When it comes to good health care, we've got you covered.  Under the Canada Health Act guidelines, the NWT ensures that all residents have prompt and complete access to hospital and physician services, based on need regardless of ability to pay. The NWT also provides a range of services beyond the Act's basic provisions.

We have a dynamic team of health care providers (physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists and the entire range of allied health care professionals) who work together to provide quality health care to our residents.

We provide coverage for a full range of insured hospital services. These include accommodation and meals at the standard ward care; nursing services when provided by the hospital; laboratory, X-ray and diagnostic procedures and interpretation; drugs prescribed by a physician and administered in the hospital; use of the operating room, case room and anesthetic facilities required for diagnosis and treatment including necessary equipment and supplies; radiotherapy treatment, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy when provided by an insured facility.

We also provide a number of out-patient services. These include: laboratory tests, X-rays (including interpretations when requested by a physician and performed in an out-patient facility or in an approved hospital), hospital services in connection with most minor medical and surgical procedures, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy services in an approved hospital, and psychiatric and psychological services provided under an approved hospital program. In addition, where medically necessary services are not available in the NWT, residents travel to hospitals or clinics in other jurisdictions. The NWT provides Medical Travel Assistance which ensures that NWT residents have no barriers to accessing medically necessary services

For detailed information on health care services visit

GNWT employees are members of the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) provided through Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada.  

The dental plan is offered through Green Shield Canada.  This coverage is premium-free and is entirely employer paid, outside of an annual deductible.  

For information about all the health and insurance policies please click here.   

The GNWT also provides employees 24-hour support through its Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).  EFAP is a confidential, voluntary counselling and referral service available to GNWT employees and their dependents.  For more information about the EFAP program please click here


The GNWT is a member of the Public Service Pension Plan, administered by The Government of Canada. This is a defined benefit pension plan, which means your monthly pension amount when you retire is based on your years of service and the average of your five highest consecutive years of salary. All employees contribute to the pension plan based on their salary.  The GNWT also makes contributions to your pension plan each pay period.  Your pension is indexed to the cost of living increases which will provide you with stability in your retirement.

The Superannuation plan changes from year to year for the most up to date information please go to the Public Service Pension Plan website.  

Northern Living Allowance

The cost of living in the Northwest Territories is higher than you might be used to if you have never visited the North. Remote communities have higher costs for such things as groceries and home heating fuel.  The GNWT recognizes this increased cost and provides a Northern Living Allowance to offset this increase.  

The Northern Living Allowance ranges from $3,450 in Yellowknife, the capital city with 20,000 inhabitants, to $28,068 in Ulukhaktok a community of 479 on Victoria Island.

For additional information about the Northern Living Allowance see the Department of Human Resources website


Annual Leave

Union of Northern Worker members and Excluded employees receive 16.5 days of annual leave each calendar year during the first two years of their employment. Leave credits increase after just two years with the GNWT to 21.5 days and continue to increase before they reach a maximum of 35 day of annual leave after 20 years of service with the GNWT. Please see the chart below for a more detailed description.

Years of ServiceHours per YearDays Earned per Year


Mandatory Leave

Over the December holiday period, GNWT employees, who are deemed non-essential, are given five mandatory leave days in addition to their annual leave.  Essential employees, for example, those who work in 24/7 context such as hospitals or correctional facilities, can use this leave at their discretion, with managerial approval, throughout the year.   

Winter Bonus Days

Between October 1 and March 31, employees are eligible for an additional “bonus” day of leave for every five consecutive days of annual leave taken or combination of annual leave days plus designated statutory holidays.  There are a maximum of four winter bonus days available annually. 

Deferred Leave 

Deferred leave is a self-funded, extended leave benefit that is enjoyed by a great many GNWT employees. If you choose to enroll in this program you defer a percentage of your salary, which will be paid during a six or 12 month extended leave. 

% of Salary PaidLength of TimeExtended Leave
90%4.5 Years6 Months


4 Years12 Months

Special Leave

The GNWT also provides five days annually for special leave. This is leave that can be used for any number of reasons; the happiest use is to help you celebrate your wedding! Other reasons for special leave and all other types of leave offered by the GNWT can be found in the Human Resources manual.

Maternity/Parental Leave

The GNWT provides “top up” payments, up to 93% of your salary, for up to 17 weeks during maternity and/or parental leave for new parents.  Pregnant employees are eligible for maternity leave and can combine this benefit with parental leave for a total of 34 weeks leave at 93% of their salary.  Recipients are required to complete a 6 month return of service with the GNWT for either maternity or parental leave, or 12 month return of service if they take both maternity and parental leave.

Relocation Assistance

The Government of the Northwest Territories offers a relocation package to successful applicants and subsequent hires from communities within Canada to the community they will be working in.  The GNWT will provide you, and if applicable your family, with a flight from your home community to the community you will be employed in.  Your belongings will also be shipped, up to 4,000 pounds for a single individual or 15,000 pounds for you and your dependents.