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Payroll News Canada

December 2016 - 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 Canadian Payroll and Employment News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.


Tip of the Month Federal News Provincial News
Featured Article Software Updates Newsletter Archive


Tip of the Month

December 2016 - Businesses take notice: Your tax information just got clearer! - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is redesigning the correspondence it sends to Canadians, including notices of assessment (NOA) and notices of reassessment (NOR). The CRA has made changes to how the notices are structured, designed, formatted, and written, making the information easier to read and understand. NOA and NOR assessments now displays the most important information clearly with the account summary on the first page. The text is easier to understand and includes only the most important information. Additional electronic CRA services are highlighted, including Direct Deposit, My Business Account, and help for persons with visual impairments. Click Here to learn more about the revised format.

Looking for past tips? Please visit our Tip of the Month archive for historical tips other useful information that will assist with your payroll and HR tasks.

Canadian Federal Payroll and HR News

November 28, 2016 - Canadians on minimum wage seeing more growth than average earners - If you’re stuck in the middle of the Canadian economy with your wages you're not only losing ground to top earners, a new report says even people in the bottom 20 per cent are catching up to you. CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal, in a report on the quality of employment in Canada, looked at wage growth across the country from 1997 to 2015 and found people in the middle 30 to 60 per cent of earners have had the smallest salary increases over that period. The report shows that people in the bottom 10 and 20 per cent of wage earners had anywhere from 3.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent in annual wage growth from 1997 to 2015 while those smack dab in the middle of the Canadian economy saw about 3.2 per cent annual wage growth during the period. (Full Story)

November 18, 2016 - ESDC Minister consulted with stakeholders on maternity, parental and caregiving benefits - The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has met with various stakeholders, including worker and employer groups, family advocates and academics to seek their views on providing more flexible Employment Insurance (EI) maternity and parental benefits and more inclusive caregiving benefits. This is part of the Government’s robust plan to improve the EI program and help Canada’s middle class and those working hard to join it. These consultations, as well as the EI measures that came into effect this past summer, are part of the Government’s plan and its earlier mandate commitments to improve the EI program so that it is better aligned with today’s labour market realities and is responsive to the needs of Canadian workers and employers. (Full Story)

November 16, 2016 - Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs - The January 1, 2017, version of Guide T4127, Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs is now available on the CRA website. This guide 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 15, 2016 - New resources to help skilled Veterans build meaningful new careers - Veterans will get the information and training they need to build meaningful new careers. Canada Company is receiving $1.1 million from the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program for its National Military Recruitment program. This funding will be used to create a searchable online database and forecasting tool to help former military personnel transition to existing high-demand, private-sector jobs and compatible educational upgrading/skills certification programs. Through a number of partnerships and the development of supporting tools and resources, highly skilled Veterans will connect with jobs that will benefit from their skills, competencies and knowledge. (Full Story)

November 3, 2016 - How to be an apprentice - Canada is desperate for more people who know how to work with their hands, but businesses are at a loss on how to recruit them, according to Sarah Watts-Rynard, executive director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.Apprenticeship standards vary among provinces and trades, but programs usually require between two and five years of paid, on-the-job training, as well as six to eight weeks of class time per year. The fees at community colleges with trades programs are a fraction of university tuition, below $1,000 per year. That money is refunded through federal grants totalling $4,000, available after becoming certified. (Full Story)

November 1, 2016 - Canada Revenue Agency announces maximum pensionable earnings for 2017 - The Canada Revenue Agency announced today that the maximum pensionable earnings under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for 2017 will be $55,300, up from $54,900 in 2016. The new ceiling was calculated using a CPP legislated formula that takes into account the growth in average weekly wages and salaries in Canada. Contributors who earn more than $55,300 in 2017 are not required or permitted to make additional contributions to the CPP. The basic exemption amount for 2017 remains $3,500. The maximum employer and employee contribution to the CPP for 2017 will be $2,564.10 each. The maximum self-employed contribution will be $5,128.20. (Full Story)

November 1, 2016 - Skilled immigrants struggle to find jobs as government plans to welcome more - As the federal government prepares to open the door to more immigrants to drive economic growth, some who are already here say they're struggling to find jobs, despite being highly-educated and qualified. On Monday, the Liberal government announced that it is boosting the base number of immigrants allowed into Canada next year from 260,000 to 300,000. More than half of the increase will come from immigrants in the "economic" class, which includes skilled workers, businesspeople and caregivers. Immigration Minister John McCallum said the new target "lays the foundation for future growth." But skilled immigrants already settled here are worried about the present. (Full Story)

