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

Payroll News Canada - October 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 Software Updates Newsletter Archive

Tip of the Month

October 2015 - PD7A(TM), Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions - Remember that the CRA is now sending Form PD7A(TM) quarterly instead of monthly. You will have received your first quarterly statement this past July for the second quarter. The CRA sends Form PD7A(TM), Statement of Account for Current Source Deductions, to all employers who make accelerated remittances the month immediately following the end of each quarter. 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

October 7, 2015 - Payroll basics: How payroll works - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be hosting a free and interactive webinar for new employers and individuals new to payroll. This webinar will give an overview of the basics of how payroll works in Canada. It focuses on new employers and is meant to help people new to payroll understand their role and their responsibilities to their employees and to the CRA. The information is also helpful to anyone who receives a paycheque and wants to understand what was deducted and why. (Full Story)

October 5, 2015 - Government of Canada Delivers New Programs for Supply Management Sector - The Government of Canada announced today a series of new programs and initiatives for supply-managed producers and processors to support them throughout the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. One of the programs is The Income Guarantee Program - it will keep producers whole by providing 100 per cent income protection to producers for a full 10 years from the day TPP comes into force. Income support assistance will continue on a tapered basis for an additional five years, for a total of 15 years. $2.4 billion is available for this program. (Full Story)

October 1, 2015 - Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs - The  October 1, 2015, version of Guide T4127, Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs is now available on the CRA website. This guide contains the formulas you need to determine federal, provincial (except Quebec), and territorial income taxes, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance (EI) premium deductions. The formulas also allow you to calculate payroll deductions for special cases such as commission, pension income, bonuses, and retroactive pay increases. (Full Story)

September 16, 2015 - Interest rates for the fourth 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 October 1, 2015 to December 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)

September 14, 2015 - Canada Employment Insurance Commission announces 2016 Maximum Insurable Earnings - The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) today made public the Employment Insurance (EI) Maximum Insurable Earnings (MIE) level for 2016, along with rates for EI premiums, the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) and the Premium Reduction Program. The CEIC is responsible for preparing reports on all elements of premium rate-setting, including the MIE. To ensure continued transparency and accountability in the rate-setting process, these reports must be made available to the public by September 14 of every year, as mandated by the Employment Insurance Act. (Full Story)

Provincial Payroll and HR News

(Click a Province to expand the articles)

September 30, 2015 - Alberta’s minimum wages increase October 1 - Alberta’s general minimum wage will increase from $10.20 to $11.20 per hour. The liquor server minimum wage will rise from $9.20 to $10.70 per hour, and will be eliminated next year. The increases are the first step towards a single $15 per hour minimum wage. Weekly and monthly minimum wages are increasing as well. Approximately 38,000 individuals in Alberta earn minimum wage with about 370,000 individuals earning $15 per hour or less and working 44 hours or more per week. (Full Story)

September 17, 2015 - Province supports innovation in employment for Albertans with disabilities - More Albertans with disabilities will become employed through four innovative projects that promote inclusive workplaces. These four projects support youth, First Nation communities, employers and community organizations and will advance Alberta’s Employment First Strategy by providing inclusive and accessible workplaces for people with disabilities. (Full Story)

September 16, 2015 - Province invites you to talk about essential services - Albertans are being asked to provide their input into the development of new legislation to govern public sector workers. Changes to Alberta’s labour relations legislation for public sector workers are being considered to ensure that our laws align with recent court decisions regarding the right to strike. Currently, several pieces of Alberta’s labour relations legislation, including the Public Service Employee Relations Act, the Alberta Labour Relations Code and the Police Officers Collective Bargaining Act, forbid certain public sector workers from striking. (Full Story)

October 8, 2015 - Government takes further action on workplace safety - With the introduction of Bill 35, government has taken decisive action to address recommendations that were directed to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour. Bill 35 demonstrates to the workers, their families and all British Columbians that the province is taking the necessary steps to make workplaces safer following several sawmill accidents that occurred in 2012. Bill 35 also builds on the legislative changes made under Bill 9 earlier this year that strengthened WorkSafeBC’s ability to promote and enforce occupational health and safety compliance in B.C. workplaces. (Full Story)

October 2, 2015 - Labour market study highlights opportunities in Victoria - Greater Victoria now has a 10-year labour market plan that maps out jobs and needed skills in the region, thanks to more than $104,000 in government Community and Employer Partnership funding. The report points out that there will be growth of nearly 15,000 new jobs over the next decade for residents and migrants to find work in the regional economy. Many of these jobs will be the result of retirement. (Full Story)

October 1, 2015 - First Nations benefitting from labour market study - First Nations communities are benefitting from more than $165,000 in total provincial funding to conduct a labour market study that will look at long-term employment opportunities in their communities. Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. Each year the ministry budgets $1 million for Labour Market Partnerships. (Full Story)

September 29, 2015 - New pension standards provide greater flexibility, security - Modernized standards governing workplace pension plans that take effect Sept. 30, 2015, will improve pension coverage options and security for more than 900,000 British Columbians covered by employer sponsored pension plans. The new Pension Benefits Standards Act accommodates alternative plan designs such as target benefit plans and plans that are jointly-sponsored by employers and employees. (Full Story)

