This directive describes the 180-day vesting period, including what happens when the written notice period expires and when vested rights are waived or lost. It covers vesting period rights and communication during the vesting period.

Unless otherwise specified, this directive applies to bargaining unit, opted out, excluded, and management employees whose positions are abolished.

Please note: This is suspended to March 30, 2020 for permanent Bargaining Unit employees due to Letter of Understanding #17 in the Collective Agreement (Employment Security). Bargaining Unit employees must refer to the Collective Agreement for the most current information.

Expiry of written notice period

At the end of the 90-calendar day written notice period, if the employee selected the priority placement option and is not employed in any capacity within the Alberta Public Service, the employee is released from the public service.

At least two weeks before the end of the 90-calendar day written notice period, the department's human resources office should forward a follow-up letter to employees confirming the following:

  • the date of position abolishment
  • employees' vested rights or the right to waive vested rights and receive severance pay
  • the status of employees' benefits upon termination
  • that during the 180-calendar day vesting period, employees may still apply for consideration in limited competitions and competitions in the department from which they were abolished

After the 90-calendar day written notice period expires, an employee enters a vesting period of 180 consecutive calendar days during which they continue to be considered for priority placement. The vesting period starts the day after the notice period expires. For example, if the notice period expired June 13, the vesting period would start June 14 and end December 10.

Vesting period rights

During the 180-calendar day vesting period, employees' rights are not affected if they:

  • accept employment insurance payments
  • accept a position in the Alberta Public Service that pays a lower maximum salary than the abolished position
  • accept temporary or wage employment
  • accept a job with another employer (other than arranged continuing employment)
  • refuse a referral to a comparable position (that is, choose not to compete)

The end date of the 180-calendar day vesting period is not affected if employees accept a non-comparable position.

Waiving vested rights

Employees may choose to waive their vested rights at any time during the vesting period and to receive position abolishment severance pay.

Communication during the vesting period

During the vesting period, the employing department's human resources office communicates with employees as follows:

  • provides employees with a package of letters indicating their eligibility to apply for limited competitions
  • notifies employees of departmental competitions
  • at least two weeks before the end of the vesting period, forwards a letter to employees to advise them of the expiry date of the vesting period and their eligibility or non-eligibility for severance pay
  • sends employees a follow-up letter confirming the vesting period expiry date if they have been placed in another permanent position with a lower salary or in a temporary position, and still maintain vested rights

Loss of vested rights

Employees may forfeit vested rights if they refuse to accept, without satisfactory reason, another permanent position that meets the employer's obligation as outlined in the position abolishment provisions of the Collective Agreement or the Public Service Employment Regulation (PDF, 880 KB).

Employees may not lose their vested rights if their reasons for refusing another position are based on the following:

  • relocation (that is, the position would move the employee to a workplace outside a reasonable commuting distance from the employee's residence)
  • disability (for example, the position involves heavy lifting, or wheelchair access is not provided)
  • the position has a lower maximum salary
  • the position is non-comparable
  • the employee chooses not to compete for the position
  • other reasons as determined by the employing department in consultation with PSC

Benefit coverage during the vesting period

Non-bargaining unit employees will continue to be eligible and covered in the following benefit plans during the vesting period: Dental Plan, Extended Medical Plan, Prescription Drug Plan, Health Spending Account, and Group Life Insurance Plan.

Bargaining unit employees are eligible for similar coverage (see the Collective Agreement for specific information).

The employer and the employee will continue to pay their respective portions of the applicable premium costs.

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 February 1, 2013)
Contact: Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Talent Acquisition and Mobility