October 31, 2016 - Government of Canada announces new Canada Pension Plan Disability service standards - New Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) service standards have been announced as part of the government's commitment to improve client service delivery and provide timely service. Two new service standards for applicants with terminal illness or grave medical conditions were created and revisions were made to two existing service standards. These new service standards recognize the urgency in processing applications and providing decisions faster to those who need it most. The standards were developed as part of a comprehensive review which included consultation with clients, employees, as well as other CPPD stakeholders. (Full Story)

October 28, 2016 - Chief Actuary Confirms Canada Pension Plan Is Solid, and Sustainable Over the Long Term - Middle class Canadians are working harder than ever, but many are worried that they won’t have enough put away for their retirement. One in four families approaching retirement - 1.1 million families - are at risk of not saving enough. On October 28th, The Minister of Finance tabled the Chief Actuary’s 28th Actuarial Report on the CPP in Parliament. The report confirms that the contribution and benefit levels proposed under the CPP enhancement agreed upon by Canada’s governments on June 20, 2016 will be sustainable over the long term, ensuring that Canadian workers can count on an even stronger, secure CPP for years to come. (Full Story)

October 18, 2016 - Creating green job opportunities for youth - As part of its commitment to strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it, the Government has committed to create new green job opportunities for young Canadians to give them a strong start in their careers. New funding for the Canada Green Corps will give 150 more college and university graduates valuable work experience in the green sector, including new and emerging areas like renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Canada Green Corps project, led by the United Nations Association in Canada, will help unemployed and underemployed young graduates build meaningful careers in the green sector. In addition, the project will assist employers in finding, developing and retaining innovative, creative youth in their organizations. (Full Story)

Provincial Payroll and HR News (Choose a province to expand the articles)


November 17, 2016 - Why Alberta still has the highest employment rate in the country, despite all the job losses - Alberta has seen tens of thousands of layoffs in the past couple of years but its employment rate - a measure of working-age people who have jobs - remains the highest in the country. That seemingly contradictory situation is due to Alberta's relatively young population and the fact that older people in this province tend to keep working longer than other Canadians. It also means Alberta's economy is relatively resilient, said University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe. At 66.7 per cent, Alberta's rate is the highest among all provinces as of October, and well above the national rate of 61.2 per cent. (Full Story)

November 09, 2016 - WCB Review Panel provides engagement update - The progress report outlines what the independent review panel has heard so far about the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) from Albertans. During June and July of this year, the panel invited people to share their perspectives on the workers’ compensation system. They received more than 1,900 completed questionnaires and written submissions, along with 67 workbook responses. The panel gathered feedback on: the WCB claims process, WCB benefits review and appeal of WCB decisions, WCB governance, prevention of workplace injury and illness, and funding and financial sustainability. (Full Story)

November 07, 2016 - Jobs Plan drives diversification and growth - The Alberta Jobs Plan is working to create jobs and diversify the economy in the face of economic challenges. In August, three months after the introduction of the plan in Budget 2016, the provincial economy began adding jobs, a trend that has continued. Economic forecasts indicate long-term stability. Starting in May 2016, the Alberta labour saw three consecutive months of rising unemployment and job losses. Between May 1 and July 31, 27,400 jobs were lost. Starting this August, the province-wide job loss trend reversed. Between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, the provincial economy added 25,000 jobs. (Full Story)

October 25, 2016 - 2017 - Rate Statements - The Alberta WCB reminds stakeholders that annual premium rate statements are no longer mailed. Statements will be available electronically in mid-December. They ask that interested parties sign-up for Loss Control Reporting via the https://my.wcb.ab.ca website by November 30. This will allow access to 2017 online rate statements when they become available. (Full Story)

October 20, 2016 - Province helps unemployed apprentices prepare for success - The Government of Alberta is supporting unemployed apprentices to continue their technical training through a new Apprentice Training Award. A total of $1.5 million will be made available to assist as many as 1,500 eligible apprentices during the 2016-17 academic year. To receive the award, eligible apprentices must not be working in their trade and must have successfully completed their first period of technical training. They must also be registered for technical training at a post-secondary institution or other training partner. The award will be distributed to eligible apprentices starting in January 2017. (Full Story)

October 20, 2016 - STEP helps students become "Future Ready" - Approximately 2,700 students gained valuable work experience at more than 1,200 employers through the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP). The program is part of the Government of Alberta’s “Future Ready” effort to co-ordinate education and training from kindergarten to work so all Albertans have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a changing economy. The Summer Temporary Employment Program subsidizes employers who hire summer students by providing a $7-per-hour wage subsidy. Alberta employers were approved for approximately 2,700 student positions this summer. (Full Story)

