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July 2014

Contents:

• Welcome
• What's New


Featured Article:

It's about ability

Tip of the Month:

Change T4 (payroll) and other information returns and slips online
  Welcome!

July 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, you can 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:

July 11, 2014 - Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments take action to connect Canadians with jobs - Labour Market Ministers from across the country met today to take action to ensure Canadians have the skills they need to compete in a global economy. Ministers discussed several elements that are critical to strong labour markets and collaborative efforts that can be undertaken to support this goal. Ministers agreed that better labour market information is required to support decision making by job seekers, students, employers and policy makers. In particular, labour market data helps Canadians make informed training and education decisions and connect with available jobs. (Full Story)

June 25, 2014 - Harper Government Completes Public Target Benefit Plan Consultations - Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson today held a roundtable meeting with pension experts and stakeholders to conclude 60-day public consultations on establishing a federal framework for Target Benefit Plans, or TBPs. TBPs would be a new, voluntary, sustainable and flexible pension option for federally regulated private sector and Crown corporation plan sponsors, employees and retirees under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. (Full Story)

June 23, 2014 - Harper government launches the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan - The government has announced the launch of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan (CECP) at the first meeting of its newly-established Employer Panel for Caregivers. The Employer Panel for Caregivers is comprised of industry leaders from small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as expert advisors on caregiving. They will consult with employers across Canada to help identify successful and promising workplace practices that support caregivers who are balancing their work responsibilities with caring for a loved one ensuring a stronger workforce and more prosperous economy. (Full Story)

June 20, 2014 - Government of Canada takes action to help internationally trained health professionals get jobs - The government today announced over $380,000 for a project to help internationally trained health professionals find alternative careers in Canada. Through its Alternative Career Pathways project, BioTalent will help internationally trained health professionals transfer their skills to related fields in the health sciences, help them get their foreign credentials recognized more quickly, and create a pool of job-ready candidates that employers can hire for jobs in the biotechnology sector. (Full Story)

June 20, 2014 - Government of Canada Overhauls Temporary Foreign Worker Program Ensuring Canadians are first in line for available jobs - The federal government today announced a comprehensive overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This balanced package of reforms will ensure the TFWP is only used as intended, as a last and limited resort to fill acute labour shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available. In 2013, 83,740 temporary foreign workers entered Canada, equaling 0.44 percent of the total Canadian labour force. (Full Story)

June 12, 2014 - Interest rates for the third 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 in accordance with applicable legislation and will be in effect from July 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014. There have been no changes to the prescribed interest rates since last quarter, except for the interest rate for corporate taxpayers' pertinent loans or indebtedness. (Full Story)

June 11, 2014 - Balancing Work And Caregiving Obligations - The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has released its Guide to Balancing Work and Caregiving Obligations: Collaborative Approaches for a Supportive and Well-performing Workplace. The CHRC's online guide offers employers and employees practical tips on what to do when an employee's family caregiving and work responsibilities come into conflict. (Full Story)

May 28, 2014 - Defence industry partners with Government of Canada to promote jobs for Veterans - The Minister of Veterans Affairs today announced that the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) has become the latest organization to partner with Veterans Affairs Canada and participate in its Hire a Veteran initiative. In October 2013, the Government of Canada announced new measures that will give qualified Veterans priority when it comes to hiring Canadians for federal public service jobs. In March 2014, the Government of Canada announced further enhancements allowing serving and recently retired members to access public service jobs. (Full Story)

May 21, 2014 - Government of Canada supports environment while helping graduates obtain work experience - Today, Minister Aglukkaq announced $1.1 million to fund internships that offer graduates opportunities to develop knowledge and skills that will open doors to employment. The Science Horizons Youth Internship Program supports the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy that helps young graduates gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition into the labour market. (Full Story)

May 6, 2014 - Government of Canada takes action to help apprentices and promote the skilled trades - Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney outlined a number of Government of Canada initiatives of interest to the construction sector including grants for apprentices, the Canada Job Grant and the introduction of the Canada Apprentice Loan, as outlined in Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014. (Full Story)

May 2, 2014 - Government of Canada creates jobs for youth across the country - Students across Canada will have access to summer jobs to help them gain valuable skills and work experience, today announced the Honourable Peter MacKay, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development. Minister MacKay highlighted that up to 35,000 young Canadians will benefit from summer employment while helping employers address skills shortages. (Full Story)

Alberta:

July 8, 2014 - Working in the heat without taking precautions is not cool - Employers are being reminded that while many Albertans are enjoying the hot summer weather, those who work in the heat should take precautions to avoid health risks. The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to ensure the health and safety of workers at their work sites. Part 2 of the OHS Code requires employers to assess and control hazards their workers may be exposed to at the work site, including extreme heat and cold. (Full Story)

July 4, 2014 - WCB fee update effective April 1, 2014 - Effective April 1, 2014, Alberta Health implemented a 2.5 per cent average increase to their fee schedule. WCB has applied identical increases to each of the Schedule of Medical Benefits (SOMB) service codes. In addition, WCB-specific codes (e.g., report fees, visits and procedures) paid to physicians for WCB services received the 2.5 per cent increase. They have started issuing retroactive payments to physicians from April 1, 2014. All retroactive payments should be complete before the middle of August. (Full Story)

June 20, 2014 - Minister Fawcett responds to changes to federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program - Responding to questions about the recent changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Minister Fawcett said: "We are comfortable with changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that tighten the program's administration. Alberta's position has always been that available jobs must go to Canadians first. However, Alberta has a unique labour market. Our unemployment rate sits at 4.6%, the second lowest in Canada and well below the national rate of 7%." (Full Story)

June 17, 2014 - Important changes are coming to Electronic Injury Reporting - The Alberta WCB has announced that changes are coming to Electronic Injury Reporting system. Find out how these changes impact employers, physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors. Since 2003, EIR has become the primary claim reporting gateway for employers in Alberta. (Full Story)

June 2, 2014 - WCB Releases 2013 Annual Report - The Alberta WCB has released the 2013 Annual Report. This report shows how the WCB and its stakeholders continue to make a difference in the lives of Albertans. The theme of the report is: "Fairness is...
Respect. Balance. Communication. Partnerships."
(Full Story)

May 28, 2014 - Alberta's minimum wage increases to $10.20 September 1 - Minimum wage earners in Alberta will get a raise September 1 when the province's two minimum wage rates increase to keep pace with rising provincial incomes and the cost of living. Alberta's general minimum wage will increase to $10.20 from $9.95 per hour. The liquor server minimum wage will rise to $9.20 from $9.05 per hour. (Full Story)

May 22, 2014 - Kyle Fawcett to be named new Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour - Premier Dave Hancock announced that Calgary-Klein MLA Kyle Fawcett will be sworn in on Monday, May 26, as the new Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour. "I'm very pleased to name him the new Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour and I know that Kyle will continue to build on Alberta's strong record of jobs growth and skills training." (Full Story)

May 22, 2014 - New programs support employing Albertans with disabilities - Albertans with disabilities will have more employment opportunities through the new Employment First Innovation Fund and the Employment First Internship Program. Premier Dave Hancock announced the Employment First Innovation Fund, a $2 million grant program, to encourage more innovative approaches to creating employment opportunities for Albertans with disabilities at the second annual symposium on employment and persons with disabilities. (Full Story)

May 15, 2014 - OHS tackles residential construction safety - Occupational Health and Safety officers will do focused worksite inspections at residential building sites across the province this summer as part of the effort to reduce worker injuries. Preventing workplace injuries and holding people who ignore health and safety accountable are at the foundation of Alberta's effort to protect workers. Historically, many orders are issued during these campaigns, and with the new ability to issue tickets, employers and workers have an even greater incentive to work safely. (Full Story)

May 12, 2014 - Province wants employers and workers to "Work Right" - Alberta has launched a new campaign to improve workplace safety and fairness. This is the first time that Occupational Health and Safety and Employment Standards awareness activities have been combined. These two sections of government work with employers and workers every day, so it is a natural fit to promote better understanding of workplace rules and make maximum use of resources. (Full Story)

May 06, 2014 - Horner responds to referral of pension bills to committee - Minister of Finance Doug Horner issued a statement regarding the amendments to refer Bill 9, the Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act, and Bill 10, the Employment Pension (Private Sector) Plans Amendment Act to an all-party committee. "The case for pension reform is clear. Defined benefit pension plans around the world are facing real challenges that jeopardize their long-term sustainability... My number one priority has, and will continue to be, protecting pension plans for as many Albertans as possible..." (Full Story)

British Columbia:

July 15, 2014 - Enhanced worker safety goal of WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan - The B.C. government is acting to further strengthen worker safety, build a world-class inspection and investigations regime at WorkSafeBC by accepting all 43 recommendations in the WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan. The government made the commitment in releasing the 192-page Action Plan prepared by WorkSafeBC as a part of its six-point mandate announced on April 14, 2014. (Full Story)

