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February 2014

Contents:

• Welcome
• What's New


Featured Article:

Training to win - Part 2 of 2

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  Welcome!

February 2014 - 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:

February 20, 2014 - Government of Canada brings fairness to EI program in Prince Edward Island - The Government of Canada is making changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to ensure it is fairer to Islanders and better reflects Prince Edward Island’s local economy. Beginning October 2014, Prince Edward Island will be divided into two EI regions - a capital region and a non-capital region. This reflects the fact that job opportunities for Islanders differ significantly between Charlottetown and non-urban areas of Prince Edward Island. This change brings fairness to the EI program and strengthens the core principle of EI- that benefits are calculated based on local economic realities. (Full Story)

February 20, 2014 - Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories sign agreement to help Northwest Territories residents with disabilities get jobs - Canadians with disabilities in the Northwest Territories will be better equipped with the skills and experience they need to get jobs through a new federal-territorial agreement announced today. The Northwest Territories is the second jurisdiction to sign on to the new Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPDs), which are designed to improve employment prospects for Canadians with disabilities and better meet the needs of Canadian businesses. (Full Story)

February 18, 2014 - Ensuring Employment Insurance program reflects local economies in the territories - The Government of Canada is announcing changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better reflect the fact that the economy in northern Canada is amongst the strongest in the country and to align the administration of the EI program in the North with the rest of Canada. Accordingly, as of October 2014, the Government of Canada is removing the arbitrary 25 percent unemployment rate and will use the actual unemployment rate in the territories for calculating benefits under the EI program, as is the case in the rest of the country. (Full Story)

February 17, 2014 - Government of Canada helps create jobs and opportunities for Aboriginal people in British Columbia - The Government of Canada has announced federal government support to help Aboriginal people in British Columbia get the skills they need to land well-paying jobs in the resource sector. Over $6.1 million will be provided to the Pacific Trail Pipelines Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership Training Society to train 780 Aboriginal people in British Columbia. This represents a tremendous opportunity for Canada’s Aboriginal people and helps address skills shortages in British Columbia. (Full Story)

February 7, 2014 - Federal Minister of Labour Invites Secondary School Students to Promote Workplace Safety - High school students across Canada are invited to spread the word about staying safe on the job thanks to the second annual “It’s Your Job!” video contest. The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, was at Central Technical School in Toronto today, where she encouraged students from coast to coast to participate in this nationwide competition. Students can participate through their province or territory. (Full Story)

February 7, 2014 - Government of Canada helps newcomers find jobs faster - The Government has announced close to $800,000 in funding to the NACC to help internationally trained workers who are unable to find work in their fields explore other occupations within or related to their areas of expertise. By working in partnership with employers, immigrant-serving organizations and professional associations, NACC’s Alternative Pathways for Newcomers project will help internationally trained workers choose a career path that suits their skills and experience. The project is expected to serve up to 5 000 skilled newcomers and to involve 120 immigrant-serving organizations and 150 employers in its activities. (Full Story)

February 5, 2014 - Harper Government Welcomes a Tentative Deal to Protect Canadian Jobs - Regarding the prevention of a work stoppage at CN Rail, Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Canada’s Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women said "During this fragile global economic recovery, we must protect jobs and vital sectors in Canada's economy. A work stoppage by approximately 3,300 members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference would have damaging effects on our economy…" The TCRC represents approximately 3 300 conductors and assistant conductors (road and yard), baggage persons, car retarder operators, yard operations employees, switch tenders, traffic coordinators, and assistant traffic coordinators whose previous collective agreements expired on July 22, 2013. (Full Story)

January 23, 2014 - Skills Gap: A Call to Action for Employers - Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, participated in a panel discussion emphasizing new employment opportunities for Canadians in the growing extractive industry. Minister Leitch stressed the importance for employers to hire from under-represented groups, such as women and Aboriginal people, in order to help address the expected skills and labour shortages in resource extraction. The extractive industry and the energy sector present tremendous opportunities for these groups to get meaningful jobs. (Full Story)

January 18, 2014 - Government of Canada helps over 1 000 newcomers get their qualifications recognized and find jobs in Canada - The government of Canada celebrated a significant milestone for the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot Project. Over 1 000 internationally trained workers have now benefitted from loans that have helped them get their credentials recognized helping them take advantage of job opportunities here in Canada. Eligible newcomers and Canadians trained abroad may receive up to $15,000 in loans to help cover the costs of licensing, exams, training and skills upgrading, which can often present a significant obstacle to credential recognition. (Full Story)

January 9, 2014 - New income code for the T4 slip - Code 88, Indian (exempt income) – Self-employment, is a new income code that was created for the Other information area of the T4 slip. Use this new code to report tax-exempt self-employment income paid to an Indian who is a fisher, barber or hairdresser, taxi driver or driver of other passenger carrying vehicles. For more information, see Guide RC4120, Employers' Guide - Filing the T4 Slip and Summary. (Full Story)

Alberta:

Feb 24, 2014 - Alberta puts forward long-term pension solution - Finance Minister Doug Horner issued a statement regarding reform of Alberta’s public sector pension plans, which face unfunded liabilities totaling $7.4 billion. As part of pension reforms, the government will transition all the plans except the Management plan from government sponsorship to joint sponsorship by employers and employees, so that important decisions about the plan’s design and finances will be made by those bearing the costs and risks. At the same time, a new risk management system will be implemented. (Full Story)

Feb 01, 2014 - Compassionate care leave begins February 1 - Albertans can take up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave from work to care for a gravely ill family member. Employees taking compassionate care leave can return to the same or similar position, just like new mothers after maternity leave or armed forces reservists when they return from duty. Provisions for compassionate care leave within Alberta’s Employment Standards Code were brought about by the passage of Bill 203. (Full Story)

Jan 31, 2014 - Salary and severance disclosure sets bar for openness - The Redford government reinforced its commitment to transparency and accountability today by putting its public service compensation disclosure policy into action. Salary, benefit and severance amounts for government employees with base salaries of more than $100,000 in 2012 and 2013 are now available online. Where applicable, an employee’s contract and termination agreement will also be posted. (Full Story)

January 30, 2014 - Doing business with WCB - Alberta is committed to providing suppliers with opportunities to do business with them. They strive to attain the best value for purchases by supporting a competitive supply environment that is open and fair. As such, all new bidding opportunities are now listed on the Doing business with WCB page, located under the About Us header. (Full Story)

Jan 15, 2014 - Alberta makes progress on reducing labour shortages - The projected worker shortage over the next 10 years has dropped from 114,000 to 96,000. Alberta faces a shortage of 96,000 workers by 2023 according to the most recent Alberta Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook, down from 114,000 workers by 2021 in the previous forecast. Released every two years, the Outlook is one of the key indicators the new Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour will use to help build a skilled workforce capable of meeting our province’s labour demands. (Full Story)

British Columbia:

Feb. 25, 2014 - Agreement supports jobs and investment in Capital Region - The B.C. government and City of Victoria will exchange various properties, creating opportunities for new investment and job creation at Point Hope Maritime. This will allow the new owner to continue investing heavily in the shipyard properties, expand its operations and create new high-paying, skilled-trade jobs. The marine industry is an important sector for the Capital Region economy, with the current operation at Point Hope Maritime employing approximately 150 people. This iniative will provide greater economic, employment and training opportunities for the area. (Full Story)

February 21, 2014 - SafeCare BC tackles injury reduction in long-term care sector - The BC Care Providers Association and WorkSafeBC are pleased to announce the launch of SafeCare BC, a workplace health and safety association that will focus on reducing the severity and frequency of injuries in the continuing healthcare sector. SafeCare BC is based on a successful model in Alberta, which has seen overall injury claims in the continuing care sector drop by an average of 20 percent, long-term disability claims by more than 25 percent, and back injury claims by 36 percent since its formation in 2005. (Full Story)

Feb. 19, 2014 - Bill amends new Pension Benefits Standards Act - Amendments to the new Pension Benefits Standard Act clarify elements of the original act and help ensure the legislation will be ready for proclamation later this year. Some of the changes include; enabling the spouse of a deceased pension plan member to designate a beneficiary for the surviving spouse's benefits; providing that a former participating employer who fails to provide required information to the plan administrator may be compelled to comply by court order. (Full Story)

Feb. 19, 2014 - More options for pension coverage - Pooled Registered Pension Plans introduced - British Columbians will have an additional way to save money for retirement through Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) that make well-regulated and low-cost pension plans available to the thousands of British Columbians who do not currently have access to pension plans. Bill 9 re-introduces legislation that enables employees of small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as the self-employed, to join pension plans administered by regulated financial institutions. (Full Story)

Feb. 18, 2014 - Balanced budget maintains discipline, supports economic growth and job creation - The B.C. government has introduced Balanced Budget 2014, which includes forecast surpluses in all three years of the fiscal plan and modest investments in priority areas, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today. Government is working with employers, educators and communities to make sure British Columbians are first in line for the jobs of the future. (Full Story)

