No. 16–Wage Earner Protection Program Appeals (Eligibility)

Information Circular


The following is one in a series of information circulars prepared by the administration staff of the CIRB. The circulars are designed to provide employees, trade unions and employers with general information and a clearer understanding of Board processes. This information circular is an informal tool and is not binding on the Board.


What is the Wage Earner Protection Program?

The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) provides for the payment of outstanding eligible wages to individuals whose employer is bankrupt or subject to a receivership. Eligible wages under the WEPP include wages, disbursements of a travelling salesperson, vacation pay, termination pay and severance pay.

It is Service Canada’s responsibility to determine whether an applicant meets the eligibility requirements under the WEPP and to issue any eligible payment to the applicant.

For further information about the WEPP, visit Service Canada’s websiteor call 1-866-683-6516 (TTY: 1-800-926-9105).

Important Note: A WEPP application must be filed with Service Canada, not with the CIRB.

What is a review by the Minister regarding eligibility?

If an applicant disagrees with Service Canada’s decision regarding their eligibility under the WEPP, they may request the Minister to conduct a review of Service Canada’s decision. The request for review must be made in writing within 30 days after the day the applicant is informed of the eligibility decision by Service Canada.

For further information about filing a request for review under the WEPP, visit Service Canada’s website or call 1-866-683-6516 (TTY: 1-800-926-9105).

Important Note: A request for review under the WEPP must be filed with Service Canada, not with the CIRB.

What is a Wage Earner Protection Program appeal regarding eligibility?

Section 14(1) of the Wage Earner Protection Program Act (the WEPP Act) provides that an applicant may appeal a review decision made by the Minister to the CIRB, but only on a question of law or jurisdiction.

The appeal is to be “on the record” only. This means that no new information may be provided and that the appeal will be based on the departmental record that was created for the review.

An application to appeal must be in writing and include the following:

  • the last three digits of the applicant’s Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • the applicant’s current contact information (address, telephone number, etc.); and
  • detailed grounds/reasons for the appeal.

The application to appeal may be denied if reasons are not provided.

Who may file a Wage Earner Protection Program appeal?

An applicant to the WEPP who is not satisfied with the outcome of the review by the Minister may appeal the Minister’s review decision, but only on a question of law or jurisdiction.

When to File an Application to Appeal

The Board has determined that an application to appeal pursuant to section 14(1) of the WEPP Act shall, unless circumstances beyond the control of the applicant justify a longer period, be made within 60 days after the day on which the applicant is notified of the Minister’s decision.

If the applicant is unable to file their application to appeal within the 60-day period, they must provide the reasons for the delay. An extension may be granted if the applicant can demonstrate that there were circumstances beyond their control that prevented them from filing within the prescribed time period.

How to File an Application to Appeal

A WEPP Eligibility Appeal Form is available online or at one of the Board’s regional offices. It is strongly recommended that applicants use this form. It asks for the necessary information that the Board requires to consider and determine the application to appeal. Not completing this form may cause delays in the appeal process.

The applicant may file their application to appeal at any of the Board’s regional offices. It may also be submitted electronically through the Board’s e-Filing Web Portal, delivered in person or sent by courier or mail. In such cases, the application to appeal is deemed to be filed on the date of receipt by the Board. If the application to appeal is sent by registered mail, the filing date is the date it was registered and mailed.

The information provided and any documents submitted to the Board are collected solely for the purpose of administering the WEPP Act and will be used to deal with and adjudicate matters that come before the Board. Parties that engage the Board’s services should be aware that this is a public process. Documents filed with the Board will be placed on the public record, with the exception of documents that the Board declares to be confidential. The Board provides public access to case files and posts key decisions on its website. Board decisions may identify parties and witnesses by name and may include information about them that is relevant and necessary to the determination of the dispute. For sensitive information, a request can be made to the Board for a Confidentiality Order. See Information Circular No. 12 for the Board’s Policy on Openness and Privacy.

What happens after the application to appeal has been filed?

Inform Minister of Appeal and Request Documents from Minister

After an application to appeal is filed, the Board will inform the Minister in writing that an application to appeal has been filed, provide a copy of the application to the Minister and request from the Minister a copy of any document that the Minister relied on for the purpose of making the decision being appealed.

Acknowledgment Letter

Upon receipt by the CIRB of a copy of any document that the Minister relied on for the purpose of making the decision being appealed, the application to appeal will be processed by the CIRB.

A letter will be sent to the applicant, with a copy to the Minister and the trustee or receiver handling the bankruptcy or receivership proceedings for the former employer, acknowledging receipt of the application to appeal and appointing an Industrial Relations Officer to oversee the conduct of the file. A copy of any document that the Minister relied on for the purpose of making the decision being appealed will also be provided to the applicant.

Representations by Minister

Pursuant to section 15(4) of the WEPP Act, the Minister may, in an appeal, make representations to the Board in writing. If the Minister wishes to do so, the Minister may file any written representations within 15 calendar days from the receipt of the Board’s acknowledgment letter and, pursuant to section 23 of the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012, provide a copy to the applicant and advise the Board in writing of the time and manner of service (delivery). If the Minister makes representations in writing to the Board, the applicant will have 10 calendar days from the receipt of the Minister’s representations to file a reply.

External Adjudicators

The Chairperson of the Board may appoint a member of the CIRB or an external adjudicator to hear and determine a WEPP appeal. External adjudicators have all the powers, duties and functions as the Board regarding any matter to which they have been appointed, and their orders and decisions are considered to be the Board’s orders and decisions.

Decision of the Board

Once the Board determines the matter, the applicant will be informed of the Board’s decision in writing. A copy of the decision will also be provided to the Minister and to the trustee or receiver.

What remedies can be ordered by the Board?

The Board has the power to confirm, rescind or vary the decision being appealed. If the Board varies the decision, the Minister shall make any payment resulting from the variation to the applicant. The Board will notify the parties in writing of the Board’s decision.

DECEMBER 2020

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