Update to Government of Canada employees regarding pay: December 16, 2016

Important message to Government of Canada employees regarding public service pay issues

On Wednesday, December 14, I provided an update on our progress in resolving public service pay issues.

We continue to close cases in our backlog, and our processing speeds for other transactions have increased. I understand how difficult this situation continues to be, especially as we head into the holiday season. Our top priority remains providing you with support and resolution.

I want to remind you that there is absolutely no reason why anyone should go without his or her pay. Every employee can receive advances for missing pay. These payments can be issued within 24 to 48 hours and can be requested through managers or human resources advisors. If, for some reason, you are having difficulty getting salary support, please contact us through our feedback form so we can help you.

Tax implications

As the year-end approaches, we are aware that employees who were not paid correctly are worried about tax implications.

We have implemented a process to ensure that overpayments recorded in Phoenix are not reflected in an employee’s yearly earnings, regardless of whether or not overpayments have been repaid. All employees who believe they have been overpaid must contact our call centre before December 31 so we can adjust their files and ensure the overpayments are not reflected on their 2016 T4s.

An amended T4 will be issued for any overpayments reported after December 31, 2016.

It is important to note that emergency salary advances and priority payments are not considered to be overpayments and will not appear on an employee’s T4.

For employees who are missing pay, their income tax will be calculated using the actual amount they have received. Therefore, any salary paid in 2017, even if it relates to salary that would normally have been paid in 2016, will be included in their 2017 T4s.

Recognizing that employees may have questions about the amounts on their T4s, we plan to provide detailed information about earnings and benefits on pay stubs. Soon, employees will be able to access detailed information on all pay stubs issued since Phoenix was implemented. This information will be available through the government’s Compensation Web Applications, and will allow employees to better understand amounts received or recovered throughout the year and confirm the accuracy of their pay.

Additional information regarding 2016 tax slips is available on the Public Services and Procurement website. Employees can also visit the Canada Revenue Agency website or contact their call centre for tax inquiries related to Phoenix pay issues.


It is important that employees start seeing evidence of improvement. In the new year, we will begin reporting on our overall performance.

Monthly reports will be posted online to track our processing speeds against our service standards. These reports will clearly demonstrate how the pay system is performing and how quickly certain pay transactions are being processed.

Achieving a steady state will not happen overnight, but we are all working as hard as we can to improve the pay system.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Marie Lemay, P.Eng., ing.
Deputy Minister
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Useful information

Date modified: