Canadian Payroll and Human Resource News and ArticlesCanadian Payroll and Human Resource News and Articles

Payroll News Canada

May 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 the Canadian Payroll industry. Federal and Provincial news are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article and other useful topics.


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


Tip of the Month

May 2016 - IT Consultants - Employee or Self-employed? - If you're a small businesses with technology needs, a common route is to hire an IT consultant to perform the related services for you on an as-needed basis. However, it's important to know what the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) looks at when determining the consultant's employment status. The CRA offers a detailed article that explains the facts related to IT consultants and the indicators that can help you decide whether a consultant is an employee or a self-employed worker. Click Here for more information.

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

April 28, 2016 - Payroll employment, earnings and hours, February 2016 - Statistics Canada has released the latest statistics for The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours - a monthly portrait of the amount of earnings, as well as the number of jobs (i.e., occupied positions) and hours worked by detailed industry at the national, provincial and territorial levels. Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $954 in February, little changed from the previous month (+0.3%) and from 12 months earlier (+0.4%). Earnings growth has leveled off since February 2015. Monthly survey estimates are produced by a combination of a census of payroll deductions, provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Business Payrolls Survey (BPS), which collects data from a sample of 15,000 businesses. (Full Story)

April 27, 2016 - New Support for Workers and Business Takes Effect - The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has encouraged employers to take advantage of extended Work-Sharing agreements that will help them retain workers during difficult economic times while also keeping them on the job. As of April 1, 2016, eligible employers across Canada impacted by the downturn in the commodities sector can benefit from an additional 38 weeks under the Work-Sharing program, for a maximum of 76 weeks. This program helps employers retain skilled employees and avoid the cost of recruiting and training new employees when business levels return to normal. (Full Story)

April 22, 2016 - Creating Jobs and Investment for Canadian Youth - Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour today encouraged youth and employers to take advantage of Budget 2016 enhancements which will help young Canadians get the skills and experience they need to transition to the workplace. The Government of Canada is investing over $165 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) starting this year through Budget 2016. The new investment will help create thousands of new green jobs, more summer employment, participation in the Skills Link program and employment in the heritage sector. Since 2005, YES has helped over 772,000 young Canadians get the training and work experience they need to enter the labour market. (Full Story)

April 19, 2016 - Canada Summer Jobs 2016: More employers applying to hire students this summer - Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that a record number of applications have been received under Canada’s newly expanded Canada Summer Jobs program. The Minister announced today that the number of employers interested in hiring students this year has soared by almost 30 percent. In all, 36,833 applications have been received from employers, up from 28,352 last year. Since its inception in 2007, Canada Summer Jobs has helped over 330,000 students. In 2015, 300,000 students were unable to find jobs during the summer in Canada. (Full Story)

April 15, 2016 - Creating job opportunities for Canadians - Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced 198 new training projects aimed at helping thousands of Canadians get the skills needed to overcome barriers to employment and join the middle class. The funding, which totals $65 million, will be provided to organizations across the country for projects to help under-represented groups, such as Indigenous people, youth, and people with disabilities, build their skills and prepare for the workforce of the future. Many of the projects will provide instruction in to develop or enhance skills, such as workplace safety, as well as offer hands‑on experience in a job category of interest, such as a skilled trade, retail, hospitality, the food industry or business services. (Full Story)

March 30, 2016 - The Government of Canada to strengthen Employment Insurance - Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has outlined a series of improvements to the Employment Insurance (EI) program that will help middle-class Canadians and those who wish to join them, while increasing investments for skills and training. Some key changes to the EI program that will benefit Canadians across Canada include: reducing the EI waiting period from two weeks to one week; eliminating the EI eligibility requirements that restrict access for new entrants and re-entrants to the labour market; and reversing the changes to EI (introduced in 2012) that made some Canadians accept lower paying jobs, farther away from home. (Full Story)

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


April 21, 2016 - Alberta Jobs Plan supports businesses and encourages investment to create jobs - The Alberta Jobs Plan supports a $75 million Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) to encourage investment and support job creation as part of Budget 2016. The proposed CITC will encourage companies to make timely capital investments by returning a percentage of the company’s costs, including the purchase of machinery, equipment and buildings. The CITC will also help make Alberta more competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions already offering similar incentives. The tax credit is expected to generate $700 million worth of investment and support thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Alberta. (Full Story)

