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Work-Life Balance

The Government of the Northwest Territories recognizes the value and importance of the continued health and well-being of its employees. To promote optimum health, improve the quality of work life and increase productivity in the public service, the Government of the Northwest Territories offers exceptional leave packages and an Employee Assistance Program.

Employee Leave Summary

Employees of the Government of the Northwest Territories obtain excellent leave packages that include a generous vacation leave (16.5 days/fiscal year for one year of service) as well as an additional 12 days of designated holidays per year. Additionally, employees are able to obtain sick leave (up to 15 days/fiscal year). Employees can also earn special leave credits (up to a maximun of 30 days) which can be used for time off during celebratory occasions or unfortunate circumstances.

Unique to the Northwest Territories, all employees are entitled to take five days mandatory leave with pay each fiscal year. Likewise, an employee who has requested and is granted annual leave between October 1 and March 31 of any year shall be granted one winter bonus day, to a maximum of four days per fiscal year, for each five consecutive days of annual leave taken.

A typical leave summary of a new GNWT employee:

Employee Leave Summary
Annual 16.5 days per fiscal year
Designated Holiday's 12 days per fiscal year
Winter Bonus Days 4 days per fiscal year
Mandatory Leave 5 days per fiscal year
Total Leave 37.5 days per fiscal year

Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees may be eligible for maternity leave without pay. The leave may begin as early as 17 weeks before the due date and end up to 17 weeks after the date of birth.

Maternity Allowance

Maternity leave allowance is available for a maximum of 17 weeks. The allowance will be added to regular Employment Insurance benefits so the employee receives 93% of regular salary during the maternity leave allowance period.

Parental/Adoption Leave

Parental leave is provided to either or both parents to spend time with their newborns or to allow adoptive parents time to care for their adopted child and to give both the family and the child an opportunity to adapt to each other.

Parental leave without pay can be taken in a single period for up to 37 consecutive weeks.

The parental leave allowance "tops up" regular EI benefits so the employee receives 93% of regular salary during the period), which can be available for up to 17 weeks.

Employee Assistance Program

The Government of the Northwest Territories provides for short term confidential counseling services to employees and their dependents that need assistance with personal or professional issues. Employees are entitled to a maximum of six counseling sessions for each issue at no cost each fiscal year.

Counseling is available for a variety of personal and work related issues such as:

  • Personal well-being
  • Depression, grief and loss
  • Managing anger
  • Managing relationships and family
  • Credit/debt management
  • Nutrition
  • Addictions (smoking, gambling, etc.)
  • Communication skills
  • Financial problems
  • Physical, emotional and sexual abuse (child/adult)
  • Workplace challenges
  • Legal issues

Overview of the EAP
Frequently Asked Questions