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An Educational Service of CanPay Software Inc.
January 2011

Contents:

• Welcome
• What's New
• GrandMaster Update


Featured Article:

Evaluating productivity: Make sure you have performance guidelines geared to your organization (Part 1 of 2)

Tip of the Month:

Business Registration Online (BRO)
  Welcome!

January 2011 - Welcome to the latest edition of The Payroll News. As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and associates who are interested in keeping up with the latest changes in the Payroll industry. Or better yet, subscribe them for free using the Tell Others About Us link.


What's New in Canadian Payroll

Listed here are recent changes in legislation on Federal and Provincial levels that may impact your payroll calculations. Please view the following list for changes that affect your region.

FEDERAL:

January 26, 2011 - Harper Government Is Keeping Taxes Low for Canada’s Job Creators - The Minister of Finance has highlighted tax relief for Canada’s job creators. On January 1, 2011, the federal general corporate income tax rate was reduced to 16.5 per cent from 18 per cent, in advance of the final legislated reduction to 15 per cent effective January 1, 2012. This reduction will lead to further improvements in Canada’s competitiveness and productivity and ultimately higher standards of living for Canadians. (Full Story)

January 25, 2011 - Government of Canada Taking Action to Increase Labour Mobility for Social Workers - The Government of Canada is helping social workers practice their profession anywhere in Canada, wherever opportunities may exist. By enhancing labour mobility and improving foreign credential recognition in Canada. This is part of the government's strategy to address labour shortages and strengthen the economy. (Full Story)

January 21, 2011 - Canada Pension Plan (CPP) T4 and NR4 Tax Information Slips - FAQ - The CRA mails Canada Pension Plan (CPP) T4 and NR4 tax information slips in January 2011. These tax information slips are for your 2010 income tax return. If you do not receive them by February 28, 2011, the CRA urges you to contact them directly. (Full Story)

January 5, 2011 - The Government of Canada creates thousands of jobs for young Canadians - The Government of Canada announced today a significant investment in the Canada Summer Jobs program that will create more job opportunities for students. This commitment will also support important community services and strengthen the economy. The Canada Summer Jobs program will create as many as 3 500 additional jobs for students next summer, strengthening the local economies of communities right across Canada. (Full Story)

December 29, 2010 - Automobile deduction limits and expense benefit rates for 2011 - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced that the automobile expense deduction limits and the prescribed rates for the automobile operating expense benefit will remain unchanged for 2011. The Government reviews these rates and limits annually. (Full Story)

December 28, 2010 - Government Supports Job Creators With Tax Relief - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today highlighted important tax relief coming into effect January 1, 2011 to support job creators in Canada. The federal general corporate income tax rate will be reduced from 18 per cent to 16.5 per cent effective January 1, 2011. It will then be reduced to 15 per cent effective January 1, 2012. These rate reductions will decrease the cost of capital and increase the rate of return on investment, encouraging firms to invest more in all sectors of the Canadian economy. (Full Story)

December 21, 2010 - Tax Adjustment Notes Issued by an Employer to a Pension Entity - Bill C-9, the Jobs and Economic Growth Act, which received Royal Assent on July 12, 2010, provided for, among other things, a new GST/HST rebate for pension entities. An explanation of the rules pertaining to the rebate is included in GST/HST Notice257, For discussion purposes only: Draft GST/HST technical information bulletin, The GST/HST Rebate for Pension Entities. (Full Story)

December 2010 - Payroll Deductions Tables (T4032) - Publication T4032, Payroll Deductions Tables, has been the publication used to calculate the payroll deductions for the most common pay periods: weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and monthly. A considerable decline in usage has resulted in the discontinuance of this printed publication effective January 2012. We encourage you to use the newly redesigned Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC). (Full Story)

December 2010 - T4008 Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables - The CRA has released Publication T4008, Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables. This publication is used to calculate payroll deductions for unusual pay periods: daily, or 10, 13, or 22 pay periods in a year. These supplementary payroll tables do not apply to the vast majority of employers. The decreased demand for this publication has resulted in the printed version of it being eliminated effective January 2011. (Full Story)

