Canadian Payroll and Human Resource News and Articles - January 2015Canadian Payroll and Human Resource News and Articles - January 2015

Payroll News Canada - January 2015

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 GrandMaster News Newsletter Archive

Tip of the Month

January 2015 - Hiring an Apprentice - The AJCTC Tax Credit - Did you know that if you hire an "eligible apprentice", you may be able to claim the AJCTC - a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10% of their eligible salaries and wages? The maximum credit an employer can claim is $2,000 per year for each eligible apprentice (any unused credit may be carried back 3 years and carried forward 20 years). 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

January 23, 2015 - Employer deadline for Canada Summer Jobs applications approaching - Employers are reminded to apply now for funding under Canada Summer Jobs 2015. The funding will create thousands of job opportunities for students across the country. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2015. Funding is available to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses to hire qualified young people aged 15 to 30 who are full-time students and intend to return to school in the fall. It is estimated that up to 35,000 young Canadians will benefit from summer employment while helping employers address skills shortages. (Full Story)

January 23, 2015 - Impact Of February 28 Falling On A Saturday - CRA filing deadlines for T4, T4A slips and related summaries is the last day of February. However, since February 28, 2015 falls on a Saturday the following is stated on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website: "If the due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, your return is due the next business day." Revenu Québec (RQ) has advised that although their General Information Business inquiry personnel state that returns must be filed by February 28, the understanding is they will accept RL-1, RL-2 and related summaries until Monday, March 2, 2015. (Full Story)

January 22, 2015 - Harper Government Support Opens Doors for Women in Skilled Trades - Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Michelle Rempel announced an investment of $996,942 to enable Women Building Futures (WBF) to provide women with increased access to skilled labour training in the construction industry. Funding will support the WBF #4ME project, which uses a technology-based system to increase their capacity to reach, attract, train and retain women in skilled trades. (Full Story)

December 31, 2014 - Creating Jobs and Opportunities for Canadians in 2014 - Finance Minister Joe Oliver today highlighted a range of significant economic achievements that the Harper Government has delivered throughout 2014 to support growth, jobs and long-term prosperity. One of the changes was introducing the Small Business Job Credit, which is expected to save small businesses more than $550 million over the next two years, and will help them defray the cost of hiring new workers and take advantage of emerging economic opportunities. (Full Story)

December 29, 2014 - Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefit rates effective January 1, 2015 - Employment and Social Development Canada today announced the benefit amounts for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) effective January 1, 2015. CPP benefits will increase by 1.8 percent for those already receiving CPP benefits. For 2015, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,065.00 per month. This increase is calculated on the average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the last five years. The new CPP rates will be in effect until December 31, 2015. (Full Story)

December 16, 2014 - Government unveils new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program - Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that Canada will unveil a pilot program in January 2015 to attract experienced business immigrants who can actively invest in the Canadian economy, stimulating innovation, economic growth and job creation. The new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program is part of a series of transformational changes that build on the Government's commitment to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system. This new pilot program will begin accepting applications in late January 2015 and will provide a pathway to permanent residence for approximately 50 immigrant investors and their families. (Full Story)

December 15, 2014 - Interest rates for the first calendar quarter - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) today announced the prescribed annual interest rates that will apply to any amounts owed to the CRA and to any amounts the CRA owes to individuals and corporations. These rates will be in effect from January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015. There have been no changes to the prescribed interest rates since last quarter, except for the interest rate for corporate taxpayers’ pertinent loans or indebtedness. (Full Story)

December 2, 2014 - Government of Canada supports summer jobs for youth - Employers can now begin applying for funding under Canada Summer Jobs 2015. The funding will create thousands of job opportunities for students across the country. Funding will be available to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses to hire qualified young people aged 15 to 30, who are full-time students intending to return to school in the fall. It is estimated that up to 35,000 young Canadians will benefit from summer employment through Canada Summer Jobs 2015, while helping employers address skills shortages. (Full Story)

