Payroll News for Canada, Employment Articles Employment News and Payroll Tips

Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

March 2019 - 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, employment and HR News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.

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Tip of the Month

March 2019 - Federal Student Work Experience Program - The CRA offers eligible students the opportunity to explore hundreds of career paths and thousands of jobs throuygh its Federal Student Work Experience Program. It also serves as an ongoing student recruitment inventory that is open year-round, and available to all departments and agencies. It offers full-time and part-time work opportunities in a wide variety of fields including sciences, trades, administration, IT, finance and many more. Click Here to learn more about this valuable program.

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

March 4, 2019 - Workplace fatalities increase across Canada: AWCBC - In 2017, there were 951 reported workplace fatalities across Canada, according to recently released statistics by the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC). This figure is up from 904 in 2016 and 852 in 2015. Construction was the deadliest industry with 217 fatalities, followed by manufacturing with 160. Trades, transport and equipment operators made up the most dangerous occupation, accounting for 486 fatalities. (Full Story)

February 26, 2019 - Canada's job vacancy rate dips but labour market still tight - The job vacancy rate in Canada went down to 3.1% in the final quarter of 2018, indicating a continued labour shortage across the country. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the national job vacancy rate in Q4 2018 decreased by 0.1% compared to the previous quarter. (Full Story)

February 21, 2019 - Government of Canada funds innovative project to help more women succeed in the skilled trades -
The Government of Canada will provide $3,141,000 to Canada's Building Trades Unions (CBTU) for its project titled An Innovative Model to Enhance Entry, Advancement, and Employment Outcomes of Women Apprentices. This project will support the CBTU's Women in Trades Program, which breaks down barriers for women in the construction trades. The Government invests $25 million annually in the Union Training and Innovation Program to support union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships in the Red Seal trades across Canada. This investment means more apprentices will be able to develop their skills, complete their training and find good, well-paying jobs. (Full Story)

February 14, 2019 - Almost half of EI sickness-benefit recipients off work longer than help lasts - An internal government survey of people who used federal sickness benefits has found that nearly half were unable to work for longer than the 15 weeks the benefits last. The newly released documents detailing the results from a survey of people who did - and did not - claim Employment Insurance sickness benefits showed that of those who did receive payments, 48.6 per cent said they were unable to work for 15 weeks or more. (Full Story)

February 6, 2019 - New stat holiday proposed to mark Indigenous reconciliation set for Sept. 30 - Sept. 30 might become a new statutory holiday commemorating victims of residential schools. The House of Commons heritage committee approved a measure Tuesday to make the last day of September a National Truth and Reconciliation Day. That date is already used as an informal occasion to commemorate the experiences of residential-school students, called Orange Shirt Day. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - January jobs report: Canadian unemployment creeps upward - Canada added 66,800 jobs in January, according to the jobs report released on Friday. Unemployment rose to 5.8% (the previous period was 5.6%). Part-time work grew more than full-time, but for a specific demographic (under 25). Canadian youth aged 15 to 24 gained 52,800 positions in January. The private sector saw a big surge with 111,500 employee positions added in January (the biggest month-to-month increase since the data collection began in 1976). Those self-employed declined by 60, 700. Both Ontario and Quebec led the pack in terms of employment opportunities. (Full Story)


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


February 21, 2019 - Alberta hikes minimum wage, adds food service jobs for the third straight year - Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was a key plank in the Alberta New Democratic Party's 2015 election platform. At the time, Alberta was tied for the lowest minimum wage in Canada ($10.20 per hour) and had the dubious distinction of having the highest level of income inequality and the largest gender income gap. (Full Story)

February 20, 2019 - WCB-Alberta people tend to stay for the long haul - Martin Mbanga has a lot on his plate every day at the Workers' Compensation Board-Alberta (WCB-Alberta), supporting employees who make decisions that affect the lives of Albertans injured on the job and their families. WCB-Alberta provides disability and liability coverage for work-related injury and illness. It compensates workers for lost income and co-ordinates the health care and other services they need due to a work-related injury. WCB-Alberta covers nearly two million workers and works with more than 160,000 employers. (Full Story)

