Core Policy Objectives & Human Resources Policies

The Core Policy Objectives and Corporate Human Resource Plan both provide strategic direction and context for the policy statements that are intended to guide human resource (HR) management practices across the BC Public Service.

Core Policy Objectives

  1. Government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve current and future objective
  2. The public service promotes a safe and healthy workplace that supports the well-being of employees
  3. The public service is a versatile workforce that can adapt to meet changing needs
  4. Public service employees understand their roles, how their work contributes to achieving the goals of government and are focused on results
  5. Public service employees exhibit the highest standards of conduct

Human Resources Policies

The Accountability Framework for Human Resources provides information on the context within which the agency head of the BC Public Service Agency delegates authority, under the Public Service Act, to deputy ministers or other senior officials for human resource management.

Policy statements provide organizations with flexibility for decision-making, while clearly articulating mandatory requirements. Policy statements address topics that may also be covered in collective agreements or contracts of employment.

In such instances, the policy statements are meant to enhance aspects of these articles in the employment contracts or provide additional information, but they do not supersede them. Each program area has guidelines, tools and resources available to support HR practices in the BC Public Service.

All deputy ministers, associate deputy ministers, executives, senior officials, supervisors and HR professionals in the BC Public Service are accountable for carrying out specific HR management functions.

Find out how the Accountability Framework for Human Resource Management, the Core Policy Objectives and the HR policies support this.

Policies can be viewed here or downloaded as PDF documents.

Human Resources Policies

01 Hiring & Deployment

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers hiring and deploying employees appointed under the Public Service Act within the BC Public Service. The policy statement supports the core policy objective of ensuring that “government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve current and future objectives.”

Hiring and deployment activities need to be designed to find, attract, and employ the right people to create a workforce that is able to meet government’s business goals now and in the future. Hiring of candidates will be based on merit and must meet the requirements of legislation and public policy. All appointments will be non-partisan (see the Standards of Conduct).

Recruitment Philosophy

Hiring for the BC Public Service should be proactive, and be founded on the Corporate Human Resources Plan, ministry workforce plans and strategies. To be competitive in today’s labour market and attract and retain good employees, the BC Public Service must be, and must be seen to be, an attractive employer. Hiring managers and supervisors are responsible for supporting and strengthening the reputation and “brand” of the BC Public Service by how they manage every aspect of the hiring process.

Strong applicants are a valuable resource. It is important that strong applicants who are not immediately hired remain interested in continuing to seek work within the BC Public Service. Managers should actively look for other opportunities and/or contacts within government for these applicants. In times or places where it’s difficult to find strong applicants, organizations may want to create employment opportunities for them so they can be hired as they become available, rather than waiting for specific future vacancies to occur.

Recruitment & Marketing

Recruitment advertising should be chosen based on an analysis of the best sources of top candidates. Except as provided in collective agreements, job opportunities can be advertised using a variety of different methods. Managers may need to contact professional associations, post advertisements on job boards, or use other proactive ways of looking for qualified applicants.

All recruitment advertising and marketing efforts must reflect the BC Public Service’s single employment corporate brand—“Where ideas work.” All advertising materials, displays, and promotions need to provide a consistent ‘look and feel’ and message about the BC Public Service as an employer, and need to meet all established government standards and protocols.

Selection

When assessing merit, under the Public Service Act, for applicants, factors such as education, skills and abilities, knowledge, experience, past work performance, and years of continuous service in the BC Public Service must be considered in relation to the job duties. Criteria for selection is not limited and may also include competencies, suitability and other criteria that are essential to meet business needs. For bargaining unit positions, years of continuous service in the BC Public Service must also be assessed. Hiring processes for bargaining unit positions must comply with the applicable provisions of the collective agreements and must comply with the Terms & Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees.

There are a broad range of methods available for assessing applicants against the selection criteria. There is no single required method of assessing applicants. Hiring managers may choose the most appropriate method of assessment as long as it provides an informed, transparent, and rational decision.

Past work performance is one of the best predictors of future performance and must be assessed for all qualified applicants. The past work performance assessment may be conducted at any time in the selection process. Methods of assessing work performance may vary depending on the situation, but will include an employment reference (one of which must be from a supervisor or equivalent) and may also include looking at performance reviews, and reviewing work samples. Hiring managers must ensure that mandatory checks are conducted, such as criminal record checks, and need to verify that candidates have any required licenses or certifications.

Selection may be conducted in phases for a job classification or job stream. For example, applicants can be assessed for a specific job classification corporately to establish a pre-screened applicant pool. Hiring managers can then complete a further assessment from the pre-screened applicant pool to determine suitability for a specific position for that job classification or job stream.

Feedback & Notification

Applicants should be provided with information on the status of their application, and this information should be made available in a timely manner. Hiring managers may discuss the results of hiring processes with applicants at any time, even before a hiring offer is made. For bargaining unit positions, once a hiring offer has been accepted, the name of the successful applicant must be provided to unsuccessful employee applicants.

Hiring managers are responsible for ensuring that applicants looking for feedback on their application are given informative and detailed feedback wherever possible. Receiving feedback is important to applicants, and helps maintain the BC Public Service’s reputation as a top employer.

Orientation & Probation

As the final step in the hiring process, managers are responsible for orienting employees to their new job and workplace. Orientation is an opportunity to engage new employees and provide the foundation of their work experience in the BC Public Service.

Mandatory orientation requirements include having new employees take the Oath of Employment, familiarizing them with the organization’s occupational safety and health program and workplace-specific safe work practices, ensuring that they understand the Standards of Conduct, and providing them with information about their contract of employment. New employees are also invited to attend a corporate employee orientation event – “Welcome to the BC Public Service”.

Managers must provide new employees on probation with regular feedback on their performance so they know how they are progressing and have an opportunity to correct any problems.

Deployment

Deployment is the movement of staff from one work assignment to another to meet operational needs. Deployment may take the form of work assignments within the current job, lateral transfers, relocation, or temporary assignments. Deployment of staff enables realignment of human resources to new work assignments or job responsibilities to meet changing business needs or to provide opportunities to gain skills and experience.

Documentation Requirements & Reviews

Job offers must be made in writing and must cover:

  • Probation period (six months for initial hires),
  • Standards of Conduct,
  • Oath of Employment,
  • Salary, and
  • Any special conditions of employment.

Hiring managers must document their hiring activities, and submit all hiring related documents to the BC Public Service Agency before a new appointment will be finalized. Contents of a hiring competition file must include:

  • Description of job duties or job profile; and
  • Information on applicant sourcing methods used in the internal and external employment markets, such as job advertisements, applicant banks, or active recruitment;
    • Individual applications;
    • Assessment process;
    • Years of continuous service (if applicable);
    • Reasons for decisions and supporting rationale; and
    • Date and method of notifying applicants of the results of the hiring process.

Hiring records listed above must be submitted to the BC Public Service Agency to complete the appointment or hiring process.

If requested, employers will provide hiring information to the Merit Commissioner.
If requested by an internal candidate, deputy ministers will conduct an objective review of a hiring decision, as set out in the Public Service Act. Internal applicants have five days from when they are informed of the hiring decision to request feedback, and a further five days from receipt of feedback to request a formal review. The request may be verbal, in writing, or submitted electronically.

 

02 Learning and Development

02 Learning & Development

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers funding for learning and development activities for all employees appointed under the Public Service Act within the BC Public Service. The policy statement supports the core policy objective that the “public service is a versatile workforce that can adapt to meet changing needs.”

The BC Public Service Agency is responsible for developing and maintaining a government-wide strategy for learning and development that ensures available funding is strategically invested in the areas of greatest need.

Organizations within the BC Public Service are responsible for:

  • Developing organization-specific training programs;
  • Ensuring that organization-specific training programs do not duplicate training programs available through the BC Public Service Agency; and
  • Ensuring that workforce plans identify key training needs.

Job-related Training

All training that is required for employees to be able to undertake their current job assignments or to enhance their job performance is considered to be job-related training. Auxiliary employees, co-op students, and other employees who do not have regular status are also eligible for job-related training. Job-related training is at the request of the employer.

Job-related training is normally conducted during regular working hours and is treated as regularly worked hours. If training needs to take place outside of normal working hours or overtime is required, employees are compensated based on the terms and conditions of their contract of employment. All training costs and expenses are either paid by the organization or reimbursed to employees.

Employees need to be given time off to attend job-related training; however, organizations may delay the training for a reasonable period of time to meet operational requirements.

Mandatory Training

All training that is required by legislation, policy, or collective agreements is considered to be mandatory training. An example of mandatory training is Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee training. The same provisions for compensating employees for job-related training are applied to mandatory training.

Developmental Training

Supervisors will ensure that employees are provided with learning and development opportunities based on an assessment of their performance, potential, and role in the BC Public Service. This assessment is undertaken as part of the performance management process (see the Employee Performance Management Policy). Learning and development assessments are conducted with the active participation of the employee.

If an employee’s job performance is not satisfactory, the supervisor and employee will determine the best way for the employee to gain the required competencies, knowledge, skills, or abilities.

If an employee’s performance in the current job is satisfactory or better, the supervisor needs to assess the employee’s potential for both career growth within the BC Public Service and related training needs. This training is voluntary and is intended to prepare the employee for more highly skilled positions, promotion opportunities, lateral positions, or staying in their current role. This training must be aligned with the program objectives of the organization or the BC Public Service.

For learning or development opportunities leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree, employees apply to the Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants Program for funding assistance.

Probationary and auxiliary employees, co-op students, and other employees who do not have regular status are not eligible for developmental training funds.

Employee & Supervisor Obligations

When learning and development activities have been identified as part of the performance management process to enhance employees’ skills and abilities in their current job or to prepare them for future career opportunities, employees are expected to fully engage in the learning activity.

When employees register for courses or workshops, they must:

  • Attend the course or workshop, or if unable to attend, they must inform their supervisor and make alternate arrangements, such as cancel the registration within the cancellation period or find a substitute to attend;
  • Participate actively to maximize benefits of the learning opportunity;
  • Satisfactorily complete all requirements to successfully complete the learning event;
  • Apply the new skills and abilities to improve performance on the job; and
  • Share the skills and abilities with others within the organization to enhance the performance of the organization as a whole.

Supervisors will ensure that employees who have successfully completed training or development activities will have an opportunity to use those skills and abilities in their current job by assigning relevant opportunities so they can practice what they have learned.

Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants Program

The Pacific Leaders Scholarships for Public Servants program provides funding for learning or development opportunities offered by a post-secondary educational institution that leads to a certificate, diploma or degree.

Applications are approved and criteria for exemption is decided upon by the Pacific Leaders Adjudication Panel. Upon receipt of scholarship employees must fulfill a return of service expectation.

The scholarship covers 100% of tuition and books to regular full-time or part-time employees up to a maximum of $5,000 for undergraduate and $7,500 for graduate or PhD programs per 12 month period.

Please visit Pacific Leaders for complete program details.

 

03 Employee Performance Management

03 Employee Performance Management

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers the performance management process for all employees within the BC Public Service, including both bargaining unit and excluded employees. The policy statement supports the core policy objective of ensuring that “employees understand their roles, how their work contributes to achieving the goals of government, and are focused on results.”

BC Public Service organizations will implement a performance management system within their organization. All employees covered by the Public Service Act will participate in the performance management system.

Organizations will clearly communicate government and organization program goals to all staff to encourage the alignment of MyPerformance Profile plans with these goals.

Employees will be evaluated using a common evaluation standard developed by the BC Public Service Agency.

Performance Management Process

To be effective, both supervisors and employees must actively participate in the performance management process, and have open and honest discussions about the employee’s performance. In addition, supervisors must provide on-going feedback to employees on their performance.

Performance management is a cyclical process repeated annually. At a minimum, the process consists of three phases:

  • Planning;
  • Mid-point discussion; and
  • Final performance evaluation.

Planning

Planning involves supervisors meeting with their employees to establish key work goals and behaviours that support achievement of the organization's business plan (if available) and the ministry service plan. Planning includes preparing a MyPerformance Profile for achieving the key work goals and behaviours. Key work goals must be measurable and behaviours must be demonstrable. During the planning phase, both the supervisor and employee must discuss the employee’s career goals, aspirations, and any related development activities.

Mid-point Discussion

Part way through the year, supervisors will meet with their employees to review progress to-date in achieving the goals set out in the plan, provide initial feedback, and make any required adjustments to the written plan. Ideally, supervisors and employees will carry on an on-going conversation throughout the year relating to job performance.

Final Performance Evaluation

During the final performance evaluation, supervisors will provide a written evaluation of their employees’ success in achieving the goals and behaviours set out in the plan.

The evaluation will be objective and based on the agreed measures of success, where possible. The common evaluation standard will be used. Follow-up actions will be set out where required. Good performance needs to be recognized, and poor performance needs to be clearly and consistently handled.

The final written evaluation becomes a permanent part of the employee’s record.

Performance Evaluation of Key Roles

For certain key roles specified by the BC Public Service Agency, performance is evaluated against a common set of defined criteria. A separate set of criteria has been developed for each role. For more information, see the Corporate Human Resource Plan. Where corporate standards have been established, they must be used.

 

04 Occupational Safety and Health

04 Occupational Safety & Health

Last updated July 15, 2016

Each organization will develop, implement and maintain an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) program.

While each organization’s OSH program will reflect the nature of the workplace and operations, all programs will meet the following requirements:

  • All employees will make safety a primary consideration in their workplace activities and decisions;
  • The OSH program will meet or exceed the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and collective agreements;
  • Responsibilities for safety and health will be clearly assigned at each level within the organization;
  • Pro-active measures will be taken to identify workplace hazards and risks in order to implement prevention measures and reduce or eliminate associated employee injury or illness; and
  • Employees will be actively consulted and involved on issues that impact their workplace safety and health.

Components of Occupational Safety & Health Program

The following components will be part of each organization’s occupational safety and health program. The size and complexity of the organization’s operations and workplaces will determine the content and amount of detail of each component.

Policy Statement

A policy statement will describe the organization’s commitment to a safe and healthy workplace, and will include principles that seek continual improvement in program performance. The policy statement will describe the key responsibilities of the organization’s executive, supervisors, and employees. The policy will be communicated throughout the organization and regularly reinforced by all levels of management.

