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Federal workers paid $819 million to stay home during the pandemic under ‘699’ clause

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Federal workers paid $819 million to stay home during the pandemic under ‘699’ clause

OTTAWA —
Bigger than one in three federal public servants were granted paid break day work during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a charge exceeding $800 million, according to a Treasury Board doc.

At the onset of the pandemic, civil servants were told to work from home if imaginable, to steer certain of spreading the unique coronavirus for the period of authorities offices.

Early Newspaper

Workers who were unable to work remotely were still paid, nonetheless, under a provision identified as the “699” pay code, allowing “other mosey away with pay.”

The different of workers licensed for 699 mosey away peaked in April at bigger than 73,000. That number had dwindled to ultimate over 9,000 by the stop of November, according to the most up-to-date figures.

In all, 117,000, or 39 per cent, of federal staff spread across 86 departments and agencies, were licensed for the mosey away.

That number used to be diminished by 95 per cent as of January 6, 2021, according to a background demonstrate received by The Canadian Press.

The particular mosey away could maybe perchance additionally still be licensed by management and is granted when staff are unable to document to work for causes past their maintain a watch on.

It’s miles turn into independent from sick pay or vacation.

“From March 15 to Nov. 30, 2020, the estimated charge of `Other Skedaddle away with Pay (699)’ is roughly $819 million, according to the moderate everyday pay rate of roughly $300 for federal public carrier staff entitled to mosey away,” says the Treasury Board doc, dated Feb. 19.

“This resolve is according to info submitted by staff and captured in departmental systems.”

The Treasury Board issued a “clarification” of its mosey away coverage on Nov. 9, instructing managers that 699 mosey away could maybe perchance additionally very properly be granted on a “case-by-case” foundation, and fully after some distance flung or alternate work or flexible hours were understanding to be.

As properly, the authorities acknowledged that other forms of mosey away, together with amassed sick time and vacation, would comprise to be old first.

The Public Provider Alliance of Canada, which represents a majority of federal staff, has filed rather just a few grievances over the new pointers. It has also filed a criticism with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The union argues the directive disproportionately impacts marginalized staff hardest hit by the pandemic, together with girls, racialized workers and those with disabilities or household tasks.

This document by The Canadian Press used to be first published Feb. 20, 2021.

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Federal workers paid $819 million to stay home during the pandemic under ‘699’ clause