Subject: Previous Severance Pay Benefit
June 22, 2011
1.1. The purpose of this directive is to remind compensation advisors of the steps to take prior to processing a full or partial payment in lieu of severance pay further to the changes to the severance pay provisions in various collective agreements or other authorized instruments.
1.2. This directive should be read in conjunction with the CD 2011-012 "New Entitlement Codes - Severance Liquidation Payment".
2.1. Several collective agreements or other authorized instruments have removed, or may remove, the provisions that relate to the severance pay benefits for reasons of resignation and retirement.
3.1. It is important to determine if a severance pay benefit was paid to an employee who has previously left the public service to ensure that an employee is not paid twice for the same period.
Our common goal is to ensure that employees are paid what they are owed and avoid situations of overpayment.
4. Procedures and Instructions
4.1. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) has received numerous requests to confirm whether a severance pay benefit was previously paid to an employee. Given that past severance payments were not stored in the PWGSC pay system prior to June 22, 2011, there is substantial effort for the PWGSC pay offices (POs) to search manual records for past severance payments. As a result, the following steps are required in the department before submitting a request to verify if a past severance pay payment has been issued:
- Verify if a severance payment is posted on the employee's pay card or in the employee's personal pay file. The file may have to be obtained from Library and Archives Canada to complete the search.
- The compensation manager must indicate that the above review has been conducted.
- This confirmation, along with the request for a PWGSC search, can be sent by email to the appropriate PO manager.
The above process ensures that both, departments and PWGSC, exercise due diligence in validating that past severance pay payments have not been made.
4.2. The request must include the following information: the department, paylist, personal record identifier (PRI) for the employee, and the approximate period of the query.
4.3. Where it is apparent that the employee was entitled to receive a severance payment for termination and there is no evidence that one was issued for a previous period, it is recommended that the compensation advisor ask the employee to sign an attestation to this effect. The attestation would confirm that a previous severance payment was not received. The document would also indicate that, should information become available on a severance payment which was previously paid, any amount overpaid would be recovered in accordance with the provision that relates to the recovery of amounts due to the Crown. Please see Annex A for the attestation.
This attestation would be signed by the employee and placed on the employee personal pay file.
5.1. Any inquiries on the information contained in this document should be addressed to your PWGSC Compensation Services Office.
Reference(s): CJA Ent 054
Previous Severance Pay Benefit
Following the abolition of severance pay benefits on resignation and retirement, in some collective agreements and/or authorized instruments, I have chosen to cash out in full or in part, my accumulated severance pay benefit. I understand that my severance pay benefit must be reduced by any period of continuous employment for which a severance payment was already made.
I, (employee name), attest that I have not received a severance payment upon termination from my previous period of employment in the Public Service on (date of termination).
Should information become available confirming that I have received a severance payment in the past, I agree to reimburse any amount overpaid, as required by the Financial Administration Act (FAA).I have been informed that a compensation advisor will calculate and provide me with the amount to be reimbursed, as well as the method of recovery in accordance with the provision that relates to the recovery of amounts due to the Crown.
I, (Compensation Advisor), have taken the required steps and conducted a review of the personal pay file and relevant documents for information relating to a past severance pay benefit, and did not find any information indicating a payment was issued.
cc. Personal file
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