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Employment Contract Policy


The purpose of this policy is to prescribe the terms and conditions under which contracts of employment should be administered. It is not intended to be used as an alternative to the recruitment and selection procedures of the Public Service Commission as they relate to the merit principle or the classification and creation of positions procedures covered by Treasury Board personnel administration procedures. While many of the provisions may equally pertain to contracts involving principal and agent relationships (e.g. the engaging of consulting firms), the policy is intended to cover employer/employee relationships only.


The provisions of this policy shall apply to all Departments.


For the purpose of this policy:

  1. “Minister” means a member of the Executive Council charged with the administration of a department which is defined by The Financial Administration Act.
  2. “Permanent Head” means the Deputy Minister or other person defined in the personnel administration procedures of Treasury Board.
  3. “Contractual Employee” means a person employed under a contract of employment.
  4. “Contract of employment” means a written contract entered into between the Minister and/or the permanent head and a person, employed for the purpose of performing certain specified work for a certain specified period and whose complete terms and conditions of employment are contained in the written contract.


Subject to the terms of this policy, the Minister and/or the permanent head may, on behalf of the Government, enter into a contract of employment with any person where any of the following circumstances exist:

  1. the person will be providing services in connection with a specific project or program which is of limited duration, and/or which is cost-shared with another jurisdiction; or
  2. a person is required to perform a service on a regular, full-time or part-time basis, which requires specialized qualifications, knowledge, and/or experience.


  1. Negotiations shall not be commenced between any person and a Minister and/or a permanent head with a view to entering into a contract of employment or amending or renewing an existing contract of employment except as provided under the terms and conditions of this policy;
  2. A contract of employment shall not be executed by a Minister or a permanent head unless the form of the contract has been prepared in consultation with a solicitor in the Department of Justice;
  3. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as precluding the amendment of a contract of employment to effect an extension in the period of employment;
  4. Except as otherwise provided herein, a contract of employment shall not be negotiated with a person for a position which is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Such a person shall be regarded as a temporary employee and the provisions of the appropriate collective agreement shall apply to that person's employment unless a Federal/Provincial cost-sharing agreement stipulates that it must be contractual;
  5. Every contract of employment shall contain a statement relating to the following terms and conditions of employment:
    1. The salary or amount to be paid and whether general or specific future salary increases shall apply, as well as the method of payment (e.g. regular payroll, installments, etc.). Payment of increases in lieu of step progression to contractual employees is prohibited. NOTE: No commitments are to be made in regard to salary or related matters without the prior approval of Treasury Board.
    2. Specific employment benefits which shall apply such as:
      1. annual leave, sick leave and holidays
      2. pension plan
      3. group medical and life insurance plan
      4. overtime
      5. injury on duty compensation.
    3. The effective date and duration of the period of employment.
    4. The work or duties to be performed.
    5. The hours of work.
    6. Deductions from salary or payment (e.g. income tax, etc.).
    7. Travelling and out-of-pocket expenses.
    8. Use of confidential information.
    9. Any other term related to matters not covered in (a) to (h) above which the Minister and/or the permanent head deems necessary in engaging the services of persons under the above conditions (e.g. reimbursement of relocation costs, conflict of interest disclosure, ownership of documents, etc.).

Last Policy Update: April 1987

Last Updated:
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