November 26, 2016 - Funding for new jobs on Gabriola supports arts and culture - Two new Job Creation Partnerships with the Gabriola Arts Council will provide skills training and paid work experience to Gabriola Island residents, resulting in a year’s worth of arts and culture programming and a renovated community cultural centre. The first partnership will provide up to 43 weeks of work experience and skills training for people in renovation and construction, with the 2nd partnership focusing on structure building. Funding is provided through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour-market information. (Full Story)

November 23, 2016 - Government funding supports skills training in public works sector - A government-funded skills training program is giving people real-world work experience and training in the public works sector to help them find full-time employment and join in on British Columbia’s growing economy. Government is funding the program to help EI-eligible participants learn about various trades and areas of public works through classroom and field instruction. The project gives unemployed Mackenzie residents new skills they can add to their resumes, and also gives local governments and contractors a crop of trained and motivated employees they can hire to step into positions with the tools they need to succeed. (Full Story)

November 23, 2016 - Province expands investments in school district apprenticeship programs - Four school districts in the region will receive a combined $90,000 in funding for the Youth Work in Trades program to boost trades training for young people. The funds support school districts in placing students with local employers to attain practical experience. Students will earn a paycheque while gaining credit toward their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training. The funding helps districts cover staffing costs to support and guide youth in securing jobs and employer sponsorship required to enter the trades apprenticeship system. (Full Story)

November 22, 2016 - Over 54,000 Bc Residents Received Employment Insurance Benefits In September - 54,410 people in BC received Employment Insurance benefits according to Stats Canada. That’s an increase of 470 residents from August. The province was one of several to see a jump in September according to Analyst, Gordon Song."Other provinces include Saskatchewan which had an increase of 10% followed by Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Manitoba." 35,520 of the provinces beneficiaries are in the 25-54 age group. Song adds the number of provincial EI claims took a sharp nose dive in September due to some rule changes in July. (Full Story)

October 28, 2016 - Single Parent Employment Initiative - The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) removes barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance, providing them with the training and supports they need to secure long-term employment. Among the benefits for successful applicants, single parents on income or disability assistance may be eligible for up to 12 months of training for an in-demand job, or a paid work experience placement. They will also be eligible for a full suite of WorkBC Employment Services Centre services, such as workshops on resume writing and interview preparation. (Full Story)

October 27, 2016 - Expanded job protection for Canadian military reservists - The Government of British Columbia has expanded job-protected leave for Canadian military reserve forces in B.C. to cover leave for military training. A reservist must provide at least four weeks of notice to his/her employer. This matches the general notice requirement that already applies to reservists going on leave for active duty. The up to 20 days for training leave is per calendar year, and does not have to be consecutive. The change to expand leave for military training activities for reservists is effective immediately. (Full Story)

October 27, 2016 - WorkBC.ca is an invaluable tool for small businesses and job seekers - WorkBC.ca is one of the largest job boards in British Columbia, helping people find work within small businesses and large companies, and in every industry that B.C. has to offer. WorkBC.ca goes way beyond hosting employment postings - they help job seekers map their careers with Blueprint Builder, discover their interests with Career Compass quizzes, and inspire job seekers with Career Trek videos. Employers can use WorkBC.ca’s free job board and call centre to find talent to grow their businesses. (Full Story)

October 24, 2016 - WorkSafeBC announces 2017 rates - WorkSafeBC announces that the average base rate for 2017 is dropping from 1.70% to 1.65% of employers' assessable payroll. Lower claims costs, and strong investment returns, have enabled us to lower the average rate for 2017. Together with worker and employer stakeholders, we're working to reduce serious injuries and enhance return-to-work opportunities. In doing this, we can collectively help to prevent injuries, improve return-to-work outcomes, and ultimately lower insurance rates. (Full Story)

October 19, 2016 - B.C. releases Industry Outlook Profiles with growth and jobs forecast - The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour has published Industry Outlook Profiles with detailed employment growth and job openings forecast information. The profiles are based on the British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook that was released on July 22, 2016. Thousands of new job openings are expected in every region of British Columbia by 2025. Employment has continued on an upward trend and is now at record highs of over 2.3 million. (Full Story)

November 23, 2016 - Proposed Legislation Introduced That Would Create Retirement Savings Options For Manitobans - The Manitoba government has introduced proposed legislation that would enable the creation of pooled registered pension plans (PRPPs) to offer options to encourage people to save for retirement. Once the proposed legislation is in place and plans are available, individual employees would be automatically enrolled in a PRPP by the employer if an employer chooses to participate in a PRPP.  Processes are also being developed to allow self-employed individuals, or employees whose employer does not offer a pension plan, to open a PRPP account directly. (Full Story)

