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Leave

Taken but unearned vacation leave, sick leave or special leave will be forgiven if the employment relationship ends because of death or by lay-off after one or more years of continuous employment.

If, during any period of vacation leave, winter bonus leave, time off in lieu of overtime, or special leave, you are recalled to duty, you will be paid at 1 ½ times your base salary for the first day or shift worked. Your leave credits will be restored. You will also be reimbursed reasonable expenses that you incur for:

  • travel to your place of duty;
  • non-refundable deposits or pre-arrangements associated with the vacation or special leave; and

  • return travel to resume your vacation or special leave.

Designated Paid Holidays

The following days are designated paid holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day
  • National Aboriginal Day, or for those employees working and normally residing in Nunavut, Nunavut Day.

  • Canada Day
  • The first Monday in August
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day
  • Any additional days when proclaimed by an Act of Parliament as a National Holiday or by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories as a Territorial Holiday.

When a designated holiday falls on your day of rest, the holiday will be moved to the first working day following the day of rest. When a designated holiday falls during leave with pay, the holiday will not be considered a day of leave.

Vacation Leave

Your vacation leave must be approved in advance.

You earn Vacation Leave for each hour that you receive pay at the following rates:

Completed Years of Continuous Employment

Amount earned per Hour

Days earned per Year

less than two

0.063462

16.5

two or more, less than 7

0.082616

21.5

7 or more, less than 15

0.096000

25

15 or more, less than 20

0.115385

30

20 or more

0.134770

35

Every reasonable effort will be made to:

  • schedule your vacation leave in the fiscal year in which it is earned, at a time you request;
  • not recall you from vacation leave;
  • grant you any request made before January 31 to defer four days or more vacation leave to the following fiscal year;

  • grant you up to five consecutive weeks vacation leave, depending upon your annual entitlements.

The Employer shall approve, deny or alter the request for vacation leave submitted by you as soon as possible, but no later than two (2) weeks after the request has been received.

Vacation leave will be reinstated if, during your leave:

  • there is a death or illness in your immediate family and special leave is granted; or
  • sick leave is granted and a medical certificate is produced.

You will not ordinarily be allowed to carry-over more than one year’s entitlement of vacation leave credits. Credits exceeding one year’s entitlement will be liquidated in cash in June. However, in situations where your vacation leave has been denied due to operational requirements, you shall be permitted to carry over that period of denied leave in addition to the one year of accrued vacation leave credits.

Vacation leave unused upon termination will be paid at the last daily rate of pay. If the termination is due to death, the amount will be paid to your estate.

Vacation leave may be used, if your employment is terminated by lay-off, to extend the time you need to meet the minimum service requirements for severance pay, or it entitles you to an annual allowance or immediate annuity as defined under the Public Service Superannuation Act.

If you cease to be employed for a reason other than dismissal, abandonment of position or rejection on probation and are re-employed, completed years of prior employment with the GNWT shall be considered continuous service for the purpose of determining vacation leave entitlements (this does not apply to casuals).

Winter Bonus Days

One winter bonus day will be granted for each five consecutive days of vacation leave you take between October 1st and March 31st. When a designated paid holiday falls in a period of vacation leave, it is counted as vacation leave for determining winter bonus days.

There is a limit of four extra days for each fiscal year.

Winter bonus days must be taken at the same time as your vacation leave. There is no carry-over of these days.

Winter bonus days will be provided if the application for all vacation leave between October 1st and March 31st is denied and vacation leave continues to be denied from the date of application to March 31st. You will be granted the equivalent number of extra days you would have received had the original leave application been approved. The vacation leave application must have been initially received prior to December 15th.

Sick Leave (With Pay)

You earn sick leave credits at the rate of 0.057693 hours for each hour that you receive pay.

It is your responsibility to inform your supervisor that you are requesting sick leave at your regular start time.

All absences because of illness on a normal working day are charged against sick leave credits based on actual time taken.

Unless otherwise informed by your supervisor, you must make a statement that you were unable to perform your job due to illness.

If requested by your supervisor, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical or nurse practitioner.

If necessary, up to 15 days of sick leave credits may be advanced. They will be charged against your future credits, as earned.

Any unused sick leave credits will be reinstated after you return to work following a leave of absence without pay or a reinstatement following lay-off.

Sick leave may later be replaced by injury on duty leave according to the conditions outlined in the Injury On Duty Section of this Handbook.

Special Leave (With Pay)

You earn special leave credits to a maximum of 30 days at any given time at the rate of 0.023077 hours for each hour that you receive pay.

For the purposes of special leave, your immediate family includes father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, child, step-child, step-parent, foster-child, grandparent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and any other relative permanently living with you.

You will be granted special leave for up to five consecutive working days when:

  • there is a death in your immediate family (you may be granted up to 3 additional days special leave for the purposes of travel) or

  • you are to be married.