June 13, 2014 - Labour market training benefits hotel workers - As the North gets ready for the jobs boom, the B.C. government is investing in training people in a new way to help meet anticipated demand in the hospitality industry. The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is investing in the first Project-Based Labour Market Training project in the province, called Room Keys. Project-Based Labour Market Training is a new component of Community and Employer Partnerships, which were introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC. (Full Story)

June 4, 2014 - Province provides jobs training support for sawmill workers - The Government of British Columbia is providing funding support to Northwest Community College (NWCC) under B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to provide job skills training and retraining opportunities for workers impacted by the closure of the West Fraser sawmill in Houston. Projections show a million job openings in British Columbia by 2022, with about 43% requiring skills and trades training. Under B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: Re-engineering Education and Training, the Province is working to better match skills training to jobs. (Full Story)

June 3, 2014 - Quesnel to be offered retraining opportunities for those affected by mill closure - The College of New Caledonia (CNC) has received provincial funding under B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to provide job skills training and retraining opportunities for workers affected by the closure of the Canfor sawmill in Quesnel. The training offered will be determined by CNC working in partnership with the Quesnel Community Adjustment Team and affected workers, and may include programs for heavy equipment operator, occupational first aid, forklift operator, fire suppression, and construction safety training. (Full Story)

May 26, 2014 - B.C.'s Blueprint offers new approach to skills training - With significant growth expected in B.C.'s natural resources industry over the next decade, the province needs to be ready with the skilled workers required to build and operate these projects. Enter B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, a comprehensive plan to re-engineer their education and training system to align with labour market needs. With nearly one million jobs expected by 2022 through retirements and new job creation, the province wishes to move quickly to make sure British Columbians are first in line for these opportunities. (Full Story)

May 15, 2014 - A Blueprint for LNG Jobs - The growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector will bring thousands of new jobs to B.C. and the government wants British Columbians to be first in line to fill these openings. In 2011, they released the BC Jobs Plan with a commitment to build an LNG sector in B.C. The most recent analysis shows that if five plants are constructed in B.C. between 2015 and 2024, the LNG sector will need to fill 100,000 jobs, including more than 58,000 construction jobs. (Full Story)

May 13, 2014 - Skilled trades offer bright future for B.C. students - In B.C., a million job openings are expected by 2022. Fully 43% of those jobs will require skilled workers, and some areas of the province are already experiencing shortages of skilled workers. To meet labour demand, B.C. will need many more young people to enter skilled trades and technology fields. That's why the "B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: Re-engineering Education and Training" was developed. (Full Story)

Manitoba:

June 18, 2014 - Province Announces Minimum Wage Increasing Oct. 1 To $10.70 An Hour - The province is increasing the minimum wage Oct. 1 to $10.70 an hour, Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun announced today. The province has increased the minimum wage every year since 2000. This most recent increase builds on the province's long-term plan to provide the lowest wage earners increased purchasing power so they can better provide for themselves and their families. The increase of 25 cents per hour brings the current minimum wage to $10.70 from $10.45 and will put Manitoba the fourth highest among other Canadian jurisdictions. (Full Story)

June 6, 2014 - Province Launches 2014 Youth Summer Employment Programs, Helping Youth Get Their First Job At Home In Manitoba - The Manitoba government has launched this year's summer employment programs, creating more than 3,600 jobs for young people across the province including more than 100 new Green Team positions, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today. Minister Chief noted an additional $500,000 for Green Teams in Budget 2014 will create 110 new positions for this year's programs and contribute to higher wages and more hours for employees. This year, the Manitoba government is contributing more than $7.4 million to various summer employment programs. (Full Story)

June 4, 2014 - Province Supports 2,200 Good Jobs With Investment In World-Class Composite Research, Innovation - The Manitoba government will invest $2.88 million in the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) over the next two years to create jobs in Manitoba industries that use advanced composite materials, Jobs and the Economy Minister Theresa Oswald announced today. Provincial support will include $2.73 million over two years. Minister Oswald noted the CIC has helped achieve significant industry growth in Manitoba, initiating 346 projects with 119 industry partners and 40 government agencies. CIC supported the development of new advanced commercial jet aircraft at Boeing Winnipeg and other advanced composite projects that created 500 jobs. (Full Story)

