On-Call Pay Guidelines


On-call pay may be made to non-bargaining unit staff members as a financial incentive and compensation for being required to be on-call to respond to business operational needs requiring prompt and immediate attention and resolution and when trained staff is not normally available or scheduled to work. Examples of situations that may necessitate on-call coverage include:

  • When a department runs a critical operation that requires a continuous coverage by trained staff.
  • When a department is working on a critical phase of a significant project that requires immediate staff consultation, advice or problem resolution.


  • To be eligible for on-call pay, a staff member must be required to be on-call by the department.
  • A staff member who is required to be on-call must be available to respond within a reasonable time specified by the department.


  • A department must be able to demonstrate a business need to require staff to be on-call.
  • Departments must consult with divisional human resources or the human resources manager when establishing an on-call pay practice to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and compliance with established university guidelines. The appropriate on-call pay amount will be based on several factors including length and frequency of on-call coverage, required response time, prevailing and comparable on-call practices within the university and outside. This amount will be determined jointly by the department and human resources.
  • The department must ensure that funds are available and must obtain the appropriate dean, vice president or designee’s approval before implementing an on-call pay practice.
  • The department must ensure that staff who are required to be on-call have adequate training and the requisite skills and knowledge.
  • The department must provide staff with sufficient and reasonable notice of on-call assignments, i.e., published on-call schedule. A department may define what constitutes sufficient and reasonable notice based on its operational requirements or circumstances.
  • A department must provide staff with the flexibility to request changes in on-call assignments or trade on-call assignments (substitutions or exchanges), assuming staff provides adequate notice and on-call coverage is not compromised.
  • A department should provide on-call staff with a reasonable amount of time to respond when called. In determining a reasonable response time, a department must consider the general accessibility and distance of the job site and must allow on-call staff at least 20 minutes to return a page and one hour to arrive at the job site, when it becomes necessary.
  • A department must define its on-call response procedures and call-in requirements in writing and distribute them to on-call staff. On-call staff members who fail to respond to a call may be required to provide written explanation for failure to respond and may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • On-call staff will be paid for actual hours worked when responding to a call.
  • On-call pay will not be included in employee benefits-related calculations (i.e., retirement and pension benefits).