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An Educational Service of CanPay Software Inc.
November 2011

Contents:

• Welcome
• What's New
• GrandMaster Update


Featured Article:

HR Matters: Don't treat Human Resources as DIY (Part 2 of 2)

Tip of the Month:

Online Calculator for Automobile Benefits
  Welcome!

November 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:

November 24, 2011 - Revised Draft: Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs - A revised draft for the Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs effective January 1, 2012 is now available on the CRA Web site. The 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)

November 23, 2011 - Changes to the rules for deducting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions - On January 1, 2012, changes to the rules for deducting CPP contributions will come into effect. Starting January 1, 2012, you may have to deduct CPP contributions from the pensionable earnings you pay an employee who is 60 to 70 years of age, even if the employee is receiving a CPP or QPP retirement pension. (Full Story)

November 15, 2011 - Changes to ROE Web - Changes have been made to CRA's ROE Web On-line application. These changes include replacing the program's existing paper agreement with an online version, simplifying the registration form and adding a new Consent form (that replaces the Annex A) for clients of payroll service providers. All users registered prior to October 16th, will be affected by these modifications. (Full Story)

October 2011 - Hiring credit for small business (HCSB) - The 2011 federal budget created a hiring credit for small business (HCSB), a one-time credit intended to stimulate new employment and support small businesses. The HCSB gives small businesses relief from the employer's share of employment insurance (EI) premiums paid in 2011. The credit does this by paying up to $1,000, based on the increase in an employer's EI premiums paid in 2011 over those paid in 2010. (Full Story)

October 2011 - Election To Stop Contributing To The Canada Pension Plan, Or Revocation Of A Prior Election - As of December 1, 2011, employees can complete form CPT30 to choose whether to contribute to CPP. Individuals may use this form if they are an employee who is at least 65 years of age but under 70, and; they are currently receiving a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) retirement pension and want to elect to stop contributing to the CPP or they elected in a previous year to stop contributing and want to revoke that election and start making CPP contributions. (Full Story)

Alberta:

November 18, 2011 - Changes to WCB Self-service Account Management System - On Nov. 26, the Alberta WCB is making some changes to the self-service account management system. Some of changes include the Account registration, Account maintenance and Annual return portions of the website. The changes are designed to make it easier and more convenient to do business with the WCB. Changes to the self-service account management system are part of WCB's ongoing enhancement to their online services. (Full Story)

November 7, 2011 - Occupational Health and Safety presence to increase - The results of a recent focused inspection campaign on residential construction sites in Alberta show there continues to be room for safety improvements. For the past several months, OHS has carried out a pilot program of evening and weekend inspections, including the recent residential construction campaign. A stepped up schedule will continue on a regular basis as part of the ongoing inspection program. (Full Story)

October 28, 2011 - Province updates workplace injury and fatality records - The Alberta government has updated online information about workplace injuries and fatalities for more than 150,000 employers insured by the Workers' Compensation Board-Alberta (WCB). The updated records are now available on the Ministry of Human Services website. They provide a five-year snapshot based on information reported to the WCB by March 31, 2011. (Full Story)

October 2011 - Monthly Labour Force Statistics - The Alberta Government has released the Labour Force Statistic for October 2011. They also provide provides a complete listing of current and historical Labour Force statistics on their website. Highlights are available the day of the Labour Force Survey statistics release. (Full Story)

September 30, 2011 - Nominate innovative employers by November 25 - Nominations are open to recognize an employer who has excelled at employing youth or persons with disabilities in the workplace or a self-employed Aboriginal woman. The deadline to nominations for a 2012 Alberta Business Award of Distinction is November 25. Of the 11 awards, the Alberta government sponsors five while various non-profit, private and public sector organizations sponsor six awards. (Full Story)

British Columbia:

Nov. 3, 2011 - Workers Compensation Act expands mental stress coverage - Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act have been introduced in the legislature. The proposed changes ensure the current workers' compensation system remains responsive to the needs of workers and employers. Some of the amendments include broadening compensation coverage for mental stress conditions arising in the workplace and adjusting the compensation for injured apprentices to a level that fairly represents their loss of earnings. (Full Story)

