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Cutting Payroll Doesn't Always Pay Off (Part 1of 2)
Tip of the Month:
CRA Form and Publication Updates
June 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.
June 7, 2011 - Government of Canada Reintroduces the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan-A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth - Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, reintroduced Budget 2011, the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan - A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth. Building on the sustainable, low-tax environment and growth-friendly policies put in place since 2006, the Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan will focus on supporting job creation, supporting families and communities, investing in innovation, education and training, and preserving Canada's fiscal advantage. (Full Story)
June 2011 - Amendments to the Canada Pension Plan - Every three years, federal, provincial and territorial Finance ministers review the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to determine if benefits and/or contribution rates should be changed. They base their recommendations on a number of factors, including whether or not the Plan is meeting the needs of Canadians. The changes will be implemented gradually over a six-year period beginning in January 2011 with full implementation in 2016. (Full Story)
May 31, 2011 - Additional Remittance Voucher - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) included an additional remittance voucher in the May payroll mailing. Recipients should keep this extra voucher in the event that they experience a mail disruption. Vouchers are printed using specialized magnetic ink for electronic processing through the Canadian financial system. As such, please note that the use of photocopies will result in delays or misapplied payments. (Full Story)
May 11, 2011 - Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs (Draft) - A Draft of the new Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs effective July 1, 2011 is now available on the CRA Web site. This publication contains the formulas you need to determine federal, provincial (except Quebec), and territorial income taxes, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance (EI) premium deductions. The formulas also allow you to calculate payroll deductions for special cases such as commission, pension income, bonuses, and retroactive pay increases. (Full Story)
June 2, 2011 - Province introducing stricter guidelines for health and safety credentials of companies - Effective July 1, Alberta employers who experience on-site fatalities, serious injuries or multiple stop work orders may face an immediate review of their safety accreditation. Stricter guidelines for companies to keep their Certificate of Recognition (COR) will be put in place. Employers that are not COR holders do not receive annual Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) rebates from the Workers' Compensation Board - Alberta (WCB) and cannot bid on certain projects. (Full Story)
June 1, 2011 - Alberta's minimum wage to increase in September - The earnings of 20,000 Albertans will rise September 1 when the province increases minimum wage and introduces a new wage for liquor servers. The general minimum wage will rise from $8.80 per hour to $9.40 per hour. A new minimum wage of $9.05 per hour will be introduced for workers who serve alcohol as part of their regular job, recognizing that these employees also earn tips. The new minimum wage rates represent a 6.8 per cent increase for general workers and a 2.8 per cent increase for liquor servers, the first changes to minimum wage in Alberta since April 2009. (Full Story)
May 4, 2011 - Alberta firefighters receive enhanced WCB cancer coverage - Alberta's firefighters have more work-related coverage than ever before now that four more cancers are being added to the list of cancers with presumptive WCB coverage. The four cancers added to the presumptive coverage list are prostate, breast, skin and multiple myeloma, bringing the total to 14. If a firefighter is diagnosed with these, or any of the other 10 cancers on the list, and the firefighter meets the exposure criteria, the cancer is presumed to be work related. (Full Story)
May 4, 2011 - Jobsite inspections focus on safety of young workers - The second of three planned focused inspections for 2011 is underway as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers increase inspections where young Albertans work. "Post-secondary and high school students are beginning their summer jobs and I want to help ensure those jobs are safe and healthy," said Employment and Immigration Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. Young workers represent about 17 per cent of Alberta's workforce. From 2006 to 2010, there were 27,166 lost-time claims from workers in Alberta aged 15 to 24, accounting for almost 18 per cent of lost-time claims from all workers. (Full Story)
