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Section 808: Employee Recognition

Date issued: 01/11/2015

Preamble

The Government of Saskatchewan (GoS) is committed to positive recognition of employees as a way to create a motivating, engaging and productive work environment so that we can continuously improve service to the citizens of Saskatchewan.

Purpose

Of employee recognition is to: 

  • show employees they are valued and appreciated;
  • positively influence employee engagement;
  • encourage high performance;
  • reinforce Executive government's vision and values; and
  • support the achievement of ministry and GoS goals.

Objectives

Of the Employee Recognition policy:

  • ensure employee recognition activities are established across Executive government and within ministries;
  • raise awareness of Executive government's commitment to employee recognition;
  • provide clear expectations and guidance to ministries and employees regarding employee recognition activities in Executive government; and
  • establish roles and responsibilities of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Protocol Office, permanent heads, employee recognition ambassadors, managers and employees.

Definitions

Deputy Minister's Award*
A ministry employee recognition program that recognizes an employee or team for their contributions, efforts, achievements and/or behaviours.

For the purposes of this policy, Deputy Minister's Award must include:

  • clear purpose;
  • at least one award that is based on demonstration of Executive government's core values and/or achievement of business results;
  • established selection criteria; and
  • transparent nomination and selection process.

*Note: Specific name of the award to be determined by the permanent head.

Employee Recognition
Positive acknowledgement of an individual's or group's commitment, contribution, effort, achievement and/or behaviour that supports the organization's goals and values. Employee recognition covers a range of activities in the workplace that encourages employees to feel appreciated, valued and motivated.

Employee Recognition Activities:
Established practices and/or programs at the corporate and ministry levels to foster employee appreciation.

Practices
Informal, unstructured day-to-day acts of appreciation given in a timely, sincere and specific manner to positively acknowledge employees or groups. Informal employee recognition activities must align with this policy. Examples of practices include: assigning employees to tasks and projects they strive for, sending thank you cards and establishing office bulletin boards for employees to display photos and meaningful memos.

Programs
Formal, structured, scheduled and standardized acts of appreciation to positively acknowledge employees or groups. Formal employee recognition activities must align with this policy. Examples of programs include: Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service, Deputy Minister’s Award and Long Service Recognition.

Note: For the purposes of this policy, employee recognition activities do not include:

  • events, gatherings and actions that do not have a recognition component and are solely social in nature; and
  • in-range salary adjustments, salary supplements, salary structure adjustments, or any other monetary compensation that is allocated on a performance basis or under the terms of collective bargaining agreements.

Employee-to-employee
Informal employee recognition activities that allow peers, co-workers, managers and employees to positively acknowledge each other within a ministry and/or across ministries.

Levels of Application:
Employee recognition activities and policies are developed, administered and/or implemented at the corporate or ministry level.

Corporate
Includes:

  • cross-government employee recognition policies and programs developed centrally and implemented centrally or by the ministry (see Appendix A)

Ministry
Includes:

  • corporate policies and programs implemented by the ministry; and
  • employee recognition activities developed and implemented by the ministry.

Principles of Employee Recognition

Employee recognition activities are: 

  •  aligned with and reinforce Executive government's vision and values and the achievement of ministry and GoS goals;
  • accessible to all employees;
  • applied fairly, consistently and in a timely manner;
  • meaningful and tailored to an individual employee or group;
  • well communicated and delivered;
  • inclusive and respectful of workplace diversity;
  • built on transparent processes and procedures; and
  • compliant with Executive government's financial practices.

Roles and Responsibilities

Public Service Commission (PSC)
Is responsible for:

  • developing and implementing corporate employee recognition policies and programs;
  • developing employee recognition guidelines for ministries;
  • developing and providing tools, advice and assistance to ministries on the application of this policy;
  • developing effectiveness criteria to evaluate corporate and ministry employee recognition activities; and
  • monitoring effectiveness and consistent application of this policy and reporting as required.

Protocol Office
Is responsible for:

  • Developing, and implementing the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Public Service.

Permanent heads
Are responsible for:

  • Ensuring this policy is implemented within their ministry;
  • Promoting and fostering a culture that supports and encourages employees to participate in the corporate and ministry employee recognition activities;
  • Designating a senior official within their ministry to be the employee recognition ambassador to ensure clear ownership for employee recognition activities within their ministry;
  • Holding employee recognition ambassadors and managers accountable for carrying out their responsibilities related to implementing this policy; and
  • Establishing a Deputy Minister's Award program within their ministry.

