Letter to Deputy Heads on the Pay System

Dear colleagues:

I am writing to you today as part of our continued response to the challenges posed by the pay system.  Resolution of the issues is a very high priority for all of us.

Thank you to those of you who were able to answer recent calls to action by providing time and resources to help PSPC and TBS, whether it be experienced staff to help tackle the backlog, participating on committees working to resolve the challenges, or by volunteering your department to participate in training or pilot initiatives.

Despite these ongoing efforts and significant financial investment by the Government of Canada, the backlog of transactions and other challenges persist.    

To help move our collective efforts forward, I would request that you write to me (with a copy to your Minister) by November 9, 2017, informing me of the actions that you have taken in your department to date, and actions you plan to take in the future to help stabilize the pay system and ensure our employees are paid accurately and on time.  A list of some practical actions that you can take within your department is attached for reference.

You will be provided with the latest version of your departmental dashboard, which has been shared with you continuously since June 2017. These dashboards contain useful metrics for tracking affected individuals in your department.

By working together we must resolve the challenges that continue to impact so many of our fellow public servants.


Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet


Strengthening HR-to-Pay Contributors
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Establish a HR-to-Pay Team within your department for government-wide efforts

Stabilization requires departmental HR, compensation, IT, CFO, communications, reporting and analytics act as one team:

  • Ensure your team members have the appropriate level and authority to represent your interests and mandates on stabilization committees and working groups

Report on your progress on HR-to-Pay stabilization priorities

To monitor progress and target stabilization activities, there will be increased reporting and data requests from the HR-to-Pay Integrated Team :

  • Ensure departmental expertise are in place, to manage internal workload, and that the necessary infrastructure to analyze and respond to data requests, in respect to the monitoring framework to be established through the governance structure

Managers and employees are informed of HR-to-Pay developments

A growing challenge is taking care of keeping employees whole, and meeting employee and manager information needs:

  • Regularly canvass all staff to identify hardship cases and take immediate appropriate action (e.g., Priority payment, ESA)
  • Ensure the right departmental communications support is in place to provide caring, timely, targeted, focused, and accessible information sharing

Managers and employees understand their role and responsibilities in HR-to-Pay

Training is being deployed by OCHRO to address the significant culture change needed for employees, managers, HR and compensation professionals; your training coordinators are engaged in this roll-out:

  • Establish departmental mandatory roll-out plans aligned with your workplace learning culture and strategies using OCHRO tools and training

Managers incorporate robust HR-to-Pay practices into their routine

As of October 2017, 600K outstanding Section 34 (S34) transactions creating under and overpayments for employees; this contributes to tax and social benefit issues:

  • Managers make a daily practice of checking for transactions pending approval

Employees’ contact information is up to date

Managers must remind employees to ensure that their home and mailing addresses are up to date. This information is used to produce tax slips and determining province of residence for calculating tax deductions:

  • Immediately establish an awareness campaign including review and verification activities to ensure employees understand the importance of maintaining on an ongoing basis correct personal address information in their HR system

Strengthening HR-to-Pay Contributors - Reporting Indicators
Text version

Establish a HR-to-Pay Team within your department for government-wide efforts

  • Your departmental HR-to-Pay team is established
  • Number of requests from your Minister and the Integrated Team answered

Report on your progress on HR-to-Pay stabilization priorities

  • Amount of time (person hours) your department or agency contributes to reporting requests from the Integrated Team within the required timeframe

Managers and employees are informed of HR-to-Pay developments

  • # of departmental tools (e.g., emails, social media updates, town halls) used and frequency to inform managers and employees

Managers and employees understand their role and responsibilities in HR-to-Pay

  • The process to access emergency payments (ESAs and Priority Payments) has been clearly and actively communicated to employees
  • Beginning in December - % of managers and employees that have successfully completed OCHRO HR-to-Pay training (Tracking to be done centrally)

Managers incorporate robust HR-to-Pay practices into their routine

  • Number of employees without an identified section 34 manager (Reports to be provided by the Integrated HR-to-Pay Team)
  • Future reporting requirement - % of pending s. 34 approvals actioned (approved/denied) within 15 working days

Employees’ contact information is up to date in their HR system

  • Email sent to employees to reminding them to validate their home and mailing addresses in the HR system regularly and update if required
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