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December 2013

Contents:

• Welcome
• What's New


Featured Article:

Training to win - Part 1 of 2

Tip of the Month:

CPP Contribution Rules for Workers aged 60 and over
  Welcome!

December 2013 - 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:

December 20, 2013 - Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefit rates effective January 1, 2014 - Employment and Social Development Canada today announced the benefit rates for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) effective January 1, 2014. CPP benefits will increase by 0.9 percent for those already receiving CPP benefits. The maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients will increase from $1,012.50 to $1,038.33 per month. This increase is calculated on the average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the last five years. (Full Story)

December 20, 2013 - Harper government helps Canadians with disabilities access jobs - The Government of Canada is inviting small businesses and social enterprises to apply for funding through the Enabling Accessibility Fund for projects that will increase accessibility for Canadians with disabilities in workplaces across the country. Organizations can receive grants of up to $50,000 per project. Projects must address the objective of removing barriers, improving accessibility and enabling Canadians with disabilities to participate in and contribute to their local economies. (Full Story)

December 17, 2013 - Workers aged 60 and over-make sure you are clear on CPP contribution rules - Are you 60 to 70 years of age and did you return to work in 2013 after being away from the workforce? You may not know about changes to Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions that came into effect in January 2012. The changes affect employees and self-employed workers aged 60 to 70 (but not those working in Quebec). (Full Story)

December 12, 2013 - The new Payroll Deductions Tables (T4032) and new Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables (T4008) - Effective January 1, 2014 - The new Payroll Deductions Tables (T4032) effective January 1, 2014 are now available on the CRA Web site. This publication contains tables for federal and provincial tax deductions, CPP contributions and EI premiums. It will help you determine the payroll deductions for your employees or pensioners. The revised Payroll Deductions Supplementary Tables (T4008) have also been posted. (Full Story)

December 14, 2013 - Government of Canada helps youth in Edmonton get jobs - MP Laurie Hawn announced support that will equip young Canadians in Edmonton with the skills and work experience needed to get jobs. "Many young people are looking for work but can't get their foot in the door due to a lack of experience," said Mr. Hawn. "Since 2006, our government has helped more than 555 000 young people through our Youth Employment Strategy develop the skills they need to enter and succeed in the job market to the benefit of the Canadian economy." (Full Story)

December 13, 2013 - Interest rates for the first calendar quarter - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) today announced the prescribed annual interest rates that will apply to any amounts owed to the CRA and to any amounts the CRA owes to individuals and corporations. These rates are calculated quarterly according to the laws that apply and will be in effect from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014. All interest rates have decreased by 1% since last quarter, except for the rate for pertinent loans or indebtedness. (Full Story)

November 7, 2012 - T4127 Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs - The Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs (T4127) effective January 1, 2013, is now available on the CRA Web site. Please note that the revised Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) information is not included in this version. The CRA will notify you when this information becomes available. 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 13, 2013 - Labour Minister addresses Canada's skills shortage - During an address to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML), the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, discussed Canada's labour market challenges. "One of the greatest challenges for the Canadian economy is the current skills mismatch… In Canada, there is high demand for certain skilled roles in some sectors and regions, and high unemployment in others. As more and more jobs are created in Canada, we need to make sure we are creating safe, fair and productive workplaces." said Minister Leitch. (Full Story)

November 5, 2013 - Labour Minister emphasizes importance of workplace safety - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, congratulated the winners of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards. The Labour Program develops, administers and enforces workplace legislation and regulations, such as the Canada Labour Code, which covers industrial relations, health and safety and employment standards for federally regulated workers and employers. (Full Story)

November 1, 2013 - Canada Revenue Agency announces maximum pensionable earnings for 2014 - The Canada Revenue Agency announced today that the maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for 2014 will be $52,500 - up from $51,100 in 2013. The new ceiling was calculated according to a CPP legislated formula that takes into account the growth in average weekly wages and salaries in Canada. Contributors who earn more than $52,500 in 2014 are not required or permitted to make additional contributions to the CPP. The basic exemption amount for 2014 remains $3,500. (Full Story)

Alberta:

December 20, 2013 - Current issue of WorkSIGHT now available - The Winter issue of the WCB's WorkSIGHT is now available for viewing n the WCB website. Published twice a year by the Workers' Compensation Board, it is a magazine for both employers and workers. It is distributed to employers, labour organizations, employer and safety associations and injured worker groups. (Full Story - PDF)

December 19, 2013 - Alberta’s new salary and severance disclosure will lead country - The Redford government has implemented a new public service compensation disclosure policy to improve accountability and transparency. Compensation, including salary, benefit and severance amounts for government employees with base salaries above $100,000 will now be publicly disclosed. Where applicable, an employee’s contract and termination agreement will also be posted. (Full Story)

December 12, 2013 - Starting January 1, 2014, you can start filing your Annual Return - If you’re an employer with workers, you’re required to fill out an Annual Return that reports your workers’ 2013 insurable earnings along with the earnings you expect to pay in 2014. Filing your Annual Return ensures you will pay the appropriate premiums for the worker coverage you need. (Full Story)

December 5, 2013 - Average WCB premiums to drop eight per cent in 2014 - In Alberta, employers and workers are making their best effort to reduce workplace injuries, and to focus on recovery and return to work when injuries happen. In partnership with government, labour and safety associations, health care providers and WCB-Alberta, they are succeeding - the results are stable injury rates and lower overall premium rates. In 2014, 87 per cent of employers will see a drop in their industry premium rate. Some will see their rate plummet by as much as 40 per cent. (Full Story)

December 2013 - Alberta Labour Force Statistics for November 2013 - Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7% in November 2013, up 0.3 percentage points from October and up 0.5 percentage points from the same month last year. This rate was the second lowest in Canada, behind Saskatchewan’s 4.1%. The national rate was 6.9%, unchanged from the previous month. (Full Story - PDF)

November 29, 2013 - Protecting your information - The Alberta WCB is always looking for ways to better protect their clients’ information. As part of this process, they are making the move to become Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant by June 2014. As part of that move, as of December 2, WCB staff will no longer be collecting credit card information over the phone for processing payments. Instead clients are encouraged to use their online web payment options or call toll free in Alberta: 1-866-922-9221 to make the payment yourself using the automated system. (Full Story)

November 27, 2013 - Labour legislation aims to restart negotiations with union - In an effort to reach a negotiated settlement with the union representing government workers, the Alberta government has introduced Bill 46, the Public Service Salary Restraint Act. The Bill provides a framework in which government and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) can negotiate a fair agreement that fits within the government’s fiscal restraint policy, consistent with agreements reached this year with Alberta’s doctors and teachers. (Full Story)

British Columbia:

December 20, 2013 - Funding supports inclusion for people with disabilities - People receiving disability assistance benefits will now have the opportunity to take part in new projects aimed at increasing community inclusion and accessibility in B.C. thanks to $450,000 in funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. The funding, distributed through the Disability Without Poverty Network, will support community groups to create projects that offer participation in volunteering, organized community activities, employment, learning new skills and building personal supports. (Full Story)

December 17, 2013 - WorkBC.ca offers enhanced job search tools and information - Job seekers, parents, educators and employers in British Columbia now have more tools and information to help them explore career options, find jobs, improve skills and connect with talented employees, thanks to the launch of the enhanced WorkBC.ca website. People looking for work can access a new labour market navigator tool that allows them to explore opportunities by region or industry, and a new online video series, called Career Trek, provides in-depth profiles on a variety of in-demand careers. (Full Story)

December 3, 2013 - Three new agreements offer five years of labour stability - Three five-year tentative agreements covering approximately 51,000 public-sector workers in three sectors have been reached under the new Economic Stability Mandate Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today. A tentative agreement was also reached in November between HEABC and the Health Science Association, covering more than 16,000 front-line health workers. This agreement is also subject to ratification. (Full Story)

November 28, 2013 - $400-million investment in LNG creates B.C. jobs - Government is supporting FortisBC’s investment of up to $400 million in the expansion of the Tilbury liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility that will create over 300 person-years of jobs and economic development in the province, announced Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy, Mines and Minister responsible for Core Review. (Full Story)

