The policies found on the website of the Secretariat are compulsory rules for the university community. The authoritative copies of the policies are held by the Secretariat and bear the seal of the university. The online version accessible through the website of the Secretariat is available for information purposes only. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the authoritative copy held by the Secretariat, the authoritative copy shall prevail. Please contact the Secretariat for assistance if necessary.
|Established:||20 December 1966|
|Revised:||8 December 2022|
|Responsible/Originating Department:||Human Resources|
|Executive Contact:||Associate Provost, Human Resources|
Related Policies, Guidelines and Procedures:
- Policy 1 – Initiation and Review of University Policies
- Policy 4 – Benefits to Faculty and Staff Undertaking Part-Time Educational Programs
- Policy 5 – Salary Administration, University Support Staff
- Policy 36 – Dispute Resolution for University Support Staff
- Policy 54 – Definition of Staff
Table of Contents
b. Guiding Principles and Objectives
c. Interpretation of Policy
d. Roles and Responsibilities
2. HIRING AT WATERLOO
a. Internal Candidate
b. External Candidate
c. Post-retirement Employment
d. Former Staff Members
e. Credited Service
3. TRAINING, DEVELOPMENT AND MOBILITY
a. Training and Development
d. Contract Positions
4. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
a. Manager Training on Performance Management
b. Performance Improvement
c. Exceptions to Performance Improvement/Progressive Discipline
d. Staff Support
5. ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
a. Staff Involvement and Consultation
b. Staff on Leave
6. TERMINATING EMPLOYMENT
a. Terminations for Performance
b. Terminations Due to Organizational Change
c. Termination of Contingent on Funding Staff
d. Termination for Other Reasons
Appendix A: Hiring at Waterloo
a. Operating Procedure for Approval of Position
b. Operating Procedure for Recruitment
c. Selection Process
d. Offers of Employment
e. Probation Periods
Appendix B: Staff Training, Development and Mobility
a. Staff Training
b. Operating Procedure: Staff Development Through Mobility
Appendix C: Performance Management
a. Roles and Responsibilities
b. Operating Procedure: Performance Evaluations
c. Operating Procedure: Performance Management
d. Operating Procedure: Stages of Progressive Discipline
Appendix D: Organizational Change
a. Operating Procedure: Loss of Employment
Appendix E: Termination of Employment
Appendix F: The Employment File
This policy applies to Regular Full-time Staff and Regular Part-time Staff (see Policy 54, Definition of Staff) who have completed their probationary periods. For positions that are Contingent on Funding, please note the special provisions in section 6.
This policy defines basic principles and the employment relationship between Staff, Managers, Human Resources and the University of Waterloo. These principles are intended to ensure that uniform standards and consistent employment and staff relations practices are applied and support opportunities for staff development.
Contingent on Funding Position
A position that is 3rd party funded with no guarantee of continued employment and no fixed end date.
A position that has a defined term of employment with a fixed end date.
Employment Standards Act
Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c.41 as it may be amended or superseded.
The chain of Managers and University Leadership linking an individual Staff member to the President of the university.
Any individual (Staff or Faculty member) who has responsibility for monitoring and measuring the performance of any Staff member (see Policy 54, Definition of Staff) and has control over the work that is performed by Staff.
A department/school/office/operational unit that has an assigned budget.
Organizational Unit Head
The operating head of an Organizational Unit; not necessarily a member of the University Leadership.
All Regular Full-time Staff and Regular Part-time Staff (see Policy 54, Definition of Staff) who have completed their probationary periods.
Staff Relations Committee
See Policy 1, Initiation and Review of University Policies, Appendix B.
In the context of this policy, University Leadership refers to the President and all individuals reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor, or Vice-President, Academic & Provost, with the exception of positions graded at USG 14 or below.
Guiding Principles and Objectives
The university will:
- ensure consistent and equitable employment practices across the university.
- encourage the applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.
- be a place where people want to work and can make meaningful contributions.
- enable Staff to have the opportunity to have their concerns heard and participate in decisions related to their employment.
- involve Staff in decision-making when appropriate and be open and transparent with regard to how decisions are made.
- support the training, development and advancement of its Staff in a manner that acknowledges a shared responsibility between the individual Staff member and the University Leadership.
- attract, develop and retain the best possible people in terms of skills, experience and fit.
- balance the needs of the Staff member, the Organizational Unit and the University Leadership when making decisions with respect to staff training, development and promotion.
- meet or exceed applicable employment law, including the Employment Standards Act.
- ensure that appropriate training for Managers is available.
- measure and assess its performance against the above Principles and Objectives.
In instances in which the policy or its appendices do not address a given situation, Staff have the right to be treated in accordance with the above principles and related decisions will be assessed accordingly.
Interpretation of Policy
If Human Resources and Line Management disagree on the interpretation of any part of this policy, either party may request, through Human Resources, that the Staff Relations Committee make a final determination on the appropriate interpretation.
Staff who disagree with the application of this policy should refer to Policy 36, Dispute Resolution for University Support Staff.
Roles and Responsibilities
University Leadership Responsibility
- University Leadership is responsible for ensuring that Managers are adequately trained to fulfill their duties and responsibilities per this policy.
- Day-to-day application of this policy is the responsibility of Managers, in conjunction with their Organizational Unit Head.
- It is the responsibility of Managers, through Line Management, to bring requests for interpretation or variance of this policy to Human Resources, which may subsequently decide to refer the issue to the Staff Relations Committee.
- Managers (and Line Management) are responsible for providing appropriate training and development opportunities for their Staff.
Human Resources Responsibility
- Provide advice and guidance to Managers in relation to interpretation of policy.
- Work with Line Management in a proactive manner in situations when decisions appear to be contrary to the spirit of this policy.
- Determine if a decision of a Manager or application of one or more provisions of this policy would produce a result which is contrary to the guiding principles and objectives of this policy. If so, then Human Resources will require Line Management to present a request for a waiver of such decision(s) or provision(s) to the Staff Relations Committee.
- Maintain Staff Employment Files (see Appendix F).
Staff Member Responsibility
- Understand the policy and the rights and obligations it defines.
- Be aware of, and make use of the training and development provisions in the policy to advance her/his career at the university.
Staff Relations Committee (SRC) Responsibility
- To provide interpretation of this policy and make decisions as to whether plans or actions undertaken by the university are in compliance with this policy.
- Measuring and assessing the university’s performance against the Principles and Objectives of this policy.
2. Hiring at Waterloo
The university is committed to hiring the best possible people in terms of skill, experience and fit in support of institutional priorities and mission in the timeliest manner possible. Candidates who apply internally will be given preference in situations when the qualified internal candidate meets or exceeds the requirements of the job. Internal applicants who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+, will be given preference within that pool of internal applicants. All new employees who join Waterloo as Regular Full-time Staff or Regular Part-time Staff will be required to fulfil probationary periods for their initial positions and have their performance evaluated, documented and submitted to Human Resources before probation can be removed. Staff will be advised in writing by Line Management upon successful completion of their probationary period.
All positions, new or existing will require approval and follow standard recruitment processes. (See Appendix A, Hiring at Waterloo for information about Preparing to Recruit, Internal Posting and External Advertising, the Selection Process, Offers of Employment, and Probation Periods.)
An internal candidate is any candidate who is:
- A current Staff member as defined under this policy (see section 1, Definitions).
- An individual in a Contract Position who has been employed in that position for a minimum of one year and currently holds the vacant position.
- A former Staff member who was involuntarily terminated as a result of organizational change and is within her/his specified eligibility period (see section 6, Retention of Internal Status).
Any candidate that is not considered an internal candidate is an external candidate.
Post-retirement, a former Staff member may only be employed in a Contract Position provided the work is not a continuation of the work performed prior to retirement. Any other post-retirement arrangement requires the approval of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost.
Former Staff Members
In the event that a former Staff member is rehired in an on-going, regular position the following sections will apply:
A rehired Staff member is eligible to have her/his service credited at the university if s/he left due to:
- voluntary termination and is rehired a maximum of 12 months from her/his original date of termination.
- organizational change and is rehired a maximum of 18 months from her/his original date of termination.
Staff members who are rehired are required to undergo a new probation per Appendix A, Periods of Probation.
3. Training, Development and Mobility
The university is committed to maximizing opportunities for advancement and new challenges for Staff while balancing the needs of the university. Managers are accountable for supporting Staff growth and development through secondment, leadership development, training and performance management, and encouraging Staff to apply for positions for which they appear to be qualified, including in other Organizational Units.
Training and Development
Staff training and development is a shared responsibility between the individual Staff member, Manager, Organizational Unit Head and University Leadership. When looking at Staff training and development, both Staff and Line Management must look at the needs of their Organizational Unit and the university as a whole.
Staff members are entitled to up to five of their normal working days (or an equivalent number of hours) of training (classroom or practical) annually for career and professional development. Where training is required as part of your position this is not included as part of your five-day entitlement (see Staff Training in Appendix B, Staff Training and Development).
Secondments are fixed term opportunities for a Staff member to gain valuable experience in another Organizational Unit with the knowledge that the Staff member will return to her/his existing position when the term of the secondment has ended. An agreement is put into place between the University and the Staff member in consultation with the two Organizational Unit Heads and Human Resources.
Organizational Unit Heads are expected to work collaboratively to accommodate secondment requests. Only in situations which would result in abnormal disruption to the running of the home Organizational Unit should a secondment be denied.
Managers are encouraged to utilize secondments as a way to develop Staff for future roles (see Appendix B, Staff Development through Mobility and Secondments).
The university recognizes the need for, and benefit of, appointing Staff members to positions under limited and specific circumstances. University Leadership may appoint Staff members to specific full-time or seconded positions as follows:
- as part of a documented plan to develop internal Staff leadership in order to promote from within; or
- to provide workplace accommodation for a Staff member who is temporarily or permanently unable to fulfill the duties of her/his position due to documented personal or medical reasons; or in support of legal requirements; or
- to work with impacted Staff to mitigate job loss through organizational change during their internal status period (see Section 6, Retention of Internal Status; please note: it is the Staff member's responsibility to identify positions of interest. Human Resources will assist the Staff member in determining whether he/she is qualified.); or
- as provided in Appendix A, Positions classified as USG 1-5.
Each of these circumstances has a specific approval process, as defined in Appendix B, Approval Process for Appointments.
The university acknowledges that there are meaningful Staff career opportunities that may be available only as Contract Positions. When a Staff member accepts a Contract Position (with the exception of post-retirement contracts), a Staff member retains her/his regular status as a Staff member and all associated employment benefits for the period of the contract. In the event that the position becomes permanent and no significant performance issues have been identified and documented, the individual will be appointed to the position (and probation will be waived). In the event that the Contract Position is eliminated or the Staff member has significant performance issues, then the Staff member will be terminated under the provisions as outlined in section 6, Terminating Employment (see Appendix B, Staff Moving to Contract Positions).
4. Performance Management
The university is committed to the ongoing growth and development of its Staff through effective performance management. The purpose of performance management is to provide ongoing confidential, constructive feedback to a Staff member regarding her/his performance in relation to the requirements of her/his job description and identified career goals and objectives.
Staff and Managers are expected to work collaboratively to identify goals, establish priorities and determine what success looks like for the Staff member. Measurement will be achieved through regular ongoing meetings, feedback sessions and support on performance, culminating in a formal annual evaluation and plan (see Appendix C, Performance Management, and section 3.F in Policy 5, Salary Administration, University Support Staff).
Manager Training on Performance Management
University Leadership is responsible for ensuring every new Manager receives training on performance management. This refers to a Manager who is new to the university or new to the role of Manager and has never had direct reports.
New Managers must receive performance management training within the first three months of becoming a Manager or before she/he writes her/his first performance evaluations, whichever comes first.
The purpose of performance improvement is to:
- ensure Staff have an opportunity to achieve their highest potential;
- identify performance deficiencies and put in place methods for ensuring that performance standards are achieved;
- allow all Staff who are not meeting performance standards the opportunity to achieve an acceptable level of performance with appropriate assistance and guidance within a given and consistent time frame; and
- ensure that a consistent and fair approach is used when dealing with performance issues.
