CD 2014-003

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Subject: Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD)

February 25, 2014

1. Purpose

1.1. The purpose of this directive is to inform compensation advisors of changes to the National Joint Council’s (NJC) Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive (IPGHD).

2. Policy

2.1. Revocation of the Environment Allowance (EA)

As a result of the EA classification review, the following locations no longer qualify as isolated posts and have been deleted from Appendix A - Classification of Isolated Posts of the IPGHD and added to Appendix G - Special Locations as of March 1, 2013:

  • Atikameg, AB
  • Grande Cache, AB
  • High Prairie, AB
  • Little Buffalo,  AB
  • Manning, AB
  • McLennan, AB

As indicated in the Information Notice - Revocation of Environment Allowance (EA) for Atikameg, Grande Cache, High Prairie, Little Buffalo, Manning and McLennan, Alberta, departments must provide written notice to each employee affected by the change.

2.2. Change in Classifications for the Environment Allowance (EA) and Living Cost Differential (LCD)

The EA and LCD classifications of a number of locations have been revised effective March 1, 2013. Details of the locations affected by the EA changes can be found in the Information Notice - Change in Environment Allowance (EA) Classification Levels, while the details of the locations affected by the LCD changes can be found in the Information Notice - Living Cost Differential (LCD) Survey Results for the Manitoba Region.

2.3. Rate Adjustment

The National Joint Council IPGHD Committee has approved a rate adjustment for the EA, LCD, Shelter Cost Differential (SCD) and Meals or Ration (MR) effective August 1, 2013. Information and links to the appendices with the revised rates are available in the Annual Update to the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive - Appendices B, C, I, K-1 and K-2 notice.

2.4.  The allowances of the IPGHD do not form part of salary and are not to be used in calculating the 4% vacation pay or the premium pay in lieu of statutory holidays for part-time employees.

2.5.  All allowances under the IPGHD are subject to income tax deductions, Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) deductions. However, they are not subject to the Public Service Pension Plan contributions.

2.6.  Please note that, for part-time employees, the Regional Pay System (RPS) will automatically prorate the IPGHD allowances mentioned in this directive.

2.7.  For partial months of eligibility, all allowances are to be calculated in the same manner as salaries, i.e. based on compensated days.

3. Procedures and Instructions

3.1. Revocation of the EA

3.1.1.  When a location is revoked, compensation advisors are required to reduce the amount of the EA by $100 per month until the EA is reduced to zero, starting on the first day of the fourth calendar month after the employee receives written notice. Compensation advisors are to use an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - Pay Action Code (PAC) 18A) to amend the amount of the EA. Compensation advisors are to use an Entitlement Stop transaction (ENS - PAC 18S) to stop the allowance.

3.1.2.  Example of the phase out process:

An employee located in Atikameg, AB who is paid an EA of $3677 per annum received a notice on July 10, 2013. At a reduction rate of $100 per month, the EA should be reduced to zero in 37 months.

  1. The compensation advisor will process an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with entitlement code 297 effective November 1, 2013, with an amount of $3577.
  2. Each month, the compensation advisor will need to process an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with the amount reduced by $100. (Ex: December 1, 2013: $3477, January 1, 2014:  $3377 and so forth.)
  3. Effective December 1, 2016, the EA will cease. The compensation advisor will need to process an Entitlement Stop transaction (ENS - PAC 18S).

For additional information, refer to section 2.7 "Deletion of a Location or Revocation of an Allowance" in Part II - Designation and Payments of the IPGHD.

3.2. EA Classification Level Adjustment

3.2.1.  Compensation advisors are to process the adjustment by using an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with entitlement code 297.

3.2.2.  For situations where the classification level was increased, the compensation advisor must process the Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) effective March 1, 2013.

3.2.3.  For situations where the EA classification level was reduced, the amount shall be decreased by:

  • One-half of the amount of the decrease on the first day of the fourth calendar month after the month in which written notice was received; and
  • The balance of the amount of the decrease on the first day of the 13th calendar month after the month in which written notice was received.

3.2.4. Example of the reduction process:

An employee working at Bella Coola received his letter on July 10, 2013 informing him that his EA rate is reduced from $5503 to $2930 (a reduction of $2573).

  1. The compensation advisor will process an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with entitlement code 297 effective November 1, 2013, with an amount of $4216.50 ($5503 - $1286.50).
  2. The compensation advisor will process an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with entitlement code 297 effective August 1, 2014, with an amount of $2930 ($4216.50 - $1286.50).

3.3. LCD Classification Adjustment

3.3.1. Compensation advisors are to process the adjustment by using an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) with entitlement code 101.

3.3.2.  For situations where the classification level was increased, the compensation advisor must process the Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) effective March 1, 2013.

3.3.3.  For situations where there is a reduction in the LCD classification level, the amount shall be decreased effective on the first day of the fourth calendar month after the month in which written notice was received.

3.3.4. Example of the reduction process:

An employee receives a letter on July 10, 2013 advising that the LCD amount will be reduced. The compensation advisor will need to process the Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA – PAC 18A) with an effective date of November 1, 2013 and the new reduced amount.

3.4. Amendmentsto the EA, LCD, SCD and MR Rates

Compensation advisors are required to amend the ongoing rate for the EA (entitlement code 297), the LCD (entitlement code 101), the SCD (entitlement code 046) and the MR (entitlement code 519) by completing an Entitlement Amend transaction (ENA - PAC 18A) transaction, effective August 1, 2013.

The IPGHD has been amended to reflect these changes:

The Appendix B - Environment Allowance rates have been increased, effective August 1, 2013.

The Appendix C - Living Cost Differential rates have been adjusted effective August 1, 2013.

The Appendix K-1- Shelter Cost Differential (SCD) - Qualifying Locations - Private Accommodation and Appendix K-2 - Shelter Cost Differential (SCD) - Qualifying Locations - Government Housing rates have been adjusted effective August 1, 2013.

The Appendix I - Meals or Rations rates have been adjusted effective August 1, 2013.

3.5. Please refer to Personnel-Pay Input Manual (PPIM) sections PPIM 14-6-2 PPIM 14-6-3 PPIM 4-4-18-5-1  and PPIM 4-4-18-6-1  for instructions on the pay actions mentioned above.

4. Inquiries

4.1.  Any inquiries on the information contained in this directive should be addressed to your Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) Compensation Services Office.

Carrie E. Roussin
Director General
Compensation Sector
Accounting, Banking and Compensation

Reference(s): ENT 046, 101, 297, 519 and CJA 9010-2