Part 1: PSPC as a client

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Infographic outlining the 7 categories of effort that PSPC, as a Pay Centre client, has contributed toward HR-to-pay stabilization. The name of each category and descriptions of related efforts follow the infographic.
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Infographic outlining the 7 categories of effort that PSPC, as a Pay Centre client, has contributed toward HR-to-pay stabilization. The name of each category and descriptions of related efforts follow the infographic.

Support to employees

Effort 1: Establishment of an HR-to-Pay team within the PSPC HR branch to support government-wide efforts

Since the launch of the new pay system, the HR Branch within PSPC implemented various initiatives to provide support to PSPC employees and managers and increase the effectiveness of pay transaction processing. Two of the most significant initiatives have been the creation of an HR Resolution Team as well as an HR Service Center to provide employees with an easily accessible first point of contact for support and assistance with pay enquiries and issues. Both units work collaboratively with the Pay Center and are able to react quickly and effectively to resolve cases requiring HR intervention.

In September 2016, the HR Branch launched a national HR Service Centre (HRSC) that all managers in PSPC can contact directly by email or by phone, to assist with their employees’ pay-related issues and general pay enquiries. The HRSC offers a front-line service by providing information, guiding and referring clients to the appropriate partners or stakeholder.  By the end of November 2017, HR Branch will expand this service to all PSPC employees.

The HR Branch is also working in collaboration with the Pay Centre Call Centre to explore opportunities to leverage IT solutions in order to provide a seamless transition for employees between the HRSC and the Pay Centre Call Centre.

Expected Impact/Outcome:

  • Reduction in the number of requests to the Pay Centre from PSPC employees. 
  • Resolution of issues directly linked to HR transactions and adoption of corrective measures to prevent future occurrences
  • Sharing of lessons learned with other government departments

Support to Employees Effort 2:

Established since October 2016, the HR Resolution team addresses requests from the HR Service Centre (HRSC), ADM/RDGs escalation process or directly from other partners. The HR Resolution team’s three (3) main areas and functions are:

  • Liaison office: Develops and communicates regular and timely training/coaching and information product such as the Pay Guide. Reviews escalation requests from the union, management and employees. Provides support for all pay-related grievances
  • HR data correction: Works closely with the HR operations teams, the HRSC, and Business and our Systems Integration partners to ensure that HR data entry errors within My GCHR are corrected in a timely manner. Leads the data entry for the OCHRO approved pilot projects
  • Data entry: Intervenes to process actions in Phoenix following the data correction in My GCHR or an escalated case by requesting assignment of files to the Pay Centre.  An expansion of this team is anticipated and discussion with the Pay Administration Branch is underway.

Additionally, the team has been taking part in a pilot project established by OCHRO to stop and restart pay in a timely manner for certain types of transactions. Here again, lessons learned will be shared with other government departments.

Expected Impact/Outcome:

  • Verification that the HR Branch has done everything under its control such as conduct analysis, data corrections if warranted to ensure pay issues can be resolved and/or respond to general pay enquiries prior to directing the employee to the Pay Centre.
  • Inclusion of lessons learned and best practices into training and process materials.
  • Effective tracking of employee issues and challenges at the Branch and Regional level to ensure appropriate follow up
  • Delivery of tailored information sessions to staff and functional communities as a result of the type of inquiries received

Streamlined services and processes

Effort 1: Streamlined and improved student hiring and on-boarding

A 6-step flowchart that describes the stages, timelines and activities involved with hiring students. The key to a successful hiring process is communication between managers, students, HR and compensation.
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A 6-step flowchart that describes the stages, timelines and activities involved with hiring students. The key to a successful hiring process is communication between managers, students, HR and compensation.

