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ARCHIVED - Questions and Answers on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - Policy on Pre-retirement Transition Leave - Archived

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1. When did this policy take effect and how long will it last?

This policy took effect on February 1, 1999, and, as an employer policy, has no specified end date.

2. Who is eligible to apply for this type of leave?

This policy applies to all employees represented by all unions, as well as unrepresented and excluded employees.

3. Do I have to make a formal application for this leave arrangement?

To apply, you need to complete the form called Application for Pre-retirement TransitionLeave.

4. May I take other types of leave without pay during my leave arrangement?

Yes, but this could significantly affect your take-home pay. If the total period of consecutive leave without pay exceeds three months, you may have to pay both the employer and employee's shares of contributions to the Public Service pension and group benefit plans. We advise you to consult your compensation specialist for more information.

5. May I take leave with pay during my leave arrangement?

Yes, provided it does not occur during the leave without pay portion of your arrangement.

6. How many days per week does 40 per cent represent?

Under this arrangement, you may take up to 40 per cent of your normal working hours. For full-time employees, it represents up to two days per five working days, or up to four days per 10 working days. For part-time employees, it represents up to 40 per cent of their part-time hours. You should consult your compensation specialist about your situation.

7. Must I take the leave days consecutively?

You may take non-consecutive days, subject to managerial approval.

8. Generally speaking, how will this leave arrangement affect my pay?

Your basic pay rate will be reduced to reflect the length of leave and the reduced time at work. Public Service pension and benefits coverage and contributions for this arrangement will stay at pre-arrangement levels. Consult your compensation specialist for details.

9. Will my pension change?

No. As with other short-term periods of leave without pay, you will be credited with full pensionable service.

10. How will this leave arrangement affect my coverage under group benefit plans such as health care, dental, and long-term disability?

Even though your pay will be reduced, your coverage and your premiums or contributions will remain as they were before your leave arrangement. The employer will continue contributing its normal share.

11. How will the accumulation of annual leave and sick leave credits be affected?

As with other types of leave without pay, you will accumulate credits for each month in which you earn 10 days' pay.

12. While participating in this leave arrangement, am I entitled to paid leave, such as annual or sick leave?

For your at-work days, you may take paid leave as long as it is in accordance with the collective agreement or compensation plan that applies to you. However, during the leave portion of your arrangement, as with other types of leave without pay, you will not be eligible for paid leave.

13. May I collect employment insurance during the leave?

No.

14. What is my status on the days that I don't work?

You will be on leave without pay.

15. May I combine leave with income averaging and pre-retirement transition leave?

No. Permitting you to take both types of leave simultaneously would be too complex and expensive to administer.

16. Can an employee on Pre-Retirement Transition Leave (PRTL) benefit from a statutory holiday when occurring on a day off without pay?

The Treasury Board's Pre-Retirement Transition Leave Policy states under Section 5 - Policy Requirements that: "pay for participating employees would be adjusted to reflect the shorter workweek, but their pension and benefits coverages, as well as premiums and contributions, would continue at pre-arrangement levels". This includes their right to paid statutory holidays, and performance pay when applicable.

If the statutory holiday falls within a day that the employee under PRTL is normally paid for, the employee is entitled to the holiday (as would for any indeterminate employee) and is paid for that day. If the statutory holiday falls within a day that the PRTL employee would not normally be paid for (PRTL day not worked) the statutory holiday that the PRTL employee is still entitled to is "moved" to the next day he/she would normally have been paid for.

Where collective agreements are silent (which is the case in this situation) human resources officials are to refer to the PRTL, which states that the employee will continue to receive all benefits at their pre-arrangement levels.

Example 1) A PRTL employee works Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The employee's chosen/agreed to PRTL day off is Friday. The statutory holiday for November 11, 2005 falls on Friday, the agreed PRTL day off. The employee is not paid for Friday the 11th of November. The holiday is moved to the next day for which the employee would normally have been paid for, in this case being Monday November 14, 2005. The employee will be on statutory holiday on November 14, 2005 instead of working, and will receive remuneration for that day.

For the week of November 7 to 11, the employee worked 4 days and was paid 4 days. For the week of November 14 to 18, the employee worked 3 days and was paid 4 days, for which Monday was a 'moved' statutory holiday.

Example 2) PRTL employee works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The employee's chosen/agreed to PRTL days off are Mondays and Fridays. The statutory holiday for November 11, 2005 falls on Friday, his PRTL day off. The employee is not paid for Friday the 11th of November and neither for Monday the 14th of November 2005. The holiday is then moved to the next day the employee would normally have been paid for, which in this case is Tuesday November 15, 2005. The employee will therefore be on statutory holiday on November 15, 2005, and will receive remuneration for that day.

For the week of November 7 to 11, the employee worked 3 days and was paid 3 days. For the week of November 14 to 18, the employee worked 2 days and was paid for 3 days, for which Tuesday was a 'moved' statutory holiday.

We wish to thank Christine Fouchard-Lortie and Lorraine Cusson from the HR community for sharing their experience and insight in the development of this issue.