City & Agency Employee Guide – Overview Political Activity Provisions
This information is designed to assist employees with understanding and applying the Toronto Public Service By-Law Political Activity provisions. All members of the public service, including City and applicable agency employees should understand their roles and responsibilities under the TPS By-law. Read the Political Activity provisions.
Questions & Answers
What are my roles and responsibilities under the Political Activity provisions?
- It is your responsibility to be familiar with the Political Activity provisions.
- As members of the public service, we must be politically neutral while undertaking our duties at work or while wearing a City or Agency uniform.
- Most types of political activity are permissible outside of the workplace. However:
- Members of the public service should not engage in political activity during working hours or while wearing a work uniform; for example, wearing clothing or buttons that advertise any candidate, political party or Toronto municipal referendum issue.
- Members of the public service are prohibited from using City or Agency resources, including facilities, equipment or supplies while engaging in political activity during or after work hours.
- Members of the public service should not use their City or Agency job title in a way that would lead the public to infer that the City or Agency is endorsing a candidate, political party, or a particular response to a referendum question.
It is important that members of the public service exercise caution when contemplating political activity, particularly during Toronto elections. To help members of the public service make decisions about the political activity they are contemplating outside of work hours, a political activity tool is being developed. The tool will available to staff through the TPS By-law website.
Do I need to disclose my involvement or intention to be involved in a political activity?
- If you feel the political activity you plan to or have been involved in appears to impact your duties or political neutrality, you are required to disclose it to your supervisor, manager or Ethics Executive. They will give you advice on how to balance your rights with your public service duties.
- Disclosing your involvement or intention to be involved in a political activity protects you, preserves the public trust and confidence in the public service.
Will disclosing my intention to be involved or involvement in a political activity impact my job?
- Disclosing your intention to be involved or involvement in a political activity, appropriately and in a timely manner, will not impact your job or employment negatively.
- Depending on the political activity, your role, duties or responsibilities may be changed temporarily to maintain political neutrality of the public service.
What are my supervisor/manager’s responsibilities?
You supervisor/ manager is responsible for providing you advice on the political activity you may be contemplating. Your manager may:
- Suggest you use the self-assessment tool;
- Provide you advice on whether your job assignment can change temporarily to accommodate the political activity you would like to participate in.
Your supervisor/manager may refer you to your Ethics Executive if they are unable to answer your question. You may also contact you Ethics Executive if you require additional advice.