Stage 1: Planning

Timeline: 66 days before a student’s start date


  • Develop statement of work/duties
  • Submit request to Public Service Commission
  • Develop assessment tools

Stage 2: Referral process

Timeline: 56 days before a student’s start date

Activity: Receive student referrals

Stage 3: Pre-screening

Timeline: 51 days before a student’s start date

Activity: Screen candidates

Stage 4: Assessment

Timeline: 46 days before a student’s start date


  • Conduct assessment
  • Conduct reference checks, if desired
  • Make selection decision

Stage 5: Results

Timeline: 31 days before a student’s start date


  • Disclose results to candidates
  • Disclose results to Public Service Commission

Stage 6: Staffing

Timeline 25 days before a student’s start date

Activity: Submit express staffing request, personnel security screening requests and Office Systems

* Note: The "T-mlnus" approach applied In the flowchart counts down the number of working days required to accomplish a task before (T·) the student's start date. The student's start data would be represented by T1. T-25 represents the day by which you must submit your express staffing request In order for the paperwork to be processed on time for students to start at T1 and to ensure that they are paid on time and accurately.

At PSPC, as announced in a communiqué from the Deputy Minister on March 15, 2017, the Deputy Minister along with all ADMs/RDGs have signed a pledge to improve the way we hire, pay and retain students. Specifically, PSPC has pledged to all students we hire to provide them a letter of offer at least three weeks before their start date, to offer them an orientation that ensures they know their responsibilities under the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service and to provide meaningful work that allows them to help shape the public service of tomorrow. To ensure students are paid correctly within 20 business days of their first day of work, PSPC developed a focused 2017-2018 action plan to review existing programs and develop and promote new tools to support managers and students such as a Manager’s Reference Guide and a Student Welcome Video. As part of the action plan, PSPC has applied LEAN methodology to streamline and improve the hiring and on-boarding process.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

Two horizontal bar graphs depicting process improvements to  the student hiring process. The first graph shows a 25 percentage point  improvement in the Human Resources compliance rate for issuing a letter of  offer, from 50% in the summer to 75% in the fall of 2017.
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Two horizontal bar graphs depicting process improvements to the student hiring process.

T-18: Letter of offer issued by HR to manager at least 18 working days before the student start date

The first graph shows a 25 percentage point improvement in the Human Resources compliance rate for issuing a letter of offer, from 50% in the summer to 75% in the fall of 2017.

T-14: Signed letter of offer returned by manager to HR at least 14 working days before the student start date

The second graph shows a 27 percentage point improvement in managers’ compliance rate for returning a letter of offer, from 47% in the summer to 74% in the fall of 2017.

As a result, the new process allowed us to reduce the processing time from 77 to 25 days. Monitoring of performance against the pledge results demonstrated that for summer 2017, the compliance rate were around 47%-50% of the time. In the fall, this improved significantly to 74%-75%. Our summer end-of-term survey also indicated that 92% of students were satisfied with their work experience. Additionally, we are sharing our lessons learned with other departments and the Canada School of Public Service.

Effort 2: Escalation and resolution process

Graphic table for PSPC managers and employees describing the 7 stages involved in escalating and resolving pay issues. Contact technical  support at 1-866-995-6030 if your MYKey is not working, you cannot log in to  Phoenix or you cannot log in to My GCHR (hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 6  am to 9 pm eastern time / Saturday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.
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Graphic table for PSPC managers and employees describing the 7 stages involved in escalating and resolving pay issues. Contact technical support at 1-866-995-6030 if your MYKey is not working, you cannot log in to Phoenix or you cannot log in to My GCHR (hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 6 am to 9 pm eastern time / Saturday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Stage 1: Submit a Phoenix feedback form

PSPC managers and employees should review What to do if you are having pay issues and use the Phoenix feedback form to report a pay issue with the Pay Centre.

Stage 2: A ticket is created

Accounting, Banking and Compensation Branch’s (ABCB) Pay Liaison Unit assigns a ticket number and a priority to the case.