May 1, 2011 - Alberta's workplace injury rates at a 20-year record low - Alberta's new lost-time claim rate is the lowest in 20 years of data gathering. The 2010 lost-time claim rate is 1.41 injuries for every 100 full-time jobs. This compares to a rate of 1.53 last year, down from 4.13 in 1991, marking 10 straight years of decline. The disabling injury claim rate, which includes workers injured yet able to perform modified work, also decreased to 2.67 in 2010 from 2.79 per 100 full-time jobs in 2009, and 3.34 per 100 in 2008. (Full Story)
May 19, 2011 - New training program helps fill the skills gap - B.C.'s new $3-million Targeted Skills Shortage Pilot Program will help local businesses and non-profit organizations train current staff to better meet the demands of a changing labour market. The pilot program is designed to help low-skilled employees who lack post-secondary training toward a degree or other credentials, gain new skills to improve productivity, take on new responsibilities and advance their careers. The Targeted Skills Shortage Pilot Program targets four high-growth sectors where the demand for skilled workers over the next decade will be strong. (Full Story)
May 16, 2011 - Science and the arts Expo focuses on jobs of the future - More than 1,000 students from Vancouver Island and elsewhere are booked to tour expo exhibits and speak to industry professionals at career roundtables during the 2011 Science and the Arts Expo. B.C.'s Year of Science is intended to raise awareness among B.C. families, in particular young people, about the many exciting and well-paid careers in science. (Full Story)
May 6, 2011 - WorkSafeBC reports strong financial results for 2010 - In its annual report, WorkSafeBC announced a total comprehensive income of $672 million for 2010. Revenues were higher than expected in 2010, due primarily to the investment returns on WorkSafeBC's $12 billion Accident Fund. Costs were lower in 2010 compared to 2009 - the provincial injury rate and claim volumes decreased in 2010. A $50 million reserve was created in 2010 to fund initiatives to reduce workplace injuries and improve return-to-work outcomes. (Full Story)
May 30, 2011 - Workers Compensation Board Contingency Plan - Postal Disruption - As a result of the labour dispute between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is employing contingency measures to distribute wage loss, pension, and medical aid cheques to injured workers. All other non-essential correspondence will be held at the WCB until the labour dispute is resolved. Two pieces of identification, one of which must be photo ID, and a claim number are required to pick up a cheque. The WCB is asking workers who are unable to pick up their cheques to call their adjudicator or case manager to make alternate arrangements. (Full Story)
May 30, 2011 - Provincial government moves to protect Manitobans' pensions - The Manitoba government has introduced legislative changes that would strengthen the Pension Benefits Act by allowing the Pension Commission's Office of the Superintendent to take direct action against employers who have a pension plan in place and fail to make the required contributions to the plan, Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard announced today. (Full Story)
May 26, 2011 - Minimum wage to increase to $10 per hour Oct. 1 - The province will increase the minimum wage 50 cents to $10 an hour on Oct. 1, Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard announced today. Manitoba has one of the strongest labour markets in the country and the second-lowest unemployment rate. At the same time, revenues continue to rise in most industries, including restaurant and retail, where many employees earn a minimum wage. The minimum wage rate last increased 50 cents to $9.50 per hour on Oct. 1, 2010. That followed an increase of 25 cents on May 1, 2009, and another increase of 25 cents on Oct. 1, 2009. (Full Story)
May 11, 2011 - New tax credit supports job growth for Manitobans facing employment barriers - The Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit is an innovative tool that promotes co-operation between community groups and corporations to create jobs for those who face employment barriers. The 30 per cent NA!TC was introduced in Budget 2011. It provides a credit to Manitoba corporations that make a minimum $50,000 donation to an organization with charitable status for the purpose of starting a new revenue-generating enterprise or social enterprise that hires people facing barriers to employment. When the 30 per cent NA!TC is combined with existing treatment of charitable donations by corporations, the total tax savings in 2012 for donating corporations will be 57 per cent of their contribution. (Full Story)
June 2, 2011 - Government prepares for Canada Post work stoppage - The provincial government has made plans to minimize the impact of a work stoppage at Canada Post. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers notified Canada Post management that it (the union) would be in a legal strike position as of midnight, Thursday, June 2, if a negotiated collective agreement has not been reached. In April, the union, which represents 54,000 postal workers, voted 94.5 per cent in favour of strike action. (Full Story)