Inspections

To prevent accidents and support workplace safety, workplaces will be inspected regularly to identify and correct unsafe conditions or practices.

Assessment of Risks & Hazards

Organizations will identify hazards, assess risks, and implement control measures on a proactive basis (rather than a reactive basis). The measures will vary from simple to complex, depending on the nature of the workplace, work environment, and work processes.

Incident Reporting & Investigation

Unsafe working conditions must be identified before they result in an accident or injury. Employees need to be aware that they are responsible for reporting unsafe conditions and hazards.

The primary goal is to prevent accidents from occurring. However, if an accident or incident does occur, the manager must ensure it is investigated to determine the underlying causes and to take corrective action.

Written Safe Work Procedures

Written safe work procedures will be available to all employees in the BC Public Service. These procedures will cover the proper operation of machinery and equipment and any other work processes or operations that could present a hazard if they are not followed.

Education & Training

All managers will ensure that their employees receive an orientation on the organization’s occupational safety and health program and workplace specific safe work practices. In addition, education and training will be provided to ensure that employees know the working procedures for doing their job safely. On-going safety training will be provided as new programs, procedures, and equipment are introduced to the workplace.

Joint Occupational Safety & Health (JOSH) Committees

Joint occupational safety and health committees will be established consistent with the provisions of the collective agreements, Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The committees will actively promote workplace safety and support the involvement of employees in workplace occupational safety and health programs.

Monitoring & Control of Hazardous Materials & Substances

Organizations will monitor, control, and ensure the safe use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials and substances, consistent with the requirements of Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulations.

Exposure Control

Organizations will determine if there is a risk of occupational exposure to hazardous or bio-hazardous substances, including blood borne pathogens, at the workplace. For those employees at risk of exposure, organizations must develop an exposure control plan and where required, a health monitoring plan appropriate to the risks.

Emergency Planning & Response

Organization worksites need to plan for emergencies that might occur, including having a plan of action for response and evacuation of the workplace.
In most cases, the plans will include response to a fire, but may also include, based on a risk assessment, response to power failures, threats (including bomb threats), earthquake, flooding, or spills of hazardous chemicals.

Occupational First Aid

Organizations will ensure that first aid services are available and consistent with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, which requires that employees be provided with prompt, easily accessible, and appropriate first aid treatment.

Maintenance of Records & Statistics

Records and statistics of occupational safety and health activity will be maintained by organizations, including records of safe work procedures, safety training, inspections, and investigation reports. These records and statistics will assist in identifying trends, unusual conditions, and problem areas, and play an important role in identifying the underlying causes of workplace injuries and occupational diseases.

OSH Management Practice & Program Review

Regular workplace management meetings will be held to review safety and health activities, including the results of risk assessments, inspections, and investigations. Management will also undertake regular meetings and communications with employees and with the joint occupational safety and health committee on safety issues or concerns that may arise.

Organizations will regularly review their occupational safety and health program. The review schedule will be based on program needs as well as the complexity of the operating environment. Reviews should measure program effectiveness, assess performance against targets, identify opportunities for improvement, and recognize successes and individual contributions.

Workplace Violence

The government is committed to the prevention of workplace violence by:

  1. Ensuring that a risk assessment is performed in any situation where there is a risk of violence to an employee in the course of their employment.
  2. Having procedures and policies in place to eliminate or minimize the risk of violence to employees.
  3. Ensuring that any employee or manager who is facing an actual or potential workplace violence issue has the required resources, information and training to deal with the incident.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can affect an employee inside or outside the workplace. If there is a risk of domestic violence occurring at the workplace, all managers/supervisors must initiate violence prevention protocols to eliminate or reduce the risk.  If the domestic violence is outside of the workplace and there is no threat to the employee at work, the employer will provide education, training and advice to help the employee, managers, and supervisors.

Other OSH Program Components

At a minimum, occupational safety and health programs also need to cover the following topics:

  • Ergonomics,
  • Working alone, and
  • Indoor air quality.

Additional topics may need to be covered depending on the type of work being performed, the related hazards, and the specific requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.

 

05 Managing Health Related Absences

05 Managing Health Related Absences

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement applies to all organizations within the BC Public Service and covers the management of injured or ill employees, including case management planning, return to work strategies, and workplace accommodations. The policy statement supports the core policy objective of ensuring “the public service promotes a safe and healthy workplace that supports the well-being of employees.”

Organizations will create and maintain an operational environment that promotes employee safety and health, and need to plan, operate, and act with employee safety and health in mind. For more information on occupational safety and health programs, see the Occupational Safety and Health policy.

A healthy workforce is imperative to the operational effectiveness of organizations. It is in the mutual interest of the organization and employees to avoid or minimize workplace absences.

In the event of an absence, the goal is to return the employee to productive work in a safe, timely, and sustainable manner. To support this goal, management will work in cooperation with the BC Public Service Agency and use the integrated disability case management program.

When an injury does occur or an employee gets ill or has health problems, organizations will offer modified duties and workplace accommodations, including work assignments within alternative work units and/or locations that effectively avoid or minimize the duration of an employee’s absence.

Organizations are expected to communicate attendance expectations to employees, and take appropriate action if it becomes an issue.

Integrated Disability Case Management Program

The BC Public Service Agency assists organizations in helping employees return to work through its integrated disability case management program. As part of the program, disability case management teams are deployed early in the process to work with employees and managers to develop comprehensive case management plans and return to work strategies. 

Organizations will support the program and assist disability case management teams in the planning and the execution of return to work strategies. Supervisors will work directly with the disability case management teams on complex cases involving their employees.

They will actively assist with the development and support of case management plans, and communicate regularly with their employees. 

Employees are expected to notify their supervisor immediately of any health-related absence, and as soon as possible provide their supervisor with the expected date they will be returning to work. 

Employees are expected to provide any required information, and actively participate in developing and implementing return to work strategies, case management plans, and rehabilitation activities.

Accident or Injury Claims

All accidents or injuries sustained while on the job must be reported immediately to WorkSafeBC. For more information on accident/incident reporting, see the Occupational Safety and Health policy.

Organizations will develop and maintain an effective process for managing workers’ compensation claims that is consistent with the integrated disability case management program.

Organizations will keep accurate and timely records of all accidents, injuries, and illnesses.

Organizations will report any doubtful or questionable workers’ compensation claims to the BC Public Service Agency. The Agency is solely responsible for representing the employer in any appeal proceedings with WorkSafeBC, pursuing opportunities for relief of cost under the provisions of the Workers Compensation Act and recovering the organization’s subrogated interest for short and long-term disability benefits paid.

Workplace Accommodations

Under the Human Rights Code, organizations may have a duty to try to accommodate the limitations and restrictions of employees by modifying their job duties or making changes in the workplace. In some cases, this may require arranging for suitable employment within other BC Public Service organizations. Supervisors will work closely with employees to design and implement effective accommodations, or to find suitable alternative employment until the employee is able to return to their original job.

Employees are expected to participate in designing effective accommodations, and to take reasonable alternative employment assignments when they are offered. For more information on the duty to accommodate, see the Managers’ Guide to Reasonable Accommodation.

 

06 Job Evaluation

06 Job Evaluation

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers the evaluation and classification of bargaining unit and excluded work assignments. The policy statement supports the core policy objective of ensuring that “government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve current and future objectives.” 

All work assignments are evaluated and assigned a classification consistent with the applicable job evaluation plan. The BC Public Service Agency administers all job evaluation plans.

Statement of Job Responsibilities

For a work assignment to be evaluated, a statement of job responsibilities is required. The statement of job responsibilities must contain sufficient information to allow the work assignment to be classified using the criteria set out in the applicable evaluation plan, including, but not limited to:

  • Key accountabilities; and
  • Organizational context.

The statement of job responsibilities must accurately reflect the actual job responsibilities of the position and be signed by the appropriate excluded manager who is accountable for the work. The date the work assignment comes into effect must be indicated.

The statement of job responsibilities must be submitted for evaluation and assigned a classification. Classification decisions must be approved by a classification authority within the BC Public Service Agency, unless formal written delegation has been provided by the Agency Head.

All work assignments must have an approved classification before offering a salary and all compensation decisions must comply with the applicable contract of employment, legislation and job evaluation plan.

Job Evaluation Plans

  • Management Leadership Classification Plan (MLCP);
  • Management Job Evaluation Plan (MJEP);
  • Public Service Nurse Classification Plan (PSNCP);
  • Professional Employees Association;
    • Licensed Science Officer (LSO) Plan;
    • Grade Descriptors for Positions Other Than Licensed Science Officers;
  • Public Service Job Evaluation Plan (PSJEP); and
  • Other grade descriptors for;
    • Legal counsel;
    • Salaried physicians;
    • Senior executive assistants; and
    • Executive/judicial administrative assistants.  
 

07 Pay, Benefits and Leave

07 Pay, Benefits & Leave

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers pay, benefits and leave for both excluded and bargaining unit employees appointed under the Public Service Act. The policy statement supports the core policy objective of ensuring that “government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve current and future objectives.”  This policy statement is an adjunct to the applicable collective agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment, and provides additional direction on issues not covered by these documents. If there is a conflict, the collective agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment will take precedence over this policy statement.

Salary on Appointment

Excluded Employees

Organizations must ensure that the necessary funds are available and that compensation decisions represent an appropriate expenditure of funds. Organizations must balance mitigating compensation costs with meeting their human resources needs. Organizations are responsible for:

  • Ensuring work assignments are excluded from the bargaining unit, where appropriate;
  • Documenting compensation decisions, including authority, the rationale for the compensation decision, and the effective date;
  • Obtaining approval from the Agency Head to exceed the maximum salary of the “Strategic Leadership Role” for exceptional circumstances that supports a critical business need; and
  • Ensuring that no pattern of systemic discrimination emerges.

Bargaining Unit & Schedule “A” Employees

New employees who are appointed to a position with a step salary range are placed at Step 1 of the range unless there is a compelling need to attract that particular person and the salary placement complies with the collective agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Auxiliary Employees going to a Regular Established Position

On promotion, an auxiliary employee who moves without a break in service to a regular position will receive the rate for the position which is the closest step to 8% above his previous rate, or the minimum of the new range, whichever is greater, but not more than the top of the new salary range. If a single rate applies to the position, the employee shall receive it. The term "without a break in service" means that the employee moves from the auxiliary position to the regular position on the next available working day taking into account shift changes, days of rest, statutory holidays or other approved scheduled time off, but does not include a recall. Other auxiliary moves to regular positions will be treated as new appointments.

On a demotion, an auxiliary who has in-service status prior to the closing date of the competition, shall receive a maximum reduction which is the closest step to 8%, but where the difference between the employee's salary before demotion and the maximum salary of the new position is greater than 8%, the new salary shall be the maximum of the new position. If a single rate applies to the position the employee shall receive it. In the event a Ministry requests a salary that is less than an 8% reduction, this may be granted provided it is reasonable and fair in all of the circumstances. This does not apply to an auxiliary employee who is being concurrently hired into a regular position. Salary assignment for a concurrent hire is the same as that for a new hire.  

Completion of Probationary Period

Employees in a step salary range follow the established increment process (see Salary Increments below) and are not eligible for a salary step increase upon completion of their probationary period.

Salary Increments

All excluded and bargaining unit employees, except legal counsel, who are on a step salary range, are eligible for salary increments.

Regular Full-time Employees

Salary increments are effective the first day of the pay period following the anniversary date of their appointment, promotion, or reclassification to their current position. For nurses, the increment date is the first day of the pay period 18 months after their anniversary date.

Part-time & Auxiliary Employees

Increments are effective the first day of the pay period following the date employees accumulate 1827 straight time hours paid from the date of appointment, promotion, or reclassification to their current position. The next increment is effective following accumulation of the next 1827 straight time hours, and so on. For auxiliary employees, the qualifying straight time hours must be: 

  • At the same classification level; and
  • There must be no loss of seniority as outlined by the provisions of the applicable collective agreement or contract of employment.

Part-time or auxiliary nurses need to accumulate 2625 regular working hours for the next increment to be effective. Statutory holidays and overtime are not included.

Members of the Professional Employees Association (PEA) must accumulate 1750 regular working hours. Statutory holidays and overtime are not included.

Promotion or Upward Reclassification within 3 Months of an Increment

Where employees are promoted or reclassified upward within three months of an upcoming increment, their new pay will be calculated based on their salary on the upcoming increment date. The date of the reclassification or promotion becomes their new anniversary date for increment purposes if they have not yet attained the maximum step of their new salary grid.

Increments on Demotion or Downward Reclassification

Employees who are demoted or reclassified to a lower classification normally retain their current anniversary date or accumulated hours for increment purposes. Only where employees are demoted from a position with a single salary to a position with a salary range, and they are not at the maximum of the new salary range, will the date of their demotion or reclassification be used as the increment anniversary date.

Increments on Lateral Transfer

Regular employees who are laterally transferred will retain their anniversary date for increment purposes.

Increments During Periods of Substitution

Employees who are designated to substitute will have the time period of the substitution credited towards their next increment, if applicable, in their base position. On receipt of an increment in the base position, the employee’s substitution pay is recalculated pursuant to the provisions of the collective agreements or the employee’s terms and conditions of employment.

Increments During Periods of Temporary Appointment/Reclassification

Salary increments for regular employees who have been temporarily appointed/reclassified are based on the applicable section of this policy statement relating to promotions, demotions, or lateral transfers.

When employees return to their permanent position at the end of a temporary appointment/reclassification, the time period of the temporary appointment/reclassification is credited towards their next increment, if applicable, in their permanent position (they return to the salary and increment date that would apply if the temporary appointment/reclassification had not occurred).

Salary changes in the permanent base position that take effect during the temporary appointment do not affect the salary/step placement of their temporary appointment (for example, if the base position is reclassified during the temporary appointment, their temporary appointment pay is not recalculated).

Where, during a temporary appointment, employees are appointed to another position or another temporary appointment/reclassification occurs, their pay on appointment and salary increments are based on their original permanent position/classification.

Where employees are permanently appointed to the position in which they are currently temporarily appointed, they keep the anniversary date of the temporary appointment. The hours worked in a previous temporary appointment cannot be accumulated and applied to a new temporary appointment even if the temporary appointment is to the same position.

