Conditions of employment frequently asked questions
What are conditions of employment?
Conditions of employment are any requirements, other than qualifications, that must be met or complied with before being appointed to a particular position, and are to be maintained throughout the employment while being the incumbent of this position. Conditions of employment may be the same criteria as for operational requirements or organizational needs.
Can a requirement be both an operational requirement and a condition of employment?
Yes, a requirement can be both. Merit criteria are criteria used to assess a person to determine whether that person meets the qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs of the position. They are assessed by Public Service Commission, which can delegate this power to organizations.
Conditions of employment are conditions a person must meet to be appointed to a position and to hold a position after appointment. They are not merit criteria and they are established by the employer.
Some requirements can be both. For example, possessing a valid driver’s licence can be identified as an operational requirement and a condition of employment.
Can managers use an operational requirement or a condition of employment to screen out candidates in an appointment process? For, example, can a manager screen out of an appointment process persons who do not possess a valid driver’s licence or who do not possess the required security screening level?
Merit criteria can be used in any order. So if a manager identifies possession of a valid driver’s licence as an operational requirement, he or she can screen out of the appointment process any candidate who does not possess a valid driver’s licence.
Security screening is a special case since only the organization can seek and approve the security screening level required and therefore it is beyond the control of candidates in an appointment process. Security screening can be a very lengthy process, which would slow down the selection process if security levels were identified as operational requirements. It would also lead to an impossible situation in the case of priority appointments since persons with priority appointment rights only have to meet the essential qualifications of the position, yet employer policies require that persons must meet the required security level before being appointed to a position. So security screening levels should not be identified as operational requirements but as conditions of employment (which are the responsibility of the employer). The assessment of security levels is done after a person is chosen for appointment but before the appointment is made.
Can work criteria, such as lifting up to 30 pounds, bending and stretching be included as conditions of employment? Can these also be operational requirements?
Yes. These criteria, as bonafide work requirements, may be stated as conditions of employment, which are to be maintained throughout the period of employment in the position. Stated as an operational requirement, the manager may assess the candidate’s ability to undertake such work requirements as part of the merit criteria. Conditions of employment do not form part of the merit criteria.
Can willingness to relocate be a condition of employment?
Yes. Willingness to relocate can be a condition of employment. One should, however, not state to which geographic region, but use a generic statement. Willingness to relocate can also be an operational requirement, however, as such is assessed as part of the merit criteria.
Are conditions of employment assessed?
Conditions of employment are evaluated on a meet or does not meet basis. They are not assessed as you would for merit criteria, but it must be determined that the person does meet or comply with the conditions before being appointed to the position.
Can a person be placed in a pool of qualified candidates without having met the conditions of employment for the position to which s/he is to be appointed?
Yes. However, s/he must meet these conditions before being appointed to the position.
Can a person start the job recognizing that the person will soon meet the condition of employment?
No, the person cannot start in a job unless they meet the condition of employment. The condition is a requirement that a person must meet prior to starting work.
Should you require additional information, please direct your enquiries to your human resources advisor.
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