On October 16th, 2020, a landmark decision was rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) regarding members working in job-sharing situations and their ability to pay into their pension (Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28). Members who reduce their hours through job-sharing arrangements were previously denied the ability to buy back their lost pension time. However, members who work regular hours and take leave without pay (LWOP) can buy back their pension time to make up for the LWOP time. This decision allows members who reduced their hours through job-sharing the ability to buy back the lost time into their pensions.
In their decision, the SCC noted that job-sharing arrangements were shown to be most predominant among women with young children. Therefore, the SCC ruled that the inability for members to buy back pension time while in a job-sharing role was a clear violation of s. 15(1) of the Charter because of the disproportionate impact on women.
Immediately following the decision, we wrote to the RCMP CHRO, RCMP Director of Pensions Services, and the Acting Director General of National Compensation Services requesting information on how this decision will be implemented. We are awaiting their direction. We look forward to this injustice being corrected and how exactly this will impact employees job-sharing situations as well as those that have had to change to part-time work to assist with family obligations.
The full SCC decision of Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General, 2020 Scc 28 (CanLII) can be viewed here: https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2020/2020scc28/2020scc28.html