November 19, 2013 - Penalties: WorkSafe Magazine November/December - A list of recent administrative penalties imposed on employers by WorkSafeBC is published in each issue of WorkSafe Magazine. The list of penalties, by industry sector, includes names, penalty amounts, and descriptions and locations of the violations. The list in this issue of WorkSafe Magazine comprises 31 penalties. (Full Story)

Manitoba:

December 5, 2013 - Investments in Strategic, Core Infrastructure will Create Thousands of Jobs over the Next Five Years - The fall session of the Manitoba legislature ended with a historic commitment to rebuilding Manitoba’s roads, bridges, flood protection and water systems, creating thousands of jobs and training opportunities for Manitoba families over the next five years, Premier Greg Selinger said today. The premier noted that these investments, along with other projects announced in the government’s speech from the throne, are expected to create the equivalent of one year of employment for 10,000 people. To ensure Manitobans have the skills they need to take advantage of the good jobs these investments will create, Jobs and the Economy Theresa Oswald Minister announced. (Full Story)

December 4, 2013 - Average assessment rates remain stable for another year - The average WCB assessment rate in Manitoba will remain stable at $1.50 per $100.00 of assessable payroll effective January 1, 2014, maintaining one of the lowest average rates in Canada. Overall, about 38 per cent of employers will pay lower WCB assessment rates in 2014, while 13 per cent will pay more and 49 per cent will not see a change in their rates. Those employers with consistently low injury experience will pay the lowest rates within their industry. (Full Story)

November 7, 2013 - New Skilled Trades and Technology Centre will Eventually Graduate Nearly 1,000 Skilled Workers Each Year - A tender has been issued for the design of the first phase of a new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC) at Red River College’s Notre Dame campus, Premier Greg Selinger announced today. "This new centre will provide new opportunities for more Manitobans to pursue rewarding careers in trades and technology. It will also be critical to delivering on our commitment to add 75,000 new skilled workers to Manitoba’s economy by 2020." Said Selinger. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

December 11, 2013 - Summer job applications for students now available - Applications for summer jobs are now available for eligible students under the Student Employment and Experience Development (SEED) program. 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. The program provides employers with a supplement equal to the minimum wage rate per hour to help students gain work experience. (Full Story)

December 3, 2013 - Improvements to Employment Standards Act introduced - The provincial government introduced today amendments to the Employment Standards Act that will improve its ability to protect foreign workers in New Brunswick. The amendments will create an employer registry that will strengthen the communication of the provincial government with foreign workers and their employers about employment standards and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. (Full Story)

December 2, 2013 - Public, stakeholder groups invited to comment on changes to Employment Insurance - The public and stakeholders are being invited to make submissions explaining how they have been affected by changes to Employment Insurance. The public is encouraged to provide information to the panel by participating in a telephone survey. Registrations to participate will be accepted until Jan. 7, 2014, by calling 1-855-681-8210 (toll-free) or by going online. Written submissions will also be accepted by mail or email until Jan. 31, 2014. (Full Story)

November 29, 2013 - WorkSafeNB decreases 2014 employer assessment rates - Most of New Brunswick’s employers will receive a reduced bill for their assessment rates in 2014. The average assessment rate will be reduced by 23 cents from $1.44 in 2013 to $1.21 in 2014 per $100 of payroll. The rates, effective January 1, 2014, represent a 16% reduction. A continued decline in accident frequency helped secure WorkSafeNB’s fully-funded position of 126.7%. The provincial accident frequency rate has continually declined over the past few years. The rate has dropped from 3.52 per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) in 2006 to 2.99 in 2012. (Full Story)

November 27, 2013 - One-Job Pledge to be expanded - The One-Job Pledge initiative, having surpassed its original goal to help businesses create 650 jobs for recent post-secondary graduates, is being expanded to create 200 more jobs. "In less than one year, the One-Job Pledge has helped hundreds of New Brunswick businesses grow and succeed," said Premier David Alward. Since its launch in January, the One-Job Pledge has helped create 723 jobs, 144 in greater Saint John alone, in a variety of sectors, from information and communications technology to construction. The new goal is to help businesses create 850 jobs. (Full Story)