Priority 1: cases of employees not receiving any pay (such as missing pay for new hires, students, pay that was not restarted for employees returning to work from leave without pay)

Priority 2: cases related to employees going on leave or existing the public service (such as maternity or parental payments, long-terms disability, severance payments or requests for records of employment)

Priority 3: cases where they are receiving regular pay, but are missing supplementary pay (such as acting, overtime, salary increment adjustments)

Stage 3: Human Resources Branch (HRB) reviews cases

The branch’s Phoenix Resolution Team receives a daily listing of pay cases for PSPC employees from ABCB’s Pay Liaison Unit and reviews the pay issue

Stage 4: HRB triages case

The branch’s Phoenix Resolution Team reviews the case to identify if the branch can intervene or resolve the pay issue

Stage 5: HRB liaises with ABCB to escalate case to the Pay Centre (if required)

If the case cannot be fully resolved by HRB, the branch’s Phoenix Resolution Team works with ABCB’s Pay Liaison Unit to transfer the request to the Pay Centre for resolution.

Stage 6: Case is addressed by the Pay Centre

The Pay Centre resolves the pay issue raised via ABCB’s Pay Liaison Unit by HRB’s Phoenix Resolution Team

Stage 7: Follow-up

Cases resolved by HRB’s Phoenix Resolution Team: PSPC managers and employees receive a written communication from an HR representative informing them that their pay issue has been resolved and next steps to follow (for example, payment issuance date)

Cases resolved by the Pay Centre: PSPC managers and employees use Track myCASE (accessible only on the Government of Canada network), a web application, to view the status of their pay-related cases with the Pay Centre. Employees can access Track myCase from the Compensation Web Applications site and the case data is updated daily.

The HR Branch designed and implemented since April 2017 an Escalation and resolution process for pay (PDF version, 158KB) (available on the intranet and GCPedia) for employees having issues with their pay. This process was communicated and promoted within the department and is permanently featured on the HR portal and the weekly newsletter.

Effort 3: Emergency salary advance (ESAs) issuance process

Finance and Administration Branch (FAB) implemented an Emergency Salary Advance (ESAs) issuance process.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

The process resulted in over 3,600 ESAs being issued since Phoenix implementation to alleviate financial impact on PSPC employees resulting from delays or inaccuracies in pay. ESAs were issued within 24 hours of receipt of an approved request. Employee questions and requests are answered directly by finance branch officers over the phone.

Effort 4:

FAB in collaboration with the HR Branch and the Treasury Board Secretariat, implemented a claims process to quickly respond to employee claims for financial losses that may have been incurred as a result of pay issues.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

To date 71 claims have been received.

Effort 5: Quality assurance and monitoring measures

Bar graph depicting decline in PSPC’s pay action request rejections from near 35% in June to 15.1 in September 2017. The overall Pay Centre rejection rate fell from over 20% to 15.5% in the same time period.
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Bar graph depicting decline in PSPC’s pay action request rejections from near 35% in June to 15.1% in September 2017. The overall Pay Centre rejection rate fell from over 20% to 15.5% in the same time period.

Implemented new quality assurance and monitoring measures within the HR trusted source process to reduce the number of Pay Action Request (PAR) rejections.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

We have seen improvements on this as PSPC is now at a 15.1% rejection rate (slightly below the 15.5% Government of Canada average) compared to 25% before August 2017.

Effort 6: Disability management

At PSPC, the Pay Guide has been revised on the Disability Management procedures with very detailed and specific instructions for managers and employees. The Disability Management Advisors and Coordinators provide written detailed instructions by email on how to complete a PAR related to different disability types (ie. Sick leave without pay, return to work, full time, REHAB and Non REHAB, etc.). Disability Management Advisors and Coordinators guide employees and managers to the appropriate resources for assistance on any related pay questions that they are unable to answer. Disability Management Advisors also recommend to employees the options related to ESA and Priority Payment. In cases of critical financial hardship, the Disability Management team raises the priority of the case directly to senior management under the HR Branch and the Pay Administration Branch. Ongoing attention is being paid to disability cases, and we are actively sharing our lessons learned with other departments.

