Types of leave directive

This directive covers the types of special leave allowed for Alberta Public Service employees.


This directive describes types of leave and provides guidelines for each type of leave. This directive applies to management, opted out and excluded, and bargaining unit employees unless otherwise specified.

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) president or secretary-treasurer

Employees elected to either position will be granted a leave of absence without pay for the duration of the appointment. On return to work, the employee will be placed in a position and the employee's salary will be adjusted as if he/she had been at work during the leave. The employee's salary will also be protected over-range if the new classification is lower than the one he/she was in when the leave began. The employee will be paid for any vacation he/she had earned but not taken before assuming the AUPE position.

Job interviews

Departments should provide time off with pay for employees to attend job interviews if their position has been affected by an employer-initiated action such as downsizing or restructuring. The deputy head may grant the time off with or without pay for job interviews initiated by the employee for positions that are not in the Alberta public service.

National or international amateur athletic and cultural events

Athlete or participant means an employee who will actually compete in the event. Technical official means an employee who is required to officiate or judge the event. Organizer means the employee who will assist with the organization or staging of the event (i.e. chairperson, director, event coordinator or other similar capacities). Volunteers are persons who participate in the support functions required to stage the games (a range of duties such as: ushers, first aid attendants, security guards, guides, etc.).

The Deputy Head may, within reasonable time limits, grant time off if the employee is an athlete, participant, technical official or organizer. The employee must be invited to represent Alberta or Canada by the official sanctioning body. Deputy Heads should satisfy themselves that the written requests emanate from the main organizing committee of the event, and ensure that their departments keep a record of the time off.

Volunteers should be encouraged, insofar as possible, to carry out volunteer activities during their non-working hours. Leave with pay (other than vacation leave and compensatory leave already earned) should not be granted. Employees who request earned vacation leave to coincide with their volunteer involvement should be accommodated wherever possible.

An athletic event includes the Olympics, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, World University Games, World Track and Field Championships, Canada Summer and Winter Games, and those provincial, national, or international qualifying events.

An amateur cultural event includes the performing, visual, film or literary arts, library development, cultural heritage, historical resources, and national or international study programs such as those sponsored by UNESCO.

The deputy head may grant up to two weeks of leave with pay in any given year. This leave will not be granted with pay more than three years in a row. Deputy Heads may, within reasonable limits, grant time off to technical officials, organizers and athletes in addition to the provisions of this Directive.

Addiction rehabilitation or medical orientation program

Employees will be granted time off with pay to attend an addiction rehabilitation or medical orientation program in which the employee or the employee's spouse is participating. The Employee and Family Assistance Program will help a department determine if the rehabilitation program is recognized. Most programs that employees would attend as a participant generally last 28 days. Most programs only require the attendance of the spouse for part of the rehabilitation program, usually 7 days. Employees will also be granted time off with pay to attend a medical orientation for a spouse's illness, such as diabetes.

Canadian blood services blood donor

Employees may be granted time off with pay to donate blood.

Attendance at local parades

Employees may be granted leave with pay to attend community-sponsored parades such as the Edmonton Klondike or Calgary Stampede parades. Since these events are not official holidays, government offices must remain open. If employees remain at work to maintain service, they are not entitled to equal time off or additional pay of any kind.

Adverse weather

Time off can take the form of absences, late arrivals, or early departures. The deputy head will determine when the weather conditions in any location warrant leave with pay.

Employee representatives of the members benefit fund board of trustees

The employer has agreed to provide representatives with one day off per month with pay. Any time required in excess of one day will be a leave without pay that can be processed in accordance with Article 11.04 of the Master Agreement.


Management and opted out or excluded employees may be granted military leave with pay if:

  • the employee's services are required by the Department of National Defense (Canada), the employee volunteers for service, or the employee is conscripted into the armed forces for the duration of a civil or national emergency
  • the employee volunteers for military training or duty for a period not exceeding six weeks or to attend an annual training or summer camp for a period not exceeding ten days

Military leave entitlements for bargaining unit employees are contained in the Collective Agreement.

Religious holidays

Employees may be granted leave without pay to observe a religious holiday.

Public office

Employees elected to a public office other than with the federal and provincial governments (for example, Alberta School Trustee), may be granted leave without pay to attend Board meetings or other functions related to the office.


A deputy head may authorize a leave of absence with or without pay for management employees who request leave for a personal reason.

Foreign service secondment

All foreign service secondment arrangements will be discussed with the Public Service Commissioner before approvals are granted. The requirement to take a vacation within specified time frames may also be waived during the foreign service secondment.


The deputy head may approve an employee's request for secondment to another employer or the employer may place an employee on a secondment to another employer when it is in the best interest of the department, for the employee's development, or at the request of another employer. Secondments are considered leaves of absence with pay.


The deputy head may approve leave of absence with or without pay for educational reasons as described in the directive Workforce Development Overview.

Related information

For more information on leaves of absence, see directives Leave of Absence With Pay and Leave of Absence Without Pay.

Voting in Federal, Provincial or Municipal Elections

The Canada Elections Act, Alberta Election Act and Alberta Local Authorities Election Act stipulate an employee, who qualifies as an elector, will be allowed three consecutive hours during the period polls are open, to vote in federal, provincial or municipal elections.

Employees who work the normal daily hours of 8:15 am to 4:30 pm on Election Day do not require time off when the polls close at 7:30 pm or later.

For employees who work shifts, work irregular hours or vote at an advance poll, departments should ensure the employee's work schedule allows for the required three consecutive hours. Employees will not be deducted salary for time off to vote.

About this directive

Authority:Public Service Employment Regulation – Section 84 and Section 89
Application:Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:April 1, 1999
Contact:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Labour and Employment Policy