Performance improvement follows a prescribed path (see Appendix C, Performance Management), progressing to the next level only if the previous step(s) proved ineffective. When performance improvement transitions to progressive discipline (see Appendix C, Operating Procedure: Stages of Progressive Discipline), Staff have the right to representation per Staff Support – Representation below.
Exceptions to Performance Improvement/Progressive Discipline
In the following exceptional cases University Leadership may apply any stage of progressive discipline (as defined in Appendix C), up to and including:
- suspension with pay, pending investigation, when there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of dishonesty, assault, violence or harassment (“bullying”) (as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act), serious insubordination or other actions which could be considered detrimental to fellow Staff members.
- termination when actions are considered detrimental to an Organizational Unit or the university.
At each stage of progressive discipline, the Manager must draw to the Staff member’s attention the various institutional supports available, such as the Employee Assistance Program, Counselling Services, Human Resources, University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) and the Conflict Management & Human Rights Office.
In all matters of discipline, a Staff member has the right to seek representation from the UWSA or any employee of the university (including, if necessary, aid in presenting the Staff member's position) during any meetings attended to discuss such matters. At every stage the Staff member must be provided with an opportunity to respond, to acknowledge the concern(s), to seek guidance, and/or to offer a dissenting viewpoint.
5. Organizational Change
University Leadership may be required to consider organizational change due to the introduction of new technology, departmental redesign, or financial considerations. The purpose of reorganization could be to rearrange or redistribute job duties to deliver more efficient services or to create, eliminate or modify existing position duties to make more effective use of resources (see Appendix D, Organizational Change for the operating procedure for loss of employment and Appendix G, Interpretations for definitions of terms relating to job vacancies during organizational change).
For purposes of this policy, organizational change is considered to result from any of the following:
- re-assignment of job functions;
- any reporting change within or across Organizational Units;
- the elimination of any Organizational Unit;
- the elimination of any academic or non-academic program where there may be Staff job loss;
- changes to the reporting structure; or
- staff replacement due to Long Term Disability.
All organizational changes, whether permanent or temporary, job loss or not, must be reported by the Manager or Organizational Unit Head to Human Resources who will determine if there is a need for the Organizational Unit Head to bring the change to the Staff Relations Committee for information or review. The Staff Relations Committee does not approve the reorganization plan but will ensure that the plan is in compliance with this policy.
When Staff members are affected by organizational change, the Guiding Principles and Objectives of this policy must be followed. Affected Staff must be involved and consulted as early as possible in any organizational change process.
Staff Involvement and Consultation
Staff members’ knowledge of their work units and their ideas for achieving efficiency or cost reduction are important considerations in planning change. As a result, organizational change normally should be preceded by open internal consultation with affected Staff members.
However, a reorganization could also result in the elimination of a particular Organizational Unit or position(s) and in such situations it is understood that information pertaining to the elimination of the Organizational Unit or position(s) cannot be shared until a final decision has been made. Those responsible for the organization change in question must seek advice from Human Resources on the extent and timing of any consultation.
Staff on Leave
If an organizational change takes place during a Staff member’s absence resulting in the Staff member’s position being eliminated, the Staff member will be treated under the provisions of Appendix D, Operating Procedure: Loss of Employment unless alternative employment can be found for the Staff member. Appointment to a position may also be considered in this situation.
If a Staff member’s position is not eliminated then the following applies:
Leaves lasting not more than 12 months
The Organizational Unit must leave the Staff member’s position available for the Staff member to return to. Hiring for the vacant position must be limited to secondment or Contract.
Leaves lasting more than 12 months
After 12 months of disability leave the Organizational Unit may permanently fill the vacancy, once all approvals are in place. Staff members who return after 12 months will be treated under the provisions of Appendix D, Loss of Employment unless alternative employment can be found. Appointment to a position may be considered in this situation.
6. Terminating Employment
Irrespective of how employment comes to an end, the overriding principles are that all Staff members are to be treated with respect and that termination matters will be handled in confidence.
When a Staff member is leaving the university, the Manager is expected to complete the termination of employment forms to ensure that the termination is processed smoothly. Notification is a joint responsibility of the Manager, Organizational Unit Head and Human Resources.
When terminations are involuntary, Managers must seek advice from Human Resources before proceeding with any action related to Staff terminations (see Appendix E, Termination of Employment).
Terminations for Performance
In cases where performance improvement efforts have failed, dismissal may be the next step and can only be carried out after consulting with Human Resources (see Appendix E, Termination of Employment).
Terminations Due to Organizational Change
When it becomes clear that organizational change will lead to the release of a Staff member(s), Managers must seek advice from Human Resources on the extent and timing of consultation as it may it be appropriate to limit consultation to minimize negative effects on morale (see Appendix D, Organizational Change).
Upon termination, Staff entitlements are outlined in Appendix E, Notice and Severance Entitlement.
When there is more than one position with the same job description and funding status (regular, contingent on funding or contract) in the designated Organizational Unit, and one of those positions is to be eliminated, the position eliminated will be that held by the most junior Staff member in terms of continuous regular service (including credited service) at the university provided that:
- the performance level of the longer-serving Staff member is recorded on the last performance review as, at a minimum, meeting expectations (as defined in the performance management process); and
- current progressive discipline is not on file for the longer serving Staff member.
Funds for Contract Staff in the affected Organizational Unit will be reduced before an on-going, regular Staff member is released or transferred to a position at a lower salary level.
Retention of Internal Status
The Staff member will remain eligible to apply for positions as an internal candidate for a specific eligibility period. The period of eligibility, which commences with the date of the letter of termination, is the maximum termination period (as outlined in Appendix E, Notice and Severance Entitlement) plus 26 weeks. For example, a Staff member with 12 years of continuous service would retain internal status for 68 weeks; a Staff member with 22 or more years of continuous service would retain internal status for 100 weeks.
