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Leaves & Timekeeping

Information about overtime, vacation, leaves and the PHSA Early Absence Reporting Line (PEARL) process during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Page updated: Apr. 15, 2021, 4:10 p.m.

If your leave requires a record of employment (ROE), learn how to request an ROE.

We appreciate that many of our team members are working significant amounts of sustained overtime in an effort to manage the response to COVID-19.

Quick reference guides:

For unionized staff, the collective agreement terms and conditions continue to apply.

The information below applies to non-contract employees and managers currently working on COVID-19 and is not applicable to physicians, residents, fellows, and scientists as well as senior leadership and executive leadership teams. 

Non-contract employees

Employees working in non-manager roles who are asked to work overtime have the option of receiving overtime (which can be banked or paid out) or CTO days. Employees who elect to have overtime hours banked or paid out do not have an option for CTO days and should not receive both overtime and CTO days.

Compensation for overtime hours for non-contract, non-management staff, including hours worked on statutory holidays, will continue to follow the guidelines set out in the Employment Standards Act.

Overtime hours eligible for compensation must be approved in advance.

Refer to the guideline Overtime & Compensatory Time-Off for Non-Contract Employees (PDF) on POD for additional information (available only when connected to the network).

Process for non-contract employees

  • You must track and input your overtime hours into the Workforce Management System (Workbrain).
    • Log in to the Workforce Management System and select the ESS Overtime Form
    • Complete the form with your employee ID, the date you worked overtime, when you started to work overtime and when you finished, and provide the reason for overtime. If you are working on a scheduled day off, check the “Day Off” box. 
    • You can select to bank overtime hours on the form. If this box is not selected approved overtime hours will be paid out.
    • Submit the form to your leader for approval.
  • Per the Employment Standards Act, employees receive extra pay to work on a statutory holiday (employees are paid time-and-a-half for hours worked on a statutory holiday – double time for hours worked over 12 hours). 
  • If you require additional information for workforce management, please see the workforce management page on POD or email

Non-contract leaders

Effective Nov. 1, 2020, we have reinstated COVID-19 extraordinary pay for non-contract employees in management functions. This applies for hours worked between 45 and up to a maximum of 60 hours per week, specifically on COVID-19 related projects.

Leaders must submit a list identifying management staff who have been or will be required to work extraordinary hours on COVID-19 projects to their senior leadership team member by Jan. 5, 2021. Senior leadership team members must send their approved list of management staff eligible for extraordinary hours to by Jan. 8, 2021.   

We will review this process on a regular basis. For more details, review the leaders’ bulletin issued on Dec. 22.  

Eligible management staff must have their extraordinary hours approved by their respective leader and submit a tracker to by 4 p.m. for the following time periods:

As this process continues, the due date for each tracker will continue to be 4 p.m. on the Tuesday following the end of the pay period. Updated trackers will be posted to this page as they are made available. 

If you have questions, email .

Vacation & Leaves

Employees who are sick should not be at work, and should recuperate at home. For more guidance, see the Exposure & Illness page.

Vacation and other leaves

Unused 2020 vacation for non-contract staff and physicians

Given the operational needs associated with the response to COVID-19 this year, staff may not have experienced the same flexibility in scheduling and taking vacation as in prior years. This might mean that many of our team members have higher unused vacation balances at the end of the calendar year. 

As a result, the vacation carryover and payout processes for non-contract staff and physicians have been reviewed with the following changes for 2020 vacation hours only. 

Non-contract staff 

  • Staff with less than 75 hours of unscheduled vacation can carryover those hours without approval. Carrryover hours should be used by March 31, 2021.
  • Staff with more than 75 hours of unscheduled vacation should work with their leaders in scheduling vacation time by Jan. 7, 2021
  • If staff are unable to schedule and take time-off due to exceptional circumstances, leaders can submit an exceptional carryover request form in WFM by Nov. 30, 2020. All requests received will be submitted to the vice president, people services for approval. 
  • Staff with approved requests to carryover more than 75 hours will have until March 31, 2021 to schedule and take time-off.
  • Unused carryover hours at March 31, 2021 will be paid out up to a maximum of 75 hours. Unused carryover hours in excess of 75 will be eliminated and not paid out.
  • Staff on extended leave may carryover vacation balances in excess of 75 hours without approval. Unused vacation are to be scheduled and used in the year staff returns from leave.


This information below is only applicable to medical staff under the Physician Master Agreement.

  • Medical staff with less than 150 hours of unused vacation at the end of the calendar year can carryover those hours without approval.
  • Medical staff with more than 150 hours of unused vacation should schedule vacation time by Jan. 7, 2021, where possible.
  • If medical staff are unable to schedule and take time-off due to exceptional circumstances, an exceptional carryover request form can be completed in WFM by Nov. 30, 2020.
  • Carryover hours should be scheduled and taken by March 31, 2021.


The PHSA Early Absence Reporting Line (PEARL) now includes a COVID-19 option.

Employees will hear all the existing PEARL options (Injury at Work, PEARL Illness, Pre-Planned, Other Unplanned Absence) as well as the new COVID-19 option.

PEARL & manager notifications

As a manager, you will receive a PEARL email notification notifying you of your employee’s absence. This is just for your information. 

It does not mean that your employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
If there is any further follow up required from you for employees who are off due to COVID-19 related symptoms, you will be notified. In the absence of this notification, there is no follow up required from you.

When an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the Provincial Workplace Health or the PHSA Workplace Health team is notified and full contact-tracing is conducted. Managers are involved in the contact-tracing process. 

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