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1603 - Abandonment of Position

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  1. Where an employee is absent from duty without leave for a period of one week or more, a Deputy Head may declare the employee to have abandoned the position. The position then becomes vacant and the individual ceases to be an employee of the public service.



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



  1. Abandonment of Position is termination of an individual's employment where the individual has failed to report for duty for a period of one week and does not intend to return to duty.



  1. An employee who is declared to have abandoned a position is not entitled to severance pay. Since abandonment of position constitutes misconduct for superannuation purposes, any superannuation benefit other than a return of contributions requires approval by the Treasury Board of Canada.



  1. When an employee is absent from duty without leave, the supervisor makes every reasonable effort to contact the employee to determine the reason for the absence and to establish the employee's intent with respect to returning to duty.
  2. The supervisor documents all attempts to contact the employee. Attempts must include telephoning the employee, contacting a spouse or relative, visiting the employee at home and sending the employee a double registered letter requesting an immediate response.
  3. If the supervisor is successful in contacting the employee, the supervisor specifies to the employee a date for return to duty. Upon return to duty, the employee is disciplined for the absence. If the employee fails to return to work on the date specified, a request for declaration of abandonment of position is prepared.
  4. A request for declaration of abandonment of position is sent to the employee's Deputy Head by the supervisor. This request must be accompanied by supporting documentation which includes the name of the employee, the position title and number, attendance records showing the period of the employee's absence without leave and a summary of the attempts made to contact the employee.
  5. Upon determining that declaration of abandonment of position is appropriate, the Deputy Head consults with the Labour Relations & Compensation Division and advises the employee in writing that he or she is declared to have abandoned his or her position. The employer makes every reasonable attempt to hand-deliver this written notice to the employee without undue delay (sample format for written notice). A copy of this letter is placed on the employee's personnel file. A copy is also faxed or hand-delivered to the appropriate Department of Human Resources office as soon as possible so that appropriate pay action is taken.


Authorities and References

Public Service Act
Section 26, Abandonment