Layoff and recall directive

This directive outlines the process of laying off and recalling opted out and excluded Alberta Public Service employees.


This directive describes how opted out or excluded employees are laid off and recalled. It also provides information specific to probationary employees and employees whose positions have been abolished.

This directive does not apply to bargaining unit employees (who are covered by the Collective Agreement), temporary employees at the end of their term of employment, or wage employees.


  • "continuous employment" means any period of employment that is not interrupted by a "break in service"
  • "break in service" means an interruption in service caused by a termination of employment
  • "permanent status" means status given to employees occupying a permanent position
  • "temporary status" means status given to employees occupying a temporary position
  • "wage employee" means a person hired for casual employment
  • "layoff" means a temporary separation from employment with anticipated future recall


When similar employees are to be laid off, the employing department will lay off employees with the least seniority first if the employees retained are qualified and able to perform the work.

Except in circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the employing department, permanent employees will have 14 calendar days' notice of layoff, and temporary employees will have 7 calendar days' notice.

Employees who are laid off will be placed on a leave without pay, and all benefits will be the same as for any employee on a leave without pay.


Laid off employees will provide their employing department with their current address for recall purposes.

When similar employees are to be recalled, they will be recalled by seniority. Senior employees will be recalled first if they are qualified and able to perform the work available.

Employees lose all seniority and forfeit all rights, and the employing department is not obliged to recall them if:

  • they resign or employment is properly terminated
  • they do not return to work within three work days of the stated reporting date, or they cannot be located after the employing department makes reasonable effort to recall them
  • they have not been recalled to work within 180 calendar days following layoff

If permanent employees have not been recalled within 180 calendar days from the date of layoff, they are entitled to severance pay in the amount of 1 1/2 weeks of pay for each full year of continuous employment to a maximum of 25 weeks of pay. Employees will not receive severance pay if they resign, retire, or fail to return to work when recalled, or if their employment is properly terminated. Employees may only be recalled to the position from which they were laid off.

Probationary employees

Time spent by probationary employees on layoff will be added to their probationary period at the time of recall.

Position abolishment

Permanent employees whose positions are abolished during a period of layoff are entitled to the rights identified in the directive Employee Eligibility for Position Abolishment Entitlements, except for the right to a 90-day paid notice period and the right to time off with pay to attend job interviews. Eligibility criteria in that directive will apply.

About this directive

Authority:Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:July 1, 2001
Contact:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Labour and Employment Policy