Alberta:

January 28, 2011 - Applications now accepted for the Summer Temporary Employment Program - Applications from employers are now being accepted for the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP). Eligible employers include registered not-for-profit community organizations, First Nations, Metis settlements, municipalities, school divisions and post-secondary institutions. This summer, more than 2,000 STEP positions will be available. STEP can be used by employers to top up wages for students by $7 an hour. (Full Story)

January 25, 2011 - Governments of Canada and Alberta partner to help unemployed older workers prepare for new jobs - A joint initiative of the governments of Canada and Alberta is helping unemployed older workers learn new skills to assist them in finding and keeping new jobs. The two levels of government are providing over $10 million for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. (Full Story)

January 6, 2011 - Businesses Filing Annual Returns - If you have workers’ compensation coverage through WCB-Alberta, you need to file an Annual Return each year. Your Annual Return includes your actual insurable earnings (payroll) paid in 2010, along with an estimate of insurable earnings for 2011. Filing your Annual Return ensures that you’re paying the appropriate premiums for the worker coverage you need. The deadline to file your Annual Return is February 28. (Full Story)

December 8, 2010 - Employment Standards complaint process made easier - The Alberta government is launching a pilot project to make the Employment Standards complaint process easier for employees. Alberta workers can now use the new online complaint process to complete an online complaint from start to finish. The form can be accessed at employment.alberta.ca/ES complaint. There are over two-million workers in Alberta. Employment Standards receives about 5,000 complaints annually. (Full Story)

British Columbia:

January 28, 2011 - Service Canada opens Surrey North Centre to better serve residents - Surrey residents will receive easy, convenient access to a wide range of federal programs and services from a new Service Canada Centre. Some of the programs and services that local residents can access at the new centre include Employment Insurance, Social Insurance Numbers, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, as well as a Service Canada Centre for Youth in the summer months. (Full Story)

January 25, 2011 - Job Options BC Builds Bridges To Employment - A new $15-million employment and skills training program can help unemployed British Columbians gain the skills, confidence and experience needed to find employment. The Province is providing $15 million each fiscal year for Job Options BC - a program that consists of four to six weeks of facilitated group work followed by an additional four to six weeks of work experience, preparing participants for new employment, or when appropriate, further training. (Full Story)

January 19, 2011 - New Program Helps Youth Gain Skills In The Workplace - It’s an age-old cycle: you need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience. Now, thanks to the new $3-million Youth Skills BC (YSBC) Workplace Pilot Program, this gap will close for many B.C. youth, providing them with the opportunity to gain experience and new skills in the workplace and opening doors to rewarding careers and good wages. (Full Story)

Manitoba:

January 12, 2011 - Government of Canada supports youth employment research in Manitoba Community - Through support from the Government of Canada, Prairie Skills Inc. will conduct research on youth participation in the local job market in Deloraine, MB. With assistance from the federal Skills Link program, Prairie Skills Inc. will partner with the Brandon University Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies (BU CARES) to conduct research that will identify employment opportunities and barriers for local youth. (Full Story)

January 5, 2011 - WCB assessment rate drops due to prevention, return to work initiatives - The average WCB assessment rate in Manitoba will drop from $1.60 to $1.50 effective January 1, 2011, due in large part to the reduced costs resulting from injury prevention and return to work initiatives. The rates had held steady at $1.60 since 2008. The average WCB assessment rate in Manitoba will drop from $1.60 to $1.50 effective January 1, 2011, due in large part to the reduced costs resulting from injury prevention and return to work initiatives. The rates had held steady at $1.60 since 2008. (Full Story)

January 5, 2011 - WCB Opening Brandon Office - The WCB announced it will be opening a new location in Brandon, Manitoba, in early 2012. This office will service workers and employers located in Brandon and surrounding areas. The WCB announced it will be opening a new location in Brandon, Manitoba, in early 2012. This office will service workers and employers located in Brandon and surrounding areas. (Full Story)

