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Date issued: 12/02/2001
Revision date: 15/04/2005

​Principal

Indefinite leaves of absence are intended to maintain employee-employer relationships

Policy

The permanent head of designate may recommend/grant an indefinite leave of absence. All indefinite leaves of absence are without pay.
An indefinite leave shall be granted in the following situations (mandatory):

  • Employee accepts a position with a Crown Corporation* or in the unclassified division (e.g. order-in-council appointment)
  • Prolonged Illness or Workers Compensation
  • Job Abolishment (permanent SGEU employees only - refer to Appendix A.1

*This applies to Crown Corporations established or continued pursuant to The Crown Corporations Act, 1993 as well as individually legislated Crown Corporations (e.g. SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskWater and Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation).

For more detailed information see Appendix A.1.
An indefinite leave of absence may be granted for a period of up to one year (extensions may be considered). See Appendix A.2 for examples of situations where discretionary indefinite leaves are/are not commonly granted.

Prior to granting an extension of a definite or indefinite leave of absence related to a long term disability, Human Resources should contact the employee directly to confirm continued receipt of LTD benefits.

Considerations for approving leave (discretionary):
When considering a request for a discretionary indefinite leave of absence, the following shall be applied consistently and fairly:
1. Leave benefits both the employee and the organization.

2. Leave is approved and used responsibly and is considered to be in the public interest, for example, purpose of leave does not constitute a conflict of interest in accordance with the Government of Saskatchewan's Conflict of interest Guidelines.

3. Leave supports the government's objectives of delivering quality services.

Guidelines

Considerations for extending leave (discretionary):
1. If the original conditions still exist, an extension may be approved.

When granting an indefinite leave of absence without pay:

Procedures

1. The position is available for permanent staffing - the employee does not have rights back to the position they vacated when they return.
2. Employee has access to benefits while on leave (Appendix B) and upon return from leave (Appendix C).

Requesting/Extending an Indefinite Leave of Absence
Employee Responsibility:

  • Provide a written request to their immediate manager for a period of up to one year. 
  • Applies for an extension annually unless the employee is receiving wage benefits from an employer-sponsored disability income plan, workers' compensation benefits, or income replacement benefits pursuant to the Automobile Accident Insurance Act - in this case, the extension is granted automatically.

If an out-of-scope employee has not requested an extension within 30 days of the leave expiring, the employee is deemed to have resigned (unless they are automatically granted re-employment list rights through their collective agreement - see Appendix D.1 and Appendix D.2). If an in-scope employee has not requested an extension within 30 days of the leave expiring, they will be deemed to have exercised their re-employment rights.

Department Responsibility:

  • Approves/recommends/denies the request/extension (approval is automatic for mandatory leaves).
  • Informs the employee  of the decision (along with rationale if request is denied).
  • Forwards documentation to their Human Resource representative.

For Mandatory Leaves:

  • Confirms that same conditions apply e.g. physicians certificate confirms that employees is still unable to return to work due to prolonged illness or employee is still employed with Crown Corporation, etc.

For Discretionary Leaves:

  • Re-evaluates the reason and appropriateness of the request (for discretionary leaves only) - determines if the leave is still in the employer's best interest.
  • Notifies employee of the decision for extension (including whether or not further extensions will be considered).

Department Human Resource Representative Responsibility:

  • Maintains all documentation on the employee's personal file for audit purposes.
  • Provides advice and guidance to department managers and employees.
  • Enters information and leave status codes into automated personnel system(s).

Returning from an Indefinite Leave of Absence
Re-employment Options:
Upon expiration of an indefinite leave of absence, there may be re-employment options available to employees, depending upon the nature of the leave and type of employee. For more information see Appendix D.1 (mandatory indefinite leaves) or Appendix D.2 (discretionary indefinite leaves).

Approval

SGEU and Out-of-Scope employees:

  • Approved by Permanent Head or designate.

CUPE employees:

  • Recommended by Permanent Head or Designate, approved by the Public Service Commission

Authority 

PSA, Part 2, Section 14;
PS Regs, Part 5, Section 69;
PS/SGEU Article 18.2.4
PS/CUPE Local 600-3, Article 19.06

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If you have any questions or require more information please contact:

HR Service Centre

hrsc@gov.sk.ca

Phone: 1-877-852-5808 or 306-798-0000

Fax: 1-877-852-9219 or 306-798-9966

HR Service Centre Fax Cover Sheet

2100 Broad Street, Regina, SK, S4P 1Y5

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