While this mandate will need some new resources and skill sets, we do not expect the costs to be significant. The Legislature approves the budget, including incremental expenses, for the Office of the Merit Commissioner each year.
Any organization who has the authority to dismiss employees for just cause under the Public Service Act. This includes all BC government ministries, and many provincial agencies, boards and commissions.
The Merit Commissioner will provide her findings to the Legislature at least once a year.
The Merit Commissioner can, at her discretion, review some or all of the eligible files. As this is a new process, we are currently reviewing all eligible files related to dismissals for just cause.
The BC Public Service Agency tracks these dismissals and ensures that the files come to us in a timely and appropriate manner.
Although we have the legal authority to interview people, we expect the need to do so to be rare. In such an event, the interview would only be between the Office and those responsible for the dismissal. We do not expect to ever need to interview the person dismissed.
These files will be forwarded to the Merit Commissioner: After timeframes for requesting any appeal, grievance or litigation have expired, or After any of those processes have concluded. We anticipate this will be no sooner than 12 months after a dismissal for just cause. Yet, it could be longer depending on the related appeal, grievances [...]
The law requires the BC Public Service Agency to advise the Merit Commissioner of all dismissals for just cause and the agency regularly does that.
The Merit Commissioner’s review is about the process followed, not whether the dismissal was warranted.
The Merit Commissioner ensures the processes used to dismiss employees are consistent with required practices, policies, and standards. By conducting these reviews, the Merit Commissioner can identify issues and provide recommendations.