What is the Public Service Employment Act of Canada?


Quick Answer

First enforced in December 2005, the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) is a critical sub-component of Canada's Public Service Modernization Act, being designed to reinvigorate the quality and efficiency of the nation's public service departments and agencies. Particularly, it focuses on the management of human resources.

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Full Answer

One of the most crucial components of the PSEA is that it decentralizes staffing authority for public service positions, designating instead the bulk of that authority to individual agency and department heads. Those superiors are then instructed to further delegate staffing responsibilities down to the lowest possible entity appropriate to the task. This increases both local accountability among managers as well as the reflexivity of agencies to adjust hiring practices to their own needs.

Another chief aim of the PSEA is to promote qualities of accessibility, transparency and fairness, and to create the possibility for comprehensive dialog and feedback during staffing processes. Local managers are allowed to expand upon conventional definitions of merit when hiring, thus attracting the most qualified candidates. Additionally, informal discussion sessions are offered unsuccessful applicants so that they can learn why they did not obtain employment. Complaints regarding hiring practices are referred to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, one of the most significant entities ensuring transparency and the remediation of potential abuses.

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