A Staff member whose position has been eliminated as a result of organizational change will be offered her/his former position back should it be re-established within 12 months from the date of notice of termination.
Reduction in Working Hours
When organizational change results in a reduction in the hours worked of a position, the reduction will be treated according to the principles identified in section 5.
Termination of Contingent on Funding Staff
Staff in Contingent on Funding positions whose positions are eliminated because of a loss of funding have entitlements as defined in Appendix E, Staff in Contingent on Funding Positions.
Termination for Other Reasons
There are circumstances in which a Staff member will leave the university for reasons other than those noted above. In these situations, the privacy rights of the individual take precedence. These unique situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Terminations of this nature must be approved by the appropriate member of University Leadership in consultation with Human Resources. The individual must, at a minimum, be treated in accordance with and provided the benefits of section 6, Terminations Due To Organizational Change of this policy. Staff have the right to representation in such matters as defined in section 4, Staff Support.
Appendix A: Hiring at Waterloo
Operating Procedure for Approval of Position
All requests for new hires must be authorized by the Organizational Unit Head, relevant member of University Leadership, and the Vice-President, Academic & Provost, or designate before submitting to Human Resources.
Operating Procedure for Recruitment
Preparing to Recruit
Once approval is received in writing, Human Resources will work with the hiring Manager to finalize the job description. Recruitment is a joint responsibility between the Organizational Unit Head, the hiring Manager and Human Resources. All new or revised positions, accompanied by complete job descriptions, must be evaluated and appropriate USG assigned by Human Resources before any recruitment can take place.
When setting job requirements, Organizational Unit Heads are expected to identify the minimum qualifications essential to the position (i.e., core) and to distinguish between skills and the particular application of those skills. For example, it may be reasonable to consider a candidate who has shown the necessary skills to operate a particular software package qualified for a position even though the hiring department uses different software. Organizational Unit Heads are expected to ensure that the essential qualifications and experience for the position reflect the minimum required to encourage a competitive and inclusive pool of applicants. For positions USG 6-15 inclusive, hiring managers may, in consultation with Human Resources, identify a minimum number of candidates (usually two or three) required for the pool (see Appendix G, Expanding the Pool for more information).
A category of position, referred to as “career path,” is designed to reflect increased knowledge, problem solving and accountability over an extended period of time. They are advertised at various classification levels to provide flexibility in recruiting individuals at differing levels of skill and knowledge (e.g., USG 10-12).
Internal Posting and External Advertising
Internal posting and external advertising is the responsibility of Human Resources. Hiring Managers need to work with Human Resources to determine the best method for their specific recruiting needs.
To ensure a timely recruitment process, all positions may be posted internally and advertised externally concurrently.
With the exceptions noted below, vacancies may be internally posted and/or externally advertised by Human Resources. If there are potential candidates within the Organizational Unit, it may be appropriate to note this in the internal posting. In exceptional situations, the Staff Relations Committee may waive advertising requirements at the request of Human Resources.
Advertising will occur under the following conditions:
Positions Classified at USG 1 to USG 5
Line Management may utilize the appointment process (Appendix B, Approval Process for Appointments) thereby bypassing the need to advertise. If the appointment process is not applied, internal posting and external advertising will take place concurrently; however, all internal applications will be reviewed by Human Resources and the hiring Manager and qualified internal candidates interviewed prior to any external applications being reviewed.
Positions Classified USG 6-15
Internal posting and external advertising may take place concurrently; however, all internal applications will be reviewed by Human Resources and the hiring Manager, and qualified internal candidates interviewed prior to any external applications being reviewed.
Positions Classified at USG 16 and Higher
Internal posting and external advertising will occur simultaneously and all candidates will be considered within the same applicant pool.
Human Resources refers internal candidates to the Organizational Unit. Candidates for consideration by the Organizational Unit are those whose qualifications most closely match the advertised requirements of the position as determined by the hiring Manager, in consultation with Human Resources.
To be considered qualified as an internal candidate the applicant must meet all of the advertised core qualifications (i.e., those qualifications essential to the position). Candidates not deemed qualified (e.g., may have three of the four core qualifications) but who may have other assets relevant to the position may be added to the short list at the discretion of the hiring Manager. Internal candidates will be informed by the hiring Manager that, although they are being referred, they do not meet the advertised core qualifications. Hiring Managers are not obligated to offer positions to candidates in this latter category. Candidates not deemed qualified may be considered with any qualified external candidates and, in such cases, will be so informed by the hiring Manager and if necessary Human Resources. Should this candidate be an applicant who has been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit, Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+, preference will be given to their application with that pool of external applicants.
The hiring Manager, in consultation with Human Resources, makes the final decision on which candidate will be offered the position. In fairness to all applicants, the selection process should not be unduly time-consuming. Applicants who are unsure of the status or are anxious to know how matters are progressing are encouraged to contact Human Resources.
Should an internal candidate be unsuccessful in the selection process, it is the responsibility of the hiring Manager to contact the candidate to advise him or her of the decision. Hiring Managers must also provide guidance to the candidate as to the specific skills, qualifications and/or knowledge that the candidate should consider in her/his training and development plans. Human Resources is available to consult with Hiring Managers to help facilitate these conversations.
Starting salaries and terms of employment are also determined by the hiring Manager, in consultation with the Organizational Unit Head, Human Resources, and in accordance with Policy 5 - Salary Administration, University Support Staff.
Offers of Employment
All offers of employment are the responsibility of Human Resources. All offers of employment will be conditional on the receipt, by Human Resources, of satisfactory references and education/credential verification. For internal candidates, the primary reference will be the current Manager. Permission will be sought from the candidate before contacting the current Manager.
Where the candidate has been working for the university as a contract employee, external and internal referencing will occur as well as the appropriate education/credential verification.
Condition of Employment
A probationary period is part of the initial employment agreement. If a staff member on probation takes a leave of absence (e.g., pregnancy/parental leave), the balance of the probationary period must be served after the staff member returns to work. Normally, probationary periods are required when a former staff member returns to the university.
Staff who transfer or are promoted are not subject to another probationary period.
