1208 - Bilingual Bonus



Main Collective Agreement with UNW
Article 24.12 - Pay

Senior Managers' Handbook
Bilingual Allowance

Excluded Employees' Handbook
Bilingual Allowance

Official Languages Act
The Official Languages of the Northwest Territories are Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tlicho.



  1. These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees except those employed by the Northwest Territories (NWT) Power Corporation and employees represented by the NWTTA bargaining unit.



  1. Bilingual Required is a position where the ability to speak more than one official language is required to provide adequate service and the community or region the position serves determines the language(s) used in the position.
  2. Bilingual Preferred means the ability to speak a second official language is an asset to the position as an employee may occasionally provide assistance in another official language (e.g., field calls or requests from the public or interjurisdictional inquiries) but is not a requirement of the position.



  1. Deputy Heads are responsible for establishing levels of service in official languages and for commitments under the Official Languages Act
    Deputy Heads decide how official language services are provided in their Department or Agency.
  2. Employees whose job descriptions state that their responsibilities require the use of another language are not automatically eligible for the bilingual bonus. Compensation for using more than one language is provided through the job evaluation process for positions with translation and/or interpreter responsibilities. Examples of these positions include interpreter/translators, legal translators, and clerk interpreters.

Bilingual Required

  1. Employees in positions, other than employees assigned duties of translation and interpretation in their job descriptions, required by the Employer to use two or more of the official languages of the NWT receive a bilingual bonus of $1,200 per annum.

Bilingual Preferred

  1. Employees who use more than one official language occasionally during their regular workday and that position is not designated as bilingual required may apply for the bilingual bonus under bilingual preferred.

Examples of jobs where an employee may be approved for bilingual bonus include, but are not limited to:

  1. communication officers
  2. economic development officers
  3. classroom assistants
  4. community health nurses
  5. hospital nurses
  6. health promotion and education officers
  7. community health representatives
  8. community health aides
  9. lay dispensers
  10. juridical officers
  11. social service workers
  12. social services, health or education attendants for:
    1. boarding homes
    2. transient centres
    3. residences
    4. correctional facilities
  13. renewable resource officers
  14. assistant renewable resource officers
  15. Housing Corporation officers in district offices or communities



Bilingual Required

  1. Where a Deputy Head determines a bilingual position is required, he/she will identify the position by stating “bilingual required” and identifying the language required in the position description.
  2. The Deputy Head submits the job description to the Department of Human Resources.
  3. The Department of Human Resources reviews the request to determine if the position is eligible for bilingual bonus (e.g., no translating or interpreting duties) and approves or denies the position for bilingual bonus. 
  4. The Department of Human Resources informs the Deputy Head of the decision and processes the information for payment on employee’s bi-weekly pay.

Bilingual Preferred

  1. An employee who uses more than one of the official languages during their workday who feels he/she is eligible under bilingual preferred for a bilingual bonus applies in writing to the supervisor.
  2. The supervisor will review the request against criteria established for official languages provided in their Department or Agency as well as, but not limited to the following criteria:
    1. The employee uses a second official language occasionally during their regular workday;
    2. The employee has an adequate skill level to provide occasional services in a second language. If the supervisor is unable to assess the employee’s second language skills, he/she should request help from someone else in their department. Otherwise, the Department of Human Resources will perform the assessment;
    3. The employee is NOT working in a bilingual required designated position;
    4. The employee is NOT working in a position whose job description states that the major responsibilities require the use of another language (e.g., legal translator, clerk/interpreter).
  3. The supervisor forwards the employee’s request for bilingual bonus to the Deputy Head, along with his/her recommendation to approve/deny the request.
  4. The Deputy Head reviews the application and advises the employee, in writing, if the request is approved or denied.
  5. The Deputy Head advises the Department of Human Resources of approved bilingual bonus requests and provides the:
    1. employee name;
    2. employee location; and
    3. language being used.
  6. The Department of Human Resources processes the information for payment on the employee’s bi-weekly pay.
  7. If an employee changes positions (e.g., transfer assignment or promotion, etc.), the bilingual bonus is terminated.  If the employee feels he/she is eligible under bilingual preferred for a bilingual bonus in the new position, he/she applies for the bonus through his/her supervisor.
  8. The Department of Human Resources will provide Deputy Heads with annual reports on employees who are receiving the bilingual bonus.


About this section

Authority:  Human Resources Establishment Policy
Effective Date:  March 12, 2013
History:  April 2007, 1208 – Bilingual Bonus
Responsible Unit:  Policy/Labour Relation


Human Resource Manual