The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) is a Government of Canada program that provides timely payment of eligible wages for workers whose employer declared bankruptcy or became subject to a receivership.
Any worker who is legally entitled to work in Canada and meets all of the following criteria can apply:
Workers are generally not eligible to receive a payment in respect of any wages earned during, or that otherwise relate to, a period in which the individual:
The following amounts are considered eligible wages under the WEPP:
The eligibility period is defined as the period in which wages and vacation pay must have been earned to be eligible for compensation under the WEPP, and in which your employment must have ended to be eligible for termination and severance pay.
The eligibility period starts six months before a restructuring event and ends on the date of bankrupcty or receivership. Should your employer not go through restructuring, the eligibility period is the six-month period ending on the date of bankruptcy or receivership.
For the purposes of WEPP a restructuring event is a proposal under Division I of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act or proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.
The trustee or receiver administering the insolvency of your former employer will inform you if these events occurred in your situation.
The trustee or receiver will provide you with information on the Program.
The majority of applicants need only submit the application form. It is important to note, that before you apply you should receive a copy of the form the trustee or receiver has provided to Service Canada outlining the amounts that are owed to you. The information on this trustee/receiver form can assist you in completing your application form.
However, if you are related to persons excluded from the Program, you will have to submit the WEPP Supplementary Form - Additional Information Regarding Your Relationship to Your Employer.
Trustees and receivers have the responsibility to:
Applications must be submitted to Service Canada within 56 days from either the date of bankruptcy or receivership, or from the date your employment ended. If circumstances beyond your control prevent you from from meeting this deadline, you must also provide a written explanation for the delay.
The maximum amount you can receive under the Program is the equivalent of four weeks maximum insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Program. Your compensation will correspond to the unpaid eligible wages owed to you up to the maximum. Amounts that reflect the source deductions that would normally have been applied to your pay and amounts received after the date of the bankruptcy or receivership by virtue of your rights in respect of the eligible wages will be subtracted from your payment.
You can expect your application to be processed and your payment to be issued shortly after we have received your completed application and the information form provided by the trustee/receiver. A complete application form will assist with timely processing of your application.
You have the choice between receiving a direct deposit payment and having a cheque mailed to the address indicated on your application form.
If you have any questions about the Wage Earner Protection Program and/or problems related to your application, please call the Service Canada dedicated information line at 1-866-683-6516 (TTY 1-800-926-9105). Please note that you will need to provide your Social Insurance Number to the agent when inquiring about the status of your application. You can also visit the Service Canada website for more information.