About this directive
|HR Directive No.||05/2023|
|Reference to applicable legislation (act or regulation):||Part 1, Section 10, Public Service Act
Part 5, Sections 22 to 23, Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.2 MB)
|Application:||All employees appointed or employed pursuant to the Public Service Act within a department, as defined in sections 1(b)(i) and 1(b)(ii) of the Public Service Act.
Note: employees who are members of the bargaining unit are subject to the terms of the Collective Agreement related to classification process, which supersede this directive.
|Last updated:||March 2023|
|Last reviewed:||March 2023|
|Amended by:||Alberta Public Service Commission:
Strategic Services and Public Agency Secretariat, Workforce Policy, Compensation and Job Evaluation Policy
To provide clarity, consistency and transparency on classification processes and effective dates of decisions.
This directive describes the classification review process steps, timeframes, effective dates and the communication process to employees. It also outlines considerations when determining notice periods for over-classified non-management and management positions (includes reclassification from management to non-management).
Definition of terms
Disclaimer: If there are any discrepancies in how the terms are defined below and the Public Service Act and Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 1.1 MB), the act and regulation supersede.
Bargaining unit: employees under the Public Service Act designated to be represented by a trade union as the certified bargaining agent, as defined by the Public Service Employee Relations Act.
Classification: distinct kind (stream of work) and level of work (level 1, 2, 3) allocated to a position based on the nature of work, responsibilities, scope and complexity.
Deputy head: chief officer of a department, as well as various positions including clerks, officers, and commissioners as prescribed in section 1(d) and section 1(d)(viii)(B) of the Public Service Act.
Management: employees appointed to a position in the Management Job Evaluation Plan, and paid in accordance with Schedule 2, Management Official Pay Plan within the Public Service Employment Regulation.
Management Job Evaluation Plan (MJEP): the management classification plan based on a modified Korn Ferry Hay’s job evaluation plan using factor comparison and point rating methodology that measures attributes of the job, such as know-how, problem solving, and accountability.
Maximum salary: the highest rate of a salary range, pay band, pay zone or pay grade.
Non-management: includes employees in bargaining unit, position exempt, and opted out and excluded employment groups.
Notice period: the period of time in which an employee’s salary, classification, etc. are maintained as a result of the employer providing notice to an employee of a significant change to terms and conditions of employment, the expiry of which corresponds to the implementation of the noted change.
Opted out and excluded: employees in a classification not included in the bargaining unit, who are appointed to a position in the Point Rating Evaluation Plan (PREP), and paid in accordance with Schedule 1, Part 1-A and Part-B of the Opted Out and Excluded Official Pay Plan in the Public Service Employment Regulation.
Over-classified: a position is over-classified when it has been evaluated under PREP or MJEP and the classification decision results in a classification with a lower pay grade or salary range maximum; however, the higher classification is maintained for a period of time.
Pay grade: a salary range that includes a minimum and maximum step, as well as steps between these endpoints, for bargaining unit classification identified within the Collective Agreement.
Point Rating Evaluation Plan (PREP): the non-management classification plan based on a modified Korn Ferry Hay’s job evaluation plan using factor comparison and point rating methodology that measures attributes of the job, such as knowledge, creativity/problem solving and responsibility.
Position Exempt: employees in a bargaining unit classification who are excluded from the union in accordance with Part 3, Division 3, Section 12 of the Public Service Employee Relations Act.
Salary range: a range that includes set minimum and maximum salaries, which are assigned to opted out and excluded, and management classifications that are identified in the Official Pay Plans.
Work day: any day on which employees are expected to be at their place of employment.
Management and non-management positions
In order to request a review of the classification of a position (new, vacant, or occupied), a signed and approved job description, outlining the responsibilities of the role (as per the HR Decision Matrix) will be submitted to Classification Delivery Services (CDS) at [email protected].
CDS is delegated the authority to classify positions in the PREP and MJEP classifications plans (see Classification Plans, Authority and Monitoring Directive).
