If your services will no longer be required beyond a specific date and the deputy head believes there is likely employment available for you in the public service, you will receive a written notice giving you a guarantee of a reasonable job offer (1.1.6, 1.1.7). The notice will also specify when your surplus priority status begins.
This guarantee means you must receive a reasonable job offer before your status can change. To be reasonable, the offer:
- must be for indeterminate employment within the public service
- will normally be at the same level, but could be for a lower level
- should be within your headquarters' area as defined in the NJC Travel Directive, but this may not always be possible
- should be a seamless transfer of all employee benefits including a recognition of years of service for the definition of continuous employment, accrual of benefits, transfer of sick leave credits, and accumulated vacation credits and severance pay (Definition of reasonable job offer)
For employees who are work force adjusted because of Alternative delivery initiatives (Part VII) the meaning of areasonable job offer is different. It only applies in the case of a Type I or Type 2 transitional arrangement, but not a Type 3. In these instances a reasonable job offer must be consistent with the criteria laid out in Part VII (7.1 & 7.2.2)
Your home department is responsible to facilitate your employment (1.1.4)
The Public Service Commission is responsible for referring surplus and laid-off persons to positions in all departments, organizations and agencies governed by the PSEA for which they are qualified. (1.3.3. & Annex C,1) and with providing surplus and laid off workers with information on their priority entitlements. (Annex C-3)
Departments must cooperate with the Public Service Commission and appointing departments to redeploy surplus and laid-off workers. (1.1.4)
While waiting to receive a reasonable job offer, you will remain a public service employee. You must be both trainable and mobile. You will continue to be paid while you are surplus until you are offered and accept a reasonable job offer, or until the date you are laid off if you have refused a reasonable job offer.
An employee who receives a guarantee of a reasonable job offer remains in surplus status until he or she is either
a) offered and accepts a reasonable job offer,
b) refuses a reasonable job offer and is laid off, or
c) chooses to resign. It is also possible to be laid off if you can’t be re-trained within two years.
The employee will remain surplus until he or she has been provided with at least one reasonable job offer. If an employee refuses a reasonable job offer, he or she can be laid off one month after the refusal, but not before six months from the start of his or her surplus declaration date.
Employees could receive a reasonable job offer as soon as the first day of their surplus period, or sometime later, since there is no time limit.
Surplus employees are entitled to a surplus priority (to be appointed to public service positions before other public service workers without having to compete or be concerned about the appointment being appealed). (PSEA Section 40, PSER Section 5).
Departments must avoid appointing you to a lower level (where the maximum rate of pay is lower than the maximum rate of your current position) until other avenues are exhausted (1.1.16). If you are appointed to a lower level position, your salary will be protected until you are appointed or deployed to an equivalent position (5.1.2).
The Public Service Commission will ensure that reinstatement priority (priority for a job at your original level) is given to all surplus and laid off employees (Annex C-5) appointed at a lower level. Reinstatement priority lasts for 1 year (PSER Section 10)
If necessary, your home department must relocate you (1.1.18) and pay associated costs, such as travel for job interviews (1.1.20 & the Travel Directive). Relocation should be voluntary and can only take place when there are no available priority, surplus or laid-off persons at that location who are interested in and could qualified for the position (1.1.19). Relocations in this case are considered employer-requested (1.1.21) as defined in the National Joint Council Relocation Directive. This means you are eligible for specific benefits, such as paid leave and costs for a house-hunting trip in the new location.
Surplus employees are entitled to priority appointment to term and short-term, nonrecurring positions (1.1.28)
If you accept a term position, your indeterminate status and surplus priority status will be protected (1.1.25) and your home department will pay salary costs, and other authorized costs such as salary protection, tuition, travel, relocation, and retraining for surplus employees for one year. After that, the appointing department becomes you new home department. Your home department may agree to a period longer than 1 year, but is not obligated to do so. (1.1.24)
Surplus employees have the right to receive up to two years retraining, under certain conditions. The conditions which trigger that right include a shortage of qualified candidates and the condition that there are no other available priority persons qualified for the position for which you are retraining (4.1.3, 4.2.1). The department must prepare a training plan that is agreeable to you (4.2.2). You will remain employed by your home department during retraining and be paid at your current level unless the appointing department is willing to appoint you on the condition you will successfully complete the retraining (4.2.4).The proposed lay-off date will be extended to the projected completion of the training period (4.2.5). If your performance during training is not satisfactory, the training can be terminated and you can be laid off (4.2.3).
If you refuse a reasonable job offer, you will be laid off one month after your refusal, but not before six months after the surplus declaration date (1.1.32).
A surplus employee can also make a written request to the Deputy Head for an accelerated lay-off, or to be laid off earlier than originally scheduled (1.1.29). You may wish to consider this if you receive a job offer elsewhere.
As well as being appointed to an indeterminate position or being laid off as outlined above, you might also have your surplus status rescinded or you may choose to resign. If you resign, you will be considered laid off on the date the employer accepts your resignation for the purposes of severance and retroactive remuneration (1.1.37).
Severance pay and other benefits flowing from other parts of the collective agreement are separate from and in addition to those in the WFAA (1.1.36).
The department is required to provide you with an individual counsellor to help you assess your situation (1.1.34, see Getting help and taking action! info sheet).
Note that as a surplus employee in receipt of a guarantee of a reasonable job offer you do not have access to the choices available to opting employees (6.1.1). This includes the right to alternation (6.2.3).