Collective Agreement

This directive is deemed to be part of collective agreements between the parties to the National Joint Council (NJC) and employees are to be afforded ready access to this directive.

Grievance Procedure

In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of this directive, the grievance procedure, for all represented employees within the meaning of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, will be in accordance with section 14 of the National Joint Council By-Laws. For unrepresented employees, the departmental grievance procedure applies. (revised April 1, 2005)

Effective Date

This directive is effective on April 1, 2003, unless otherwise specified.


This Directive applies to:

  1. all departments and other portions of the Public Service of Canada listed in Schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act, and (revised April 1, 2005)
  2. any employer listed in Part II of Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, who is a member of the National Joint Council and who has opted to follow this Directive. (revised April 1, 2005)

Subject to the above noted paragraphs, this directive does not apply to:

  1. a member of the Canadian Forces, or
  2. an employee who occupies a position in the lightkeepers occupational group.

Persons employed:

  1. for a specified term of less than three (3) months or
  2. working less than one-third of the normal working hours of a full-time indeterminate employee of the same occupational group and level

    are not eligible for any of the benefits provided in Part II (Expenses and Leave) or those provided in Sub-section 3.3.2 or Section 3.6 of Part III (Relocation to an Isolated Post) of this directive.

    They are, however, eligible for the allowances paid at their particular headquarters.

For the purposes of this directive, employees who reside outside their headquarters and commute daily from their residence to work shall:

  1. be deemed to be residing at the headquarters, if their residence is in a location that is or would qualify as an isolated post; or
  2. be considered an employee without dependants, if the residence is in a location that is not or would not qualify as an isolated post.

The application of this directive to the employees in the Ships' Officers and Ships' Crews occupational groups is outlined in Appendix E. (revised June 2004)

Part VI of this Directive is concerned only with employees who are "permanent" occupants of Government Housing provided in Canada. It does not apply to employees on travel status or otherwise considered transient, or employees living outside Canada.

Government Housing provided by the Department of National Defence to members of the Canadian Forces is subject to the provisions of the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this directive is to facilitate the recruitment and retention of staff delivering government programs in isolated locations and to ensure that employees in government housing are treated in a manner equivalent to persons renting similar accommodation from private or commercial sources.

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the Treasury Board Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities Policy, as amended from time to time, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee with a disability(ies) is fully accommodated to the point of undue hardship. Decisions and practices flowing from this directive shall be inclusive and barrier free.


Treasury Board Secretariat shall revise relevant portions of this Directive as required from time to time on the recommendation of the National Joint Council, and advise departments and cause employees to be advised, in writing, of any changes that may affect them. Treasury Board Secretariat shall also advise departments on, and monitor their interpretation and application of, this directive.

Statistics Canada shall conduct research and surveys with respect to the Fuel and Utilities Differential and the Living Cost Differential Allowances and shall verify the Environment Allowance Levels during their survey visits and report the results to the Treasury Board Secretariat.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is responsible for the appraisal of government-owned living accommodation and for providing, within the time frames specified, related services requested by departments and agencies.

Departments shall maintain an inventory of all government-owned living accommodation. By October 15 of each year departments shall provide CMHC with a complete list of living accommodation subject to the annual review that it operates. These lists shall include all information necessary to locate and identify each unit (i.e. location, address, building and appraisal numbers, type of accommodation, number of rooms, bedrooms, floor area, type of construction and previous base shelter value). An indication of changes which have occurred, problems encountered with past appraisals and other relevant data should be included, as well as a list of room/dormitory accommodation and separately-provided parking. A separate listing shall be provided for each CMHC field office of all government-owned living accommodation within that office's territory.

Requests for appraisals of newly acquired living accommodation or accommodation to be leased, and requests for benchmark rents for the purpose of rating room or dormitory accommodation, shall be addressed to the CMHC field offices.

Departments shall ensure that each employee is provided with a copy of this directive. Employees in government housing shall also be supplied with information showing how the rental calculation was established, i.e. the CMHC appraisal of the base shelter value, any adjustments authorized and the departmental administrator to contact for information, complaints, etc.