June 4, 2014 - Job Growth Through Initiative Focused on Lean Training, Technological Innovation, Trade and Youth Career Promotion in Manufacturing - The province will invest $1.1 million to support jobs and growth in Manitoba's manufacturing sector, building on its successful partnership with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters - Manitoba Division (CME). Manufacturing is a key driver of the provincial economy, accounting for approximately 11 per cent of Manitoba's real gross domestic product, more than $7 billion in exported goods, and more than 60,000 jobs in 2013. (Full Story)

June 3, 2014 - Proposed Legislation Would Create Jobs, Support Economic Growth: Minister Howard - Proposed legislation required to implement Budget 2014, including new tax credits that would support the creation of good jobs, was introduced today by Finance Minister Jennifer Howard. The proposed new Employee Share Purchase Tax Credit would offer new owners, including current employees, support to buy in and own a portion of a business to support business growth and avoid business closures. Those who buy shares, such as current employees, from a registered employee share ownership plan would qualify for the 45 per cent tax credit. (Full Story)

April 28, 2014 - Province To Introduce Workers Compensation Amendments That Would Protect Workers, Improve Injury Prevention - Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun will introduce changes today that would better protect the rights of workers injured on the job, increase fines and penalties for offences under the Workers Compensation Act and consolidate workplace injury and illness prevention services to better serve the public. A recent report released by the WCB documented frequent instances of claim suppression by employers. These proposed amendments would broaden worker protection by increasing penalties and requiring an employer who takes discriminatory action against a worker to prove the action was unrelated to the worker making a claim. (Full Story)

April 15, 2014 - Province Introduces Proposed Legislation That Would Protect Temporary Workers - The protection for temporary help workers act would provide better protection for temporary workers employed through temporary employment agencies, while reducing barriers to permanent employment for those workers. In 2013, there were approximately two million Canadians employed as temporary workers in industries such as construction, processing and manufacturing, cleaning, office duties and home care. In Manitoba, there were approximately 63,300 temporary workers in 2013. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

July 2, 2014 - Investment in online resource to connect young people with jobs - The provincial government has invested in InspireNB, an online career exploration and planning resource designed to connect young people with available jobs. The InspireNB module is a 17-month pilot project in the southeast being led by Venn Innovation Inc. in partnership with Career Cruising. This investment will help bridge the gap between people looking for work and vacant jobs available by employers through meaningful connections between careers seekers, local employers and mentors. (Full Story)

June 24, 2014 - Province signs labour market agreements worth more than $115 million - The provincial and federal governments have signed three labour market agreements to help provide more New Brunswickers with jobs and training opportunities. Today, the governments signed the Canada-New Brunswick Job Fund, which will establish the Canada Job Grant, a new and innovative program designed to help New Brunswickers and Canadians gain the necessary skills to help the province and country meet its unique labour needs and challenges. (Full Story)

June 12, 2014 - Graduate follow-up survey shows high employment rates - An employment survey shows that high numbers of recent graduates from New Brunswick's community colleges are continuing to find work in the province and in their field of study. The survey found that in 2013, 88 per cent of New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) graduates were working in New Brunswick as were 95 per cent of graduates from le Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB). (Full Story)

June 2, 2014 - Provincial government investing in program to hire new interns - The provincial government has invested $297,500 into two Mitacs programs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The funding allows for research and development internships and fellowships. This investment is providing graduate students and fellows increased employment opportunities in New Brunswick's knowledge economy. The Mitacs Accelerate program provides interns with the opportunity to transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while companies gain a competitive advantage by gaining access to high-quality research expertise. (Full Story)

May 27, 2014 - Gaming company to create 26 jobs in Moncton - Karma Gaming International will create up to 26 full-time positions over the next three years at its new development studio in Moncton. Invest NB will provide a payroll rebate of up to $350,000 over four years in support of the 26 positions. The investment by the province will contribute an estimated $1.4 million annually to the province's gross domestic product once all the positions have been filled. (Full Story)

May 15, 2014 - Dealermine creating 135 jobs in Saint John - Dealermine, a company that provides customer relationship management solutions to North American automobile dealerships, has plans to add 135 people to its Saint John workforce over the next three years. The company currently employs more than 120 people in the city. Under the terms of the agreement, Dealermine will receive a payroll rebate of up to $290,000 and a forgivable loan of $150,000 if they create and maintain 135 incremental, full-time jobs by March 2017. (Full Story)