December 1, 2014 - Minister Bergen launches new call for proposals to help Canadians with disabilities obtain jobs - Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, addressed the Fifth Annual Forum on Inclusion in Ottawa, just days ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities which occurs on December 3. Fulfilling a Budget 2013 commitment, Minister Bergen announced reforms to the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to better connect Canadians with jobs. (Full Story)

November 25, 2014 - Remittance thresholds for source deductions - The CRA website states that some remittance threshold amounts were increased for amounts to be withheld after 2014. This may reduce how often employers send their source deductions and how they can make their remittance. Visit the following link to learn more about this topic. (Full Story)

November 2014 - Replacement of the Child Tax Credit with the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit - Due to a recent change announced by the federal government, employees will no longer be able to claim the Child Tax Credit on Line 2 of the TD1 form effective January 1, 2015. The Child Tax Credit has been replaced by an enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit, which will be handled through personal income tax filing rather than payroll. Current Child Tax Credit claimants should have the Child Tax Credit removed unless they are claiming Line 2, Caregiver amount for children under age 18, at the end of the year. (Full Story)

Provincial Payroll and HR News

(Click a Province to expand the articles)

January 13, 2015 - Governments of Canada and Alberta mark Canada Job Grant milestone - The Federal government announced that over $1 million has been committed to train Albertans through the Canada Job Grant initiative, an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. The Canada Job Grant provides up to $15,000 per person for training costs, such as tuition and training materials (up to $10,000 from the federal government and $5,000 from employers). (Full Story)

December  19, 2014 - Government protects private sector pension plans - Cabinet has extended a moratorium on solvency for a group of private sector pension plans, protecting the benefits of 158,000 plan members. Two changes have been approved to the Employment Pension Plans Regulation, which applies to private sector pension plans. One of the changes allows defined benefit collectively-bargained, multi-employer pension plans to continue a moratorium on solvency funding until permanent legislation addressing their funding concerns is in place. Without this change, 158,000 plan members could have seen their benefits reduced. (Full Story)

December 8, 2014 - 2014 immigration quota filled, but Alberta still needs workers - Alberta’s Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is now full for 2014, as all 5,500 certificates for the year have been issued. The certificates allow workers, along with their spouse and dependent children, to be nominated by the Government of Alberta for permanent residence in Canada. "Alberta’s challenge remains finding permanent workers for permanent jobs. We need to meet our growing economic needs by training Albertans, and attracting workers from across the country and around the world..." said Ric McIver, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour. (Full Story)

November 25, 2014 - Alberta, Nova Scotia sign labour mobility agreement - In an effort to further improve apprentice mobility between the two provinces, Alberta and Nova Scotia today signed agreements designed to improve apprentice mobility and promote the mutual recognition of pre-employment training. Labour mobility is a key element of a strong labour market and contributes to economic growth, innovation and productivity. (Full Story)

January 22, 2015 - B.C., Canada support Navigators project for Aboriginal Skills Training - The government has announced an investment of almost $3.5 million over three years for the New Relationship Trust for the Aboriginal Labour Market Community Navigators initiative. This project will create stronger linkages with training institutions to help Aboriginal Peoples obtain the skills they need for jobs such as those in the liquefied natural gas sector. Enhancing Aboriginal engagement in all aspects of resource development is one component to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity while strengthening Canada’s environmental protection. (Full Story)

January 21, 2015 - My Blueprint Builder connects British Columbians with skills-training information - British Columbians exploring career options, or helping their children map out their futures, have a pair of new online tools available to help them find their fit in B.C.’s growing and strong economy. My Blueprint Builder – a one-stop career planning tool on – connects with skills-training information, local job-market background and financial-aid options throughout the province, making it easier for people to find the information they need. It also includes the Career Compass, a new interactive tool. (Full Story)