June 3, 2011 - Workforce profile tabled - The 2010 Government of New Brunswick Workforce Profile was tabled in the legislative assembly today. The annual report provides statistical information about the size and makeup of the provincial government's workforce as of the final day of the year. Provincial government employees work in three parts of the public service. Part I includes the departments, which are often referred to as the civil service. Part II is comprised of the school system including teachers, bus drivers, and school district employees. Part III encompasses all health sector employees. Employees of crown corporations and Ambulance New Brunswick are not included in the report. (Full Story)
Newfoundland and Labrador:
June 03, 2011 - WHSCC committed to timely delivery of benefits during interruption in postal service - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission has put in place a contingency plan to ensure the prompt and secure delivery of benefits payments and essential services to injured workers in the event of a disruption in postal services. For service providers and employers, the Commission will continue to use Canada Post for regular communications and cheque payments as long as the dispute does not impact Newfoundland and Labrador postal services. The Commission will continue to monitor the situation and make decisions accordingly. (Full Story)
May 18, 2011 - Grant Program Encourages Innovative Workplace Skills Development Practices - Through a commitment of $100,000, the Grant Program for Businesses to Implement Innovative Workplace Skills Development Practices will assist businesses that have recruitment or retention challenges. It will provide an incentive for employers to encourage innovation in workplace strategies and practices to increase their capacity to recruit and retain recent graduates and young workers. This program offers grants of up to $5,000 for small and medium-sized businesses. (Full Story)
May 2, 2011 - Corner Brook Region Benefits from Job Creation Partnership Funding - Two organizations in the Corner Brook region will benefit from Provincial Government funding through the Job Creation Partnership program, which is designed to address local and regional priority needs by working with community organizations and municipal governments. The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, made the announcement today at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club in Corner Brook, along with Vaughn Granter, MHA for Humber West, and Terry Loder, MHA for the Bay of Islands. (Full Story)
June 7, 2011 - WCB Sets up Cheque Distribution Centres for Benefit Recipients - Like many organizations, the WCB is working to minimize the impact of any mail service disruption on workers and employers across Nova Scotia. Their main priority is to ensure workers and their families are able to continue to receive benefits during this time, with minimal inconvenience and delay. To that end, in partnership with a number of institutions across the province, 16 distribution centres will be operational on Tuesday, June 7th, where benefit cheques, normally sent through the mail, will be available for pick up. (Full Story)
May 10, 2011 - Minimum Wage to Increase Oct. 1 - The minimum wage in Nova Scotia is increasing to $10.00 per hour on Oct. 1. This is a 3.6 per cent increase from the present rate of $9.65. The minimum wage for inexperienced workers, with less than three months' experience in the work for which they were hired, will rise to $9.50. (Full Story)
May 5, 2011 - New Website Provides Easy Access to Workplace Safety Information - Nova Scotians can now access valuable workplace safety information more easily through a new website. Taking action to address client feedback, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education developed Knowledge Base, a new website that allows users to easily locate occupational health and safety information. The website can be accessed by anyone and will provide relevant, accurate and timely information on a number of workplace safety topics. (Full Story)
May 4, 2011 - Better Protections for Temporary Foreign Workers - Legislation introduced today, will improve protection for temporary foreign workers, especially recruitment and unfair treatment. Formal consultations last year confirmed reports of recruiters charging high fees and workers arriving to find employment conditions and compensation had changed from the original offer. The amendments will help better protect those who come to work in Nova Scotia from other countries. (Full Story)
June 6, 2011 - Ontario Invests in Innovation, Creates 90 New Jobs - The McGuinty Government is helping Entropex - an innovative recycling company in Sarnia - pilot new technology, generate local and global business opportunities and create 90 jobs for families. The support will help the company pilot a new process that will recover 30,000 tonnes per year of unrecycled plastic that would otherwise end up in landfills. Supporting made-in-Ontario technologies is part of 2011 Ontario Budget - Turning the corner, to make innovation a driving force of economic growth and create Ontario's next generation of jobs. (Full Story)