April 16, 2016 - Apprentices and employers recognized for excellence and mentorship - Sixty-eight of Alberta’s apprentices and employers were recognized for their hard work, dedication and outstanding achievement at the 2016 Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board Awards. Handed out on April 15, the awards recognize a variety of categories including the top apprentices and employers - including employers of Indigenous apprentices, instructors and mentors. Alberta has more than 68,000 registered apprentices and trainees in more than 50 designated trades and occupations. (Full Story)

April 14, 2016 - Alberta Jobs Plan supports families, creates jobs, controls costs - Budget 2016 - The Alberta Jobs Plan moves Alberta forward by supporting families and businesses through a tough economy, promoting job creation and economic diversification, and carefully controlling government spending.  The budget will include income support to help eligible Albertans cover basic costs of living and find or maintain jobs. Provincial Employment and Training Programs will undergo a major realignment to improve access and support for Albertans who need them most. (Full Story)

March 24, 2016 - Government launches formal review of Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board - As part of the Government of Alberta’s review of agencies, boards and commissions, an independent panel will review the WCB system and make recommendations. A three-member panel will examine the Workers’ Compensation Board’s governance and effectiveness, all relevant legislation, the principles of compensation, and WCB policies, including those related to privacy and confidentiality, and the transparency of processes and decision-making. Albertans can learn how they can participate in the WCB Review at: alberta.ca/wcb-review. (Full Story)

April 26, 2016 - Provincial-federal partnership helps British Columbian job seekers join the workforce - More than 5,500 British Columbians across the province are receiving training for jobs in their communities, thanks to an investment of almost $36 million from the provincial and federal governments under the Canada-British Columbia Job Fund. The ESS programs provide a wide range of skills training, from job readiness and essential skills to entrepreneurial and trades training for under-represented groups in the trades, including youth, women, Aboriginal people and immigrants. (Full Story)

April 26, 2016 - Connecting Gitxsan workers to local jobs - More local people working in local jobs is what the Gitxsan Nation hopes to achieve as a result of a provincial Labour Market Partnership project with the Gitxsan Development Corporation. The Province has contributed fund towards a 10 month project, which will develop a labour force profile, training assessment and human resource strategy to help five Gitxsan communities align local skills training opportunities for in-demand local jobs. Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. (Full Story)

April 25, 2016 - Blueprint second anniversary celebrated with almost $8M for pre-apprenticeship programs - Announced today, was funding over three years for pre-apprenticeship programs that will help young British Columbians find their fit in our diverse, strong and growing economy. An apprenticeship is one of the best ways for youth to gain the necessary skills for a career in the trades and to join the workforce. The Blueprint is a cross-government, multi-ministry initiative that was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings that are projected by 2024. (Full Story)

April 22, 2016 - Canada-B.C. Job Grant provides $7 million to help businesses upskill employees - The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced today that a total of $7 million will be available under the Canada-BC Job Grant to help businesses provide their current or new employees with skills training. Employers will be able to apply for funding as of April 22 for skills training with start dates from April 22 to Sept. 30, 2016. Existing streams have been expanded to benefit more employers and British Columbians. The Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an employer-driven, cost-sharing partnership between the federal and provincial governments as well as employers. (Full Story)

April 19, 2016 - More mature workers join the workforce thanks to successful government training program - More mature workers in small B.C. communities will receive the training and support they need for local jobs, thanks to an additional $4.1 million investment into the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW), a successful cost-shared initiative between the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. The provincial and federal governments launched the TIOW program in 2007 to assist vulnerable communities that are facing labour-force adjustments due to changes in the local economy. The program provides skills training and employment support to unemployed older workers, aged 55 to 64 YEARS, so they can pursue longer-term jobs, further education, or career training. This program not only benefits program participants, but will help local employers and their region as well, as they gain the skilled workers they need to transform their economy. (Full Story)