January 19, 2015 - WorkBC’s Find Your Fit to showcase B.C.’s in-demand jobs in Surrey - Young people considering what skills they will need for tomorrow’s in-demand occupations will have an interactive, hands-on experience at WorkBC’s Find Your Fit tour stop. Find Your Fit features a variety of interactive career exploration activity stations – including welding, carpentry, accounting and more. Youth will be connected with WorkBC’s labour market information, tools and services. Parents, teachers and career counsellors may also benefit from the event as they look for ways to educate and support youth in their career exploration. (Full Story)

January 12, 2015 - Quesnel trade show ramps up work experience - The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce is putting on a trade show May 8-10 to benefit local economic development, and thanks to nearly $11,000 in provincial Job Creation Partnership funding, one person will get event planning and office administration work experience. Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour market information. To date, approximately 500 job seekers have benefited from work experience and 130 projects have been funded throughout the province. (Full Story)

January 6, 2015 - Launch of Express Entry British Columbia helps streamline immigration for skilled workers - B.C. has introduced a new immigration stream under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) called Express Entry British Columbia. The new Express Entry British Columbia stream will result in faster processing time for skilled workers to gain permanent residence in B.C and it will give employers a key role in selecting skilled immigrants, as most Express Entry British Columbia applicants are required to have a job offer from a B.C. employer. (Full Story)

January 2, 2015 - Get trained for the top 60 high-demand occupations - B.C.'s 2022 Labour Market Outlook lists the top 60 high-demand occupations that the provincial economy needs to grow. From administrative assistants to heavy-equipment mechanics to accountants – this list has the latest in-demand employment opportunities to meet a variety of work interests. For individuals interested in the trades, the online Trades Training Seat Finder instantly shows where available spaces are located. This means students can get training faster and start work in a rewarding career. (Full Story)

December 30, 2014 - Training Tax Credit extension supports B.C. apprentices, employers - The government is supporting B.C.’s skilled workforce by extending the BC Training Tax Credit program for an additional three years to the end of 2017, providing refundable income tax credits for B.C. apprentices and their employers. Eligible apprentices enrolled in programs administered through the Industry Training Authority may qualify for up to $6,500 in tax credits over a four-year apprenticeship program. Employers may qualify for up to $13,500 in tax credits as their apprentice progresses. (Full Story)

December 9, 2014 - WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan Implementation Status Report - WorkSafeBC has posted its first update of its progress in implementing recommendations from July's WorkSafeBC Review and Action Plan prepared by WorkSafeBC special adviser Gord Macatee. Immediately following the government's July 15, 2014, announcement of the report, all of Mr. Macatee's 43 recommendations were accepted. (Full Story)

December 19, 2014 - Manitoba Government Announces Hike In Basic Wage For Workers Providing Services For People Living With Intellectual Disabilities - Workers with agencies providing services for people living with intellectual disabilities will see a hike in minimum wages to $12.50 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2015, and to $13.00 an hour in July 2015, followed by a third increase in 2016 that is currently being negotiated. The workers support people with intellectual disabilities, helping them live safely and with as much independence as possible in community residential settings, the minister added. (Full Story)

December 18, 2014 - Provincial Program Helping Employment And Income Assistance Recipient Overcome Barriers To Employment, Find Good Jobs - A total of 200 employment and income assistance recipients are participating in the Manitoba Works! Co-operative Work Experience pilot program, where they are receiving training and other supports that will help them find good jobs and continue to grow the province’s skilled workforce. The program includes a combination of skills assessments, pre-employment training, essential skills training and a paid work experience. (Full Story)

November 24, 2014 - Average WCB assessment rates to go down in 2015 - The average WCB assessment rate in Manitoba will drop 13 per cent to $1.30 per $100.00 of assessable payroll effective January 1, 2015, maintaining one of the lowest rates in Canada.  Overall, over 90 per cent of employers will pay lower WCB assessment rates in 2015, while less than 10 per cent will pay more. Those employers with consistently low injury experience will pay the lowest rates within their industry. The gradual increase in the maximum assessable earnings cap also continues, with the 2015 ceiling set at $121,000. (Full Story)