November 15, 2016 - Province Announces Public Consultation Begins On Legislative Review Of Workers Compensation Act - The legislative review committee responsible for conducting a comprehensive review of the Workers Compensation Act launched its public consultation today, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen said today. "Workers Compensation Board provides an essential service to Manitoba by protecting the workers and employers of this province," said Cullen.  "The legislative review of the act will help the Workers Compensation Board continue to evolve and keep pace with changes in Manitoba’s workforce." Legislation requires a comprehensive review of the Workers Compensation Act be undertaken every 10 years. (Full Story)

November 4, 2016 - Manitoba Government Launches Public Consultations On Canada Pension Plan - As part of the national conversation on enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Manitoba’s new government is launching public consultations to hear ideas and suggestions from Manitobans, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen announced today. In June 2016, federal and provincial finance ministers signed an agreement in principle to enhance the CPP with modest, phased-in and fully funded increases in contributions. Provinces and territories must also agree to any further changes to the CPP. (Full Story)

November 1, 2016 - Province Celebrates Apprenticeship, Career And Workforce Development - Manitoba’s new government will recognize the importance of initiatives to develop an educated, well-trained workforce during Career and Workforce Development Month and Apprenticeship Recognition Week. A variety of events are being held across the province to mark Career and Workforce Development Month, including Take Our Kids to Work Day events, the Opening Doors Parents Career Information Expos, the Let’s Get to Work Symposium, Employer Cafes, networking events at Manitoba Start and other industry events that will connect youth, parents, educators and others to innovative and expanding industries. (Full Story)

November 2016 - Online Services Security Upgrade - Effective Saturday, December 3, 2016, the WCB will be upgrading its online security infrastructure to provide enhanced flexibility and security for current and upcoming Online Services. These upgrades include a new administration system, a centralized authentication facility, new self-serve capabilities such as “Forgot User ID?” and “Forgot Password?”, as well as a centralized Online Services application menu. If you are an existing Online Services user, your data will be migrated from the current system to the new system. The WCB’s goal is to perform the upgrade with minimal impact to Online Services users. (Full Story)

November 28, 2016 - Enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan forthcoming - The provincial government says New Brunswickers can expect many benefits from an enhancement to the Canada Pension Plan.The provincial government reached an agreement in principle with the federal government and other provincial governments in June to recommend a modest and balanced incremental enhancement to the plan. Contribution increases will be phased in from 2019 to 2025 so the impact on individuals, business and the economy is gradual and small. (Full Story)

November 16, 2016 - Amendments to WorkSafeNB legislation and policies - The provincial government has introduced changes to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act, the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Firefighters Compensation Act. The amendments are intended to generate a more effective appeals tribunal, create an improved and more efficient board of directors, and change how the rate of return on pension funds is calculated. (Full Story)

October 21, 2016 - Support to four businesses helps create 20 jobs in northwest region - Federal and provincial government support of more than $2.4 million to four companies will help create 20 jobs in northwestern New Brunswick. The federal government is pleased to support four projects that will help local small and medium-sized businesses increase productivity all while creating more jobs for the people in the region. The federal government is providing repayable contributions of more than $1.6 million to the four projects through ACOA’s Business Development Program. (Full Story)

November 28, 2016 - Lower Injury Rate Leads to Decreased Rates for Employers, Benefits for Injured Workers Highest in Atlantic Canada - The average assessment rate charged to employers by WorkplaceNL will be reduced by six per cent from $2.20 to $2.06 per $100 of assessable payroll. The lower assessment rate coincides with record low injury rates. Also, the Maximum Compensable and Assessable Earnings (MCAE) for injured workers will increase from $62,540 to $63,420, the highest in Atlantic Canada. Both are effective January 1, 2017. Approximately 86.7 per cent of employers will see their 2017 assessment rate decrease or stay the same. (Full Story)

November 24, 2016 - Provincial Government Announces Increases to Minimum Wage - Increases to the minimum wage have been announced. Effective April1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase by 25 cents to $10.75 followed by an additional increase of 25 cents to $11.00 on October 1, 2017. These increases will bring the Newfoundland and Labrador minimum wage rate in line with other Atlantic provinces. Following public consultations the Provincial Government is committed to establishing a method for determining future changes to minimum wage based on an inflationary measure. Effective April1, 2017, minimum wage will increase to $10.75 and on October 1, 2017, it will increase to $11.00. (Full Story)