April 11, 2016 - WorkBC celebrates successful job-seekers as it marks its fourth anniversary - After just four years in operation, WorkBC Employment Services Centres have helped put more than 77,000 British Columbians back to work. WorkBC Centres provide a range of services and supports that help unemployed British Columbians prepare for, find and maintain employment. WorkBC Centres offer more than just traditional job search resources - they also provide specialized services and supports to people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, immigrants, youth and survivors of violence or abuse - specialized populations that can often find it difficult to gain a foothold in the job market. (Full Story)

March 25, 2016 - Statement on the B.C. minimum wage - Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond has issued the following statement regarding the B.C. minimum wage: "The Province is reviewing the minimum wage increase to keep it in line with overall economic growth.We expect to announce a minimum wage increase this spring, with the new rate coming into effect Sept. 15, 2016. Given our stronger economic growth, we feel there should be room for a modest incremental adjustment beyond B.C.’s CPI so that all workers can benefit from our success." (Full Story)

May 2, 2016 - Free Information Seminar for Employers - If you have questions about paying your employees or want to learn more about employment laws, Employment Standards is offering a free seminar on overtime, general holidays, vacation time and pay, and other topics. The seminar is scheduled be held Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 401 York Avenue in Winnipeg. Attendees are asked visit the link below for registration. (Full Story)

April 29, 2016 - Did you know that the Manitoba Worker's Compensation Board website offers Claims Online - a secure Internet application allowing employers to view claims information, 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Use the secure internet application to view cost details for claims that are registered for your company. If you become a registered user, you can also use this tool to compile monthly claims cost reports in whatever format you desire. The website also offers a guide that will walk you through the step-by-step claims process. (Full Story)

March 30, 2016 - Improving Employment Insurance for the Middle Class in Manitoba - Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has outlined a series of improvements to the Employment Insurance (EI) program that will help middle-class Canadians and those who wish to join them, while increasing investments for skills and training. Some key changes to the EI program that will benefit Canadians in Manitoba and across the country include: reducing the EI waiting period from two weeks to one week; and reducing EI premiums to an expected $1.61 by 2017. Premiums are currently set at $1.88. (Full Story)

April 19, 2016 - Issues Resolution Office now operational - WorkSafeNB’s new Issues Resolution Office (IRO) will work to improve service for New Brunswick’s workers and employers. Guided by the principles of fairness, impartiality and service excellence, the IRO will provide a final review of claim-related decisions and investigate service complaints. The IRO staff has a broad range of front-line experience, and is trained in administrative justice through the Foundation of Administrative Justice. The IRO reports directly to WorkSafeNB’s corporate secretary and general counsel. (Full Story)

April 7, 2016 - Provincial government commits to renew Youth Employment Fund for 2016-17 - The provincial government is committed to renewing the Youth Employment Fund, which will help 1,500 young people acquire work placements for 2016-17. Since its official launch in March 2015, the fund has resulted in placements for 1,482 young people. The Fund is designed to provide unemployed youth aged 18-29 with an opportunity to develop skills. It provides an entry point to long-term employment for individuals who require experience as identified through their employment action plan. (Full Story)

March 31, 2016 - Number of student summer jobs increased - The provincial government is increasing the number of summer jobs under the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program. The SEED program pairs post-secondary students with employers during the summer. With this announcement, the provincial government is increasing the number of placements to 1,600, an increase of 200 jobs for youth compared to last year. Prospective employers can go online to post their job offers. Students will then be able to choose to apply for the positions most suited to them. (Full Story)

May 2, 2016 - Minister Recognizes North American Occupational Safety and Health Week - The Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Service NL, joined with officials from Workplace NL, and representatives from safety groups and the employer and labour sectors to recognize May 1 to 7 as North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, also called "NAOSH week." NAOSH week highlights the importance of controlling workplace hazards and reminds employers and workers of their shared responsibility to promote a strong safety culture. (Full Story)

April 27, 2016 - WorkplaceNL reports workplace injury rates for 2015 - After holding steady for three years, the lost-time incidence rate due to workplace injury or illness in Newfoundland and Labrador dropped to an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers in 2015. The lost-time incidence rate represents the number of injured workers who received compensation while missing time from work due to a workplace incident or accident. WorkplaceNL offers programs and training to all employers and workers focused on preventing workplace injuries and illnesses. (Full Story)