October 29, 2011 - B.C. workers benefit from minimum wage increase - B.C.'s minimum wage will increase to $9.50 on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Minister of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government Margaret MacDiarmid confirmed. At the same time, the minimum wage rate for liquor servers will increase to $8.75. This is the second increase to the minimum wage this year, and follows on Premier Christy Clark's commitment in March 2011 to increase minimum wage in three stages to $10.25 by May 1, 2012. (Full Story)

October 28, 2011 - New skills training program for northern B.C. - The B.C. government has formed a partnership with the United Steelworkers Union (USW) to pilot new skills training for its members in the North, with a focus in the areas of forestry and mining. A total of $2.9 million is being provided for this Northern Skills Training Pilot over the next 18 months. This initiative is part of the commitment made to help fill the need for increasingly skilled workers. (Full Story)

October 25, 2011 - Province announces strategy to build tourism, create jobs - British Columbia has a new tourism strategy that will increase the number of visitors and promote job creation by building on the global awareness generated by the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, announced Premier Christy Clark in her address to the BC Tourism Industry Conference. In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues. (Full Story)

October 17, 2011 - Small Business Profile shows big job creation in B.C. - The governments of Canada and British Columbia have launched the Small Business Profile 2011, a report that highlights the major role that small businesses play in B.C.'s economic success, through job creation, wage increases, exports and contributions to the province's gross domestic product. The Small Business Profile has been produced for over a decade by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Province and BC Stats. (Full Story)

October 13, 2011 - Enhanced program promotes investment and jobs - The provincial government is taking steps to further encourage business immigrants to invest in communities in regional B.C. through the BC Provincial Nominee Program. The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) provides accelerated permanent resident status to entrepreneurs and qualified workers based on labour market and economic development priorities. (Full Story)

October 13, 2011 - WorkSafeBC announces flat average premium rate for 2012 - WorkSafeBC has announced that the average base premium rate for registered employers will remain unchanged from 2011. The 2012 average published base rate will be $1.54 per $100 of employers' assessable payroll. WorkSafeBC's average published base rate for 2008 through 2010 was $1.56. The rates continue to be among the lowest in Canada and the lowest rates in B.C. for the last 30 years. (Full Story)

Manitoba:

November 18, 2011 - Governments Of Canada And Manitoba Help Youth In The Pas Prepare For The Job Market - Local youth who face barriers to employment will get job preparation training and work experience through federal-provincial support for an employment project. The government is creating opportunities for youth to succeed through support for initiatives such as the Job Skills North - Job Readiness Program. (Full Story)

November 16, 2011 - No increase in average WCB assessment rates for 2012 - The average WCB assessment rate in Manitoba will remain stable at $1.50 next year, despite an unpredictable investment environment. Manitoba employers will not see an increase in the average assessment rate in 2012. Instead, they will pay an average of $1.50 per $100.00 of their assessable payroll to the WCB for injury insurance coverage, including wage loss payments, medical benefits and rehabilitation services. (Full Story)

November 10, 2011 - Employer Satisfaction Survey - Beginning on November 22, 2011, the WCB will be contacting a sampling of small, medium and large employers to hear their opinions about the WCB and receive feedback about their firm's experiences with the WCB and their overall satisfaction with our services. The Employer Satisfaction Survey will be conducted by phone and email and will run until December 2, 2011. (Full Story)

November 4, 2011 - Manitoba's Job Market Shows New Growth - New figures from Statistics Canada show new growth in Manitoba's labour market as the provincial unemployment rate sits at 5.2 per cent, the third lowest in the country. Manitoba's employment level is estimated at 626,300 people, an increase of 1,600 from September's level of 624,700 and the highest employment level in the last seven months. Over the first 10 months of 2011, Manitoba's unemployment rate has averaged 5.4 per cent. (Full Story)

