Human Resources Procedures/Guidelines
Implementation Guidelines

Relates to: Acting Assignments Policy
Category: Staffing

Go back to the list of Policies

Note:

Please contact your Strategic Recruitment representative for the appropriate letter template.

Filling Acting Assignments

If an acting assignment is expected to last for several months, an employee development opportunity also exists. Managers are encouraged to balance operational issues with employee development needs and employment equity practices. Divisions have the discretion to decide how to fill acting assignments in accordance with the processes noted below.

Acting assignment is six (6) months or less in duration:

1. Assigning an employee to an acting assignment

An employee may be directly placed without a competition being held if the acting assignment is up to six (6) months in duration, or the urgency of the operational need does not allow time for a competitive process. In these instances, the following considerations are recommended:

  • Fairness, equity, equal access to opportunities and special programs
  • Employee performance management objectives and actual performance
  • Available employee skill base and interest level in the acting assignment
  • The divisional succession management plan
  • Operational needs and requirements

If the acting assignment subsequently becomes permanent, the vacancy must be posted corporately and the incumbent in the acting assignment will need to compete for this permanent opportunity.

Acting assignment is more than six (6) months in duration:

When an acting assignment is more than six (6) months in duration, the temporary position must be posted as an Expression of Interest within the division/section or a Corporate Job Posting. If an acting assignment is one (1) year or more in duration, it is recommended that consideration is given to post the vacancy corporately.

2. Posting an Expression of Interest for the acting assignment opportunity within the division/section

Employees are advised of the acting assignment opportunity and interested employees are asked to make their interest known to the contact person on the posting.

Divisional expression of interest postings should include the following:

  • Job description, which identifies the primary responsibilities, key qualifications and reporting relationships in consultation with the Strategic Recruitment and Employment Services (SRES) unit (see Appendix 1 for template).
  • Job title, salary, division, location and duration of acting assignment.
  • Eligibility to apply (i.e. divisional or sectional staff only).
  • Include the following statement:

    "If selected, employee's placement is conditional on the approval of his/her executive director/general manager or designate."
  • The main contact and phone number (hiring manager and/or Strategic Recruitment representative, if applicable).
  • The process of application, posting date and deadline for submission of interest.
  • Type of position (i.e. management or exempt).
Selection Process
  • The acting assignment selection process is expected to adhere to existing practices, policies and meet legislative obligations.
  • If the acting assignment subsequently becomes permanent, the vacancy must be posted corporately and the incumbent in the acting assignment will need to compete for this permanent opportunity.
3. Corporate posting of an acting assignment
  • Refer and follow existing Corporate Job Posting Procedures for posting temporary opportunities.
  • In addition, the posting should also include the following statement:

    "If selected, employee's placement is conditional on the approval of his/her executive director/general manager or designate."
  • The initial request to release the employee for the Acting Assignment should be approved, unless there are significant and defensible operational impacts. This approach supports:

    1. a) employee engagement
    2. b) employee development/career advancement, and/or
    3. c) succession planning.
  • When acting assignments are posted corporately and the vacancy subsequently becomes permanent, divisions can permanently appoint/promote the acting assignment incumbent into the permanent position without further competitive process, provided the original corporate posting included the statement:

    "If the posted non-union temporary job becomes permanent, it may not be re-posted."

    The employee must have been continuously employed in the same acting assignment position when it becomes permanent.


Documentation

1. Initiating a new acting assignment

For divisional acting assignments (no SRES involvement):

  • The division provides an offer letter to the employee (please contact your Strategic Recruitment representative for the template).
  • The division prepares an Alternate Position & Return to Base Form and forwards it to Payroll & Benefits Processing section.
  • For payroll processing purposes, acting assignments are effective at the start and end on the last day of a pay period.
  • The form must be dated and approved by the immediate supervisor and manager. A copy is retained at the divisional level.
  • The documentation for an acting assignment is established for a maximum period of two years, and whenever possible, it should not be backdated more than a maximum of three (3) biweekly pays.
  • If an acting assignment is within the same or at a lower pay grade than the employee's base position salary, paperwork is still prepared for record keeping purposes.