November 21, 2014 - Manitoba Government Launches New Career Prospects Program That Will Connect Employers, Parents And Students - A new program launching today will give high school students and parents new and improved access to employers, connecting them directly with experts and information about career opportunities in Manitoba. Manitoba Career Prospects was developed in collaboration with the Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils (AMSC), and gives students and their parents an opportunity to speak with and ask questions of experts, learn what it is like to work in different fields and to connect with employers to co-ordinate on-site job tours. (Full Story)

January 22, 2015 - Changes to pension plans save public funds but have major impact on employees - The elimination of "special" payments to the Public Service and Teachers’ plans will save the province approximately $150 million a year. The new shared-risk structure increases employee contributions; pushes retirement age without penalty to 65; increases early-retirement penalties from three per cent to five per cent per year; calculates the pension benefit on a career-average salary rather than the best-five-years salary; and removes automatic yearly indexing. (Full Story)

January 16, 2015 - Canada Job Grant launched in New Brunswick - Employers in the province are invited to apply to the Canada Job Grant initiative for funding to help cover employee training costs. The federal-provincial program is designed to help give workers the skills they need to fill available jobs. The program is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. The program will provide up to $15,000 per person for training costs, such as tuition and training materials, which includes up to $10,000 in federal contributions. (Full Story)

December 19, 2014 - Employers and workers reminded of upcoming minimum wage increase - New Brunswickers are reminded that the minimum wage will increase by 30 cents to $10.30 per hour at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Employees paid a salary, or by commission, or by the piece, are entitled to receive at least the minimum wage for all hours worked under the control of the employer. The minimum overtime wage rate will be $15.45 per hour. An individual is entitled to receive this wage for any hours worked after 44 hours in a week. This marks the first increase to minimum wage since April 1, 2012. (Full Story)

December 4, 2014 - New minimum wage decision-making process introduced - The provincial government today introduced a legislative amendment to repeal the Minimum Wage Board and establish a new formal mechanism for review and consultation on setting the minimum wage. The new mechanism will ensure employers, workers and stakeholders are engaged and included in a comprehensive biennial review process. This mechanism replaces the Minimum Wage Board, which has been inactive for a number of years. (Full Story)

January 23, 2015 - Business Receives Workplace Skills Funding - Employees at Trinity Ornamental Concrete in Ivany's Cove will receive specialized workplace training from the Provincial Government's Workplace Skills Enhancement Program. "Our government is pleased to invest in employee training for this manufacturing enterprise. Ensuring employees have the appropriate skills through proper education and training is key to strengthening small businesses." said Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. (Full Story)

December 30, 2014 - Public Service Pension Plan Reform a Major Achievement for 2014 - This past year saw historic progress in public service pension reform, made possible by a joint agreement between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the five largest unions representing members of the Public Service Pension Plan. The pension plan changes will come into effect on January 1, 2015, and include increases to contribution rates, and changes to pension eligibility and eligibility for group health and life insurance post-retirement benefits. (Full Story)

December 15, 2014 - Enhanced ESRTW plan and web service - The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission has improved its early and safe return-to-work web service. Employers who complete early and safe return-to-work (ESRTW) plans can complete and submit these plans through connect, the Commission’s web portal. This enhanced service will improve the information and data collected for ESRTW and help manage the recovery at work process. This service will be available automatically to the over 4,000 employers already registered for the Commission’s web services. To sign-up visit connect and complete an application form. (Full Story)

January 13, 2015 - NWT minimum wage to increase to one of the highest in Canada - Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Jackson Lafferty announced a substantial increase to the Northwest Territories minimum wage. Effective June 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase from $10.00 per hour to $12.50 per hour, giving the NWT one of the highest minimum wages in Canada. The increase was based on findings from the Minimum Wage Committee, appointed by Minister Lafferty in 2013 to research, engage stakeholders and provide options on the minimum wage rate in the NWT. (Full Story)

November 25, 2014 - NWT Minister meets with Federal, Provincial and Territorial Labour Market Colleagues - Minister Lafferty met with federal, provincial and territorial counterparts at the Forum for Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) meetings to build on their efforts around labour market initiatives and progress. The meetings were used to share perspectives on labour market needs and opportunities and the information will help ensure the labour market agreements provide new employment and training programs that are targeted at creating opportunities and jobs for Northerners. (Full Story)

December 18, 2014 - Offshore Workers to Be Better Protected - Legislation to better protect Nova Scotia's offshore oil and gas workers will come into effect Dec. 31. The amendments add a new occupational health and safety section to the act, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of governments, regulators, employers and employees. The amendments also assign authority for occupational health and safety officers to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board. (Full Story)

December 17, 2014 - Program Will Help Nova Scotians Increase Employability - Nova Scotians needing literacy and skills development as a step toward employment will benefit from provincial funding of a program at the Dartmouth Learning Network . "This program offers students a chance to change their lives," said Ms. Bernard. "By improving their skills and education, they can break down barriers to employment and seek a brighter future for themselves and their families." (Full Story)

December 17, 2014 - WCB coverage for volunteer firefighters - In Nova Scotia, firefighting is not a “mandatory” industry as set out in the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act).  However, municipalities with volunteer firefighters can apply for coverage, and many municipalities have this coverage in place. WCB coverage provides reassurance that should a volunteer firefighter be injured in the course of their duties, they could be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits as outlined under the Act. The Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Firefighters’ Compensation Regulations, also outline presumptive coverage for certain types of cancers. (Full Story)

December 3, 2014 - Nova Scotia's Leaders Called on to Improve Workplace Safety - Workplace safety not only protects workers, it is also good business, and that is good for Nova Scotia. That was the focus of discussions during the Leadership Matters conference on workplace health and safety. Co-hosted by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, the event was attended by almost 100 of Nova Scotia's business, labour, private and public sector leaders. (Full Story)

January 19, 2015 - Atlantic Premiers are focused on improving competitiveness - Atlantic Premiers are working together to improve the competitiveness of the region’s economy through actions to, among other objectives, strengthen their workforce. The private sector is a key driver of job creation and economic growth across the region. A competitive Atlantic economy depends on people having the right skills for the right job. (Full Story)

December 12, 2014 - Minimum wage to increase - Minimum wage in Prince Edward Island will increase to $10.50 per hour effective July 1, 2015, says Minister of Environment, Labour and Justice and Attorney General Janice Sherry. The current minimum wage for Prince Edward Island is $10.35 per hour, that rate came into effect on October 1. Minimum wage across Canada ranges from $10.00 in New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories to $11.00 in Ontario and Nunavut. (Full Story)

December 2, 2014 - WCB encourages workplace inclusion for people of all abilities - December 3, 2014 marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to build global awareness, understanding and support for those affected by disability issues. The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) encourages Islanders to take this day to consider ways to improve inclusion in the workplace for people of all abilities. Approximately 1700 new workplace injuries occur every year on Prince Edward Island. Inclusive work environments help those affected by workplace injury to remain active, productive and connected to the workplace. (Full Story)

January 19, 2015 - Creating Auto Manufacturing Jobs in Windsor - Through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Ontario is helping Nemak of Canada Corporation upgrade its production line and pursue a new global partnership which will create 80 new jobs over the next four years and retain almost 200 jobs in the area. The fund helps to create jobs and diversify the economy by encouraging regional businesses to pursue innovation and new markets. Together, these two funds have created and retained more than 29,000 jobs and attracted more than $1.25 billion in investment. (Full Story)

January 7, 2015 - Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Fund--Working for Ontario - Ontario is focusing the Jobs and Prosperity Fund to further stimulate a globally competitive business climate in the province. The fund supports the recommendations of the Jobs and Prosperity Council and will help secure anchor investments that help support growth and sustain well-paid jobs in Ontario. (Full Story)

