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Position Elimination

Please Note: Treasury Board has approved temporary amendments to the Position Elimination Policy (the existing policy below is unchanged). The amendments are applicable to employees impacted by position elimination through the Flatter Leaner Management Structure initiative and/or other structural departmental changes that were announced on February 22, 2017. The amendment will be effective up to August 31, 2017. In the event of any conflict between this amendment and the Policy, this amendment shall prevail.

The Position Elimination Policy is amended as follows:

Employees will be provided with pay in lieu of notice instead of being required to work their notice period.

Temporary and/or contractual employees who have been in the same position for a period of 10 or more consecutive years (or in exceptional circumstances on the advice of the Department of Justice and Public Safety) shall be entitled to benefits in accordance with the notice period table for the calculation of pay in lieu of notice.

Policy Statement

Permanent employees whose positions are eliminated by the Employer will receive notification of termination of employment in accordance with the ‘Notice Period' table. Employees will work their notice period unless Treasury Board approves pay in lieu of notice. Pay in lieu of notice will be paid by salary continuance unless the Deputy Minister approves a lump sum payment in accordance with this policy.


Application

This policy applies to permanent management and non-management/non-bargaining employees. Bargaining unit employees should consult their respective collective agreement and the provisions of the collective agreement shall prevail.


Definitions

Continuous Service:
Unbroken service within a Government department, agency, board or commission from which an employee has accrued pension credits in one of government's pension plans, including GMPP.

Effective Date of Termination:
The earlier of: (1) the last day of the notice period, (2) the last date of salary continuance, or (3) the date the Deputy Minister approves pay in lieu of notice as a lump sum payment.

Notice Period:
Number of weeks notice of termination of employment given to an employee based on age and years of continuous service, and calculated in accordance with the Notice Period Table in this policy.

Pay in Lieu of Notice:
Payment made to employees, based on age and years of continuous service, where it is decided that the employee will leave the workplace rather than work during the notice period. Pay in lieu of notice is approved by Treasury Board and will be paid by salary continuance. However, an employee may receive pay in lieu of notice in a lump sum payment if requested by the employee in writing and approved by the Deputy Minister, within specified time frames.

Permanent Employee:
Employee who has successfully completed the probationary period and is employed to hold office without reference to any defined term of service.

Position Elimination:
Employer-initiated elimination of a position as approved by Treasury Board.

Unbroken Service:
The number of years of service from which an employee has accrued pension credits within a Government of Newfoundland and Labrador department, agency, board or commission without a break of 30 or more calendar days, unless authorized by another HR Policy such as the Special Leave Without Pay Policy or the Deferred Salary Leave Plan.


Responsibilities

Employees

It is the responsibility of employees to:

  • Work their notice period unless Treasury Board has approved a departmental submission requesting that the employee receive pay in lieu of notice for the entirety, or a portion, of the notice period. An employee who fails or refuses, for reasons unacceptable to the department, to work a notice period, or a portion of a notice period, will have their entitlement to notice and/or pay in lieu of notice correspondingly reduced;

  • If needed, submit a request, in writing, to the Deputy Minister for pay in lieu in the form of a lump sum payment;

  • Seek information from the Human Resource Secretariat, about the benefits which may be due at termination, such as accrued severance, leave entitlements, group insurance and any applicable pension benefits. Any discrepancies in benefits owing, or paid, should be immediately reported to the Human Resource Secretariat.

  • It is recommended that employees independently seek financial planning or investment information, at his/her choosing.

Departments and Agencies

It is the responsibility of Departments and Agencies to:

  • Plan ahead for their staffing needs;

  • Identify positions to be eliminated;

  • Obtain Treasury Board approval to eliminate positions;

  • Determine if either working notice, pay in lieu of notice or a combination of working notice and pay in lieu of notice is warranted and obtain the necessary approval from Treasury Board;

  • In consultation with the Human Resource Secretariat, notify employees in writing that their employment is terminated due to position elimination, the effective date of the termination, the period of notice for which they are eligible and whether the employee is:

    • required to work the notice period;
    • to be issued pay in lieu of notice or if a combination of working notice and pay in lieu of notice is approved; and
  • Facilitate a decision on whether an employee can receive pay in lieu in the form of a lump sum payment.

Human Resource Secretariat

It is the responsibility of the Human Resource Secretariat to:

  • Provide support to Departments in assessing position elimination impacts, including consulting with parties regarding applicable legal and collective agreement implications;

  • Provide support to Departments in preparing written documentation  to employees related to position elimination; forwarding copies of documentation to the Compensation and Benefits Division for required payroll and benefits processing and inclusion in the employee's personal file; and

  • Provide employees with information about the applicable accrued benefits due at termination, such as leave entitlements and severance (if applicable), and direct employees to the appropriate HRS Division to address specific questions concerning insurance and/or pension issues, including, for example, benefits, options, etc.

 

Notice of Position Elimination

Once Treasury Board approval is provided to eliminate a position, pursuant to this policy, departments will provide written notice of termination of employment in accordance with the Notice Period Table. The number of weeks of notice commences as of the date in the letter which notifies the employee that his/her position has been eliminated. Unless pay in lieu of notice has been approved by Treasury Board, employees are required to work the notice period. 

 

Pay in Lieu of Notice

Departments may seek approval from Treasury Board to provide employees, whose employment is terminated due to position elimination, with pay in lieu of notice in accordance with the Notice Period Table. However, departments reserve the right to require employees to work the entirety, or a portion of, a notice period.

