Every year about November, we receive many calls about Christmas Leave eligibility (December 29, 30 and 31) for Staff Finders employees. We can rarely give a definitive response about leave until the middle of December, because eligibility is based on two key criteria: whether your assignment is scheduled to complete before Christmas or after the new year, and whether your assignment is a “leave replacement” (the incumbent you are replacing will definitely be returning to their position). For the majority of you whose assignments are scheduled to end prior to Christmas or are scheduled into the new year with no incumbent returning to the position (i.e. the position is being recruited for, is project-based, is assisting with backlog, etc.) your eligibility is in question. We will determine your eligibility as soon as possible. We understand that this uncertainty is difficult, but we must ask for your patience. View the original copy of Donald Munroe’s decision (PDF).
The following is the content of a memo that is issued every year to University departments regarding Staff Finders employees and Christmas Leave:
The Collective Agreement between the University and CUPE Local 2950 provides for a three-day paid leave between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. An issue arose regarding the application of the language to hourly-paid employees in Staff Finders and Don Munroe, Q.C. was assigned to interpret the language. His decision concluded that:
“…an hourly Staff Finders employee is entitled to the Christmas leave benefit where she/he is replacing an actual incumbent employee who is on leave from her/his incumbent position (due to maternity, illness, vacation, etc.), and who would herself/himself have been ‘normally scheduled to work’ during the Christmas period had she/he not been on such leave; but not otherwise.”
Staff Finders temporary employees eligible under the provisions of the “Munroe decision” have been paid Christmas Leave by Staff Finders since 1997. However, some departments employing Staff Finders temporaries not eligible for the Christmas Leave chose to compensate them either by offering employment through the Christmas break where there was no operational requirement to do so (there was no service or workload need), or by paying them without requiring them to work. Because their timesheets reflected hours worked in that period, Staff Finders was required to give them paid days in lieu. The decision by some departments to pay their Staff Finders temporaries, while generous and with the best of intentions inadvertently undermined the application of the Munroe decision and created unanticipated costs for Staff Finders. These costs were that Staff Finders had to provide and pay for paid days in lieu.
Therefore since 1998 those departments choosing to compensate ineligible Staff Finders temporary employees for Christmas Leave by offering employment through the period between Boxing Day/New Year’s Day, where there is no operational requirement to do so, are charged double time. This enables Staff Finders to recoup its costs for the resulting paid days in lieu that it must provide. Those departments who choose to give Staff Finders temporary employees paid time without requiring them to work in that period must submit a description to that effect on the timesheets. They will be charged the normal Staff Finders rate.
If you have any questions regarding eligibility for Christmas, please contact Laurie Mitchell, Manager, Staff Finders, at 604.822.9465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.