November 2, 2011 - Province Advises Employment Standards Branch Now Posts Administrative Penalty Orders On Provincial Website - The Manitoba Labour and Immigration Employment Standards Branch advises it now posts administrative penalty orders on the provincial website. Posting the employer's names is intended to deter employers who repeatedly and intentionally violate employment legislation, protect vulnerable employees and raise public awareness in proactive enforcement. (Full Story)

October 27, 2011 - New Process for WCB Tenders - Effective October 29, 2011, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) will begin using the MERX Private Tenders service to notify existing and potential new suppliers of business opportunities with the WCB. Using the MERX Private Tenders service will allow the WCB to efficiently and accurately track the entire tendering process including all document distribution and bid reception. (Full Story)

October 25, 2011 - Province Announces New Suite Of Programs To Help Youth Succeed - A new host of programs will include those designed to give Manitoba youth assistance with job preparation. Work2it will offer supports to youth facing multiple personal barriers to training and employment. Starting as a pilot this fall in Winnipeg and The Pas, Work2it will provide pre-employment training, job coaching and employment opportunities for at-risk youth through partnerships with several community organizations. (Full Story)

October 24, 2011 - Online Registration Now Available for New Employers - New employers in Manitoba can now begin the process of registering for the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) online from anywhere at any time. The online Employer Registration Request allows new employers to begin the registration process online at their convenience instead of over the phone or in person. The application is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and employers need only provide the information one time. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

November 2, 2011 - Consultation on tip differential minimum wage - A six-week consultation process regarding the possible introduction of a special New Brunswick minimum wage for servers earning tips starts today. There is a special interest in receiving input from servers who earn tips and from their employers. Interested members of the public are also invited to share their views by participating in an online survey. The online consultation starts today and will close Dec. 14. The provinces of Ontario, Québec, British Columbia and Alberta have a tip differential minimum wage in place that is lower than the regular minimum wage. (Full Story)

November 4, 2011 - Unemployment rate slightly higher in October - New Brunswick's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 9.4 per cent, 0.5 of a percentage point higher than in September, according to figures reported today by Statistics Canada. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 of a percentage point compared to the same month last year. In October, New Brunswick's labour force, which measures those working or actively seeking work, was 389,500, up slightly from September but down 2,700 from the same month last year. (Full Story)

October 5, 2011 - WorksafeNB Announces 2012 Assessment Rates - WorkSafeNB announced today a 15% decrease in the average assessment rate. A strong funded position and decreasing claims costs warranted an average rate reduction of $0.30, from $2.00 per $100 of payroll in 2011, to $1.70. The minimum assessment rate will also be reduced, from $0.32 per $100 of payroll to $0.28. The rates, effective January 1, 2012, continue to be the lowest in Atlantic Canada. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

November 17, 2011 - WHSCC introduces enhanced interest-free deferred payment plan - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission) announced today that it is introducing an enhanced deferred payment plan which will allow all employers to spread payments throughout the year, interest-free. Starting in 2012, all eligible employers will be able to spread equal payments more conveniently over the calendar year. (Full Story)

November 01, 2011 - WHSCC Employer Assessment Rate Advisory for 2012 - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission) announced today that the average assessment rate for employers in the province will remain at $2.75 per $100 of payroll for 2012 while the maximum compensable and assessable earnings limit will increase from $51,595 to $52,885. Approximately 53 percent of employers will see a slight decrease in their assessment rates in 2012, while 47 per cent will remain the same or experience a slight increase. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

November 22, 2011 - Province Launches Workforce Strategy - A new provincial Workforce Strategy will help to address the economic challenges presented by a shrinking workforce and help Nova Scotians to acquire the right skills for good jobs. Premier Darrell Dexter unveiled Nova Scotia's Workforce Strategy, part of the jobsHere plan to grow the economy at Advanced Precision, an aerospace, defence and oceans technology manufacturing company in Dartmouth today, Nov. 22. (Full Story)