Where employees are permanently reclassified to the level in which they are currently temporarily reclassified, they keep the anniversary date of the temporary reclassification. The hours worked in a previous temporary reclassification cannot be accumulated and applied to a new temporary reclassification even if the temporary reclassification is to the same classification.

Changing Status – Auxiliary to Regular (Same Classification)

Auxiliary employees who are appointed to regular positions at the same classification with no break in service have the time worked towards receiving an increment as an auxiliary credited towards their next increment. For the purposes of this policy statement, "no break in service" means that the employee moves from the present position to the new position on the next available working day, taking into account shift changes, weekends, statutory holidays, and any other approved scheduled time off.

Changing Status – Auxiliary to Regular (Different Classification)

The increment date for auxiliary employees who are appointed to a regular position that is not at the same classification is the date of appointment to the new position.

Changing Status – Regular to Auxiliary

Regular employees who accept auxiliary employment are considered to be new hires. Their increment date is the date that would apply to new auxiliary employees.

Increment Deferrals – Leave of Absence

Employees who take a leave of absence without pay, except for union (nurses only), maternity, adoption, parental, or education leave, that lasts for more than 30 consecutive calendar days (where at least 30 days of the leave are taken prior to the increment date) will have their increment date deferred by the period of the leave of absence. The deferred date becomes the employee’s new anniversary date for increment purposes.

Increment Deferrals – Recall from Layoff

Regular employees recalled from layoff will have their increment anniversary date deferred by the period of the layoff. The deferred date becomes the employee’s new anniversary date for increment purposes.

Salary Protection

Excluded Employees

Salary protection will apply when a salary rate reduction is caused other than by the employee.
For employees who are classified under the Management Classification and Compensation Framework (MCCF):

  • Deputy Ministers will determine their compensation using the same considerations they would use for other compensation decisions;
  • If a decision is made to reduce an employee’s salary, the Deputy Minister will provide written notice to the employee confirming that the salary rate will be maintained for the first 12 months (no wage increases during this period) and explain the process and time frame for any subsequent salary reduction;
  • If the employee initiates a move to another position, the salary will be negotiated between the employee and the employer; and
  • If the employer initiates a move to another position or salary rate, and the employee’s current protected salary is greater than the new rate, the protected salary is reduced starting on the anniversary of the placement or new salary rate.

For employees who are classified as Senior Executive Assistant, Executive Administrative Assistant, Judicial Administrative Assistant, Bargaining Unit Equivalent (for example, Schedule “A” and Category B), and Sub-Levels of Management Level 1:

  • Their salary rate will be maintained until the job rate of the new position or classification exceeds their protected salary (for example, they do not receive any general salary increases until the protected salary has been exceeded);
  • For subsequent employee or employer initiated promotions, if the job rate of the new position or classification is below the employee’s protected salary, the protected salary is maintained until the job rate exceeds the protected salary; and
  • For subsequent employee or employer initiated lateral transfers, employees will continue to receive their protected salary.

Bargaining Unit Employees

Bargaining unit employees are entitled to only those allowances that apply to the position they have been placed or reclassified into. Premium payments, such as overtime, are calculated against the protected salary.

When bargaining unit employees are promoted:

  • Any salary increase is calculated in accordance with the collective agreement and based on the employee’s protected salary. The new salary will not exceed the maximum salary of the new position, except where the protected salary before promotion exceeds the maximum salary level of the new position (see below);
  • Employees should not receive less salary than their protected salary prior to the promotion. Where the protected salary before promotion exceeds the maximum salary level of the new position, the employee will continue to receive the protected salary with the add-to-pay adjusted accordingly; and
  • If the new position is classified at the salary level on which their salary protection is based, the salary assigned will be the same as it would have been had they not been reclassified or placed in a lower position.

Where employees receiving a protected salary are laterally transferred by the employer, they will continue to receive the protected salary in the new position.

Salary protection is not applied where employees are demoted to or they apply for and receive a lateral transfer to a position with the same or lower maximum salary. The new salary is calculated in accordance with the applicable collective agreements based on the salary they were receiving prior to the demotion or voluntary transfer, but will not exceed the maximum of the new salary range.

Regular employees who are temporarily appointed to a position that is reclassified downward are eligible to receive salary protection for the original term of the temporary appointment. However, any subsequent extensions or future temporary appointments to the position are made at the correct job rate. If employees receiving salary protection as a result of this provision win a competition for the position they are temporarily appointed to, they lose the salary protection and are paid at the correct salary rate for the position.

The employer may place employees who are receiving salary protection in another position classified at the employee’s former salary level.

Leave Without Pay

During a period of leave without pay, employees are not entitled to receive salary increases that commence during the period of leave. Maternity and parental leave allowances will be recalculated to reflect general wage increases to an employee’s basic pay that occur while on maternity or parental leave.

Temporary Work Assignment

All temporary work assignments (substitution pay, temporary appointment, or temporary reclassification) must have a current approved classification before a salary can be offered.

Movement from One Employee Group to Another

All employees who move from one employee category to another (including to or from a bargaining unit), with no break in service, will be governed by the terms and conditions of employment of the group into which they are moving, with the exception of the salary protection rules.

Where employees have in-service status, years of continuous service credited to date will be carried forward to the new category. Any benefits that are based on service will also be carried forward if they apply in the new category.

Overpayment

If employees are found to have been overpaid, the organization is required to recover the overpayment unless authority to write off or extinguish the debt has been obtained under the Financial Administration Act. Recovery is required regardless of the cause of the overpayment. Overpayment recovery applies to wages, allowances, and reimbursable expenses.

The employee’s consent is required before any recovery action is taken. If the employee does not agree to pay back the debt, a grievance (bargaining unit) or legal action (excluded) must be commenced.

Severance Packages

If an employee is re-employed or contracted by the BC Public Service within the period of time following separation which is equivalent to the length of time used in the calculation of their severance pay, they are required to reimburse any payment equivalent to the time remaining in that period. For example, an employee who received the equivalent of three months pay for severance, and was re-employed after one month, would repay the equivalent of two months pay.

Honouraria

Employees are not eligible to receive honouraria from government. An honorarium is a nominal lump sum payment for a service or action. If the employer needs to compensate employees for work that is outside of their job duties (such as speaking engagements or making special presentations) and is not covered by their regular salary, a contract should be established with them for the additional service or action.

Benefits

The employer and employee share accountability for an effective benefits program, and for controlling overall costs:

  • The Employer provides a safe and healthy work environment and an appropriate benefits program; and
  • Employees must attend work on a regular basis and access benefits to which they are eligible only when legitimately required.

Leave

Leave Management 

Supervisors, as leave sign-off authorities with expense authority, and employees each have accountability for effective leave management. Supervisors, with expense authority, must:

  • Review employee leave requests and approve recorded leave on a timely basis,
  • Confirm leave banks before approving leave and/or authorizing leave banks to be paid out, and
  • Ensure sufficient funds exist within their respective budgets to provide for costs associated with leave.

Employees must ensure that:

  • Leave is authorized,
  • Leave taken is recorded on a timely basis,
  • Leave balance records are correct, and
  • Leave banks are not exceeded.

Paid Absence Prior to Retirement 

Once an employee commences the use of earned, purchased or accumulated time immediately prior to retirement, the normal employment relationship is considered to be modified in that the employee is no longer committed to return to work and, likewise, the employer is no longer committed to provide work.

During Paid Absence Prior to Retirement the individual continues as an employee for the purpose of pensionable service and contribution to the Public Service Pension Plan, if applicable, and continues to be covered by the Group Life, Extended Health Care, Dental and Medical plans.

Upon commencement of Paid Absence Prior to Retirement, no further adjustments are to be made to the length of leave for reasons of illness or other circumstances, other than death. In the event of death, all remaining leave entitlement will be paid to the employee’s appointee’s spouse or estate.

Exceptions to this rule include Pre 1978 50% Sick Bank Entitlement and Salaried Physician Pre-retirement leave which is forfeited in the event of death.
 
All hourly leave/time banks are expended on the basis of seven hour shift, 35 hour work week. The Pre 1978 50% Sick Bank and the Retirement Allowance (and severance, if applicable), if used as Paid Absence Prior to Retirement, will be the last leaves utilized after all other leaves have been concluded, and cannot be used to increase any prior leave entitlement or bridge any individual to the next calendar year for purposes of vacation entitlement. Where an employee/appointee is on Paid Absence Prior to Retirement, and the paid absence carries over from the year the employee/appointee was last actively at work to the next calendar year, he/she shall earn and be granted a full year’s vacation entitlement in that next calendar year. When the paid absence extends into more than one subsequent calendar year the employee/appointee will not earn or be granted any further vacation benefits. General salary increases or increments that become effective during Paid Absence Prior to Retirement will be applied to the employee/appointees salary with the exception of employees with salary protection.

Leave for Athletic Events

Regular employees who have been selected to represent British Columbia or Canada in designated international or nation multi-sport athletic events as an athlete, coach or judging official may be eligible for athletic leave.

Designated athletic events are: the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-American Games, the Canada Games, the Paralympic Games and the North American Indigenous Games. The Employer will match with paid leave each day of leave contributed by the employee up to a maximum contribution by the employer of 8 days (56 hours) in any twelve month period.

All leave approvals will be based on operational requirements and leave may be considered for training purposes in preparation for the event.

The employee must provide the Employer an official letter or document from the sponsoring athletic event that indicates an employee’s participation in the athletic event.

 

08 Termination of Employment of Excluded Employees

08 Termination of Employment of Excluded Employees

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers the termination of excluded employees appointed under sections 8, 12, 14, and 15 of the Public Service Act. Termination of bargaining unit employees is covered by their collective agreement. The policy statement supports the government’s core policy objective that the “public service is a versatile workforce that can adapt to meet changing needs.”

Terminated employees will be treated with respect and professionalism.

Termination Without a Notice Period

Terminated employees are not entitled to a notice period or to severance pay if they:

  • Resign or retire;
  • Are discharged for cause;
  • Are rejected on initial probation, if other than a Deputy, Associate Deputy, or Assistant Deputy Minister;
  • Were appointed on an auxiliary, per diem, stipendiary, or at pleasure basis
  • Complete a defined-term appointment;
  • Have refused an offer of alternate employment that the BC Public Service Agency head believes constitutes reasonable alternate employment, or
  • Abandon a position.

If termination notice is required, it must be in writing and must indicate when the termination takes effect. Documentation substantiating performance concerns and issues must be kept on file by organizations.

Termination With a Notice Period

In situations not covered under Termination Without a Notice Period, organizations may terminate an employee at any time provided the employee is given a reasonable notice period and/or severance pay.

Organizations must notify the Agency Head before issuing a notice of termination with notice and/or severance pay. The Agency Head is solely responsible for determining the duration and terms of the notice period and the amount and terms of any severance.

The notice period or severance pay in lieu of the notice period is to provide the terminated employee with a reasonable period of time in which to make the transition to comparable employment. During the notice period or period of severance pay in lieu, employees are expected to mitigate and diligently pursue other employment opportunities both inside and outside the BC Public Service. Eligible employees, who are terminated with notice, will be assisted in a cost-effective manner in identifying opportunities for employment.

Employees are obligated to inform the Agency Head if they find work before the severance pay period is over. If terminated employees on paid or working notice do not accept an offer of permanent employment within the BC Public Service that is commensurate with their abilities, they will be deemed to have resigned from the BC Public Service and will no longer be entitled to the balance of the notice period or severance.

 
09 Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees

09 Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees

Last updated May 19, 2016

This policy statement applies to all persons and organizations covered by the Public Service Act. The policy statement supports the core policy objective that “public service employees exhibit the highest standards of conduct.”

Employees will exhibit the highest standards of conduct. Their conduct must instill confidence and trust and not bring the BC Public Service into disrepute. The honesty and integrity of the BC Public Service demands the impartiality of employees in the conduct of their duties.

The requirement to comply with these standards of conduct is a condition of employment. Employees who fail to comply with these standards may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Loyalty

Public service employees have a duty of loyalty to the government as their employer. They must act honestly and in good faith and place the interests of the employer ahead of their own private interests. The duty committed to in the oath of employment requires BC Public Service employees to serve the government of the day to the best of their ability

Confidentiality

Confidential information, in any form, that employees receive through their employment must not be disclosed, released, or transmitted to anyone other than persons who are authorized to receive the information. Employees with care or control of personal or sensitive information, electronic media, or devices must handle and dispose of these appropriately. Employees who are in doubt as to whether certain information is confidential must ask the appropriate authority before disclosing, releasing, or transmitting it. 

The proper handling and protection of confidential information is applicable both within and outside of government and continues to apply after the employment relationship ends. 

Confidential information that employees receive through their employment must not be used by an employee for the purpose of furthering any private interest, or as a means of making personal gains. (See Conflicts of Interest for details.)

Public Comments

BC Public Service employees may comment on public issues but must not engage in any activity or speak publicly where this could be perceived as an official act or representation (unless authorized to do so). 

Employees must not jeopardize the perception of impartiality in the performance of their duties through making public comments or entering into public debate regarding ministry policies. BC Public Service employees must not use their position in government to lend weight to the public expression of their personal opinions.

Political Activity

BC Public Service employees may participate in political activities including membership in a political party, supporting a candidate for elected office, or seeking elected office. Employees’ political activities, however, must be clearly separated from activities related to their employment. 

If engaging in political activities, employees must remain impartial and retain the perception of impartiality in relation to their duties and responsibilities. Employees must not engage in political activities during working hours or use government facilities, equipment, or resources in support of these activities. 

Partisan politics are not to be introduced into the workplace; however, informal private discussions among co-workers are acceptable.

Service to the Public

BC Public Service employees must provide service to the public in a manner that is courteous, professional, equitable, efficient, and effective. Employees must be sensitive and responsive to the changing needs, expectations, and rights of a diverse public in the proper performance of their duties.

Workplace Behaviour

Employees are to treat each other with respect and dignity and must not engage in discriminatory conduct prohibited by the Human Rights Code. The prohibited grounds are race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, political belief or conviction of a criminal or summary offence unrelated to the individual’s employment. 

Further, the conduct of BC Public Service employees in the workplace must meet acceptable social standards and must contribute to a positive work environment. Bullying or any other inappropriate conduct compromising the integrity of the BC Public Service will not be tolerated.