December 17, 2010 - Enhancements Urged To Canada Pension Plan - Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk has vowed to make enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) a priority. "Manitoba’s position is to move forward for a modest, phased-in and fully funded expansion of the existing CPP as the foundation for strengthening the retirement income system in Canada," said Wowchuk. (Full Story)

December 7, 2010 - Amendments Proposed To Workers Compensation Act - Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the Workers Compensation Act, today introduced proposed amendments to the act which would add four new occupational disease presumptions for firefighters. These amendments would apply to full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

January 27, 2011 - Government helping new Canadians get jobs in their fields - The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick are supporting a project that will help internationally trained professionals find work that best suits their skills and experience. The Government of Canada is providing over $1.2 million in funding to the Government of New Brunswick for its project entitled Building Foreign Qualification Recognition Capacity in New Brunswick. (Full Story)

January 27, 2011 - New project to help internationally trained professionals in New Brunswick - A project that will help internationally trained professionals put their knowledge and skills to work sooner has received support from the federal and provincial governments. The federal government is providing more than $1.2 million to the province for its Building Foreign Qualification Recognition Capacity in New Brunswick project. (Full Story)

January 7, 2011 - Unemployment rate up from last year - New Brunswick's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.4 per cent in December, up 0.5 of a percentage point from the same month last year, according to figures reported today by Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate was down by 0.9 of a percentage point compared to November. New Brunswick's employment level stood at 362,800 in December, up 1,100 from November but 2,600 less than at the same time last year. (Full Story)

December 29, 2010 - Summer job applications for students now available - Applications are now available from the Student Employment and Experience Development (SEED) program for students looking for summer jobs in New Brunswick. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe made the announcement today. The provincially-funded program provides summer jobs to eligible students in provincial government departments and agencies, municipal and First Nations offices, and non-profit organizations. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

January 28, 2011 - Community-based Organizations Encouraged to Submit Proposals for Targeted Initiative for Older Workers - Community-based organizations are being encouraged to submit proposals for employment projects that meet the goals and objectives of the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) agreement. The TIOW is a cost-shared initiative between the Provincial and Federal Governments designed to provide valuable support to unemployed workers age 55-64 who live in communities affected by significant downsizing or closures, or experiencing long-term unemployment. (Full Story)

January 20, 2011 - Employers and Service Providers Continue to Benefit from Newfoundland and Labrador HR Toolkit - February will mark the one year anniversary of the launch of the Provincial Government’s Human Resource (HR) Toolkit which has seen extraordinary uptake by small and medium-sized employers throughout the province. To date, over 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses and community-based organizations have utilized the HR Toolkit in one form or another.
(Full Story)

January 20, 2010 - WHSCC opinion surveys indicate satisfaction levels high in 2010
-
The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission announced positive results of its 2010 Employer and Injured Worker opinion surveys. Results of the 2010 Injured Worker Survey indicate 72 per cent of injured workers rated the Commission as effective in providing services and 58 per cent were mostly or completely satisfied with their overall experience with the Commission. Approximately 65 per cent agreed the Commission was fair to employers.
(Full Story)

January 14, 2011 - Record-high Employment Levels Reached in 2010 - According to the latest labour force figures, Newfoundland and Labrador led all Canadian provinces in employment growth in 2010. Employment during 2010 averaged 222,800, up 3.7 per cent compared to 2009, with most of the gains coming in full-time employment. The overall rate of employment growth in Newfoundland and Labrador last year was more than double the national growth rate of 1.6 per cent, and represents the strongest performance among provinces. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

January 18, 2011 - Applications Accepted for Older Worker Programs - Applications for programs to help older workers re-enter the workforce are being accepted through the province's Age Advantage Plus program until Feb. 21. Age Advantage Plus is funded through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, a federal-provincial partnership developed to aid unemployed older workers in communities affected by significant workforce downsizing or workplace closures. (Full Story)