Employee recognition ambassadors
Are responsible for:

  • Implementing this policy in their ministries;
  • Developing, implementing and communicating ministry employee recognition programs, including a Deputy Minister's Award;
  • Developing, implementing and communicating ministry employee recognition practices;
  • Promoting and fostering a culture that supports and encourages employees to participate in the corporate and ministry employee recognition activities;
  • Developing and providing tools, advice and assistance to employees on the application of ministry employee recognition activities;
  • Developing ministry effectiveness criteria to evaluate, monitor and report internally on ministry employee recognition activities as required; and
  • Evaluating, monitoring and reporting the effectiveness of ministry employee recognition activities to the PSC as required.

Managers
Are responsible for:

  • Demonstrating leadership by supporting and encouraging employees to participate in ministry employee recognition activities;
  • Promoting and fostering a culture of employee-to-employee recognition; and
  • Reporting on ministry employee recognition activities to their employee recognition ambassador as required.

Employees
Are responsible for:

  • Participating in employee recognition activities; and
  • Fostering a culture of employee-to-employee recognition

Application

This policy applies to employees of Executive government, including individuals hired as employees under contract.

 Authorities

The Public Service Act, 1998, and Regulations, 1999
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Income Tax Act, 1985 (see Rules for gifts and awards http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/bnfts/gfts/plcy-eng.html)
Financial Administration Manual, Section: Treasury Board's General Management Policies:
Long Service Recognition #4315
Retirement Expenses #4320
Superior Performance Recognition #4325

Related Policies

Employee Recognition (Long Service) Policy, Human Resource Manual, PS 808-1
Employee Recognition (Retirement) Policy, Human Resource Manual, PS 808-2
Employee Recognition (Superior Performance) Policy, Human Resource Manual, PS 808-3

Policy Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.

Appendices

Appendix A: Corporate Employee Recognition Policies and Programs 

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Section 808-1: Employee Recognition - Long Service

Date issued: 01/04/1991
Revision Date: 27/06/2017

Purpose

To recognize Government of Saskatchewan employees for their long service contributions to the province on their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 year service anniversaries. 

Policy Statement

The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes public service employees for dedicated service and the contributions they make to the province during the course of their employment.

Objectives

This policy aims to provide recognition for employee’s service and loyalty to the public service in Saskatchewan.

Principles

Employee recognition is an integral piece of employee engagement, which is a core focus of the Government of Saskatchewan.  Providing recognition to employees supports a culture of recognition and contributes to employee engagement across the organization.  Recognition should be both meaningful and fiscally responsible.   

Application

Service Year Milestones
Employees are recognized in accordance with their years of service as follows:

  • 5 Years of Service - Letter or Certificate signed by the employees' Division Head or equivalent;
  • 10 Years of Service - Long Service pin;
  • 15 Years of Service - Letter or Certificate signed by the employees' Deputy Minister or equivalent;
  • 20 Years of Service - Long Service pin;
  • 25 Years of Service - Long Service Recognition Banquet attendance, a gift valued at no more than $250.00 and a congratulatory letter from the Premier;
  • 30 Years of Service - Long Service pin; and
  • 35 Years of Service - Long Service Recognition Banquet attendance, a gift valued at no more than $350.00 and a congratulatory letter from the Premier.

Presentation of Awards and Gifts

  • At 5 Years of Service, the letter or certificate is signed by the employee's Division Head or equivalent.
  • At 15 Years of Service, letter or certificate signed by the employee's Deputy Minister or equivalent.
  • The presentation of pins is made at the ministry level by the Deputy Minister or designate.
  • At 25 and 35 Years of Service, gifts are provided through the online long service gift catalogue.

Long Service Banquet Attendance   

The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes some employees will need to travel in order to participate in the Long Service Recognition Banquet.  In order to ensure that all honourees can fully and safely participate, eligible employees, upon advising their manager of their eligibility, shall receive:

  • Reasonable time off with pay in order to attend the Long Service Recognition Banquet;
  • Reimbursement for travel in accordance with the government rates;
  • Meal expenses and hotel accommodations, according to approved government rates, for employees (plus one guest per employee) that are headquartered in a location other than the city in which the banquet is to be held;
  • Ministries are responsible for the payment of all travel expenses.  Employees who travel are to submit travel expense claims after the banquet following the normal process.  The PSC Program Coordinator will make arrangements for the employee to receive their gift, congratulatory letter from the Premier and pin if the employee is unable to attend the banquet; and
  • Employees who live in the location of the banquet are responsible for their own transportation to and from the event.