You may be granted special leave for up to five consecutive working days when:

  • a member of your immediate family requires surgery or becomes ill (not including childbirth), and you must care for dependants or for the sick person;

  • a member of your immediate family becomes seriously ill;
  • special circumstances not directly attributable to you prevent you from reporting to duty, including:

serious household domestic emergencies;

a transportation problem caused by weather, if you make every reasonable effort to report for duty.

  • there is a general value to the Public Service, such as where you:

take an examination, which will improve your position or qualifications in the Public Service;

attend your university convocation, if you have been continuously employed for at least one year;

attend a course in civil defence training;

require a medical examination for enlistment in the Armed Forces or for a veteran's treatment program.

You may use up to three days of special leave to attend the funeral of your aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.

You will be granted special leave up to three working days for the birth or adoption of a child. This may be divided into two parts and taken on separate days.

Special leave may be granted if you are required to be a non-medical escort for a member of your immediate family.

Special leave will be granted for time lost through quarantine. A medical certificate is required.

Special leave of more than five consecutive working days may be approved by your Deputy Head.

You may be advanced up to six days of special leave when you have insufficient credits to cover the leave. Advanced leave will be deducted from future credits.

Casual Leave (With Pay)

You may be granted up to two hours for medical, dental and legal appointments, appointments with school authorities and for special or unusual circumstances.

Casual leave may be extended to a maximum of four hours if:

  • travel within the Northwest Territories but outside of your community is required to attend a dental, legal or school authority appointment, and

  • access to the dental services, legal services or the required school authority is not provided in your community.

Casual leave in all cases is granted only for the period of the appointment and travel to and from the appointment. If your appointment is completed in less than the noted above, you are expected to return directly to work.

One day per occurrence may be granted for regular or recurring medical treatments and check-ups.

Court Leave (With Pay)

Court leave is given if you must:

  • serve on a jury; or
  • attend as a witness before a body authorized by law to compel the attendance of witnesses.
  • you are required by law to attend a proceeding under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) concerning a dependent.

Injury On Duty Leave (With Pay)

Injury on duty leave is granted when a Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission determines that you are unable to perform the duties of your job. It is intended to provide short-term relief.

Your problem must be a result of:

  • accidental personal injury received in the performance of duties and not caused by your wilful misconduct; or
  • sickness resulting from the nature of your employment; or
  • over-exposure to radioactivity or other hazardous conditions during employment.

Any amount payable by Workers' Safety & Compensation Commission for loss of wages in respect of the injury must be assigned to the Government.

Emergency Leave

Leave of absence with or without pay may be granted in emergency or unusual circumstances.

Leave for Relocation of Your Spouse

Leave without pay for up to one year may be approved if:

  1. your spouse is permanently relocated or accepts an appointment to another position within the NWT but outside of your headquarters area;
  2. your headquarters is in Nunavut and your spouse is permanently relocated or accepts an appointment to another position within Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.

Mandatory Leave With Pay

You must take five days of Mandatory Leave with Pay (MLWP) per fiscal year. Part time employees will have their entitlement pro-rated.

If you are in a non-continuous position, your MLWP days are to be taken between December 19th and January 5th on days set by the Employer.

  • You are not eligible for the MLWP days if you are on leave without pay on the working day immediately preceding and following the MLWP days.
  • You will be provided with the MLWP days no matter what your start date in the fiscal year.
  • You will not receive a payout of MLWP days if you terminate your employment prior to the days set by the Employer.

If you are in a continuous position, you must schedule your MLWP days in advance, at a time that is mutually acceptable to you and your supervisor.

  • If you and your supervisor are unable to schedule some or all of the MLWP days, you will be paid out the remaining value of the MLWP days at the end of the fiscal year.
  • If you are on leave without pay for more than three months, you will be entitled to a pro-rated amount of MLWP days.
  • If you terminate your employment prior to the end of the fiscal year, you will be paid out the remaining pro-rated value of MLWP days.
  • If you are a casual employee assigned continuous work, you will be entitled to a pro-rated amount of the five days of MLWP.

Maternity Leave Without Pay

Maternity leave without pay will be granted for a period of 17 weeks commencing at any time during the 17-week period prior to your expected date of delivery.

Your Superintendent/Director must be notified at least four (4) weeks before the expected date of commencement of your maternity leave without pay. A medical certificate certifying pregnancy may be requested.

If you request it in writing, the Superintendent/Director may defer the beginning of your leave or terminate it early. You may be granted leave to start earlier than 17 weeks before the expected date of delivery.

When working conditions may be detrimental to the health of a pregnant employee or the unborn child, the Employer will:

  1. change those working conditions; or
  2. assign suitable alternative work; or
  3. temporarily transfer the employee;

Where none of these options are reasonable within operational requirements, allow the employee to take a leave of absence without pay for the duration of her pregnancy.

