No guarantee of a reasonable job offer – opting employees

If your services will no longer be required beyond a specific date and the Chief Executive Officer CEO does not see the likelihood of employment for you in the Agency, you will receive a written notice that you are an opting employee (1.1.5). This means you are notguaranteed a reasonable job offer within the Agency. However, Parks Canada must give you assistance in finding new employment, either inside or outside the Agency.

As an opting employee, you must choose one of three options within 120 days of being advised of your status (6.1.2). Once you have advised the Agency of your choice in writing, you cannot change it (6.1.3). If you don't select or don't select within the 120 days, you will be considered to have selected option (a) (6.1.4).

A. Limited Surplus Status.

With this option, you become a surplus employee with surplus priority status, but only for a 12 month period. This means you get the same rights as a surplus employee for that period, including that you can be appointed to a position for which you are qualified before other Agency employees without having to compete or be concerned about the appointment being challenged (6.3.1a.). (See Guarantee of a reasonable job offer - surplus employees info sheet.) If you chose this option early in the opting period, your surplus period of one year will be extended by up to 120 days (6.3.1.a.i).

Parks Canada must make every reasonable effort to market you within your preferred area of mobility during this period, but if you don't receive a reasonable job offer within that period, you will be laid off.

If you resign, you will be considered involuntarily laid off on the day the employer accepts your resignation in writing for the purposes of severance pay and retroactive remuneration (1.1.32)

If you resign before the 12 months is up, you may be eligible to receive a lump sum payment covering your pay for the remainder of the surplus period, up to a maximum of six months. The payment will only be made if your work can be discontinued (6.3.9). This amount cannot be larger than what you would have received by selecting option (b). If you accept this sum, you lose any priority rights for appointment (6.3.4). You are not eligible for this lump sum payment if you refuse a reasonable job offer during the 12 month period (6.3.10). This amount is at the discretion of management, but shall not be unreasonably denied (6.3.11)

B. Transition Support Measure.

This option gives you a cash payment for a certain number of weeks pay, based on your years of service (6.3.1b.)  Annex B of the WFAA in your collective agreement provides the method for calculating this amount. Note that the maximum number of weeks pay you can receive is 52 weeks.

If you select this option, you must resign, but your resignation will be considered a lay-off when your severance pay is calculated.

The Agency establishes your departure date (6.3.2) and you do not have any priority rights for appointment under this option (6.3.4).

C. Education Allowance.

This option gives you the cash payment of option B, plus up to $10,000 for reimbursement of receipted educational expenses (e.g., tuition, books, mandatory equipment). If you choose this option, you can proceed in one of two ways (6.3.1c.). In either case, the Agency establishes your departure date (6.3.2).

  1. Resign. You will be considered laid off for severance purposes and you will not have any priority rights for appointment (6.3.4).

  2. Go on leave without pay for a maximum of two years, providing your employer with proof of registration at a learning institute. The education allowance can be made in either one or two lump sum payments over the two year period. This allows you to continue your membership in public service benefit plans, including superannuation, although you pay both the employee and employer shares (6.3.1.c.ii). If you do not provide the Agency with proof of your registration within 12 months of the leave beginning, you will be considered to have resigned, although it will be considered a lay-off in terms of severance pay (6.3.5). At the end of the two years leave withoutpay, unless you have found alternate employment in the Agency, you will be laid off (6.3.1.c.ii).

All opting employees are eligible to receive up to $600 for financial planning advice (6.3.6).

If a reasonable job offer which does not require relocation is made during the 120 day opting period and prior to acceptance of option B or C, you are not eligible for pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period (see option A), the transition support measure (option
B), or the education allowance (option C) (6.1.5).

If you receive lump sum payments for any of the above options and you are re-hired within the period covered by the payment, you will have to repay a pro-rated amounted of the money (6.3.7). If you return to Parks Canada prior to the completion of an educational program (under option C) and your tuition and related costs cannot be reimbursed, you do not have to repay the education allowance (6.3.8).

The pay in lieu of unfulfilled surplus period (see option A), the transition support measure(option B), or the education allowance (option C) cannot be combined with any other payment under the WFAA (6.3.3). However, severance pay and other benefits flowing from other clauses in your collective agreement are separate from and in addition to those in the WFAA (1.1.31).

The Agency is required to provide you with an individual counselor to help you assess your situation (1.1.29 - see Getting help and taking action! info sheet).

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September 18, 2013
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