November 27, 2013 - New apprenticeship incentive programs announced - Four new apprenticeship incentive programs designed to engage employers and support apprentices were announced today. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr made the announcement at the New Brunswick Apprenticeship Summit, in Moncton, hosted by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. "These incentives will support apprentices and encourage employers to hire them in the skilled trades," said Carr. (Full Story)

November 18, 2013 - Premiers focused on growing the economy, creating jobs - Premier David Alward participated by phone in a meeting with the other premiers, who said they are united in their commitment to provide skills training to all Canadians who want to work. Consultations led by Alward and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark confirmed that the proposed Canada Job Grant will not work for employers or the most vulnerable Canadians. The Canada Job Grant would focus training funds on those who already have jobs, leaving behind unemployed Canadians. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

December 23, 2013 - $6.7 Million Helps Increase Work Skills through Job Creation - The second and final round of Job Creation Partnerships applications for 2013-14 has been completed with 199 projects approved for total funding of $6,751,763. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is helping an estimated 900 individuals throughout 129 communities gain valuable work experience and utilize their new skills to support projects that build provincial prosperity. Job Creation Partnerships program funding is provided through direct contributions to sponsors or through the extension of Employment Insurance benefits for project participants and may include in-kind or in-cash contributions from sponsors. (Full Story)

December 20, 2013 - Improved Benefits and Reduced Assessment Rates are Positive Changes for Workers and Employers - Injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive increased benefits as a result of enhancements to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Regulations. At the same time, employers will also benefit from reduced assessment rates. The changes will come into effect on January 1, 2014. The Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) for injured workers will increase to $60,760. In addition, the average base assessment rate for employers will be reduced by $0.30 to $2.45 per $100 of assessable payroll for 2014. Approximately 99.8 per cent of employers will see a decrease in their assessment rates in 2014. (Full Story)

December 09, 2013 - New web service for employers – ESRTW plans on-line - Employers who complete early and safe return-to-work (ESRTW) plans can now complete and submit these plans through connect, the Commission’s web portal. This new web service will improve the information and data collected for ESRTW and help manage the work-to-recover process. The new service will be available automatically to the over 4,000 employers already registered for the Commission’s web services. To sign-up for connect, visit www.whscc.nl.ca/Connect_Splash/home.htm and complete an application form. (Full Story)

November 7, 2013 - Provincial Government Reiterates Support for Enhancement of Canada Pension Plan - Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Finance met to reiterate their support for the enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) as a means to strengthen the retirement income system. This is in response to concerns that a significant portion of middle-income Canadians are not saving adequately for retirement. To implement CPP enhancement requires the consent of seven provinces/territories totaling two-thirds of the population, plus the federal government. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

December 4, 2013 - Province Simplifies Appeal Process, Redirects Revenue for Safety Penalties - The province is protecting workers and keeping workplaces safer by improving the safety penalties system. Fines collected from employers and employees who break safety laws will now go towards initiatives that will help make workplaces safer. The process to appeal penalties will also be simplified. Today's amendment will streamline the appeal process, with the Labour Board now hearing all appeals, including compliance orders and administrative penalties, which will lead to consistent, fair decisions. (Full Story)

November 30, 2013 - Province/Ottawa Team Up to Help Unemployed Older Workers - Women in Annapolis Royal will receive help to improve their skills and re-enter the workforce through the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers. Together, the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are investing over $78,000 in the Western Area Women's Coalition's project to help participants gain entrepreneurial skills so that they can establish their own local businesses. The project will help participants prepare for self-employment through training focused on marketing, budgeting, financing, operational planning and management. (Full Story)

December 5, 2013 - February Holiday Act Will Give Nova Scotians Break - Nova Scotians will soon enjoy a break between New Year's and Easter, thanks to a new February holiday. The province introduced legislation today, Dec. 5, to create a statutory holiday on the third Monday in February, beginning in 2015. Six other provinces have statutory holidays in February. It will give Nova Scotia workers and families six statutory holidays per year. (Full Story)