December 17, 2014 - Province Taking Next Step in Developing Ontario Retirement Pension Plan - The province is taking the next step in the development of the new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) with the release of a consultation paper inviting feedback on key design details of the plan. The province is seeking to define a comparable workplace pension plan. Since the ORPP is intended to help those without workplace pensions, workers already participating in a comparable pension plan would not be required to enrol in the ORPP. (Full Story)

December 9, 2014 - Improving Workplace Safety with New Working at Heights Standards - Ontario is improving safety for construction workers by making new training for those who work at heights mandatory as of April 1, 2015. The new Working at Heights Training Program Standard will ensure everyone using fall protection systems is consistently trained and better protected on the job. Workers trained under the current fall protection training requirements in the Regulations for Construction Projects before April 1, 2015 will have until April 1, 2017, to also be trained under the new requirements. (Full Story)

January 9, 2015 - Diverse Economy Keeps Job Growth Strong in Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan ended 2014 on top, maintaining the lowest unemployment rate in Canada for the 25th consecutive month. The province’s unemployment rate in December was 3.6 per cent (seasonally adjusted), well below the national average of 6.6 per cent, according to figures released by Statistics Canada. Saskatchewan also boasts the second strongest rate of job growth in Canada at 2.5 per cent year-over-year (unadjusted). (Full Story)

December 15, 2014 - Support of Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship Industry Scholarship (SYA) Remains Strong - Saskatchewan youth are motivated to enter into the skilled trades due to the many rewarding career options available to them and can be supported by scholarships made possible by donations from industry and matching support from the Government of Saskatchewan. The support provides opportunities for youth who have graduated from the SYA Program and enter into apprenticeship in one of the 49 designated trades and 20 subtrades. (Full Story)

December 5, 2014 - Job Creation in Saskatchewan Continues to Lead the Nation - Saskatchewan has the strongest rate of job creation in Canada, according to the latest labour force report released today by Statistics Canada.  There were 15,300 more people working in Saskatchewan in November 2014 compared to the same month last year.  That’s a growth rate of 2.8 per cent – more than three times the national rate of 0.9 per cent. Saskatchewan also posted the lowest unemployment in the county for the 24th consecutive month.  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Saskatchewan was just 3.4 per cent in November – about half the national rate of 6.6 per cent. (Full Story)

December 3, 2014 - WCB Approves 2015 Employer Premium Rates - The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) approved the 2015 average employer premium rate for 47,069 employers covered by workers’ compensation. In 2015, the average employer premium will decrease from the 2014 level of $1.51 to $1.46, a 3.3% decrease. The 2015 average WCB premium will be the lowest in twenty-nine years. (Full Story)

January 12, 2015 - The Yukon government extends support for older workers - As part of its commitment to build an inclusive, adaptable and productive workforce, the Yukon government is pleased to announce $850,000 in funding for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers for the next three years.  The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program, offered twice a year by Yukon College, helps participants secure employment through skill development and a four-week work placement. (Full Story)

January 9, 2015 - Students encouraged to apply for STEP summer jobs - Students seeking summer employment are reminded that the Student Training and Employment Program (STEP) is now taking applications for the 2015 summer season. STEP is designed to provide diverse work experience opportunities for full-time post-secondary students. By offering wage subsidies to qualified employers, the program provides students with practical work experience in their field of study. Interested students can now view current job opportunities online. (Full Story)

Featured Article

Facing 2015 head-on:

New year trends you'll see in the workplace
By Barbara Bowes

For individuals, New Year's resolutions are an annual ritual for setting goals for the future. As an organizational leader, you also need to set goals, but first you need to take a glimpse of some of the trends you'll face in the year ahead.
The human-resource landscape is particularly complex and hard to get a handle on. So, as you make your plans, consider the following HR trends gleaned from my own professional experience over the past year.

The baby boomer dilemma will continue -- in my view, there are a couple of issues to consider. On one hand, we know some baby boomers want to stay working full time, which in turn creates career blocks for young people. On the other hand, small businesses often cannot afford to have a young person apprentice alongside a baby boomer for any length of time. Thus, small-business leaders will continue to scramble to address this issue and will need to be very creative with their succession planning initiatives.