May 20, 2011 - Ontario Making Progress On Pension Rules - Ontario is moving forward with Quebec to create rules that will make the pension regulatory environment more efficient and transparent. The Agreement Respecting Multi-Jurisdictional Pension Plans would establish clear rules on how multi-jurisdictional pension plans (MJPPs) are administered in Ontario and Quebec. The agreement is the result of over ten years of negotiation and consultation with affected stakeholders, most recently led by the Canadian Association of Pension Supervisory Authorities. (Full Story)
May 18, 2011 - Strengthening Workplace Health And Safety - Ontario is transforming the province's health and safety system and increasing protection for workers. In the largest revamp of Ontario's worker safety system in 30 years, a series of new amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act have passed. These amendments are in response to the recommendations provided by the Expert Panel on Occupational Health and Safety. (Full Story)
May 16, 2011 - WSIB announces new board member appointment - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), today announced the Order in Council appointment of Brendan Calder as the newest member of the WSIB's Board of Directors. With a strong small business background, he brings a unique perspective to the Board and the WSIB as an organization, understanding first-hand the needs and concerns of this key group of employers that comprises 80% of WSIB customers. (Full Story)
May 10, 2011 - Ontario's Economy Is Turning the Corner, Creating Jobs - Ontario is committed to eliminating the deficit, while protecting key public services in education and health care. The Better Tomorrow for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), which includes measures announced in the 2011 Budget - Turning the Corner, has passed third reading. As part of the Budget, the province will create and retain about 10,000 jobs through new partnerships with the private sector in Ontario. (Full Story)
Prince Edward Island:
June 06, 2011 - 2010 Annual Report Released - The Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island announced the release of their 2010 Annual Report. The report describes the WCB's achievements throughout the year in promoting safe workplaces and providing quality services to Island workers and employers. The 2010 Annual Report is available to download from their website. (Full Story)
June 3, 2011 - Government of Prince Edward Island welcomes success of innovative IT management company - The rapid growth of PureSCM is evidence of the success of the provincial government's initiatives in attracting new information technology businesses. The company has hired four employees since its startup, proving that it is well on track to providing opportunities for highly skilled IT personnel to work on the Island. The company took part in the labor rebate program delivered by the Department of Innovation and Advance Learning and Innovation PEI and will receive funding based on the number of jobs it creates over the next two years. (Full Story)
June 3, 2011 - Saskjobs Numbers Surge: More Than 13,000 Jobs Posted In May - Employers from across the province have made an emphatic statement about the level of career opportunities available to job seekers in Saskatchewan. The province's www.SaskJobs.ca website saw 13,450 job postings in May, an impressive 53 per cent increase over the same month last year. Employers from 314 Saskatchewan communities posted opportunities to the site. (Full Story)
May 20, 2011 - Minimum Wage Will Be Increased September 1, 2011 - The Government of Saskatchewan will increase the province's minimum wage, effective September 1, 2011. Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan announced the minimum wage will increase from $9.25 to $9.50 per hour, which will also result in a corresponding increase to the minimum call-out pay to $28.50. The 2.7 per cent increase represents an average of the 1.4 per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the 4.0 per cent increase in the Average Hourly Wage (AHW). (Full Story)
May 10, 2011 - Partnership with ISC makes registering businesses easier - The WCB partnered with Information Services Corporation to make it easier and more convenient for new business owners to register their business with the WCB, Corporate Registry and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance. New business owners can access the new Business Registrations Saskatchewan website through the Related Links on the wcbsask.com homepage. (Full Story)
May 9, 2011 - Fire Fighters Receive Increased Protections Under The Workers' Compensation Amendment Act 2011 - Legislation expanding workers' compensation protection for full-time, professional fire fighters was introduced today in the Saskatchewan Legislature. Under The Workers' Compensation Amendment Act, 2011, esophageal cancer is added to the list of cancers presumed to be occupational diseases for Saskatchewan's full-time, professional fire fighters under the Act, unless there is evidence to the contrary. (Full Story)
