Time Off for Personal Medical and Dental Appointments


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

The purpose of this information bulletin is to provide guidance to departments on the interpretation of time off work with pay for personal medical and dental appointments in accordance with the Directive on Leave and Special Working Arrangements.

Departments have the discretion to determine what is considered time off work with pay and whether it is routine or periodic. The interpretation could vary depending on the circumstances of the appointment.

Although the directive does not define what constitutes a routine or periodic check-up, it is normally limited to appointments of a preventive nature such as appointments for annual physical, dental check-up and eye exam. These types of appointments are normally scheduled in advance and the individual is not sick or injured.

There may be cases where the appointment is periodic but not routine yet could still qualify as being diagnostic and preventive in nature. Examples of this could include an appointment for a colonoscopy or a mammogram.

Time off work with pay should not be for the treatment of a specific complaint or condition. Examples of these would be for a doctor’s appointment when the employee is feeling sick, any follow-up appointment(s) for treatment as a result of a diagnostic test or a condition, or a series of appointments to rectify or alleviate a condition such as, but not limited to, chiropractic needs, physiotherapy, psychologist, etc. These absences are to be charged to the employee’s sick leave credits.

As specified in the directive, the employer may grant up to half a day of paid time off for such absences. This includes the time needed to travel to and from the appointment and is to be scheduled to cause as little disruption to services as possible. If the time required exceeds half a day, the excess is to be charged against the appropriate leave. For a full time employee, a half day is considered to be one half of the normal daily hours of work in accordance with the applicable collective agreement, i.e. a maximum of 3.75 hours for an employee whose workday is 7.5 hours, including those employees working variable hours. For a part-time employee, the time off with pay would be in the same proportion as their normal daily hours of work compared with the normal daily hours of work of a full time employee as specified in the applicable collective agreement.

Finally, time off work with pay for medical and dental appointments is not to be recorded under leave code 699. The use of this code is to be limited to leave with pay for other reasons as outlined in the collective agreements or applicable instruments of authority. This time off with pay is not leave granted under the provisions of a collective agreement. It is up to each organization to keep track of the time off with pay allowed for their employees

Any questions regarding this bulletin should be directed to your Departmental Corporate Labour Relations or Corporate Compensation officials. If required, the designated point of contact for departments will direct their enquiries to the following e-mail address: Contact Interpretations by E-mail Interpretations@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Original signed by

Michael Holt
A/Senior Director
Core Public Administration
Compensation Management
Compensation and Labour Relations
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

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