Amendments to the Public Service Employment Regulations Priority Entitlements

The Regulations Amending the Public Service Employment Regulations amend certain provisions with respect to the priority entitlements provided in the Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER). The amendments also establish a new priority right for surviving spouses or common-law partners of employees, members of the Canadian Forces and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whose death is attributable to the performance of duties. The following provides a detailed description of these amendments.

(1) Persons employed in an excluded position in the Office of the Governor General’s Secretary

The priority right for persons who cease to be employed in an excluded position in the Office of the Governor General’s Secretary will be repealed as of the day on which the Regulations Amending the Office of the Governor General’s Secretary Employment Regulations (2010) will come into force.

A mobility provision in the Regulations Amending the Office of the Governor General’s Secretary Employment Regulations (2010) would allow persons appointed to an excluded position after the coming into force of these Regulations to participate in any advertised internal appointment process open to all employees for a period of one year after they cease to be employed.

Persons employed in an excluded position when this priority is repealed will continue to be given this right whenever they cease to be so employed.

This amendment serves to maintain parity between persons employed in an excluded position in the Office of the Governor General’s Secretary and former members of ministers’ staff who benefit from similar mobility provisions.

(2) Employees who become disabled, members of the Canadian Forces and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who are released or discharged for medical reasons

The Regulations now specify the conditions under which these persons are entitled to the priority right. In order to be entitled to the priority, employees who become disabled and members of the Canadian Forces and of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who are released or discharged for medical reasons must be certified to be ready to return to work within five years after the day on which they became disabled or were released or discharged for medical reasons, and the day specified for their return to work must also be within that same five-year period.

For members of the Canadian Forces and of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Regulations specify that the person must also request the priority within the same five-year period.

In addition, the Regulations specify that the entitlement period begins on the day on which the person is ready to return to work, as certified by a competent authority, rather than on the day on which the competent authority specifies that the person is ready to return to work.

(3) Reinstatement priority

The word “an” has been added before the word “après” of the French version of paragraph 10(2)(a) of the reinstatement priority.

(4) Surviving spouses or common-law partners of employees, members of the Canadian Forces and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whose death is attributable to the performance of duties

A new priority right in an advertised external appointment process is established for surviving spouses or common-law partners of any of the following persons whose death is attributable to the performance of duties:

  1. An employee;
  2. A member of the regular force of the Canadian Forces;
  3. A member of Class A, B or C of the reserve force of the Canadian Forces as prescribed under articles 9.06, 9.07 and 9.08 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces;
  4. A member of the special force of the Canadian Forces;
  5. A member, within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and
  6. A member of the Reserve of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The objective of this priority right is to provide surviving spouses or common-law partners of persons whose death is attributable to the performance of duties with access to indeterminate public service employment.

Surviving spouses or common-law partners eligible for this priority have the right to be appointed in an advertised external appointment process in priority to all other persons, except statutory priorities, to any term or indeterminate position in the public service for which they meet the essential qualifications. There are no restrictions with respect to the group and level or location of the position to which an appointment may be made pursuant to this entitlement, as long as the person meets the essential qualifications.

To be eligible for this priority, the surviving spouse or common-law partner must:

  1. Not be employed in the public service for an indeterminate period at the time the request is made;
  2. Qualify under any federally or provincially legislated plan for compensation as a result of the death of the person that is attributable to the performance of duties; and
  3. Make a request within two years of qualifying for compensation.

The PSER defines common-law partner as “a person who is cohabitating with the individual in a conjugal relationship, having so co-habitated for a period of at least one year.”

The spouse or common-law partner of a person who has died since October 7, 2001, the date on which Canada and a coalition of other countries initiated military actions in Afghanistan, is eligible to obtain the priority if they meet the following conditions:

  1. The surviving spouse or common-law partner is not employed in the public service for an indeterminate period at the time the request is made;
  2. The surviving spouse or common-law partner qualifies under any federal or provincially legislated plan for compensation as a result of the death of the person that is attributable to the performance of duties; and
  3. The surviving spouse or common-law partner makes a request within two years of the latter of:
    1. the coming into force of the priority on May 12, 2010, or
    2. the surviving spouse’s or common-law partner’s having qualified for compensation.

The period of entitlement to the priority begins on the day on which the request is made and ends on the earliest of:

  1. The day that is two years after the day on which the request is made;
  2. The day on which the spouse or common-law partner is appointed to a position in the public service for an indeterminate period; and
  3. The day on which the spouse or common-law partner refuses an appointment for an indeterminate period without good and sufficient reason.

For employees who died during the period between October 7, 2001, and the coming into effect of the priority on May 12, 2010, the Public Service Commission (PSC), through the Labour Program of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, will advise the surviving spouses or common-law partners of their right to the priority entitlement and will subsequently register them. For members of the Canadian Forces and of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who died during this period, their respective organizations will advise and register the surviving spouse or common-law partner using the Priority Information Management System electronic on-line Registration Form.

Departments and agencies are responsible for advising and registering the surviving spouses or common-law partners of employees and members whose death occurs after the coming into effect of the priority on May 12, 2010.

A new chapter has been added to the Guide on Priority Administration. To help organizations with their implementation and registration of persons who could benefit from this entitlement, the PSC has also developed a number of tools: