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March 2013


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Featured Article:

Gauge whether staff can alter work routine - Part 2 of 2

Tip of the Month:

PD7A, Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions

March 2013 - Welcome to the latest edition of The Payroll News. As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and associates who are interested in keeping up with the latest changes in the Payroll industry. Or better yet, subscribe them for free using the Tell Others About Us link.

What's New in Canadian Payroll

Listed here are recent changes in legislation on Federal and Provincial levels that may impact your payroll calculations. Please view the following list for changes that affect your region.


March 2013 - Form PD7A, Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions - Starting in April 2013, the CRA will stop mailing paper Forms PD7A, Statements of Account for Current Source Deductions if you have paid your previous remittances electronically for the past six months or more. To view the information that was provided on your paper Form PD7A, use the view "Account balance" and "Account transactions" features of E-services for Businesses. (Full Story)

March 26, 2013 - Connecting Canadians with Available Jobs - Key measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 will address Canada's overall skills and labour shortages and transform the way Canadians receive skills training, says Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "While our economy continues to grow and create jobs, the global economy remains fragile and a growing mismatch exists between available jobs and those looking for work. By helping Canadians connect with available jobs, and putting a new focus on skills and training, we are ensuring continued economic growth, job creation and long-term prosperity." (Full Story)

March 21, 2013 - Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity the Top Priority of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today unveiled the next phase of the Harper Government's plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. "The Canadian economy continues to create jobs and experience modest growth, yet we still face significant risks from beyond our borders, particularly from the euro area and the United States, our largest trading partner," said Minister Flaherty. "Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on the strong foundation laid in previous years to connect Canadians with available jobs, to provide long-term predictable funding for infrastructure, and to make significant investments in manufacturing and critical research." (Full Story)

March 15, 2013 - Interest rates for the second calendar quarter Ottawa, Ontario - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) today announced the prescribed annual interest rates that will apply to any amounts owed to the CRA and to any amounts the CRA owes to individuals and corporations. These rates are calculated quarterly in accordance with applicable legislation and will be in effect from April 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013. The rates below remain unchanged from the previous quarter. (Full Story)

March 10, 2013 - Harper Government announces access to EI sickness benefits for eligible parents - The HRSDC announced that approximately 6000 individuals on parental benefits may be able to access Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits effective March 24, 2013. As of this date, parents who fall ill or become injured while receiving parental benefits may be eligible for EI sickness benefits with the new provisions under the Employment Insurance Act. Originally announced as part of the Helping Families in Need Act, this new measure could benefit up to 6 000 individuals per year. (Full Story)

February 28, 2013 - Minister Welcomes Introduction of Pension Plan Legislation by B.C. - The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), today welcomed enabling legislation introduced by the Government of British Columbia that will help to make Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) a reality for employers and workers in the province. The final regulatory elements of the federal PRPP framework were finalized on December 14, 2012, bringing the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act into force. British Columbia's initiative demonstrates what can be achieved when governments work together. (Full Story)

February 28, 2013 - Minister Raitt promotes workplace diversity, health and safety at the Canada 2020 Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector Conference - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister, spoke to participants at the Canada 2020 conference on Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector about the value of workplace diversity and occupational health and safety. Canada 2020's Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector conference provided an opportunity for industry executives, government representatives, labour unions, and educational institutions to discuss solutions to the skills and labour shortages facing Canada's energy sector. (Full Story)

February 14, 2013 - Government of Canada announces drop in disabling injuries incidence rate - The number of disabling injuries among workers in the federal jurisdiction is steadily declining. Disabling injuries are defined as occupational injuries that prevent an employee from reporting for work or from effectively performing all of the duties associated with his or her regular job. It was reported that the rate of disabling injuries in federally regulated workplaces has dropped 33 percent between 2000 and 2010 with preliminary data suggesting the downward trend continued in 2011. (Full Story)

February 13, 2013 - Minister Raitt Promotes Diversity in the Workplace - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister, met yesterday with members of the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) to discuss workplace diversity and occupational health and safety. She commended the effort of the Council and other mining industry stakeholders for their role in ensuring the health and safety of workers. "Everyone, employers, employees and governments have a role to play when it comes to promoting safe and healthy workplaces across Canada. All Canadians, no matter where they work or in what field they specialize, should be able to return home safe and sound after their workday." (Full Story)

February 1, 2013 - Harper Government encourages employers to apply for Canada Summer Jobs funding - Employers can now apply for Canada Summer Jobs funding which will create thousands of job opportunities for students across the country. "Through Canada Summer Jobs, we're helping to create up to 36 000 jobs for students," said HRSDC Minister Diane Finley. "This program helps students gain work experience, links employers with enthusiastic workers for the summer and spurs job creation and economic growth. It's a win-win-win that we're happy to support." (Full Story)


March 28, 2013 - Minister hails first ratification of teacher deal - The Palliser Regional School District board and its respective local Alberta Teachers' Association have officially ratified the four-year provincial agreement, an important first step in finalizing the agreement. The agreement, presented to the ATA and the Alberta School Boards Association earlier this month, will see salaries for nearly 40,000 Alberta teachers frozen for three years, followed by an increase of two per cent plus a one-time lump sum payment in 2015-16. (Full Story)

February 21, 2013 - Government of Canada invests to help youth in central Alberta get jobs - The Government of Canada is providing support for youth in central Alberta to help them gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to enter and succeed in the job market. Participants will develop life and job skills though workshops on topics such as communication and conflict resolution. They will gain knowledge and experience through job placements in the energy sector, service industry or construction industry. (Full Story)

February 19, 2013 - Salary freeze introduced after challenging third quarter - Alberta's third quarter update shows a multi-billion dollar drop in non-renewable resource revenue. As a result, the Government of Alberta today introduced a three-year management salary freeze, effective April 1st, which will save taxpayers $54 million. The government also announced that it will reduce the number of public sector managers by 10 per cent over the same time period. The management salary freeze also covers opted out and excluded government employees. (Full Story)

February 15, 2013 - Premier recognizes healthiest workplaces - Premier Alison Redford recognized eight employers for their commitment to improving employee health at the sixth Premier's Awards for Healthy Workplaces. Award recipients were selected based on the strategies, initiatives, policies, and programs they have in place to promote, support and enhance healthy workplaces. This year, 24 workplaces applied to one of three award categories. The top three companies with the highest scores in workplace wellness receive a Premier's Award of Distinction. (Full Story)

February 2013 - New 2013 pension payment calendar is now available - The Alberta WCB has released the new 2013 pension payment calendar and has made it available for download their website. This handy calendar shows you the dates that your payments are being directly deposited into your bank account. (Full Story - PDF)

February 2013 - WCB-Alberta - Physiotherapists as First Reporters - Effective February 1 2013, Physiotherapists have First Reporter status as is the case with Chiropractors and Physicians. This means that a WCB Adjudicator can adjudicate a claim (Time Loss and No Time Loss) based on the physiotherapist's diagnosis and fitness for work status provided in their assessment report (soft tissue injuries only). If the worker goes to a physiotherapist before a physician, the Adjudicator does not have to request or necessarily wait for a physician's report to adjudicate the claim. (Full Story - PDF)

British Columbia:

March 28, 2013 - Final BC job fair concludes with record attendance for province tour - The 47th and final BC Jobs Start Here job fair kicks off in Vancouver today, giving thousands of local job seekers the chance to connect with employers and find information about job opportunities, career trends, skills training and more. The job fairs began in September 2012 with an initial run of 24 communities, which attracted more than 31,000 British Columbians. Based on positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees, the fairs were extended through March 2013 with 23 additional stops. (Full Story)

March 22, 2013 - BC Jobs Plan: Steady progress toward a strong economy in the Cariboo - A day after releasing her government's latest update on the BC Jobs Plan, Premier Christy Clark visited West Fraser Timber's Williams Lake Sawmill to tout the benefits of the plan to the Cariboo Region. Launched in September 2011, the BC Jobs Plan is government's strategy to grow B.C.'s economy and create jobs. The 18-Month Progress report highlights government's continued focus on skills training and attracting foreign trade and investment to B.C. (Full Story)

March 21, 2013 - BC Jobs Plan: Getting Results Together - Since release of the BC Jobs Plan, B.C. has added 47,100 jobs as a result of a gain of 77,500 full-time positions combined with a loss of 30,300 part-time positions (as of February 2013). The current unemployment rate in British Columbia is 6.3 per cent (February 2013) - the fourth-lowest in Canada, down from 7.0 per cent one year ago and 7.5 per cent when the Jobs Plan was released. (Full Story)

March 8, 2013 - B.C. ranks second in job growth in February - B.C. gained 19,800 jobs this month, with gains in both full-time and part-time employment. With an additional 20,200 people entering the labour force, the unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.3 per cent. The unemployment rate was down throughout the province by 0.7 per cent from February 2012, with Prince George reporting a drop of 2.9 percentage points and Kamloops by 3.3 percentage points. B.C.'s average hourly wage rate of $24.26 in February was up by 2.1 per cent compared with February 2012. For B.C. youth under 25, the average hourly wage in February was $14.73, up by 6.2 per cent compared with February 2012. (Full Story)

March 7, 2013 - The facts on farm workers in B.C. - B.C.'s labour laws and workplace safety standards apply to all workers regardless of their nationality or immigration status. British Columbia's employment standards provide the minimum standards of wages and working conditions in most non-unionized B.C. workplaces. For example, an inter-agency team, including WorkSafeBC and Employment Standards Branch representatives, conducts random roadside inspections of farm vehicles. In 2012, approximately 3,000 workers participated in a safety and health education program designed for people coming to work in B.C. through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program. (Full Story)

February 21, 2013 - WorkSafeBC and CEU ratify agreement - WorkSafeBC and the Compensation Employees' Union have ratified the agreement reached under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell announced today. The agreement covers two years and includes modest wage increases of two per cent effective April 1, 2012, and two per cent on April 1, 2013, funded from savings found within existing budgets, as required under the 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate. (Full Story)


March 2013 - Government of Canada invests to help youth in southwestern Manitoba get jobs - The Government of Canada announced new funding to support youth in southwestern Manitoba to help them gain the knowledge they need to enter and succeed in the job market. The Manitoba School Counsellors' Association is receiving $25,000 from the Youth Awareness program to help youth learn about educational and career options. The association will organize Brandon Career Symposium 2013, a job fair being held March 4-6, to promote education and employment opportunities to high school students and other local youth. (Full Story)

March 20, 2013 - WCB E-news Survey Now Online - Are you a WCB e-newsletter reader? Got something you want to say or see? The Manitoba WCB is asking you to take a few moments and complete the WCB e-newsletter reader survey so they can find ways to bring you more information in the best possible way. If you have something you want to say or see, let us know by telling us what you think today. (Full Story)

February 19, 2013 - Workers Compensation Board Named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013 - The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) has again been chosen among 50 organizations across Canada in this year's Canada's Best Diversity Employers competition. The WCB was recognized as a leading organization that has developed a wide range of initiatives, including programs for: women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and aboriginal peoples. (Full Story)

New Brunswick:

March 18, 2014 - Assistive technology available for apprentices with learning disabilities - The provincial government is partnering with the Learning Disabilities Association of New Brunswick to help apprentices with learning disabilities in their training. Apprentices now have access through the association to additional assistive technology to support their learning. Assistive technology comes in many forms and refers to any technological device that helps accomplish a task using an enhanced or different method. (Full Story)

March 15, 2013 - EI claimants affected by end of federal pilot project urged to visit local employment offices - Premier David Alward announced a new training program in Tracadie today for unemployed New Brunswickers affected by the recent termination of the five-week extended Employment Insurance (EI) benefits federal pilot project. Workers affected by the so-called gap between their EI benefits running out and the beginning of their seasonal employment are urged to seek assistance by making an appointment with their local provincial employment office today. (Full Story)

March 2013 - Attention all health and safety training providers - Private sector training providers in New Brunswick are invited to submit their names to appear on a Health and Safety Training Providers List, posted on our new training portal. The portal is part of the New Brunswick WCB's commitment to raising the bar on health and safety, and underlines the importance, and obligation, of providing workers with appropriate health and safety training. It will include links to legislation, including New Brunswick's Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations; a list of health and safety training providers; a section on frequently asked questions about health and safety training; and, information on our Recognized Health and Safety Training Provider Program. (Full Story)

February 5, 2013 - Students invited to participate in contest about workplace safety and employee rights - New Brunswick high school students are invited to take part in the provincial It's Your Job - Know Your Rights video contest stressing the importance of workplace safety and employee rights. The contest will run until April 5, at which time all video submissions will be judged by a review panel. Additional employment standards materials have also been recently developed to promote awareness of employee rights and responsibilities. These materials include an online form which enables employees to file employment standards complaints electronically; an employee logbook to help people tracking their hours worked; and online information videos. (Full Story)

Newfoundland and Labrador:

March 28, 2013 - Understanding our Clients Better - Over the next several of weeks, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission will undertake a survey of its clients to gain a better understanding of how they want to communicate with them and through what communication channels. This is part of the Commission's integrated client service strategy to further enhance client service. Anyone called is under no obligation to participate in the survey. Individual comments and answers are absolutely confidential and will not be provided to the Commission. (Full Story)

March 26, 2013 - Investments to Support a Skilled Workforce - Budget 2013 presents a sound plan to help people seize opportunities that are ahead and secure a prosperous future. An investment exceeding $42 million for the development of a skilled workforce will support training, advance apprentices, secure more skilled workers for employers, encourage immigration and help ensure under-represented groups such as women, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal persons have the skills and opportunity to obtain long-term employment. Newfoundland and Labrador's resource-based industries provide significant economic benefits and valuable employment for the people of the province. (Full Story)

March 26, 2013 - Workforce Adjustment - Core Public Service - With just over 8,900 employees in the core public service, the Provincial Government will be laying off approximately 485 employees, which includes people who received layoff notice in early March. This includes 243 permanent positions, 206 temporary positions and 36 seasonal positions. This will result in a decrease of approximately 5.4 per cent in the size of the core public service. In addition, the planned approach to workforce adjustment extends across all departments and includes the elimination of 246 positions that are currently vacant. (Full Story)

February 11, 2013 - WHSCC opinion surveys indicate positive satisfaction levels in 2012 - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission announced the results of its 2012 client service surveys. In 2012, 78 per cent of employers surveyed gave a good or excellent rating for their overall opinion of the Commission; 73 per cent were completely or mostly satisfied with the overall quality of service and 75 per cent were mostly or completely satisfied with their overall experience. (Full Story)

Nova Scotia:

March 2013 - Minimum Wage to Increase April 1 - On April 1, Nova Scotians earning the minimum wage will make more money. For the fourth time since 2010, the province is increasing the minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living. This year, it will go up 1.5 per cent, to $10.30 an hour. The minimum wage for someone who has less than three months' experience is also increasing, to $9.80 an hour. (Full Story)

March 27, 2013 - Province Protects Families in Crisis - Nova Scotians who need time away from work because their child is critically ill or a victim of a serious crime will no longer have to worry about losing their job. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Frank Corbett introduced changes to the Labour Standards Code today, March 27, to protect jobs for parents and guardians, who are now entitled to federal Employment Insurance benefits or unpaid leave when their child is in crisis. Nova Scotia is just the third province to bring their labour code in line with the federal changes. (Full Story)

March 22, 2013 - New Equipment Helps Prepare Apprentices for Good Jobs - Apprentices are getting access to state-of-the-art labs and training equipment to help them prepare for the extraordinary job opportunities that are coming to Nova Scotia. The province announced $615,000 in training equipment to be used by Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to support apprenticeship program delivery at an event today, March 22, at the NSCC Institute of Technology Campus. Welders, construction and industrial electricians, and automotive technicians are just some of the trades that will benefit from the new training equipment. (Full Story)

