The Government of the Northwest Territories is focused on responding to the Public Health Emergency related to COVID 19. As a result, recruitment activities will be focused on ensuring that critical positions are staffed including, but not limited to positions in the health care sector and other essential areas. Please note, as a result of this change, you may experience slight delays in service. We thank you for your patience.

Types of Leave

There are many different types of paid and unpaid leave offered by the GNWT to help employees manage their personal and work life balance.

For more information about the types of leave offered by the GNWT, click on one of the following links:

Annual Leave

New employees earn 16.5 days of annual leave, also known as vacation time, each calendar year during their first two years of employment.  It increases, according to the chart below, reaching a maximum of 35 days of annual leave after 20 years of service.

Years of Service Days of Annual Leave
0 - 2 16.5
2 - 7 21.5
8 - 15 25
16 - 20 30
20+ 35

Mandatory Leave

During the December holiday period employees in non-continuous positions are given five mandatory leave days in addition to their annual leave allowance.  These days generally start a few days before Christmas and extend through to the New Year.  Employees in continuous positions who are responsible for essential services (usually people employed in a 24/7 setting), such as hospitals or correctional facilities, are allotted the same five days of mandatory leave that can be used at their discretion, based on operational requirements, throughout the year. 

Winter Bonus Days

As with most parts of Canada, summer is the most popular time for a vacation. To encourage vacations during the winter months employees are eligible for an additional “bonus” day of leave for every five consecutive days of annual leave taken between October 1 and March 31.  Annual leave can also be combined with statutory holidays to meet the five consecutive day requirement. There is an annual maximum of four winter bonus days available per employee per year. 

Special Leave

The GNWT provides five days of special leave annually; this leave is earned on an hourly basis.  There are many uses for special leave, including time off to help you celebrate your wedding or the birth, or adoption, of a child. 

Maternity/Parental Leave

After the birth of a child, the GNWT provides employees with maternity leave and parental leave options.  Parental leave can be taken by the mother or shared with their partner.  Individuals or couples that adopt a child are also eligible for parental leave.   

Deferred Leave

This self-funded program allows employees to defer a percentage of their salary that will be paid out in the future during an extended leave of absence from work.  The chart below demonstrates the options for deferred leave.

% of Salary Paid Length of Time Extended Leave
90% 4.5 Years 6 Months
80% 4 Years 12 Months