May 12, 2014 - Province helping connect workers with jobs through summit, online resources - The province launched a new job board and career information website today during the provincial jobs summit People, Skills, Jobs: Putting our resources to work. The new job board and career information website will provide people with a single site entry to the world of work in New Brunswick. It will help people successfully navigate the province's complex job market. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

July 9, 2014 - Employment Supports Provided to Employees - Officials from the Department of Advanced Education and Skills have contacted representatives from Terra Nova Shoes and met with the Town of Harbour Grace to offer employment supports and services to 86 employees affected by the relocation of the company's Harbour Grace manufacturing facility to Ontario. A range of services will be offered, tailored to assist all those impacted including career counselling, resume writing, employment and wage subsidy programs, job search assistance and access to localized labour market information and research. (Full Story)

July 7, 2014 - Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador finalize agreements to help Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get jobs - Three agreements have been signed today by the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador to help address the labour market needs of individuals, communities and employers across the province. The Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. Since its launch in 2007, the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers has helped over 700 unemployed older workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Full Story)

July 4, 2014 - Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to Sign Canada Job Grant - The Honourable Kevin O'Brien, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, will join Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, to sign agreements regarding the Canada Job Grant, the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and a Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities. (Full Story)

June 27, 2014 - Provincial Government Providing Employment Supports to Employees of Corner Brook Call Centre - The Provincial Government is providing employment supports to help displaced workers at Sykes Enterprises contact centre in Corner Brook which will close on August 29, 2014. Officials with the Department of Advanced Education and Skills will work with the company and the city to find solutions to help the 94 employees. (Full Story)

June 26, 2014 - Provincial Government Comments on Federal Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program - Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Kevin O'Brien has expressed concerns regarding federal changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program, specifically the provision that links access to the program to the regional unemployment rate. O'Brien says one result of the changes mean employers will now have limited access to the program when hiring workers for 'low-wage' positions in regions with unemployment rates of six per cent or higher. (Full Story)

May 29, 2014 - Improved financial security provides sustainability for both employers and injured workers - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission) continues to report financial improvements. Based on the Commission's funding policy, the current funded position is within the specified operating range, but remains below their target. In December 2013, the Commission announced that the average assessment rate for 2014 has decreased by $0.30 to $2.45. As well, the Maximum Compensable Assessable Earnings (MCAE), or wage-loss benefits, has increased by $6,000 plus an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment to $60,760. (Full Story)

Northwest Territories:

July 16, 2014 - NWT interests heard at the Forum of Labour Market Ministers - Various levels of government from across the country met last week to ensure jurisdictions are focusing on Canadians having the skills they need to compete in a global economy. Ministers discussed several elements that are critical to strong labour markets and collaborative efforts that can be undertaken to support this goal. Recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program were also discussed, which gave the opportunity to reiterate shared concerns expressed at the recent Western Premiers Conference in Iqaluit. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

June 30, 2014 - Government Reaches Agreement to Deliver Canada-Nova Scotia Job Fund - The province has signed a new skills and training agreement with the federal government that protects programs for vulnerable Nova Scotians and involves small businesses in a way they can afford. The agreement will help unemployed Nova Scotians, and workers with a low level of skills, continue to benefit from effective programs and services. (Full Story)

June 24, 2014 - Government Launches New Apprenticeship Agency - An industry-led board and acting CEO have been named to lead the new agency that will work to improve Nova Scotia's apprenticeship system. Beginning July 1, the apprenticeship training division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education will become a separate agency focused on getting more employers involved and helping more apprentices complete their training. The new acting CEO, Marjorie Davison, will be in place for July 1. (Full Story)

June 2014 - Consultation on Draft Minor Revision to Policy 3.1.1R2 Calculation of Gross Earnings - The WCB is consulting with Nova Scotians on a minor revision to Policy 3.1.1R2 Calculation of Gross Earnings. The consultation documents will be available on-line until September 30, 2014, and all Nova Scotians are invited to provide feedback to the WCB on this topic. This revision is necessary to comply with direction provided by the Court and ensure the policy is consistent with the Workers' Compensation Act and General Regulations. (Full Story)

May 23, 2014 - Nova Scotians Get Work Experience, Jobs - More apprentices will get the training they need to help them land good jobs in Nova Scotia. Government is doubling its investment this year in the province's Apprenticeship START program, from $500,000 to $1 million. Employers are eligible for a maximum of $25,000 per apprentice to help cover training and wage costs. START has provided support to more than 600 employers across the province, allowing them to connect over 800 recent graduates, apprentices and unemployed Nova Scotians to good jobs. (Full Story)