Anniversary Date
The date which an employee qualifies for long service recognition.  No rounding up of service time permitted. 

Eligible Service
Includes all accumulated years of service with a Government of Saskatchewan ministry or agency whose appointments are made under The Public Service Act. 

Calculation of Eligible Service

  • Employees who retire or whose positions have been abolished, in the fiscal year they would have attained a milestone of service, are still eligible for recognition.  Employees who have resigned or are terminated are not eligible.
  • Time on definite leave is counted as service when the employee returns to work. 
  • Time spent on indefinite leave may be credited as service for employee recognition under the following conditions:
    • If an employee has applied and is eligible for disability income benefits (employer or union plan), all time is counted;
    • If performing alternate work for the employer with no break in service, all time is counted; and
    • If the leave is for other reasons, the first 90 days are counted.
  • Ministries may include employees in their list of eligible employees if the employee is unable to return to work on their 25th or 35th year anniversary date because they:
    • Are on definite leave for medical reasons; or
    • Are on indefinite leave and have applied and are eligible for disability income benefits (employer or union plan) and began their leave within three years of the anniversary date.
  • Time spent on the re-employment list is credited as follows:
    • The first 90 days are counted.
  • Periods of time that constitute a break in service are not included.  For the purpose of this policy, a break in service means any resignation from the public service, dismissal, or an interval of non-employment greater than 180 consecutive days.  (Note: resignation does not include resignation to accept another position within the public service.)
  • Labour service employees are deemed to have earned one year of service per season of work.
  • Part-time and casual employees are deemed to have earned service from the date of employment regardless of the number of days worked during a particular year, provided no break in service occurs.
  • Employees who have worked for a crown corporation, agency, board or commission of the Saskatchewan Government may include that service by providing proof of service.
  • Time spent with the federal, municipal, or any other provincial government or any service with district health boards, boards of education in Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, any SGEU bargaining unit or service as a paid staff member of SGEU is not counted towards long service except in the following circumstance:
    • An entire function(s), program(s) or service(s) and the related positions are formally transferred to the provincial government.

NOTE:  For labour service, part-time employees and term employees the years of service calculations for determining long service recognition and vacation entitlements are the same (except that credited pensionable service from the federal, municipal or any other provincial government is not eligible for long service recognition).

Responsibilities

Ministry

  • Financial project code 902113 is to be used to capture costs associated with this policy.

  • Ministries are responsible to confirm the list of employees in the Ministry who will reach their service year anniversary date during the upcoming fiscal year.  The Ministry is also responsible for travel expenses for honourees.   

NOTE: If an employee declines a banquet, they are still eligible to receive a gift and will be honoured with a letter from the Premier. Ministries should request written confirmation from those employees who choose not to be honoured.  Employees declining this opportunity will not be given another opportunity should they change their mind. 

Program Coordinator (PSC)

  • Reviews the anticipated cost at the beginning of each fiscal year.
  • Arranges for and distributes 10, 20 and 30 year long-service pins to ministries for presentation to employees by their Deputy Minister or designate.
  • Coordinates with Ministries the letters/certificates from Division Heads and Deputy Ministers for the 5 and 15 year service milestones.
  • Coordinates gift purchases for 25 and 35 year employees.
  • Coordinates all arrangements for the long service recognition banquet.
  • Sends invitations to 25 and 35 year employees and their guests.
  • Arranges for congratulatory letters from the Premier.
  • Acts as Master of Ceremonies.

Designated Senior Representative from the Public Service Commission

  • Acts as Master of Ceremonies.

Chair of Public Service Commission

  • Extends greetings on behalf of the Public Service Commission.

Premier or Representative of the Premier

  • Extends greetings on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.
  • Presents long service pin to the employees.

Authority

Financial Administration Manual Policy #4315.

Policy Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.

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Section 808-2: Employee Recognition - Retirement

Date issued: 01/04/1991
Revision date: 30/06/2017

Purpose

To acknowledge and thank retiring public service employees for their contributions to the province

Policy Statement

The Government of Saskatchewan honours retiring public service employees who have 10 or more years of service and who are age 50 or older, with a retirement gift. Agencies, boards and commissions with eligible employees are responsible for recognizing the contributions made by these employees.