Managing age demographics will continue to be challenging -- with shifting age structures in the workplace, managing demographics will create its own challenges. Since every generation has its own interests, needs and ways of doing things, leaders will need to pay attention to these -- otherwise, employee retention will fall. Consider ways to build in more flexibility, increase health and wellness programming and create internal mentorship programs.

War for talent will increase -- as reported in the Free Press, Statistics Canada's December release shows Manitoba is continuing to lose employees to other provinces. This serves to emphasize the fact the so-called war for talent will become even more aggressive in the upcoming year. This will be especially so in the area of accounting, finance and information technology. Candidates will be swept up quickly, so employers might well have to increase hiring incentives or move quickly on recruitment initiatives.

Background checks will become more important -- gone are the days of believing what is written on candidate resumés. Organizations are going to be more cautious about individual claims of university degrees and professional designations that don't exist or have expired. Recruiters will increasingly search backgrounds on social media, apply psychometric assessments to check out emotional and psychological stability and will increasingly turn to security firms to dig deeper into candidates' credentials.

Regional recruitment initiatives will increase -- creative economic-development strategies such as Yes, Winnipeg have been very successful and will continue to aggressively market our province as a great place to live, work and play. This will continue into 2015. I also anticipate more effort will be made to reach out to Manitoba expats, enticing them to resettle in our province.

People-skills training will become paramount -- people skills, often thought of as soft skills, will continue as the most critical skills required for successful leadership. This includes strong self-awareness or emotional intelligence, excellent communication skills for relationship building and a high dose of demonstrated honesty and integrity. Not only that, key stakeholders will be paying close attention to every leadership action, and they will not tolerate failure.

Millennial leadership gaps will require attention -- while many young millennials have moved into management roles, they do not have the skills needed to move into executive positions in the near future. This will result in a strong focus on providing executive coaching services, especially from experienced boomer CEOs who have been there, done that.

Front-line leadership training will be critical -- many new front-line managers have been escalated into their position without experience or training. This is putting stress on senior management to get these individuals up to speed as soon as possible. Since practical learning and skills application are also so important at the front line, you'll see organizations returning to practical hands-on leadership training programs that include mentoring and coaching rather than simply relying on newer online training programs.

Please return next issue for the completion of this article!

Article presented by permission from Barbara J.Bowes, President of Legacy Bowes Group and president of Career Partners International, Manitoba. She can be reached at

GrandMaster News

The current release of GrandMaster Suite (6.93) incorporates a number of changes and important adjustments to make it even easier to use the program and perform your payroll tasks.

  • Tax Updates - January 2015 Federal tax changes - The January 2015 Federal tax changes, included in this release, are based on the Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs - T4127-JAN released by the CRA on December 9, 2014. It also includes a correction to the The Quebec Parental Insurance Premium (QPIP) maximum insurable earnings where the CRA mistakenly published the amount as as $69,500 and the maximum annual premium as $388.51. The correct maximum insurable earnings amount is $70,000 and the maximum annual premium is $391.30.
  • T4 Adjustments - We have made several adjustments to the year-end process where some T4 boxes were not printing correctly.

    Other recent changes include:

  • Background Option for Printed T4 and T4A's - The Print T4 Statements and Print T4A Statements dialog boxes now contain a Use Background option to include the CRA form background when printing T4's and T4A's.
  • PDF Option for Printed T4 and T4A's - We have added an Adobe PDF option to the The Print T4 Statements dialog box so you can print directly to an Adobe PDF file.
  • Upload Pay Statements and T4's to ENETEmployer Mailbox - We have added an Upload to ENETmployer button to the Print T4 Statements dialog box so you can upload your pay statements and T4's to our new ENETEmployer Mailbox. This feature allows employees to view their individual T4 statements when they visit Note: You will need to contact Canpay to have this service activated for your account before use.

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