November 15, 2011 - New Pension Benefits Act Introduced - Private sector pension plan members and retirees would know more about their plans and employers would have more plan design options under the Pension Benefits Act introduced today, Nov. 15. The Pension Benefits Act governs employer-sponsored pension plans for employees in Nova Scotia. (Full Story)

October 12, 2011 - Province Helps Aerospace and Defence Sector Compete, Create Jobs - Nova Scotia's aerospace and defence companies and suppliers will gain a competitive edge thanks to a $10-million investment from the province. The province announced that on Oct. 12, $10 million will be accessible to the industry for costs such as equipment, tooling and engineering. The funding will help create jobs and help companies become, and remain globally competitive. The repayable loans will be linked to job creation, innovation and productivity targets. (Full Story)

Ontario:

October 27, 2011 - Ontario Supports Technology Sector, Creates Jobs - Ontario is helping ViXS Systems Inc. - a GTA-based semiconductor solutions provider - develop new technology, while creating 107 new, highly-skilled jobs and protecting 54 existing positions. These new jobs will build upon the 97,700 net new jobs that have already been created in Ontario so far this year alone. (Full Story)

October 27, 2011 - New Support For Financial Services Creates New Jobs - Ontario is helping Apex Fund Services (Canada) Ltd. expand and create 50 jobs for families in Ontario while continuing to ensure Toronto's reputation as a North American hub for financial services. Partnering with business and ensuring Toronto's reputation as a North American hub for financial services are key components of the McGuinty government's plan to create and support new and existing jobs for Ontario families, and to strengthen local economies. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

November 1, 2011 - The WCB announces a $2.00 preliminary average assessment rate for 2012 - The Workers Compensation Board of Directors has approved a $2.00 preliminary average assessment rate for 2012, representing a $0.05 reduction from 2011. The preliminary average assessment rate for 2012 is based on actuarial projections of the average rate required to cover claims costs for accident year 2012 together with an estimate of investment income and administration budget for 2012. The WCB provides the preliminary rate to assist Island employers with their budgeting processes, by releasing as much rate information as possible, including the preliminary rates for rate groups, as soon as it becomes available. (Full Story)

Saskatchewan:

November 14, 2011 - Workers' Compensation Board Proposes Modest Drop to Average Premium Rate for 2012 - The WCB today announced its plan for a modest reduction in the average employer premium for 2012. The 2012 average premium will be $1.60 per hundred dollars of payroll, down one cent from 2011. Stable claim costs and injury frequencies contributed to the WCB's decision. The proposed 2012 premium is the lowest average premium rate in a decade, and nearly 22 per cent lower than the ten-year high of $2.05 in 2004. (Full Story - PDF)

November 17, 2011 - Number Of EI Recipients Continues To Drop In Saskatchewan - The number of Saskatchewan people receiving regular Employment Insurance dropped significantly in September, decreasing by 3,230 (-24.9 per cent) compared to the same month last year (seasonally adjusted). This is the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases. When expressed as a percentage of the total labour force population, Saskatchewan has the second fewest number of people receiving EI benefits in Canada at 1.2 per cent. (Full Story)

October 7, 2011 - Strong Employment Numbers: 4,900 More Jobs, 13,800 More Full-time Jobs, Lowest Unemployment Rate In Canada - Saskatchewan has set an employment record for the month of September and for the seventh consecutive month has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. There were 530,200 people employed in Saskatchewan in September 2011. Employment increased by 4,900 jobs compared to September 2010, according to today's Statistics Canada Labour Force survey. Saskatchewan's unemployment rate was 4.6 per cent, the lowest in Canada for the seventh consecutive month, and well below the national average of 7.1 per cent. (Full Story)

October 6, 2011 - Saskjobs Connects Saskatchewan Employers With Job Seekers - Job seekers are going to Saskjobs.ca and finding employment opportunities all over the province. In September 2011, the 15,229 vacancies posted on Saskjobs.ca in communities across Saskatchewan represent a 59 per cent increase over the same month last year. Sixty seven per cent of those vacancies were full-time positions. There were 787,923 visits to Saskjobs.ca in September. (Full Story)

Yukon:

November 24, 2011 - Community Services minister requests review of Yukon's minimum wage - Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor is formally requesting that Yukon's Employment Standards Board undertake a review of Yukon's minimum wage. The last review, which was conducted in 2005, resulted in an increase to the minimum wage rate as well as an annual increase to reflect the Consumer Price Index. Yukon's minimum wage rate is currently $9 per hour. (Full Story)


GrandMaster Update

The current release of GrandMaster Suite (6.24) 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 include:

  • Accumulator calculation method #20 not working correctly - Anyone who had 100% FTE was calculating incorrectly.
  • Cannot export the employee deduction report if a group is open - If you had a group open, the employee deduction report would create an error upon exporting, this has been corrected.
  • The base hours in the HEPP report are wrong - This was actually an error in the standard hours set up. No changes required in the program.
  • The employee count not working on the printed transaction report - If you asked for the employee count on the transaction report, it was no longer printing. This has been corrected.
  • Can no longer export the audit report - Error received while trying to export the audit report. This has been corrected.

• • •

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.


HR Matters:
Don't Treat Human Resources as DIY
Part 2 of 2

Meeting customer needs -- What organizational skills and capabilities are needed to ensure your products or services not only reach your customer on time, but meet their specific needs. Will new employee skills be needed as your products/services change to meet market demand? A human resource professional can help by conducting needs assessments, sourcing training and/or developing programs in-house.

Responding to market trends -- What are the trends for your industry? Are you downsizing? What plans are you making for this strategy? Who do you need to keep, how will you decide? Or, are you in growth mode? How many staff do you need and where can you find them? A human resource professional can put the strategy and systems in place to handle both of these organizational situations.

Annual productivity goals -- Can you meet your productivity goals with the staff you have? Are there pockets of discontent that need examination? Are you experiencing turnover and losing key staff? A human resource professional can conduct an organization review, determine whether your structure is effective and/or whether job roles need to be changed or expanded.

Confronting change -- The world is speeding along at so fast a rate that managing change is now a daily issue. What changes are you being confronted with? What will the impact be on your employees? How will you manage the transition? A human resource professional can act as your change champion, planning for all the stages of change and managing the process.

Meeting market compensation value -- What compensation do you pay compared to your competitors? What is your pay philosophy and how is this implemented throughout your organization? When was the last time that you examined internal pay equity? Are your employees experiencing a positive "fair felt pay"? A human resource professional can review your compensation practices and ensure that compensation becomes an employee retention strategy.

These business elements are only a fraction of how a human resource professional can contribute to your organization. But how do you know you are ready? Ask yourself, "Where exactly are you spending your time?" It is my experience that if you are spending more than 20 per cent of your daily schedule dealing with human resource management issues, then it's time you created a role for a human resource professional in your organization or contracted with an outside professional for help. Don't wait until you are experiencing a great deal of pain, because by then the damage is done.

What does a human resource management professional look like today? What are their qualifications and credentials? The human resource profession has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. While earlier in the history of the profession, most people entered from the operational side of the business, today, people are specifically choosing the profession and receive specialized training. Most young people graduate with a business degree while others come with an alternate undergraduate degree and an MBA or master of leadership or organization development. Today as well, there are numerous professional designations such as the Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP), Senior Professional (SPHR) and the new Global Professional (GPHR).

In addition, there are professional designations in payroll, compensation and benefit, labour relations and/or executive coaching. Finally, human resource professionals keep up with trends by engaging in continuous professional development.

As noted earlier, do-it-yourselfers are reportedly shaking up the real estate industry. However, with today's fast-paced, complex and complicated business world, a do-it-yourself strategy applied to an organization's human resource management needs is simply too risky.

Click Here to view the first part of this article from our previous issue.

Courtesy of Barbara Bowes - Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, CMC is president of Legacy Bowes Group, Manitoba's leading Talent Management Solutions firm. She is also host of the weekly Bowes Knows radio show and is the author of another new book called Resume Rescue. Barbara can be reached at barb@legacybowes.com.