Multiple in three federal public servants had been granted paid time without work work in the course of the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a price exceeding $800 million, in line with a Treasury Board doc.
On the onset of the pandemic, civil servants had been informed to do business from home if attainable, to keep away from spreading the novel coronavirus all through authorities workplaces.
Staff who had been unable to work remotely had been nonetheless paid, nevertheless, below a provision referred to as the “699” pay code, permitting “different depart with pay.”
The variety of staff accredited for 699 depart peaked in April at greater than 73,000. That quantity had dwindled to simply over 9,000 by the top of November, in line with the newest figures.
In all, 117,000, or 39 per cent, of federal staff unfold throughout 86 departments and companies, had been accredited for the depart.
That quantity was diminished by 95 per cent as of January 6, 2021, in line with a background notice obtained by The Canadian Press.
The particular depart have to be accredited by administration and is granted when staff are unable to report back to work for causes past their management.
It’s separate from sick pay or trip.
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“From March 15 to Nov. 30, 2020, the estimated value of `Different Go away with Pay (699)’ is roughly $819 million, primarily based on the typical each day pay price of roughly $300 for federal public service staff entitled to go away,” says the Treasury Board doc, dated Feb. 19.
“This determine relies on information submitted by staff and captured in departmental techniques.”
The Treasury Board issued a “clarification” of its depart coverage on Nov. 9, instructing managers that 699 depart could possibly be granted on a “case-by-case” foundation, and solely after distant or alternate work or versatile hours have been thought-about.
As nicely, the federal government mentioned that different kinds of depart, together with amassed sick time and trip, must be used first.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents a majority of federal staff, has filed quite a few grievances over the brand new pointers. It has additionally filed a grievance with the Canadian Human Rights Fee.
The union argues the directive disproportionately impacts marginalized staff hardest hit by the pandemic, together with ladies, racialized staff and people with disabilities or household obligations.
© 2021 The Canadian Press