Human Resources Policies
Standby/ Call-In/ Emergency Situations Pay

Category: Pay and Benefits

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Policy Statement

The City of Toronto recognizes that some employees are required to be available for work at times other than their regularly scheduled work hours and should be compensated when on standby and called in to work.

Application

This policy applies to non-union employees wage grade 8 and below, excluding:

  • employees where the nature of the business is emergency service (Fire and Ambulance)
  • employees in operations where historically standby and call-in pay are not the norm (Homes for the Aged, Social Services, Shelter Housing and Support, Children's Services, Social Development and Administration).

Definitions

Standby pay: Compensation that employees receive when they are required to be on standby status, whether or not they are called into work.

Call-in pay: Compensation that employees receive when they are called into their work sites or required to work from a remote location, whether or not they have been on standby status.


Conditions

Employees may be required to be on standby status:

  • before or after their regularly scheduled hours, and/or,
  • on a day when they are not scheduled to work.

If a division requires employees to be on standby status for call-in to the worksite, or to work from a remote location, general managers/executive directors/division heads or their designates:

  • must assign employees to standby status, stating exact dates and times that employees are required to be on standby;
  • where necessary, provide employees with either a pager or cell phone to facilitate contact.

An employee who is given a pager or cell phone is not automatically assigned to standby status.

Employees who are on standby status must be no further from their work sites than the distance they usually travel to work, unless other arrangements have been made for them to do their work from a remote location.

When employees are on standby they are available for work in various ways:

  • they may be required to leave home or the place where they are contacted and travel to work or some other site to deal with situations that require their presence
  • they may be required to deal with problems by working from home e.g. using a computer and modem.

Employees may be called into work even if they are not on standby status.

If contact cannot be made with an employee who is on standby status or if that employee fails to perform the work required, that employee is ineligible for standby or call-in pay.


Salary & Benefits

Compensation for standby and call-in hours is paid out. There is no maximum on standby and call-in pay.

Standby

Employees are paid one hour for every eight hours or less,while on standby status, on a straight time basis.

Call In

Employees called in to work are paid a minimum of three hours at their normal overtime rate under the lieu time policy:

  •  i) Employees eligible only for lieu time at straight time, shall be paid at straight time.
  •  ii) Employees eligible for lieu time or pay, at time and a half, shall be paid at time and a half.

Note: Employees who are on standby status and are called in to work receive both standby pay and pay for time worked.

Pay for work performed is counted from the time employees arrive at the work site. If employees can perform the required tasks by working from home all hours worked are considered as call-in, as appropriate, and employees are compensated for hours worked.


Emergency Situations

Where an employee is required to stay at work beyond his/her regular hours to deal with an emergency situation (for which he/she would have been called in had he/she left the workplace), call-in pay provisions will apply as follows:

  •  i) Employees eligible only for lieu time at straight time, shall be paid at straight time.
  •  ii) Employees eligible for lieu time or pay, at time and a half, shall be paid at time and a half.

Implementation

General managers/executive directors/division heads or their designates should ensure that they assign employees to standby status through formal communication. They should communicate to other employees who normally carry pagers or cell phones that they are not automatically on standby status.

General managers/executive directors/division heads or their designates are responsible for scheduling employees for standby status and should give employees as much advance notice as possible by establishing rotating schedules.

Some divisions or operational units may wish to distribute the responsibility for standby status amongst all qualified employees. In other divisions or operational units it may be preferable to ask for volunteers to be on standby status.

Employees who have been on standby status and/or called into work must submit their compensation claims on designated forms for standby and call-in hours.


Examples

  1. An employee is on standby status from Friday 4:30 p.m. until the following Monday 8:30 a.m.; i.e. 64 hours. She is not called into work. She receives 8 hour's pay at straight time. One hour's pay for 8 periods of 8 hours.
  2. An employee is on standby status from 4:30 p.m. until midnight, Thursday. He is called at 7:00 p.m. and is required to come into work. He arrives at his work site at 7:30 p.m. and works on site for one hour. His call-in work totals 1 hour. His normal rate of overtime compensation is time and a half. He receives 1 hour's pay for standby at straight time and three hours call-in pay at time and a half (4.5 hours). His total pay is for 5.5 hours.
  3. An employee who is not on standby status is called in for an emergency situation. He is at his cottage but can deal with the problem by working on his laptop. He works for 7 hours to resolve the problem. His normal rate of overtime is straight time. He receives 7 hour's pay plus reimbursement for any long distance costs.
  4. An employee is on standby status from 4:30 p.m. Friday to 8:30 a.m. on Monday i.e. 64 hours. The employee is called in on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. He is called in again on Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and again on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to noon. His normal rate of overtime is straight time.

    He receives 8 hours pay for standby at straight time. He receives 4 hours pay for the Saturday morning call-in; 3 hours pay for the Saturday evening call-in and 3 hours pay for the Sunday call-in. His total pay is 18 hours; 8 hours standby pay +10 hours call in pay at straight time.


Emergency Situations Example

An employee has not left the office. He is called to deal with an operational emergency for which he would have been called in had he gone home. He works 3 hours past his regular day. His normal overtime rate is straight time and he is eligible for lieu time only. In this emergency situation he is paid for 3 hours.



Approved by


Executive Management Team

Date Approved

June 15, 2001

Revised

January 25, 2002

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