Improvements to the Wage Earner Protection Program will ensure Canadian workers are paid more of what they are owed when they need it most

November 19, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting those who need it when they need it most. This is particularly important during periods when workers and businesses in Canada may be experiencing financial hardship related to the impact of COVID-19.

The Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) provides financial support to Canadian workers who have lost their job and are owed wages by their insolvent employer. Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour, announced a number of improvements to the WEPP to expand eligibility and put more money in the pockets of Canadians.

To better support workers in Canada during this challenging time, the Government is removing the standard 6.82% deduction applied to all WEPP payments, which will give an average of $315 more to those who have lost their job and are owed wages by their former employer. Other important changes are meant to expand access to the program, and include:

  • enabling earlier access to WEPP payments;
  • extending WEPP coverage to Canadians employed by foreign companies in Canada; and
  • updating the payment for trustee and receiver duties.

These changes come into effect on November 20, 2021.

The WEPP has paid approximately $473 million in wages to nearly 161,000 Canadian workers. As we look to Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, improvements to important programs like the WEPP will help us build back better and reduce the economic impact of the pandemic on Canadian workers and businesses.

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