Damages: Compensation for eligible employees impacted by the Phoenix pay system (represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada) — 2020 Agreement 

The Government of Canada signed a separate damages agreement in June 2019, for federal employees represented by other public service unions.

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The Government of Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) reached a joint agreement to compensate up to 125,000 current and 35,000 former employees who may have been impacted by the Phoenix pay system.

Who this agreement applies to

This agreement, co-developed by PSAC and the federal government, applies to employees, former employees and the estates of deceased employees represented by PSAC.

The agreement also extends to employees in excluded PSAC positions.

Separate agencies that use the Phoenix Pay System are also expected to reach similar agreements shortly with their union. The agreement will apply to up to an additional 43,000 current employees and 18,000 former employees and the estates of deceased employees represented by PSAC from separate agencies.

Who this agreement does not apply to

This agreement does not apply to:

  1. 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 and employees with terms of less than three months
  2. employees and former employees and the estates of deceased employees who are members of other unions or in excluded positions of other unions, are unrepresented employees or are executives—they are covered under a separate Phoenix Damages Agreement reached in 2019

Overview of the agreement

This agreement, which provides compensation for fiscal years 2016–17 to 2019‑20, includes a lump sum payment of:

  • up to $1,000 for 2016–17
  • up to $500 for each of the following three fiscal years.

This includes general damages as compensation for stress, aggravation, pain and suffering and for the late implementation of the 2014 collective agreements.

To qualify for the lump sum payment, an employee had to be:

  • employed in the core public administration or in a separate agency covered by the agreement, on an indeterminate basis, or as a term for more than three months, and
  • on strength for at least one day during the applicable fiscal years (2016–17 to 2019–20)

Note: “On strength” means that employees who were on paid/unpaid leave, assignment or otherwise not active are still considered employed for the purposes of this agreement.

Fiscal year you were on strength, for at least one day Amount of compensation you are eligible for
2016–2017 $1,000
2017–2018 $500
2018–2019 $500
2019–2020 $500

We are currently developing a process for the payment of the lump sums. Current employees will be informed when the lump sum payments will be paid through their regular pay. Former employees will be able to submit a claim for the lump sum payment. More information will be available at a later date.

Severe damages

Additional compensation, evaluated on a case-by-case basis, will also be provided for those who experienced:

  • financial costs and lost investment income
  • severe personal or financial hardship

Documented leave taken because of an illness caused by Phoenix from current and former employees will also be re-credited or reimbursed (as applicable).

Other claims processes for financial costs and lost investment income, severe personal or financial hardship, as well as leave taken related to Phoenix issues are under development. More information will be available in 2021.

A threshold of $1,500 will apply to most of these claims. This means employees must experience a total loss greater than $1,500 to submit a claim.

More information

All employees can continue to submit claims for expenses and financial losses, including out-of-pocket expenses, impacts to income taxes and government benefits, advances to social benefits and reimbursements for tax advice.

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