Human Resources

Human Resources

Human Resources

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Q&A for RG&C Employees

  1. Who are Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?
  2. What is the current practice with respect to employment contracts for Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?
  3. What is changing with respect to employment contracts for Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?
  4. What is meant by a definite term or task?
  5. What is the reason for this change?
  6. Which employees are included in this group?
  7. How is continuous service defined?
  8. When will these changes be implemented?
  9. How will these changes be implemented? 
  10. How does my service affect the terms of my new offer?
  11. Does this change affect salary increases?
  12. How will this affect my benefits?
  13. Will there still be separate pools for the Tuition and Child Care Support benefits?
  14. How does this affect the contract signing and offer/renewal of employment process?
  15. Who is my HR contact for questions regarding this process?
  16. What if I have more than one appointment?
  17. I plan to retire soon – how does this change affect me?
  18. How will this affect my maternity/parental leave?

1. Who are Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?

The RG&C employee group is comprised of those employees who are paid from research grants, contracts, and University trust funds.

The majority of RG&C employees report to Principal Investigators (PIs) and their work is directed specifically toward that PI’s field of research.

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2. What is the current practice with respect to employment contracts for Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?

The current RG&C hiring process is to employ all employees for fixed terms. If a term is ended early or if a term is not renewed upon expiry of the full term, the existing contract purports to limit an employee to the minimum notice and severance entitlements prescribed by the Ontario Employment Standards Act. This has been the structure for RG&C contracts at the University for 20+ years.

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3. What is changing with respect to employment contracts for Research, Grant & Contract (RG&C) Employees?

As a result of a decision of the Vice-Principal’s Operations Committee (VPOC) dated March 1, 2016:  

  1. Each RG&C employee who has 5 years of continuous service or more with the University shall, prior the employee’s next contract expiry date, be offered a continuing appointment through Human Resources (HR), using the HR template and process. Principal Investigators (PIs) will also be encouraged to offer continuing appointments to employees with less than five years of service.
  2. New RG&C employees will be hired with continuing contracts, using the HR template, unless the PI can demonstrate to HR that the appointment is for a “definite term or task”, as that term is defined in the Employment Standards Act.

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4. What is meant by a definite term or task?

For the ‘definite term’ part of this exemption to apply the end date for the term contract must be specified and the term must not exceed 12 months in duration.

For the ’definite task’ part of this exemption to apply the task must be described with sufficient specificity that the employee is able to determine when the task is completed and the term must not exceed 12 months in duration.

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5. What is the reason for this change?

The current hiring structure with respect to RG&C employees has been in place at the University for 20+ years.  The purpose of the VPOC decision is to modernize the hiring process at the University to reflect the current state of employment law.

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6. Which employees are included in this group?

All RG&C employees at the University are captured by the VPOC decision, including employees who perform general support work but whose salary is funded through research grants and have historically held renewing term appointments. Please note that as part of this process, HR has identified certain positions that are under review as being anomalous to this group and therefore will not be part of this initial process.

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7. How is continuous service defined?

The employee has had no break in employment with the University (regardless of position or department) that is greater than 13 weeks.

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8. When will these changes be implemented?

The effective date of the changes to the RG&C employment contracts is July 1, 2016. Eligible employees currently employed on contracts expiring on July 1, 2016 will receive letters outlining their offer of continuing employment in May.

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9. How will these changes be implemented? 

Effective July 1, 2016 each RG&C employee who has 5 years of continuous service or more with the University will, prior to the employee’s next contract expiry date, be offered a continuing appointment through Human Resources (HR), using the HR template and process. The HR template will contain standard termination language that exceeds the minimum notice and severance entitlements prescribed by the Employment Standards Act.    

To ensure the enforceability of the employment contracts entered into with RG&C employees who will have five or more years of completed continuous service with the University on July 1, 2016, these employees will receive a lump sum payment of $500, less all applicable statutory deductions, on the next applicable pay period following commencement of their continuing appointment.  Typically, an employee’s continuing appointment commences following their next scheduled renewal date. The lump sum payment will be paid through the Central Fund.   This lump sum payment is only payable to those RG&C employees who have five years or more of completed continuous service with the University as of July 1, 2016.  New RG&C employees or employees who complete five years of continuous service after July 1, 2016 and are subsequently offered continuing appointments are not eligible for a lump sum payment.

After July 1, 2016 new RG&C employees will be offered continuing appointments, using the HR template for new hires, unless the PI can demonstrate to HR that the appointment is for a “definite term or task,” as that term is defined in the Employment Standards Act.

Employees who have fewer than five years of continuous service with the university as of their next scheduled contract renewal date and who are not being offered a continuing appointment will continue to renew their contracts, as applicable, using the contract hire system in HR PeopleSoft.

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10. How does my service affect the terms of my new offer?

Length of service only becomes relevant if there is a need to terminate the employment contract. Continuous service will then determine the length of notice and/or amount of severance pay owed.

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11. Does this change affect salary increases?

No – employees on continuing appointments receive salary increases automatically through the salary review process.

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12. How will this affect my benefits?

All benefits will remain intact with no changes to coverage or premiums. Premium-based benefits (life insurance, LTD, and pension) will continue to be based upon actual salary.

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13. Will there still be separate pools for the Tuition and Child Care Support benefits?

Yes. The RG&C employee group will continue to have its own pool of money for these benefits.

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14. How does this affect the contract signing and offer/renewal of employment process?

Offer letters of continuing appointments will be prepared by Human Resources for the individual employees affected by this change, and these letters will be made available to the PIs prior to being issued to the employees.  Effective July 1, 2016, Human Resources will prepare all offer letters for all new RG&C employees (both on continuing and term appointments) and provide them to PIs for their signature prior to being issued to employees.

Employees who have fewer than five years of continuous service with the university  as of their next scheduled contract renewal date and who are not being offered a continuing appointment will continue to renew their contracts, as applicable, using the contract hire system in HR PeopleSoft.

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15. Who is my HR contact for questions regarding this process?

Employees are encouraged to contact their Human Resources Advisor. Human Resources will also facilitate information sessions on April 25 and 29, and drop-in sessions to answer specific questions on May 12, 17, and 19.

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16. What if I have more than one appointment?

The same criteria is being applied to all employees, and so it is possible for an employee to hold multiple appointments, including a term and a continuing appointment. In these unique circumstances, employees are encouraged to contact their Human Resources Advisor with any questions.

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17. I plan to retire soon – how does this change affect me?

Employees nearing their retirement will still have their appointments converted to continuing status. Employees are encouraged to advise their PIs as soon as possible once they have determined a prospective retirement date. Questions with regard to pension may be directed to the Pensions Unit of Human Resources.

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18. How will this affect my maternity/parental leave?

Employees’ appointments will be converted to continuing status even if the employee is currently on maternity or parental leave, or plans to take a maternity or parental leave in the near future.

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