All employees may expect and have the responsibility to contribute to a safe workplace. Violence in the workplace is unacceptable. Violence is any use of physical force on an individual that causes or could cause injury and includes an attempt or threatened use of force. 

Employees must report any incident of violence. Any employee who becomes aware of a threat must report that threat if there is reasonable cause to believe that the threat poses a risk of injury. Any incident or threat of violence in the workplace must be addressed immediately. 

Employees must report a safety hazard or unsafe condition or act in accordance with the provisions of the WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee’s private affairs or financial interests are in conflict, or could result in a perception of conflict, with the employee’s duties or responsibilities in such a way that:

  • The employee’s ability to act in the public interest could be impaired; or
  • The employee’s actions or conduct could undermine or compromise
    • The public’s confidence in the employee’s ability to discharge work responsibilities or
    • The trust that the public places in the BC Public Service.

While the Government recognizes the right of BC Public Service employees to be involved in activities as citizens of the community, conflict must not exist between employees’ private interests and the discharge of their BC Public Service duties. Upon appointment to the BC Public Service, employees must arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent conflicts of interest, or the perception of conflicts of interest, from arising.   Employees who find themselves in an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest must disclose the matter to their supervisor, manager, or ethics advisor. Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • An employee uses government property or equipment or the employee’s position, office, or government affiliation to pursue personal interests or the interests of another organization;
  • An employee is in a situation where the employee is under obligation to a person who might benefit from or seek to gain special consideration or favour;
  • An employee, in the performance of official duties, gives preferential treatment to an individual, corporation, or organization, including a non-profit organization, in which the employee, or a relative or friend of the employee, has an interest, financial or otherwise;
  • An employee benefits from, or is reasonably perceived by the public to have benefited from, the use of information acquired solely by reason of the employee’s employment;
  • An employee benefits from, or is reasonably perceived by the public to have benefited from, a government transaction over which the employee can influence decisions (for example, investments, sales, purchases, borrowing, grants, contracts, regulatory or discretionary approvals, appointments);
  • An employee accepts from an individual, corporation, or organization, directly or indirectly, a personal gift or benefit that arises out of employment in the BC Public Service, other than:
  • the exchange of hospitality between persons doing business together;
  • tokens exchanged as part of protocol;
  • the normal presentation of gifts to persons participating in public functions; or
  • the normal exchange of gifts between friends; or
  • An employee accepts gifts, donations, or free services for work-related leisure activities other than in situations outlined above.

The following four criteria, when taken together, are intended to guide the judgment of employees who are considering the acceptance of a gift:

  • The benefit is of nominal value;
  • The exchange creates no obligation;
  • Reciprocation is easy; and
  • It occurs infrequently.

Employees will not solicit a gift, benefit, or service on behalf of themselves or other employees.

Allegations of Wrongdoing

Employees have a duty to report any situation relevant to the BC Public Service that they believe contravenes the law, misuses public funds or assets, or represents a danger to public health and safety or a significant danger to the environment. Employees can expect such matters to be treated in confidence, unless disclosure of information is authorized or required by law (for example, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act). Employees will not be subject to discipline or reprisal for bringing forward to a Deputy Minister, in good faith, allegations of wrongdoing in accordance with this policy statement. 

Employees must report their allegations or concerns as follows:

  • Members of the BCGEU must report in accordance with Article 32.13;
  • PEA members must report in accordance with Article 36.12; or
  • Other employees must report in writing to their Deputy Minister or other executive member of the ministry, who will acknowledge receipt of the submission and have the matter reviewed and responded to in writing within 30 days of receiving the employee’s submission. Where an allegation involves a Deputy Minister, the employee must forward the allegation to the Deputy Minister to the Premier.

These reporting requirements are in addition to an employee’s obligation to report to the Comptroller General as outlined in Section 33.2 of the Financial Administration Act

Where an employee believes that the matter requires a resolution and it has not been reasonably resolved by the ministry, the employee may then refer the allegation to the appropriate authority.  

If the employee decides to pursue the matter further then:

  • Allegations of criminal activity are to be referred to the police;
  • Allegations of a misuse of public funds are to be referred to the Auditor General;
  • Allegations of a danger to public health must be brought to the attention of health authorities; and
  • Allegations of a significant danger to the environment must be brought to the attention of the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment.

Legal Proceedings

Employees must not sign affidavits relating to facts that have come to their knowledge in the course of their duties for use in court proceedings unless the affidavit has been prepared by a lawyer acting for government in that proceeding or unless it has been approved by a ministry solicitor in the Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Justice. In the case of affidavits required for use in arbitrations or other proceedings related to employee relations, the Labour Relations Branch of the BC Public Service Agency will obtain any necessary approvals. Employees are obliged to cooperate with lawyers defending the Crown’s interest during legal proceedings.   A written opinion prepared on behalf of government by any legal counsel is privileged and is, therefore, not to be released without prior approval of the Legal Services branch.

Working Relationships

Employees involved in a personal relationship outside work which compromises objectivity, or the perception of objectivity, should avoid being placed in a direct reporting relationship to one another.  For example, employees who are direct relatives or who permanently reside together may not be employed in situations where:

  • A reporting relationship exists where one employee has influence, input, or decision-making power over the other employee’s performance evaluation, salary, premiums, special permissions, conditions of work, and similar matters; or
  • The working relationship affords an opportunity for collusion between the two employees that would have a detrimental effect on the Employer’s interest.

The above restriction on working relationships may be waived provided that the deputy minister is satisfied that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure that the Employer’s interests are not compromised.

Human Resource Decisions

Employees are to disqualify themselves as participants in human resource decisions when their objectivity would be compromised for any reason or a benefit or perceived benefit could accrue to them.   For example, employees are not to participate in staffing actions involving direct relatives or persons living in the same household.

Outside Remunerative and Volunteer Work

Employees may hold jobs outside government, carry on a business, receive remuneration from public funds for activities outside their position, or engage in volunteer activities provided it does not:

  • interfere with the performance of their duties as a BC Public Service employee;
  • bring the government into disrepute;
  • represent a conflict of interest or create the reasonable perception of a conflict of interest;
  • appear to be an official act or to represent government opinion or policy;
  • involve the unauthorized use of work time or government premises, services, equipment, or supplies; or
  • gain an advantage that is derived from their employment with the BC Public Service.

Employees who are appointed as directors or officers of Crown corporations are not to receive any additional remuneration beyond the reimbursement of appropriate travel expenses except as approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Responsibilities

Agency Head

  • Provide timely advice to managers and designated contacts respecting the application of this policy statement including guidance on an appropriate employer response to transgressions of the policy statement; and
  • Coordinate the development of awareness, training, and communication programs in support of this policy statement.

Deputy Ministers

  • Advise employees of the required standards of conduct and the consequences of non-compliance;
  • Designate a ministry contact for matters related to standards of conduct;
  • Promote a work environment that is free of discrimination;
  • Deal with breaches of this policy statement in a timely manner, taking the appropriate action based upon the facts and circumstances;
  • Waive the provision on working relationships under the circumstances indicated; and
  • Delegate authority and responsibility, where applicable, to apply this policy statement within their organization.

Line Managers

  • Advise staff on standards of conduct issues;
  • Engage the ministry-designated contact as may be appropriate in the circumstances; and
  • Contribute to a work environment that is free of discrimination.

Employees

  • Objectively and loyally fulfill their assigned duties and responsibilities, regardless of the party or persons in power and regardless of their personal opinions;
  • Disclose and resolve conflicts of interest or potential conflict of interest situations in which they find themselves;
  • Maintain appropriate workplace behavior;
  •  Avoid engaging in discriminatory conduct or comment; and
  • Check with their supervisor or manager when they are uncertain about any aspect of this policy statement.
 

10 Volunteers from Outside the BC Public Service

10 Volunteers from Outside the BC Public Service

Last updated April 12, 2016

This policy statement covers members of the public volunteering in organizations, under the Public Service Act, within BC Public Service. The use of volunteers is for interested persons to perform functions or activities not normally performed by BC Public Service employees. The policy statement supports the government’s core policy objective that the “government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve current and future objectives.”

Host organizations must ensure that an employee/employer relationship is not created with volunteers. Organizations must ensure volunteers abide by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The objective of this policy statement is to ensure that volunteers are treated fairly and consistently throughout the BC Public Service.   

Criminal Record Checks

Criminal record checks are required for all volunteers whose activities fall under the requirements outlined in the Security Screening Policy. Volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are required to undergo a criminal record check under the Criminal Records Review Act.

Accident and Liability Insurance

Host organizations will ensure that volunteers are covered by appropriate insurance and liability protection. Volunteers are generally not entitled to workplace insurance provided by WorkSafeBC, but advice on specific situations may be obtained from the Occupational Safety Program in the BC Public Service Agency.

Volunteers may be covered by the Government of British Columbia’s accident and liability insurance plan. This coverage is not automatic and must be arranged by contacting the Risk Management Branch of the Ministry of Finance. 

Relationship with Public Service Employees

Where volunteers perform services that require interaction with BC Public Service employees, both groups must be advised of their relationship and respective roles. 

Orientation and Training

Host organizations must ensure that volunteers receive appropriate orientation or training. Orientations must cover basic policies, organization structure, rules, regulations, and safety and emergency procedures. 

Reimbursement of Expenses

Out-of-pocket expenses that would not otherwise be incurred by a volunteer may be reimbursed. Reimbursement of expenses does not establish an employer/employee relationship.   Reimbursement of expenses is at the discretion of the host organization, but in no case may it exceed the amounts and limits established under the Core Policy and Procedures Manual.

 

11 Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

11 Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

Last updated April 12, 2016

Introduction

This policy statement applies to all employees appointed under the Public Service Act and applies to incidents that occur at or away from the workplace during or outside working hours if a connection exists to the employment relationship. This policy statement supports the core policy objective of “promoting a safe and healthy workplace that supports the well-being of employees” and the objective that “public service employees exhibit the highest standards of conduct.”

As an employer, the Government of British Columbia, in cooperation with its unions and associations will promote a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment where all employees are treated with respect and dignity. Discrimination and harassment as related to any of the prohibited grounds contained in the Human Rights Code violate the fundament rights, dignity and integrity of an individual. Where discrimination or harassment is found to have occurred, the Employer may implement remedial action.

This policy statement promotes the prevention of discrimination and harassment and focuses on the prompt resolution of complaints. This policy statement does not prevent an employee from filing a complaint under Section 13 of the Human Rights Code; however, employees are not entitled to duplication of process. Where an employee directs a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal or where they are included as an element of a grievance, the complaint will not be pursued through the formal process specified in this policy or the applicable collective agreement. All information regarding a complaint is to be treated in the strictest confidence. Information that must be shared will be disclosed on a “need to know” basis.

This policy statement covers:

  • discrimination and harassment for excluded employees
  • the complaint procedures for excluded employees
  • the adjudication process for bargaining unit employees 

A provision regarding discrimination and harassment, including the complaint procedures for bargaining unit employees, is contained in each of the applicable collective agreements. If there is a conflict, the collective agreement will take precedence over this policy statement. An employee who files a written complaint which would be seen by a reasonable person to be frivolous, vindictive or vexatious may be subject to disciplinary action.

Definitions

Discrimination 

Discrimination relates to any of the prohibited grounds contained in the Human Rights Code. Prohibited conduct may be verbal, non verbal, physical, deliberate or unintended, unsolicited or unwelcome, as determined by a reasonable person. It may be one incident or a series of incidents depending on the context. Employees have the right to employment without discrimination. Discrimination includes incidences of harassment because of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, political belief or conviction of a criminal or summary conviction offence unrelated to their employment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination and is defined as any unwelcome comment or conduct of a sexual nature that may detrimentally affect the work environment or lead to adverse job related consequences for the victim of the harassment.  Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • A person in authority asking an employee for sexual favours in return for being hired or receiving promotions or other employment benefits;
  • Sexual advances with actual or implied work related consequences;
  • Unwelcome remarks, questions, jokes or innuendo of a sexual nature including sexist comments or sexual invitations;
  • Verbal abuse, intimidation or threats of a sexual nature;
  • Leering, staring or making sexual gestures;
  • Display of pornographic or other sexual materials;
  • Offensive pictures, graffiti, cartoons or sayings;
  • Unwanted physical contact such as touching, patting, pinching or hugging; and
  • Physical assault of a sexual nature.

The definition of sexual harassment is not meant to inhibit interactions or relationships based on mutual consent or normal social contact between employees.

Complaint Procedures for Excluded Employees

These procedures will also apply if either the complainant or the respondent is a deputy minister. In such cases, the Deputy Minister to the Premier will assume the function of the Deputy Minister for the purpose of these procedures.

Informal Process

Employees who believe that they have a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment may approach their supervisory personnel, association representative, or other contact person to discuss potential means of resolving the complaint and to request assistance in resolving the matter. A matter dealt with to the complainant’s satisfaction is considered to be resolved.

Management Process

If the matter is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, or if the employee chooses not to proceed informally, the employee, within six months of the alleged occurrence, will approach the first level of excluded management not involved in the matter, for assistance in resolving the complaint. The manager will investigate the allegation and take steps to resolve the concern as appropriate within 30 days of the issue being raised by the employee. Employees may wish to have a representative present.

Formal Process

If the resolution proposed as a result of the management review is not acceptable, the complainant may refer the matter, in writing, to the deputy minister within 30 days of receiving the manager’s written response or when the response was due. The complainant may seek assistance through their human resources personnel or association representative. The written complaint will specify the details of the allegation including: 

  • Name, title and ministry of the respondent;
  • A description of the action, conduct, events or circumstances involved in the complaint;
  • The specific remedy sought to satisfy the complaint;
  • Dates of incidents;
  • Names of witnesses (if any); and
  •  Prior attempts to resolve (if any).

The deputy minister will provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent. The deputy minister will acknowledge, in writing, receipt of the written complaint, have the matter investigated and take such steps as may be required to resolve the matter.

The employee and association representative, if applicable, will be advised in writing of the proposed resolution within 30 days from the date the Deputy Minister received the written complaint or a later mutually agreed upon date.

