Amendments to the Public Service Employment Regulations following the coming into force of the Veterans Hiring Act

The following outlines the amendments made to the Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER) as a result of the Veterans Hiring Act (VHA) and modifies the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).

These amendments only pertain to the priority entitlements granted to medically released Canadian Forces (CF) members.

Veterans Hiring Act

One of the objectives of the VHA is to increase access to public service jobs for medically released Canadian Forces (CF) members.

The VHA grants CF members who are medically released for reasons attributable to service a top statutory (i.e., prescribed by law) priority entitlement for appointment to the federal public service to positions that are governed by the PSEA. The PSC is responsible for prescribing the conditions of this entitlement (new s.39.1 of the PSEA).

Complementary information

The priority entitlements granted to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will remain unchanged.

Statutory priority entitlement

With respect to the statutory priority entitlement (for CF members whose medical release is determined to be attributable to service), the PSER provides that:

  • It be granted to members who are not already indeterminately employed in the public service;
  • It comprises a five-year eligibility period, during which the CF member will be required to meet certain conditions (see the Complementary information section below for more details), followed by a five-year entitlement period; and
  • It ends either with the indeterminate appointment of the member, their refusal of such an offer or the expiry of the five-year entitlement period.

Complementary information

The VHA’s main objective is to increase access to public service jobs for serving and medically released CF members. Therefore, only members who are not indeterminately employed in the public service are eligible for the priority entitlement. (Some CF members, such as part-time reservists, could already be indeterminately employed in the public service, and for them, the intent would have been achieved.)

The statutory priority entitlement is granted to all CF members (i.e., members of the Regular Force, the Reserve Force and the Special Force) who are released for medical reasons attributable to service. The determination of whether the CF member’s release was attributable to service will be made by the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

This new entitlement is highest in the order of precedence; in other words, CF members released for medical reasons attributable to service are considered ahead of those with other statutory priority entitlements (notably surplus employees in their own organization, employees returning from a leave of absence (or their replacements) and persons who have been laid off) and before those with regulatory (i.e., prescribed by the PSER) priority entitlements. 

For the statutory priority entitlement to apply, CF members have to meet the following conditions within five years of their release date:

  • Request the priority entitlement (regardless of whether the determination that the medical reasons for the release were attributable to service was still pending on the day on which the request is made);
  • Not be indeterminately employed in the public service at the time they make the request; and
  • Obtain a medical attestation that they are able to return to work. The return-to-work date specified in the medical attestation must also be within five years of their release date.

The priority entitlement is valid for a period of five years. It will end either with the member’s indeterminate appointment to the public service, their refusal of such an offer without good and sufficient reason or the expiration of the period.

Regulatory priority entitlement

The PSC amended the regulatory priority entitlement currently granted to medically released CF members, as follows:

  • It grants the regulatory priority entitlement to any full-time CF member who is not indeterminately employed in the public service and who is medically released, but is not entitled to the statutory priority;
  • It comprises a five-year eligibility period, during which the CF member will be required to meet certain conditions (see the Complementary information section below for more details), followed by a five-year entitlement period; and
  • The priority entitlement ends either with the indeterminate appointment of the member, their refusal of such an offer, their becoming entitled to a statutory priority following a new determination or the expiry of the five-year entitlement period. 

Complementary information

A regulatory priority entitlement is granted to full-time CF members (i.e., members of the Regular Force, the Special Force and the Reserve Force on Class C service, or on Class B service of more than 180 consecutive days) who are released for medical reasons, but are not entitled to the statutory priority entitlement, either because they are awaiting a determination from the Minister of Veterans Affairs on whether their medical release was attributable to service or because it was determined that their medical release was not attributable to service.

If, during the regulatory entitlement, it is determined that the member’s medical release was, in fact, attributable to service, the regulatory entitlement will cease and be replaced by the statutory entitlement, beginning on the day of the determination.

Beneficiaries of a regulatory priority entitlement are considered for positions in the public service after beneficiaries of a statutory priority entitlement have been considered.

The conditions for the regulatory priority entitlement are identical to those applicable to the statutory priority.

The priority entitlement is for a period of five years. It will end either with the member’s indeterminate appointment to the public service, their refusal of such an offer without good and sufficient reason, their entitlement to the statutory priority following a new determination by the Minister of Veterans Affairs or the expiration of the period.

Transitional measures

CF members who had an active priority entitlement under s.8 of the PSER between April 1, 2012 and the coming into force of the VHA is granted a new five year regulatory entitlement if they:

  • are awaiting a determination from the Minister of Veterans Affairs on whether their medical release was attributable to service, or it has been determined that their medical release was not attributable to service;
  • were not indeterminate employees at the time the VHA comes into force; and
  • did not decline such an appointment.

Complementary information

This amendment mirrors the VHA’s transitional provision that grants a new five year statutory entitlement to CF members who activated the regulatory priority entitlement they had under section 8 of the PSER between April 1, 2012 and the coming into force of the VHA, and whose medical release was attributable to service.