Employee loses home due to payroll problems

Her pay stubs even amounted to $0 at one point

Employee loses home due to payroll problems

A former government employee lost her home thanks to a depleting salary stemming from a problematic automated payroll system. CBC reported that the woman, who hails from Newfoundland, is only one of the 200,000 government workers who have been affected by the automated system, leaving them either overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all.

In this case, the woman, who began working for the Canada Revenue Agency in 2006, first saw deductions from her pay stubs starting 2016, when she was still a contract worker and the automated payroll system was just launched.

Seeking answers, she went to the agency's compensation department, who told her that the deductions were due overpayments. It did not disclose, however, which months the government worker was overpaid.

This became worse when she accepted a higher-paying job within the agency in 2017 - which even saw her pay stubs amounting to $0, CBC reported.

This led to her obtaining an employment insurance, before returning to work and still receiving blank paycheques.

According to the report, this situation continued until she was terminated in 2018, 22 years after she first started at the revenue agency as a contract worker.

This situation defaulted her mortgage in 2019, CBC reported, with her home foreclosed by the bank.

Read more: Compensation tips to attract, retain talent amid tough labour market

It seemed that losing her job didn't end things for the former employee, however, as she continued receiving tax documents that claimed she was still working for the revenue agency in 2020 and 2021.

This worker is only one of the hundreds of thousands of public service workers affected by the automated payroll system.

Shared Services Canada told CBC in a statement that a new payroll and HR programme is already being tested, describing the new system is "human-centred, accessible, and cloud-based HR and pay solution."

Currently, the former government employee resides in subsidised housing, according to CBC, with her severe damages claim being reviewed.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said that more than 96% of the 27,955 claims it had received had been resolved. Over 1,600 of them were for severe damages, including 800 that have been resolved.

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