Multiple in three federal public servants in Canada had been granted paid break day work through the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a value exceeding $800 million, in keeping with a Treasury Board doc.
On the onset of the pandemic, civil servants had been informed to make money working from home, if potential, in an effort to keep away from spreading the novel coronavirus all through authorities places of work.
Staff who had been unable to work remotely had been nonetheless paid, nevertheless, beneath a provision often known as the “699” pay code, permitting “different go away with pay.”
The variety of employees accredited for 699 go away peaked in April at greater than 73,000. That quantity had dwindled to only over 9,000 by the top of November, in keeping with the newest figures.
In all, 117,000, or 39 per cent, of federal staff unfold throughout 86 departments and businesses had been accredited for the go away.
That quantity was lowered by 95 per cent as of Jan. 6, in keeping with a background notice obtained by The Canadian Press.
Go away now granted on a ‘case-by-case’ foundation
The particular go away should 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.
“From March 15 to Nov. 30, 2020, the estimated value of ‘Different Go away with Pay (699)’ is roughly $819 million, based mostly on the common day by day pay fee of roughly $300 for federal public service staff entitled to depart,” 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 go away coverage on Nov. 9, instructing managers that 699 go away may very well be granted on a “case-by-case” foundation and solely after distant or alternate work or versatile hours have been thought of.
As properly, the federal government stated that different forms of go away, together with accrued sick time and trip, must be used first.
Union recordsdata grievances
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represents a majority of federal staff, has filed quite a few grievances over the brand new pointers. It has additionally filed a criticism with the Canadian Human Rights Fee.
The union argues that the directive disproportionately impacts marginalized staff hardest hit by the pandemic, together with ladies, racialized employees and people with disabilities or household obligations.
Chris Aylward, nationwide president of PSAC, informed CBC Information final summer season that it was primarily dad and mom making use of the particular go away within the early months of the pandemic.
“The shutdown of college and daycare left 1000’s of oldsters with full-time caretaking duties that made their work … unattainable to carry out,” he stated.
Aylward stated some staff who had been unable to carry out their common duties labored within the night, or in numerous roles, so they’d been persevering with to work half time whereas on 699 go away.