Archived - Notification - Questions and answers

Q. When can a person lodge a complaint to PSST?

A. The right to make a complaint to the PSST is available immediately after the second notification, of an appointment or proposed appointment, is given. The Public Service Staffing Tribunal Regulations provide that a complaint must be submitted in writing no later than 15 days after a person receives the notice of appointment or proposed appointment.

Q. A waiting period is established following the first notification (consideration for appointment). What happens if a person asks for informal discussion after the period is over?

A. A person may ask for feedback on the decision to eliminate them in an appointment process at any time. However, once the second notification (appointment or proposed appointment) has been given, the decision is final.

Q. After each point of elimination for candidates, is a waiting period of at least five days required?

A. No. The minimum five day waiting period identified in the Notification Policy only applies after the first notification is given (consideration for appointment). When a candidate is eliminated from an appointment process, they should be informed so that they have the opportunity to ask for informal discussion. There is no requirement for the appointment process to stop for this to happen.

Q. If after the first notification (consideration for appointment), the manager makes a decision that results in a change to the person he/she wishes to appoint, does he/she have to repeat the first notification with the new name or can he/she simply proceed to the second notification (appointment or proposed appointment). At what point is the original person informed?

A. There is no requirement in the legislation or in the PSC policy to reissue the first notification with the new name. However, the manager should consider the impact of such a decision on the person previously considered and communicate with him/her as this person would not have had an opportunity for informal discussion. In the interests of fairness and transparency, an organization might decide that in these circumstances it would be appropriate to repeat the first notification with the new name.

Q. Why is there a requirement for two notifications in the Act?

A. The first notification, which identifies the person(s) being considered for appointment, gives people an opportunity to raise concerns through informal discussion. This provides the manager with a last chance to reconsider and correct any errors that are identified, because the decision is not yet final. The first notification, therefore, allows the opportunity to discuss and resolve issues before resorting to formal recourse. Proposing a person for appointment or appointing a person, however, is a final decision and the notification of this decision triggers the formal recourse process.

Q. Who are persons to be notified?

A. In internal advertised appointment processes, persons to be notified are the persons in the area of selection who participated in that process. In internal non-advertised appointment processes, persons to be notified are the persons in the area of selection. (PSEA s. 48(1))

Q. Are these notifications required in external appointment processes?

A. No. There is no recourse in external appointment processes.

Q. Can the manager send out the first notification of consideration before the necessary security clearances for all the persons who meet the essential qualifications are finalized?

A. Yes, security clearance is a condition of appointment and only has to be met at the time of appointment.

Q. I know who I am going to appoint and I am not going to change my mind. Can I skip the first notification and go directly to the second notification?

A. No. The legislation is clear on this requirement and there is no exception to the requirement for the two notifications and the waiting period between them.

Q. Can I make the appointment before the end of the waiting period?

A. No. The legislation states clearly that appointments and proposed appointments cannot be made during the waiting period, otherwise, the intent of informal discussion would be undermined (PSEA s.48(2)).

Q. Can an acting appointment start before the waiting period?

A. The Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER) exclude acting appointments from the notification requirements of Section 48 of the Public Service Employment Act, including the requirement of a waiting period. This allows managers to start acting appointments when the need arises. The PSER, however, do require that managers give persons in the area of recourse a notice of appointment or proposed appointment and inform them of their right to make a complaint to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal.

Q. Does an organization have to establish one waiting period (e.g. 10 days) that must be used in all internal appointment processes?

A. No. While respecting the minimum requirement established in the PSC policy, a deputy head may decide to have different waiting periods for different types of processes or for different jobs being staffed taking into account various factors, such as the size of the area of selection, the geographic distribution of employees in the organization, types of work schedules, and the level of access persons have to computers and e-mail. A deputy head may also decide to allow managers to establish the duration of the waiting period for each internal appointment process, taking into account these and other factors.

Q. Does the notification of a considered appointment need to specify the duration of the waiting period?

A. The PSC policy requires that persons to be notified be informed, in writing, of the duration of the waiting period. It might be a best practice to do so in the notification itself. However, if a deputy head were to establish the same length of waiting period for all appointment processes, the organization might choose to inform persons of the period in the advertisement for the internal advertised appointment process, or through some other communication vehicle.

Q. Would e-mails qualify as notification in writing?

A. Yes. In writing means that something can be retained for the record.

Q. How do I make a complaint to the PSST? What is the manner in which a complaint to the PPST may be made?

A. This question falls under the authority of the PSST. For more information, consult the PSST website.

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