November 22, 2013 - Awareness Campaign Encourages Safe Workplaces, So Workers Come Home Safely - A new campaign will remind workers and employers across the province about the most important reasons for making workplaces safe. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan and Workers' Compensation Board CEO Stuart MacLean gave an advance look at a new commercial, today, Nov. 22, at Cape Cod Wood Siding, a leader in workplace safety. The province is also hiring five more safety inspectors, working with industry to ensure officers are getting to more high-risk workplaces, and improving documentation and follow-up of compliance orders. (Full Story)

November 7, 2013 - Community Leaders Work Together on Safer Workplaces - Community leaders are coming together to continue to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in the country. As part of the workplace safety strategy, the province and the Workers' Compensation Board are encouraging community leaders to commit to making workplaces safer. One of the strategy's four goals is to have visible leadership commitment to workplace safety. Nova Scotians are making this happen by rewarding workers and employers for safe work practices, and creating more opportunities for workers and employers to lead safety excellence. (Full Story)

November 1, 2013 - Province, Industry Connecting Employees with Job Opportunities - The province is partnering with the industry to connect BlackBerry, Convergys and Xerox employees with businesses looking for talented Nova Scotians. The province offers a number of programs to help Nova Scotians affected by job loss prepare for new opportunities, like skills training, career development and employment counselling. (Full Story)

Ontario:

December 16, 2013 - Minister's Statement Regarding Federal Government's Status on CPP Enhancement - Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance issued a statement expressing disappointment at the Federal government's delayed status on enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). "We are very disappointed that the federal government has once again stood in the way of a CPP enhancement. An enhancement to the CPP is critical to ensuring that Ontarians and Canadians, particularly today's middle-income earners, have greater financial security in retirement." Said Sousa. (Full Story)

December 13, 2013 - Creating Jobs in Ontario's High Tech Sector - Ontario is partnering with Cisco Canada to launch the largest job-creating investment in the history of the province's tech sector. The partnership will create up to 1,700 jobs to expand its current Ontario workforce to 3,000 in the next six years, with up to $190 million in provincial support. Cisco will potentially grow its Ontario workforce to 5,000 within the next 10 years. Partnering with business to create jobs is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate across Ontario. (Full Story)

December 6, 2013 - Ontario Gains 13,800 Jobs in November - Ontario's economy saw an increase in job creation in November as the government continues to focus on improving the province's investment climate, attracting new businesses and providing more opportunities for employment. The province gained 13,800 net jobs last month, contributing to an overall increase of 474,700 jobs since June 2009. Ontario's youth (ages 15-24) employment increased by 4,100 net jobs in November. The youth unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to 15.3 per cent. Manufacturing sector employment increased by 12,400 in November. (Full Story)

December 4, 2013 - Protecting Ontario's Vulnerable Workers - Ontario is introducing legislation to provide more protection to the province's vulnerable workforce while increasing fairness for both employees and businesses. The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, to be introduced today, would protect vulnerable workers while creating a level playing field for companies that follow the rules. If passed, Ontario will join Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador as provinces and territories that have set longer time limits for the recovery of wages, allowing workers more time to get the wages they are owed. (Full Story)

November 27, 2013 - Helping Abused and At-Risk Women Find Jobs - Ontario is helping abused and at-risk women learn new skills to support them in rebuilding their lives and create economic security for themselves and their families. Through its Employment Training for Abused/At-Risk Women program the province is helping community organizations empower more than 640 women with critical skills training to help them find work. Nearly 2,000 women have completed job training through this program since 2006. (Full Story)

November 15, 2013 - Ontario Introducing New On-the-Job Training - Ontario is introducing new training to help protect workers and keep them safe on the job. One way to complete the new health and safety awareness training will be for workers and supervisors to take part in a one-hour tutorial either individually or in groups using free, online e-learning tools or hard copy workbooks. The training is designed to help prevent workplace incidents and injuries by making workers and supervisors aware of their roles, rights and responsibilities in the workplace. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

December 19, 2013 - Revised WCB Policies - The Prince Edward Island WCB has announced that two policies have been amended; POL-48, Internal Reconsideration (an internal review process used when a person with a direct interest disagrees with a decision of the Workers Compensation Board) and POL-04, Access To Information - Worker Claim Files (a policy that involves the release of a worker's WCB claim file). View the History section for each policy from the link below to learn more about the revisions. (Full Story)

