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Staff complement options

In the coming weeks, you will receive a letter from the Treasury Board providing information on your Ministerial budget. Depending on this budget and your preferences and regional responsibilities, you will have the flexibility to establish the structure of your office to best suit your needs, within your allocated funding levels.

To assist you in your considerations, please find below some information regarding position titles and salary maximums (of note, there are no set minimums for these positions), as laid out in the current Policies for Ministers’ Office (Transition Book 1: Administrative Procedures, Tab G1). Please also find enclosed a general office structure model, for your use in your considerations regarding your staffing needs.

The Department will be available to provide human resources support and advice to facilitate the timely arrival of incoming Ministerial staff.

Position Salary maximums ($)
Chief of Staff 190,000
Director (e.g., Director of Policy, Director of Communications, Director of Issues Management) 148,100
Press Secretary 114,392
Policy Advisor 114,392
Senior Special Assistant 107,619
Special Assistant 86,788
Support Staff 86,788
Minister's Private Secretary 96,461
Driver 71,346
Position (Minister with regional budget) Salary maximums ($)
Regional Affairs Director 132,100
Regional Communications Advisor 96,461
Regional Press Secretary 107,619
Special Assistant 86,788
Position (Minister with a Parliamentary Secretary) Salary maximums ($)
Parliamentary Secretary’s Assistant 86,788

*.* Note: All salaries for exempt staff will be deemed to include compensation for overtime (additional information on compensation for overtime can be found in Transition Book 1: Administrative Procedures, Tab G1, section 3.5.5).


Members of a Minister's exempt staff are appointed by you pursuant to section 128 of the Public Service Employment Act and are "exempt" from the appointing procedures of the Public Service of Canada. Once you have decided on whom you wish to hire, the Department will assist you in bringing the individual on strength through the requirements laid out in the Policies for Ministers’ Offices (Transition Book 1: Administrative Procedures, Tab G1).

The first step in the staffing process is verifying the individuals’ security status. If they have a valid secret security clearance the Department will verify their clearance using their full name, date of birth and requesting their security file (i.e., from another government department, employment agency, etc.). If the individual does not have a valid secret security clearance, forms will be provided for their completion. These forms are sent to CSIS for analysis and either an approved or denied secret clearance will be obtained. The turn-around time for security clearances varies based on the complexity of the individuals file. More information on the security process can be found in Transition Book 1: Administrative Procedures, Tab F1.

Once a security clearance is obtained, the Department will assist in preparing a letter of offer for your signature. The Department will be available to assist you throughout this process. It is important to note that you are the only person who can issue/sign a letter of offer of employment (or termination of employment) for your exempt staff, this authority cannot be delegated. An example of a letter of offer with various options can be found in Transition Book 1: Administrative Procedures, Tab C2.

Once the letter of offer is signed by both you and the newly appointed exempt staff, the Office Manager will work with that individual to complete the necessary forms to set up their pay and benefits. Finally, DFO network accounts (email) will be created and electronic devices issued. We will work with you and your Chief of Staff to assign office space and configure their office to best suit their needs.

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