May 13, 2014 - More Summer Jobs for Nova Scotia Students - Nova Scotia students will gain valuable work experience this year through hundreds of additional summer jobs supported by government. Two-hundred-and-fifty new positions are being added for a total of 750. Most of the new jobs will be available in rural communities. In total, 1,200 career-related summer jobs and co-op placements will be available to university and community college students this year. Government had announced 100 more co-op placements across the province, for a total of 425 this year. (Full Story)

May 5, 2014 - Nova Scotians Encouraged to Make Workplace Safety a Habit - Workers, employers, government, and safety leaders are doing their part to make workplace safety a habit so that more workers come home healthy and safe at the end of the day. Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Kelly Regan joined close to 200 safety professionals and workers to kick off North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. During the symposium, topics like safety leadership, occupational health and safety law, and making safety a part of the daily work routine were discussed. (Full Story)

May 2014 - Consultation on Draft Revisions to Policy 1.2.5AR Occupational Hearing Loss - Injuries on or after January 1, 2000 - The WCB is consulting with Nova Scotians on compensation for occupational noise induced hearing loss. The adjudication of occupational noise induced hearing loss is a complex issue in Nova Scotia. The changes the WCB is proposing to the existing policy are intended to clarify the WCB's approach to compensating for these injuries, resulting in consistent claims adjudication and a reduction in the burden on the appeal system. (Full Story)

April 2014 - New WCB Program Helps Injured Workers Access Speedier Surgical Care - Research shows the longer someone is away from work due to an injury, the less likely they will ever return to their job. To help injured workers get speedier access to the surgical care they need so they can return to work, the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) is partnering with Annapolis Valley Health (AVH) to maximize unused operating room capacity to provide more timely surgical services to about 500 injured workers a year. (Full Story)

Ontario:

July 17, 2014 - Business Investments Creating Good Jobs - Ontario's partnership with a video game developer Ubisoft has resulted in the creation of more than 330 highly skilled jobs with hundreds more on the way. The partnership leverages a $543-million investment from Ubisoft, which will create a total of 800 jobs by 2020. The Ontario government will build more successful partnerships through its new Jobs and Prosperity Fund. Included in the 2014 Ontario Budget, the new fund will create opportunities for workers in every region by helping businesses grow and create good jobs in Ontario. Since 2013, the Ontario government has strategically partnered with businesses to help create or retain about 10,000 jobs across the province. (Full Story)

July 16, 2014 - Supporting Ontario's Vulnerable Workers - Following Ontario's June 1, 2014 minimum wage increase to $11, the province is introducing legislation today to provide more fairness for both employees and businesses, and ensure its minimum wage keeps pace with the cost of living. The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, supports Ontario's Poverty Strategy, and is designed to further increase protections for vulnerable workers. The government will also boost the number of enforcement officers in the province to ensure more workplaces are inspected and employees are protected. (Full Story)

July 14, 2014 - Building Ontario Up Today For A Brighter, Stronger Tomorrow - The 2014 Ontario Budget will take immediate action to create jobs by investing in a highly skilled workforce, building modern infrastructure and transportation networks, and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. The Budget also takes steps to build the retirement security workers deserve, an initiative that supports long-term economic growth. The Province will create the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan to help working families build a more secure retirement. When combined with CPP payments, it will help provide the comfortable retirement they deserve. (Full Story)

June 26, 2014 - Building a Strong and Secure Retirement System in Ontario - A roundtable on pensions was held today with members of the government's Technical Advisory Group on Retirement Security. The roundtable focused on discussing the best way to move forward with implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) to create a strong and secure retirement system in Ontario. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) would be the first of its kind in Canada and would build on key features of the Canada Pension Plan. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

July 10, 2014 - Social Action Plan Progress Report outlines collaborative efforts to reduce poverty - The 2014 Progress Report on the Prince Edward Island Social Action Plan outlines activities of many government departments working together to strengthen supports to vulnerable Islanders. Outlined thus far are achievements in areas such as learning and education and employment supports and services. Other plans include increasing wages for early childhood educators and increasing minimum wages. (Full Story)

July 02, 2014 - WCB seeking feedback on policy changes - The Workers Compensation Board has approved in principle changes to the policies, Clearance Certificate (POL-15) and Clothing Allowance (POL-44). The PEI WCB is inviting stakeholders to provide feedback on these draft policies by Aug 4, 2014 in the Policy Consultation section of their website. The WCB is committed to working with stakeholders to develop policies that are consistent with the compensation and workplace safety legislation. (Full Story)

June 27, 2014 - Ministers working together to support Canadian Fishing and Aquaculture Industries - Labour shortages in the seafood processing sector were front and centre as the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers gathered in Calgary, says Ron MacKinley, Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development. "Several ministers voiced concerns about the need to attract more workers to the seafood processing industry," said Minister MacKinley. "Recent changes to temporary foreign worker policies stand to have a detrimental impact on processors which will in turn affect the fishery." (Full Story)

June 25, 2014 - New resource helps students navigate post-secondary and career pathways - The Student Graduation and Transition Planner will help high school students graduate with the necessary requirements for post-secondary education, apprenticeship programs, and the labour market, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Alan McIsaac. The Student Graduation and Transition Planner will equip parents/guardians to support their children in making informed choices about career options. This project is funded in part by Skills PEI under the Research and Innovation Measure of the Canada-PEI Labour Market Development Agreement. (Full Story)

June 9, 2014 - Aqua Connect PEI brings employers and job seekers together - The PEI Aquaculture Alliance held Aqua Connect PEI last month in Montague, PEI. The Alliance looks to support the aquaculture industry and provided a connector afternoon, which put job seekers, aquaculture growers and processors, managers, career connectors, and students all in the same room. Aqua Connect PEI is a pilot event that provides the opportunity for job seekers to learn more about the kinds of aquaculture positions that employers may be seeking, either now or in the future. (Full Story)

Saskatchewan:

July 11, 2014 - All Time Record Employment In Saskatchewan - For the second consecutive month, job numbers in Saskatchewan hit an all-time high. In June of 2014, there were 576,900 people working in the province; the highest ever. There were 8,700 more people working in June 2014 when compared with last June, according to Statistics Canada. Saskatchewan's unemployment rate was 3.9 per cent in June (seasonally adjusted), the lowest in Canada. This was the 18th consecutive month that the province has recorded the lowest unemployment rate in the country. On a national basis, unemployment was 7.1 per cent in June. (Full Story)

June 27, 2014 - Government Launches New Occupational Health and Safety Enforcement Tool - The Government of Saskatchewan has added Summary Offence Tickets (SOTs) as a new enforcement tool that will have an impact on people who violate Occupational Health and Safety Legislation. Employers and employees have had six months to become familiar with the offences and penalties associated with Sots, and now this enforcement tool will be fully implemented as of July 1, 2014. (Full Story)

June 26, 2014 - Saskatchewan Wages Hit All-Time High - Saskatchewan's strong economy continues to drive wage growth. According to Statistics Canada, average weekly earnings including overtime, were $975.87 in April 2014, the highest on record (seasonally adjusted) and the third highest among the provinces. On a year-over-year basis, wages were up 4.3 per cent ($40.66), the fourth highest percentage increase (tied with Alberta) among the provinces. On a national basis, wages were up 3.3 per cent over the same period. (Full Story)

June 6, 2014 - Record Employment in May - May was an exceptional month for Saskatchewan's job market according to new figures released by Statistics Canada today. There were 573,300 people employed in May 2014, the highest ever recorded for any month. That means 12,400 more people were working in the province compared to last May. Saskatchewan's employment growth of 2.2 per cent was the second highest among provinces; only three other provinces had job growth. (Full Story)

June 3, 2014 - Saskatchewan Youth Looking for Work Must Complete Course - Saskatchewan youth aged 14 and 15 are being reminded that they must successfully complete The Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC) and obtain a certificate in order to work over the summer and during the school year. All young workers (14 and 15 years old) must provide their employer with proof of age, written consent from a parent or guardian and a copy of their certificate. Employers are also required to keep a copy of any young worker's certificate on file. (Full Story)

May 9, 2014 - Unemployment Rate in Saskatchewan Drops to Lowest Level Ever - Saskatchewan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.4 per cent in April 2014 - the lowest ever recorded since Statistics Canada started collecting labour market data in 1976. April also marked the 16th consecutive month that the province has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Saskatchewan's 3.4 per cent unemployment rate is less than half the national rate of 6.9 per cent. Overall employment is up 8,500 or 1.5 per cent year-over-year, the second-best growth rate in Canada. Alberta was up 3.3 per cent, while five provinces lost jobs year-over-year. (Full Story)

April 29, 2014 - The Saskatchewan Employment Act Proclaimed Today - Saskatchewan's consolidated labour legislation and the associated regulations are now in effect. The province is committed to supporting a competitive and productive employment environment and has implemented labour legislation and associated regulations based on collaborative consultation with stakeholders. One highlight of the regulations include the indexation of the Minimum Wage to provide security for minimum wage earners and ensure predictability for business owners in the province. (Full Story)


GrandMaster Update

The current release of GrandMaster Suite (6.76) incorporates a number of changes and important adjustments to make it even easier to use the program and perform your payroll tasks.