December 2, 2013 - Public and stakeholder groups invited to provide feedback on impacts from recent changes to Employment Insurance - The Advisory Panel on the Pan-Atlantic study of the impact of recent changes to Employment Insurance (Advisory Panel) is inviting the public and stakeholders to provide submissions that outline specific and concrete impacts they have experienced as a result of recent changes to Employment Insurance (EI). Members of the public are encouraged to provide information to the panel by participating in a telephone survey designed to capture information that will be used to assess the impacts of the changes. (Full Story)

November 21, 2013 - Improved outlook for the Province's finances - The Island's fiscal outlook has improved, with bright spots in employment growth and the primary industries, said Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan. Employment has averaged 74,300 people through October 2013, an increase of 2.5 per cent from the same period in 2012, which is the third fastest expansion in the country behind Saskatchewan and Alberta. (Full Story)

November 8, 2013 - Ministers continue to press for renewal of successful and flexible Labour Market Agreements - Provincial and territorial Labour Market Ministers met today with their federal counterpart for the first time to discuss renewal of the Labour Market Agreements and the proposed Canada Job Grant. Provinces and territories reiterated that they have jurisdiction for skills training and labour market programs as acknowledged by the federal minister. They must have the ability to opt out of federal funding agreements or initiatives such as the proposed Canada Job Grant with full compensation. (Full Story)

Saskatchewan:

December 19, 2013 - EI Claims Drop 10 Per Cent From Last Year - Saskatchewan saw a 10 per cent decrease in employment insurance (EI) claims in October 2013 compared to October 2012 - the biggest decrease in Canada. On a monthly basis, claims were down 5.4 per cent between September 2013 and October 2013 (seasonally adjusted). This decrease was the largest in Canada and compares favourably to a 1.7 per cent decline posted nationally over that period. There were 9,950 people receiving EI in Saskatchewan, a drop of 1,400 people (12.3 per cent) compared to October 2012. (Full Story)

December 11, 2013 - Young Holiday Job Seekers Reminded To Complete Their YWRCC - Young job hunters and their employers are being reminded that young workers looking to work during their school break must complete a Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC) before they can start working. Saskatchewan workers aged 14 and 15 must successfully complete the course and print out a certificate in order to be allowed to work. Employers are required to keep a copy of the certificate in their files for each of their 14 and 15-year-old employees. So far more than 18,000 certificates have been issued in 2013. (Full Story)

December 6, 2013 - New Job Numbers Show A Strong And Diversified Saskatchewan Economy - Saskatchewan continues to enjoy strong job growth and the lowest unemployment rate in Canada as thousands of new jobs are being created in a number of different sectors. The November Labour Force Report released today by Statistics Canada shows employment is up by 12,300 compared to November 2012 while Saskatchewan's unemployment rate is just 4.1 per cent - the lowest in Canada for the eleventh consecutive month. Saskatchewan's year-over-year employment growth of 2.3 per cent is second highest in Canada, behind only Alberta. (Full Story)

December 5, 2013 - Nearly 14,000 Jobs Listed On Saskjobs.ca - With strong employment growth predicted to continue in Saskatchewan, SaskJobs.ca continues to be the go-to website for employers and job seekers. In November 2013 alone, employers listed 13,784 job postings in 272 communities across the province. The importance of SaskJobs.ca as an enabler for employment becomes more evident when the province's labour market forecasts are considered. In the five-year period from 2013-2017, an estimated 94,500 new positions will be created in Saskatchewan according to a Ministry of the Economy report. (Full Story)

December 2, 2013 - WCB Approves 2014 Employer Premium Rates - The WCB Board has approved a 2014 premium schedule with lower premiums for employers in 40 industry codes. The decreases range from 0.9% to 12.0%, and drop the average premium rate from $1.58 to $1.51 per hundred dollars of payroll. The schedule also has premium increases in 8 industry codes, and no change in another 2 industry codes. The increases range from 1.6% to 5.2%. (Full Story)

November 14, 2013 - WCB Prepares for New Legislation - A new Act, called The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013 is expected to take effect on January 1, 2014 with many policies and procedures, publications being revised. Changes will affect both workers and employers. Changes include but are not limited to an adjustment in the maximum assessable wage rate for 2014 that sees it increase from $55,000 to $59,000. (Full Story)