April 21, 2016 - Chiropractic Treatment Available to Injured Workers - The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between WorkplaceNL and chiropractors in the province has expired, and many Chiropractors have formally terminated their agreement with WorkplaceNL, effective April 23, 2016. As a result, there is some confusion around continuity of chiropractic care for injured workers. WorkplaceNL confirms that injured workers who are entitled to health care benefits from WorkplaceNL as a result of a workplace injury can receive care from a chiropractor. WorkplaceNL will continue to pay chiropractors directly for approved services at current rates. (Full Story)

March 30, 2016 - Provincial Government Announces Call for Applications under Job Creation Partnerships Program - The Department of Advanced Education and Skills is now accepting applications under the Job Creation Partnerships Program for the 2016-17 fiscal year. There are two application deadlines: April 14, 2016, for projects to be carried out starting early summer, and June 30, 2016, for projects to be completed in the fall. Funding is provided through direct contributions to sponsors or through the extension of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits for project participants, and may include in-kind or in-case contributions from sponsors. Approvals of projects are based on considerations such as the number of EI eligible individuals in the application area, the value of the work experience for participants and other relevant labour market information. (Full Story)

March 28, 2016 - Applications Now Being Accepted for Student Employment Programs - Private businesses and not-for-profit groups are invited to submit applications for this year’s student employment programs. Through these programs, employers are able to hire high school and post-secondary students, which provides them with valuable work experience. The application deadline for private and not-for-profit employers interested in hiring post-secondary students under the Post-Secondary Program is April 15. Under the High School Program, the deadline for non-for-profit groups to hire high school students is May 6. (Full Story)

April 20, 2016 - GNWT releases labour market information on NWT jobs in demand over the next 15 years - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) released today new labour market information on NWT jobs in demand over the next 15 years. This critical information will help northerners make informed decisions so they may maximize the NWT employment opportunities that are and will be available over the coming years. Over the next 15 years, it is forecasted there will be 28,500 to 36,700 job openings in the NWT, of which 78% will typically require some form of post secondary education and/or extensive work experience and seniority.
Approximately 98% of the 28,500 job openings will be to replace workers who have retired or moved from the NWT. (Full Story)

April 07, 2016 - New Occupational Health and Safety Regulations are law in Nunavut - The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) announces the new Occupational Health and Safety Regulations are now law in Nunavut. The Regulations stem from the Internal Responsibility System (IRS), in which workplace safety is the shared responsibility of employers and workers. The Regulations launched in the Northwest Territories in 2015 and many Nunavut organizations have used this time to familiarize themselves with the changes. These Regulations apply to all businesses operating in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, with the exception of those that are Federally regulated. (Full Story)

April 29, 2016 - WCB Nova Scotia reports fewer injuries overall, but more work time lost - WCB Nova Scotia’s 2015 Annual Report, Leading Through Change, tells the story of a province with long-term progress in its workplace safety culture, but with much opportunity to do even better. Nova Scotia workers and employers registered fewer claims with the WCB in 2015 compared to the year before. Looking back further, there are thousands fewer claims than there were a decade ago, and hundreds of thousands fewer days lost to workplace injury. Slightly fewer Nova Scotians were injured at work compared to 2014. Registered claims decreased to 23,933 from 24,505. (Full Story)

April 27, 2016 - Amendments to Standardize Record-Keeping Labour Standards - Businesses that operate in more than one Maritime province will see positive changes with amendments to the Labour Standards Code introduced on April 27. The changes will align the types of employment records employers are required to keep. While current record-keeping requirements are similar in all three provinces, there are some differences that can lead to confusion and more work. For example, the term pay is not clear. With these changes the code clearly describes information required under this term. The changes also give employers the option of providing electronic pay statements. (Full Story)

April 26, 2016 - Amendments Strengthen Occupational Health and Safety Act - Amendments introduced on April 26, will strengthen the Occupational Health and Safety Act and help keep Nova Scotians safe at work. The changes give government additional tools and authority to enforce safety requirements for those who repeatedly violate safety regulations and laws, putting workers at risk of serious injury or death. The amendments are part of government's overall efforts to improve workplace safety, which also include Nova Scotia's Workplace Safety Strategy, enhanced education and outreach efforts, more targeted inspections and the hiring of a dedicated occupational health and safety prosecutor. (Full Story)

