Phoenix pay issues: What to do and where to turn for help


The November 21 Fall Report from the Auditor General of Canada highlighted the ongoing issues with the Phoenix pay system. Since Phoenix was implemented in 2016, over 60 per cent of National Defence civilian employees have experienced problems with their pay.

“We urge all employees who are having problems with their pay to report the issues so that we can help resolve them. Don’t be stoic,” said Deputy Minister Jody Thomas. “We’re also working very closely with the unions. We meet regularly with them and they have direct access to our compensation team.”

For employees experiencing pay issues, the first step is always to speak with your manager. Next, follow the steps outlined on the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) web site and the Phoenix section of the Defence Team intranet site to report the issue to the Pay Centre.

If you have an outstanding Phoenix pay issue, the following resources may be available to you:

  • Emergency Salary Advances are available for employees who are missing basic pay (i.e., a missing paycheck). This option provides funds within 72 hours of submitting the request.
  • Priority payments are available for employees who are experiencing financial hardship due to non-basic pay issues (for instance, because of incorrect salary calculations, delay in processing a promotion, or substantial outstanding overtime pay).
  • Reimbursements are available for employees who have incurred out-of-pocket expenses due to Phoenix.
  • If the case is not resolved within the Pay Centre service standards, the National Civilian Compensation Support Unit (NCCSU) may be able to help you. Please email the NCCSU and include your outstanding case numbers and your PRI.
  • If you are on leave or retired, please contact your manager or fill out a feedback form or call the Pay Centre at 1-855-686-4729.

To address Phoenix issues, National Defence is adding staff to the compensation team, with plans to grow to 100 employees. Senior leadership is also working closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada to advocate to fix systemic pay system issues, and staff are collaborating with other government departments to share best practices and lessons learned.

For more information about resolving Phoenix issues, visit the Pay for the Public Service section on and the Phoenix section of the Defence Team intranet site.

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