Employment in the Federal Public Service

The following information is intended to provide you, the Employer, with an understanding of the different types of employment in the public service.

You may want to know…

Employment Defined

Employment in the federal public service must be with a department or branch that forms part of the public service. It also includes employment in any of the boards, commissions or agencies that form part of the public service for pension purposes.

  1. Any department which is (or was during its lifetime) presided over by a Minister of the Crown.

  2. All other branches which are (or were during their lifetime) a part of the Executive Government.

  3. The Senate and the House of Commons (excluding Senators and Members of Parliament).

  4. The Library of Parliament.

  5. Any board, commission, corporation or portion of the public service of Canada specified in Schedule 1 - see the Population Affiliation Report.

Employment in the public service

Rule 1:

Prior to July 4, 1994, the effective date of becoming employed in the public service (for pension purposes) was the first day in which the employee received remuneration as a full-time employee. An employee was considered to be full-time when the assigned work week (AWW) was equal to 30 or more hours per week.

Rule 2:

Effective July 4, 1994, the effective date of becoming employed in the public service (for pension purposes) is the earlier of:

  • a. the first day in which the employee received remuneration as a full-time employee,

    or

  • b. where the individual's first employment in the public service was as a part-time employee, the later of:
    1. January 1, 1981, and
    2. The first day which the employee received remuneration as a part-time employee.

As of July 4, 1994, part-time (AWW > 12 hours per week) employment is considered employment in the public service, retroactive to January 1, 1981.

Types of Employment

A person can be employed in the public service on a full-time, part-time, seasonal, term or casual basis.

Full-time Employment Prior to July 4, 1994

Effective March 1, 1972:

  1. Employment requiring continuous service in a position where the employee is normally required to work an average of at least 30 hours per week.

    or

  2. Employment which consists of duties relating to two or more positions, each of which is less than 30 hours a week, but where the total hours of employment in all positions is at least 30 hours per week.

NOTE

Effective March 1, 1972, an assigned work week (number of hours assigned to work) of 30 hours or more per week was considered full-time employment for pension purposes.

Full-time Employment on or After July 4, 1994

  • a. Employment requiring continuous service in a position where the employee is normally required to work the full-time hours of his occupational group (i.e. 37.5 AWW/37.5 SWW or 40 AWW/40 SWW).

  • b. Employment which consists of an employee occupying two or more part-time positions where, the sum of the results obtained by dividing the number of hours the employee is assigned to work (Assigned Work Week-AWW) by the normal hours of work for the full-time position (Standard Work Week-SWW), is equal to or greater than 1.

    Example:

    1st position: AWW 26.00, SWW 36.25

    2nd position: AWW 15.00, SWW 37.5

    26.00/36.25 = 0.7
    15.00/37.5 = 0.4
    0.7 + 0.4 = 1.1

    The employee would be considered to be a full-time employee.

  • c. Employment in a position where the employee met the definition of full-time employee in effect prior to July 4, 1994, (i.e. 30 hours or more per week). He will remain a full-time employee as long as:

    1. the AWW does not fall below 30 hours a week, and

    2. there is no break in employment of more than one day.

    NOTE

    These employees are called "grandfathered full-time employees". The grandfather protection is maintained even if the number of hours fluctuates above 30 hours per week; it is lost immediately if the number of hours is reduced below 30 hours per week.

Part-time Employment Prior to July 4, 1994

When an employee was required to work an average of less than 30 hours per week, they were part-time employees and were not considered to be employed in the public service for pension purposes.

Part-time Employment on or After July 4, 1994

  1. Employment in a position where the employee is required to work an average of at least 12 hours per week but who does not work the standard (scheduled) full-time hours of the position (i.e. 12 AWW/37.5 SWW).

    Exception: See example in "Full-time employment on or after July 4, 1994"

  2. Employment which consists of an employee occupying two or more part-time positions where, the sum of the results obtained by dividing the number of hours the employee is assigned to work (Assigned Work Week-AWW) by the normal hours of work for the full-time position (Standard Work Week-SWW), is less than 1.

Example:

1st position: AWW 12.00. SWW 36.25

2nd position: AWW 15.00, SWW 37.50

12.00/36.25 = 0.3
15.00/37.50 = 0.4
0.3 + 0.4 = 0.7

The employee would be considered to be a part-time employee.

Types of Appointments

Indeterminate Appointment

An employee who is appointed on a continuous basis. There is no preset end date to the appointment. The employee hired on an indeterminate basis is normally assigned to work a set number of hours per week, established at the time of hiring.

Term Appointment

An employee who is appointed for a limited or definite period of time. The two most common term appointments that we must consider in establishing eligibility are a term of more than six months and a term of six months or less.

Student Appointment

Students are allowed to contribute if they meet the basic eligibility criteria to contribute to the public service pension plan. The eligibility to contribute rules applies to students the same way they do for other employees.

Seasonal Appointment

An employee who is either appointed, at a stated annual salary, to perform duties for a period of less than 12 months in successive years of employment, or is certified as such in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act. The seasonal employee normally works the same season every year. For example, a person could be appointed for a 6 month period which extends from May 1 to October 30, be on lay-off status from November 1 to April 30 and start working a new season in May the following year and so on.

Seasonal layoff is the status of a seasonal employee during the "off season" when the seasonal employee neither performs the duties of his position nor receives a salary.

Casual Employment

An employee who is hired as a casual worker and whose period of employment in the public service may not exceed 90 working days in one calendar year with any particular department or other organization. Employees who are offered a part-time casual position of 12 hours or more per week, for a period of more than six months, must contribute under the pension plan from the date of their appointment.

As Required/On Call Appointment

An employee who is hired to work on an "as required" or "on call" basis (i.e., only when needed there is no pre-established Assigned Work Week). An employee hired on this basis is not considered to be employed in the public service for pension purposes.