Adjudication Process for Bargaining Unit Employees

The following adjudication process is for complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment that have not been resolved using the process set out in the applicable collective agreement:

  • BCGEU: Article 1.9
  • PEA: Article 1.09
  • Nurses: Article 1.06

Referral for Adjudication

When a complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment has not been resolved using the process set out in the collective agreement, the Bargaining Agent may refer the matter to the Employer for adjudication.

The written notice of referral for adjudication must be received by the Employer within 30 days of receipt of the proposal from the Deputy Minister to resolve the complaint made under the formal process for resolving discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. The 30-day period may be extended with the agreement of both the Bargaining Agent and the Employer.

Appointment of Adjudicator

The Employer will appoint an Adjudicator within 10 working days of receiving the written notice of referral for adjudication. The Adjudicator will either be appointed from a mutually agreed upon list, or will be someone who is agreeable to both the Employer and the Bargaining Agent. 

Conduct of Adjudication

Adjudication will be conducted in a manner that ensures that those involved receive a fair hearing. The adjudication will be conducted in private, but the Employer has the right to full representation at the hearing.

All information about a complaint is to be treated in strictest confidence and is not to be disclosed to anyone except on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. The Adjudicator will determine the adjudication process consistent with the principles of natural justice, and may admit any evidence that the Adjudicator feels is necessary or appropriate. The Adjudicator may:

  • Make findings of fact;
  • Decide if, based on the facts, discrimination or sexual harassment has occurred;
  • Attempt to mediate a resolution to the complaint; and
  • Make recommendations regarding resolution of the complaint, which may include discipline.

The Adjudicator’s written findings and recommendations will be forwarded as expeditiously as possible to the:

  • Complainant,
  • Respondent,
  • Deputy Minister, and
  • Bargaining Agent.

The Adjudicator’s decision about whether discrimination or sexual harassment has occurred is binding on all parties. 

Implementation of Recommendations

Pending the outcome of the adjudication process, the deputy minister may take interim measures to separate the employees involved. Any actions taken should not be seen as disciplinary or passing judgment on the validity of the complaint. Complainants will not be relocated without their consent.

Once the Adjudicator’s report is received, the deputy minister will consider the findings and recommendations and determine what action should be taken. All parties will be notified of the action being taken within five working days of receiving the Adjudicator’s written report.

Any action taken by the Employer, including discipline, that is consistent with the Adjudicator’s findings of fact must be accepted by all parties and is not to be used as the basis for a grievance for bargaining unit staff.

If the Adjudicator determines that discrimination or sexual harassment has occurred, the Employer will document the personnel file of the respondent accordingly.

Responsibilities

Agency Head

  • Provide timely advice to managers and employees respecting the application of this policy statement including direction that complaints and investigations be treated in confidence;
  • Coordinate the development of awareness, training, and communication programs in support of this policy statement;
  • Appoint an adjudicator to hear complaints of discrimination or harassment not resolved following a formal investigation;
  • Establish a dispute resolution panel, when required; and
  • Conduct formal investigations, when required.

Deputy Ministers

  • Promote a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment;
  • Provide for employees attendance at discrimination and harassment awareness sessions;
  • Provide employees information of the complaint process established by this policy statement;
  • Ensure that complaints raised by ministry employees are investigated and addressed within the time frames established by the policy statement;
  • Develop a system that enables all employees to be aware of their responsibilities relevant to this policy statement;
  • Ensure that complaints are treated in confidence;
  • Ensure that the number and grounds of complaints handled under the policy statement are tracked and reported as required;
  • Ensure that resolutions are implemented; and
  • Delegate authority and responsibility, where applicable, to apply this policy statement within their organization.

Excluded Managers

  • Develop workplaces, for which they are responsible, free from discrimination and harassment;
  • Inform all employees, for which they are responsible, of this policy statement;
  • Investigate and resolve complaints within the time frames established by this policy statement;
  • Report complaints that are investigated to the Deputy Minister;
  • Treat complaints and investigations in confidence as appropriate; and
  • Follow up on resolutions to ensure that they have been implemented and are working.

Employees

  • Treat fellow employees with respect and dignity;
  • Refrain from discrimination and harassment as defined by the policy statement;
  • Ensure that complaints are treated in confidence; and
  • Meet the time frames specified in this policy statement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this policy also apply to gender and gender identity?

Yes. The policy embraces the jurisprudence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the BC Human Rights Code rulings on gender and gender identity, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual.

What should I do if I witness, or feel I am the victim of, harassment or discrimination?

The following are guidelines. Please refer to the formal procedures for excluded employees and bargaining unit employees.

If you think you have witnessed, or have been the victim of, discrimination or harassment by a peer (someone with whom you are not in a reporting relationship), try speaking with the person and explain how you perceive their actions. If this is not possible, talk to your supervisor immediately. Supervisors are responsible for taking swift and appropriate action to investigate and remedy substantiated complaints.

If the conduct you are uncomfortable with has been carried out by a person to whom you report, depending on the extremity of the situation, consider using any or all of these options:

  • Request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your discomfort and how you feel you are being bullied. You may wish to call Homewood Health (1-800-655-5004) for advice and counselling to help you prepare for the discussion. Bargaining unit members can also consult with their local union representative.
  • If a meeting with your supervisor is out of the question, go to another excluded manager whom you trust and believe could help resolve the situation.
  • If the situation cannot be addressed at the first or second levels, it should be referred to the BC Public Service Agency or your union representative.

What is 'consent' ?

Consent refers to the provision of approval or agreement, particularly and especially after thoughtful consideration.

The following are described by the Canadian Criminal Code as situations in which consent cannot be obtained:

  • Force is applied.
  • Force is threatened to be applied to the victim or to another person.
  • The accused is in a position of authority over the victim.

Consent cannot be based on the words or conduct of someone other than the victim, nor can consent be obtained when:

  • The victim is incapable of consenting (due to mental incapacity, for example);
  • The accused is in a position of trust, power or authority over the victim;
  • The victim expresses a lack of consent; or
  • The victim, having initially consented, expresses a change of mind.

What's an example of something that might be perceived as harassment, but is not?

Feedback on performance is not considered harassment if it:

  • Is delivered in a respectful and professional manner;
  • Serves a legitimate purpose; and
  • Is meant to improve performance.

What is ‘indirect' discrimination?

In the absence of a bona fide occupational requirement, ‘indirect' or adverse effect discrimination exists where an employer for genuine business reasons adopts a rule or standard which is on its face neutral, and which applies equally to all employees, but which has a discriminatory effect on a prohibited ground on one employee or group of employees. For example:

  • Establishing a schedule where employees are required to work on Saturdays may conflict with the religious beliefs of an employee who is an observant Jew.
  • Adopting a standard work uniform which includes specified headgear may conflict with the rights of an employee of the Sikh faith whose religious practice includes the wearing of a turban.
  • Enforcing a work rule which requires employees to stand for extended periods of time may indirectly discriminate against physically disabled employees.

What is racism and racial discrimination?

Racism is a belief that some people are better than other people because they belong to a particular race or ethnic group. Racial discrimination occurs when someone actually does something based on racist beliefs by treating some people differently and poorly because of their race, colour, ancestry, or place of origin.

In British Columbia, the Human Rights Code makes it illegal to treat someone differently and poorly, or to harass or insult someone, because of their race, colour, ancestry, or place of origin. Examples of racial discrimination include:

  • Hiring many people of colour to work in lower-paid jobs. While white employees are trained and promoted. employees of colour are never promoted, although they are just as qualified and experienced.
  • Setting job standards that are different for certain employees because they appear to have a particular ancestry.
  • Posting publications or displays that criticize people of a particular race, colour, ancestry, or place of origin.

Is there a time limit for filing a human rights complaint?

For more information, refer to the Complaint Procedures for Excluded Employees and Adjudication Process for Bargaining Unit Employees.

 

13 Post Employment Restrictions for Senior Management in the BC Public Service

13 Post Employment Restrictions for Senior Management in the BC Public Service

Last updated April 12, 2016

Definitions

Confidential information means information that is unavailable to the public.

Outside entity means a person or entity other than a public sector employer as defined in section I of the Public Sector Employers Act

Before Leaving Public Service

1 (1) the following are conditions of your employment with the government:

(a) you must not allow yourself to be influenced in carrying out your employment responsibilities by prospects for or an offer of

(i) employment as an employee of an outside entity, or

(ii) remuneration or other reward from an outside entity for doing anything for it in a capacity other than as an employee of the outside entity;

(b) you must immediately disclose to the Deputy Minister to the Premier and Head of the BC Public Service Agency

(i) any offer described in paragraph (a), if the offer does or could place you in a conflict of interest situation; or

(ii) your acceptance of any offer described in paragraph (a).

After Leaving Public Service

2 (1) The following are conditions of your employment with the government:

(a) after your employment ends, you must not disclose confidential information that you obtained through your employment;

(b) if you had a substantial involvement in dealings with an outside entity at any time during the year immediately preceding the end of your employment then, for a year after the end of your employment, you must not

(i) accept an offer of employment, an appointment to the board of directors or a contract to provide services to that outside entity;

(ii) lobby or otherwise make representations for that outside entity to the government; or

(iii) give counsel to that outside entity, for its commercial purposes, concerning the programs or policies of any organization or ministry of the government in which you were employed at any time during the year immediately preceding the termination of your employment; or

(c) until one year after your employment ends, you

(i) must not lobby or otherwise make representations for any outside entity to any ministry or organization of the government in which you were employed at any time during the year immediately preceding the termination of your employment; or

(ii) act for an outside entity in connection with any ongoing proceedings, transaction, negotiation or case in which the outside entity and the government are involved

(a) if you, during your former employment with the government, acted for or advised the government concerning the proceedings, transaction, negotiation or case; and

(b) acting for the outside entity in that connection would result in the receipt by the outside entity of a private or commercial benefit or of any benefit not for general application.

Reduction of One-Year Limitation

The Head of the BC Public Service Agency in consultation with the Deputy Minister to the Premier may reduce the one-year restriction, upon your application, after considering the following:

(a) the circumstances under which your employment ended;

(b) your general employment prospects;

(c) the significance to the government of information you possessed by virtue of your position with the government;

(d) the desirability of a rapid transfer of your skills to an employer other than the government;

(e) the degree to which the new employer might gain unfair commercial advantage by hiring you;

(f) the authority and influence you possessed while employed by the government;

(g) the disposition of other cases.

 

14 Security Screening

14 Security Screening

Last updated April 12, 2016

Introduction

This policy covers the requirement for criminal record checks and enhanced security screening for designated positions within the BC Public Service. The directive supports the Core Policy of ensuring that “government is supported by a professional public service that has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve current and future objectives.”

This policy covers criminal record checks other than those required under the Criminal Records Review Act. This policy applies to new employees and employees changing positions only.

A criminal record check and enhanced security screening may form part of the process of assessing an applicant’s relative suitability for a designated position. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Human Rights Code, and Supreme Court of Canada decisions impose strict limits on how the employer uses the information from these records. A criminal record check must relate to the requirements of the position.

A criminal record check is a search for convictions, penalties and outstanding charges as required under this policy. Successful completion of a criminal record check and/or enhanced security screening is required before an applicant can be confirmed for a designated position within the public service.

A deputy minister may require additional enhanced security screening checks for some applicants in particularly sensitive positions by submitting a business case for approval by the Deputy Ministers Committee on the Public Service to ensure corporate consistency. The business cases must be developed in consultation with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Employee Relations, BC Public Service Agency and the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Security Programs, Ministry of Justice.

The types of enhanced security screening that may be required include: fingerprinting, RCMP-conducted background investigations, professional/education verification checks, financial/credit checks, and any personnel security screening checks required by the Province of B.C.

Purpose of Security Screening

The purpose of security screening is to:

  • Protect the safety and security of vulnerable people in the care of public service employees,
  • Maintain the security and integrity of provincial law enforcement,
  • Protect significant financial and information assets of the Province, and
  • Maintain the public trust and confidence in public service employees.

Designated Positions

A director, on the recommendation of the hiring manager, will designate positions requiring criminal records checks. The deputy minister must approve all designated positions. Positions with the following primary functions must be designated:

1. Positions responsible for law enforcement, investigations, inspections, or audits, where duties involve any of the following:

  • the control, care and custody of people and/or property,
  • access to sensitive enforcement or investigations information,
  • the administration of the justice system and the prosecution service,
  • the administration and enforcement of provincial statutes.

2. Positions having access to sensitive information. Sensitive information can be about government employees, government clients or others and may be held by government or administered by service providers on behalf of government.  Sensitive information is any information that, if compromised, could result in serious consequences for individuals, organizations, or government.

3. Positions with expense authority and/or revenue authority in excess of $500,000.

4. Positions with access to, control and/or custody of significant assets, where damage to or loss of the asset could cause harm to the Province (e.g., warehouse operations, significant inventories).

5. Positions responsible for government's corporate security.

6. Positions responsible for and who have unrestricted access to operational, data and information management systems where the disruptions of such a system could significantly impact the services to citizens and government's financial and economic interests or reveal confidential information.

 7. Positions with responsibilities related to government's financial and economic interests including those with access to:

  • Confidential budget and investment information;
  • Cabinet confidence (any advice, recommendations, policy considerations or draft legislation or regulations submitted or prepared for submission to the Executive Council or any of its committees);
  • Legal advice;
  • Financial, commercial, scientific, technical or other proprietary information that belongs to the government of British Columbia and that has, or is reasonably likely to have, monetary value; and
  • Information about intergovernmental relations or negotiations carried on by the government of British Columbia.

8. Positions that require a criminal record check in order to access data necessary for service delivery to citizens of B.C.

9. Senior executive positions (assistant deputy minister, associate deputy minister, deputy minister, or equivalent).

An employee may request a review of the reasons for requiring a criminal record check with the hiring manager. The hiring manager will review the risk factors on the Position Screening Designation form and either:

    a) Explain the rationale for designating the position to the employee: or

    b) Make a recommendation to the Deputy Minister that the requirement for a criminal record check be removed from the position.

For additional information, see the Position Screening Designation form.

Administration

Applicants must consent to criminal records checks before they are conducted. If applicants do not give their consent, their appointment cannot be confirmed.

Care must be taken to balance the rights of applicants to personal privacy and freedom from discrimination with the government’s responsibility to protect the public, employees, and assets. The results of criminal record checks will be held in strictest confidence. Records must be stored in a secure manner and records for applicants who are not hired must be destroyed.

