Overview

This directive provides information on the application and administration of the Fort McMurray Allowance, Fort Chipewyan Trips Out, and the Northern Trips Out for employees located north of the 57th parallel.

Fort McMurray Allowance

Eligibility

Government of Alberta employees who are eligible for and receiving a salary, an hourly wage or in receipt of Long Term Disability benefits whose residence and work locations are in Fort McMurray or its vicinity.

An employee who otherwise qualified for the Allowance shall continue receiving the Allowance for any period of approved leave with pay; however, the Allowance shall not be paid for any period on leave without pay.

"Residence" is defined as purchased housing or rental housing that is not government subsidized.

"Fort McMurray" is defined as Ward 1 of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo while the "Vicinity of Fort McMurray" is defined to include communities within commuting distance of Fort McMurray which would be approximately 30 minutes one way travelling under good driving conditions.

The allowance

Eligible employees will be paid an allowance of $478.17 for each bi-weekly pay period served in addition to their regular earnings.

Exclusions

The Fort McMurray Allowance does not apply to employees:

(b) travelling on government business and claiming travel expenses

(a) receiving the Northern Allowance

(c) living in government-owned or government-subsidized housing.

Administration

(a) The Fort McMurray allowance is pro-rated for part-time salaried employees based upon the percentage of full-time hours worked (assigned to the position) as per the following formula:

Bi-Weekly Fort McMurray Allowance, Multiplied by:
No. of Bi-Weekly Hours Worked Excluding Overtime Hours
divided by:
No. of Bi-Weekly Normal Hours Assigned to Employee Class

At no time shall the amount paid exceed the maximum of four-hundred and seventy-eight dollars and seventeen cents ($478.17) for each bi-weekly period served.

For employees paid on an hourly basis, the Allowance will be paid and pro-rated based on the number of hours worked as a percentage of the equivalent 100% full-time hours assigned to that class.

(b) The Fort McMurray Allowance is not pensionable under the Public Service Pension Plan or the Management Employees Pension Plan.

Fort Chipewyan trips out

Administered as outlined in the Public Service Relocation and Employment Expenses Regulation (PDF, 70 KB).

Northern trips out

Eligibility

Trips out are available to permanent and temporary salaried employees and their eligible dependent(s) who are employed and reside in locations north of the 57th parallel. Effective July 1, 2011 Wage 2850 employees became eligible for Trips Out. Hourly wage employees are not eligible.

Employees on a leave of absence without pay and employees in receipt of Long Term Disability benefits are not entitled to paid trips out.

Administration

Eligible employees will receive up to two paid trips in each calendar year. The term of a temporary salaried employee must be for a minimum of one year in order for the employee to receive two paid trips out. (For a term less than one year, the Ministry may limit the trip to one based on the length of the temporary appointment.) Ministries may use discretion whether to grant one or two trips per year depending on the month the employee was hired. The intent is for one trip to be taken between January and June and the second trip to be taken between July and December, however, this may not always be feasible due to operational requirements.

Application

Ministries will pay for costs of return travel from the employee's residence to Calgary or Edmonton (or another urban centre between the employee's residence and Calgary) for the employee and eligible dependent(s). Reimbursement and payment of costs shall be treated as a taxable benefit. One of four options may be utilized.

  1. Use of commercial airline, ensuring the most economical and advanced booking rates are requested. If employees are arranging travel via a commercial airline, an expense claim may be submitted for reimbursement of the return flight between the residence location and Calgary or Edmonton (or another urban centre between the residence and Calgary). The employee must indicate if this is the first or second trip within that calendar year. It is also the Ministry's responsibility to track this information.
  2. Use of private vehicle. If an employee chooses to drive their private vehicle the maximum distance reimbursed will be the return kilometreage from their residence to Calgary. An expense claim may be submitted for reimbursement in accordance with the Treasury Board Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive at the rate listed in Appendix “A" for “Other Uses of Private Vehicle". The employee must indicate if this is their first or second trip within the calendar year. It is also the Ministry's responsibility to track this information.
  3. Other modes of public transportation such as commercial bus travel, i.e. Greyhound, Red Arrow, etc.

Trips out that have not been used within the calendar year will not be carried over to the next calendar year.

Scheduling and approval

Employees must receive prior approval from their supervisor as scheduling of the trips out is subject to operational requirements.

About this directive

Authority: Public Service Relocation and Employment Expenses Regulation (PDF, 70 KB)
Application: Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date: March 5, 2019
Contact: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Classification, Compensation and Benefit Services