Wage Earner Protection Program – A program to protect workers’ wages!
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What is it?
The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) is a Government of Canada program that provides timely payment of eligible wages owing to workers whose employer has gone bankrupt or become subject to receivership. Eligible wages under the Program include salaries, commissions, vacation, termination and severance pay.
Who is eligible?
Any worker who meets all of the following criteria can apply:
- Your employment has ended;
- Your former employer is declared bankrupt or is subject to a receivership; and
- Your former employer owes you
- wages and vacation pay earned during the six month period ending on the date of the bankruptcy or receivership*; and/or
- termination and severance pay for employment that ended during the six month period ending on the date of the bankruptcy or receivership*
*If your former employer went through restructuring before declaring bankruptcy or going under receivership, the eligibility period in which the amounts must be earned and in which employment has to end starts six months before the restructuring event and ends on the date of bankrupcty or receivership.
For the purposes of WEPP, a restructuring event is a proposal under Division I of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act or proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
How does it work?
- When your former employer formally declares bankruptcy or becomes subject to receivership under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, a licensed trustee or receiver will be appointed to administer the bankruptcy or receivership.
- The trustee or receiver assigned to administer the bankruptcy or receivership will provide you with information on the Program and on any amounts you are owed.
- You should file a proof of claim with the trustee or receiver as soon as possible. A proof of claim is a written statement that you submit indicating the amount you believe you are owed. The trustee or receiver can help you complete the proof of claim statement.
- You must then submit your application for payment to Service Canada by completing the application form found on the Service Canada website. If you do not wish to apply online, you can obtain a paper application form at your nearest Service Canada Centre.
Trustees and receivers are obligated to:
- identify workers who are owed eligible wages;
- determine the amounts owed to workers;
- inform workers of the existence of the WEPP; and
- provide Service Canada and applicants with information necessary to establish eligibility for payment.
Applications must be submitted to Service Canada within 56 days of either from the date of bankruptcy or receivership or from the date your employment ended. Extensions may be granted if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from filing within the prescribed time frame. A written explanation for the delay must be provided.
How much will I receive?
The maximum amount you can receive under the program is an amount equaling seven weeks' maximum insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Act, less amounts that are prescribed by WEPP regulations.
How do I get more information?
For further information on the Wage Earner Protection Program or on the status of your application please call the Service Canada dedicated information line:
When inquiring about the status of your application you will need to provide your Social Insurance Number.
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