November 4, 2016 - Minister Announces Funding for Job Creation Initiatives - More than $4.7 million in combined funding for job creation programs has been announced under the Job Creation Partnerships (JCP) and Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW). The TIOW is a cost-shared initiative between the provincial and federal governments which supports unemployed workers aged 55-64 who live in communities affected by significant downsizing or closures, or who are experiencing high unemployment rates. The total amount of funding for the TIOW projects in 2016-17 is $1,878,212. (Full Story)

October 31, 2016 - Provincial Government Recognizes Atlantic Canada Career Week - The Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, joined Atlantic Ministers of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island to officially launch Atlantic Canada Career Week, that took place from October 31 to November 4. The theme of the Atlantic Canada Career Week, Create Your Own Future, is intended to promote and support career development using a whole school approach as an integral component of student learning, including age-appropriate career activities to support students in their specific grade level. The career week also provides post-secondary education students with specific activities to assist them in their career development pathways. (Full Story)

November 17, 2016 - Skills 4 Success Action Plan Supports First-in-Line Employment for NWT Residents - Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Alfred Moses tabled the Skills 4 Success 4-Year Action Plan 2016-2020 on November 4, targeting actions to improve employment success for the people of the Northwest Territories. Action Plan 2016-2020 contains four foundational goals related to skills development, streamlined supports, NWT workforce partnerships, and labour market information. The initiative is focused on achieving system wide improvements to the NWT’s adult and postsecondary education and skills training system for better employment outcomes for NWT residents. The initiative supports the 18th Legislative Assembly’s commitment to foster lifelong learning, skills development, training and employability. (Full Story)

October 17 - Regional Recruitment Program - The GNWT has made a commitment in its Mandate to continue to implement the Regional Recruitment Program to assist with increasing regional employment opportunities by linking residents with on-the-job training.  In 2014, the GNWT introduced the Regional Recruitment Program to help increase regional recruitment and retention by providing a link between vacant regional positions and Northern residents seeking employment. The Regional Recruitment Program supports participants by providing them with developmental plans and on-the-job training. This enables participants to gain valuable experience before taking on an indeterminate position. (Full Story)

October 2016 - Careers Nova Scotia Profile: Human Resources Is "The Soul Of An Organization" - Careers Nova Scotia has posted  a new HR Professional Occupation Profile for those thinking of becoming an HR Professional - NOC 1121. Visit the following link to read Layla Khalil's experiences, 'Soul of an Organization'. (Full Story)

October 31, 2016 - Workplace Mental Health and PTSD Conference Kicks Off in Halifax - WCB Nova Scotia was pleased to be a part of Nova Scotia's first Workplace Mental Health and PTSD Conference. Government, emergency responders, health-care professionals, and community advocates met in Halifax to discuss workplace mental health and specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nova Scotia's first Workplace Mental Health and PTSD Conference is hosted by the province, the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and the Tema Conter Memorial Trust. "For some workers, including first responders, trauma is a workplace hazard," said Stuart MacLean, CEO of the Workers' Compensation Board Nova Scotia. (Full Story)

October 21, 2016 - Workplace Safety in Health-care Facilities - The province is taking further steps to ensure health-care facilities are safe workplaces. Premier Stephen McNeil announced that a working group will be formed to look at safety protocols in our hospitals and health clinics. The working group will include representatives of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Workers' Compensation Board, the RCMP, and other organizations. In addition to this working group, the province is also working with the Workers' Compensation Board, AWARE-NS, employers and unions to develop a five-year workplace safety action plan for the health-care and community services sectors. (Full Story)

November 9, 2016 - 2016 September Inuit Employment Statistics - The Towards a Representative Public Service (TRPS) report publicizes the Government of Nunavut’s Inuit employment progress. This report is a publication of pure employment statistics so does not report on underlying issues or barriers to employment. This snapshot of employment statistics is published regularly on the Department of Finance website, with a consolidated report tabled annually in the Legislative Assembly. This statistical data is used to assist in Government of Nunavut employment planning. This report is prepared by the Department of Finance with participation from all departments and government agencies. (Full Story)

October 2016 - Become a summer student - The GN proudly hosts the Summer Student Employment Equity Program each year in an effort to encourage continuous learning and to foster youth development. The SSEEP is an opportunity for you, as a Nunavummiut student, to gain meaningful work experience and get on-the-job training with the Nunavut Public Service. Applications are open to: students currently enrolled in a post-secondary program and/or students in grade 10 or above. (Full Story)