The Staff member’s Manager is required to assess performance during the probationary period and to communicate performance expectations and constructive feedback to the staff member on a regular basis. Concerns with unsatisfactory performance must be documented and discussed with the staff member to advise which areas require improvement. Staff members must be given an opportunity to demonstrate improvement over a reasonable period of time. Organizational Unit Heads must be made aware of any potential performance issues and the Manager should work with Human Resources to establish a performance improvement plan.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to extend a staff member’s probationary period to continue to assess performance. Extensions must be discussed with Human Resources and will not normally be for more than two months for positions below USG 6 and six months for positions at and above USG 6. An extension may not last longer than the original length of probation.
When it appears necessary to terminate a staff member during probation, Human Resources must be consulted before such action is taken.
|Job Family||Length of Probation|
|Housekeepers and Janitors||Three (3) months|
|USG 1 - 5||Six (6) months|
|USG 6 and above||Twelve (12) months|
Appendix B: Staff Training, Development and Mobility
To ensure operational demands of the Organizational Unit can be met, Manager approval is required.
No Cost to Department
All training that is offered through Organizational and Human Development or courses reimbursed under Policy 4 - Benefits to Faculty and Staff Undertaking Part-Time Educational Programs, requires approval only for time away from work to attend. The decision about which course to take is the responsibility of the Staff member although it is highly recommended that a discussion take place with the Manager.
Cost to Department
Training that has a cost associated with it requires approval for both the course itself for relevance to the role or future roles and for the associated time away from work. The decision about whether the cost will be paid is the responsibility of the Manager and if agreed, the Organizational Unit is responsible for absorbing the cost within its regular operating budget. Managers may also agree to time away but not to paying for the course.
Training Greater than Entitlement Hours
Any training that is requested that is greater than the entitlement (as defined in the policy) requires approval from the Manager.
Operating Procedure: Staff Development Through Mobility
Temporary Reassignments Within Organizational Unit
It is understood that short term needs within an Organizational Unit often can be met by re-assignment of existing Staff or Contract employees. Recognizing that “short-term” is subject to interpretation, Organizational Unit reassignments of up to 12 or 14 months, e.g. for maternity leaves, are not “secondments”.
Temporary reassignments can only be used within the same Organizational Units
Temporary reassignments should be used for short term coverage (e.g., maternity leave, parental leave, Long Term Disability) to give Staff within the Organizational Unit an opportunity to develop broader skill sets.
The appropriate method for Staff who move to positions with higher accountabilities (higher USG) within their own Organizational Unit is a stipend. All stipend requests are reviewed and approved by Human Resources. Stipends are not added to base salary for purposes of calculating salary-based benefits and salary increases.
Secondments are to be used when Staff are moving temporarily between two Organizational Units regardless of duration. Managers involved in a secondment arrangement must consult Human Resources for information on advertising a secondment and drafting an agreement.
Secondments should not exceed 18 months in length. Extension beyond 18 months must be discussed and agreed between the two Organizational Units and Human Resources.
Posting a Secondment
Secondments are advertised internally to the campus community via the job posting mechanism. Human Resources will record and batch resumes before forwarding on to the hiring Manager.
All secondment arrangements must be formally documented* and signatures obtained from the home Organizational Unit Head, the seconding Organizational Unit Head and the Staff member. A copy of the secondment agreement must be sent to Human Resources for the Staff member’s file.
*NOTE: The arrangement must include a copy of the job description for the seconded position and outline the details of the secondment; including start and expected end dates, early termination provisions, reporting relationship in the seconded position, and salary and grade level for the seconded position.
Classification and Salary
A Staff member who is seconded to a position at a higher classification than her/his normal position may be entitled to receive a secondment supplement for the duration of the secondment to that higher grade level.
Depending on the percentage of time worked in the seconded position, a secondment supplement will be considered and determined by Human Resources and the appropriate Organizational Unit Head for the seconded position, with or without consulting the home Organizational Unit Head, as follows:
- When a Staff member is 100% in the seconded position, the home Organizational Unit Head will be informed of any secondment supplement that is being provided.
- When a Staff member is less than 100% in the seconded position, the home Organizational Unit Head will be consulted about any secondment supplement that is being provided.
Secondment supplements are not added to base salary for purposes of calculating salary-based benefits and salary increases.
Where a Staff member is 100% seconded, performance appraisals will be the responsibility of the Manager of the seconded position; the home Organizational Unit Head will be informed of the appraisal and rating. Where a Staff member is less than 100% seconded, the performance appraisal and rating will be determined by the Manager of the seconded position, in consultation with the home Organizational Unit Head.
Any salary increases that are awarded will be applied to both the regular base pay and to the secondment supplement in discussion with Human Resources.
Salary Upon Return to Home Department
When a Staff member returns to her/his previous position, the secondment supplement will be removed.
Unless otherwise documented in the secondment agreement, the seconding Organizational Unit will transfer budget to the home Organizational Unit to cover the seconded Staff member’s full salary for the duration of the secondment agreement. If a secondment supplement is provided, the seconding department will pay the full amount for the duration of the secondment.
Secondment Recruitment Process
When considering a candidate for a secondment position, the hiring Manager is required to have a discussion with the home Organizational Unit Head before making an offer to a potential secondee.
Approval Process for Appointments:
The following approvals or verifications are required for University Leadership to appoint Staff to specific full-time or seconded positions:
Appointments to Positions Classified as USG 1-5
Approval by the hiring Manager and Organizational Unit Head, after consultation with Human Resources.
Appointments to Support Succession Planning
Requires Vice-President, Academic & Provost's approval and must be supported by a documented succession plan.
Appointment to Support Workplace Accommodation
Verification by Human Resources that documentation exists to support need for accommodation.
Appointment to Support Job Loss Due to Organizational Change
Verification by Human Resources that an organizational change will result in the Staff member losing her/his position.
Staff Moving to Contract Positions:
Any member of Staff that accepts a position that is posted as a Contract Position will not return to her/his position in the original department.
A Staff member is not required to gain approval from her/his Manager to apply for positions advertised for Contract employees. All information will be held in confidence by Human Resources and shared with the hiring Manager. Hiring Managers are required to conduct reference checks before an offer can be made.