January 2011- Maximum Assessable/Insurable Earnings set for 2011 - On January 1, 2011, the maximum assessable / insurable earnings will increase from $50,800 to $52,000. This figure is used by the Board to determine the maximum benefit payable to injured workers in 2011, and also represents the maximum assessable earnings per worker to be reported by employers on 2011 payrolls. (Full Story)

Ontario:

January 24, 2011 - The Government of Canada helps youth in Toronto prepare for the job market - Local youth who face barriers to employment will get job preparation training through the Government of Canada's support for an employment project. With assistance from the federal Skills Link program, the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre will help 16 youth develop the skills and knowledge needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school. (Full Story)

January 19, 2011 - Know Your Employment Rights And Responsibilities - Ontario is providing more resources - including a multilingual toll-free number - to send a critical message to employees and employers: Know your employment rights and responsibilities. Ontario’s workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, as many employees and employers speak non-official languages at work. Nearly 315,000 workers in Ontario used a language other than English and French on the job in 2006, according to Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

December 19, 2010 - Provinces Call for Enhanced CPP - The Provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario called on the federal government to keep a modest CPP enhancement on the table as part of a package of reforms that would make saving for retirement easier, more affordable and more secure for Canadians. The provinces would like to see measurable progress on several reforms at the upcoming Finance Ministers' Meeting in Kananaskis, Alberta. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

January 2011- Employer Classification - What's New For 2011 - The PEI Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has reviewed their Employer Classification System and released a series of reviews. Employers are classified by the industry in which they operate. The classification is based on the employer's overall business activity, not on the occupation of its workers. Employers within each class, who have similar operations and share similar risks, are further grouped together for rate setting purposes. (Full Story)

January 2011 - Classification of Industries and Assessment Rates - 2011 - The WCB of PEI has released the Classification of Industries and Assessment Rates booklet with the 2011 assessment rates for every $100 of gross payroll. Employers are classified into industries based on their primary business activity. Industries are then divided into Industry Groups based on similarity of activity. Industry Groups are assigned to a rate group with their class/sector based on their historical injury cost experience. Industry groups within the same rate group will pay the same assessment rate. (Full Story - PDF)

January 2011 - The WCB has new workplace safety DVDs available for loan - The Workers' Compensation Board of PEI has made available, a series of DVDs that cover a broad range of topics to assist employers and employees with matters relating to workplace health and safety. Topics range from Hazard Communication and Safety Orientation to Ergonomics in the Workplace. (Full Story)

Saskatchewan:

January 28, 2011 - Saskatchewan Continues To Lead The Country In Wage Growth - For the second month in a row, Saskatchewan wage-earners have experienced the largest year-over-year earnings jump in Canada. Saskatchewan's average weekly earnings increased by 5.7 per cent in November 2010, tied with Prince Edward Island for top spot, and exceeding the national average of 4.4 per cent. Saskatchewan's average weekly earnings were $862.83, the third highest in Canada after Alberta ($1,016.27), and Ontario ($891.42). Nationally, the average was $865.17. (Full Story)

January 18, 2011 - The Government of Canada helps Saskatoon youth prepare for the job market - - Local youth who face barriers to employment will get job preparation training and work experience through the Government of Canada’s support for an employment program. With assistance from the federal Skills Link program, the Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres will help 10 youth develop the skills and experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school. (Full Story)

January 13, 2011 - Government of Canada helps youth in Moose Jaw and the south central region of Saskatchewan prepare for their careers - Young people will have the opportunity to learn about careers and the needs of the local job market thanks to support from the Government of Canada. With assistance from the federal Youth Awareness program, the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce will coordinate presentations to youth about the current and future job market needs of the region, as well as the education and skills required to fill these positions. (Full Story)