February 12, 2019 - UCP would look at lower minimum wage for young workers, Kenney says - Alberta's minimum wage for young workers and the merits of liquor law restrictions came into focus Tuesday as provincial leaders staked out policy positions ahead of a spring election. United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney said that a second piece of legislation the UCP is planning (after repealing the carbon tax) would claw back some pay-related rules brought in by the NDP. The "Open for Business Act" would repeal rules related to statutory holiday pay and return surpluses in the Workers' Compensation Board accident fund to employers. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - Decline in Alberta employment continues for second consecutive month: Statistics Canada - New job numbers from Statistics Canada on Friday suggest that Alberta's economy continues to recover from the 2015 recession, but that growth has stalled a bit in the past year, according to a Calgary economist. The latest monthly labour force survey was released Friday morning, and while a rush of new jobs were reported nationally, the total number of employed Albertans dropped for the second straight month. The province lost approximately 30,000 jobs since November. (Full Story)

February 7, 2019 - How will 2018's employment law changes play out for employers in 2019? - In 2018, several significant employment and labour law changes were rolled out across Canada, especially in Ontario, which saw a change of government in June. In late 2018, Ontario's amendments to its Employment Standards Act included replacing the 10 days of personal emergency leave introduced by the former Liberal government with three days of personal illness leave, three days of family responsibility leave and two days of bereavement leave, all of which are unpaid. As well, the changes brought back the option for employers to request a medical note from employees taking sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave. (Full Story)

February 5, 2019 - Young and need a job? Edmonton ranked the best place in Canada to look for work - Edmonton takes the top spot on a national index as the best place in Canada for young people to work, a social enterprise group says. YouthfulCities, which is based in Toronto, dissected data from the past six months and compiled an urban work index, published Monday. Four areas were looked at in determining the health of the job market for people aged 15 to 29: education, entrepreneurship, career-oriented employment and affordability, said Robert Barnard, co-founder of YouthfulCities. (Full Story)

January 29, 2019 - B.C. businesses bracing for health payroll tax impact on jobs - While urban property owners are receiving a B.C. government letter instructing them to register for the "speculation tax" on second homes, businesses are starting to receive similar directions to sign up and begin paying the "employer health tax" on payrolls of more than $500,000 a year. The tax took effect Jan. 1, but employers have until later to start paying it. The payroll tax applies to employer-paid benefits as well as wages, with a rate of nearly three per cent on payroll totals from $500,000 to $1.5 million, and a lower rate of 1.95 per cent for payroll amounts above that. (Full Story)

January 29, 2019 - Cannabis and work - The legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada took effect in October 2018. As part of cannabis legalization, provincial governments are responsible for ensuring workplace safety. In Alberta, impairment that creates hazards or unsafe work conditions are addressed by the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. (Full Story)

January 7, 2019 - "It's more bad news": Report suggests thousands of workers gave up job search in Calgary - Upwards of 8,000 new jobs were created in the Calgary area in the past year, but a declining labour force has some economists worried that some have given up trying to find work in a struggling Alberta economy. An average of 893,000 people were employed in the Calgary Economic Region in 2018, up from 884,000 a year before, according to the city's 2018 labour market review. (Full Story)

February 28, 2019 - Have your say on B.C.'s employment standards - For the next month, British Columbians are invited to share their views before government makes changes to B.C.'s Employment Standards Act. This act, which is the law that sets minimum standards for workplaces in the province, was last comprehensively reviewed by government in 1994. Since then, technology has significantly changed workplaces. There are new technologies that drive how and where people work, many more part-time employees and many more people working remotely, from home or on virtual teams. (Full Story)

February 22, 2019 - B.C. employment nudges up in January - B.C. employment rose for the third straight month in January and the sixth time in seven months. Total employment rose to a seasonally adjusted 2.54 million persons, up 0.3% or 8,700 persons from December. Year-over-year employment was up a solid 2.5% or 61,900 persons. In comparison, national employment rose 0.4% from December and 1.8% year-over-year. (Full Story)

