Claim Damages Caused by Phoenix: General Compensation for Damages for Former Employees
Note: This document was developed by APEX. In situations where there is a difference between the information contained in it and the official information from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the latter will take precedence.
The Government recognizes that employees have been impacted, either directly or indirectly, by the implementation of the Phoenix pay system and has reached an agreement with a number of bargaining agents to compensate employees for damages. This settlement may apply to current and former executives. You can determine your eligibility by referring to Eligible Former Employees below
Eligible Former Employees
Eligible current and former employees who worked in an organization using Phoenix between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020 are entitled to the compensation whether they experienced pay problems or not, provided they are eligible as per the terms of the agreement on damages caused by the Phoenix pay system.
The agreement provides current employees with general compensation for damages in the form of additional leave. This is for financial and/or non-financial damages, including but not limited to interest, general stress, aggravation and lost time.
If, as a current employee, you did not receive additional leave credits over the summer of 2019, contact your HR specialist.
As a former employee, you can request a payment equivalent to the value of the additional leave allocated to current employees, provided you are eligible to the compensation under the Phoenix damages agreement.
Similarly, if you are the legal representative of a former employee or represent the estate of a deceased employee, you may make a claim on their behalf.
If you worked at least one day in each of the fiscal years covered by the agreement, you can request a payment equivalent to:
- 2 days of leave for fiscal year 2016‑2017
- 1 day of leave for fiscal year 2017‑2018
- 1 day of leave for fiscal year 2018‑2019
- 1 day of leave for fiscal year 2019‑2020
The agreement became official on June 12, 2019. If you left the public service during 2019, please see the frequently asked questions attached to this communiqué.
How Former Employees Can Submit a Claim
Before you begin, you may want to consider that:
- you can only make a claim once for any given fiscal year
- your payment will be calculated using the last rate of pay shown in the Phoenix pay system at the time your claim is processed
Important: Therefore, if you have any outstanding pay increases that are owed to you, you may wish to wait until the increases have been processed in Phoenix and paid out before submitting your claim.
Determine if you should file an electronic claim or a paper claim:
- If you know your Personal Record Identifier (PRI)and have a personal e-mail account, you can file an electronic claim.
- If you do not recall your PRI or do not have a personal e-mail account, or if you are the legal representative of a former or deceased employees complete the enclosed PDF form and follow instructions.
If you have questions regarding this claims process, please contact:
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Note: If you are making an enquiry via email, please include a phone number so that a Treasury Board representative contact you. Please do not include protected information such as your date of birth or social insurance number (SIN) in any email correspondence.
Treasury Board may contact you by email to obtain more information either to start or continue processing your application, or to ask for more documents. If Treasury Board does attempt to contact you by email, they will always reference your claim number.
Frequently Asked Questions: General Compensation for Damages for Former Employees
How can I determine if, under this agreement, I am a current or former employee?
The agreement came into effect on June 12, 2019. It covers the period between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020.
You are deemed a former employee if you worked in one of the organizations and positions covered by the agreement and left the public service between April 1, 2016 and June 11, 2019. You can confirm if your organization and position is covered under this agreement by contacting Treasury Board at:
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
To determine if you are eligible to a payment equivalent to additional leave, you must:
- have been employed in one of the organizations in the core public administration or a separate agency covered by the agreement; and
- for any fiscal year, have been on strength for one day for that fiscal year, in a term of more than 3 months or an indeterminate position covered by the agreement whether or not they were on paid/unpaid leave, assignment or otherwise not active. This also includes acting appointments; and
- have resigned, been terminated, retired or died (in the case of the estates of deceased employees) between April 1, 2016 and June 11, 2019.
If you were employed on June 12, 2019 in one of the organizations and positions covered by the agreement, you are deemed a current employee. You should have already received additional leave credits from the organization where you were employed on that date. Contact your HR specialist if this is not the case.
Did you receive additional leave during 2019, but left public service after that?
If you became a former public servant between June 12, 2019 and March 31, 2020, you could be entitled to the cash payment equivalent to the one extra day of leave allocated for fiscal year 2019‑20.
Do I have to have had a Phoenix pay issue to claim a payment equivalent to additional leave?
No. This compensation agreement was designed to recognize that current and former employees have been impacted, directly or indirectly, by the implementation of Phoenix, and may have experienced financial and/or non-financial damages.
If I have an outstanding overpayment, will this payment be recovered?
This payment equivalent to additional leave is meant to compensate former employees for damages caused by the Phoenix pay system. Accordingly, it will not be applied to recover any outstanding overpayment you may have.
Why can I only file a claim once for any given year?
The agreement was designed this way to simplify the process. Since you may file a claim only once for each of the years for which you are eligible to receive general compensation for damages, it’s best to wait until any outstanding pay increases have been processed in Phoenix. That way, you will get the maximum amount to which you are entitled.
Is there a deadline to file a claim?
No. However, we strongly encourage you to submit your claim once all related pay issues that affect your pay rate in the Phoenix pay system have been resolved.
How long will my claim take to process?
The service standard is to process 80% of claims within 30 days. It is important to note that complex claims will take longer to process. Treasury Board will review each claim carefully to ensure the amount being paid is correct.
After your claim has been processed, you will receive correspondence detailing:
- the amount of the payment
- the pay rate used to calculate the payment
- the years to which you are eligible for general compensation for damages
- the source deductions
Is the payment equivalent to additional leave taxable?
Yes, it’s taxable as employment income. The amount will be reported on a T4 (and Relevé 1, if you worked in Quebec) in the year the payment is received and will be subject to source deductions such as income tax, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan if applicable.
Is the payment pensionable?
No, the payment is not pensionable.
If I disagree with the amount of the payment, what do I do?
Once your claim is processed, you will receive a breakdown of how it was calculated along with instructions about how to contact the Claims Office if you disagree with it.
If, after communicating with the Claims Office, you still disagree with the amount of the payment and the explanation for it, you may consider filing a grievance and you may be able to refer your grievance to adjudication or file an application for judicial review in the Federal Court depending on your circumstances.
Can I make this claim if I am part of the Bouchard class action lawsuit?
No. The agreement does not apply 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 3 months.