Manitoba:

February 24, 2014 - WCB awards $1 million in grants for workplace health and safety innovation and research, announces new stream of funding - The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) announced the recipients of 10 grants in support of projects that will help keep Manitoba workers safe and recover from workplace injuries. The funding is part of the WCB's Research and Workplace Innovation Program (RWIP). The RWIP is now accepting applications for 2014 grants. (Full Story)

February 20, 2014 - Province Releases Third Quarter Financial Report - The Manitoba government continues to make progress toward a balanced budget with a deficit projection of $86 million less than budgeted last year. It was confirmed the budget will be delivered on March 6 when the legislature comes back into session. The province is working to return to balance and they know the best way to do that is to keep steadily growing the economy by building the province and creating good jobs. Budget 2013 projected a $518-million summary deficit for this year as part of Manitoba’s plan to protect front-line services, create jobs and grow the economy. (Full Story)

January 2014 - A Quick Guide to Employment Standards - The Government of Manitoba website (www.gov.mb.gc.ca) provides information about The Employment Standards Code, The Construction Industry Wages Act, The Remembrance Day Act, The Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act, and The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act. It also has information about the Labour Adjustment Services they offer to help workers and employers find solutions to downsizing, closures and layoffs. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

February 21, 2014 - Provincial government investing $1 million to expand skilled trades program for high school students - The provincial government is investing $1 million over three years to expand the New Brunswick Teen Apprentice Program, which gives high school students early training and employment in the skilled trades. In 2013 the program grew to 30 students with 17 employers providing hands-on work opportunities in 18 trades. In 2014, it will expand to more communities, with more than 70 students working for 30 employers in more than 20 trades. Applications for students will be accepted in March. Interested students and employers are encouraged to contact the program directly. (Full Story)

February 19, 2014 - Gaming compliance company expanding by up to 173 jobs - BMM Testlabs Canada, a systems company serving the gaming industry, will create up to 173 full-time positions over the next four years at its office in Dieppe. "Building smart partnerships with companies like BMM is an important part of our government's plan to create jobs and grow the economy," said Premier David Alward. Under the terms of an agreement, Invest NB is providing a payroll rebate of up to $1.45 million over five years in support of up to 173 new full-time jobs which are expected to be created over the next four years. (Full Story)

February 12, 2014 - Fredericton software development company creating up to 95 jobs
More
- Blue Spurs, a Fredericton-based service software development company, is expanding its operations, creating 95 information and communications technology jobs. The provincial government is providing up to $500,000 through a payroll rebate to create 95 jobs over three years. The jobs will include software engineers, quality assurance specialists, UI / UX specialists, architects, technical support analysts as well as business development and sales professionals.
(Full Story)

January 30, 2014 - State of the province focuses on natural resource development, job creation and innovation - Premier David Alward's state of the province address sent a strong message to New Brunswick business people and workers about the government's plan to create jobs in the oil and natural gas, forestry, and knowledge sectors. Alward is encouraging growth in all industries by expanding one of the most successful job creation programs in recent memory – the One Job Pledge. The initiative surpassed its initial goal of creating 650 jobs and is nearing the revised target of 850 jobs. The program is now looking to challenge New Brunswick employers by expanding the program's target to 1,000 jobs. (Full Story)

January 17, 2014 - Provincial government to host jobs summit this spring - The provincial government will hold a jobs summit this spring, bringing together stakeholders from business, post-secondary education and other sectors. "We will build on a solid foundation of ongoing work to bring together stakeholders from a wide range of sectors, including universities, public and private colleges, industry, business, youth, under-represented groups, First Nations, labour associations and government to discuss further how we can create jobs and grow the economy," said Premier David Alward. (Full Story)

January 7, 2014 - Reminder of opportunity to provide feedback on changes to Employment Insurance - The public and stakeholders are reminded of the New Brunswick sessions, which started today, that offer an opportunity to make submissions explaining how they have been affected by changes to Employment Insurance. Stakeholders and affected organizations received invitations to participate in sessions this fall with representatives from the advisory panel within their respective province. The public or organizations may also ask to appear at these sessions. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