Employees in positions requiring enhanced security screening will be rechecked a minimum of every five years. The requirement for a recheck must be included in the offer of employment letter and is a condition of employment. If the employee refuses to consent to a recheck, they can be terminated.

A criminal record check is not required:

  • For employees covering another position for short term absences (e.g. 4-6 weeks), provided the employee has had a criminal record check;
  • For employees moving to a new position where the duties and risk factors of the new position are substantially similar to the previous position, provided the employee has completed a criminal record check;
  • For auxiliary employees with service seniority that have previously passed a criminal record check and are being recalled, converted or hired through a competition into the same job.

All criminal record checks are conducted by Ministry of Justice Personnel Security Screening Office staff based on the information provided on the criminal record check consent form. If an applicant is found to have a criminal record, the decision on the applicant's suitability for employment will be made by Ministry Justice General staff and the result communicated to the hiring manager.

Deputy ministers are responsible for the final decision where an applicant requests a review of the decision not to appoint because of his or her record.

Compliance with Criminal Records Review Act Requirements

The Criminal Records Review Act (CRRA) requires a criminal record check for every employee who works with children under the age of 19 years or works with vulnerable adults as defined under the Act. If a position is designated in accordance with this policy and is also subject to the Criminal Records Review Act, and if risk identified for the position relates only to the safety of the children, organizations may choose not to require an additional criminal record check under this policy provided one has been completed under the Criminal Records Review Act.

Hiring Practice

The BC Public Service recommends best practices in the Hiring and Deployment policy. This process of evaluating the trustworthiness and reliability of applicants could also include checks of Provincial records, where the Province maintains information systems related to its own compliance or enforcement activities.

All of the information gathered during the hiring process will be considered in the adjudication of criminal record check results. This information provides verification of the accuracy of the information the applicant has provided on their background, their reliability and past work performance.

 

15 Relocation

15 Relocation

Last updated April 12, 2016

New Hires

The purpose of this policy is to outline the relocation assistance that is available to new public service employees and appointees.

The policies for new excluded employees, OIC Category A, and OIC Category C employees are documented in Schedule 5 of the Terms & Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees / Appointees

The policies for new bargaining unit employees, Schedule A, and OIC Category B employees are documented below:

1.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the relocation assistance that is available to new public service employees who are members of a bargaining unit, or persons who are Schedule A employees or Category B appointees.

2.  Goal

The goal of this policy is to ensure that relocation assistance, when offered, is reasonable, equitable and consistent with Treasury Board relocation assistance policy.

3.  Principles

3.1 - Relocation assistance is granted to new employees/appointees only when it is required to meet the recruitment needs of the hiring ministry.

3.2 - The determination as to level and extent of the relocation assistance will include consideration of:

1.  Budgetary constraints,

2.  Operational needs of the organization,

3.  The need to attract competent staff, and

4.  Reasonable and legitimate relocation costs incurred.

4.  Mandatory Requirements

4.1

  • Employee/appointee relocation assistance, when offered, is the responsibility of the hiring Ministry. The upper dollar limits in the schedule below reflect the maximum amounts that may be offered for moves of specific distances. Payment of allowances in excess of those listed requires the prior approval of the Deputy Minister of the hiring ministry.
  • In determining the amount of assistance offered, factors considered should include recruitment priority and the personal situation of the individual (e.g. number of dependents and actual real estate/moving costs).
Distance of Move Minimum        Maximum
40 - 1,000 km   $0 $7, 850
1,001 - 2,500 km $0 $12,150
2,501 - 4,000 km     $0 $18,150
4,001 km or more  $0 $18,800
Overseas   $0  $23,500
  • The overseas recruiting range is only to be used when relocating a new employee/appointee from outside of Canada and the Continental United States to British Columbia.
  • Where the employee/appointee requests, the Ministry may pay some or all of the relocation expenses directly and reduce the lump sum allowance correspondingly.
  • Where required, ministries may also authorize the new employee/appointee and spouse a house-hunting trip of up to three (3) days plus reasonable travel time. Expenses for the house-hunting trip are to be reimbursed in accordance with current travel expense policies.
  • A new employee/appointee who receives relocation assistance and/or house-hunting expenses under this policy is required to repay the funds, on a pro-rated basis, should he/she resign from government service prior to completing twenty-four (24) calendar months of full-time (or equivalent) service. New employees/appointees are required to sign a Relocation Agreement prior to receiving funding.

4.2 Relocation and Reimbursement Procedures

The Core Policy and Procedures Manual provides additional details on relocation procedures and reimbursement.

5. Legislative Authorities

  1. Public Service Act
  2. Financial Administration Act

6. Other Authorities and References

1. Treasury Board Order 316

1.            Core Policy and Procedures Manual

Existing Employees

The purpose of this policy is to outline the relocation assistance that is available to existing public service employees/appointees.

For relocation policies for bargaining unit employees, refer to the applicable collective agreement:

  • B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU)
  • BC Nurses Union (BCNU)
  • Professional Employees Association (PEA)

For relocation policies for excluded employees, Schedule A and OIC Category A, B and C employees, refer to Schedule 5 of the Terms & Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees

 

17 Travel

17 Travel

Last updated April 12, 2016

Introduction

This policy statement covers reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses necessarily incurred while traveling on government business away from an employee's normal work location. It applies to employees appointed under the Public Service Act as well as Order in Council appointees.

When business travel is required to achieve program objectives, it is to be planned and carried out in the most efficient and cost effective manner, taking into account economy, travel and accommodation costs, travel time, and other related expenses.

*NOTE* For purposes of this directive, where the terms "Ministry" and "Deputy Minister" are used, these will also include Special Offices, Boards, Commissions and Agencies of the Province and the chief executive officers of these organizations, as applicable.

Definitions

Assigned parking means parking spaces that are administered by the Minister responsible for assigned parking and which are paid for by the individual employee/appointee and which are allocated as and when available.

Authorized vehicle means government, leased, visitor, and properly identified employee vehicles.

Designated parking means those parking spaces that are leased directly by a ministry from the Accommodation and Real Estate Services, Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services.

Group I means all employees and Order in Council appointees not specifically included in or designated for reimbursement under Groups II and III.

Group II means all persons in positions evaluated under the Management and Salaried Physicians' Job Evaluation Plans who are not covered under Group III. It also includes all members and managerial employees appointed to part-time or full-time positions on Boards, Commissions or Agencies.

Group III means all persons with the status of Deputy Minister, Associate Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister, and those in positions classified at levels 9 through 12 of the Management Job Evaluation Plan. It also includes the Chief Provincial Court Judge, the Associate Chief Provincial Court Judge, full and part time Provincial Court Judges and all persons appointed as ministerial or executive assistants to a Minister.

Headquarters or geographic location means that area within a radius of 32 kilometres of where an employee/ appointee ordinarily performs his/her duties. When an employee/appointee is relocated, the headquarters area may be redefined where exceptional circumstances such as unusual road conditions exist.

Travel status means the absence of the employee from the employee's designated headquarters or geographic location to carry out Government business with the approval of the Employer. Travel status does not apply to employees temporarily assigned to a position outside of the designated headquarters or to field status employees.

Air Travel

Employees/appointees travelling by air on Employer business or undertaking ministry operations requiring the use of chartered aircraft will use recognized commercial or charter companies piloted by professional pilots.

Employees/appointees are not authorized to fly private or personally rented aircraft on Employer business. Such unauthorized travel will not be eligible for travel expense reimbursement, air travel insurance, or Workers' Compensation Board coverage.

Use of Government-Owned or Leased/Rented Vehicle

Use Restrictions

Government owned and leased/rented vehicles are for use on government business only. Where not otherwise covered in a collective agreement or the Terms and Conditions of Employment, such use includes reasonable incidental personal use of the vehicle while on travel status (i.e., for meals or a movie, etc.). Other personal use of these vehicles is limited to those activities that have been specifically authorized in advance by the Employer.

Dependents

An employee/appointee travelling on Employer business in a government owned or leased/rented vehicle may be accompanied by a spouse and/or dependents. Insurance coverage is afforded to family members, equivalent to that available under a standard vehicle insurance policy; however, only the employee/ appointee is permitted to drive the vehicle. Any additional travel expenses incurred by a spouse and/or dependents are the responsibility of the employee.

Casual Passengers

Other than in emergency, severe weather, or life threatening situations, employees/appointees travelling in government owned or leased/rented vehicles are not to provide transportation to private citizens or off duty employees/appointees.

Use of Private Vehicle

Required Use of Private Vehicle

Where, as a condition of employment, employees/appointees are required to use their own vehicles in the performance of their duties, this requirement will be included in any recruitment notices published for the position.

Use Within Headquarters/Geographic Location

Employees/appointees who use their private vehicle within their headquarters or geographic location on Employer business will be reimbursed for receipted parking charges, transportation toll costs, and the distance driven in a private vehicle, in accordance with applicable sections of Appendix 1.

Insurance

All private vehicles used on the Employer's business are required to carry at least $2 million third party liability coverage and, where applicable, business use coverage as required by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

Minimizing Risk

Based on the nature and circumstances of the travel that must be carried out, the types of private vehicles authorized for use on the Employer's business are to provide reasonable personal protection to the employee/appointee and ministry clients to minimize the risk of personal injury and potential liability to the Crown.

Damage to Private Vehicle

Damage to an employee/appointee's private vehicle, as a direct result of employment with the Province, will be reimbursed where provided for by the applicable collective agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment, in accordance with Appendix 1.

Vehicles - General

Firearms in Vehicles

Firearms of any description are not to be carried in any vehicle being used on the Employer's business unless the firearm is required for the employee/appointee's duties, has been specifically authorized for such uses and is safely transported under approved conditions.

Parking Assignment

Accommodation and Real Estate Services, Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Service provides parking for government ministries and agencies. Available parking is administered in accordance with provisions within Appendix 2.

Foreign/Extended Travel

Employees/appointees posted from British Columbia to a foreign location or hired locally in a foreign location who are required to travel on the Employer's business while in the local area, will be reimbursed travel expenses in accordance with Appendix 1

Employees/appointees required to travel away from their headquarters for extended periods will be afforded the opportunity to return home as provided for in the appropriate collective agreement or Terms and Conditions of Employment.

Meals

Meals within headquarters or geographic location are reimbursed in accordance with the provisions of an applicable collective agreement, Terms and Conditions of Employment, or Appendix 1. Meal expense reimbursement rates for travel to and from the United States, and all other foreign locations, are also outlined in Appendix 1.

Relocation

Eligibility for reimbursement of travel expenses incurred during relocation, for employees/appointees and dependents, is set out in Terms & Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees or applicable collective agreement. The rates for eligible travel expense reimbursement are specified in Appendix 1.

Injury, Loss and/or Damage

Injured Employee Transport

An employee/appointee injured on the job and requiring medical care will be transported to appropriate medical services by the Employer, or at the Employer's expense. Return transportation to the work site or the employee/appointee's local accommodation (as appropriate) will also be provided or paid for by the Employer.

Vehicle Damage

Where vehicle damage has occurred, it must be reported, and ministries must verify this damage happened in the course of an employee carrying out Employer business, in accordance with Treasury Board Directives.

The Risk Management Branch will adjudicate the claim and notify the relevant ministry of their findings. The claim will be paid from that ministry's funds.

Personal Property Loss/Damage

Instances of extraordinary personal property damage or loss must be reported, in accordance with Treasury Board Directive. In addition, ministries must verify that this damage or loss: occurred while the employee was on Employer business; was for items pertinent to that business, all access to recovery through other avenues (personal insurance policies, action against other responsible parties) has been exhausted, and reasonable recovery efforts have been made.

An employee/appointee may be reimbursed for extraordinary loss of or damage to personal property pertinent to the performance of his/her duties, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective agreement, Terms and Conditions of Employment, or Appendix 1.

The Risk Management Branch will adjudicate the claim and notify the relevant ministry of their findings. The claim will be paid from that ministry's funds.

Administration

Reimbursement of Expenses

Reimbursement of business travel expenses for Group I, II and III employees/ appointees will be in accordance with the rates and provisions contained in Appendix 1. Administrative and claim procedures for reimbursement, published by the Office of the Comptroller General and Risk Management Branch, should also be referenced.

Discretion

Where Group I and II employees/appointees are required to attend a government function, with the Minister, Parliamentary Secretary, Deputy Minister or Associate Deputy Minister, the Deputy Minister may authorize a higher per diem or meal rate (Group II or III) for the duration of the function.

Travel Advances

Employees/appointees required to travel on Employer business, who have not been issued a corporate credit card, may request an accountable travel advance to cover the anticipated travel expenses.

Responsibilities

The Minister responsible for the BC Public Service Agency is authorized to:

  • Establish and revise the business travel expense and loss or damage policies and rates of reimbursement;
  • Approve business travel expenses of an unusual or unique nature not otherwise covered in this directive;
  • Negotiate travel expense reimbursement rates with the bargaining units;
  • Establish and revise the policies for allocating available assigned parking spaces to bargaining unit employees;
  • Assign administrative responsibility for business travel expenses, loss or damage claims and employee/appointee parking; and
  • Delegate any or all of these responsibilities.

The Minister responsible for assigned parking is authorized to:

  • Administer assigned parking spaces and allocate these to employees/ appointees; and
  • Delegate any or all of these responsibilities.

Accommodation and Real Estate Services, Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services is authorized to:

  • Establish the number and standard of parking facilities to be provided for ministry and employee/appointee use;
  • Set the rates that Ministries are charged for designated parking spaces;
  • Allocate designated parking spaces to Ministries and Crown agencies; and
  • Delegate any or all of these responsibilities.

The Comptroller General is authorized to:

  • Establish and amend administrative procedures to implement this directive;
  • Publish business travel claim procedures; and
  • Delegate any or all of these responsibilities.

The Minister responsible for the Risk Management Branch is authorized to:

  • Establish and amend loss or damage claim policies and administrative procedures to implement the claim provisions of this directive; and
  • Delegate any or all of these responsibilities.

Accountabilities

The Associate Deputy Minister responsible for the BC Public Service Agency is accountable for ensuring that:

  • Required negotiations are concluded with the bargaining units;
  • Revisions and updates to the business travel policies and rates are distributed to Ministries and the Comptroller General; and
  • Revisions and updates to the assigned parking policies are forwarded to ministries and the Minister of Labour and Citizens' Services.

