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Principles & Policies for Managing Human Resources

4.6  Educational Leave and/or Assistance

Policy

It is the policy of the Government of Manitoba to encourage the support of education and training activities which will contribute to the achievement of corporate and/or departmental goals and objectives.


Questions And Answers

  1. What is educational leave?
  2. What is educational assistance?
  3. What is the purpose of this policy?
  4. Who is accountable for decisions regarding educational leave and/or assistance?
  5. Who is eligible for educational leave and/or assistance?
  6. What are the educational leave guidelines?
  7. What are the educational assistance guidelines?
  8. How is the percentage of salary and/or assistance determined?
  9. What happens to my benefits when I'm on educational leave?
  10. What is a Return of Service Agreement and when is it necessary?
  11. What are the procedures/process surrounding educational leave and/or assistance?

Questions And Answers

1.   What is educational leave?

Educational Leave is an employer-approved leave of absence to undertake educational studies for employee training and development.  Educational leave may provide for full, partial or no salary during leave, for courses taken during the employee’s regular work pattern and normal hours of work.

2.   What is educational assistance?

Educational Assistance is any financial support covering costs directly related to an identified course of study.

3.   What is the purpose of this policy?

The Policy focuses on educational and training activities that fulfill one or more of the following purposes:

  • Addresses identified current and/or future human resource requirements necessary for the effective delivery of Government programs and services
  • Addresses specified performance-based needs or issues identified at the employee’s performance review
  • Supports employer and employee planned career development objectives
  • Supports priority placement activities where appropriate to redeployment efforts
  • Supports the goal of proportionate representation of Employment Equity groups in the Manitoba Civil Service

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4.   Who is accountable for decisions regarding educational leave and/or assistance?

The Deputy Minister, Agency Head, or designate is accountable for ensuring that educational leave and/or assistance is administered in accordance with this policy.

5.   Who is eligible for educational leave and/or assistance?

Employees of the Province of Manitoba appointed under the authority of the Civil Service Act to a position with a continuing function or the expectation of continued employment within the Manitoba Civil Service are eligible to apply for Educational Leave and/or Assistance.

6.   What are the educational leave guidelines?

CATEGORY I Educational Leave With Full Pay

  • may be granted when the employing authority requests or requires that an employee undertake a specified training or educational activity, OR
  • when the training/educational activity is considered essential in order to fulfill the functional requirements of the position.

CATEGORY II Educational Leave With Partial Pay

  • may be granted when the leave is considered to be mutually beneficial by the employing authority and is related to program requirements, organizational needs, human resource needs or government policies.

The Employing Authority may grant leave with partial pay up to 85% of that employee’s regular salary rate.

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7.   What are the educational assistance guidelines?

Full or partial funding for directly related course costs may be provided in accordance with appropriate financial administration practices by reimbursement on proof of successful course progress and/or completion.

Direct course cost items can include, but would not necessarily be restricted to, any one or more of the following:

  • tuition/course fees
  • required texts, books, manuals
  • travel expenses
  • other expenses identified in advance as required and approved by the employing authority

Tuition fees may be prepaid by the department directly to the educational institution or vendor of the training/educational activity.  This applies to departmentally approved courses under the condition that the employee successfully complete the course or reimburse the department.

Full assistance may be granted when the employing authority requires or requests that an employee undertake a specific training/educational activity; or when the activity is considered essential.

Partial assistance may be granted when the assistance is considered to be mutually beneficial by the employing authority and is related to program requirements, human resource needs or government policy.

8.   How is the percentage of salary and/or assistance determined?

LEAVE AND/OR ASSISTANCE:  FULL SUPPORT

The department should benefit from the educational/training activity by virtue of its connection to substantiated departmental needs.  Full support can be determined if the situation fits either one of the following conditions:

  • the employing authority requires or requests that an employee undertake a specific educational/training activity, OR
  • the activity will address departmental needs that are considered essential or of high priority, including those pertaining directly to:
    • delivery of programs and services
    • present or anticipated human resource needs
    • the achievement of departmental objectives pertaining to Employment Equity, Performance Management, Priority Placement, or other policies that have been designated by the Manitoba Government as high priority concerns.