February 20, 2014 - Public Advisory: Changes to Employment Programs Payment System - The Department of Advanced Education and Skills advised individuals who receive funding through employment programs under the federal-provincial Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) of changes to their payment schedule resulting from a new computer system. Of the 2,500 individuals receiving benefits, some 1,825 will experience a one-time change to the current payment schedule. Persons scheduled to receive a regular payment on March 13, 2014, will instead receive payment on March 6, 2014, for a one-week period. Payments will then continue for the regular two-week period starting on March 20, 2014. There is no change to the amount of benefits received. (Full Story)

February 14, 2014 - Minister Releases Workers Compensation Review Report for Public Comment - The Provincial Government has released the review into the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation system, Working Together - Safe, Accountable, Sustainable. There are in total 42 policy recommendations from the review committee and an additional 90 recommendations related to the comprehensive review of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act. These recommendations affect workers and employers so it is important that we provide members of the public with an opportunity to respond to these recommendations. (Full Story)

February 11, 2014 - More than $800,000 for Targeted Initiative for Older Workers Program - The latest round of approvals for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program provides $806,728 to deliver training and employment opportunities to 45 older workers through five projects taking place in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Projects are approved based on criteria such as communities affected by significant downsizing or closures, the number of workers aged 55-64 in the area, the value of training and labour demand. (Full Story)

February 3, 2014 - Provincial Ferry Workers Ratify Collective Agreement - The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) has ratified a collective agreement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, representing approximately 250 workers in the intra-provincial ferry fleet. Members previously voted against ratifying an agreement, prompting a conciliation process which recently concluded. The agreement includes benefits for the unique working circumstances of employees, including an increase to the overtime allowance from approximately $2,700 to $4,294 annually. (Full Story)

January 17, 2014 - Full Review of Workers’ Compensation System Finalized - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Statutory Review Committee has concluded its review of the provincial workers’ compensation system. During the consultation process, opportunities for public and stakeholder participation were made widely available through 15 public consultations in 13 communities in the province and through written submissions. The committee heard from a cross section of presenters representing injured workers, employers, employees, unions and industry. (Full Story)

January 15, 2014 - Federal and Provincial Governments Help Apprentices and Create Jobs in Atlantic Canada - Employment and Social Development Minister Jason Kenney announced an initiative to harmonize apprenticeship systems across the Atlantic Provinces. This project will help harmonize training, certification and standards, leading to increased availability of training, higher apprenticeship completion rates and increased labour mobility for apprentices across Atlantic Canada. Harmonizing requirements for apprentices will create well-paying jobs by helping employers hire the skilled apprentices they need and by helping apprentices take advantage of job opportunities in New Brunswick and across Atlantic Canada. (Full Story)

Northwest Territories:

February 20, 2014 - Announcement Of New Agreements With Employment And Social Development Canada - A Labour Market Agreement has been signed that will provide up to $1.25 Million in federal funding each year for four years to the Government of the Northwest Territories to improve employment prospects for Canadians with disabilities. Also announced was a new project under the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers that the Tlicho Government in Behchoko is currently preparing to deliver. It will be a 12-week Older Worker Upgrading program to train ‘On the Land’ Instructors. Together, the governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories are investing over $285,000 in this project to help provide participants with skills upgrading, hands-on experience and safety training and certification. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

January 31, 2014 - Minimum Wage Increasing April 1 - Nova Scotia's minimum wage will continue to increase in line with the cost of living. The province accepted the Minimum Wage Review Committee's recommendation to increase the minimum wage by 10 cents an hour, to $10.40 an hour on April 1. The hourly wage for someone with less than three months' experience is also increasing by 10 cents an hour, to $9.90. Minimum wage rates are adjusted annually, and are based on the previous year's national Consumer Price Index. (Full Story)

January 21, 2014 - Changes Help More Apprentices Access, Complete Training - Changes to the apprenticeship system will make it easier for young people to access and complete training to get jobs here in Nova Scotia. Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan announced changes, today, Jan. 21, to regulations that will allow more apprentices to train under one journeyperson in the metal fabricator trade. Currently, only one apprentice is permitted to train under a certified journeyperson. The new regulations will allow three apprentices to train under one journeyperson, increasing training opportunities and access to jobs. (Full Story)

January 20, 2014 - Nova Scotians Can Have Say to Modernize Apprenticeship - Nova Scotians have a chance to weigh in on how to modernize apprenticeship to help keep skilled workers in the province. A discussion paper released today, Jan 20, outlines how a new agency, led by industry and employers, plans to expand apprenticeship opportunities in the province. The agency will encourage more employers to hire apprentices, ensure ratios match the needs of each trade, clarify out-of-province hours, and help more apprentices complete training to take advantage of the opportunities in skilled trades. (Full Story)