The Deputy Minister responsible for assigned parking is accountable for ensuring that:

  • Available assigned parking spaces are allocated and administered; and
  • Parking fees from assigned parking are collected and remitted.

Accommodation and Real Estate Services, Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services is accountable for ensuring that the parking provided is marked, maintained and policed.

The Comptroller General is accountable for ensuring that:

  • Administrative procedures are in place to process business travel expenses;
  • Instructions are provided to all staff involved in administering business travel; and
  • Records of business travel expenses are kept and statistical data provided as required.

The Risk Management Branch is accountable for ensuring that:

  • Administrative procedures are in place to process private vehicle damage claims and personal property loss or damage claims;
  • Instructions are provided to all staff involved in processing loss or damage claims;
  • All damage and loss claims are adjusted;
  • Reports and statistical data are provided to ministries and agencies as required, including an annual summary of the number/type of claims filed and the amount requested; and the number of such claims accepted/ rejected and the final amount paid for each claim; and
  • Records of damage and loss claims are kept.

Deputy Ministers are accountable for ensuring that:

  • Business travel authorized is the most appropriate method of accomplishing program objectives;
  • The means of travel approved represents the lowest cost alternative taking into account transportation, accommodation, travel time and other related costs;
  • Administrative procedures are in place to authorize, control and pay damage and loss claims;
  • Administrative procedures are in place to authorize, control and record business travel costs;
  • Administrative procedures are in place to allocate, control and pay for designated parking within the Ministry;
  • Information on business travel and parking allocation policies are provided to Ministry staff; and
  • Mandatory accounting and reporting procedures are adhered to.
 

18 Statutory Holidays - Excluded Employees

18 Statutory Holidays - Excluded Employees

Last updated April 12, 2016

Policy

An auxiliary employee who works the day before and the day after a designated statutory holiday, or who has worked 15 of the previous 30 calendar days, shall be compensated for the holiday.

Application

Excluded auxiliary employees appointed pursuant to the Public Service Act, not covered by the provisions of a Collective Agreement (except salaried physicians).

Entitlements

1. Designated statutory holidays are as follows:

a)

  • New Year's Day
  • Family Day (beginning in 2013)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • B.C. Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Remembrance Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

b) Any other day designated as a statutory holiday for public service employees in the locality in which the employee is working shall also be a statutory holiday for purposes of this policy.

2. Auxiliary employees who are entitled to be paid for the designated statutory holiday (or lieu day, if applicable), shall receive compensation on the following basis:

a) Full-time auxiliary employees are entitled to a regular designated statutory holiday or lieu day at their regular rate of pay.

b) Part-time auxiliary employees are entitled to a pro-rated regular day's pay for the designated statutory holiday (not to exceed 7 hours) or lieu day (i.e. a proportionate part of the full day's pay based on the portion of time worked by the employee).

Example: An employee who works 3 1/2 hours every day is entitled to compensation equivalent to 3-1/2 hours for the designated paid holiday.

c) Part-time auxiliary employees whose hours of work differ from day-to-day will receive a pro-rated entitlement equivalent to the fraction of actual straight time worked compared to the normal full-time work for the same period within the 30 calendar day period immediately preceding the designated statutory holiday (not to exceed 7 hours).

Example: An employee who works different shifts (i.e. 4 hours, 7 hours, 5 hours), as an on-call employee, would be entitled to compensation as follows:

i) add up total straight time hours worked by the auxiliary employee in the previous 30 calendar day period;

ii) divide it by the number of working days in the 30 calendar day period X 7.

Example: Total straight time hours worked is 105; divided by 140 (20 days X 7) = .75 of a day's compensation for full time.

3. An auxiliary employee who works the designated statutory holiday and who has worked 15 of the previous 30 days shall receive the same compensation as a regular employee. For schedule "A" auxiliary employees, this will be as outlined in the Overtime Compensation Policy, V3-C-3. For auxiliary employees in open-range positions, this will be their regular rate of pay; these employees shall also be entitled to another paid day off in lieu.

4. Schedule A auxiliary employees who do not meet the provisions of the policy statement, and auxiliary employees in

Conditions

1. An auxiliary employee who has not worked the day before or the day after the designated statutory holiday nor 15 of the previous 30 calendar days is not entitled to be compensated for the holiday.

2. An auxiliary employee who commences work after a designated paid holiday is not entitled to payment for the holiday.

3. An auxiliary employee who is on lay-off status over a holiday period and who qualifies under the provisions of this policy is entitled to compensation for that holiday.

4. An auxiliary employee who is not on lay-off status, or resigns or is terminated for cause prior to the designated holiday is not entitled to payment for that holiday.

 

19 Leave for Preparing to Adopt - Excluded Employees

19 Leave for Preparing to Adopt - Excluded Employees

Last updated April 12, 2016

Policy

Objective

1. The objective of this policy is to provide leave with pay for employees to meet certain requirements when preparing to adopt a child or children.

Application & Scope

2. This policy applies to all excluded employees appointed under the Public Service Act who are either:

  1. Regular, or
  2. Auxiliary with at least 1827 hours.

Principles

3. The Employer recognizes that employees preparing to adopt a child or children must meet unique requirements.

Mandatory Requirements & Definitions

4. Pre-placement visits are visits between the child and adoptive parent(s) in order to provide an opportunity for the:

  1. Parent(s) and child(ren) to get to know each other, and
  2. Adoption worker and child's worker to assess the suitability of a proposed placement.

General

5. Employees may request a leave at 85 per cent pay for up to seven weeks (35 seven-hour days or 245 hours) every calendar year when they prepare to adopt a child or children. The leave is to be taken as needed which may be intermittently or at one time prior to placement.

6. Where both parents are employees or where more than one child is involved in the same adoption process, the leave will not exceed seven weeks every calendar year.

7. The leave must only be used for:

  1. Pre-placement visits for domestic adoptions (as required by standards set by the Ministry for Children and Family Development), or
  2. To complete the legal process required by the child's or children's birth country for international adoptions, while the employee is in that country.

8. The leave entitlement is not used for an employee to travel.

9. Employees must submit a written leave request, including the proposed dates of the leave, to their manager with as much advance notice as possible. The Employer may request appropriate documentation to show the adoption is proceeding.

10. The leave entitlement under this policy ends when the child or children commences to live with the adoptive parent(s). Adoption leave, parental leave and parental allowance may be accessed once the child commences to live with the adoptive parent(s). Detailed information for these leaves and allowance is in the Personnel Management Policy 5.5: Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees, Part IX. Appendix 1 of this policy includes a general description of these leaves.

11. During the leave granted under this policy, the Employer will maintain coverage for medical, extended health, dental, group life and long term disability. The employee will continue to pay their share of the premiums, if any.

12. If the employee does not remain employed by the Employer within six months following the end of this pre-adoption leave, all payment made under this policy will be recovered on a pro-rata basis by the Employer.

Responsibilities

The BC Public Service Agency

The Head of the BC Public Service Agency is responsible for:

  1. Providing advice and assistance on the application of this policy, and
  2. Delegating any of these responsibilities to the appropriate staff within the BC Public Service Agency.

Ministries

Deputy ministers are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that the provisions of this policy are met,
  2. Ensuring the leave accessed under this policy are tracked and recorded, and
  3. Delegating authority and responsibility, where applicable, to apply this policy within their organization.

Employees who take the leave for preparing to adopt are responsible for ensuring they follow the provisions of this policy.

Legislative Authorities

Other Authorities and References

BC Public Service Agency Personnel Management Policy 5.5, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees

Appendix 1

This appendix provides general guidance on how the pre-adoption leave policy may be used.

Domestic Adoptions

For domestic adoptions, the leave entitlement under this policy is for pre-placement visits. The following examples do not have the requirement for pre-placement visits in domestic adoptions:

  1. Relative adoption - adoptions by a family member
  2. Step-parent adoption - adoptions by the partner of a birth parent
  3. Foster-parent adoption - adoptions by foster parents where the child or children were living with the foster parents immediately before the adoption process.

Adoption Leave, Parental Leave and Allowance

The leaves available to adoptive parents once a child is placed in their home are:

  1. parental leave of up to 12 weeks leave without pay, which may be extended another six months for health reasons
  2. parental allowance of up to 10 weekly payments that equal the difference between the employee's Employment Insurance benefits and 75 per cent of the employee's basic pay
  3. adoption leave of up to 17 weeks leave without pay (this may begin either when the child is living with the parents or following parental leave

Detailed information on these leaves can be found in Personnel Management Policy 5.5, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees, Part IX.

Example

The following example shows:

  1. how the pre-adoption leave provision under this policy may be accessed
  2. the parental and adoption leave provisions under Personnel Management Policy 5.5, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Excluded Employees/Appointees, Part IX.

Pat and Kelly both work for the provincial government and are preparing to adopt a child. Pat is a regular employee of the Ministry of Attorney General and Kelly is an auxiliary employee (with more than 1827 hours) in the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Children and Family Development is helping them to adopt a child within BC.

Pat and Kelly have taken the Adoption Education Program and have participated in a family assessment through the Ministry for Children and Family Development. Their medical information, references and criminal record checks have been submitted.

Pat and Kelly have been matched with a sibling group (age 7 and 3) who are waiting to be adopted. Pat and Kelly live in Vancouver and the children live in Prince George. Initially, their adoption worker set up five pre-placement visits, which were one day each over ten days.

The adoption and child's workers determined that additional pre-placement visits were needed. Over a period of three months, Pat and Kelly met with the children 10 more times. Seven of the visits were one day, three of the visits were a half-day. Following the visits, the adoption and social workers, Pat and Kelly, and the children agree that the placement will work.

1. Under this policy both Pat and Kelly are eligible to share up to seven weeks (35 seven-hour days or 235 hours) of the leave.

2. Pat and Kelly used 13.5 days leave each at 85 per cent pay for a total of 27 days leave (11 visits by two people at one day each and three visits by two people at a half day each). They did not use the full seven weeks since:

1. The time was not required for the pre-placement visits,

2. Both children were part of the same adoption process, and

3. Pay and Kelly's travel time is not eligible for leave under this policy.

3. For the remaining time that Pat and Kelly were not at work that was either travel or between the pre-placement visits, Pat and Kelly can use vacation or leave without pay.

4. Once Pay and Kelly have the children living with them, parental leave, parental allowance and adoption leave are available:

1. A total of 12 weeks of parental leave including 10 weeks of the parental allowance (they must decide whether Pat or Kelly will access the total leave or divide it between them), and

2. 17 weeks of adoption leave without pay available to both Pat and Kelly.

In this example, the match between Pat and Kelly and the children was successful. If the match had not been successful, Pat and Kelly would still have been eligible for leave under this policy for the pre-placement visits. However, they would not have been eligible for the parental leave and allowance, or the adoption leave.

 

20 Calculation of Statutory Holiday Pay - Excluded Employees

20. Calculation of Statutory Holiday Pay - Excluded Employees

Last updated April 12, 2016

December 23, 1999

To: Directors of Human Resources/Personnel
       Senior Financial Officers

Re: Payroll Policy Circular

The newly created Payroll Services Branch of PSERC has amalgamated with Benefits Policy to form a Pay and Benefits Branch. This amalgamated branch will provide central direction for payroll, leave, benefits and human resources transactions affecting payroll.

As described in the mandate, the Pay and Benefits Branch will produce an administration manual designed to assist ministry pay offices with payroll transactions. During the development of the manual, Policy Circulars will be issued in situations where policy direction is needed immediately. Subsequently, as the administrative manual is developed, the circular information will be reflected in policy.

For your information the first policy circular, relating to statutory holiday pay, is attached and has been distributed to your ministry’s payroll administrator.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or suggestions on how the new Pay and Benefits Branch can serve the needs of your ministry, please call me at 356-2210.

Carol Iverson
Manager, Pay and Benefits

SUBJECT: Calculation of Statutory Holiday Pay

APPLICATION

This circular applies only to regular part-time Management Exclusion employees, whose positions are evaluated under the Management Classification Program, including regular part time OIC Category A & C Appointees, who work less than 35 hours per week on a regular basis.

Note: All employees not covered by this circular will continue to be entitled to statutory holiday pay based on hours worked and where applicable, pro-rated based on current policy.

POLICY

1. Set schedule of less that 35 hours per week and more than 15 days in every 30

Regular part time employees working a set schedule of less than full time, and who work or earn wages for at least 15 of the previous 30 days prior to the statutory holiday, will receive the same amount of pay as if the employee had worked regular hours on the day off. The calculation of pay will not be pro-rated based on hours worked.

Sample schedule:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7 hours

7 hours

7 hours

7 hours

Regular day off


In the example above, assuming the employee satisfies the criteria for pay under the Employment Standards Act, if a statutory holiday falls on the Monday the employee will receive 28 hours pay in that week (21 regular, 7 statutory holiday). In the same example, if the statutory holiday falls on the day of rest, Friday, the employee will receive 35 hours pay for the week (28 regular, 7 statutory holiday).

Sample schedule:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

5 hours

5 hours

5 hours

5 hours

5 hours

In the example above, assuming the employee satisfied the criteria for pay under the Employment Standards Act, the employee will receive five hours of statutory holiday pay regardless of which day the statutory holiday falls.

2. Set schedule of less that 35 hours per week and less than 15 days in every 30

Regular part time employees working a set schedule of less than full time, and who work or earn wages on fewer than 15 of the previous 30 days prior to the statutory holiday, will receive pro-rated statutory holiday compensation based on hours worked.

Sample schedule:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7 hours

7 hours

3.5 hours

Regular day off

Regular day off

In the example above, the employee does not satisfy the criteria for statutory holiday pay under the Employment Standards Act, since their schedule will not generate 15 working days in the previous 30. In this situation, the employee will receive pro-rated statutory holiday based on hours worked regardless of which day the statutory holiday falls. This entitlement is provided in Personnel Policy Directive 4.5.

3. Part time regular employee without a set schedule

Regular part time management excluded employees working a fluctuating schedule will receive pro-rated statutory holiday based on hours worked regardless of which day the statutory holiday falls. This entitlement is provided in Personnel Policy Directive 4.5.