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It's about ability
Disabled workers are a great, under-used resource

Looking for a job is a full-time job.

If a job-hunter has a disability or a health condition, finding work is even tougher. Statistics show disabled Canadians have a more difficult time finding work and staying employed. Their challenges are often significant and that may explain why disabled employees are underrepresented in the workforce.

Sometimes, candidates may experience discrimination. Or there may be a lack of knowledge about how the disabled worker be accommodated. Managers are not in tune with the workplace and technology adaptations available today.

However, as the working population ages, accommodating disabled workers is going to become increasingly important. McMaster University disability researcher Emile Tompa says disability issues will soon become a challenge that touches all people, including families and the workplace.

The Reaching E-Quality Employment Agency (REES) in Winnipeg says one in every six people in Manitoba has a disability.

So what are the myths about disabled workers?

One of the key myths is disabled workers create concerns about safety. For instance, how will a deaf person hear a fire alarm? How will a visually impaired person see what's going on?

Accommodating these disabilities in today's workforce is quite easy. For instance, handheld phone devices turned on vibration mode can provide the warning needed to signal a fire alarm or call a worker to a staff meeting. On the other hand, new software solutions are available to assist many of those with visual impairments.

A second myth is a disabled employee is less productive. This is pure nonsense.

In fact, my first employee was visually impaired. The only accommodation required was a special piece of software to enhance the ability to use a computer. She worked for me for 10 years and has become a senior human-resources leader in a large workplace. She has also completed a university degree, something she had abandoned during her younger years.

Myths such as these have prevented persons with disabilities from reaching their potential and being equal partners in the labour market. As a result, a number of federal and provincial government policies have been enacted to correct the situation. The federal government's Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities is one such initiative. It helps people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment. The provincial government has the Employment Assistance Service Program and the Hiring Incentive Project, which help disabled workers.

The dedication of organizations such as REES needs to be acknowledged. This organization has a 25-year history of promoting, facilitating and maintaining the employment of people with disabilities or health conditions by providing diverse and customized employment, training and consultation services.

For instance, the agency has interacted with more than 7,000 consumers and employers and provided direct service to 450 individuals, with 200 of them gaining employment and at least 13 becoming self-employed. The agency works closely with employers through training and advisory services to help them remove obstacles and accommodate disabled employees.

It's important to diversify the workforce. There are a number of Manitoba businesses, big and small, who are doing just that. They are successful in engaging this talented yet underrepresented group of workers.

Take Donna McLeod, for instance. Although she was born with a hearing disability, Donna learned to speak and read lips. Throughout her career, technology such as email, instant messaging, chat programs and text messaging has made communication easier. Even the telephone is no longer a barrier because of programs such as Caption Call. After being laid off from the former Canadian Wheat Board, Donna took advantage of the services of REES and got a new job in another large organization.

Each year, REES holds an annual fundraising gala. The upcoming 2014 event celebrates 25 years of service and features keynote speaker Bill Klein from TLC's highly popular show, The Little Couple. Prior to becoming a high-profile TV star, Klein earned a biology degree, honed his sales skills and was a pharmaceutical executive. Today, Klein is an accomplished entrepreneur, public speaker and philanthropist.

As part of the gala event, REES will hand out a number of awards. These include recognizing small, medium and large employers that have successfully hired and retained staff who have disabilities.

One award will be given to an individual who has made a significant contribution in supporting the vision and values of REES. Lastly, the Debbie Bean award will go to an individual who has played a significant role in promoting disability employment.

Thankfully, the term disability has changed significantly and employers are looking past the concept of impairment and focusing on ability. Any employer who wishes to capitalize on this workforce or join in the upcoming celebration on June 5 can contact the REES office.

This article courtesy of Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, CMC, CCP, M.Ed., President of Legacy Bowes Group and Career partners International, Manitoba. She can be contacted at barb@legacybowes.com.