointee from participating in the plan.
For members of the plan, the minimum requirement to be eligible for a pension is completion of at least two years of pensionable service. If this requirement is not met, the appointee's contributions plus interest, as determined on a quarterly basis, are automatically returned to the appointee on termination of employment.
If an individual purchases service under the elective service provisions and terminates before completing two years of current employment as a contributor, that person is not eligible for a pension even though the current employment as a contributor and elective service combined are more than two years. However, if service is purchased under a pension transfer agreement and the combined current service as a contributor and transferred service add up to at least two years, the minimum requirement for a pension would be met.
Pensionable service comprises current employment as a contributor and any periods of prior employment established as pensionable which the appointee has purchased under the elective service provisions of the plan or pursuant to a Pension Transfer Agreement between employers. Under the transfer provisions, the appointee may be required to pay an additional amount to ensure that all or a portion of prior service is recognized as pensionable under the terms of the plan. This document, Your Pension Plan, provides complete information.
8.2 Post-Employment Participation
Special Retirement Arrangements Act (SRAA)
Deputy heads who leave the public service before age 60 with at least 10 years of pensionable service and prior to having reached the combination of 55 years of age and 30 years of service, may elect to continue to contribute to the pension plan until age 60. This election must be made before the date of termination, and the former deputy head pays two (2) times the plan member's contributions based on the plan member's salary at departure, adjusted from time to time for future increases in the salary range.
If the former deputy head makes this election under the SRAA, he or she may also elect, before the date of termination of employment, to continue coverage under the Supplementary Death Benefit Plan (PSSA), the Public Service Management Insurance Plan, the Public Service Health Care Plan and the Public Service Dental Care Plan. The cost of this coverage is paid by the former deputy head.
8.3 Supplementary Death Benefits
The Supplementary Death Benefit Plan, which is Part II of the PSSA, provides a form of decreasing term life insurance protection designed to cover you and your beneficiary during the years you are building up your pension. This plan applies to almost all Governor in Council appointees who contribute to the Public Service Pension Fund. The exceptions can be found in the Superannuation Administration Manual (SAM 6-2-2).
The plan provides a benefit equal to twice your annual salary. If that amount is not a multiple of $1,000, your benefit coverage is adjusted to the next highest multiple of $1,000. The amount of your benefit automatically goes up as your salary goes up.
9. Payments on Termination (Internal)
9.1 Severance Pay
For service prior to October 1, 2011, appointees are entitled to one week's pay for each year of service up to 28 weeks, reduced by amounts previously paid out. In the case of a partial year of service, the payment is prorated to the number of days of service in the last year, up to a maximum of twenty-eight (28) weeks' pay.
Effective October 1, 2011, accumulation of severance pay credits for voluntary terminations (resignation, retirement and end of term) ceases.
9.2 Additional Death Benefit
Applicable to some appointees who were not contributors to the Public Service Pension Plan: a sum equal to two months of salary payable to the surviving spouse or, if necessary, such person as the Treasury Board determines.
9.3 Salary for the Month of Death
If the appointee has one or more years of service, salary for the full month in which the appointee dies will be paid to a named beneficiary or to the appointee's estate. The amount of the payment will be the monthly rate of pay minus any salary payments already made in the month of death.
10. Executive Vehicles (Internal and Incorporated)
Deputy Ministers and appointees who hold a personal classification equivalent to the DM-2 level (GC 9-10 or GCQ 9-10) or above; hold a position which is classified at these levels on a full-time basis; and occupy the most senior position in the organization may use an executive vehicle for personal and business purposes.
The personal use of the vehicle is a taxable benefit and must be reported as income to the Canada Revenue Agency.
Further information may be obtained by accessing the Treasury Board Directive on Fleet Management: Executive Vehicles.
11. Parking (Internal)
The employer pays 50% of the monthly parking expense incurred by full-time Governor in Council appointees who drive their car to work every day, as listed below. The employer-paid portion of this benefit is taxable.
- 50% of the rate the appointee pays in a commercial parking lot,
- 50% of the rate for parking spaces leased by the employer,
- 50% of the rate for parking spaces owned by the employer based on the commercial rates in the immediate vicinity
12. Membership Fees (Internal)
It is government policy to pay membership fees only when memberships in a particular organization are in direct support of a government program, or when membership is a federal statutory requirement for individual employees to carry out the functions of their positions.
Fees for membership in community, commercial or other special interest organizations may be paid only in exceptional circumstances when the deputy head believes that membership can contribute to achieving the objectives of the department or agency.
Reimbursement of membership fees for primarily social, recreational or fraternal organizations is subject to the approval of the responsible Minister.
13. Hospitality (Contextual)
Expenditure of public money for hospitality is strictly limited to initiatives that facilitate operational objectives or comply with the requirements of courtesy or protocol. Generally, hospitality expenditures are reimbursed only when recipients are not government employees and the occasion marks important meetings, conferences and ceremonies. Costs associated with guests are governed by the Treasury Board Hospitality Policy and should be reported as such. Since 2003, proactive disclosure of all travel and hospitality expenses, for selected government officials, must be posted on the organizational website.