March 20, 2013 - New Strategy to Improve Workplace Safety - Workers and employers are coming together to make Nova Scotia the safest place to work in the country. The new workplace safety strategy, led by the province and the Workers' Compensation Board, aims to ensure every Nova Scotian returns home safely from work each day. All Nova Scotians will soon be able to take free online safety training. And the province is also consolidating workplace health and safety regulations to make it easier to access and understand information and rules. (Full Story)

March 8, 2013 - Helping Women Get Ready for Technology, Trades Jobs - The province is helping support women interested in pursuing sciences, trades and technology through a new endowment fund. The fund, announced today, March 8, will ensure women studying at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in those fields can apply for the Bread and Roses bursary for years to come. For the past five years, female students in technology, trades and science-related fields at the NSCC could apply for $1,000 bursaries. However, the funding had to be secured and approved each year. (Full Story)

February 27, 2013 - Province Acts to Increase Number of Skilled Immigrants - Changes to the provincial immigration program will open doors for more families and skilled workers to immigrate to Nova Scotia. The province has a comprehensive immigration strategy to help attract new skilled labour into the workforce. International graduates will now be encouraged to apply for permanent residency through the federal Canadian Experience Class. This eliminates the need for the international graduate stream in the Nova Scotia Nominee program, opening the door for more skilled workers. (Full Story)

February 13, 2013 - Pension Changes Will Protect Jobs - Pension funding rule changes announced today, Feb. 13, are protecting jobs and preserving benefits for thousands of private-sector workers. The recent recession left many defined benefit pension plans underfunded, putting financial pressure on employers to top up the plans. Today's changes give plans up to 15 years to be fully funded. These changes give more employers breathing room to recover from the recession and low interest rates. (Full Story)

Northwest Territories :

February 19, 2013 - GNWT recognized as one of Canada's best diversity employers - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has been named as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers. The prestigious annual award recognizes organizations that work to include women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and LGBT peoples in the workplace. The GNWT is committed to developing and maintaining a representative work force using a variety of tools and training that support and encourage an inclusive workplace. (Full Story)


March 20, 2013 - Find the Job You Want This Summer - The new Ontario government is helping students and young people find summer jobs. Through Ontario's Summer Jobs Strategy, the government helps students find summer jobs or launch their own summer business. In addition, employers are offered a $2-per-hour hiring incentive to hire summer students. Job opportunities are now available through a website at (Full Story)

March 15, 2013 - Ontario Supports Innovative Discoveries While Creating Jobs - The new Ontario government is helping 17 Toronto research teams make discoveries that will improve the lives of people around the world while strengthening Ontario's economy. Ontario is helping the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Ryerson University, Sunnybrook Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto and York University invest in new facilities that will support ground-breaking research. Supported projects will research and explore a variety of areas and topics. (Full Story)

March 8, 2013 - Ontario Gains 35,300 Jobs in February - Employment in Ontario rose by 35,300 jobs, including an increase in youth employment of almost 21,000. In February, Ontario created nearly 70 per cent of all new jobs in Canada. Job creation and economic growth are top priorities for the new Ontario government. Since the recessionary low of June 2009, full-time employment in Ontario has increased by 380,600 net jobs. And the province continues to outpace the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Great Lakes States in job creation. (Full Story)

February 15, 2013 - Job Creation Is Key To A Strong Economy And A Fair Society - The new Ontario government is getting to work to secure a better future for young people in the province. In her first jobs roundtable discussion with members of Ontario's Jobs and Prosperity Council, business leaders and young entrepreneurs, Premier Wynne reiterated her commitment to create jobs and build a stronger economy and a fair society by ensuring our young people have the tools and confidence they need to succeed. Providing the right climate to attract investment, create jobs and grow the economy is part of the new Ontario government's plan to build a fair society and a strong economy. (Full Story)

February 7, 2013 - WSIB: Making it faster, easier and more efficient for you to do business - The WSIB has been working to find faster, easier and more efficient ways for you to do business. Working with partners like the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), and employers across Ontario, the WSIB has made significant changes to the way they provide services in an effort to find ways to reduce the amount of time you spend on WSIB paperwork. (Full Story)