Period of Employment
A Staff member will retain her/his full entitlements as if working in a regular ongoing staff position should s/he accept a role that is posted as a Contract Position.
Contract Position becomes Full-time Regular
In the event the position becomes regularized, the Staff member who is working in the position will have full rights to the position unless significant performance issues have been identified and documented in which case the Manager reserves the right to post the position following normal recruitment practice.
Contract Position is Eliminated
Staff members will be treated under section 6, Terminating Employment and are entitled to all provisions as outlined in the policy.
Appendix C: Performance Management
The purpose of performance management is to provide ongoing confidential, constructive feedback to Staff members regarding their performance in relation to the requirements of their job description and identified career goals and objectives.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Meet personally with Staff to assist them in developing goals that are relevant to both the Organizational Unit and the Staff member’s development.
- Meet personally with Staff to discuss the content of the performance evaluation and provide written feedback. The information conveyed in performance evaluations should be a confirmation of feedback discussed with Staff members on a regular basis throughout the previous performance year, and supported by specific examples.
- Staff are encouraged to be involved in the development of goals that are relevant to both the Organizational Unit and the Staff member’s development and in recording accomplishments as they relate to performance for purposes of evaluation.
- Staff are encouraged to discuss any concerns with their Manager or Organizational Unit Head.
Operating Procedure: Performance Evaluations
At a minimum performance evaluations should be conducted every 12 months. However, it is recommended that Managers and Staff meet on a regular basis.
Contact Human Resources for information about training opportunities and see the Performance Management website on the Human Resources homepage for information.
Managers who anticipate issuing a performance rating of 2.5 or lower must advise their immediate Manager and must consult Human Resources to discuss appropriate action and next steps prior to meeting with the Staff member. Progressive discipline must have commenced prior to any Staff member receiving a rating of 2.0 or lower in a performance evaluation (see section 4, Performance Improvement).
It should be noted that a Staff member’s signature indicates that s/he met, received and reviewed the performance evaluation with her/his manager. The signature is not intended to be an endorsement of the evaluation presented.
Staff members are encouraged to make comments, provide feedback and/or commentary on the past performance year on the evaluation.
If a Staff member disagrees with the content of her/his performance evaluation, s/he may provide her/his view in writing to her/his Manager with a copy to Human Resources as a permanent attachment to the evaluation.
Operating Procedure: Performance Management
|STEP 1: IDENTIFYING THE CAUSE|
|COACHING||Discuss the expectations and employee's performance|
|Plan for Improvement
|STEP 2: ORAL COACHING|
|Discuss the expectations and performance gap|
|Plans for Improvement
|STEP 3: ORAL WARNING|
|Discussion on performance, note in Organizational Unit file|
|STEP 4: WRITTEN WARNING(S)|
|Review past plan|
|Formalize the new plan|
|STEP 5: DECISION DAY (LAST CHANCE FOR EMPLOYEE)|
|Institute formal notice
|STEP 6: FINAL DECISION|
|Contact Human Resources and Senior Management
Options to consider:
|Dismissal Meeting with Employee|
In situations where the need for Staff performance improvement is identified, Managers must consult directly with Human Resources to develop a formal plan of action to address performance issues. Performance improvement follows a prescribed path, progressing to the next level only if the previous step proved ineffective. Below is a summary of the major steps:
The initial stages of performance improvement focus on identifying the underlying causes of poor performance and working together to develop a plan to bring performance in line with expectations. In most cases when the Staff member and the Manager work together, performance is successfully corrected.
The university follows performance improvement principles which include progressive discipline in situations where there is no, or insufficient improvement in performance.
Human Resources must be contacted before disciplinary action is taken which results in or leads to: a formal written warning which becomes a matter of record; loss of earnings; suspension; demotion; or dismissal. Human Resources will ensure equity of treatment and consistency of application of policies, as well as compliance with relevant legislation.
For the following stages, documentation (file copies) must be sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the Staff member’s file (see Appendix F, The Employment File).
- written warning to the Staff member
- a second written warning, temporary suspension or, in some cases, demotion
- dismissal from the position
Exceptions to Performance Improvement/Progressive Discipline
There are exceptional cases when the University Leadership may bypass the performance improvement process (see section 4, Exceptions to Performance Improvement/Progressive Discipline).
At each stage of progressive discipline, the Manager must draw to the Staff member’s attention the various on-campus supports available, such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Counselling Services, Human Resources, University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) and the Conflict Management & Human Rights Office. In all matters of discipline, a Staff member has the right to seek advice from the UWSA and to be accompanied by any University of Waterloo colleague for advice and support (including, if necessary, aid in presenting the Staff member's position) during any meetings attended to discuss such matters. At every stage the Staff member must be provided with an opportunity to respond, acknowledge the concern(s), seek guidance, or offer a dissenting viewpoint.
Operating Procedure: Stages of Progressive Discipline
Oral Warning (Step 3)
Considered a form of formal discipline; it must clearly indicate the ongoing concern(s), and the need for improvement. The Staff member must be informed that an oral warning has been issued. An oral warning is not included in the Staff member’s file, although the manager must place a brief note in the Staff member’s Organizational Unit file to indicate the date, time and subject under discussion. Any written record of oral warnings is retained with the Organizational Unit for 24 months or until the Staff member leaves the Organizational Unit.
Written Warnings (Step 4)
Line Management may issue up to two written warnings which are letters addressed to the Staff member being disciplined, indicating the area(s) of concern, and confirming any prior informal discussions and oral warnings. A written warning should be issued at the time of the incident or the culmination of unacceptable performance. The written warning should outline the specific issues of concern along with action steps to assist the employee in improving the performance issues, a time line for demonstrated improvement, and contain a statement (as noted in “Staff Support” above) regarding the support services available. A copy of this written warning must be sent to Human Resources, where it becomes part of the Staff member’s file. The Staff member must be informed of the distribution of all written warnings.
Managers may issue a second written warning which also becomes part of the file or, in some cases, may suspend or demote the Staff member after consultation with Human Resources, if oral and written warnings have failed to improve performance. The length of suspension is determined on a case-by-case basis.