LEAVE AND/OR ASSISTANCE:  PARTIAL SUPPORT

Partial assistance up to 85% can be determined using the following points system:

1.  Correlation to the job or planned new job:

  • 1 point – related to the job assignment
  • 2 points – specifically related to major portion of job

2.  Priority of departmental need:

  • 1 point – low priority and can be met via other cost-effective means
  • 2 points – high priority

3.  Immediacy of benefit:

  • 1 point – not immediately beneficial, but expected to benefit the department or government in the long term
  • 2 points – immediate benefit to job assignment to be realized by the department within one fiscal year after completion

4.   Employment Equity, Priority Placement, Performance Management (when departmental need is not considered essential or of top priority):

  • 1 point – where the employee’s development will address an identified Employment Equity, Priority Placement or Performance Management issue
  • 1 point – under exceptional circumstances one point may be granted for excellence in past accomplishments/work history, and in anticipation of contribution to the department.

LEVEL OF SUPPORT:  (as a suggested guideline)

7-8
6
4-5
3
1-2

points
points
points
points
points

=
=
=
=
=

85%
75%
50%
25%
15%

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9.   What happens to my benefits when I’m on educational leave?

Where, due to educational leave, an employee’s work hours are reduced to an amount less than the hours in a normal working day as established by the Collective Agreement (see definition of “part-time employee”), the employee’s status will convert to part-time and their benefits will be in accordance with the benefits available to part time employees (see Collective Agreement). 

10.   What is a Return of Service Agreement and when is it necessary?

A Return of Service Agreement is a signed agreement between the employee and the employer indicating that the employee will continue to work for the employer for a specified period of time after they have completed their educational leave.  A Return of Service Agreement is necessary when an employee is granted Educational Leave with full or partial pay for a course of study which totals 25 working days or more.  The period of return service is calculated as an amount equal to twice the leave period multiplied by the percentage of salary support approved.

11.   What are the procedures/process surrounding educational leave and/or assistance?

EDUCATIONAL LEAVE AND/OR ASSISTANCE PROCEDURES GUIDE:

Responsibility

Designated Departmental Employing Authority as delegated by Deputy Minister

Action

Ensure that a Return of Service Agreement is completed if necessary (see the section in the Educational Leave and/or Assistance Policy that speaks to Return of Service Agreements to determine if it is applicable).

Responsibility

HR Director or designate as delegated by Deputy Minister

 

 

Action

1. Where possible, identify the position, the staff year number and/or function for the employee’s return.

2. Compile data on the granting and denial of requests for Educational Leave and/or assistance for reporting to the Civil Service Commission for policy evaluation purposes.  Data should be compiled on those requests which involve leave longer than 6 working days and/or assistance of more than $1000.

Responsibility

Employee

 

 

Action

1. Complete the appropriate Educational Leave and/or Assistance Application Form and obtain approval from the necessary authorities

2.  Provide validation of course completion within 60 days of completing the course, or reasons for non-completion for departmental records.

3.  When taking courses to obtain a recognized degree, diploma, or special program of studies (e.g. MBA, CMA) the request for educational leave and/or assistance should be submitted at one time rather than for yearly segments of program studies.  However, approvals can only be granted on a year by year basis consistent with the Estimates review process.


Associated Forms

 REFERENCES

 


Authority

  • Civil Service Commission Executive Minute #EC 91/92-06;
  • Section 40 (Educational Leave), The Civil Service Act;
  • Manitoba Regulation approved by Order-in-Council 187/92 in accordance with sub-section 57(1)m (Regulations) of The Civil Service Act.

Reviewed: April 11, 2007


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