Priority Types

The following lists and briefly describes the priority provisions of the PSEA and the PSER. Additional details about each priority type are provided in Part II of this Guide.

Statutory priorities

The priority entitlements within the PSEA are referred to as “statutory priorities”. Persons with a statutory priority are appointed ahead of all others, in the following order:

  1. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members released for medical reasons attributable to service as determined by Veterans Affairs Canada (PSEA sub-section 39.1(1)). All CAF members, including regular force, reserve force and special force are eligible.
    • Note: A CAF member who is medically released for reasons not attributable to service has a priority entitlement under PSER, section 8.
  2. An organization's own surplus employees who have been informed by their deputy head that their services are no longer required, but have not been laid off from the public service (PSEA, section 40);
    • Note: An employee who is surplus from another organization has a priority entitlement under PSER, section 5;
  3. Leave of absence: Employees on leave of absence, where their positions have been staffed indeterminately, or the employees who replaced them on an indeterminate basis if they are displaced when the employee returns from leave (PSEA, subsection 41(1)); and
  4. Lay-off: Persons who have been laid off from the public service pursuant to subsection 64(1) of the PSEA, due to a lack of work, the discontinuance of a function or the transfer of work or a function outside the public service (PSEA, subsection 41(4)).

Regulatory priorities

The priority entitlements within the PSER are referred to as “regulatory priorities”. Persons with a regulatory priority are appointed after persons with a statutory priority, but in no relative order.

  • Surplus employees: Employees from other organizations who have been advised by their deputy head that their services are no longer required, but before any lay-off becomes effective (PSER, section 5);
    • Note: Within their own organization, a surplus employee has a statutory priority entitlement under the PSEA, section 40.
  • Employees who become disabled: Employees who become disabled and who, as a result of the disability, are no longer able to carry out the duties of their position (PSER, section 7);
  • RCMP members: Certain members discharged for medical reasons (PSER, section 7.1);
  • CAF members: Certain members released for medical reasons not attributable to service (PSER, section 8.) Only members of the regular force, the special force, the reserve force on Class B service of 180 days or more or on Class C reserve service are eligible.
  • Relocation of spouse or common-law partner: Indeterminate employees who have been granted leave for such relocations, whose positions have not been staffed indeterminately (PSER, section 9);
  • Reinstatement: Certain persons with a priority entitlement who were appointed or deployed to a position in the public service at a lower level (PSER, section 10); and
  • Surviving Spouse or Common-law Partner: Surviving spouses or common-law partners of persons employed in the public service, the CAF or the RCMP, whose death is attributable to the performance of duties (PSER, section 8.1).