Maternity Leave With Allowance

You will be paid a maternity leave allowance if:

  • six months of continuous employment have been completed;
  • proof has been provided of receipt of Employment Insurance benefits; and
  • there is an agreement to return to work for at least six continuous months when the maternity leave ends.

The date of your return to work may be changed with the Government's consent.

If you do not return to work, the amount of the allowance must be reimbursed to the Government. If you return to work for less than six months, the allowance to be reimbursed will be pro-rated. An exception is made for death, disability and lay-off.

The allowance provides a "top up" of Employment Insurance benefits to a maximum of 17 weeks at 93% of your last weekly rate of pay. The weekly rate of pay for part-time and relief employees will be the prorated weekly rate in effect immediately before the commencement of maternity leave and averaged over the six month period of continuous service.

The Employer is not responsible for any consequences of an employment insurance benefit overpayment nor is it responsible for providing any additional payments in respect of maternity leave should your benefits be affected by tax, employment insurance, or legislative provisions.

Parental Leave Without Pay

If you will have actual care and custody of a newborn child of whom you are the natural mother or natural father, or an adopted child, parental leave without pay will be granted to you for up to 37 consecutive weeks in the 52 week period immediately following the birth of the child or, in the case of an adoption, the time that the child comes into your care and custody.

Parental leave may be shared by an employee couple, but the total amount of parental leave cannot exceed 37 weeks for both employees combined.

If you intend to request parental leave, you must make every effort to provide reasonable notice to the Employer. In the case of an adoption, you must notify the Employer as soon as the application has been approved by the adoption agency or legal guardianship or custody papers have been drawn up.

If you are taking maternity leave, you may also take parental leave, in which case, it must be taken immediately following the maternity leave. The total amount of maternity and parental leave combined cannot exceed 52 weeks.

You will be paid a parental leave allowance if:

  • six months of continuous employment have been completed;
  • proof has been provided of receipt of Employment Insurance benefits; and
  • there is an agreement to return to work for at least six continuous months when the parental leave ends.

The date of your return to work may be changed with the Government's consent.

If you do not return to work, the allowance must be reimbursed to the Government. If you return to work for less than six months, the allowance to be reimbursed will be pro-rated. An exception is made for death, disability and lay-off.

The allowance provides a "top up" of Employment Insurance benefits to a maximum of 17 weeks at 93% of your last weekly rate of pay. The weekly rate of pay for part-time and relief employees will be the prorated weekly rate in effect immediately before the commencement of maternity leave and averaged over the six month period of continuous service.

The Employer is not responsible for any consequences of an employment benefit overpayment nor is it responsible for providing any additional payments in respect of parental leave should your benefits be affected by tax, unemployment insurance, or legislative provisions.

When parental leave is taken by an employee couple, payments made pursuant to the Parental Leave allowance shall not exceed a total of 17 weeks for both employees combined.

No employee shall be laid off, transferred or relocated while on, or within 6 months of his/her return from maternity or parental leave without the consent of the employee and the Employer.

Leave Without Pay for Compassionate Care

You will be granted up to a maximum of eight weeks to provide care or support to a gravely ill family member at risk of dying within 26 weeks.

Family member means:

  • your spouse,
  • your child or your spouse’s child,
  • your parent or your spouse’s parent and,
  • any other person who is a member of a class of persons prescribed in subsection 23.1(1) of theEmployment Insurance Act (Canada);

Care or support to a family member means:

  • providing psychological or emotional support;
  • arranging for care by a third party; or
  • directly providing or participating in the care.

Compassionate care leave may be taken over one or more periods. Each period of compassionate care leave must be at least one (1) week.

If you and one or more of your family members who are employees apply for compassionate care, Deputy Heads will review operational requirements.

When requesting compassionate care, you must provide a medical certificate indicating the ill family member needs care or support and is at risk of dying within 26 weeks.

If the family member dies while you are on leave without pay for compassionate care, the leave without pay for compassionate care ceases. You must contact your supervisor and may request special leave.

Self-Funded Leave Plan

The Government will provide a deferred salary leave plan to allow you flexibility in your long term career and personal goals.

The plan allows you to defer 20% of your salary for four years to fund a one-year leave of absence without pay or 10% of your salary for four and one-half years to fund a six-month leave of absence without pay. In accordance with the Income Tax Regulations, you must agree to return to regular employment for no less than the period of leave.

During the period of leave, you may engage in outside activities outside the Public Service in accordance with the Code of Conduct regarding Outside Employment.

You must request the leave in advance. Your deferred salary will be deposited into a trust that will provide income during the leave. The deferred salary is exempt from taxation until the funds are released to you.

You are responsible for the employer and the employee share of pension contributions while on leave. The period of leave counts as pensionable service.

Contact your Client Service Manager responsible for your Department, Board or Agency for details of application procedures and entitlements.