November 28, 2016 - Ontario Supporting Good Jobs in Eastern Ontario - Ontario is helping to create and maintain over 100 good jobs and boost economic growth in Eganville by supporting the expansion of a local sawmill. This support will help maintain 90 existing jobs and create 18 new positions. Ontario is investing $4 million over five years in Lavern Heideman & Sons' $16.9 million project as part of the province’s $2.7 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund. The Forestry Growth Fund will provide up to $10 million annually until 2023-24 to forest sector companies. Ontario’s forestry sector generates $11 billion of economic activity annually and provides well-paying jobs for 170,000 people in 260 communities across Ontario. (Full Story)

November 24, 2016 - Ontario Working to Close Gender Wage Gap - Ontario is continuing its work to close the gender wage gap and support higher participation for women in the workforce by establishing a working group to help guide the province's action plan to close the gap. This panel is part of Ontario's ongoing work to close the gender wage gap and improve the lives of women and families, which also includes creating 100,000 new licensed child care spaces, ensuring women make up at least 40 per cent of all appointments to provincial boards and agencies by 2019. (Full Story)

November 24, 2016 - Ontario Supporting Jobs and Economic Growth in Sudbury - Through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), Ontario is making strategic investments to help create or retain thousands of jobs across the North and expand economic opportunity in the region. Through its five funding programs, the NOHFC is supporting businesses across the North in a wide array of sectors -- from mining to craft brewing, tourism to film and TV production, health care to food processing. (Full Story)

November 21, 2016 - Preparing Students for Jobs in the Aerospace Industry - Ontario is giving more students opportunities to train for high-tech manufacturing, robotics and aerospace jobs by investing in a new campus for aerospace programs. More than 900 students graduate each year from aerospace and aviation-related programs in Ontario's universities and colleges. More than half of the world’s top 25 aerospace firms do business in Ontario. The Ontario aerospace sector directly employs over 21,000 workers and supports another 17,000. (Full Story)

November 16, 2016 - Helping Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Grow and Compete Globally - Ontario is introducing two new programs to support job creation and economic growth by helping small- and medium-sized businesses across the province compete globally and keep pace with rapid technological change. Helping businesses compete globally is part of the government's plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives. High-growth companies - with 20 to 100 per cent growth each year – create half of all net new jobs in Ontario. (Full Story)

November 4, 2016 - Ontario Adds 25,400 Jobs in October - Employment in Ontario increased by 25,400 in October - including gains in construction and wholesale and retail trade. Ontario's unemployment rate decreased to 6.4 per cent in October, and has been lower than the national average for 18 months in a row. The October job numbers bring the total increase in employment since the recessionary low in June 2009 to 641,100. The majority of these new jobs are full time positions, in the private sector and in industries that pay above-average wages. (Full Story)

November 23, 2016 - More Islanders on EI in 2016 - As the end of 2016 approaches, it appears more Prince Edward Islanders are having to rely on employment insurance this year than last. The number of P.E.I. EI recipients, seasonally adjusted, was up in September to 7,690, the second month in a row of increases. The number of recipients saw a dramatic spike in June, when it rose to 8,350. Apart from that spike, the number of EI recipients has been relatively stable in 2016, after rising steadily through the last half of 2015. The numbers are up for both men and women, and across all major age categories. (Full Story)

November 21, 2016 - SkillsPEI connects new, former residents to Island workforce - Cheryl Burns and Jean-Claude Barabe both credit SkillsPEI programs offered through Tremploy for helping them transition into the Prince Edward Island workforce. Burns participated in the 12-week Career Bridges program that gave her insight into various careers available on the Island and allowed her to gain confidence, and set career goals. Career Bridges is an employment program designed to assist individuals in career exploration, planning, and decision making. Passport to Employment was developed to help unemployed mature workers enhance job search and employment skills that assist them to re-enter the workforce. (Full Story)

October 28, 2016 - WCB announces another year of reduced rates for Island employers - For the seventh consecutive year, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has reduced the average assessment rate for Island employers.  The average assessment rate for 2017 will be $1.70 per $100 of payroll which is a seven cent decrease from the 2016 rate. The provincial workers compensation system is funded by employer assessments.  Every year, the WCB determines the revenue required from Island employers to cover the costs of past, present and future workplace injuries. (Full Story)

October 26, 2016 - Injured Worker Survey - The Workers Compensation Board’s bi-annual Injured Workers Survey will be occurring during the month of November. The telephone survey is being conducted by an independent research firm, Corporate Research Associates (CRA), who will ask our clients about their satisfaction with our programs and services. Participation is entirely voluntary and confidential. The survey is one way the WCB gathers feedback from stakeholders, so that that can continue to improve how they serve Island workers and employers. (Full Story)

