Have you had a break in service during your career with the federal public service?  Check your vacation leave credits  

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During the last round of bargaining, PSAC negotiated improved annual leave provisions for public service workers who have had a break in service during their career.

Before the changes, if a person stopped working for the public service and received severance and was later rehired, they would receive vacation leave credits as if they were a new employee (i.e., the minimum credits). Now, employees who return to the public service are entitled to receive vacation leave based on all of the time they have worked in the public service, including prior service.

Employer may have calculated leave incorrectly

In January 2018, Treasury Board posted an inaccurate Information Bulletin on their website entitled “Vacation Leave Credits and Severance Pay”. This inaccurate bulletin has resulted in the miscalculation of vacation leave credits for some PSAC members.

PSAC raised the issue with the employer and demanded that they correct the bulletin. Treasury Board has now released a revised bulletin to departments.

Meanwhile, it is important that PSAC members who had a previous break in service verify how their vacation leave was calculated after they returned to the public service.

Who is impacted?

You may be impacted if:

1.   You are under one of the following collective agreements: Program and Administrative Services (PA), Technical Services (TC), Operational Services (SV), Education and Library Science (EB), or Border Services (FB).


2.   You had a break in service at some point in your career with the public service or joined the core public administration from another public service organization.

PSAC members who may be affected are those who had one or more breaks in service in the past (i.e. worked multiple terms that had at least one business day between the term finish and start dates), as well as members who may have received severance pay upon leaving a federal public service organization to join the core public service (e.g. a member who left CRA for a position with a federal department and received severance pay from CRA).

If you are unsure whether this situation applies to you, please see the examples below.

What should I do if this affects me?

First, check your current vacation leave credits and compare them to the collective agreement provisions for employees with your total service amount.

If your vacation leave credits do not seem correct, speak to your supervisor or manager to get the issue resolved and submit a Pay Action Request.

If the issue is not resolved, speak to your component representative about filing a grievance.


Here are some examples that show how the language Improvement should impact an employee's vacation credits.

  1. A member worked in the public service from 1997 to 2011 (14 years of service), when their position was declared surplus. They left the public service for a position in the private sector and received severance pay. In 2015, the member returned to the public service. This member is entitled to vacation leave based on their 14 years of prior service plus their recent service.
  1. A member, who was a Compensation Advisor, retired from the public service in 2013 after 30 years of service. After the Phoenix problem started, they were rehired due to their expertise in pay administration. This member should receive vacation credits based on 30 years of service plus their most recent service.
  1. An employee worked as an RCMP Officer for 15 years. They resigned for personal reasons to change careers. A few months later, they saw a posting for a different position within the public service and successfully competed for the position. This member should receive vacation credits based on 15 years of service plus their most recent service.
  1.  A member worked in various term and casual positions in different departments for a period spanning seven years. They were then successful in getting an indeterminate position in the public service. This member should have their previous service included in the calculation of vacation leave even though they were not in an indeterminate position.




July 18, 2019