February 14, 2019 - Skilled worker shortage hangs over B.C. industrial growth - The B.C. government's agenda for 2019 touts its strategies for generating more construction, sawmill and natural gas industry jobs, but employers are wondering where the skilled workers are going to come from. After this week's throne speech to start the legislature session, Premier John Horgan acknowledged that a skills shortage is the most common issue he hears about in meetings with employers. (Full Story)

February 11, 2019 - B.C. children need protection from workplace - On Friday, First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition submitted an open letter to Labour Minister Harry Bains, calling on him to table legislation during the upcoming legislative session aimed at protecting children and youth from employment-related injury and exploitation. In British Columbia, children as young as 12 years old can legally work at almost any job or task. (Full Story)

February 6, 2019 - Improving services at WorkBC - WorkBC offers employment services to people in British Columbia in person at WorkBC centres throughout the province and online through WorkBC.ca. They specialize in helping people who face barriers to employment find their first job, or the next one. Beginning April 1, 2019, WorkBC will offer better services for people who need support to re-enter the workforce, access training opportunities and find good jobs. (Full Story)

February 4, 2019 - Kootnekoff: Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act - Bill 48, the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, B.C. has received royal assent. While these provisions will not come into effect until the government issues additional regulations, recruiters and employers of temporary foreign workers will need to become familiar with these changes. The intention of the Act is to provide greater protection to temporary foreign workers. (Full Story)

January 10, 2019 - New skills training, employment supports for people who need it most - Survivors of violence and abuse, as well as older workers, will have access to skills training and employment supports so they can participate in British Columbia's thriving economy. The Province is inviting service providers to submit proposals to deliver skills training and employment services under two new Skills Training for Employment (STE) programs posted to BC Bid. (Full Story)

February 25, 2019 - Manitoba's job vacancy rate dips slightly - Fewer Manitoba jobs sat unfilled at the end of last year, as a labour shortage eased across the country, a new report finds. The province had 10,500 unfilled jobs that had been vacant for three months or more in the final quarter of 2018, a vacancy rate of 2.4%, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)'s Help Wanted report. That's down 0.1% from the previous quarter. (Full Story)

February 22, 2019 - Manitoba holds second Skilled Workers Overseas draw in six days - Manitoba has invited another 338 Skilled Workers Overseas candidates in the province's second draw through the popular stream in six days. An unspecified number of Express Entry candidates were among the Skilled Workers Overseas candidates invited in the February 21 draw, which brought the number of invitations issued by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) so far this year to 1,864. Canada's Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for three of the country's main economic immigration programs - the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class. (Full Story)

February 14, 2019 - Wage Support For Employing Young People On Farms This Summer - The Alberta Government is helping farmers give youth work experience in agriculture this summer. The Summer Farm Employment Program reimburses employers 50 per cent of wages, or $500 per month, from the beginning of July to the end of August. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Manger of Monitoring and Evaluation, Mark Shand, says employees must be between the ages of 16 and 24. Applications are due on Friday, May 31. After being accepted, farmers then submit a claim form at the end of the summer including the employee's hours before they can be reimbursed. (Full Story)

January 10, 2018 - Minimum wage in Manitoba: is it time for more change? - As the debate continues to wage across Canada, some Manitobans are questioning if it's time for the province to review minimum wage here at home. It's a conversation fueled by a recent hike in Ontario, where minimum wage just jumped from $11.60 per hour to $14 per hour. Elsewhere, Alberta has plans to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour by October. (Full Story)

March 1, 2019 - Minimum wage to increase April 1 - The provincial government announced that the minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour on April 1, from the current rate of $11.25 per hour. In the future, the minimum wage rate will remain indexed to New Brunswick's consumer price index, rounded to the nearest five cents. Linking the minimum wage to the consumer price index is currently done in other jurisdictions such as Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon. (Full Story)

