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1408 - Transfer Assignments

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Contents

Introduction

  1. A transfer assignment provides an opportunity for an employee to gain a broader range of work experience, and therefore have knowledge and skills to meet the changing demands of the work environment. It also provides an opportunity for Departments to make use of an employee's expertise.  This is done by providing short-term assignments for employees in their home Department, or another location within the Public Service.

Application

  1. These guidelines and procedures apply to all Departments and Agencies, except the NWT Power Corporation.

Definitions

  1. Department is any Department or Agency of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) whose employees are public servants under the Public Service Act.
  2. Deputy Head is any deputy minister of a department, superintendent of a divisional education council, chief executive officer or president of a board, authority, agency or any such person as may be appointed as a deputy head.
  3. Transfer Agreement is a binding contract for the temporary redeployment of an employee. The document specifies the terms of the agreement between the Employing Department, the Receiving Department (if applicable) and the Transferee.
  4. Departmental Transfer is the temporary redeployment of an employee within the same Department.
  5. Interdepartmental Transfer is the temporary redeployment of an employee from one Department to another Department.
  6. Transferee is the employee who is redeployed under the terms and conditions of a formal transfer agreement.
  7. Employing Department is the Department where the employee is employed before commencing the transfer.
  8. Receiving Department is the Department where the transferee will be working during the assignment.
  9. Developmental Plan is a document that details the objectives and methods by which the employee will enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities through the transfer assignment.

Guidelines

  1. The Public Service Act Regulations require that selection of employees for promotion or transfer be based on merit, with a view to developing a public service staffed by competent, well-qualified employees.
  2. Transfer assignments are used to:
    1. Meet immediate operational requirements;
    2. Contribute to an employee's career development;
    3. Redeploy an affected employee;
    4. Address unique human resource considerations; or
    5. Cover acting periods greater than six weeks (see Section 1007- Responsibility Allowance).
  3. Transfer assignments are available to employees who:
    1. Have indeterminate or term positions; and
    2. Have successfully completed the probationary period in their current position.
  4. The Department of Human Resources is responsible for the coordination and processing of all transfer assignments.
  5. An employee interested in a transfer assignment opportunity should discuss the possibility of a transfer assignment with his/her supervisor.  Approval for a transfer assignment opportunity is subject to operational requirements and may be refused for operational reasons.
  6. An indeterminate employee may apply on a term position and request a transfer assignment.
  7. The Deputy Head of the Employing Department is the approval authority for all departmental transfers.
  8. Deputy Heads of the Employing and Receiving Department are the approval authority for all interdepartmental transfers.
  9. An extension of the term of a transfer assignment requires mutual consent of all parties to the agreement.
  10. Open competitions for term or indeterminate appointments that offer a transfer opportunity to GNWT employees will adhere to the staffing guidelines and are subject to the Staffing Appeals Regulations.
  11. The term of a transfer assignment done through open competition, including extensions, shall not exceed three years. Deputy Heads of the Receiving and Employing Departments may extend the transfer assignment by one year through mutual agreement of all parties.
  12. The Receiving Department assumes the full costs associated with the transfer. These include, but are not limited to, paying the moving expenses of the transferee to the assignment location and back to the permanent place of employment, duty travel expenses, salary, benefits and any other costs associated with the transfer.
  13. The Employing or Receiving Department will make every reasonable effort to a transferee, that upon completion of the transfer assignment, a position will be available in the Department at a salary level at least equivalent to the transferee's salary, prior to the transfer. This includes any increases or increments that would have occurred while the transferee was on assignment. The respective Department identified in the Transfer Assignment Agreement and the transferee may negotiate more specific arrangements about the location of the position.
  14. The Employing Department may guarantee the transferee their original position and position number at the end of the transfer.
  15. The Department will make every reasonable effort to ensure that term employees may return to their original position at the end of their term of employment, which generally cannot exceed 48 months of continuous employment.  For Union of Northern Worker (UNW) members, an extension beyond 48 months in one position requires consultation with the UNW.
  16. An employee in a term position, who is approved for a transfer assignment, must be extended (if required) in his/her home position in the Employing Department for the duration of the transfer assignment.  Generally term employment in one position in a particular Department or Agency cannot exceed 48 months of continuous employment.  For UNW members, an extension beyond 48 months in one position requires consultation with the UNW.
  17. Transfer assignments may be filled without open competition if the assignment is:
    1. One year or less and where a transfer is required to address an immediate operational need; or
    2. Two years or less and where a transfer assignment will address the development needs of an existing employee consistent with their personal development plan.
  18. Transfer assignments filled through a) or b) may be extended for up to one year.  The Deputy Head must provide the Department of Human Resources with a written rationale for the extension. 