Prince Edward Island:

March 14, 2013 - Farmers, farm workers encouraged to emphasize safe agricultural working environments - The people who work to make agriculture one of the Island's key industries should take the time to make sure farms are safe workplaces, say Agriculture and Forestry Minister George Webster and Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry. "Employers in Prince Edward Island have a duty to provide safe workplaces, and workers have the right to insist on safe working conditions. Canadian Agricultural Safety Week is a reminder to make sure our farms are safe and healthy workplaces," said Minister Sherry. (Full Story)

March 13, 2013 - Young Islanders can win in the It's Your Job video contest - The Workers Compensation Board reminds Island youth that there are three weeks left to enter the "It's Your Job…Workplace Rights, Camera, Action!" video contest. The contest engages high school students, as well as 18 - 24 year old youth, in their workplace rights and responsibilities and offers a chance to win cash prizes in the process. (Full Story)

February 7, 2013 - New regulations approved for payday lenders - The government of Prince Edward Island has taken the next step in its decision to regulate payday lenders, says Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice, Janice Sherry. The regulations will come into force once the federal government has designated PEI as a province which can regulate the cost of borrowing payday loans. This is expected to take from six months to a year. (Full Story)

February 06, 2013 - 2013 Health & Safety Conference: Working Together Toward a Culture of Safety - The 2013 Workplace Health & Safety Conference is being held on Friday, April 26, at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. The conference features workshops on a variety of topics, including stress management, industrial ergonomics, workplace literacy and much more… as well as a trade show of products and services from Atlantic Canada's health and safety community. (Full Story)

January 30, 2013 - The WCB reminds workplaces about First Aid Regulation changes - The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) reminds all Island workplaces that changes to Prince Edward Island's First Aid Regulations will come into effect on January 31, 2013. The amendments to Section 9 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations recognize that first aid requirements should reflect the various hazard levels in different types of workplaces. They also put additional measures in place to anticipate the first aid needs of workers and employers across the Island. (Full Story)


March 26, 2013 - Employers Support Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship Industry Scholarship Program - Saskatchewan industry continues to provide opportunities for youth who enter the skilled trades. Over the past two years, 19 industry organizations have donated $150,000 to the Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship (SYA) Industry Scholarship. Their generous support provides opportunities for youth who have graduated from the SYA program and enter into apprenticeship in one of the 47 designated trades and 23 subtrades. (Full Story)

March 20, 2013 - Government Committed To Improving Education And Employment Outcomes By Working With First Nations And Métis People - The 2013-14 Budget demonstrates the Government of Saskatchewan's commitment to working with First Nations and Métis people and the priority of improving education and employment outcomes. The budget provides $184.8 million, an increase of $10.8 million or 6.2 per cent from the 2012-13 Budget, for targeted program funding to exclusively or primarily for First Nations and Métis organizations or individuals. (Full Story)

March 12, 2013 - Job Opportunities In Saskatchewan Continue To Grow - Up 12 Per Cent Over Last Year - Visits to the website continued at a steady pace in February. The popular jobs website saw a 7.0 per cent increase in visits over February 2012, with just under a million visitors this February and a 12 per cent increase in the number of jobs posted. A total of 15,390 job opportunities were posted by employers in February, which is up more than 12 per cent year-over-year. (Full Story)

March 8, 2013 - Saskatchewan Has The Lowest Unemployment Rate In Canada - Saskatchewan had the lowest unemployment rate in Canada in February 2013, at 3.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted), the lowest since November 2008 when it was 3.7 per cent and well below the national rate of 7.0 per cent. Job numbers continued to climb in February, up 24,600 to 546,200 jobs, the most ever for the month of February (seasonally unadjusted). Jobs were up by 4.7 per cent in February 2013 over last February, the second-highest among Canadian provinces (Full Story)