4. Temporary appointments

In situations where an employee is serving in a position covered by this circular on a temporary assignment (T/A), the entitlement in this circular applies when the T/A start date and end date encompasses a statutory holiday(s).

5. Time off in lieu

As an alternative to receiving statutory holiday pay, the employee may be provided with time off in lieu.

AUTHORITIES

Employment Standards Act
Policy Directive 4.5

EFFECTIVE DATE

This circular is effective January 2, 2000.

Maureen S. Nicholls
Commissioner
Public Service Employee Relations Commission

 

21 Approving Payout of Unused Vacation and Banked Leave - Excluded Employees

21. Approving Payout of Unused Vacation and Banked Leave

Last updated April 12, 2016

Circular No. 9

To: Directors of Human Resources / Personnel

Subject: Approving Payout of Unused Vacation and Banked Leave

Application: This circular applies to excluded employees covered by the Public Service Act.

Policy: The Deputy Minister or delegate may approve an employee’s request for paying out any of the employee’s unused vacation or Executive Benefit Time Bank credits according to the policy governing the rates of payout.

Authorities: Public Service Act

Cancellations/ Amendment: This circular amends the Personnel Management Policies and Procedures Manual, Directive 4.5, Special Employee Categories, Appendix 7, section 86.2 and cancels section 86.3.

Effective Date: This circular is effective June 30, 1999 and was amended August 1, 1999.

This circular is administered by the Benefits Policy Branch.

 
22 Standards of Conduct for Political Staff

22. Standards of Conduct for Political Staff

Last updated April 12, 2016

“Political staff” are persons appointed under section 15(1)(a) of the Public Service Act who report through to the Chief of Staff to the Premier or provide support to a Minister, and who are not assigned job duties primarily of an administrative, technical or communications nature.  Most appointees working in the Office of the Premier and supporting Minister’s offices are political staff (e.g., Chiefs of Staff, Ministerial Assistants and Executive Assistants).  Appointees to Government Communications and Public Engagement are not political staff.  See Schedule 1 for a listing of political staff job titles.

Political staff will exhibit the highest standards of conduct. Their conduct must instil confidence and trust and not bring the Province of British Columbia into disrepute.

The requirement to comply with these standards of conduct is a condition of employment. Political staff who fail to comply with these standards may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The Standards of Conduct for Political Staff closely resemble the Standards of Conduct applicable to employees of the BC Public Service. However, the Standards of Conduct for Political Staff recognize the unique, partisan role performed by political staff and provide guidance on how political staff may exercise their partisan duties while also respecting the non-partisan role of employees in the BC Public Service.

Role of Political Staff

Political staff are generally employed to help Ministers on matters where the non-political and political work of Government overlap and where it would be inappropriate for permanent public servants to become involved. Political staff serve as advisors and assistants who share the ruling party’s political commitment, and who can complement the professional, expert and non-partisan advice and support of the permanent public service.

Many political staff report directly to their Minister’s Chief of Staff, who is responsible for the overall management of the Minister's Office including managing the office budget and personnel.  Political staff should ask their Chief of Staff, or other manager or supervisor to whom they report, if they have any questions regarding their role and responsibilities.

Loyalty

Political staff have a duty of loyalty to the government as their employer. They must act honestly and in good faith and place the interests of the employer ahead of their own private interests.

Confidentiality

Confidential information, in any form, that political staff receive through their employment must not be disclosed, released, or transmitted to anyone other than persons who are authorized to receive the information. Political staff with care or control of personal or sensitive information, electronic media, or devices must handle and dispose of these appropriately. Staff who are in doubt as to whether certain information is confidential must ask the appropriate authority before disclosing, releasing, or transmitting it.

The proper handling and protection of confidential information is applicable both within and outside of government and continues to apply after the employment relationship ends.

Confidential information that political staff receive through their employment must not be used for the purpose of furthering any private interest, or as a means of making personal gains. (See the Conflicts of Interest section below for details.)

Public Comments

Political staff may comment on public issues but must not engage in any activity or speak publicly where this could be perceived as an official act or representation (unless authorized to do so).  Staff must not use their position in government to lend weight to the public expression of their personal opinions.

Service to the Public

Political staff must provide service to the public in a manner that is courteous, professional, equitable, efficient, and effective. Staff must be sensitive and responsive to the changing needs, expectations, and rights of a diverse public in the proper performance of their duties.

Workplace Behaviour

Political staff are to treat each other with respect and dignity and must not engage in discriminatory conduct prohibited by the Human Rights Code. The prohibited grounds are race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, family status, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, political belief or conviction of a criminal or summary offence unrelated to the individual’s employment.

Further, the conduct of political staff in the workplace must meet acceptable social standards and must contribute to a positive work environment.  Bullying or any other inappropriate conduct compromising the integrity of the Province of BC will not be tolerated.

All political staff may expect and have the responsibility to contribute to a safe workplace. Violence in the workplace is unacceptable. Violence is any use of physical force on an individual that causes or could cause injury and includes an attempt or threatened use of force.

Political staff must report any incident of violence. Any staff who become aware of a threat must report that threat if there is reasonable cause to believe that the threat poses a risk of injury. Any incident or threat of violence in the workplace must be addressed immediately.

Staff must report a safety hazard or unsafe condition or act in accordance with the provisions of the WorkSafeBC Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

Interactions with the Permanent Public Service

In meeting their responsibility to respect the non-partisanship of ministry staff, political staff have an obligation to inform themselves about the appropriate parameters of conduct set out in the Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees, and to actively assess their own conduct and any requests they make to ministry employees in the light of those parameters.

To the extent practicable, relations between political staff and ministry staff should be conducted through the Deputy Minister’s Office. The Deputy Minister’s Office should be informed about any significant contact between political staff and ministry employees. Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff should be vigilant in ensuring the appropriate parameters of interaction between political staff and ministry staff are observed.

Political staff may ask ministry employees for information, transmit the Minister’s instructions, or be informed of decisions in order to address communications and strategic issues. However, they do not have a direct role in ministry operations and have no legal basis for exercising the delegated authority of Ministers. Nor may political staff give direction to ministry employees on the discharge of their responsibilities.

Examples of appropriate and inappropriate conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

Appropriate Conduct Inappropriate Conduct
Convey to ministry employees the Minister’s view of issues and direction on work priorities; Ask a ministry employee to do anything inconsistent with their obligations under the Standards of Conduct;
Request ministry employees prepare information and analyses; Authorize the expenditure of public funds, have responsibility for budgets, or have any involvement in the award of external contracts;

Hold meetings with ministry employees to discuss advice being prepared for the Minister.

Exercise any power in relation to the management of employees within their ministry (except in relation to other political staff);
 

Suppress or supplant advice prepared for the Minister by ministry employees (although they may comment on such advice)

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when a political staff member’s private affairs or financial interests are in conflict, or could result in a perception of conflict, with the staff member’s duties or responsibilities in such a way that:

  • the staff member’s ability to act in the public interest could be impaired; or
  • the staff member’s actions or conduct could undermine or compromise:
    • the public’s confidence in the staff member’s ability to discharge work responsibilities; or
    • the trust that the public places in the Province of BC.

While the government recognizes the right of political staff to be involved in activities as citizens of the community, conflict must not exist between their private interests and the discharge of their employment duties. Upon appointment, political staff must arrange their private affairs in a manner that will prevent conflicts of interest, or the perception of conflicts of interest, from arising.

Political staff who find themselves in an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest must disclose the matter to their supervisor, manager, or Chief of Staff. Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A staff member uses government property or equipment or their position, office, or government affiliation to pursue personal interests or the interests of another organization;
  • A staff member is in a situation where they are under obligation to a person who might benefit from or seek to gain special consideration or favour;
  • A staff member, in the performance of official duties, gives preferential treatment to an individual, corporation, or organization, including a non-profit organization, in which the staff member, or a relative or friend, has an interest, financial or otherwise;
  • A staff member benefits from, or is reasonably perceived by the public to have benefited from, the use of information acquired solely by reason of their employment;
  • A staff member benefits from, or is reasonably perceived by the public to have benefited from, a government transaction over which they can influence decisions (for example, investments, sales, purchases, borrowing, grants, contracts, regulatory or discretionary approvals, appointments);
  • A staff member accepts from an individual, corporation, or organization, directly or indirectly, a personal gift or benefit that arises out of their employment with the Province of BC, other than:
    • the exchange of hospitality between persons doing business together;
    • tokens exchanged as part of protocol;
    • the normal presentation of gifts to persons participating in public functions; or
    • the normal exchange of gifts between friends; or
  • A staff member accepts gifts, donations, or free services for work-related leisure activities other than in situations outlined above.

The following four criteria, when taken together, are intended to guide the judgment of political staff who are considering the acceptance of a gift:

  • The benefit is of nominal value;
  • The exchange creates no obligation;
  • Reciprocation is easy; and
  • It occurs infrequently.

Political staff will not solicit a gift, benefit, or service on behalf of themselves or other employees.

Allegations of Wrongdoing

Political staff have a duty to report any situation relevant to their employment that they believe contravenes the law, misuses public funds or assets, or represents a danger to public health and safety or a significant danger to the environment. Staff can expect such matters to be treated in confidence, unless disclosure of information is authorized or required by law (for example, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act). Staff will not be subject to discipline or reprisal for bringing forward to a Chief of Staff, in good faith, allegations of wrongdoing in accordance with this policy statement.

Political staff must report their allegations or concerns in writing to their Chief of Staff or the Chief of Staff to the Premier, who will acknowledge receipt of the submission and have the matter reviewed and responded to in writing within 30 days of receiving the staff member’s submission. Where an allegation involves a Chief of Staff, the employee must forward the allegation to the Chief of Staff to the Premier. Where an allegation involves the Chief of Staff to the Premier, the allegation must be forwarded to the Deputy Minister to the Premier.

In addition to these reporting requirements, it is expected political staff will also report to the Comptroller General any irregularities related to the expenditure of public funds as outlined in Section 33.2 of the Financial Administration Act.

Where a political staff member believes that the matter requires a resolution and it has not been reasonably resolved by their employer, they may then refer the allegation to the appropriate authority. 

If the staff member decides to pursue the matter further then:

  • Allegations of criminal activity are to be referred to the police;
  • Allegations of a misuse of public funds are to be referred to the Auditor General;
  • Allegations of a danger to public health must be brought to the attention of health authorities; and
  • Allegations of a significant danger to the environment must be brought to the attention of the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment.

Legal Proceedings

Political staff must not sign affidavits relating to facts that have come to their knowledge in the course of their employment duties for use in court proceedings unless the affidavit has been prepared by a lawyer acting for government in that proceeding or unless it has been approved by a ministry solicitor in the Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General. Political staff are obliged to cooperate with lawyers defending the Crown’s interest during legal proceedings.

A written opinion prepared on behalf of government by any legal counsel is privileged and is, therefore, not to be released without prior approval of the Legal Services branch.

Working Relationships

Political staff involved in a personal relationship outside work which compromises objectivity, or the perception of objectivity, should avoid being placed in a direct reporting relationship to one another. For example, staff who are direct relatives or who permanently reside together may not be employed in situations where:

  • A reporting relationship exists where one staff member has influence, input, or decision-making power over the other’s performance evaluation, salary, premiums, special permissions, conditions of work, and similar matters; or
  • The working relationship affords an opportunity for collusion between the two staff members that would have a detrimental effect on the Employer’s interest.

The above restriction on working relationships may be waived provided that the Chief of Staff to the Premier is satisfied that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure that the employer’s interests are not compromised.

Human Resource Decisions

Political staff are to disqualify themselves as participants in human resource decisions when their objectivity would be compromised for any reason or a benefit or perceived benefit could accrue to them.

For example, staff are not to participate in staffing actions involving direct relatives or persons living in the same household.

Outside Remunerative and Volunteer Work

Political staff may hold jobs outside government, carry on a business, receive remuneration from public funds for activities outside their position, or engage in volunteer activities provided it does not:

  • interfere with the performance of their employment duties;
  • bring the government into disrepute;
  • represent a conflict of interest or create the reasonable perception of a conflict of interest;
  • appear to be an official act or to represent government opinion or policy;
  • involve the unauthorized use of work time or government premises, services, equipment, or supplies; or
  • gain an advantage that is derived from their employment with the Province of BC.


Political staff who are appointed as directors or officers of Crown corporations are not to receive any additional remuneration beyond the reimbursement of appropriate travel expenses except as approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Responsibilities

Chief of Staff to the Premier and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier

  • Provide timely advice to Chiefs of Staff respecting the application of this policy statement including guidance on an appropriate employer response to transgressions of this policy; and
  • Coordinate the development of awareness, training, and communication programs in support of this policy.
  • Consult with the Head of the BC Public Service Agency as required to address complex issues.

Chiefs of Staff

  • Advise political staff of the required standards of conduct and the consequences of non-compliance;
  • Promote a work environment that is free of discrimination;
  • Deal with breaches of this policy in a timely manner, taking the appropriate action based upon the facts and circumstances, and conferring with the Chief of Staff to the Premier as appropriate;
  • Waive the provision on working relationships under the circumstances indicated; and
  • Delegate authority and responsibility, where applicable, to apply this policy within their organization.

Political Staff                                                                

  • Fulfil their assigned duties and responsibilities, regardless of the party or persons in power and regardless of their personal opinions;
  • Disclose and resolve conflicts of interest or potential conflict of interest situations in which they find themselves;
  • Maintain appropriate workplace behaviour;
  • Avoid engaging in discriminatory conduct or comment; and
  • Check with their supervisor, Chief of Staff or Chief of Staff to the Premier when they are uncertain about any aspect of this policy.

Standards of Conduct for Political Staff:  Schedule 1 – Political Staff Job Titles

Political staff must abide by the Standards of Conduct for Political Staff.  All other section 15(1) (a) appointees must abide by the Standards of Conduct applicable to other public service employees.

Political staff are persons appointed under section 15(1)(a) of the Public Service Act who are not assigned job duties primarily of a technical or administrative nature including those appointed to the following positions:

  • Executive Assistant to a Minister
  • Ministerial Assistant
  • Ministerial Chief of Staff
  • Staff in the Premier’s Office (except those whose job duties are primarily of a technical or administrative nature – e.g., Administrative Coordinator)

Last updated:February 27, 2014

 

 

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