For corporate postings of acting assignments, if Strategic Recruitment representative is involved, he/she prepares the paperwork and forwards it to Payroll & Benefits Processing section. The divisional representative obtains a position number from HR Organization Management for acting assignments that are greater than 30 days in duration.

The Payroll & Benefits Processing representative verifies the information on the form. Any discrepancies or incomplete information are noted and the initiator is contacted for correction, addition or clarification.

It is the responsibility of the acting assignment organizational unit to process the employee’s time and attendance reporting. There is an automatic transfer of access to the acting assignment organizational unit, once the employee is assigned a new position number.

2. Extension of an acting assignment

  • Payroll & Benefits Processing section provides notification i.e. Alternate Rate/Acting Assignment Extension turnaround letter to the division two months prior to the expiration of the assignment.
  • The division completes the extension turnaround letter to either cancel or extend the acting assignment and forwards it to Payroll & Benefits Processing section.
  • The acting assignment is automatically terminated unless an extension letter is received in Payroll & Benefits Processing section prior to the expiration date.
  • When an extension is required, information on the letter must include the recommended expiry date and the reason for the extension.
  • The acting assignment (AA) manager discusses the extension (or expiry) of the acting assignment with the base position manager and notifies the employee in writing (please contact your Strategic Recruitment representative for the template).

3. Cancellation of an acting assignment

  • Acting assignments can be cancelled at management's discretion.
  • When an acting assignment is cancelled prior to the current expiry date, the AA manager: 1) notifies the base position manager of the acting assignment cancellation and discusses its effective date, employee’s transition to base position and performance in the acting position; 2) notifies the employee in writing (please contact your Strategic Recruitment representative for the template); 3) checks off the "End AP" box on the Alternate Position & Return to Base Form, indicating the assignment end date, and sends it to Payroll & Benefits Processing section.

Acting Assignments - Performance Review

When reference is made to performance pay, it is assumed that an employee receives an increase as a result of a performance review. In certain instances, employees may not qualify for an increase because of their performance.

When an employee, who is on an acting assignment, receives "Exceeds Expectations" rating, exceeds percentage of 4.5% will only be applied to either the base or acting position where the employee actually performed the duties during the performance review year. The exceeds rating will be applied on a prorated basis for the length of time the employee worked in that specific positon (i.e. base or acting) during the performance review period.

Performance pay increases are subject to Council approval as part of its budget deliberations.

1. Where the employee's base position is non-union, the following applies:

At the start of an acting assignment, the base position manager completes a closing performance review (but does not share the performance review level with the employee until after April 15th of the following year).

Acting assignment at a higher pay grade (effective June 1, 2013):

The employee is paid at the minimum salary of the acting assignment or 10% above the employee's current salary, whichever is greater, up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment.

Acting assignment within the same or at a lower pay grade:

The employee maintains his/her current salary up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment.

A) Acting Assignments starting and ending within one calendar year.

If the acting assignment starts and ends within the same calendar year, the AA manager completes a closing performance review before the employee returns to the base position (for performance management purposes only). By April 15th of the following year, the base position manager does the performance review and the employee’s performance financial reward is calculated on his/her base position salary.

B) Acting Assignments carrying over from one calendar year to the next.

If the acting assignment carries over from one calendar year to the next, the AA manager conducts a performance review meeting by April 15th.

The performance financial reward is prorated from the acting assignment start date to December 31st and is applied to the employee's acting assignment salary up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment, provided the employee has been in the position for 30 days or longer.

The appropriate performance financial reward is applied to the employee’s base position salary up to the maximum salary of the base position.

If the employee's base position salary is at the top of the salary range, he/she receives a prorated re-earnable performance financial reward from January 1st to the acting assignment start date.

The base manager completes the paperwork for the base position and submits it to Payroll & Benefits Processing section. Payroll & Benefits Processing section ensures that a 10% salary differential between the base and acting position is maintained up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment, for acting assignment that started on or after June 1, 2013.

C) Acting Assignments continue for a full calendar year

If an employee is in the same acting assignment for the full calendar year and it carries over to the following year, the AA manager conducts a performance review meeting by April 15th and sends the paperwork to Payroll & Benefits Processing section. The performance financial reward applicable to the acting assignment is applied up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment. Payroll & Benefits Processing unit applies a performance financial reward of 2.5% (effective January 1, 2014) to the base position salary up to the maximum salary.

