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With a few exceptions, such as monthly and weekly pay, the official payday is every second Wednesday commencing Wednesday, January 15, 1992.

1 Bi-weekly pay system

The TBS authorized the introduction of a bi-weekly pay system for employees who were being paid on a semi-monthly basis, and subsequently directed that bi-weekly pay would become effective April 1, 1969. With a few exceptions, the system applies to employees of departments and other portions of the Public Service listed in Schedule I, Part I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

1.1 Bi-weekly pay formulae

Since bi-weekly pay periods and calendar years do not coincide, several factors are used when determining entitlements for employees paid on a bi-weekly basis. The following describes how these factors were determined.

Average number of calendar days in a year

This number is based on the fact that calendar years are of two (2) lengths and that every fourth (4th) calendar year is a leap year consisting of 366 calendar days. Therefore, over a four (4) year period there is an average of 365.25 calendar days per year.

Year 1: 365 calendar days
Year 2: 365 calendar days
Year 3: 365 calendar days
Year 4: 366 calendar days
1461 4 = 365.25 average calendar days per year

Four (4) week gross factor of 13.044

The 13.044 bi-weekly pay factor was arrived at by the fact that there is an average of 365.25 calendar days in a year with twenty-eight (28) calendar days in a four (4) week pay period. Dividing the average yearly calendar days by twenty-eight (28), results in the four (4) week bi-weekly pay factor of 13.044.

365.25 28 = 13.044

Two (2) week gross factor of 26.088

The 26.088 bi-weekly pay factor was arrived at by the fact that there is an average of 365.25 calendar days in a year with fourteen (14) calendar days in a two (2) week pay period. Dividing the average yearly calendar days by fourteen (14), results in the two (2) week bi-weekly pay factor of 26.088.

365.25 14 = 26.088

Weekly factor of 52.176

The 52.176 bi-weekly pay factor was arrived at by the fact that there is an average of 365.25 calendar days in a year with seven (7) calendar days in a one (1) week pay period. Dividing the average yearly calendar days by seven (7), results in the weekly bi-weekly pay factor of 52.176.

365.25 7 = 52.176

Note: When the bi-weekly pay factors of 13.044, 26.088 and 52.176 were determined, it was decided not to round up on the third (3rd) decimal place. The rationale being that it would provide a lesser, albeit not significant, benefit to employees.

Example

OE-DEO 3 earning $27,642 per annum

$27,642 divided by 13.044 equals $2119.14

 

 

$27,642 divided by 13.045 equals $2118.98

Average days of work in a calendar year

Since there is an average of 52.176 weeks in a year, employees with a scheduled five (5) days of work per week, work an average of 260.88 days per year.

52.176 x 5 = 260.88

Average hours of work in a calendar year

The average hours of work in a calendar year is arrived at by multiplying the hours of the scheduled workweek by 52.176, the average number of weeks in a calendar year.

Example 1 (40 hour scheduled workweek)

40 x 52.176 = 2087.04 hours per year

Example 2 (37 1/2 hour scheduled workweek)

37 1/2 x 52.176 = 1956.6 hours per year

2 Pay periods

For employees paid at an annual or hourly rate, the official pay period is fourteen (14) calendar days commencing on Thursday and ending on Wednesday, with a net cheque issued at the end of each pay period.

There will be twenty-six (26) official fourteen (14) day pay periods each year except in every twelfth (12th) year when there will be twenty-seven (27) pay periods, e.g. calendar year 2002.

3 Pay release

Subject to the availability of pay cheques, operational considerations related to their verification and distribution, and any other direction from the TBS, deputy heads are to release the cheques on the official payday. Where payment is by means of direct deposit, the payment date is also on the official payday.

Note 1: Direct deposit payment statements are to be released to employees on the payment date, i.e. on the official payday.

Note 2: Some financial institutions may allow employees access to their pay cheque prior to the official payday. This is not the federal government advancing the payday but in fact the financial institution advancing their own funds.

Pay cheques, where available, for those employees for whom one or more consecutive days of rest, travel, vacation leave, or other authorized absence with pay include the official payday, may be released on the working day immediately preceding the first day of authorized absence; however, the employees must not cash or deposit these cheques before the official payday.

No employee may demand delivery of a cheque before the official pay date, as the authority is permissive only with the TBS having the sole authority for allowing the early release of cheques prior to the official payday.

The early release of pay cheques does not entitle employees to cash or deposit them in advance of the official payday. Consequently, departments must obtain an undertaking from the employee that the cheque will not be cashed or deposited earlier than the official payday.

Example 1

  • The employee is on authorized absence on Wednesday, the payday.
  • The employee may be given the pay cheque on Tuesday but may not cash it until Wednesday, the official payday.

Example 2

  • The employee is on authorized absence for every day of the pay week (June 30 2003 to July 4, 2003).
  • The employee may be given the pay cheque on the Friday (June 27, 2003) preceding the pay week (the working day immediately preceding the authorized absence), but may not cash the cheque until the following Wednesday, (July 2, 2003) the official payday.

When the official payday falls on a designated holiday or on a day during which local financial institutions are not open to the public:

  • Pay cheques normally released on that day are to be distributed and may be cashed or deposited on the first business day immediately preceding the designated holiday or non-business day.
  • Direct pay deposit payments normally made on that day are to be made on the first business day immediately preceding the designated holiday or non-business day.

Example 1

Wednesday is a designated holiday - all release dates would be advanced by one day; cheques normally distributed on Wednesday would be distributed on Tuesday, and may be cashed or deposited on that day. Direct pay deposit payments would also be made on Tuesday. Direct deposit payment statements would be distributed to employees on Tuesday.

Example 2

Tuesday and Wednesday are designated holidays - cheques normally distributed on Wednesday would be distributed on Monday. Direct pay deposit payments would also be made on Monday. Direct deposit payment statements would be distributed to employees on Monday.

When cheques have to be mailed, they are to be placed in the mail on time to ensure arrival on the official payday.

4 Enveloping pay cheques

To ensure the protection of privacy, as required by the Privacy Act, pay cheques, cheque stubs, direct deposit payment statements, and federal and provincial income tax statements must be enveloped prior to distribution.

To eliminate the necessity of each department providing their own enveloping services, PWGSC has agreed to envelop all federal government employees' pay cheques and federal and provincial income tax statements prior to their distribution to departments. All pay cheques, cheque stubs, direct deposit payment statements or income tax statements, not enveloped by PWGSC must be enveloped by departments prior to their distribution.

Window envelopes will be used, allowing the pay office number, department identification code, paylist number, employee's name and in some cases the mailing address to be visible.

PWGSC will continue to sort and distribute pay cheques by department and paylist number. It is the responsibility of departments to verify that the cheques received correspond to the paylist. A sample verification for a small number of cheques could include a match of the cheque number, visible through the envelope window, to the cheque number included on the payroll register for the paylist.