14. Business Travel (Incorporated and Internal)
The standards and conditions governing travel on government business are prescribed in the National Joint Council Travel Directive, and the Treasury Board Special Travel Authorities. The provisions in these documents apply to all Governor in Council appointees except those employed in organizations which have the authority to establish their own. The government directed these organizations by Order-in-Council (P.C. 1997-1810), to be guided by the Travel Directive and Special Travel Authorities in the establishment of their own policies. Such organizations are accountable to justify their policies, and their deputy heads to justify their personal expenses.
The provisions are mandatory and represent reimbursement of reasonable expenses necessarily incurred while traveling on official business. The major elements of traveling expenses are as follows:
Deputy Ministers (DM 1-4) and appointees at the GC/GCQ 8-10 levels and above may use business class air travel at their discretion but must book through the government travel service. Please note however, that the 2009 Budget placed new limitations on business class travel.
GIC appointees whose terms of travel are not otherwise specified on appointment are subject to the same terms and conditions of the National Joint Council Travel Directive and the Treasury Board Special Travel Authorities as they apply to the Executive Group of the Public Service.
First class air travel was eliminated by Cabinet direction in February 1992 and is not allowable.
14.2 Travel Loyalty Programs
Governor in Council appointees may enroll in the travel loyalty program of their choice provided they notify the government travel services. Appointees may redeem travel points for personal and/or business use. Appointees must contact their travel loyalty programs directly, not the government travel service to redeem benefits.
When redeemed for personal use, travel points must be declared as a taxable benefit in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency's Interpretation Bulletin IT-470R (Consolidated) - Employee Fringe Benefits. The government will not issue a T4 or T4A slip in this regard. It is the responsibility of appointees to report the applicable taxable benefit when completing their annual tax returns.
14.3 Accommodation and Other Expenses
Deputy heads have discretion over commercial accommodation selected, telephone calls, meals and incidentals in excess of the per diems, based on receipts.
This discretion should be exercised with prudence and probity, mindful that all expenditures must further government objectives. Although specific circumstances may warrant exceptional expenses, the basic norm should be comfortable and convenient, but not excessive. A benchmark may be found in the provisions of the National Joint Council Travel Directive. Deputy heads are accountable and must be prepared to justify their expenses in keeping with the responsibility of public office holders to conduct themselves in a manner that can bear the closest public scrutiny. Since 2003, proactive disclosure of all travel and hospitality expenses, for selected government officials, must be posted on the organizational website.
The Accommodation and Car Rental Directory lists accommodations as within the city rate limit or above the city rate limit. Accommodation above the city rate limit must be justified on the travel claim. Selection of such properties should be because it is cost-effective or because exceptional circumstances warrant.
While on travel status, claims may include the daily meal allowances or actual and reasonable meal expenses, supported by receipts. Actual meal expenses shall not include alcohol costs associated with guests or co-workers, or the additional cost of room service, which is to be identified by the claimant.
An incidental allowance is paid relative to the travel location and duration for items that are attributed to a period of travel but for which no other reimbursement or allowance is provided under this directive, and which helps offset some of the expenses incurred while on travel status. The allowance covers, but is not limited to, such miscellaneous expenses as gratuities, laundry, dry cleaning, bottled water and phone calls home.
14.3.4 Taxis and Parking
When on travel status, actual expenses may be claimed for taxis and parking, on the honour system (without receipts). However, it has been the general practice to submit receipts.
15. Relocation (Incorporated)
Appointees who are required to relocate are subject both the National Joint Council Integrated Relocation Program and the Executive Group (EX) and Governor in Council Appointees (GIC) – Relocation Provisions. This is a one-stop shopping concept designed to provide appointees with a menu of move-related options to address their relocation needs. The receiving organization will advise the relocation service supplier, with whom the government has contracted, of the person's appointment. A consultant from the relocation service supplier will then explain the program in detail to the appointee and assist him or her in tailoring and optimizing available benefits. This professional assistance will be available throughout every step of the move.
Plans and policies referred to in this document
The following documents are available on the Privy Council Office website:
- Building a Governor in Council Position Accountability Profile
- Performance Management Program
- Salary Ranges for Full-Time Governor in Council Appointees
- Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders
- Guidelines for the Political Activities of Public Office Holders
This document should be read in conjunction with the following:
- Appendix C of the Directive on Executive Compensation
- Public Service Health Care Plan
- Provincial Health Insurance Plans
- Public Service Management Insurance Plan
- Dental Insurance Plan
- Public Service Superannuation Plan
- National Joint Council - Integrated Relocation Program
- National Joint Council Travel Directive
- Executive Group (EX) and Governor in Council Appointees (GIC) – Relocation Provisions
- Treasury Board Special Travel Authorities
- Treasury Board Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures
- Treasury Board Directive on Fleet Management: Executive Vehicles
- Conflict of Interest Act
- Privacy Act
- Lobbying Act
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