November 28, 2016 - Amendments to Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Regulations - The Government of Saskatchewan has announced amendments to the province’s Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Regulations, 2003, as part of its commitment to ensuring a quality apprenticeship system in the province, and to reducing inter-provincial barriers to labour mobility. The amendments, which came into effect on November 24, 2016, support the Pan-Canadian Apprenticeship Mobility Protocol announced by Canada’s Premiers in 2015.  This initiative is focused on improving the mobility of apprentices across the country through transparent, accessible and coherent processes. (Full Story)

November 16, 2016 - Regina unemployed need extended EI benefits - Regarding the province’s dismal job numbers, Murray Mandryk wrote in his Nov. 8 column, "As Regina NDP MP Erin Weir gleefully pointed out, it marked the first time - to anyone’s knowledge - Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate (6.9 per cent) was higher than Quebec’s (6.8 per cent)." There is nothing gleeful about hearing from unemployed constituents who are running out of Employment Insurance (EI) because the federal government decided to exclude Regina from the benefit extension provided everywhere else in Saskatchewan and across Alberta. (Full Story)

November 16, 2016 - NDP bring up length of time for workers' compensation appeals in Saskatchewan - The Saskatchewan NDP says workers who make a Workers Compensation Board claim are waiting far too long to be heard. Opposition critic David Forbes told the legislature Tuesday that workers are struggling and some are even losing their home due to the long wait. Forbes says turnaround times for initial payments to Saskatchewan workers are among the longest in the country. Labour Minister Don Morgan says the time it took to get an appeal could be up to year. But he says that process has been streamlined and now it's been reduced to a few weeks, or two to three months at the most. He also said efforts are underway to improve the WCB, including how it is run. (Full Story)

November 10, 2016 - WCB Committee of Review Report Now Available - The final report from the Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review is now available on the Government of Saskatchewan website. The Committee made eleven recommendations based on consultations that were held in fall of 2015. Three of the recommendations will require changes to legislation.  Those will require further consultations, which will take place early in 2017. The remaining recommendations are related to Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) policy.  Those include increasing training for Board staff to improve service delivery, improving services for families of victims of workplace fatalities and the development of service standards to measure performance. (Full Story)

November 4, 2016 - Job loss of 10,800 in October in Saskatchewan worst in over a decade - Saskatchewan saw its employed workforce plummet by 10,800 jobs to 569,200 in October — the biggest year-over-year decline in employment in over a decade - while the unemployment rate increased to 6.9 per cent, the highest outside of Alberta and Atlantic Canada, according to the labour force survey released Friday by Statistics Canada. The number of unemployed increased by 6,800 to 36,700 in October, compared with the same period last year. “More significantly, the number of people ‘out of the labour force,’ which includes those who have given up looking, increased by 11,500,” Elliott said. (Full Story)

October 25, 2016 - Amendment Supports Workers Experiencing Psychological Injuries - A change to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 was introduced today which will expand workers’ compensation coverage to workers experiencing psychological injuries. The amendment establishes a rebuttal presumption for all forms of psychological injuries, which means that it is presumed that a worker has a work-related injury and would not have to prove it occurred in the workplace. To qualify for coverage a worker will need to provide a diagnosis from a psychologist or psychiatrist.  Until today, workers were required to provide additional proof that their psychological injury was work-related when filing their Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) claim to be eligible for compensation. (Full Story)

WCB Optional Coverage For Casual Employees - The Workers' Compensation Act may be extended to provide the protection and benefits of the workers' compensation system for certain persons who are not automatically workers under the Act (casual employees, those working outside the employer’s normal industry, persons acting in a religious function, and volunteers). This is done upon the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board’s (YWCHSB) acceptance of an employer’s application for optional coverage. Once granted, optional coverage is then extended: 1. to the employer and to the worker for immunity from civil suits resulting from workplace injuries; and 2. to the worker for the comprehensive benefits provided by the workers' compensation system as established by the Act and relevant policies. (Full Story)

Featured Article: Managing Career Expectations

Employers must reinvent concept of climbing the corporate ladder

There's probably more than one reader who listed his or her 2016 goal as moving to a new job by the end of year.

Why? Well, sometimes people want to move on to a new job simply because they’re experiencing a sense of restlessness, especially after mastering all of their job tasks.

Still others want to leave because they no longer feel an affinity for their employer’s mission; they have become disengaged.

Many people also want to leave because they don’t see future opportunities with their current employer. And of course, many people leave because of a "bad boss."

No matter what the reason, losing an employee is like being whacked on the side of the head. It triggers a whole list of activities that must now take place to address the situation. This includes engaging in a recruitment process and rejigging and delegating job tasks that typically results in the accumulation of overtime costs. It also leads to the need to manage change as a new employee is hired and needs to be oriented to his/her new job.

