Horizontal Initiatives - 2014-15 Departmental Performance Report - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Horizontal Initiatives

Name of horizontal initiative: Workplace Wellness and Productivity Strategy (WPS)

Name of lead department: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (Secretariat)

Federal partner organizations

Public Services and Procurement CanadaFootnote 7 (PSPC) – Acquisitions Branch and Accounting, Banking and Compensation Branch: The Acquisitions Branch provided expertise to prepare for potential procurement of a new short-term disability plan and retendering of the long-term disability plan. The Accounting, Banking and Compensation Branch is supporting the development of the technological solution required for interoperability with the People Soft–based absence management system and human resources and pay systems in the federal public service.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – Labour: The Labour Program is identifying options for improving the administration of occupational claims under the Government Employees Compensation Act.

Health Canada: This organization is supporting the provision of an updated Policy on Employee Assistance Program and related departmental advice. Its activities are also helping to streamline the application process for medical retirement under the Public Service Superannuation Act.

Non-federal and non-governmental partners: N/A

Start date:

End date: 2018–

Total federal funding allocation (from start date to end date) (dollars):

The amount of $25,010,838 in total funding has been allocated over a four-year period for the Secretariat, PSPC, ESDC and Health Canada to carry out a range of activities to modernize the current system of disability and sick leave management. The total allocated funding includes an amount of $21,092,649 from the fiscal framework and an amount of $3,918,189 from existing departmental reference levels.

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners (dollars): N/A

Description of the horizontal initiative (including funding agreement):

Under the Disability Management Initiative in 2009, several structural problems related to the existing disability management framework were identified. The Workplace Wellness and Productivity Strategy (WPS) was developed in response to the identified gaps. The goal of the WPS is to modernize the management of disability and sick leave in the federal public service.

The Government of Canada earmarked $21.1 million over four years for WPS. The funding is allocated between the Secretariat ($13.5 million), ESDC – Labour ($2.4 million) and PSPC ($5.2 million).

In 2014, the Government of Canada embarked on formal negotiations with several bargaining units. The Secretariat is formally negotiating with bargaining agents on aspects of WPS that relate to collective agreements. Negotiations are expected to continue into 2016–.

Shared outcomes:

The Secretariat and its partners aim to modernize key elements of the disability and sick leave management regime in the federal public service, with a view to creating a seamless, integrated and sustainable system to support employee wellness and productivity.

All employees in the federal public service are to have the following:

  • Appropriate incentives and access to services to maintain their mental and physical health; and
  • Support to recover and stay at work, if possible, when illness or injury occurs, or to return to work as soon as it is safe to do so, with any necessary accommodation. If return to work is not possible due to the severity of the disability, employees will have assurance of reasonable income security.

Governance structure:

A project charter and brief, reviewed by senior officials from each of the partner organizations, provides details on the WPS initiative and spells out the roles, responsibilities and deliverables of each of the partners.

In addition, the initiative put in place a detailed governance structure to support effective, collaborative and timely decision making to resolve ongoing emerging issues. The governance structure includes oversight at the highest levels through the Deputy Minister Project Governance Committee and the ADM Steering Committee. A working-level group of work stream committees cover each of the initiative's major activities.

The chair of each of the work stream committees is responsible for monitoring work, directing corrective actions as required, reporting regularly on progress, and submitting deliverables to the project management office. The latter has core responsibility for monitoring progress, directing any required corrective actions and approving deliverables. The senior project director chairs the project management office and is responsible for the overall progress of the project.

Performance highlights for 2014–:

Through National Joint Council working group meetings in 2014–, the WPS sought consultation opportunities with different bargaining groups. These consultations were intended to inform bargaining groups and to solicit their inputs on plan design elements during the development of the Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposals (RFP).

Three RFIs were subsequently issued to industry in 2014–. Since the commencement of formal collective bargaining, all engagements with industry have been temporarily placed on hold, to respect the bargaining process. Going forward, continuous reporting and monitoring of the WPS will continue in order to deliver the initiative within the intended timeline.

Comments on variances:

The WPS initiative and funding were approved in late fall 2013. The planned activities described in this supplementary information table cover 2014–. A majority of these activities are ongoing.

Delivery of identified objectives was delayed because of bargaining table activities. This prevented industry consultations from continuing and delayed input from the bargaining agents on the plan design. Given the situation, the project partners reduced the level of activity in order to preserve monies that will be required at a later date to deliver the remaining planned activities.

Contact information:

Ashique Biswas, A/Executive Director
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
8th Floor, 140 O'Connor St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5
Telephone: 613-952-3261

Workplace Wellness and Productivity Strategy
Federal organization Link to department’s Program Alignment Architecture Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start date to end date) 2014–15
Planned spending
Actual spending
Expected results
2014–15  Actual results against targets


People Management

Direction Setting
Comprehensive Management of Compensation




Project leadership, coordination and oversight

Plan design and policy development

Input into the collective bargaining process

Change management activities

The project management office was established to provide governance, leadership, coordination and oversight of project activities.

Funding of the WPS was approved, as was the Secretariat’s authority to lead the project.

Key project documents were developed outlining the structural gaps in the current system with respect to leading industry practices in other public jurisdictions; options were proposed and a timeline projected.

Working group meetings were held with bargaining agents as part of the bargaining agent engagement and input solicitation process.

Preliminary consultations with industry participants were held to gather information on available services and current practices.



Federal Pay and Pension Administration





Support for the development of the Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposals (RFP)for potential procurement of short-term and long-term disability plans

Activities in support of implementing pay and pension information system changes required for the short-term and long-term disability plans

Following up from an initial RFI in 2013-14, a second and third RFI were developed and issued to gather information on current industry practices.







Activities focused on modernizing systems and arrangements involving occupational injury or illness claims filed under the Government Employees Compensation Act, in order to reduce reporting times and improve data collection and information available to departments and agencies

Work was initiated and is ongoing regarding discussions and consultations with Workers’ Compensation Boards to align policy and business requirements for the Disability and Sick Leave Management System (DSLM) solution.

Work was initiated and is ongoing to identify required system changes to Labour Program’s claims payment system.

Health Canada

Specialized Health Services





Activities in support of an updated Policy on Employee Assistance Program and related departmental advice

Activities in support of a streamlined application process for medical retirement under the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA)

Work was initiated and is ongoing to identify required policy updates and changes to integrate ergonomics in line with the DSLM solution.

Work was initiated and is ongoing to identify required business process changes to application process for medical retirement under the PSSA.

Total for all federal organizations



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