If pay in lieu of notice is approved by Treasury Board, employees will receive the pay in lieu of notice as salary continuance.  If an employee wishes to receive the pay in lieu of notice as a lump sum, he/she must make a written request to the Deputy Minister within ten (10) working days of receiving written notice of termination of employment due to position elimination.  Requests for lump sum payments require the approval of the Deputy Minister within ten (10) working days of receiving the employee's written request, absent exceptional circumstances.

When the employee receives pay in lieu of notice, he/she is entitled to salary step increases and paid leave accumulation as if the employee worked through the notice period or the monetary equivalent of the same. Regardless of whether an employee receives lump sum payment or salary continuance, any benefits received are subject to deductions as required by law. 

Employees are required to work with representatives of the Human Resource Secretariat in confirming the related employment benefits due at termination, including any options available to the employee for continuation of benefits, such as group insurance. Specific questions regarding insurance and pension benefits must be referred to the appropriate Pensions & Group Insurance Division of the HRS.

At the end of the notice period, the employee may be eligible to receive severance pay, pay for accumulated paid leave, annual leave, travel time and overtime. These benefits will be paid at the times required by this Policy in accordance with applicable compensation policies and cannot be deferred.

Salary Continuance Option

Employees receiving pay in lieu of notice as salary continuance maintain an active employee status until their effective date of termination despite not having to report for work during the notice period. As a result, employees will remain in the group insurance plan for the entirety of the notice period, and accrue employment benefits, including: paid leave, severance, and actual pension credits (by contributing to, and remaining in, the Pension Plan). However, certain optional insurance benefits (e.g., long-term disability, critical illness, waiver of premium, etc…) may not be available during the salary continuance period and, in such cases, premium refund for such optional coverage will be provided.  Employees are required to consult with the Insurance Division of the Human Resource Secretariat as to the impact of position elimination on the availability or continuation of optional insurance coverage.

Lump Sum Payment Option

The employee will remain on salary continuance until the Deputy Minister provides approval of pay in lieu of notice as a lump sum. The date that the Deputy Minister provides written approval of pay in lieu as a lump sum payment, in response to a written request by the employee, is the employee's effective date of termination. As a result, the employee no longer meets the qualifying criteria for accruing actual pension credits, or remaining in the group insurance plan during the notice period. However, employees will receive the cash equivalent value of the pension benefits accruing during the notice period.  Employees will also receive the cash equivalent value of the Employer's share of the insurance premium that would have been payable during the notice period.  

The value of the salary and benefits will be determined in reference to the salary on the last day worked (i.e., termination salary) taking into account any known salary increases scheduled to occur during the notice period.

Group Insurance

Employees have 31 calendar days to convert from the Group Insurance Plan to an individual health plan following their effective date of termination. Failure to do this within the 31 day timeframe may result in difficulty obtaining health coverage. If the employee works the entire notice period, the 31 days start after the last day of the worked notice period. Employees are required to consult with the Insurance Division of the Human Resource Secretariat to determine the timing of the 31 day timeframe if receiving salary continuance and/or lump sum.

 

Eligibility for Internal Competition

Employees whose positions are eliminated are eligible to apply, as internal candidates, for internal competitions within Government for a period of two years following the date of the notice to terminate employment.

Temporary Position Eliminated for Permanent Employees

Permanent employees who are temporarily working in another position, and have maintained an attachment to a permanent position, will return to the permanent position if the temporary/contractual position has been eliminated.


Re-Employment

Employees receiving pay in lieu of notice via salary continuance or having received a lump sum payment, and who are re-employed in any capacity in the public sector including the public service before the expiry of the notice period, will have their pay in lieu of notice suspended during the period of re-employment or will be required to pay back that portion of the pay in lieu of notice and severance when the notice period overlaps with their period of re-employment. Additional information regarding re-employment, salary continuance and lump sum payment can be found at the following link: Impact of Re-Employment on Salary Continuance and Lump Sum Payment (200KB) .

The notice period will not be extended due to periods of re-employment during the notice period. For example, an employee who has received notice that his/her position is being eliminated is informed that he/she is eligible for 15 weeks notice. Treasury Board approves pay in lieu of notice that the employee takes as salary continuance starting in March and finishing in June. If the employee accepts a three week temporary assignment that begins mid-March, the employee's salary continuance finish date, or effective date of termination, will not change.

Departments will recover any amount owed by the employee under this policy in accordance with Government compensation policies and other legal requirements.

Employees receiving salary continuance will be terminated from the Government's group insurance program when they have secured alternate employment (including self-employment) outside of Government. As such, employees are required to notify the Insurance Division of the Human Resource Secretariat when they have secured alternate employment outside of Government.

 

Notice Period Table (in weeks)

Age (years)

Continuous Service (years)

<35

35 - 39

40 - 44

45 - 49

50 - 54

>55

< 6 months

2

4

6

8

10

12

> 6 months   to   < 1 year

4

6

8

10

12

14

> 1 year   to   < 2 years

7

9

11

13

15

17

> 2 years   to   < 4 years

11

13

15

17

19

21

> 4 years   to   < 6 years

15

17

19

21

23

25

> 6 years   to   < 8 years

19

21

23

25

27

29

> 8 years   to   < 10 years

23

25

27

29

31

33

> 10 years   to   < 12 years

27

29

31

33

35

37

> 12 years   to   < 14 years

31

33

35

37

39

41

> 14 years   to   < 16 years

35

37

39

41

43

45

> 16 years   to   < 18 years

39

41

43

45

47

49

> 18 years   to   < 20 years

43

45

47

49

51

53

> 20 years   to   < 22 years

47

49

51

53

55

57

> 22 years

52

54

56

58

60

62

Related Policies:

Depending on the individual circumstances, other policies may also apply.

Last Policy Update March 21, 2017

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