Membership Fees Provisions of Collective Agreements


To: Heads of Human Resources and Directors/Chiefs of Labour Relations and Compensation

The purpose of this information bulletin is to provide clarification to core public administration departments and agencies with respect to reimbursement of membership or registration fees necessary for accreditation or certification in a profession, pursuant to the terms and conditions found in collective agreements.

As stated in the information bulletin Rescission of Membership Fees Policy dated , provisions for the reimbursement of membership fees, when required for the performance of the duties of an employee’s position, are found within collective agreements. These provisions apply to represented employees as well as to excluded and unrepresented employees who are associated with a relevant collective agreement.

It is important to note that the intent of these provisions is to provide reimbursement of fees when membership or eligibility for membership is a requirement of the job – either as a legislated requirement, or as specified in Qualification Standards, or as otherwise formally established as a requirement for the performance of the duties of an employee’s position, such as being specified as an essential qualification in the statement of merit criteria.

As such, approval of reimbursement is contingent upon meeting the job requirement provisions set out in the appropriate collective agreement. The employer is under no obligation to reimburse amounts paid for membership fees which fall outside of the applicable articles of the collective agreements.

Group or corporate memberships, annual corporate subscriptions, membership fees for training and development or conference memberships should not be reimbursed under the job requirement provisions within the collective agreement language and another authority is necessary for payment.

Similarly, memberships in organizations which are primarily for developmental or networking purposes that are not requirements of the job should not be reimbursed under the provisions of the collective agreement.

The reimbursement of membership or registration fees should not include any initiation fee, insurance premium or special levy.

Reimbursement provisions of core public administration collective agreements do not apply to individuals who are not subject to or associated with a collective agreement with such terms and conditions.

Questions pertaining to membership fees covered under a collective agreement should be directed to your departmental Corporate Compensation or Labour Relations officials who in turn can contact the Compensation and Labour Relations Interpretations mailbox.

Questions pertaining to financial processing should be directed to your departmental financial function who in turn can contact the appropriate policy centre.

Original signed by

Barry Fennessy
Senior Director
Compensation Management
Core Public Administration
Compensation and Labour Relations
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

Page details

Date modified: