No. 7–Wage Recovery Appeals (Referral by Minister)

Rules of Procedure

This document describes the procedures that must be followed by the parties (employee, employer or director) in a referral by the Minister to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (the CIRB or the Board), pursuant to section 251.101(7) of the Canada Labour Code (the Code).

To ensure the timely processing of the appeal, it is important that these rules be reviewed carefully.

Should you have any questions concerning the Board’s procedure, you can contact a Board officer at 1-800-575-9696.


In most circumstances, a person affected by a review decision made under Part III of the Code (Standard Hours, Wages, Vacations and Holidays) may file a direct appeal with the CIRB. However, a person may not file an appeal of a payment order, a notice of unfounded complaint or a notice of voluntary compliance directly with the CIRB. If a person affected by a payment order, a notice of unfounded complaint or a notice of voluntary compliance disagrees with the order or notice, they may request the Minister to conduct a formal review of the order or notice.

Pursuant to section 251.101(7) of the Code, the Minister can treat a request for review with respect to a decision or order made under Part III of the Code (notice of unfounded complaint, payment order or notice of voluntary compliance) as an appeal of the decision or order and refer the matter to the CIRB, without first undertaking a review. In such cases, the CIRB shall be considered to have an appeal before it.

Section 251.12(4) of the Code provides that the Board may, in an appeal, make any order, including an order to confirm, rescind or vary, in whole or in part, the decision being appealed, and direct payment to any person of amounts that are held in trust pending the outcome of the appeal.

For further information about wage recovery appeals, please consult the Board’s Information Circular No.18 –Wage Recovery Appeals.

For copies of the Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012 (the Regulations), rules of procedure, forms and information circulars, please visit the Board’s website.

Public Process

The information provided and any documents submitted to the Board are collected solely for the purpose of administering the Code and will be used to deal with and adjudicate the appeal. 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 pursuant to section 22 of the Regulations. The Board provides public access to case files and posts key decisions on its website. The final decision 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.

Notice of the Referral by the Board

In a referral from the Minister, pursuant to section 251.101(7) of the Code, the referral to the CIRB would include the request for review, in writing and with reasons, and a copy of any document that the Minister and/or the Inspector relied on for the purpose of making the decision or issuing the order or notice being appealed. There is also confirmation that the employer or director has paid to the Minister the amount indicated on the payment order and any required administrative fee or given security, in a form satisfactory to the Minister.

After the CIRB receives the referral from the Minister, it will send a letter to the parties (employee, employer or director, if applicable), with a copy to the Minister, acknowledging receipt of the referral and enclosing a copy of all relevant documents.

The letter will also inform the parties of the name and contact information of the CIRB Industrial Relations Officer (IRO) appointed to the file. The IRO is responsible for managing the file and assisting the parties in reaching a settlement. For more information on the role of the IRO, please consult the Board’s Information Circular No. 1–The Role of the Board’s Industrial Relations Officers.

Shortly after sending the Board’s acknowledgment letter, the IRO will contact the parties to explain the Board’s processes, answer any questions that they might have and discuss any issues that could arise during the conduct of the file.

Filing of Further Documents or Submissions

Pursuant to sections 9 and 12 of the Regulations, if a party wishes to file any further documents/submissions, that party must do so within 15 days from the receipt of the Board’s letter. Upon receipt of any further documents/submissions, the other party will have 10 days to file a submission, if any, only with respect to the documents submitted by the other party.

Request for Oral Hearing

In accordance with section 10(g) of the Regulations, any request for an oral hearing must include the reasons for the request. Please note that, in any event, the Board is empowered under section 16.1 of the Code to decide any matter before it without holding an oral hearing. In such a case, the Board would determine the appeal based on the written submissions of the parties (employee, employer). It is therefore in the parties’ best interests to file complete, accurate and detailed submissions and include all relevant information and documents in support of their respective positions.

Time Limits

The CIRB may refuse to consider any further documents or submissions received after the prescribed time limit.

Extension of the Time Limits

To ensure the timely processing of matters before the Board, and in furtherance of the objectives of the Code, the Board’s practice is not to grant extensions of the time limits for filing further documents or submissions, except in exceptional circumstances.

If you must request an extension of time limits, you must first contact the other parties and obtain their agreement, before making a request to the Board.

Exchange of Documents

Pursuant to section 23 of the Regulations, parties must deliver to the other party/parties a copy of any response, reply or other document filed with the Board and advise the Board in writing of the time and manner of this delivery, which is called service. The manner of service includes delivery by fax, by courier, or in person. You may also deliver the document by mail or registered mail, but these may lead to delays in processing the appeal.

Representations by Minister

Pursuant to section 251.111(5) of the Code, the Minister may, in an appeal under Part III of the Code, present evidence and make representations to the Board. If the Minister wishes to do so, he or she will be requested to file any documents/submissions within 15 days from receipt of the Board’s letter and provide a copy to the other parties. If the Minister makes representations in writing to the Board, the other parties will have 10 days from the receipt of the Minister’s representations to file a reply.

Request for Production or Disclosure of Documents

Pursuant to section 21(1) of the Regulations, if a party seeks to have another party disclose documents that are relevant to the matter before the Board, the request must first be made in writing to the other party, before applying to the Board for an order requiring disclosure.

Mediation Meeting

The IRO will communicate with the parties in order to arrange a mediation meeting to assist the parties in attempting to resolve the dispute. This mediation meeting is voluntary and the information acquired by the officer in the mediation process shall remain confidential and shall not be divulged to the Board.

Pre-Hearing Conference

Pursuant to section 16(a.1) of the Code, the Board has the power to schedule and hold pre-hearing conferences with the parties to discuss both preliminary and substantive issues relating to the appeal. The pre-hearing conferences are normally conducted via teleconference, although videoconferences and in-person meetings are also used in some cases.

The pre-hearing conference is considered an integral part of the hearing process. Parties are expected to attend the pre-hearing conference prepared to discuss and address both preliminary and substantive aspects of the matter before the Board. Any Board decisions or rulings made at the pre-hearing conference are binding on all the parties.

If the Board decides to schedule a pre-hearing conference, the parties will be advised of the date, time, location and other information (e.g., teleconference dial-in procedures) for the pre-hearing conference as soon as possible.

Pursuant to section 47(2) of the Regulations, if a party does not attend a pre-hearing conference after having been given notice, the Board may proceed and decide the matter in the party’s absence.

Oral Hearing

If the Board finds it necessary to schedule an oral hearing, the parties will be advised of the time and place of the hearing as soon as possible. Although a hearing may be scheduled, this does not preclude a settlement by the parties at any time.

Request for Adjournment or Postponement

The logistical difficulties caused by the Board’s heavy caseload and its geographically widespread and bilingual community render it very difficult to reschedule dates in an orderly and timely fashion. The Board is therefore very reluctant to accede to requests for postponement of its proceedings.

If a party requires a rescheduling of a hearing, that party must first consult with the other party/parties as described in the Board’s Information Circular No. 4–Board Hearings, which is available on the CIRB website.

External Adjudicators

The Chairperson of the Board may appoint a member of the CIRB or an external adjudicator to hear and determine a wage recovery appeal. Members of the CIRB and external adjudicators have all the powers, duties and functions conferred on the CIRB by the Code 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

The Board will notify the parties in writing of its decision, with reasons. A copy of the Board’s decision will also be provided to the Minister. All key decisions of the CIRB are published on its website.

July 2019

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