HR-to-pay transactions

Effort 1: Pilot projects

Since January 2017, the HR Branch launched three pilot projects to process actions within the HR system on behalf of the Pay Centre in an effort to reduce workload on compensation advisors. These pilots were a success and have been rolled out to other government departments and are now part of standard business processes. HR is now responsible for entering actions for terminations, leave without pay greater than five (5) days, and return from leave without pay. As a result, employees a facing fewer overpayment or underpayment situations. We have completed more than 500 such actions in the last 6 months which prevented a potential impact on employees and further work for the Pay Centre. Following the success of these pilots, the HR Branch is exploring new pilots in collaboration with the Pay Administration Branch

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

Provide additional support to Pay Centre by reducing workload on Compensation Advisors and reducing potential overpayment and underpayment for employees

Effort 2: Timely processing PSPC HR transactions

The HR Branch continues to diligently address the issue of timeliness of HR action entries to minimize data discrepancies between My GCHR and Phoenix. The HR Branch will continue to find a balance for processing actions according to impact on pay. A task force, consisting of 8 employees, was put in place in October 2017 to completely eliminate the current HR transaction backlog (NCR as part of first phase) associated with actings as these types of actions account for the bulk of the backlog volume (77%).

Expected Impact/Outcome:

  • Elimination of the HR backlog by end of 2017/early 2018.
  • Expansion of efforts to regions

Governance and partnerships

Governance and partnerships Effort 1:

The Human Resource Branch (HRB) within PSPC has contributed towards influencing the enterprise governance and solutions with the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO). We have also collaborated with OCHRO at the enterprise governance level to put in place a Collective Management Board for all organizations currently on My GCHR for which PSPC is co-Chairing with OCHRO

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

  • We regularly and actively participate in interdepartmental committees and working groups to achieve HR to Pay Stabilization such as the:
    • DG HR to Pay committee led by OCHRO along with their Tiger Team – newly repositioned as Data, Reporting and Analytics Working Group
    • Inter-departmental technical briefing led by OCHRO on the development and business requirements for the now-implemented Pay Related Issues Departmental Dashboards
    • Phoenix and My GCHR on integration 

Governance and Partnerships Effort 2:

Since April 2017, bi-weekly briefings were conducted at the department’s Executive Committee (EXCO) after each pay period. The HR Branch and the Pay Administration Branch co-lead agenda items for these senior level briefings. The purpose is to discuss priorities, specific issues and trends we are seeing. We also update EXCO members on initiatives and projects that the HR Branch is undertaking to support the HR to Pay stabilization efforts as well as opportunities to share/work with other departments.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

As a result of these briefings key issues have been identified and have resulted in improved partnerships and ultimately resolution of important issues impacting pay accuracy.

Effort 3: Ongoing partnerships with other Government departments

PSPC routinely shares best practices and materials with other government departments. We have worked collaboratively with HR Council, APEX, the Managers Community and the Canada School of Public Service to ensure an ongoing exchange of information.

Focus on analytics and reporting

Effort 1: HR to pay issues reporting and analysis

The HR Resolution team, the HR Service Centre and Performance Analytics teams within the HR Branch are working closely with Pay Administration Branch to ensure we have a solid tracking and monitoring of issues and escalated cases. The HR Branch has been developing on a bi-weekly basis a departmental dashboard (Annex A – PSPC HR to Pay Issues Dashboard) on various pay-related issues. The dashboard’s content and performance indicators have evolved multiple times over the last year to better meet senior management’s needs and to ensure further alignment and integration with existing dashboards, metrics and analytics being reported. The purpose of the dashboard produced by the HR Branch is to support data-driven decision-making and orient towards resolution of pay issues and provide recommendations.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

As a result of the rigorous reporting and analysis, PSPC has been able to hone in on key areas of focus such as challenges with Transfer In/Out, Critical to Pay staffing actions and student onboarding.