January 7, 2011 - Saskatchewan Enters 2011 With The Second Lowest Unemployment Rate In Canada - Record high employment for the month of December helped Saskatchewan close out the year with the second lowest unemployment rate in Canada. Saskatchewan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent is well below the national average of 7.6, according to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey. December also marked Saskatchewan's 11th straight month of overall employment growth, the eighth straight month of employment growth for First Nations and Métis people and the fifth straight month of employment growth for First Nations and Métis youth. (Full Story)

January 6, 2011 - Saskjobs.Ca Reaches Record Popularity In 2010 - More job seekers than ever are exploring career opportunities on Saskatchewan's largest job search website, www.saskjobs.ca. The site hosted a record 8.9 million visits in 2010 while posting more than 111,000 jobs from employers across the province. All told, 8,750 more jobs were posted to the site in 2010 as compared to 2009, an increase of 8.5 per cent. (Full Story)

December 23, 2010 - Saskatchewan Workers See The Largest Earnings Increase In Canada - A 7.7 per cent jump in average weekly earnings, the largest increase in Canada, has lifted Saskatchewan above the national average for the first time. Saskatchewan's average weekly earnings were $875.47, the third highest in the country after Alberta ($1,012.54) and Ontario ($889.84), and ahead of the national average of $863.33. (Full Story)

Yukon:

January 2011 - Maximum Wage Rate and Maximum Assessable Earnings - The maximum wage rate / maximum assessable earnings for 2010 is $77,610. For 2011, the maximum is $77,920. The maximum wage rate is a ceiling used to calculate the maximum benefits injured workers can receive for loss of earnings. It also affects pension amounts for some workers. (Full Story)

December 2010 - YWCHSB: 2011 Classifications and Assessment Rates - The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board has released a document outlining the 2011 Classifications and Assessment Rates. The document compares the rates from 2009 through to 2011. (Full Story - PDF)


GrandMaster Update

The upcoming release of GrandMaster Suite (6.10) incorporates a number of changes and important adjustments to make it even easier to use the program and perform your payroll tasks. Some of the program changes since our last Payroll News issue include:

  • Year-end processing modified to include the recent CRA changes to box numbers - This release contains program changes to incorporate the changes that the CRA has made adding new box numbers to both the T4 and T4A. Additionally, the CRA has moved the retiring allowances from the T4A to the T4 and that change has been included in this release as well. We have made changes to include the new box numbers as options available for selection when creating your year-end file and to have the new boxes available for edit after the year-end file has been created. Further, the T4/T4A Data Report has been modified to include the new boxes.
  • New Journal Entry export format added allowing export to PC FundWare - This release contains a new Journal Entry export format that allows users to create an export file that can be imported into the PC FundWare software.
  • New union deduction calculation method added - This release includes a new custom union deduction/benefit method (171) that allows you to calculate a deduction and/or benefit amount as a percentage of the employees base rate multiplied by the number of hours worked in certain period range. This range can be the current pay, the current month or the previous month. However, if you have a pay frequency that would overlap months you MUST key the employee time daily in order for the calculation to pick up the number of hours in the month correctly
  • You may now print a T4 or T4A Summary Report on the applicable CRA form - With this release we have changed the T4 and T4A Summary Reports so that they will print on the CRA form. In fact, the form is included with the report as a background so you will not need an actual form when printing. The data will print in the appropriate boxes and you may choose to transpose the data on an official CRA form or you could simply sign and submit the report as we print it. However, to print these reports you MUST add two new ODBC drivers to The Data Sources on the workstation you are printing the reports from. We will post the instructions to manually add the ODBC drivers to our download area. You MUST add the ODBC drivers for these reports on the workstation prior to attempting to print the report or an ODBC error will occur. The document you will need to refer to for the instructions is titled "Adding an ODBC Driver.pdf"
  • The T4A processing has been modified to comply with new box assignments - The CRA has made some major changes to the T4A that come into effect this year. They have moved The retiring allowances from the T4A and you will now report any retiring allowances on the employee's T4. Additionally, they have added new box numbers or codes to replace the footnote codes from past years. The footnotes will no longer be included on the T4A. This has required major modifications to the Year-end process where it comes to T4A processing. We have made changes to implement the CRA changes, to the earnings setup, the Edit Year-end File, the T4A reports and the T4A XML file. Additionally, we have made changes to the T4 processing through to and including the XML file relating to the retiring allowances. Further, The new T4A report for 2010 requires that you manually add the ODBC driver required to print your T4A data to the CRA form. The instructions are included in the "Adding an ODBC Driver" document mentioned above. You MUST add this ODBC driver to the Data Sources prior to attempting to print the T4A's to the new 2010 form.
  • A new utility program has been added to allow you to import new position data - This release includes a new utility program (UTPOSIMP) that will allow you to import new position data en masse to the position database. This option is helpful for those setting up new payrolls or if you are required to add many positions to the database. If you are in need of this utility program, like any other utility program, you should contact CanPay Technical Support for assistance.