In order to qualify as an isolated post, a location must meet the criteria outlined in Part V qualifying it for an environment allowance. Qualification for an environment allowance is a prerequisite for all other allowances and, subject to 1.15.2, benefits under this directive, except for the special location allowance.

The environment allowance is assessed according to five classification levels by allocating points for the population, climate, topography and availability of commercial transportation or access by all-weather roads.

A living cost differential is payable at an isolated post where prices for food and other goods and services are abnormally high in comparison with the location identified as the major source of supply and is intended to assist employees to meet those higher costs.

When there is more than one source of supply for a region, the comparison will be made to the base city most associated with the majority of the posts in the region.

The amount of living cost differential depends on the price differentials, as measured by Statistics Canada, between the isolated post and its major source of supply.

A fuel and utilities differential is payable at designated isolated posts where prices for fuel and utilities are abnormally high due to higher transportation costs and consumption rates imposed by the geographical location. The fuel and utilities differential is intended to supplement employees' incomes and help them offset those higher costs.

A shelter cost differential is payable at designated isolated posts where shelter costs are abnormally high in comparison with the rents in Southern Canada.

A special location allowance is payable to employees at locations that meet the criteria outlined in Appendix H, section 4.

Orientation Sessions

Departments shall develop orientation sessions for employees assigned to isolated posts and for those persons who are responsible for the interpretation and/or administration of the directive. These sessions should include a summary of the allowances and benefits of the directive and a description of the conditions at the isolated post.


all-weather road (route practicable en tout temps) - means a gravel or higher standard road that extends between a location and a place named in the definition of point of departure that is impassable for less than three consecutive weeks during freeze-up and three consecutive weeks during break-up periods, and includes daily ferry service.

Appropriate governing authority (autorisation appropriée) , - with reference to an employee, means one or more of the following that is applicable to the employee in the circumstances:

  1. an Act of Parliament or a statutory instrument made thereunder,
  2. a current collective agreement,
  3. a current compendium of terms and conditions of employment, or
  4. a Treasury Board Secretariat authority other than this directive.

Availability to the public (disponibilité au public) - refers to the situation in which an employee, as the occupant of a particular residence, is recognized as a government official and therefore may be called upon by the public outside normal working hours.

Common-law Partner (conjoint de fait), - see definition of Spouse or common-law partner.

Dependant (personne à charge), - with reference to an employee, means a person, other than an employee or a member of the Canadian Forces receiving an "isolation allowance" under the Compensation and Benefit Instructions for the Canadian Forces, who resides with the employee at the employee's headquarters residence and is

  1. the spouse of that employee or the person named in the common- law partner declaration, or
  2. one for whom the employee is eligible to claim a tax credit under the Income Tax Act, or
  3. a biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or legal ward who
    1. is unmarried,
    2. does not qualify under (b), and
    3. who has not yet attained 24 years of age and is in full-time attendance at a recognized educational institution.

Department (ministère) - means a department or other portion of the public service of Canada,

  1. listed in Schedules I and IV to the Financial Administration Act; or (revised April 1, 2005)
  2. listed in Schedule V to the Financial Administration Act and which is a member of the National Joint Council of the Public Service of Canada. (revised April 1, 2005)

Deputy head (administrateur général) - in relation to a department, except where specified otherwise, means the deputy minister of the department, and in relation to other portions of the public service of Canada, means the chief executive officer thereof, or, if there is no chief executive officer, such person as the Governor in Council may designate as the deputy head for purposes of the directive.

Employee (fonctionnaire) - means, subject to the Application section, a person

  1. to whom this directive applies,
  2. who is employed in a department or with a separate employer which is a member of the NJC, and
  3. whose salary is paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Employee with dependants (fonctionnaire avec personnes à charge) - is an employee who has at least one dependant residing with the employee at the employee's headquarters residence.

Employee without dependants (fonctionnaire sans personnes à charge) - means an employee who does not have a dependant residing with the employee at the employee's headquarters residence.

Fiscal year (année financière) - means the period beginning on the first day of April in one year and ending on the thirty-first day of March in the next year.