May 6, 2011 - Saskatchewan's Unemployment Rate Still The Lowest In Canada - Saskatchewan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.0 per cent is the lowest in Canada for the second straight month - well below the national average of 7.6 per cent. Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said the numbers support the Conference Board of Canada's release earlier this week, which indicate Saskatoon and Regina will have the first and third highest economic growth rates in the country in 2011. April also marks nine consecutive months of year-over-year increases in employment for Aboriginal Youth, which jumped by 1,000, or 11.6 per cent. (Full Story)
April 15, 2011 - Youth Employment Centre opens - Yukon youth will have a new resource to help them discover their career options, Education Minister Patrick Rouble and Skookum Jim Friendship Centre President Nelson Lepine announced today. The Youth Employment Centre, located in the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, will provide employment services such as career planning, counselling, work placements and mentorships for youth aged 16 to 30. The centre will also coordinate with community partners to offer training in life skills, resume writing, job search and interviewing skills. (Full Story)
The current release of GrandMaster Suite (6.10) incorporated a number of changes and important adjustments to make it even easier to use the program and perform your payroll tasks. Some of the most recent program changes included:
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While we all know that staffing levels have a major impact on a company's costs, we often don't realize that staffing levels also have a huge impact on quality.
With all of the chaos the global recession is causing to many industry sectors, it's important to be mindful that we shouldn't rush to judgement, particularly with respect to protecting our bottom line by laying off workers.
In fact, one Harvard Business School study suggests that focusing too much on payroll management only motivates managers to operate with insufficient labour levels, which in turn negatively affects profitability. In the view of the study author, a focus on maintaining a maximum staffing level will have more of an impact on profitability than even customer service.
While we all know that staffing levels have a major impact on a company's costs, we often don't realize that staffing levels also have a huge impact on quality, both production or process quality as well as customer-service quality. For instance, in a self-serve business, having the right product at the right time and in the right location has more of an impact than the customer service.
Therefore, in the view of the Harvard Business study author, companies need to pay more attention to their staffing levels rather than simply focusing on the value of service quality. In other words, operating at too low of a staffing level doesn't allow for the maximization of profits. Why not? I am sure there are many of you out there who can answer that question.
Many times when layoffs occur, the employees may go away but the work doesn't. In fact, many of the surviving employees are now expected to do the work of three or more people. This just isn't humanly possible.
When the workload is so unbearable, employees suffer from stress and burnout. More mistakes are made, people cut corners, service quality is eroded, production quality slips and more rework is required. Not only that, but interpersonal relationships and customer service also begins to be affected as anxiety increases and tempers flare. As well, customer loyalty, that key linkage in the service-profit chain, will also be eroded because of the decline in customer service.
While every industry sector has different requirements, it is important that organizations, no matter what size, engage in some form of workforce planning to ensure not only that their staffing levels are appropriate, but that they also have the right people in the right place and engaged in the right tasks.
Workforce planning is a continuous and systematic process that allows organizations to determine both the number and the skills of needed workers and the strategies required to meet these needs. There are typically four phases in a workforce planning model. The first phase requires an examination of the strategic plan: answers to questions such as how many and what types of jobs are needed; how skills will be developed internally; and what strategies need to be put in place to recruit, select and retain these skills?
Please return next issue for the conclusion of this article!
Source; the Effect of Labour on Profitability: The role of quality, Zeynep Ton, Harvard Business School, 2008, Workforce Planning guide, State of Texas.
Courtesy of Barbara Bowes - Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, CMC, is president of legacy Bowes Group and vice-president of Legacy Executive Search Manitoba. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.