While some turnover is inevitable, organizations can be doing much more to not only retain their employees, but also to engage them. One way to do this is to reinvent the concept of a career from one of climbing the corporate ladder to one that is focused on developing a broader set of skills that makes employees more flexible and valuable to different departments in an organization. As well, there is a need for employers to become more involved in employee career management within their organization.

The issue of career management is reminiscent of the earlier trend of employee wellness. At one time, organizations steered away from anything to do with employee health, other than tracking illness and absenteeism.

However, today’s leaders know helping employees to attain and maintain their health benefits the organization through lower health-care and absenteeism costs. This led to the development of very creative return-to-work programs, on-site healthy living educational and assessment programs as well as free flu clinics. The result?

Reduced overhead costs.

The same holds true for career management. Until recently, management steered clear of entering the realm of employee careers because careers were considered a personal employee responsibility. Instead, managers rejigged corporate recruitment processes, improved interview processes, identified and defined job competencies, outlined various career paths and/or increased the availability of online training. There was no such thought of training managers to formally pay attention to company career paths, employee careers and/ or providing help to employees to understand and manage their careers.

Thankfully, people are now starting to see the benefit of "co-managing" or "partnering" with employees on career management.

So, what benefits can an organization expect from a career-management program? In my view, an internal career-management program helps to facilitate an understanding and respect for different jobs and creating knowledge transfer throughout the organization. As well, when individuals understand themselves better, they will make better decisions for themselves, which in the end could positively impact retention statistics.

Finally, programs such as these foster personal development and lead to an organizational culture that values employee experience, skills and relationships and thus serves as an attractive recruitment tool.

What would a corporate career-management program like this look like, and what elements should be included?

No matter what length of program, the aim should be to give employees a true insight into both employment and career trends. We need to reinforce the fact there is no longer a job for life; in fact, the trend in employment is swaying toward a smaller mix of full-time employees, independent contractors and part-time employees. Therefore, a program must be built around the concept that having a successful career is not simply about climbing that oldfashioned, traditional career ladder to the highest rungs of the organization — this myth has been debunked.

Instead, a career-management program should be all about helping employees understand job satisfaction comes from learning, growing, trying new things, meeting new people and developing one’s self so he/she can move in any direction within their organization and/or out, if they so choose. In other words, we have to get the concept that careers need to be continuously moving upward out of our minds. In doing so, we will develop longer-term employees who know how to reach out and grasp personal happiness and job satisfaction and stay with your organization.

A comprehensive career-management program will need to help employees discover all the elements of their personality, communication style, personal motivators and drivers and help them assess times when they were happy and when they were not. Simple exercises and discussions should be included to help each individual not only create a career path, but to examine past and potential future barriers and misleading personal beliefs that might be holding them back, along with developing a plan for overcoming them.

The program should help employees understand the career paths available in their current organization, the skills and competencies required and how to attain these skills. As well, the program needs to outline the various supports and complementary programs and resources employees can tap into. Career options such as job shadowing, networking, stretch assignments and individual mentoring need to be offered to support the achievements attained through the careermanagement program.

Yet, a career-management program cannot be considered an isolated "incident" by itself. It must be integrated into an overall talent-management structure that enables an organization to manage its critical human-resource issues. Management needs to forecast skills needed in the future and determine how this will be accomplished.

Management must also be trained in how to coach and mentor their employees and to structure a career path that will work for both the employee and the organization. Remember, career management must be a win/win for both the employee and the organization.

Once again, in my view, the concept of climbing the career ladder to bigger and better things is essentially an outdated, "up and out" strategy.

By this I mean, at some point, when there may be no more "up" available in your organization, you’ll lose a prized employee.

Be engaging in a career-management program and a talent-management strategy, and I am confident employees will not only be attracted to your organization, they will commit to their career as long as there is a sense of excitement and personal achievement.

Article presented by permission from Barbara J. Bowes, President of Legacy Bowes Group and a professional speaker, author, radio personality and management consultant. She can be reached at barb@legacybowes.com.

Software Updates

GrandMaster Suite and GrandMaster II

  • Year-End Release - Watch in mid-December for our software updates that will include the year-end tax changes along with other useful enhancements.

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Historical Payroll List - Fixed an issue where historical payrolls were not displayed when you chose the 'Reversal (Special)" option in the Calculation screen.

eNETInbox (Current Release)

  • eNETInbox Logo Upload - Added auto-load to Upload logo procedure in eNETInbox.

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