Special leave directive

This directive covers the types of special leave allowed for Alberta Public Service managers, and opted out and excluded employees.


This directive describes types of special leave for managers and opted out or excluded employees, the maximum number of days allowed for each circumstance, and management flexibility in administering special leave.

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

Special leave is leave granted with pay to allow employees to deal with personal situations that arise outside the workplace. The maximum leave available is ten (10) days in a calendar year except with the approval of the deputy head.

Employees may be entitled to additional unpaid leaves of absence under the Employment Standards Code to deal with personal situations that arise outside of the workplace.


An employee’s manager or supervisor will grant special leave with pay at the employee’s regular salary as follows:

  • up to ten (10) days for illness of the employee’s spouse or benefit partner, or any of the following relatives of the employee or the employee’s spouse or benefit partner:
    • parent
    • guardian
    • parent-in-law
    • grandparent
    • grandchild
    • child
    • step-child
    • relative who permanently resides with the employee
  • up to ten (10) days in the event of the death of the employee’s spouse or benefit partner or the death of any of the following relatives of an employee, or the employee's spouse or benefit partner: A parent, guardian, parent-in-law, grandparent, child, step-child, grandchild, brother, sister, or the spouse or benefit partner of any of above relatives
  • if these illnesses or deaths result in the employee traveling long distances or to remote areas; travel time is allowable within the ten (10) days specified for illness and bereavement above
  • up to three (3) days for personal leave
  • personal day shall apply to conditions that require an employee to be away from work for personal reasons
  • up to five (5) days for domestic violence leave in the event the employee requires time off for one or more of the purposes set out in section 53.981(4) of the Employment Standards Code.
    • to obtain services from a victim services organization
    • to allow the employee, employee’s dependent child or the protected adult to obtain psychological or other professional counselling
    • to relocate (temporarily or permanently)
    • to seek legal or law enforcement assistance, including time relating to legal proceedings
    • any other purpose provided for in the regulations


The total special leave an employee may be granted in any calendar year will not exceed ten (10) work days without the approval of the deputy head.

The maximums identified for each kind of special leave are work days in a calendar year. They will apply for each instance for which an employee requests special leave.

A deputy head may exceed the maximums identified for each instance of special leave for a manager.

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