February 18, 2019 - Province clarifies 10-week personal support worker program - The province is clarifying what exactly it is offering in a free 10-week personal support worker program. A flyer for an information session about the program describes the course as offering technical training along with training for essential skills for the workplace. It is being offered by the Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour. The notice promotes the potential for work placement following the course. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - New Brunswick Adds 4,000 Full-Time Jobs In January - New Brunswick added 4,000 full-time jobs last month, while 400 part-time jobs were lost, monthly data from Statistics Canada shows. The unemployment rate in the province fell slightly from 8.4 per cent to 8.2 per cent, as the paid workforce increased by 1 per cent to 355,000. The unemployment rates in the province's main cities remained much lower relative to the provincial average. Moncton's rate was 5.4 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent in December. Saint John's dipped from 6.3 per cent in December to 6.2 per cent in January. (Full Story)

February 7, 2019 - Government of Canada provides skills training and job opportunities for young Canadians in New Brunswick - Canada's prosperity depends on young Canadians getting a fair chance at success in the workplace. By helping them gain the skills and experience they need to launch meaningful careers, we are investing in our greatest asset - our people. Through the Career Focus program, the Government of Canada is providing over $145,000 to R2 Employment Solutions. Funding will create opportunities for 12 youth in Campbellton, New Brunswick, to gain the skills and confidence to build an exciting and promising future. (Full Story)

January 24, 2019 - FutureReadyNB launched to support student job training and employer recruitment - The provincial government is working with partners to launch a new initiative, called FutureReadyNB, designed to expand the provincial workforce, keep young people in New Brunswick and grow the economy. Undergraduate students can be eligible to receive funding and co-ordination support to develop the skills and opportunities they need through New Brunswick-based job experiences. Through FutureReadyNB, local employers can nurture and strengthen connections with future employees. (Full Story)

January 16, 2019 - Auditor general finds WorkSafeNB's deficiencies in managing injured worker claims prevent timely return to work - Auditor General Kim MacPherson released today her second performance audit on WorkSafeNB. Focusing on the management of injured worker claims, this is the second and final phase carried out in response to a request by the government under Section 12(1) of the Auditor General Act. The audit found WorkSafeNB's claims management structure is reasonable and its policies are generally consistent with industry best practice, however numerous process deficiencies are preventing injured workers from achieving a timely return to work. (Full Story)

January 15, 2019 - Phase 2 of program for seasonal workers begins - Phase 2 of the Seasonal Worker Pilot Program is open for eligible New Brunswickers who experience a gap between employment insurance (EI) benefits and their seasonal employment. The program offers a seven-week training or work experience placement for employees in the fisheries, agriculture, forestry and tourism industries in the Restigouche-Albert EI Economic Region 09. This region includes all of Restigouche, Gloucester, Northumberland and Kent counties, and portions of York, Sunbury, Queens, Westmorland and Albert counties. The region is the largest in the province. (Full Story)

February 25, 2019 - Minister Davis Highlights National Recognition of Province's Support Model for Female Apprentices - Newfoundland and Labrador's support model for female apprentices has been recognized as a national best practice. The Government of Canada has announced $3.2 million in funding over three and a half years to the Canada's Building Trades Unions to replicate the Newfoundland and Labrador Office to Advance Women Apprentices model in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The Provincial Government invests more than $1 million annually in the Office to Advance Women Apprentices which supports women who wish to work in non-traditional skilled trades and progress to journeyperson certification. (Full Story)

February 19, 2019 - Provincial Government Invites Applications for Job Creation Partnerships - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced applications are now being accepted for this year's Job Creation Partnerships (JCP) program. The JCP program is funded through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement and supports projects that provide individuals eligible for Employment Insurance with opportunities to improve their employability through work experience. These projects benefit participants and their communities. (Full Story)

February 18, 2019 - Provincial Government Invites Applications for Summer Student Employment Programs - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced applications are now being accepted for Summer Student Employment Programs (SSEP). SSEP applications may be made online at www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/students/default.html#summer and must be received by March 28, 2019. Launched as a pilot program in 2017, AMPLIFY helps youth gain work experience and participate in career development and personal growth activities. (Full Story)