The employee or employer may initiate a classification review as outlined below:
|Classification process steps||Action|
|Step 1: Request classification review of position||Employee Initiated: An employee may request a review of the classification of their position. Employees are responsible for submitting their rationale for the proposed change in classification and any proposed changes to the job description to their manager, outlining the changes in their job responsibilities, with a copy to CDS. (This is considered the original classification request for the purposes of determining the effective date of the classification decision). The manager confirms the changes in responsibilities, approves the updated job description, and submits the approved job description to CDS within 30 work days of receipt from an employee, unless an extension on the timelines is agreed to between the manager and employee.|
|Employer (business area) initiated: A manager may request a classification review of new, vacant* or occupied positions when there has been:
|Step 2: Determine if the classification of the position will be reviewed||CDS will review the classification of a position if:
|Step 3: Review classification of the position||When a job description is received, CDS will advise the employee and manager of the review process steps, which may include additional information gathering from employee and/or manager. A delegate of CDS will review job information, evaluate and allocate the position to a classification under the PREP or MJEP classification plan.|
|Step 4: Notification of classification decision||CDS will notify the employee and manager of the decision and rationale in writing no later than 60 work days from receipt of the approved job description, unless the employee and/or manager agrees to an extension.
Note: If a classification decision has not been rendered within 60 work days and an extension has not been agreed to, the employee and/or manager may escalate the request to the Director, Classification and Compensation Delivery Services ([email protected]) to expedite a review of the classification.
|Step 5: Classification appeal process (if employee chooses to access)||If the employee does not agree with the classification decision of their position, they may access the appeal process (see Classification Appeals Directive).
Note: Vacant positions cannot be appealed.
Effective date for employees in positions reclassified to a classification with the same or higher maximum salary is as follows:
|New positions and reclassification of existing positions||Normally be the first day of the bi-weekly pay period following the date of receipt of the original classification request.
Note: The employer may request a later effective date when a new program or position is being created, or the new responsibilities will be assigned at a future date.
|Classification appeal results|
Over-classified non-management positions
When an employee’s non-management position is found to be over-classified, their salary will be adjusted in accordance with the Salary Determination Directive on demotion.
In exceptional circumstances, such as employer initiatives, (for example, large organizational redesigns, organization-wide classification reviews), an employee may be provided with up to 12 months’ notice of a reclassification to a classification with the lower pay grade or salary range maximum, with Public Service Commissioner approval. Classification, salary, and terms and conditions will be maintained during the notice period, and the rationale will be clearly documented and communicated to the employee by CDS.
The classification and salary protection will end if the employee voluntarily leaves the position during the notice period.
Over-classified management positions
When an employee’s management position is over-classified but remains classified in management at a lower pay band or pay zone, the employee’s salary will be adjusted in accordance with the Management Over-Range Pay Directive as other terms and conditions of employment are not changing.
When an employee’s management position is over-classified and is determined to be in a non-management classification, the management classification will be retained for 12 months as a result of impacts to terms and conditions of employment (for example, pension, benefits, etc.).
Classification, salary, and terms and conditions will be maintained during the notice period, and the rationale will be clearly documented and communicated to the employee by CDS. The 12 months’ notice period does not require Public Service Commissioner approval.
An employee in a management position may be provided up to an additional 12 months’ notice (not to exceed a total of 24 months’ notice) before implementing the non-management classification decision.
Deputy Minister agreement and Public Service Commissioner approval is required once the additional notice period is determined. CDS will consider the following factors in determining the additional notice period:
- age of employee
- length of continuous service
- type and level of work
- availability of similar employment
The notice period, rationale and changes to terms and conditions of employment will be clearly documented and communicated to the employee by CDS.
The management classification and salary protection will end if the employee voluntarily leaves the position, during the notice period.
The effective date for non-management and management employees in positions that are reclassified to a classification with the lower pay grade or salary range maximum is normally the first day of the bi-weekly pay period following the notification of the decision or end of the notice period. Please see supplemental information on notice periods and effective dates.
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