Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

(2010-2011 HR#23) Recognition of Professional / Managerial and Confidential Staff – A Manager’s “Toolkit”

March 29, 2011
PDAD&C; All Professional / Managerial Staff
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
Recognition of Professional / Managerial and Confidential Staff – A Manager’s “Toolkit”

In 2010, the Ontario Compensation Restraint Legislation was enacted, resulting in constraints on compensation increases for Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff. Although staff in these groups received merit increases in 2009 and 2010, they did not receive across-the-board (ATB) increases for either of these years nor will the University be able to provide an ATB increase in 2011.

During this time of salary restraint, it is particularly important to remind managers of Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff of the other types of provisions available to recognize, reward and show appreciation to their Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff.

The following Manager’s “Toolkit” describes a number of these provisions all of which exist under our current policies and practices and are therefore permissible under the legislation. I encourage you to review them and to consider these provisions in the broader context of staff recognition especially as we prepare to launch the University’s annual performance review program for Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff.

Questions concerning the “toolkit” may be directed to your divisional HR Office.


There are many “non cash” ways to recognize and show appreciation for extra effort or a particular accomplishment. Providing a gift or a team event to celebrate a particular accomplishment are just a few examples.

Note: The total value of gifts received by an individual, from the University, should not exceed $500 per calendar year. Any value provided in excess of $500 per calendar year becomes a taxable benefit.

Recognition Awards

The University has two primary Awards programs offered centrally, Excellence Through Innovation and the Chancellor’s Awards and many faculties currently have annual recognition awards for their staff. Most of these programs require a Manager’s nomination, so we strongly encourage Managers to review these programs and determine if any of their staff meet the nomination requirements.

Flexible Work Arrangements
For many employees the opportunity to have a flexible work arrangement can be of enormous value. While not every job lends itself to flexible arrangements, with some creativity flexible arrangements can be introduced in many cases while still fulfilling the requirements of the position. For example:

Hours of Work: There are a variety of options including altering start and end times or a compressed work week where an employee works 4 longer days with the 5th day off. Managers are encouraged to accommodate these requests where operational requirements facilitate flexible work arrangements.

Working from Home: Another option is “telecommuting” or “teleworking”, where the staff member typically works a certain number of days at their work location and the balance at home. Departments considering this may provide whatever equipment the individual requires to accomplish this, including a laptop, internet connectivity etc., so long as the primary purpose is work-related.

Any such arrangement should be documented in writing. For more information about flexible work arrangements contact Rosie Parnass, ODLC, at 978-8539 or Teresa Scannell, ODLC, at 978-5879.

Professional Development

Support for professional and career development can be a very effective way to provide recognition or indicate appreciation. An opportunity to attend a conference or workshop or to take a course can be highly motivating. In addition to the slate of programs available through the Organizational Development & Learning Centre (ODLC), the University provides support for professional development through a variety of programs and policies. Several improvements to these programs for Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff were recently announced (See HR #22 Program Enhancements for Professional/Managerial and Confidential Staff.

One-time-only (OTO) Payments

The Compensation policies for both Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff allow for OTO payments to recognize extraordinary effort or an exceptional contribution – for example to a special project, or effort above and beyond normal job duties. OTO payments should not be made to recognize contributions that are part of the expected job duties and that have already been recognized through the annual performance rating. Managers should consult with their HR Office when considering an OTO payment. During the salary restraint period all OTO payments require central approval.

Vacation Payout

Both Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff can accrue vacation to a maximum number of weeks as stated in the Professional/Managerial and Confidential staff Vacation policies. Both policies also make some allowance for pay out of vacation with the approval of the supervisor. Since some employees have accrued rather large amounts of vacation, this is a good time to consider pay out of at least some extra days to provide employees with an OTO payment and to reduce the vacation liability.

Leave with Pay

The Professional/Managerial policy allows for leaves of absence with pay (full or partial salary), with the approval of the supervisor, if the leave is of significant benefit to the department, division or University such as conducting administrative research on behalf of the University or participating in international or inter-University exchanges. For those on partial salary who elect to maintain full benefits coverage, the University continues to pay the full employer contribution to benefit premiums under these arrangements. This may be an option under some circumstances.