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0810 - Civic Leave

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  1. The Government allows employees to take time off from work to serve as members of community councils, public boards and committees.
  2. The Government allows eligible employees to attend treaty day celebrations.



  1. These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees, except casuals, and those employed by the NWT Power Corporation.



  1. Official functions, meetings or hearings mean minuted meetings, in-camera sessions or public hearings that have been organized and are directly related to the functioning of the organization and its core business.  Training sessions, seminars, general assemblies, or attendance at various functions as a representative of an organization are not official functions.
  2. Public service organizations, boards or aboriginal organizations mean those specifically identified in the guidelines section.  This is an exhaustive list.



  1. Employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to schedule civic duties outside of working hours.
  2. Civic leave is limited to 15 days per fiscal year per employee.  Employees do not earn civic leave credits.
  3. Civic leave will be granted only where operational requirements permit the employee's absence.
  4. Civic leave can only be granted in situations where the employee has requested and received prior approval from the Deputy Head to be a member of the approved organization as required by the GNWT Code of Conduct.
  5. An employee who is elected or appointed to the identified public service organizations may be permitted civic leave to participate in the official functions of these organizations.  Deputy Head approval for involvement in civic activities does not guarantee approval of civic leave.
  6. Civic leave is NOT provided to attend official meetings, conferences or training on behalf of an identified organization.  For example, attending a meeting with a local business as a representative of the town council or as a representative of a band at a Water Board hearing or attending an annual conference is not appropriate use of civic leave.
  7. Civic leave may be approved under the following circumstances:
    1. an employee requests leave to attend official functions or meetings of the following public service organizations:
      1. Settlement councils, hamlet councils, band councils, town councils, city councils, community councils and community justice committees.  (These organizations are encouraged to continue conducting meetings on weekends or after normal working hours);
      2. Local education authorities and school boards (including the NWT School Trustees Association);
      3. Social assistance appeal committees;
      4. NWT Association of Municipalities;
      5. St. John Ambulance.
    2. an employee has been appointed to one of the following Public Service Boards and requests leave to attend hearings or official meetings:
      1. Apprentice and Tradesman Qualification Board;
      2. Caribou Management Board (Federal and Territorial Governments);
      3. Dehcho Health and Social Services Board;
      4. Tlicho Community Services Agency;
      5. Forest Fire Management Board;
      6. Fort Smith Health and Social Services Board;
      7. Hay River Community Health Board;
      8. Inuvik Regional Health and Social Services Board;
      9. NWT Status of Women Council;
      10. NWT Arts Advisory Council;
      11. NWT Legal Services Board;
      12. NWT Liquor Licensing Board;
      13. NWT Public Utilities Board;
      14. NWT Social Assistance Appeal Board;
      15. NWT Water Board;
      16. Science Institute;
      17. Stanton Territorial Health Board;
      18. Workers' Compensation Board;
      19. NWT Literacy Council Board.
    3. an employee is an executive member or a board member of a native organization and requests leave to attend official meetings of the following organizations or their affiliates:
      1. Dene Nation;
      2. Metis Nation;
      3. Native Womens' Association of the NWT;
      4. Native Communications Society of the Western NWT;
      5. NWT Friendship Centres;
      6. NWT Native Arts & Crafts Society.
    4. Dene employees with treaty status who request one-half day leave per year to attend treaty day celebrations in their community.  Distribution of treaty cheques is considered a celebration.
    5. On the anniversary date their particular land claim was signed, employees who are land claim beneficiaries may request one day of leave per year to attend land claim celebrations in their community of residence.  A beneficiary is defined as a person enrolled as a participant in a land claim pursuant to the terms and conditions of eligibility stated in the claim's final agreement.
  8. Travel time required to participate in a function approved for civic leave is included in the civic leave entitlement.  This applies when an employee must travel between the normal place of work and the destination.  Duty travel does not, under any circumstances, apply to activities related to civic leave.
  9. Civic leave may be granted with or without pay depending upon the circumstances:
    1. Where the employee will receive an honorarium equal to or greater than the daily rate of pay, civic leave is granted without pay;
    2. Where the employee is entitled to an honorarium which is less than the daily rate of pay, civic leave will be granted with pay and the employee must relinquish the entitlement to any honorarium;
    3. Where an honorarium is not received, leave is granted with full pay;
    4. For appointments under 12(b) that may be considered an extension of the employee's duties, the employee is deemed to be "on-duty" when attending hearings.



  1. An employee submits an application for civic leave with attached supporting documentation (i.e., letter from organization about board meeting).
  2. The Deputy Head approves or denies the request.
  3. Where civic leave is granted without pay, a copy of the Deputy Head's approval is sent to the appropriate pay office to ensure that the appropriate pay action is initiated.


Authorities and References

Executive Council
Record of Recommendation 82-29-11, Civic Leave Directive

Ministerial Direction
Minister's Statement, June 25, 1991
Minister's Letter, March 29, 1995

GNWT Code of Conduct, 2022