April 15, 2016 - Payroll Rebates Approved - Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved business development incentives in the form of payroll rebates for Canadian Maritime Engineering Limited (CME), Mobivity Holdings Corp. (Mobivity), and TD Insurance. CME Ltd. has the potential to create up to a maximum of 80 jobs in its expansion of business operations. NSBI estimates that CME could spend $17.5 million in salaries. Mobivity has the potential to create up to a maximum of 40 jobs and could could spend $5.8 million in salaries. Payroll rebates are designed in a way that the tax revenue generated for the province by the new jobs in Nova Scotia is always more than the amount spent on the rebate. (Full Story)

April 4, 2016 - Providers Selected to Lead New Employment Services System - The province is one step closer to increasing the number of frontline workers who help Nova Scotians find jobs. On April 4, the province announced it has selected the organizations that will fight unemployment. The province began working with service providers in November to redesign the $23-million employment services system to better meet the needs of job seekers and employers. In areas where providers did not reach an agreement, they submitted proposals and an evaluation committee recommended successful proponents. (Full Story)

April 4, 2016 - Small Business Safety Toolkit Expands to Include Incident Cost Calculator - A new resource for Nova Scotia’s employers is being introduced as part of the Workplace Safety Strategy. The Workplace Incident Cost Calculator is a tool that allows business owners to calculate the cost of workplace injuries and see first-hand the dramatic financial impact these incidents can have on their profitability. The Calculator offers the ability to better understand the financial ramifications an injury or incident can have on your organization and provide the foresight to invest in the right equipment and training to avoid that scenario. (Full Story)

May 2, 2016 - Revised Payroll Information for Nunavut - CanPay has posted the 2016 revisions for Nunavut payroll and HR-related data in its free online database. This page provides current provincial payroll information for the Nunavut territory that includes such topics as Minimum Wage, Hours of Work, Worker's Compensation, Leaves, Statutory Holidays, Minimum Working Age, Termination Notices Requirements and much more. Revised payroll information for all of Canadian provinces and territories is also available. (Full Story)

April 21, 2016 - Employment Insurance (EI) Stats Update - Statistics Canada has released the preliminary statistics on Nunavut's Employment Insurance (EI). In February 2016, an estimated 430 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in Nunavut. This is an increase of 10.3% or 40 people from February 2015. In Canada, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits increased by 5.9% over the same period. (Full Story)

April 19, 2016 - Ontario Receives Public Input on the Gender Wage Gap Strategy - The province has received thousands of ideas from Ontarians throughout the province about how to address the gender wage gap in Ontario. Just one of the initiatives that Ontario has implemented in order to help balance the gap, has been to increase the wages by up to $2 per hour plus benefits for early childhood educators and other child care professionals in a licensed child care setting and increased wages for home child care providers working with licensed home child care agencies to up to $20 per day. According to Statistics Canada (2011), the gender wage gap in Ontario is 26 per cent for full-time, full year workers. This means that for every dollar earned by a male worker, a female worker earns 74 cents. (Full Story)

April 14, 2016 - Details of Proposed Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2016 - The introduction of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 delivers on the government's commitment to strengthen retirement security for the more than 4 million Ontario workers - including 75 per cent of younger workers - who do not have access to an adequate workplace pension plan. The act, if passed, would enshrine in legislation key requirements of plan design, including participation, contributions, benefit types, and plan sustainability. Employers would be required to pay contributions on behalf of each of the eligible workers employed in Ontario, and also to collect and remit contributions from those workers. (Full Story)

April 13, 2016 - Ontario Passes Budget to Create Jobs for Today and Tomorrow - The Ontario government has passed the Jobs for Today and Tomorrow (Budget Measures) Act, 2016, which outlines the next phase of the government's plan to create jobs and economic growth. One highlight of the new legislation includes reducing the retirement savings gap by implementing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), which will help working Ontarians save for their retirement. By 2020, all eligible Ontario workers will be covered by a comparable workplace plan or the ORPP; with employer and employee contribution collection beginning in 2018. (Full Story)