February 15, 2019 - Provincial Government Announces Increase to Minimum Wage - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced the minimum wage rate as of April 1, 2019, will be $11.40 and the minimum overtime wage rate will be $17.10. This is the second annual increase based on the percentage change in the National Consumer Price Index, since introducing a formula-based approach. (Full Story)

January 16, 2019 - New Occupational Health and Safety Regulations Further Strengthen Violence Prevention - Service NL, announced improvements to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations, including provisions to address workplace harassment and worker-on-worker violence. The changes to the regulations will now capture incidents regarding worker-on worker violence, and will include provisions related to harassment in the workplace, which was not previously included. (Full Story)

January 21, 2019 - N.W.T. considering domestic violence leave - The Northwest Territories, which has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in Canada, may soon introduce domestic violence leave, a measure activists say will give victims the opportunity to leave their partners and find homes for themselves and their children without jeopardizing their employment. The territorial government is considering a number of amendments to its Employment Standards Act, including one that would allow employees to take domestic violence leave, though it is not yet clear whether it would be paid or unpaid or how much time could be taken. (Full Story)

February 25, 2019 - Nova Scotians taking longer to return to work after injury -  According to statistics released today in WCB Nova Scotia's Report to the Community for the third quarter of 2018, Nova Scotians are getting injured at work less often, but when they are, they are taking longer to return. WCB tracks a number of statistics related to time off the job due to injury. The length of an average claim (or how long injured workers spend off the job) and the total number of days lost to workplace injury are both increasing, according to the report. (Full Story)

February 11, 2019 - Nova Scotia Employment at Record High, Unemployment at Record Low - The monthly Labour Force Survey recently released by Statistics Canada showed that Nova Scotia's labour force increased by 5,400 in January. Nova Scotia's employment was up by 6,100 to 465,100, the highest level of employment on record for the province, beating the previous record set in December 2011 at 461,700. The monthly gain included 3,600 full-time jobs and 2,400 part-time jobs. Compared with January 2018, Nova Scotia employment is up by 11,600, which included full-time employment increases of 10,100 and part-time gains of 1,400. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - New Program to Help Young Adults Get Jobs - Government is piloting new supports for young people on income assistance to help them become independent and get into the workforce more quickly. The EDGE pilot program is a job search and readiness program designed for young adults aged 18 to 26 who receive Employment Supports and Income Assistance. The program is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia. (Full Story)

January 30, 2019 - Job vacancy grew in N.S. in late 2018: StatCan - According to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, in the three months that ended in October 2018, there was an average of 6,800 job vacancies in Nova Scotia - unadjusted for seasonality. That number was 500 more jobs than reported in the same month in 2017, the federal agency said. Nova Scotia's job vacancy rate, the share of labour demand that is unfilled, was 1.7 per cent in October, 10 percentage points higher than observed for the same period in 2017, Statistics Canada indicated. (Full Story)

January 24, 2019 - WCB modernization helps reduce red tape burden for NS businesses - Today, the Office Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness released a final progress report, Reducing the Burden to Business, which references work WCB Nova is doing to modernize and become easier to do business with. When employers spend less time on red tape and administration, they have more time to spend on prevention and return to work. And that benefits everyone. (Full Story)

January 18, 2019 - Nunavut's overall employment rate drops in 2018, along with Inuit employment - Nunavut's employment rate dropped from 55 per cent in 2017 to 54 per cent in 2018, according to Statistics Canada's most recent update. Last year, there were 13,500 people with jobs in the territory and more than 2,000 people looking for work — most people looking for work were Inuit. Nunavut has the second lowest employment rate in all of Canada, only Newfoundland and Labrador is lower with a 51 per cent employment rate. (Full Story)