A Response or Dissenting View
The Staff member has the right to append a response or a dissenting view. Human Resources will send a copy to the Manager who issued the warning letter. The format (responses or dissenting views to the specific issues of concern and time line for improvement) and distribution must follow the same guidelines as those of the original written warning.
If dismissal is determined to be the best course of action, a representative from Human Resources must be present for the dismissal.
Hiring Manager Access to Applicant Information
Staff have a general right to view their own files (see Appendix F, The Employment File). The university will also to the fullest extent possible, protect against disclosure of such information to third parties, except with the written consent of the person concerned.
Hiring Managers who choose to interview prospective candidates have the right to be informed about the candidate’s performance evaluations from the two previous or most recent years and know whether a prospective candidate has a warning letter on file, as well as any response or dissenting view. Human Resources will, at the hiring Manager’s request, convey the general nature of the warning letter and the candidate’s response or dissenting view. Alternatively, the prospective candidate may request that full access to the warning letter and response or dissenting view be provided to the hiring Manager. The chair of a panel interview shall be deemed the hiring Manager for purposes of this paragraph.
The disciplinary letter and any associated appendices or submissions will become null and void and no longer be considered as part of the file provided the Staff member has not received any subsequent disciplinary letter in the 24-month period following its issue. The Staff member may request the removal of the documents from the file and Organizational Unit file after the 24-month period has elapsed.
Appendix D: Organizational Change
When change is expected, Managers will encourage affected Staff to seek advice/support from the Centre for Career Action, Employee Assistance Program, Human Resources and/or the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA), as appropriate.
Operating Procedure: Loss of Employment
Responsibilities for Review of Release of Staff Member:
- provides advice and ensures due diligence;
- examines process; and
- is the main support, guide and assistant to Organizational Unit Heads in the process.
Staff Relations Committee
No action on organizational change that results in loss of employment can be taken until it is reviewed by the Staff Relations Committee. The Staff Relations Committee does not approve a reorganization plan but will:
- provide counsel and advice;
- ensure compliance with the process and that Staff interests are well represented;
- investigate process; and
- make certain that all information relevant to the decision is shared and open for scrutiny before any action regarding implementation is taken.
- provides confidential resources and assistance to affected Staff.
Approvals Required for Staff Release:
Organizational Unit Head
Organizational Unit Heads considering organizational changes that result in loss of employment must review their plans in detail with Human Resources who will provide advice on legal requirements and process. Organizational Unit Heads are accountable for ensuring that due process is followed.
In cases where an Organizational Unit’s reorganization results in loss of employment for Staff members, Organizational Unit Heads are encouraged to find reasonable alternate employment via the appointment process (see Section 3, Appointments, and Appendix B, Approval Process for Appointments) either within their own Organizational Units or the broader university.
Authorization to Proceed
Before implementation, a plan must be approved by the appropriate University Leader and the Associate Provost, Human Resources, in consultation with theVice-President, Academic & Provost.
Appendix E: Termination of Employment
Notice of Termination
The Manager, with support from the Organizational Unit Head, will meet with the Staff member to inform him or her of the reasons for termination. A representative from Human Resources will attend the meeting to provide advice and guidance regarding policy and process as required. The Staff member will receive written notification of termination from the Organizational Unit Head, copied to Human Resources to be included in the Staff Member’s File (see Appendix F, The Employment File), outlining any applicable entitlements as defined in Appendix E, the Employment Standards Act, and other applicable laws.
Pay in Lieu of Notice
The university will provide Staff with pay in lieu of notice, based on the Staff member’s salary at the time of termination multiplied by the number of weeks eligible under the Employment Standards Act. The lieu of notice period begins with the date of the letter of termination (and includes time worked under the working notice provision).
A Staff member will normally have the option of leaving immediately upon being notified of termination but may choose to work her/his notice entitlement period unless the Organizational Unit Head has received approval of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost for immediate termination. Organizational Unit Heads may request an immediate termination date, but only with the approval of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost.
|Length of Employment||Working Notice Required
(ESA Notice Period)
|Less than 3 months||None|
|3 months but less than 1 year||1 week|
|1 year but less than 3 years||2 weeks|
|3 years but less than 4 years||3 weeks|
|4 years but less than 5 years||4 weeks|
|5 years but less than 6 years||5 weeks|
|6 years but less than 7 years||6 weeks|
|7 years but less than 8 years||7 weeks|
|More than 8 years||8 weeks|
Group Benefits and Pension
Participation in pension, insured and vacation benefits will continue on the normal cost-sharing basis for at least the statutory notice period required under the Employment Standards Act, depending on the severance option selected by the Staff member (see Appendix E, Severance Payments).
Staff members may be entitled to severance pay based on their years of service, as defined under the Employment Standards Act.
A Staff member’s entitlement is calculated by multiplying the regular wages for a regular work week by the sum of:
- the number of completed years of employment beyond five years; and
- the number of completed months of employment divided by 12 for a year that is not completed.
The maximum amount of severance pay required to be paid under the Employment Standards Act is 26 weeks.
Notice and Severance Entitlement
Notice and Severance will be based on the following chart.
ESA Notice Period
ESA Severance Period
UW Severance Period
Maximum Termination Period
|Less than 3 months||0||0||0||0|
|More than 3 months but less than 1 year||1||0||0||1|
This chart is for information purposes only and each termination will be calculated by Human Resources in accordance with legislative requirements taking into consideration actual service.
Based on the Staff member’s length of service at the university, the Staff member will continue to be paid full Salary during the Employment Standards Act notice period (column A). Benefits other than short-term disability will remain in place during this period.
Upon notice of termination of employment the Staff member will be presented with a written severance agreement which will include two options: a lump sum option, or a salary continuation option (see below) for the payment of the total severance entitlement (column B plus column C). A final signed agreement is to be submitted to Human Resources within five business days from the date of termination indicating the Staff member’s choice. Failure to provide the necessary signed agreements will result in only the statutory payments being paid (column A plus column B) until the agreement is returned. All signed agreements are final and binding.