Ontario:

February 25, 2014 - Making Ontario's Minimum Wage Fair and Predictable - Ontario is taking the next step to ensure the province's minimum wage keeps pace with the cost of living, and that increases are fair for families and predictable for businesses. The province is introducing the Fair Minimum Wage Act today, which, if passed, would tie future annual minimum wage increases to Ontario's Consumer Price Index. Under the proposed legislation, increases to the general minimum wage and all special categories would be announced by April 1 of each year, and come into effect on Oct. 1. The proposed legislation follows the province's commitment to increase minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour on June 1, 2014. (Full Story)

February 21, 2014 - Creating New Jobs in Southwestern Ontario - Ontario is helping southwestern Ontario businesses create and retain over 9,000 jobs, expand production capability and explore new markets. Four more companies are receiving support from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, which helps create jobs and diversify the economy by encouraging regional businesses to be innovative and to pursue new markets. The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is modelled on the proven Eastern Ontario Development Fund. Together, these two funds have created and retained more than 24,400 jobs and strengthened local economies since they were created. (Full Story)

February 7, 2014 - Ontario Gains 6,000 Jobs in January - Following a gain of 95,700 net jobs in 2013, Ontario continued to add jobs, with full-time employment increasing by 23,100 positions and overall employment going up by 6,000 net jobs in January. The government continues to focus on creating the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy. Ontario's youth (ages 15-24) employment also increased in January by 7,800 net new jobs and the youth unemployment rate fell to 16.5 per cent. (Full Story)

February 2014 - WSIB Visa and WSIB premiums - As of March 31, 2014, the WSIB may no longer accept Visa as a payment method due to Visa International Operating Regulations. They are actively working with Visa to find a solution. In the event they are unable to resolve this issue, they advise they have alternate payment methods available. Review their website for additional information. (Full Story)

January 30, 2014 - Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage - Ontario is increasing the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11 per hour on June 1, 2014. This new rate reflects the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since the last minimum wage increase in 2010 and is part of the provincial government's commitment to fairness. The proposed legislation would act on the recommendations of Ontario's Minimum Wage Advisory Panel, which included business, labour, youth and anti-poverty representatives. (Full Story)

January 7, 2014 - Youth Employment Fund Creating Jobs - Ontario's Youth Employment Fund is helping young people across the province get training, find jobs and gain valuable work experience. Under the fund, Ontario is providing up to $7,800 to cover a range of supports and services for each eligible young worker. That includes up to $6,800 to help cover wage and training costs, and up to $1,000 to help young workers pay for job-related costs like tools and transportation to work. Eligible youth aged 15 to 29 and employers can apply online to access the fund through Employment Ontario's Employment Service. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

February 28, 2014 - Employer Registration Renewal Reminder: Deadline February 28 - The WCB would like to remind all registered employers of the upcoming renewal deadline. If you have not already done so, please submit your 2013-2014 registration renewal by February 28, 2014, to avoid a penalty for late filing. You can submit your registration renewal electronically using the Employer Registration Renewal option at WCB Online Services or mannualy by completing the Employer Registration Renewal Form included in your 2014 Registration package. (Full Story)

February 5, 2014 - WCB enhances policy on fraud prevention - The WCB has amended its Deliberate Misrepresentation policy to enhance the checks and balances that protect the integrity of the workers compensation system. The revised policy, which has been renamed Fraud Prevention and Investigation (POL-80), takes a comprehensive approach to risk management and accountability to stakeholders. The policy sets out the measures in place to prevent fraud in all areas of the organization and defines the appropriate investigation activities in the event that prevention efforts are not enough. (Full Story)

February 20, 2014 - Managed IT service provider to double employment with provincial help - The Government of Prince Edward Island will help Summerside’s TUC Managed IT Solutions to add 32 positions to its workforce. The company plans to add 17 more positions in 2014 and a further 15 in 2015. The hiring will involve Level 1 and 2 IT support technicians, but additions of other corporate functions in Summerside are under consideration. The expansion is being supported with a labour rebate from Innovation PEI that would reach a maximum of $417,000 if the 32 anticipated jobs were created. (Full Story)

January 1, 2014 - Hearing Loss Policy Change - The WCB has revised its policy on hearing loss (POL-09). Effective June 1, 2014, there will be a five-year limitation for filing work-related hearing loss claims. This means that an audiogram must be performed within five years from the last occupational exposure to excessive noise to be considered for a WCB claim. More information about the policy change is available in the History section of the Hearing Loss policy. (Full Story)