February 12, 2019 - Transforming Ontario's Employment Services - Ontario is transforming its employment services to help more people find and keep quality jobs and increase the number of businesses finding the right workers with the right skills. Ontario's employment and training programs are critical to building a skilled workforce. However, a 2016 report from the Auditor General identified that Ontario's employment and training programs were not effectively helping people find and keep full-time jobs, and that the government lacked labour market information that would help meet the current and future labour needs of Ontario. (Full Story)

February 12, 2019 - Province Helping Job Seekers and Employers Make Ontario Open for Business - Ontario's Government is working for the people to help job seekers find and keep good jobs and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need. Ontario's employment and training programs are critical to building the skilled workforce that keeps Ontario open for business. However, the current system is fractured, unnecessarily complex, and not sufficiently focused on getting the results job seekers, employers and Ontario's economy need to grow and succeed. (Full Story)

February 11, 2019 - Employment Solutions Supports Northern Ontario Employment Agencies as HR of the North - Employment Solutions is one of the driving forces involved in a campaign supporting over 30 Northern Ontario Employment Agencies and their successes. The agencies involved are Employment Ontario service providers who continue to showcase their abilities by successfully assisting employers and job seekers throughout Northern Ontario communities with hiring needs or finding gainful employment. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - Ontario Added 41,400 Jobs in January - Ontario's Government is working for the people to create an environment where businesses can thrive, grow, and create good jobs for the people. Statistics Canada announced this morning, employment in Ontario increased by 41,400 jobs in January. The gains included 34,000 full time positions and 7,300 part time jobs. (Full Story)

February 7, 2019 - Ontario Supporting Indigenous Training and Employment - Ontario's Government for the People is supporting Indigenous training and employment in Sault Ste. Marie's information technology (IT) sector, creating 57 full-time jobs. Today, Ross Romano, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced PLATO Testing is receiving more than $1.2 million to deliver IT training focused on preparing Indigenous people to become experts in software testing. The project will create well-paying jobs and fill talent shortages in the labour market. (Full Story)

January 31, 2019 - Ontario's Health and Safety Training Heading to 21st Century - Ontario's government is working for the people to reduce burdens on job creators, as well as workers by improving training programs that certify those who promote health and safety at workplaces. Today, Minister Laurie Scott brought Ontario's health & safety training into the 21st century. These changes mean 50,000 Ontario workplaces no longer need to send workers for a five-day classroom course. (Full Story)

January 29, 2019 - Ontario's ailing workers should expect more help - The Ontario government has appointed a cancer expert to spearhead a major review of work-related cancers in the province, which could lead to more compensation claims being approved. There are hundreds of ailing, retired rubber workers in Waterloo Region who are convinced Ontario's workers' compensation system is broken and in need of a fix. Many experts believe the 125,000 occupational disease claims allowed by Ontario between 2006 and 2017 are just a small part of an emerging crisis. (Full Story)

February 25, 2019 - Survey on Indigenous workforce in N.S. and P.E.I. wraps this spring - A survey on the Indigenous workforce in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is wrapping up this spring. The Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs is asking people in those two provinces about their education and skill levels, as well as their current employment and long-term career goals. The information will connect workers with improved job prospects and will boost economic development in the region, said John Paul, executive director of the congress. (Full Story)

February 11, 2019 - More older Islanders may make workforce less competitive, warns prof - There are signs the P.E.I. labour force may not shrink as quickly as in other parts of the country as the population ages - but that could come with its own challenges, says a UPEI economist. While the workforce participation rate on P.E.I. has declined over the last decade, a slightly smaller drop than what has been seen nationally, how it got there was quite different. (Full Story)

January 30, 2019 - P.E.I. workers planning to push Liberals on EI commitment - Critics of P.E.I.'s dual zones for employment insurance (EI) are gearing up for a fight in the lead up to the federal election. During a public forum on EI at the Delta Prince Edward Tuesday, there was some harsh criticism towards the federal Liberals for not following a commitment to reverse P.E.I.'s duals zones introduced by the Stephen Harper Conservatives. (Full Story)