Lump Sum option
A Staff member who chooses this option will receive a lump sum payment equivalent to column B plus column C. All benefits will cease at the end of the Employment Standards Act notice period (column A).
Salary Continuation option
A Staff member who chooses this option will continue to be paid her/his current salary as at the time of termination, in monthly installments for the severance period (column B plus column C), or until such time as the Staff member secures alternate employment, whichever occurs first.
All group benefits will continue through the severance period (column B plus column C) with the exception of short and long term disability and pension.
In the event that the Staff member secures alternate employment the university shall pay a lump sum calculated as:
- 100% of any outstanding entitlements defined in column A and column B, plus
- 50% of any outstanding salary as defined in column C.
Alternate employment is defined as employment that is full-time with group benefits. Contractual work (that has a defined start and end date), or self-employment do not constitute alternate employment, even if offered by the university.
Column D is the total payout available to a Staff member.
Career Transition Services
Human Resources will provide information and referral to external agencies for Staff members who wish to pursue such a service. The cost of this external service will be borne by the Staff member. In addition, personal support is available through the university’s network of community support services including, Staff Career Advisor, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Counselling Services, Human Resources and the UWSA.
When a Staff member is leaving the university, the Organizational Unit Head is to complete a Notice of Termination form and forward copies to Human Resources so that appropriate arrangements may be made with respect to pension plan, vacation and statutory holidays, life and medical insurance termination, and termination from the payroll.
Staff in Contingent on Funding Positions
All entitlements in this Appendix apply to Staff in Contingent on Funding Positions who have at least ten years of continuous service at the university.
For Contingent on Funding Staff who have less than ten years of continuous service, only the following entitlements are applicable:
- Notice and Severance Entitlement, Appendix E, columns A and B;
- Career Transition Services, Appendix E;
- Seniority Provision, Policy 18, section 6;
- Retention of internal status for 6 months.
Appendix F: The Employment File
The university shall maintain an Employment File, hereinafter referred to as the file, for each Staff member. Located in and maintained by Human Resources, the file is a collection of documents relevant to the Staff member’s employment at the university. Staff members have access to their own file to verify the accuracy of the contents, request removal of items, and add explanatory comments and materials all in accordance with this policy. Staff may challenge, under Policy 36 - Dispute Resolution for University Support Staff, the inclusion of any item in the file (see Appendix C, Progressive Discipline). The material in the file will be the primary resource used in decisions respecting the employment of Staff of the university.
The file may include:
- documents required by federal or provincial authorities;
- performance evaluations from the last five years;
- if disciplinary action has been taken, copies of any written warning letters (also referred to as disciplinary letters or reprimands), possibly, supporting documentation on which the action is based, and any appended information provided by the staff member. As noted in Appendix C, the disciplinary letter and any associated appendices or submissions will become null and void and no longer considered part of the file provided the Staff member has not received any subsequent disciplinary letter in the 24-month period following its issue.
NOTE: If the Staff member is absent from work for three or more months during this period, the Staff member’s Manager has the option of extending the 24-month period by the length of the absence. The Manager also has the authority to remove the disciplinary letter or write an appending letter prior to the expiry of the 24-month period, and any extension, if, in the judgment of the Manager, the performance concerns addressed in the disciplinary letter have been satisfactorily corrected. The staff member may request the removal of the documents from the file after the 24-month period, and any extension, has elapsed.
The file may not include:
- anonymous, undated or unsigned material (routine financial and administrative information of a strictly non-evaluative nature, aggregated statistical information which is recorded in evaluations and official minutes of meetings are not considered to be anonymous).
- Medical information is kept in a separate confidential file accessible only by the university’s medical director, occupational health nurse or the Human Resources disability advisor.
- Although employment/performance records maintained by Managers are not part of the file, the principles articulated in this Appendix apply. Managers are encouraged to keep employment files relevant and up to date.
- Hiring Managers have access to specified information about internal applicants when they are chosen to be interviewed (warning letter(s), dissenting view(s), and two years of performance evaluations). See Appendix C, Hiring Manager Access to Applicant Information.
Appendix G: Interpretations
Information in this appendix is meant to clarify terms and processes relating to the application of particular aspects of Policy 18. All interpretations are subject to approval by the Staff Relations Committee.
Organizational Change Definitions:
- Open Competition refers to the standard process used to fill a job vacancy, as outlined in Policy 18. In the context of an organizational change, Open Competition occurs only after it has been established that there is no Incumbency for a newly created position and all Expressions of Interest have been considered.
- Expression of Interest is the process by which an individual within a unit undergoing organizational change can indicate their interest in a vacant position, if there is no Incumbency or the Incumbent individual makes the decision not to remain in the role. Expressions of Interest are considered by Management when mapping individuals to positions in the revised organization. Management has the right to determine best (or any) fit and, if there is a match, the person expressing interest in the new role can be appointed to the role without Open Competition.
- Incumbency refers to whether someone "owns" a job that is “created” as a result of organizational change. The guiding principle used to determine Incumbency is the degree of overlap in work activity between an individual’s existing position and the newly created position. If an individual’s current position involves at least 60% of the activity the newly created position, they are considered to be the incumbent for this role. Individuals who are incumbents of a newly created position are considered mapped to the new position without Expression of Interest or Open Competition.
Expanding the Pool
For some roles on campus, hiring managers need to rely on the interview process to compare candidates to ensure there is good alignment between the posted qualifications and the candidates expressing interest (e.g., brand new position on campus). Challenges arise when only one internal candidate applies.
- Hiring managers for positions USG 6-15 inclusive who wish to be able to compare candidates against a larger pool must declare so at the time the job is posted.
- Hiring managers must consult with Human Resources to identify the minimum number of candidates (usually two or three).
- Use of this provision is expected to be infrequent.
- After consideration of all applicants, consideration must be given to internal candidate(s) first. Hiring managers must consult with Human Resources in such cases.
- In the case where at least one candidate is internal, it is expected that an external candidate must exceed the qualifications of the internal candidate if s/he is to be hired.