Saskatchewan:

February 11, 2014 - Saskjobs Website Traffic Increases In January - SaskJobs.ca continues to attract heavy traffic with visits reaching nearly 1.2 million for the month of January, marking a 9.3 per cent year-over-year increase.In January alone, 13,612 job postings were advertised on SaskJobs from across 323 communities. The most in demand occupations were those in sale and service occupations and trades/transport/equipment operations. These two categories accounted for almost 60 per cent of all job vacancies last month. (Full Story)

February 7, 2014 - Saskatchewan's Unemployment Rate Remains Lowest In Canada - Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate remains the lowest in Canada for the thirteenth consecutive month. According to figures released by Statistics Canada today, the province’s rate currently sits at 4.3 per cent, and well below the national average of 7.0 per cent. The province’s youth unemployment was 7.5 per cent in January - also the lowest in the country. The national youth unemployment rate was 13.9 per cent. (Full Story)

January 30, 2014 - Saskatchewan Posts Largest Salary Increases In November - Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan took a jump in November 2013, up 4.7 per cent over last November, the highest increase among the provinces and well ahead of the 2.5 per cent increase nationally. Saskatchewan’s average weekly earnings were $967.45 in November 2013, the second highest in the nation. On a monthly basis, wages were up by 2.3 per cent between October 2013 and November 2013, the second highest percentage increase in Canada. (Full Story)

January 10, 2014 - Record Job Creation In 2013 - The final job numbers for 2013 were released and highlight Saskatchewan's unprecedented job creation record. The figures show that Saskatchewan created more than 18,000 jobs in 2013, the highest created in a one year period since the survey started in 1976. In December 2013, Saskatchewan had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.9 per cent, down from 4.1 per cent in November. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in December. (Full Story)


GrandMaster Update

The current release of GrandMaster Suite (6.75) incorporates a number of changes and important adjustments to make it even easier to use the program and perform your payroll tasks.


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.


Training to win
There's no downside to employee development
(Part 2 of 2)

Click Here for Part 1

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?

  • Confirm your business goals. Review your mission and vision and confirm the strategic directions and objectives that will ensure the accomplishment of your goals. Review these goals and determine the key competencies required to align all levels of employees with your organizational needs. Create a competency map for each job category.
  • Conduct employee assessment. Review the skills and capabilities of each employee with respect to current and future skill needs. Meet with management as well as employees to confirm skills and priorities. Compare this information to the competence map developed for your organization.
  • Identify employee interests. Employees must understand development is a partnership. Individuals need to identify what they are good at and how they want their career to go within your organization. Review their accomplishments and identify what they are proud of. Help them identify the skills they feel most comfortable with and work with them to set specific career goals.
  • Set training priorities. Determine which training will give you a quick win on your investment. Set priorities from a corporate perspective, then set them for individual employees. Be sure to prioritize those training programs that directly affect the culture of the organization and train employees in the core competencies of your workplace.
  • Create individual development plans. Create one- to three-year development plans that outline courses and programs and the learning opportunities each employee will engage in. Ensure some of the programs are mandatory versus discretionary and all designated learning is directed toward achieving your mission.
  • Select a combination of methodologies. There are a multitude of training methods available, ranging from instructor-led classroom programs to Internet webinars to lengthy online certifications. Research the variety of opportunities and select the most appropriate for your organization.
  • Share learning accomplishments. If an employee has attended an external course or conference or has completed a certificate paid for by the employer, have the individual prepare a presentation for other staff members on what value was gained. Refer again to mission, vision and strategic direction in terms of how the program assisted the individual to gain new insights.
  • Consider alternative work assignments. Learning can occur anywhere within an organization, so it's important to consider tactics such as delegating leadership of a special stretch project or other learning opportunities such as joining a new project team. Be sure to build in specific goals and objectives and progress milestones plus an evaluation of the skills and competence gained through the experience.
  • Establish formal feedback loops. At each milestone of a work-related project, check in with the participants and determine what progress has been made toward learning the objectives. Offer assistance, discuss goals and objectives and assess how you might stretch the assignment for further learning.
  • Establish a mentoring/coaching model. Every organization has known experts who can mentor or coach others as part of a training program. Many times, these individuals have never thought of themselves as mentors or have never been asked to participate. This activity in itself is a developmental and employee-engagement tool.

Fall is the season for focusing on education and employee development. Develop both short- and long-term plans, link them with your strategic plan and measure and monitor success. Guaranteed, your investment will be worth it.

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