• • •

Visit CanPay's News page and view the latest Release Notes for a complete listing of program changes.


Link Opportunity! - If you are a CanPay customer wanting more exposure for your Website, please send us a 50-word description along with a copy of your logo. We'll add you to our Customer Links page and create a link directly to your website. It 's a great way to expose your goods and services to the community. Logos should be a maximum of 160 x 70 pixels and provided in the .gif or .jpg format. Send your e-mails to admin@canpay.com.


Evaluating productivity: (Part 1 of 2)
Make sure you have performance guidelines geared to your organization

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press. No matter which way we look, our business and personal worlds are changing. In fact, the changes are coming so fast and furious that sometimes we feel exhausted from everything whirling around us. It feels like a tornado of traumatic events over which the individual has no control.

General Motors (GM) and others were in deep trouble just a little while ago and now with an influx of investment, restructuring and changes in leadership, GM has announced its re-emergence from bankruptcy. The employment rate announcements show ups and downs across the country as different regions experience the worst economic conditions in many decades. And we are constantly hearing about mergers, acquisitions, work sharing, downsizing and layoffs, rightsizing, and outright closings.

Frankly, my head is spinning with the constant battering of mostly depressing news. I'll bet you'll agree with me that it's easy to get bogged down in fuzzy thinking.

Yet one thing is crystal clear. No job is secure, not even those in large institutions such as government, health care or educational bodies. Everyone is cost cutting. Sometimes I facetiously think there are managers out there who are so desperate that they are resorting to rubbing nickels together to see if they can squeeze even more out of their funds. Sorry, but unless you are a true magician, it just doesn't work. So, bite the bullet and make those hard choices.

At the same time, if you're an employee who is lucky enough to have kept your job, don't plan to rest on your laurels. In fact, you have to take charge of your career and ensure you have the right skills to continue contributing to your company or organization. You have to ensure you have value for the organization. Typically, this means becoming a continuous learner, taking on new tasks, learning new skills and, in fact, becoming multi-skilled.

The economic turmoil around us is also forcing organizations to pay a lot more attention to productivity issues, which means they must also ensure they have the right skills in the right place at the right time. This in turn has led to a greater focus on employee productivity and performance management. To be honest, these areas haven't been well addressed in the past; in fact, in some cases performance reviews haven't been completed for years.

While manufacturing companies are known to do a better job of identifying productivity and performance measures, the so-called white collar service industries that are flush with "knowledge workers" have often stumbled badly in this HR functional area. Sometimes service industry leaders don't even know where to start. Yet, if you don't conduct some sort of objective evaluation of your organization, how will you know where to improve? How will you know where to allocate resources? How will you know if you are improving, growing or declining? How will you know if your programs are successful or effective for that matter? Guesses, hunches and relying on tradition will not work in today's work world.

The following explanation and brief guidelines will help managers and leaders in service industries to begin the process of establishing an effective performance management system.

Please return next issue for the conclusion of this article!

Courtesy of Barbara Bowes