February 26, 2019 - Saskatchewan job vacancy rates remain unchanged in 2018 - Saskatchewan ends 2018 with an unchanged job vacancy rate. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business's most recent Help Wanted report shows that the province's private sector job vacancy rate remained unchanged at 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter. CFIB says this equals 6,600 open jobs in the province. (Full Story)

February 21, 2019 - Saskatchewan sees year-over-year drop in residents receiving EI benefits. - Saskatchewan was one of eight provinces to see a year-over-year decrease in the number of Employment Insurance (EI) recipients according to the latest numbers released by Statistics Canada. Between Dec. 2017 and Dec. 2018, the number of Canadians receiving EI benefits fell by 52,730, a decrease of 10.6 per cent. During that same time period, 2,550 Saskatchewan residents stopped receiving EI, a drop of 14.1 per cent. (Full Story)

February 20, 2019 - WCB mental health claims on the rise in Sask. - As the number of mental health claims in the province continue to rise, WorkSafe Saskatchewan is aiming to educate employers and their workers about safe, healthy workplaces. The WCB has seen a 75 per cent increase in accepted mental health claims over the last three years. According to Mooney, the majority of the claims the WCB receives are still for physical injuries, but out of about 22,000 total claims from last year, he said mental health claims made up about a few hundred, which continues to rise from previous years. (Full Story)

February 13, 2019 - Preparing employees for tomorrow is what makes this year's 'Saskatchewan's Top Employers' stand out from the crowd - A lot of employers talk about the need to train employees to make sure they have the skills needed to create the products that will be in demand tomorrow. But only a few leading employers have put these words into action. That's the message from this year's Saskatchewan's Top Employers, announced today by the organizers of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp Canada Inc. (Full Story)

February 8, 2019 - Six Consecutive Months of Job Growth In Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan's year-over-year employment increased by 7,700 jobs from January 2018.  This marks the sixth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province.  The job gains were split between full-time and part-time increases, with full-time up 4,400 jobs and part-time up 3,200 jobs. Jobs in the private sector were up 16,200. (Full Story)

March 1, 2019 - Coldest Jobs May Not Guarantee High Pay - "Big risk means big rewards." This phrase holds true in many situations, but is that always the case? Most would agree that people who take the biggest risks should be rewarded for their bravery, perseverance and hard work. A recent study of the coldest occupations on the planet in places where temperatures dip as low as -38 degrees Fahrenheit ranked the coldest jobs according to how the temperature, pay and cost of living compare. (Full Story)


Overcoming Recruitment Challenges by using an Applicant Tracking System

We've all heard our share of stories about the joys of the employee hiring process. From the positive, "Pat has been an incredible asset for our group - we were so fortunate she applied for our job posting", to the not-so-positive; "Boy, did we ever make a bad call on that one - he looked so good on paper…"

Let's face it; even if your organization is batting 500 for new employee selections, the hiring process can still be timely and difficult. This same situation applies whether you run a small business or large corporation.

Though HR and hiring managers come up against similar challenges each time they need to hire a new worker, many businesses still rely on the traditional method of gathering potential employees. This includes sorting through an overflowing Inbox of email submissions, printing piles of resumes and cover letters, reviewing each document, and finally, conducting meeting after meeting to see if applicants match their submitted resumes.

An ineffective hiring process such as this can lead to poor staffing decisions - and those decisions can have many adverse effects on your business. It begins with project delays as you try to "fit" the wrong person into the role - and continues with added costs if the decision is made to release the unsuccessful employee and restart the hiring process.

If you are still employing a traditional paper-based method of recruiting employees, it's time to consider the alternative - an Applicant Tracking System.

What is an Applicant Tracking System?

Simply put, an applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software tool that helps you manage your recruitment needs electronically. From the time a potential candidate reads your job post and submits their application, to the time you receive their resume and setup an interview, an ATS will help you track the applicant's progress throughout the hiring process.

Different Approaches to Applicant Tracking

Just as there are different types of software to suit specific industries and purposes, companies also create applicant tracking software that rely on fundamentally different approaches with respect to candidate management.