The rationale should, but is not limited to, include:

  • Why the operational need was not met within the one-year time frame?
  • Why the operational need could not be met through the open competition process?
  • Explanation of why results identified in the developmental plan were not met?
  • Explanation of what would happen if the transfer assignment was not extended? 
  • Has the Deputy Head of the Employing Department been given sufficient notice and agrees to the extension of the transfer assignment?
  • Will the extension of the transfer assignment negatively impact the Employing Department’s operational requirements?
  1. Transfer assignments of more than one year to address an operational need or more than two years for employee development, may be filled through a limited competition.
  2. Where an employee is identified for a transfer assignment with development needs, the supervisor will complete a developmental plan to address the development needs.
  3. Transfer assignments may be terminated at the request of any one party upon 30 days notice to all parties.
  4. Where transfer assignments are terminated upon 30 days notice and the transferee is a term employee, either the Employing or Receiving Department will make every reasonable effort to provide alternate employment at a salary level at least equivalent to the transferee’s salary prior to the transfer, for the duration of the transferee’s term of employment.  The appropriate Department will be identified in the transfer assignment agreement.
  5. Pay for transfer assignments is generally calculated as a standard promotion, transfer or voluntary demotion.
  6. Transfer assignments are reported in the Public Service Annual Report.

Procedures

  1. The supervisor discusses the need for a transfer assignment with a client service representative to determine if a transfer assignment is appropriate, and its proposed format.
  2. If the transfer assignment is to be filled without open competition, the supervisor, with the assistance of a client service representative, selects the appropriate applicant. Once the selection has been made:
    1. the Deputy Head and the transferee agree on the terms of the transfer assignment;
    2. the Human Resources Officer prepares a transfer agreement outlining the responsibilities of all parties; and
    3. the Deputy Head(s) and transferee sign the transfer document.
  3. If the transfer assignment is to be filled through the limited competition process or open competition process, a client service representative proceeds with the competition as per the staffing guidelines.  Once the selection has been made and all parties have agreed to the terms:
    1. A client service representative prepares the transfer agreement outlining the responsibilities of all parties;
    2. The Deputy Head(s) and the transferee sign the transfer document; and
    3. If in the event the Employing Department is unable to guarantee the transferee a position at the end of the assignment period, the Receiving Department can guarantee a position to the employee. When this occurs, the transfer assignment does not require the Employing Department’s Deputy Head’s approval.
  4. If a term employee is selected for a transfer assignment, a client service representative will confirm the period of employment.  If necessary, the client service representative will complete the paperwork to extend the employee in his/her home position to cover the duration of the transfer assignment.  The client service representative shall ensure that the employee is not employed beyond the 48 months of continuous employment limit for terms.
  5. At least one month prior to expiry of a transfer assignment, the respective Department identified in the transfer assignment agreement will identify a position to which the transferee will return and will notify a client service representative.  The client service representative will facilitate the transferee’s return and the completion of all required documents.
  6. The respective Department identified in the transfer assignment agreement will initiate the Staff Retention Policy, with the assistance of a client service representative, if a reasonable job offer cannot be made.

Authorities and References

Public Service Act Regulations, Section 2

Human Resource Manual
Section 100 – 139, Staffing