February 27, 2013 - Saskatchewan Continues International Labour Recruitment - A delegation of Saskatchewan employers is heading to Ireland to recruit high-skilled workers to this province. The Ministry of the Economy and 13 employers will attend the Working Abroad Expo in Dublin March 2 and 3, Cork on March 6, and some will also exhibit in Manchester, United Kingdom March 9 and 10. More than 10,000 qualified candidates in fields including trades, engineering and health sciences are expected to attend the fairs. (Full Story)

February 12, 2013 - Saskjobs Nets More Than 1 Million Visits In January - started the year strong with 1,098,651 visits to the website in January 2013, up 17.96 per cent over January 2012. Employers posted a total of 16,522 jobs on in January 2013, up 12.26 per cent year-over-year. Of those postings, the majority of job opportunities were available under the category of Sales and Services, which comprised 31.46 per cent of all jobs posted. Trades, Transport and Construction opportunities also made up a large portion of the jobs posted at 28.36 per cent. (Full Story)

February 8, 2013 - Number Of Jobs In Saskatchewan Soars - Saskatchewan added nearly 25,000 jobs in January compared to the same period last year, a 4.7 per cent increase and the highest growth rate among the provinces, according to Statistics Canada. Saskatchewan's unemployment rate fell to 4.0 per cent, to the lowest rate in Canada, the lowest level since November 2008, and well below the national average of 7.0 per cent. (Full Story)

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Gauge whether staff can alter work routine; it can pay off on job and at home FLEXIBLE thinking (Part 2 of 2) - Click Here for Part 1

State Street offered five flexibility options including altering start/stop times, but maintaining core hours, compressed work weeks, working from home, job share or overall reduced working hours. Managers were given guidelines for evaluating flextime requests from both the job as well as the corporate perspective. Prior to approving flextime options, managers were also required to mitigate customer service, productivity and legal risks.

Since the inception of flextime scheduling, the State Street Corp. employee survey identified an increase in employee satisfaction, an increase in productivity and a decrease in absenteeism. Finally, flextime arrangements enabled the company to overcome any impact of major storms including tornadoes and the Japanese tsunami.

With summer months and beautiful weather arriving on Manitoba's doorsteps, implementing flextime in your workplace might be a worthwhile consideration. Where and how should you begin?

First, a flextime program must be supported by senior executives, including your CEO/executive director, or else it will not be successful. A program must enable the organization to continue moving forward with its goals, including service and/or production. It should not create additional costs nor should it reduce efficiency and effectiveness.

A policy needs to be developed that outlines the framework for employee application, the criteria for selection of both individuals and job categories and the approval process. Job tasks must be suitable to a flextime arrangement and strategies must be put in place for communication, supervision and evaluation. In some cases, the best approach is to undertake a three-month pilot project and then evaluate the appropriateness of continuing.

Applications for flextime should be made in the form of a written proposal including a description of how job tasks will be accomplished, the benefits to both the individual and the organization, how communication and supervision will take place and proposals for start dates.

Managers and/or human resource professionals need to create a checklist for employees that assists them to examine the numerous issues they need to consider while writing their proposal. The checklist should focus on the various elements of their specific job, how client issues will be managed, and how the employee will communicate with co-workers, clients, supervisors and managers. The proposal needs to deal with how performance will be measured, how success of the arrangements will be gauged, how the employee will "self-manage" for success and if there will be any impact on their pay and/or benefits.

From the employer perspective, each proposal for flextime work scheduling should be evaluated on its merits. The decision must be based on whether flextime is appropriate for each specific job as well as identifying the organizational benefits, general workflow and impact on departmental efficiency and effectiveness. Finally, because employee self-management is a key to success, managers must assess an individual employee's suitability for this type of independence.

Flextime is definitely a growing trend and as summer approaches, it could be a worthwhile strategy for both employee and employer.

Source: The Business Case for Flex, Alison Quirk, HR Magazine, April 2012, Survey on Workplace Flexibility, world of Work, February, 2011. Barbara J. Bowes, FCHRP, CMC, CCP, is president of Legacy Bowes Group, a Talent management firm. She can be reached at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 1, 2012 H1