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1201 - Dependants of Employees

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Contents

Introduction

  1. The Government provides various benefits to dependants of employees.

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Application

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

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Definitions

  1. Dependant
    1. For employees in the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) bargaining unit, the excluded group and managers includes the following:
      • an employee's spouse (including common-law) who is residing with the employee;
      • a child, step child, adopted child, or foster child residing with the employee who is:
        • under 21 and is dependent on the employee for support;
        • over 21 and is dependent because of a physical or mental illness.
      • a relative of the employee who is residing with the employee and is totally dependent because of a physical or mental illness
    2. For employees in the NWT Teachers' Association (NWTTA) bargaining unit, dependant includes the following:
      • an employee's spouse (including common-law) who is residing with the employee;
      • a child of the employee who is under 21 and is attending school outside the employee's home community or is dependent upon the employee for support;
      • a child who is over 21 and is a dependant because of a physical or mental illness;
      • a relative of the employee who is residing with the employee and is totally dependent on the employee for support because of a physical or mental illness.
  2. Reside with is to live in the same dwelling. Normally this will be the place where the person receives mail, keeps personal property, and spends a majority of the time.
  3. Common-law spouse is a person who has lived with the employee for a period of at least one continuous year, has been publicly represented as the employee's spouse and intends to continue to live with the employee as their spouse.

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Guidelines

  1. Proof must be supplied as follows in these cases:
    • a physical or mental illness requires a medical statement;
    • joint custody of a child requires proof of custody; and
    • a spouse's or child's attendance at a post-secondary institution requires a statement from the school's registrar.
    The proof must be renewed at the start of every fiscal year. For teachers, the renewal must be at the start of every school year. If this renewal is not provided, benefits for the dependant will cease.
  1. If dependants do not move with the employee on initial hire or transfer, they are not considered to be residing with the employee until they move to the employee's new dwelling.

Employees in the UNW Bargaining Unit, Excluded Group and Managers

  1. A person is considered to be residing with an employee in the following cases:
    • A child under 21 who attends school or university outside the employee's home community, but maintains the employee's home as a permanent residence and returns to the employee's home during school breaks (the child must return and live in the employee's home for at least three months of the year). Proof of departure and return may be required to confirm the student lived in the employee's community for at least three months.
    • A child under 21 who attends high school or elementary school outside the employee's home or community and that level of schooling is not available in the home community.
    • The employee has joint custody of a child under 21, but the child lives for the majority (50% or more) of the time with the employee. If custody is evenly split, the child can be considered to reside with the employee. If both parents are employees of the Government, only one parent can claim the child.
    • A child under 21 or a spouse who is institutionalized for medical reasons but returns to live with the employee during the year and maintains the employee's residence as his or her permanent address.
    • A spouse who attends a post-secondary institution and returns to live with the employee for at least three months of the year.

Employees in the NWTTA Bargaining Unit

  1. Normally a spouse must actually live with the employee on a continuous basis to be considered as residing with the employee. However, the NWTTA Collective Agreement contains a Memorandum of Understanding under which exceptions may be made to this on a case by case basis. Exceptions may be made where:
    • the spouse is institutionalized;
    • the spouse is living in another community to care for the employee's child who requires special schooling. This does not apply where the special schooling is available in the employee's home community;
    • the spouse is living in another community to care for the employee's child who requires specialized medical attention; or
    • the spouse is attending a post-secondary institution and returns to live with the employee for at least three months of the year.

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Procedures

  1. The Department of Human Resources ensures that all requirements of dependency are met before providing benefits to an employee's dependants. This includes determining if the dependant resides with the employee.
  2. These guidelines should be used to determine residency.
  3. If an unusual circumstance exists and an interpretation is required, Labour Relations should be consulted.
  4. If a listed dependant does not meet the residency requirements, the person is not considered a dependant and benefits are not provided.

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Authorities and References

Main Collective Agreement with the UNW
Article 2, Interpretation and Definitions

Collective Agreement with the NWTTA
Article 2, Interpretation and Definitions
Memorandum of Understanding, Dependant

Managers' Handbook
Definition, Dependant

Excluded Employees' Handbook
Definition, Dependant

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