Focus on Analytics and Reporting Effort 2:

The Finance Administration Branch (FAB) monitors and updates the Salary Forecasting Tool in order to provide better quality of information when reporting to Treasury Board Secretariat on a quarterly basis to determine the impact of salary over and under payments from Phoenix on PSPC employees.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

  • FAB regularly identifies Phoenix coding errors and other issues and relays the information back to the Phoenix office so they can rectify the situation.
  • FAB produces a bi-weekly dashboard on ESA for all branches which is shared with EXCO members and Pay Administration Branch personnel.
  • FAB produces bi-weekly Claims reporting to the Deputy Minister 

Data quality and integrity

Data quality and integrity Effort 1:

As reflected in the PSPC Departmental Risk Profile 2017-2019 report, the simultaneous implementation of complex transformational initiatives within PSPC and throughout the Government of Canada could expose the department to risks associated with capacity and data integrity.

As a mitigation plan, we are working closely with OCHRO and Integrated Services Branch to ensure data integrity within My GCHR in support of Phoenix pay stabilization by producing various reports monthly and weekly.

Impacts/Outcomes Achieved:

  • In preparation for the signing of the Collective Agreements since April 1, 2017, the HR Branch’s systems team validated all of integration employee records at PSPC, which involved reviewing 17,115 records and we are working closely with the Phoenix Team to resolve any cases that needed to be escalated. We also received quality assurance reports from Phoenix team to correct data before it affected employees' pay. All the validation and clean-up of the employee records were completed prior to the Mass Salary Updates for each group.  
  • Leave Year End Process (QA) – work started on April 1, 2017 and continues until March 31, 2018 to ensure that all employees leave requests are entered in My GCHR and that leave balances are accurate prior to the run of Leave Year End in April 2018.Phoenix integration Issues reported through our HR Branch Service Desk since April 1, 2017:
    1. 870 files resolved
    2. 57 continue to be analyzed
    3. 25 Escalated to Phoenix ABCB
    4. 5 Escalated to HR
  • Quality Assurance strategy to improve data quality of My GCHR is being developed and Business Requirement (OCHRO) and System Requirement (My GCHR) to report issues or improve the functionality are in progress.

Communications and training

Effort 1: Communications strategy

PSPC has a solid communication strategy in place to inform managers and employees of HR-to-Pay developments as well as to share information, tools, training and guides to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities in the HR-to-Pay. As part of the strategy, various mechanisms are leveraged such as intranet, emails, GC tools, information sessions, in-person or WebEX presentations.

PSPC has developed a comprehensive guide Communicating with the Pay Centre, your role and responsibilities to help managers and employees understand their role and responsibilities in regards to the list of required documents that must accompany any Pay Action Request form when contacting the Public Service Pay Centre and the departmental trusted sources responsible for processing various documents going to the Pay Centre. These tools are promoted on a weekly basis through our departmental In the Know articles and also showcased in electronic message boards across the country. We routinely share our communication tools and outreach activities with colleagues in other departments.

Effort 2: Training

We have enhanced training efforts and materials to increase support to our My GCHR end-users.

Impact/Outcome Achieved:

In September 2016, HR developed sessions called “How to complete a Pay Action Request (PAR) information session for managers“ and “How to proceed with disability management cases?”.  These session were a success, reaching close to a 1000 managers and supervisor by offering in-person and web-ex sessions with the cooperation of the PSPC National Manager’s community.  In December 2016, with an activity called “HR on the road”, we offered every Branch a session for managers that focused on their responsibilities with regards to Pay. In total, we have done more than 20 information sessions and reached more than 1500 managers, supervisors and administrative assistants. 

Additionally, the HR branch continues to ensure, via its HR Operations and regional teams, that all data being entered for current and past staffing actions is being pushed to Phoenix properly. Regular training is provided nationally and communicated through various channels which enables and promotes behaviour change and good practice for My GCHR end-users to support the data entry into My GCHR.  A new My GCHR training strategy is being rolled-out to target specific HR to Pay issue. In October 2017, the HR Branch trained 42 employees and approximately 504 users the previous year.

Effort 3: Supporting the GoC-wide training strategy

Contributed to the development of OCHRO’s new training for employee, managers and HR professional on HR to Pay stabilization available on GCpedia. To support this activity, a training implementation plan and monitoring is underway. Completion rate will be closely monitored and reported to senior management. This training is deemed mandatory for all PSPC employees.

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