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Federal funds for laid-off workers increased

The federal Wage Earner Protection Program Act (WEPPA) provides funds for employees who go unpaid as a result of their employer's bankruptcy. or receivership This program is administered with the help of the trustee in bankruptcy or receiver (as the case may be).

The government recently announced increases in the maximum payout available under this program. The maximum was previously four weeks of insurable earnings under the Employment Insurance Act, and has now been increased to seven weeks. For 2018 this translates into an increase from $3,977 to $6,960 per worker.

Since directors of companies can be personally liable for wages owing to the employees, the bankruptcy of their company can end up benefiting them personally, as well as benefiting the employees, by invoking the WEPPA scheme and the federal funding available under it.

The rules around wage claims are complicated, and experienced advice in considering employee claims, including the WEPPA program, is strongly recommended.

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