AP 534: Honoraria

Business & Finance


From time to time individuals provide services in a volunteer capacity or for services for which the payment of fees is not traditionally required or expected. This could include such services as recognition for non-professional guest speakers or lecturers and/or as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation. Also, this could include a token payment for other unique, incidental and infrequent services.

Honoraria may be in the form of cash, cheque, gift, or gift card as identified in this procedure.


  1. a)  Fee for Service: refers to a payment for a service that is required. Examples of fees for services include, but are not limited to, professional services, cultural performances, educational seminars, etc.

  2. b)  Honorarium (plural honoraria): refers to a voluntary payment made to an individual or employee that does not represent a full compensation for time and effort expended. It may also be a payment for which a fee is not traditionally or normally charged.


1. The criteria for an honorarium includes:

1.1. That an honorarium shall only be nominal;

1.2. That an honorarium shall only be made to an individual for voluntary services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required;

1.3. That an honorarium is not reflective of the value of the work done.

1.4. That an honorarium shall only be made on a one-time or non-routine basis to an individual as a “thank you”.

2. Appropriate consideration for an honorarium may include:

2.1. An honorarium to an Elder, to Knowledge Keepers or to Cultural Advisors, in consideration of the following Indigenous principles:

2.1.1.  Honorariums and gift-giving are honored traditions founded on the principles of reciprocity: when you take, something must be given in return. Once the Elder has completed or fulfilled the request, an honorarium or gift should be given to express gratitude and appreciation;

2.1.2.  Elder Gifts may be provided under the discretion of the school;

2.1.3.  Elders provide lifelong learning and teachings and shall be recognized appropriately;

2.2.  An honorarium as a “thank you” or gesture of goodwill and appreciation, to a non- professional; guest speaker or lecturer;

2.3.  An honorarium for an individual for conducting a seminar or workshop;

2.4.  An honorarium for a guest speaker at an educational event, outreach event or other similar function;

2.5.  An honorarium to a volunteer.

3. Honoraria shall not be provided in instances where the sponsoring employee is obtaining the services of a professional speaker or consultant who performs the requested service for a living, as these individuals shall be considered self-employed and therefore receive a fee for service or consulting payment.

4. Honoraria paid to Division employees, whether cash or gift, require the approval of the Superintendent or designate (Associate Superintendent, Corporate Supports and Services).

5. Honoraria paid to non-employees, whether cash, cheque, gift or gift card, require the approval of the appropriate signing authority of the issuing department.

6. The provision of honoraria shall consider:

6.1.  An honorarium may be provided to a maximum amount of $250.

6.2.  An Honorarium Request Form 534A shall be submitted to Financial Services via Invoice Entry Web, eight (8) days prior to the payment being required with the following necessary items:

6.2.1.  The recipient’s relevant payment information, including name, social insurance number and mailing address;

6.2.2.  The rationale for payment, and

6.2.3.  Any other documentation as deemed prudent to do so.

7. All relevant and applicable legal and reporting requirements shall be followed when providing honoraria.

8. Honoraria taxation for PSD employees shall be considered as follows:

8.1. In Canada, honoraria paid to employees are considered as salary and are therefore taxable income under the Income Tax Act.

8.1.1. In the case where a gift is substituted for honorarium (gift in lieu of money), it is classified as a taxable benefit by Canada Revenue Agency.

8.2. All Honoraria paid to employees shall be issued through the payroll system and reported on a T-4.

9. Honoraria taxation for non-PSD employees:

9.1.  In Canada, honoraria paid to non-employees are considered taxable income under the Income Tax Act and shall be reported on a T4A.

9.2.  In cases where an honorarium is paid to an individual who is not a resident of Canada, the honorarium is subjected to income tax withholding (usually 15%).


Date Approved:  July 4, 2019

Reference: Education Act: 33, 68
Canada Revenue Agency Act

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: June, 2019

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.