​​This directive sets out ​guidelines for determining the appropriate salary, length, and benefits for a contract of employment.


Follow these guidelines to determine the salary for a contract of employment.

Review the normal considerations for hiring a person for a salaried position as well as the conditions specific to contract employment (for example, loss of benefits, temporary employment status).

  • The normal salary range for the position is set out in the Official Pay Plan (in some cases, the salary offered to the candidate will be the same as for a permanent position).
  • In some circumstances, the normal salary can be exceeded by adding a percentage based on the following factors. Flexibility can be used in determining which factors apply and the percentage provided for each factor:
    • 0 to 25% instead of:
      • for special or hard-to-recruit expertise, based on prior recruiting experience for the occupational category
      • in lieu of participation in benefits (for example, long term disability, management supplement)
  • The maximum salary allowable for the position under consideration will not exceed 25% more than the normal maximum of the range established by the job class or evaluation rating. In exceptional circumstances, with Treasury Board approval, the Public Service Commissioner can approve compensation in excess of the guidelines.

Length of contract

A contract of employment can be any length, depending on the department's requirements. Contracts of employment normally cover a three-year term, and are extended as needed.


The following benefits may be provided under a standard contract of employment:

1st Choice benefits

The Employee may be eligible to participate in the following components of 1st Choice Benefits Program during the term of this Agreement. Eligibility of the employee will be determined in accordance with the policies of insurance and other governing plan documents:

  • Group Life Insurance Plan
  • Dental Plan
  • Prescription Drug Plan
  • Extended Medical Plan
  • Health Spending Account

The eligibility to claim benefits in accordance with the plan policies and governing documents shall be determined by the respective service provider or insurer.

Other benefits

  • sick leave accruing at the rate of 1.5 days per month during the term of the contract
  • vacation accruing as set out in the regulation governing the calculation of vacation leave
  • 13 paid statutory holidays (per calendar year)
  • travel and subsistence expenses as authorized by the department
  • special leave provisions
  • parental leave provisions
  • eligibility to apply on limited and departmental competitions

Contract Employees are excluded from the following benefits:

  • pension plan participation
  • general illness leave
  • long-term disability
  • the management vacation supplement
  • first year vacation grant

Service accrued while on a contract of employment cannot be credited as pensionable service in any of the Alberta Public Service pension plans if the individual later transfers to a position where pension plan participation is compulsory.

Management, opted out, or excluded employees moving from a permanent position into a contract position without a ​break in service (PDF, 880 KB) are entitled to maintain the benefits coverage and leave entitlements they had before they went on contract. As with other contract employees, this does not include pension plan participation, general illness leave, long-term disability, the management vacation supplement and the first year vacation grant.

Related information

For information on determining the type of employment relationship (contract of employment or fee for service contract), see directive Contract of Employment or Fee for Service Contract.​ For information on the administration of a contract of employment, see directive Administration of Contracts of Employment. For information on the re-employment of Pensioners, see directive Temporary Re-Employment of Pensioners​ under the Public Service Pension Plan or under the Management Employees Pension Plan.

About this directive

Authority: Public Service Act (Section 28)
Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 880 KB)
Application: Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date: June 29, 2009
Contact: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Classification, Compensation and Benefit Services

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