A couple of in three federal public servants have been granted paid day without work work through the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a price exceeding $800 million, in keeping with a Treasury Board doc.
On the onset of the pandemic, civil servants have been instructed to earn a living from home if attainable, to keep away from spreading the novel coronavirus all through authorities workplaces.
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Workers who have been unable to work remotely have been nonetheless paid, nevertheless, beneath a provision often known as the “699” pay code, permitting “different go away with pay.”
The variety of staff authorized for 699 go away peaked in April at greater than 73,000. That quantity had dwindled to only over 9,000 by the tip of November, in keeping with the newest figures.
In all, 117,000, or 39 per cent, of federal staff unfold throughout 86 departments and companies, have been authorized for the go away.
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That quantity was lowered by 95 per cent as of January 6, 2021, in keeping with a background word obtained by The Canadian Press.
The particular go away have to be authorized by administration and is granted when staff are unable to report back to work for causes past their management.
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It’s separate from sick pay or trip.
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“From March 15 to Nov. 30, 2020, the estimated price of `Different Depart with Pay (699)’ is roughly $819 million, primarily based on the common each day pay fee of roughly $300 for federal public service staff entitled to go away,” says the Treasury Board doc, dated Feb. 19.
“This determine is predicated on knowledge submitted by staff and captured in departmental techniques.”
The Treasury Board issued a “clarification” of its go away coverage on Nov. 9, instructing managers that 699 go away might be granted on a “case-by-case” foundation, and solely after distant or alternate work or versatile hours have been thought of.
As nicely, the federal government mentioned that different kinds of go away, together with collected sick time and trip, must be used first.
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The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents a majority of federal staff, has filed quite a few grievances over the brand new tips. It has additionally filed a criticism with the Canadian Human Rights Fee.
The union argues the directive disproportionately impacts marginalized staff hardest hit by the pandemic, together with girls, racialized staff and people with disabilities or household obligations.
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