This directive describes the process for placing a surplus employee in another position and for determining the employee's salary.

A surplus employee is a permanent employee who has been notified of position abolishment verbally but not in writing. Surplus employees are not entitled to position abolishment provisions until they receive written notice. The Department will notify the Union thirty calendar days in advance of any formal position abolishment notice being provided to employees covered by the Master Collective Agreement.

Please note: Bargaining Unit employees must refer to the Collective Agreement for the most current information.

Placement process

Departments are encouraged to place a surplus employee in another position when possible to avoid serving position abolishment notices, and to consider a surplus employee for a position first, ahead of employees who are not impacted by downsizing and the general public.

When a position becomes available and requires recruitment, departments must check the position abolishment inventory. If no employees have rights to the vacancy, departments are encouraged to review the surplus employee inventory and, where more than one surplus employee is suitably qualified, initiate a competitive process for selecting one of these employees.

The employer's obligations change if the employee's status shifts from surplus to abolished. To determine the employee's status, the department should find out if written position abolishment notice has been served.

Departments add the names of employees whose positions are to be abolished in the Workforce Adjustment Details module of IMAGIS, so their names can be added to the surplus employee inventory. The employees should be made aware of and should agree to having their names entered on the inventory. Forward the names of affected employees to the Public Service Commissioner's Office.

When a surplus employee is selected for placement in another position, the employee is appointed through an exemption from competition under 16(3)c of the Public Service Act, which covers the effective use of employees. Note that an exemption from competition is not required in a restructuring, where employees are confirmed in their job without significant changes in their duties.

A surplus employee appointed to a lower-level position is considered to have accepted a demotion and no further consideration needs to be extended.

Salary treatment

If a surplus employee is offered a position with a lower maximum salary, you can hold the salary over-range (allow it to exceed the maximum salary for the employee's assigned classification) or follow the salary determination provisions outlined under the demotion provisions in the directive Salary Determination During Position Abolishment.

Other options for salary treatment include:

  • offering a reduced over-range salary
  • phasing in a salary reduction
  • offering a salary in the range of the new class

About this directive

Authority: Collective Agreement, Article 15
Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 880 KB)
Application: Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date: June 1, 1999 (updated December 1, 2011)
Contact: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Talent Acquisition and Mobility