November 13, 2013 - Completion Rate Study Finds Apprenticeship System Producing More Skilled Journeypersons - The Saskatchewan apprenticeship system is delivering more journeypersons to the Saskatchewan labour force in part due to sustaining or improving completion rates. The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) has undertaken research into Real Completion Rates (RCR) and found there is a positive story to tell in Saskatchewan. The average total RCR for all trades analyzed over a nine-year period is 59 per cent. In 2012-13, this number was 65 per cent, showing the increase in the number of apprentices completing their programs each year. (Full Story)

November 8, 2013 - Lowest Unemployment Rate In Canada For The Tenth Straight Month - For the tenth straight month, Saskatchewan has held the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. According to October's Labour Force Survey released today by Statistics Canada, the province's unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points to reach 3.6 per cent, well below the 6.9 per cent reported nationally. In October 2013, there were 556,500 people employed in Saskatchewan, an increase of 14,900 over last October. This represents a 2.8 per cent rise, the second highest percentage increase among the provinces. (Full Story)

Yukon:

December 19, 2013 - Yukon government seeking public input on Employment Standards Act - The act was recently changed so that employed parents of children who are critically ill are provided with up to 37 weeks of job protection to match the federal Employment Insurance Act. Input is also being sought on the probationary period for new employees. The probationary period is currently six months in Yukon for all employees governed by the Employment Standards Act. Yukoners have until January 31, 2014 to provide their feedback by visiting www.community.gov.yk.ca. (Full Story)


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Training to win
There's no downside to employee development
(Part 1 of 2)
By Barbara Bowes

Newspapers, radio, television and the Internet are full of reminders that the annual return-to-school trek has begun.

Some parents are agonizing about their college-age students leaving home for the first time to begin a new life. On the other hand, many parents are carefully examining the growing costs of extraneous school-related paraphernalia being marketed to students and wondering if these expenditures are worth the investment.

Program catalogues for community and continuing education are arriving in mailboxes and are tucked into newspapers, ready for perusal. Their inspiring cover pages encourage people to search for opportunities for new learning activities. Courses, certificates, diplomas and degrees and online programs are ready for the taking. It's an exciting time of year.

However, I'm not certain the business community sees the annual back-to-school season as an equally good time to plan for their employee-development needs.

Nor do I believe all leaders view employee training and development as a valuable investment. In fact, some leaders unfortunately harbour a number of misperceptions about employee development.

Some leaders believe they don't have any responsibility beyond ensuring employees can do their current jobs. I've met many a manager who will say employee development distracts people from their jobs and they simply don't have time for training and development.

Some managers fear employee development will only equip their employees to move on with their careers, leaving the employer high and dry. Finally, one of the key areas of neglect in employee development is the view that technical experts can become good leaders without training and development.

Each of these negative beliefs about employee development has proven unfounded.

For instance, we now know employees who have engaged in learning a new skill that can be immediately applied demonstrate significant increases in productivity.

As well, it has been proven that employee development improves employee confidence, teamwork and quality of work and at the same time creates a sense of empowerment that leads to a more fully engaged workforce.

From an organizational perspective, training and employee development help reduce corporate risk and liability and ensure employees are aligned with the corporate vision, mission, goals and objectives.

Training helps employees more clearly understand where the organization is going.

As well, employee development increases the overall internal intellectual talent pool, so when opportunities arise, management can move employees into other roles without having to recruit from an external candidate pool.

Employee development has also become known as a valuable recruitment and loyalty tool because candidates are attracted to organizations that invest in their employees.

Studies show organizations with good employee-development programs and engagement efforts experience 51 per cent lower employee turnover and approximately 12 per cent higher profitability.

So if employee development is critical to the ongoing health of an organization, how can this accomplished?

Please return next issue for the completion of this article!

Source: Employee Engagement -- From Buzzword to Business Value, Maria Ogneva, CMS Wire, March 28, 2013. This article courtesy of Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, CMC, CCP, M.Ed is president of Legacy Bowes Group. She can be reached at barb@legacybowes.com