April 13, 2016 - Ontario Helping Employers Meet Health and Safety Requirements - The Ministry of Labour has created a simple and easy to understand checklist to help employers meet health and safety requirements in Ontario. The checklist includes questions that will help employers evaluate how well they are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The ministry has also created a webpage for small businesses that bundles resources in one place to help employers understand and comply with OHSA and the Employment Standards Act in Ontario. Strengthening workplace health and safety for workers is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. (Full Story)

April 8, 2016 - Ontario Adds 13,900 Jobs in March - More than 600,000 jobs have been created since the recessionary low in June 2009. Ontario is projected to create more than 300,000 jobs by the end of 2019, which would bring the total to more than 900,000 net new jobs over a 10-year period. Ontario's number-one priority is to grow the economy and create jobs, part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. On a year-over-year basis, employment in the province increased by 86,000, more than any other province. All of the gains were in full-time work. Ontario’s unemployment rate has declined from a recessionary high of 9.6 per cent in June 2009 to 6.8 per cent in March 2016. (Full Story)

April 4, 2016 - Ontario Launches New Youth Jobs Program in Time for Summer - Ontario has launched a new youth employment program that will help young people ages 15-29 plan their careers, prepare for the labour market and connect to job opportunities. The Youth Job Link program is the latest phase of Ontario's Youth Jobs Strategy and will be available to youth and students at more than 320 locations across the province. Youth Job Link and Youth Job Connection are part of a new suite of programs - which also includes Employment Ontario's Employment Service - designed to help youth with a broader range of employment needs and to ensure resources are used effectively and targeted to those who need them most. (Full Story)

April 08, 2016 - Partnering to prevent brain injuries - The Workers Compensation Board is pleased to collaborate with the Brain Injury Association of Prince Edward Island to improve workplace safety. Workers and employers should be aware of potential hazards that could cause head injuries, including those that are not always obvious. Simple steps like wearing protective headgear, applying anti-slip strips to stair treads and salting walkways and parking lots could help avoid slips, trips and falls. The WCB is an independent, non-profit organization funded solely through premiums paid by Island employers. It provides no-fault workplace injury and illness insurance and promotes workplace health and safety for all Islanders. (Full Story)

April 5, 2016 - Throne Speech delivers clear plan for growth and pledge for more modern governance - In June 2015, the new Government presented a Speech from the Throne that outlined a vision for its full mandate. Today’s speech further builds on that plan, with a particular focus on rejuvenation, growing the province’s population and workforce, and sustained economic growth. Some speech highlights included the planned development of a comprehensive long-term strategy to repatriate, recruit and retain a skilled and talented workforce. A new WorkPEI.ca website was also noted to help match job seekers with local employers. More emphasis will also placed on building job experience opportunities for young Islanders and new entrants to the labour market, providing them with the ability to thrive on Prince Edward Island. (Full Story)

April 29, 2016 - NAOSH Week Proclaimed - North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is May 1 to 7, 2016.  This year’s theme is Make Safety a Habit – What’s Your Reason?  Each year, Canada, the United Sates, and Mexico observe NAOSH week to promote and encourage employers and employees to be healthy and safe in the workplace and at home. A committee of representatives from the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, Saskatchewan Safety Council, federal government, and the Workers’ Compensation Board work together to promote and co-ordinate activities and events across Saskatchewan. (Full Story)

April 29, 2016 - WCB Releases 2015 Operating Results - The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board's 2015 Annual Report was tabled in the provincial legislature today. WCB Chair, Gord Dobrowolsky said the financial results indicate 2015 represented a year of stability and growth for the WCB and stated that once again this year, workplace injuries have declined. The WCB exceeded their target of reducing workplace injuries - the total injury rate (per 100 workers) declined from 6.99 in 2014 to 6.30 in 2015. It was also noted that in 2015 the Time Loss Injury rate dropped for the 13th straight year from 2.41 percent in 2014 to 2.07 percent in 2015 and 96 percent of injured workers with a Time Loss injury returned to work, achieving the WCB’s 95 percent objective. (Full Story)

March 30, 2016 - Improving Employment Insurance for the Middle Class in Saskatchewan - Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour has outlined a series of improvements to the Employment Insurance (EI) program that will help middle-class Canadians and those who wish to join them, while increasing investments for skills and training. Some key changes to the EI program that will benefit Canadians in Saskatchewan and across the country include: reducing the EI waiting period from two weeks to one week; and reducing EI premiums to an expected $1.61 by 2017. Premiums are currently set at $1.88. (Full Story)