Objectives

This policy provides recognition for retiring employees within the Government of Saskatchewan. It is also meant to acknowledge loyalty to the public service in Saskatchewan.

Principles

Employee recognition is an integral piece of employee engagement, which is a core focus of the Government of Saskatchewan.  Providing meaningful recognition to employees supports a culture of recognition and contributes to employee engagement across the organization. Recognition should be both meaningful and fiscally responsible.

 

Application

Retiring employees who have 10 or more years of service and who have reached a minimum age of 50 at the time of retirement will be honoured with a gift valued at no more than $10 per year of service (to a maximum of $350).  Gifts must also comply with current Canada Revenue Agency guidelines for non-taxable gifts.  Awards must be non-monetary.

Eligible Service
Eligible service is calculated in accordance with policy PS808-1, namely:

  • Includes all accumulated years of service with a Government of Saskatchewan ministry or agency whose appointments are made under The Public Service Act 1998.

Responsibilities

Ministry

  • Financial project code 902114 is to be used to capture costs associated with this policy
  • Purchase appropriate gifts for eligible employees. Arrange suitable functions such as a reception or small banquet where gifts are to be presented.
  • Make arrangements for Minister, Permanent Head or designate(s) to make presentation(s) on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.
  • Ensure applicable cost approvals are obtained in accordance with Financial Administration Manual guidelines.

Authority

Financial Administration Manual Policy #4320.  

Policy Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.

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Section 808-3: Employee Recognition - Recognizing Excellence

Date issued: 17/06/1993
Revision date: 27/06/2017

Purpose

To acknowledge public service employees’ exceptional service and significant contributions in the Government of Saskatchewan. 

Policy Statement

The Government of Saskatchewan provides recognition for the significant contributions and exceptional service its employees provide and their ability to exemplify the values of the Government of Saskatchewan.    

Objectives

This policy aims to recognize employees who exceed standards in their work, who have provided exceptional service or made significant contributions to the workplace, and to award and re‑enforce these behaviours.

Principles

Employee recognition is an integral piece of employee engagement, which is a core focus of the Government of Saskatchewan.  Providing meaningful recognition to employees supports a culture of recognition and contributes to increased employee engagement across the organization.  Recognizing significant contributions with specific awards contributes to a culture of recognition within the organization.  Recognition should be both meaningful and fiscally responsible.

Application

Ministries/agencies may purchase employee recognition awards.  These awards are to be limited to ensure their objective of:

  • Acknowledging employees' significant contributions to excellence; and
  • The employees' exceptional ability to exemplify the values of the Government of Saskatchewan.

Examples can include, but are not limited to:

  • Offering outstanding service;
  • Employee suggestions for improvement or innovation;
  • Exceeding safety standards; and
  • Exceeding service standards.  

The cost of these awards  must not exceed a cumulative amount of $100 per employee per fiscal year.

  • The entire value can be given in part or in full over the course of a fiscal year.
  • It is not mandatory for amounts to reach a total value of $100.  Less can be provided based on discretion and recognition level.
  • These awards are specifically restricted to significant contributions or exceptional service.
  • Gifts must also comply with the current Financial Administration Manual Policy #4325 regarding restrictions.  Awards must be non-monetary.
  • Normal payment procedures are to be followed and proof of the Deputy Minister or designates approval is required.

Deputy Minister Awards
This policy also provides authority for Deputy Minister awards.

  • The amount spent on Deputy Minister Awards does not count towards an employees' cumulative $100 per employee per fiscal year calculation for recognizing excellence.  A Deputy Minister Award gift can be in addition to the allowable $100 per year.
  • An appropriation should be made each year which includes costs for individual and Deputy Minister awards.

Responsibilities

Ministry
Financial project code 902112 is to be used to capture costs associated with this policy. Ministries should review the expenses under this policy on an annual basis.

Permanent Head or Delegate
Permanent Head's or delegate's approval is required for all awards provided under this policy. The Permanent Heads may delegate approval of awards to associate and assistant deputy ministers, and executive directors.

Authority

Financial Administration Manual Policy #4325.

Policy Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre. 

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Related Links

Long Service - Financial Administration Manual

Retirement - Financial Administration Manual

Recognizing Excellence - Financial Administration Manual

Employee Recognition Staffroom Page

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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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