Meant to ensure employees 'fairly compensated for mental and emotional stress or financial losses'
The federal government has launched a new claims process to compensate current and former employees who have experienced severe personal or financial impacts as a result of issues with the Phoenix pay system.
“The new claims process being launched today is another important step in ensuring public servants are fairly compensated for the mental and emotional stress or financial losses they have experienced as a result of the pay system,” says Jean-Yves Duclos, president of the Treasury Board.
The new process will help those who experienced financial losses, mental anguish or other impacts attributed to Phoenix pay issues. Employees who took sick leave or other types of paid or unpaid leave because of an illness stemming from pay issues may also be eligible to apply for compensation through the process.
The changes do not apply to current and former employees covered by the damages agreement, signed in October 2020, between the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). TBS continues to work in collaboration with PSAC to finalize the claims processes from this agreement and more information will be shared in the coming months, according to the government.
In February 2020, the government also announced a claims process to help individuals who cashed in investments such as RRSPs. That process, as well as existing claims processes for expenses, financial costs and general compensation for former employees continue to be available.
The new claims process is part of the Phoenix Damages Agreement, which was co-developed with federal public service unions in June 2019 to compensate about 121,000 current and 25,000 former employees for damages caused by the system. The agreement covers employees, former employees and the estates of deceased employees, who incurred damages between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020 as a result of Phoenix pay issues.
The agreement does not apply to members covered by the PSAC damages agreement or to members of the class action as certified in Bouchard c. Procureur Général du Canada (200-06-000214-174) and any other member of the class that could be added by the courts, including students, casual employees, workers working no more than one third of regular hours, and employees with terms of less than three months.
In March 2020, the government selected SAP for a pilot to “test the real complexities of the government's HR and pay requirements” and try out a potential HR and pay solution.