Continuous Employment vs Continuous Service vs Continuous/discontinuous Service - March 2001


TO: Compensation Managers

Further to a request made by various participants at the 2000 Compensation Symposium at Gray Rocks, attached please find a chart illustrating the differences between continuous employment, continuous service and continuous/discontinuous service.

Please note that details and examples of the above can be found in the Pay Rate Selection Chapter of the Pay Administration Manual (i.e., Chapter 3).

Separate Employers

Former service with organisations listed in Schedule I, Part II of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) (e.g., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency - CCRA) counts for the purposes of continuous employment, continuous service, and continuous/discontinuous service.

It should be noted, however, that, as specified in collective agreements where annual leave is based on continuous/discontinuous service, the service will not count as continuous/discontinuous service if the individual received severance pay upon termination of employment. This condition is waived if the termination of employment is due to a lay-off and the individual returns to the Public Service within one year following the date of the lay-off.

When an individual moves from PSSRA Schedule I, Part II service to PSSRA Schedule I, Part I service, benefits such as severance pay and annual leave are not automatically transferred from one employer to the other. The employers concerned must agree to transfer and accept the related liabilities.

A change in employment to and from PSSRA Schedule I, Part II service does not constitute a transfer for pay administration purposes. Any movement to and from PSSRA Schedule 1, Part II employment should be done by using the TOS/SOS pay transactions.

Note: As for the CCRA, appointments to and from the Agency from the date of this bulletin must be processed by the means of TOS/SOS pay transactions. All CCRA-related appointments with an effective date prior to the date of this bulletin can be processed by means of the transfer-in/transfer-out process but these outstanding transactions should be processed as soon as possible.


  • An employee ceases employment with CCRA (i.e., PSSRA Schedule I, Part II) on and is hired at Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC; i.e., PSSRA Schedule I, Part I) on February 26, 2001.
  • This employee has continuous employment for pension, insurance, sick leave, and severance pay purposes.
  • This employee received severance pay upon cessation of employment with CCRA. The CCRA service does not count for annual leave purposes and will be reduced from any severance pay owed upon cessation of employment with PWGSC.
  • The CCRA service counts as continuous service for pay determination and pay increment purposes.

Nav Canada

Former Nav Canada employees who returned to the Public Service within one year (i.e., before Nov. 1, 1997) benefit from the continuous/discontinuous provisions of the collective agreements that allow for counting discontinuous service for annual leave purposes. They are considered to have been laid-off on October 31, 1996 and although they have received severance pay, they meet the re-appointment within one year condition and can therefore count the previous period of service.

For sick leave, if a former Nav Canada employee returned to the Public Service within one year, sick leave is restored. As in the case of annual leave, this also applies only to former Nav Canada employees who returned to the Public Service before November 1, 1997. It should be noted, however, that under the PSAC Program and Administrative Services (PA) collective agreement the reappointment condition is within two years. Former Nav Canada employees in the PA Group who returned to the Public Service before November 1, 1997 are still the only ones to benefit from this condition as the two-year provision came into effect only when the new agreement was signed on December 29, 1998.

Departmental Compensation managers should direct any questions that they may have to their corporate compensation officials who, if need be, can contact the Pay Administration Section.

Thomas A. Smith

Director, Pay Administration
Labour Relations Division
Human Resources Branch


Continuous Employment vs Continuous Service vs Continuous/discontinuous Service

Provision Definition Used for
Continuous Employment One or more periods of service in the Public Service, as defined in the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA), with allowable breaks only as provided for in the terms and conditions of employment applicable to the employee.
  • Sick leave;
  • Severance pay;
  • Pension
  • Insurances; and
  • Annual leave in certain collective agreements.
Continuous Service An unbroken period of Public Service employment (see PSSA). Continuous service is broken when employment ceases for at least one compensation day between two periods of Public Service employment.
  • Determining the rate of pay upon appointment; and
  • Determining pay increment dates.
Continuous/discontinuous Service One or more periods of service in the Public Service as defined by the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA).
  • Annual leave in most collective agreements.

Note: Reference should always be made to the relevant collective agreement as some collective agreements still provide for the accrual of annual leave credits based on continuous employment and some collective agreements contain a grandfather provision for annual leave credits previously based on continuous employment.

Service Employment with any department, Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, company, corporation, commission, board or agency established to perform a function or duty on behalf of the Government of Canada.
  • Annual leave for employees classifed in the occupational groups and levels set out in Part II of the Interim Exceptions to the PSTCER for Certain Unrepresented Employees.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: