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Casual and Other Leave

See what leave options are available for handling personal matters that can’t be cared for outside of work hours, like moving, getting a checkup, volunteering, or caring for a loved one. These apply to all employees, except relief employees and those employed by the NWT Power Corporation.

*IMPORTANT* Whatever the situation, approval from your manager or supervisor is necessary prior to taking any type of leave.


  • An employee is expected to report to duty and work unless on authorized leave.
  • An employee who is unable to report to duty and work is required to call his/her supervisor or designate, personally, at the start of the workday. The employee is required to request leave and to provide an indication of the expected length of the absence. In some instances, leave may be conditionally approved. Conditional approval is based on the information available at the time that leave is requested. Conditional approval of leave is not a guarantee that full approval will be granted when complete facts are known.
  • An employee is responsible for understanding the type of leave set out in the terms and conditions of his/her employment with the Public Service. Terms and conditions of employment include information found in collective agreements, employees’ handbooks, the Code of Conduct and the Public Service Act and regulations. An employee who is unsure of what leave he/she is entitled to should speak to his/her supervisor or Management and Recruitment Services team member.
  • One type of leave cannot be substituted for another type of leave except in exceptional circumstances. For example, if an employee calls in sick and upon return to work finds he/she does not have enough sick leave credits, he/she cannot request annual leave. The leave will be taken as sick leave without pay (SLWOP).
  • An employee is required to complete an application for leave for all leave or time off other than the following:
    • Casual leave of less than two hours to attend an appointment with a doctor, dentist, lawyer, or appointments with school authorities during working hours;
    • Time off for special occasions, such as local winter festivals, approved by the Deputy Minister of the Department of Finance;
    • Time off for voting in a federal, territorial or municipal election; or
    • Mandatory leave without pay if the employee is in a non-continuous position.
  • Except where otherwise established in these guidelines and subject to departmental practice, the employee's immediate supervisor is normally the individual who may approve leave.
  • Eligible employees earn annual, sick and special leave credits each fiscal year. An employee is entitled to be paid for authorized leave in the following circumstances:
    • Vacation leave (including winter bonus days);
    • Sick leave;
    • Injury-on-duty leave;
    • Court leave;
    • Special leave;
    • Time off in lieu of overtime payment;
    • Medical travel time;
    • Work-related training leave; and
    • Union leave.
  • The employee and the immediate supervisor are jointly responsible for the completion and authorization of a request for leave for:

    Verbal approval must be sought at the earliest reasonable opportunity. Entry into PeopleSoft self-service must be completed immediately after the employee returns from leave.

    • Leave taken without prior (verbal) approval (e.g., emergency leave, special leave for the death of a relative or special leave for illness of a relative, etc.);
    • Restoration of leave when recalled from vacation leave; or
    • Any change in a previously approved leave after the leave has started.


  • The employee discusses the request for leave with the supervisor. This should be done as far in advance as possible so that the supervisor can plan for operational requirements and service delivery during the employee's absence
  • The employee records the actual hours of leave requested into PeopleSoft self-service
  • The supervisor as appropriate (i.e., employee has enough leave credits) approves the following types of leave:
    • Annual leave;
    • Winter bonus days;
    • Sick leave (including medical travel leave);
    • Special leave; 
    • Time off in lieu of overtime pay; and
    • Court leave
  • The following leave must be submitted to the appropriate Management and Recruitment client service centre for processing
    • Injury-on-duty leave;
    • Maternity leave;
    • Adoption leave;
    • Parental leave;
    • Civic leave;
    • Other leave with pay (i.e., leave to lecture in a field of employment; Union business; sporting events; or firefighting and Civil Air Search and Rescue);
    • Leave without pay greater than five days; and
    • Deferred salary leave plan.
  • Upon receipt of the verified Request for Time Off Work, the appropriate departmental designate completes the approval. When leave is denied or modified, the departmental designate will contact the employee and explain the reason for the denial or modification.
  • When the form is approved, the leave administrator distributes it as noted on the three-part form. The leave administrator enters the leave taken into the HRIS.
  • During the month of May in each year, the Employer shall inform each employee in writing of the balance of his/her special, sick and vacation leave credits as of the 31st day of March.
  • Employees are required to confirm their agreement of the balance by June 30, or raise specific concerns with the Department of Finance.

Authorities and References

Public Service Regulations Section 22 - 40, Leaves of Absence

Main Collective Agreement with UNW - Article 17, Leave - General

Collective Agreement with NWTTA - Article 13, 14, 15

Senior Managers' Handbook - Leave

Excluded Employees' Handbook - Leave

Northwest Territories Elections Act - Section 123. (1)

Canada Elections Act - Section 132. (1)