For example, some applicant tracking systems use a keyword-based approach that weighs an employee's initial suitability based on words and phrases that are found throughout their resume, cover letters and other submitted correspondence. Using this approach, a higher occurrence of pre-defined words and phrases may indicate that the applicant is more suited than other applicants who do not include as many of the "desired" terms.

Playing the System - One of the drawbacks of the keyword approach is that some web-savvy applicants will employ the use of "resume optimization" tools that may increase their chances of achieving an interview call. Such tools will scan the employer's job posting and will suggest words and phrases that should be added to their resume - and in turn, may cause their application to be ranked higher than others.

Other systems are questionnaire-based with weighted answers that automatically rank the best applicants based on their responses. This allows your HR team to create a set of questions that will pre-screen candidates and calculate an overall score based on weighted values that have been assigned to each question. If a particular question is more important to the position, then the question is assigned a greater score.

This approach is popular with those who are looking to choose an ATS for the first time, due in part to its targeted approach. Many businesses also believe that the questionnaire method results in a more accurate candidate job application because it requires each applicant to provide responses to a specific set of questions.

Whichever approach you choose, an applicant tracking system can provide efficiencies that will significantly reduce the time you spend in the hiring process.

How can an ATS help in Today's Top Hiring Challenges?

If you are using a traditional paper or spreadsheet method for your recruiting efforts, take a few moments to consider the challenges you face and then compare them with the top issues faced by today's HR professionals. For each challenge listed below, an ATS can provide a viable alternative:

  • Slow Hiring Times - Vetting a prospective candidate is one of the biggest challenges in recruitment. With many variables to consider for each candidate, HR managers can become sidetracked during the hiring process. As a result, companies that hesitate and are slow to make a job offer often lose out on talented workers. A 2017 report 1 on recruiting trends noted that the third highest reason candidates turn down jobs was that the employer took too long to make an offer.
    • How an ATS can help: It will help to streamline your hiring process by organizing the top applicants' data and then tracking each person's progress throughout the recruitment process. You'll spend less time wading through unsuitable submissions, and more time dealing with the most suitable candidates. Better organization means a faster hiring decision.

  • Retaining Employees - Losing recent hires to a different company is another challenge that HR managers face, especially with the growing number of millennials entering the workforce. With one-third of new employees choosing a different job after just six months on the job 2, it's more important than ever to ensure that you make the right employee decision the first time.
    • How an ATS can help: Set up your ATS to search for candidates that offer the best long-term employee potential. If you choose a question-based ATS, you can include behavioral questions that will pre-screen for more loyal applicants vs. candidates that may be prone to job-jumping.

  • Providing Attractive Compensation - With high competition in many key industries, employers must include relevant compensation programs that are both fair and appealing to prospective employees. If an excellent candidate applies for a position at your company, there's a likely chance that the person has already applied at a number of other firms. Thus, providing an attractive compensation package is paramount to garner and retain the new hire.
    • How an ATS can help: Use your ATS to not only list the job's salary range and benefits, but to also include engaging content that will highlight your company and its compensation package. Since some ATS don't allow more than standard documents and text, you should choose an applicant tracking system that allows you to include rich media, videos and other creative offerings. Such content will emphasize the advantages of your company and make your job posting stand out from the crowd.

Hiring the right people is crucial to your company's success. Make this job as easy as it can be by utilizing the technology that an ATS can provide.

Article by Gerald Adams, Media Director at CanPay Software Inc.

1 Top Recruiting Trends: Top Echelon's 2016-2017 Recruiting Industry Report
2  2013 Employee Turnover Trends


Software Updates

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GrandMaster II (v14.00)

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eNETEmployer (Current Release)

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  • Added HR positions to Recruitment tab.
  • Improved bilingual support for employee pay stubs
  • Added the ability to post jobs on an internal website only (Recruitment feature)
  • Added applicant profiles to the Recruitment feature.
  • Added applicant scores and previous activity to the recruitment notification email.

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