Government housing (logement de l'État) - is residential accommodation, owned or leased by the Government of Canada, intended primarily for employees of the Government of Canada. Such accommodation may be either:

  1. self-contained, i.e. a single-family dwelling (detached, semi-detached or row housing) or apartment providing private living, sleeping and eating space, private food preparation facilities, a private bathroom and a private entrance; or
  2. shared accommodation, i.e. means a self-contained dwelling where employees have private bedrooms, but share common areas.

Headquarters (lieu d'affectation) - means the isolated post to which the employee is assigned.

Household income (revenu du ménage) - is the aggregate gross income, in whatever form received, of all members of the family, or of an individual, where applicable, excluding:

  1. earnings of children or funds for the tuition of children in regular attendance at recognized institutions of learning such as scholarships, bursaries and contributions from non-resident family members,
  2. earnings of a working spouse or common-law partner up to the amount that may be claimed as a "spousal amount" as specified in the Federal General Income Tax and Benefit Guide, as amended from time to time.

Immediate family (famille immédiate) - for employees, means father, mother (or alternatively stepfather, stepmother, or foster parent), brother, sister, spouse, common-law partner resident with the employee, child (including child of the common-law partner), stepchild or ward of the employee, father-in-law, mother-in-law and relative permanently residing in the employee's household or with whom the employee permanently resides.

Isolated post (poste isolé) - means a location named in Appendix A.

Normal place of residence (lieu de résidence ordinaire) means -

  1. the last place in Canada where employees permanently resided prior to their assignment to an isolated post, or
  2. where paragraph (a) does not apply or employees are not returning to the place referred to in paragraph (a), the place in Canada determined by the deputy head to be their normal place of residence.

Normal working hours (heures de travail normales) - means the number and schedule of hours that a full-time indeterminate employee is required to work pursuant to an appropriate governing authority.

Offensive noise (bruits gênants) - includes any recurring noise which disturbs the quiet enjoyment of the premises, e.g. noises which originate within the building such as generators or communications equipment such as telephones, doorbell, etc, and noises which may be associated with crisis situations (e.g. patients in nursing stations, disorderly inmates, etc). Also, employees on "shift work" who occupy shared accommodation are considered to be subject to "moderate" offensive noise, when there are other occupants of the same shared accommodation who also work shift work. Noises that originate from outside the building such as aircraft, motorboats, motor vehicles, etc, may be given consideration in extreme situations.

Point of departure (point de départ) - means Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton, Halifax, or St. John's, whichever of these places is the nearest to the headquarters of an employee by the most practical route and means of transportation.

Public use of living facilities (usage du logement par le public) - involves the use by the public or other government employees of the private living facilities provided to the occupant such as bathroom, bedroom, communications equipment, etc.

Relocation – Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) Directive (Directive sur la réinstallation – programme de réinstallation intégré (PRI)) means the Relocation – Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) Directive, as applicable, as amended from time to time.

Road kilometres (kilomètres routiers) - means the official distance shown on the most recent provincial or territorial highway map(s).

Special location (localité spéciale) - means a place named in Appendix G.

Spouse or common-law partner (époux ou conjoint de fait) - The term common-law partner refers to a person living in a conjugal relationship with an employee for a continuous period of at least one year. The term spouse refers to the person married to the employee.

Transportation expenses (frais de transport) means the expenses referred to in the Relocation – Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for transportation.

Travel Directive (Directive sur les voyages) means the Travel Directive, as amended from time to time.

Travelling expenses (frais de voyage) means the expenses referred to in the Relocation – Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) Directive or the Travel Directive that are incurred by an employee and any of the employee's dependants for accommodations, meals and incidentals.


When required by the Treasury Board Secretariat, the deputy head shall submit a consolidated departmental report.

Common-law Partner Declaration

This declaration will serve to designate an individual as a common-law partner for purposes of the IPGH directive and for the relevant benefits to be accorded thereunder.

We, _______________ and _________________ solemnly declare that our relationship is and has been demonstrated by our cohabitation in a conjugal relationship. This relationship is and has been recognized for a period of at least one year in the community or communities in which we have lived.***

Where these conditions cease to exist we acknowledge the right of the deputy head to recover the amounts of money paid on the basis of the existence of such conditions.

*** In specific cases, this declaration may be used where there has been a break in the period of cohabitation for reasons beyond the control of the employee or the individual to be designated as common-law partner.