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​Section 813: Employment Indemnity

Date issued: 15/12/2005
Revision date: 09/08/2016

Purpose

This policy outlines the protection that the government will provide to employees who are charged or may be charged with a criminal offense or sued as a result of carrying out their duties as a public servant, including the provision of legal services if necessary.

Policy Statement

In accordance with the terms of this policy, the Government will indemnify and save harmless, in whole or in part, any employee who is charged with a criminal offense or sued as a result of actions carried out in good faith and within the scope of the employee's employment duties and responsibilities. Government employees are expected to carry out their duties in a responsible manner and to the best of their abilities.
The decision to indemnify an employee does not preclude a department from taking internal disciplinary action if appropriate.

Application

All employees appointed under The Public Service Act, 1998, at the time of the incident. 

Definitions

Good Faith
An action which is performed honestly, openly and without malice or ulterior motive. The action may be done negligently or result from an error in judgement or inadvertence in carrying out the duties of an employee's office.

Indemnify
To make compensation for loss, damage, or expense incurred.

Access to Legal Services

Employees shall be eligible for assistance regarding legal services if, as a result of performing his or her duties in good faith and within the scope of employment, he or she is:

  • Charged with a criminal or provincial offense;
  • Interviewed by the police or other authorities in circumstances that may lead to charges against the employee;
  • Sued or threatened with a civil action; or
  • Required to appear before a judicial, investigative or other inquest or inquiry.

Process

The employee must notify the appropriate department officials as soon as possible of any incident or course of events that may lead to criminal charges against the employee, or the need for legal counsel.  A written report shall be submitted to the employee's manager, identifying: 

  • The events leading up to the incident;
  • A description of the incident and those involved;
  • A list of potential witnesses;
  • Any actions taken to correct the situation, if applicable.

If the employee has already been charged, this should be identified in the report.

The employee shall be allowed leave with pay to seek legal counsel and appear in court in accordance with this policy.
The employee may be placed on leave with pay until completion of an investigation or resolution of criminal charges against the employee.

Eligibility for the Provision of Legal Services

An employee who has performed an action outside of the scope of his or her duties shall not be entitled to the provision of legal counsel.

Criminal Offences

In the event that an employee is facing criminal charges arising from actions carried out in the course of employment, the Permanent Head or designate will conduct an investigation to determine if the employee's actions were carried out in good faith.

In the event the employee chooses not to participate in the investigation, financial assistance for legal services may be denied.

Notwithstanding, the department will provide a maximum of $750.00 for private legal consultation fees prior to the completion of an internal investigation to determine whether the employee's actions were carried out in good faith.  Further initial assistance will be determined on a case by case basis.

An employee charged with a criminal offense arising from good faith actions undertaken in the scope of employment, will be entitled to hire a lawyer of his or her choice subject to the fee arrangement being approved by the Permanent Head, in consultation with the Ministry of Justice.

Appeals
Employees have the right to appeal the Permanent Head's refusal to provide legal assistance.  The appeal shall be made to the Chair of the Public Service Commission within 14 working days.  The decision of the Chair shall be made within 14 working days.  The decision of the Chair shall be final and binding.

Civil Actions

The supervisor of the employee facing the civil action shall provide a written incident report and employee statement to the Permanent Head.  The report should include:

  • A summary of the incident;
  • A list of potential witnesses; and
  • An assessment as to whether or not the employee was acting in good faith and within the scope of employment.

Authorization of Legal Services for Employees

The Permanent Head or designate, in consultation with the Civil Law Division of the Ministry of Justice, may authorize the provision of legal services to employees as appropriate.

Legal Services for employees who have been sued as a result of good faith actions arising in the course of their employment will be provided by the Ministry of Justice through the representations that are made for Government in the lawsuit.  Where the interests of such an employee may diverge from those of the government, the employer may pay for private legal counsel where recommended by the Ministry of Justice.

Conditions of payment for private legal counsel, such as maximum reimbursement, will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Employees may obtain private legal counsel at their own discretion and at their own expense.  If an employee wishes to decline representation by the Ministry of Justice, a written confirmation must be submitted.

Appeals
Employees have the right to appeal the Permanent Head's refusal to provide legal assistance.  The appeal shall be made to the Chair of the Public Service Commission within 14 working days.  The decision of the Chair shall be made within 14 working days.  The decision of the Chair shall be final and binding.

Authorities

The Public Service Act, 1998
Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) Memorandum of Agreement, signed October 19, 2004
PS/Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 600, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Article 7.08 Indemnity

Inquiries

For inquiries, please contact the Human Resource Service Centre.

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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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