Leave of absence without pay directive

This directive covers leaves of absence without pay for Alberta Public Service managers and opted-out and excluded employees.


This directive describes how managers and opted out and excluded employees request a leave of absence without pay, benefit coverage during a leave of absence, and what happens when they return to work or resign during the leave.

Entitlements for bargaining unit employees are contained in the Collective Agreement.

"Leave of absence without pay" means a period of time away from work for which employees are not paid. A compensation reduction day is not a leave of absence without pay.

Requesting a leave without pay

An employee may request a leave of absence without pay for any reason. The deputy head may place an employee on a leave of absence without pay if the absence is in the department's best interest.

Benefit coverage

If an employee is granted a leave without pay, and is covered by Alberta Health Care, the Dental Plan, Prescription Drug Plan, Extended Medical Benefits Plan, or the Group Life Insurance Plan, the employee will continue to be covered by these plans for the duration of the leave. The employee and the employer will continue to pay their respective premiums for these plans.

In order to ensure continued coverage employees are responsible for paying their premium costs during periods of leave without pay. Failure by the employee to remit premiums when due will result in termination of benefits for the employee and all enrolled dependents. The employer must provide a minimum of two weeks’ written notice prior to terminating the benefit plan coverage.

The employer retains the right to recover from the employee’s pay any outstanding benefit plan premiums that are in arrears.

Returning to work

After a leave of absence, an employee will return to the employee's position or, if the employee is a manager, to the same or a similar position.

Resigning while on a leave of absence without pay

If an employee resigns while on a leave of absence without pay, the date of termination will be the date the employee's department receives notification that the employee is resigning. Departments are not required to accept the resignation if it takes effect in the future.

Related information

For more information on leaves of absence, see directives Leave of Absence with Pay and Types of Leave.

About this directive

Authority:Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:March 5, 2019
Contact:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Labour and Employment Policy