FAQs for Term Employees who May be Affected by a Federal Budget
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As a term employee, do I benefit from the Work Force Adjustment Directive (“WFAD”)?
No, you are not covered by the WFAD.  As a term employee, you are covered by the Treasury Boardīs Term Employment Policy. The WFAD applies exclusively to indeterminate employees.
Am I entitled to automatically become an indeterminate employee after three years of continuous employment provided there is no interruption of continuous service?
It depends.  Term employees employed in the same department for a period of three (3) continuous years (without a break of 60 consecutive calendar days or more) must be appointed as an indeterminate employee at the level of his/her substantive position.  Having said this, there may be certain exceptions, where the source of funding for salary dollars is from external sources and for a limited duration (sunset funding) or where the department puts a hold on ongoing accumulation of service for the purposes of conversion to indeterminate status where it can be established that the indeterminate appointment of term employees would result in workforce adjustment situations.  For more information on this, see section 7.2 of the Term Employment Policy.


The Department of Justice and Public Prosecution Service of Canada have exercised their right to suspend the ongoing accumulation of service under the Term Employment Policy for the purposes of conversion to indeterminate status. The decision is effective May 8, 2012 at DOJ and June 1, 2012 at PPSC. The two departments have advised the AJC that service for term employees will not count as continuous for the purposes of conversion to indeterminate status, until further notice.

This means that the accumulation of service for term employees who did not reach 3 years of continuous service before May 8th, 2012 (at DOJ) and June 1, 2012 (at PPSC) will cease on these respective dates.

Is maternity/parental leave considered a break in continuous service in the calculation of the cumulative three year period?
No, as of June 20, 2008 as a result of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision (Lavoie v. Treasury Board of Canada), the period of maternity/parental leave for female term employees is considered in the calculation of the cumulative three year period.
What are the Departmentīs notice obligations regarding my renewal, non-renewal or early termination?
The department has no obligation under the AJC collective agreement to provide notice to term employees of the departmentīs decision to not renew. However, Treasury Boardīs Term Employment Policy does require that departments/agencies provide one month written notification to the employee of renewal, non-renewal or early termination before the originally specified end of term.  
How does the department choose which term employees to terminate where the department considers there to be a surplus?
There is nothing that governs the manner in which term positions are identified as redundant.  Management has a great deal of discretion to make these decisions.  The AJC can only hope that management will conduct itself in an objective, transparent and respectful manner.
How does the non-renewal or termination affect term employees currently in receipt of the maternity and/or parental allowance payments?
The provisions of the collective agreement provide that term employees are entitled to Maternity and Parental Allowance payments (top-up) so long as s/he returns to work for a period equal to the period she was in receipt of the maternity and/or parental allowance.

If the term employment is not renewed, the employee may be unable to return to work for a period equal to the period s/he was in receipt of the allowance, thereby becoming indebted to the employer for the repayment of the allowance, in accordance with the provisions of the collective agreement. This obligation may be “waived” if the employee is rehired in any portion of the Core Public Administration within 90 days and if the new period of employment is sufficient to meet the obligations.  For more information, see section 19.04 of the AJC Collective Agreement.

Can a term employee be bumped out of a job by an indeterminate employee who has been laid off?
Yes, pursuant to Section 1.1.2 of the WFAD, departments are expected to carry out effective human resource planning to minimize the impact of work force adjustment situations on indeterminate employees, on the department and on the public service.  This could therefore include terminating term employees early before resorting to workforce adjustment of indeterminate employees.  
Do term employees have any form of job protection/job security at the expiration and/or non-renewal of the term?
No. Section 58(1) of the Public Service Employment Act (“PSEA”) states that, at the expiration of a specified term, the employee ceases to be an employee and is not entitled to priority status for placement within the federal public service.  Accordingly, sections 40, 41(4) and 44 of the PSEA which deal with priority lists and advertised processes do not apply to term employees.  
Is there any recourse available to term employees upon expiry or non-renewal of my term?
The Public Service Labour Relations Board does not have jurisdiction to hear grievances based upon the term employment policy and/or the non-renewal of term employment.
The decision to renew or not renew falls squarely within the discretion of the department.

As expiry and/or non-renewal of term employment do not constitute a lay-off pursuant to the collective agreement, there is no right of complaint under section 65 of the Public Service Employment Act.

Other Resources

Public Service Employment Act

LA Collective Agreement

Term Employment Policy

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