1.2 Employee placed in the same continuous acting assignment in two or more time periods

When employees return to their former acting assignment within the same performance review period, they are placed at their former acting salary.

  • If the employee was in the same continuous acting assignment on two separate occasions between January 1st and December 31st, and the acting assignment carries over to the next calendar year, the performance financial reward is prorated based on the total time worked in the acting assignment and applied on a go forward basis.
  • If employee returns to his/her former acting assignment within the same calendar year, his/her re-earnable lump sum payment on the base position will be recovered on a bi-weekly basis effective the acting assignment restart date up to the new end date or December 31, whichever is earlier.
1.3 Acting assignment carries over to the following year and ends in mid-year

The AA manager completes a closing performance review before the employee returns to the base position (for performance management purposes only, i.e. no performance rating is applied).

  • a) Employee was in the same acting assignment for the full previous calendar year and returns to base position sometime in the following calendar year – If employee was within the salary range of the acting assignment, and at the top of the base position salary range, he/she receives a prorated re-earnable performance financial reward from the acting assignment termination date to December 31st.
  • b) Employee started an acting assignment which carried over to the following calendar year and returns to base position sometime in the following calendar year – If employee was within the salary range of the acting assignment, and at the top of the base position salary range, he/she receives a prorated re-earnable performance financial reward from the acting assignment termination date to December 31st, less any lump sum payment that was previously paid.

For the two scenarios noted above, when the acting assignment ends, the base position manager completes the Performance Pay (PP) Form and instructs Payroll & Benefits Processing section in the Comments section to process the prorated re-earnable lump sum. The payment will be calculated on employee's previous year's base position salary.

When the employee receives a performance review by April 15th of the following calendar year, the full performance financial reward is calculated on the employee's base position salary up to the maximum salary of the base position. The time spent in the Acting Assignment is not counted towards the calculation of the employee's go forward salary as he/she no longer holds this position as of January 1 of the following calendar.

2. Where the employee's base position is union, the following applies:

2.1 Base Position Increment and Acting Assignment Salary
  • The anniversary date for the base position remains unchanged.
  • The employee receives a 10% (effective June 1, 2013) increase over the base position rate or the minimum salary of the acting assignment, whichever is greater up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment.
  • If an employee is below the top step of his/her wage grade, the employee receives an increment on the base position anniversary date. The acting assignment salary is automatically adjusted by Payroll & Benefits Processing section to maintain a 10% salary differential up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment, for acting assignment that started on or after June 1, 2013.
2.2 Acting Assignment Performance Reviews and Increases
  • If an employee is in an acting assignment that carries over to the next calendar year, a performance review is completed by April 15th.
  • The performance financial reward is prorated and applied to the acting assignment salary on a go forward basis up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment.

3. Where the employee's acting assignment is on "as required basis," the following applies:

No performance reviews are conducted for employees in an acting assignment on "as required" basis (ARR). When the across the board increase (ABI) is applied to the non-union salary ranges, and if the employee's salary is below the new minimum salary, Payroll & Benefits Processing section adjusts the ARR salary to the new minimum and no paperwork is required.

Non-union employees are only placed on an ARR in non-administrative positions for legislated (i.e. need to maintain certain staffing ratio in accordance with various legislation) or operational reasons (e.g. Emergency Medical Services, Fire Services, shelters, security staff) when an absence of a non-union employee requires that someone else perform the whole job for that absence.

Following a non-union employee's performance review in his/her base position, Payroll & Benefits Processing section ensures that a 10% salary differential is maintained up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment, for acting assignment that started on or after June 1, 2013.

When a union employee is in an acting assignment on "as required basis", and ABI is applied to the employee's base union salary, Payroll & Benefits Processing section ensures that a 10% salary differential between the base and acting position hourly rate is maintained up to the maximum salary of the acting assignment, for acting assignment that started on or after June 1, 2013.


Approved by

Human Resources

Date Approved

July 5, 2001

Revised

March 6, 2018


Related links - external


Attachments

Appendix 1 - Expression of Interest Template.docx (23 Kbytes)

Go up to the top of this page