April 28, 2016 - Canadian newcomers getting career-ready in accountant bridging program - Thirteen newcomers to Yukon are participating in an accountant bridging program to prepare them for working in the financial management field. The program helps participants to develop skills in business communications, Canadian culture, finance and accounting, and essential software programs such as Simply Accounting. Participants are currently halfway through the program which ends this summer. The accountant bridging program is funded in part by Employment and Skills Development Canada and is based on a curriculum from the Edmonton Mennonite Centre that has been updated to provide a Yukon context for participants. (Full Story)

April 20, 2016 - Premier appoints new president of Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board -
Premier Darrell Pasloski has appointed Kurt Dieckmann as the new president and chief executive officer of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB). "We were looking for a dynamic leader with a wealth of experience in workers' compensation and health and safety who is committed to preventing disability," board chair Mark Pike said. YWCHSB's current president and CEO, Joy Waters, announced her retirement earlier this year after more than 30 years of public service. (Full Story)

April 13, 2016 - Travel Expense and Accommodation Rates - The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board has posted the revised policy appendix BD-02 - Travel - Appendix A - Travel Expense and Accommodation Rates, that will go into effect on April 1, 2016. It includes the rates for such items as meals and incidental expenses, vehicle allowances, telephone calls, and accommodations. (Full Story)

Featured Article

Changes to parental leave rules coming including leave for fathers

The federal government has announced that they will be announcing changes to parental leave rules shortly and included is provisions dedicated exclusively to new fathers.

Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk said that they are looking at making dedicated paternity leave a part of promised changes to parental leave under the employment insurance program and for federally-regulated employers, under the Canada Labour Code.

EI parental benefits are offered to parents who are caring for a newborn or newly adopted child or children.

Right now, fathers can split up to 35 weeks of leave and the EI benefits with new mothers or adoptive parents. For instance, one of the parents can take the entire 35 weeks of benefits, or both parents can share them. If one spouse decides to take only 10 weeks of parental leave before returning to work, the other spouse can use the remaining 25 weeks of benefits. For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of their average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount.

Under the Canada Labour Code, an employee who assumes actual care of a newborn or newly adopted child is entitled to parental leave of up to 37 weeks.

Quebec already has paternity for biological fathers under the Labour Standards Act. Fathers are allowed to take five weeks of leave with the provincial benefits system covering 70 percent of their salary. That is in addition to the 35 weeks of parental leave that can be shared between new parents.

Currently, a biological mother is entitled to a 17-week maternity leave and 35 weeks of parental leave, combined together it equals 52 weeks of leave (12 months). She is entitled to 15 weeks of maternity EI benefits and 35 weeks of parental benefits (if not shared). Combined together, she is entitled to about 50 weeks of EI benefits.

The government would like to extend parental leave to 18 months from 12. The government states that “the new system wouldn't have a similar increase in benefits, but would instead allow parents to spread one year's worth of payments over a year and a half.”

When more information or a bill is tabled, we will update this article.

Article by Yosie Saint-Cyr, Managing Editor, HRinfodesk. Presented by permission. Yosie can be reached at editor@hrinfodesk.com.

Software Updates

GrandMaster Suite v8.08 (Current Release)

  • T4 Edit- PPIP exempt is no longer associated with EI exempt.
  • Hours Entry - Entering a new earning will no longer be prevented when you have a previously unassigned earning waiting to be assigned. A warning message will now appear noting the unassigned earning, and the Save process will proceed.
  • Positional Rates - You can now assign a positional rate to an individual employee based either selectively (one at a time), or based on seniority using a rate table.
  • Hours Entry - Fixed an issue where the rates were not resolving correctly when you selected the rate based on a Position.
  • Improved E-mail Security - We have implemented the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for e-mails that are sent from GrandMaster Suite. TLS is available if your e-mail server has been set up with the protocol.
  • Password Protected Reports - Added encryption to individual employee PDF reports for clients who provide employee access to eNETEmployer's MyReports feature on a shared computer or kiosk.

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