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1009 - Pay for Performance

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  1. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) believes that employees should be compensated for their outstanding achievements and contributions.



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



  1. Performance Development System is the system selected by Departments, Boards and Agencies in which:
    1. At the beginning of the review period, the major individual and group assignments, goals and objectives and the expected levels of individual achievements and contributions to group assignments are identified, and
    2. At the end of the review period the demonstrated level of achievements and contributions, and if applicable, the degree to which expected levels were exceeded are identified.
  2. Outstanding Achievements are achievements that exceed the expected level of achievement and performance required for the position.
  3. Outstanding Contributions are contributions that exceed the expected level of contributions of the position.
  4. Salary Increments are step increases to the annual rates of pay within the salary range of the position.
  5. Bonuses are lump sum amounts that are paid to employees but which are not added to base salary.
  6. Fiscal Year/Review Period is a one-year period from April 1st to March 31st.



  1. Deputy Heads are responsible for determining which employees should be awarded pay for performance in their Department, Board or Agency. The Deputy Head must approve all pay for performance salary increments and bonuses.
  2. Pay for performance salary increments and bonuses are based on the following criteria:
    1. Completion of an annual employee performance review;
    2. Demonstration of outstanding achievements and contributions; and
    3. Recommendations from managers.
  3. Pay for performance salary increments and bonuses will be issued once per year.
  4. Pay for performance increments are in addition to normal annual pay increments.
  5. Employees are not informed of their recommendation for pay for performance until after final Deputy Head approval has been given.
  6. The number of pay for performance awards in each Department, Board or Agency is restricted to 20% of excluded employees in that Department, Board or Agency for the review period.
  7. Where a Deputy Head feels an exception should be made to the 20% limitation, a rationale should be prepared and attached to the list of recipients provided to the Department of Finance.
  8. Employees whose overall achievements and contributions exceed the expected level of achievements and contributions for their position may receive, upon the approval of the Deputy Head:
    1.  A one-time Pay for Performance bonus of up to a maximum of 3.5% to reflect the degree to which expected levels of achievements and contributions are exceeded as provided for in the Performance Development Program.
  9. Pay for performance salary increments and bonuses are awarded for performance for the previous fiscal year, and are effective April 1st of the year immediately following the year to which the salary increment or bonus applies. Bonuses are calculated on the pay grid for the previous fiscal year.
  10. Pay for performance is not referenced in an employee’s performance evaluation.
  11. Deputy Heads will submit to the Deputy Minister of Finance a report outlining pay for performance activities during the previous year. Deputy Heads are encouraged to make decisions on pay for performance by June 30 of each year.



  1. The Department of Finance provides each Deputy Head with a list of incumbents in excluded positions within their Department, Board or Agency and a sample call letter.
  2. Deputy Heads initiate a process within their organization to determine candidates for pay for performance. Deputy Heads may choose to use the Criteria for Pay for Performance to assist with decisionmaking.
  3. The Deputy Head reviews the nominations. Only nominations that have been substantiated will be considered.
  4. The Deputy Head informs the Client Service Manager of the approved nominations. The Client Service Manager prepares a departmental Pay for Performance summary report and transmittal letter for the Deputy Head to forward to the Deputy Minister of Finance by June 30 of each year, along with the rationale for exceptions to the 20% limitation if necessary.
  5. At the Deputy Head’s request, the Client Service Manager drafts a notification letterfor the Deputy Head’s signature informing the employee that he/she has been selected and approved for pay for performance.
  6. The Deputy Minister of Finance ensures the pay for performance as outlined in the summary is processed.


Authorities and References

Human Resources Manual
Excluded Employees' Handbook
Pay for Performance
Performance Evaluation
NWTTA Collective Agreement Article 15.04