September 28, 2015 - Work experience leads to employment - Eight out of every ten participants in provincial work experience programs have found employment after participating in Community and Employer Partnership (CEP) funded projects. Since the Community and Employer Partnership program launched in April 2012, more than 800 job-seekers have benefited from work experience and nearly 180 projects have been funded by the program throughout the province. The B.C. government has budgeted $8-million for CEP projects in 2015-16 to help increase labour market partnerships, employment opportunities and skills training for unemployed British Columbians. (Full Story)

September 28, 2015 - WorkSafeBC to hold series of public hearings - In early October, WorkSafeBC will hold public hearings across the province on the proposed new Lower Maximum Administrative Penalty Regulation (OHS Citations) and changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation relating to Employer Incident Investigations. WorkSafeBC welcomes feedback on the proposals either through written submissions or participation at the oral public hearings. All feedback received will be presented to the Board of Directors of WorkSafeBC for their consideration. (Full Story)

September 4, 2015 - New trades training program for Aboriginal people in B.C. to begin in fall 2015 - A new trades training program was announced today that will provide Aboriginal people with skills training and work experience necessary to be employed by a wide variety of general contractors and to fill the growing demand for labour in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector. This program directly aligns with B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. The Enhanced Construction Craft Worker (E-CCW) Program is a training and employment program to support Aboriginal People to enter and succeed in the Construction Craft Worker (CCW) trade. (Full Story)

September 1, 2015 - Employment supports for single parents on assistance - Launching today, the Single Parent Employment Initiative will remove barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance by providing them with the supports they need to secure long-term and sustainable employment. Under the program, more than 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will have access to a range of supports through WorkBC Employment Services Centres that will help break down the barriers they often face when trying to find a full-time job. (Full Story)

September 3, 2015 - Government helps future grads plan for in-demand careers - High-school students throughout B.C. can get a jump start on their career plans for the jobs of tomorrow with today’s release of the 2015-16 Grad Planner. This year’s updated edition helps point students toward jobs that will be in demand in B.C. by the time they graduate. Carpenters, accountants and early childhood educators top the list of jobs in need by 2022. The 2015-16 Grad Planner can be found on the Ministry of Education website. (Full Story)

September 28, 2015 - Province Announces Minimum Wage Increasing To $11 An Hour, Effective Oct. 1 - Families in Manitoba will soon benefit from an increase to the minimum wage that comes into effect Oct. 1, Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun announced today. The increase of 30 cents per hour brings the current minimum wage to $11 from $10.70 and will make Manitoba the fourth highest among other Canadian jurisdictions. (Full Story)

September 24, 2015 - Province Announces New Job Creation Strategy Through Rural Economic Development - The new Rural Economic Development Steering Committee held its first meeting on Sept. 22, with the focus on a co-operative plan to bolster economic development in rural Manitoba. The Rural Economic Development Steering Committee includes a range of experienced individuals with expertise in economic development, regional partnerships, rural policy and business.  They will look to identify needs and opportunities, which could include areas like key infrastructure, technology, community development, labour skills, and housing. (Full Story)

September 16, 2015 - New Cyber Security Curriculum At Sisler High School Preparing Students For In-Demand Jobs - High school students throughout Manitoba will soon be able to access courses that will prepare them for in-demand careers in entry-level information technology, networking, cyber security and virtualization. Information technology, networking and cyber security jobs are in high demand, and Sisler High School is working closely with employers and leading companies to link students to paid internships, work experience and jobs after graduation. (Full Story)

September 25, 2015 - Creating jobs and strengthening the customer support industry - Premier Brian Gallant hosted the first Opportunities Summit for those involved in the customer support industry and announced 1,000 new jobs for Greater Moncton. The business services industry employs 18,000 people in New Brunswick and is a dynamic industry that has the potential to grow in the province and create jobs. Discussions focused on targeting areas for growth, building on existing strengths and identifying the conditions for success in the future in order to generate opportunities to create more jobs, attract new investment and support the expansion of existing companies. (Full Story)

September 24, 2015 - Moncton Business increasing by 1,000 jobs - Premier Brian Gallant announced today that BMM Testlabs, a leading gaming testing laboratory and technical consultancy, will create 1,000 full-time jobs in the Greater Moncton area. "This is an historic announcement in terms of the number of jobs being created by the private sector in partnership with the New Brunswick government," Gallant said. The 1,000 jobs that will be created during the next five years include quality assurance testers, engineers, computer scientists, business development managers and project managers. (Full Story)

September 22, 2015 - Bringing New Brunswickers to the table for job creation - Premier Brian Gallant announced today that a series of Opportunities Summits will take place around the province in the coming months to identify new prospects for creating jobs and growth in New Brunswick. Gallant outlined how the provincial government has made progress on creating the climate for the private sector to create jobs by lowering small business taxes, increasing the Small Business Investor Tax Credit, and creating the Youth Employment Fund and the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. (Full Story)

September 18, 2015 - Creating the conditions for job growth - Premier Brian Gallant took the opportunity to outline progress since the election toward the provincial government’s goals of job creation and economic growth. Gallant outlined successful job creation measures that were put in place over the past year, including: the creation of 2,300 jobs through Opportunities NB; developing the Youth Employment Fund which has created more than 900 jobs; and investing strategically in infrastructure projects like the Port of Saint John, the Centre Naval in Bas-Caraquet, the Amphitheatre in Edmundston and the Moncton Metro Centre, which will together create 3,000 jobs. (Full Story)

September 14, 2015 - Air Canada has added employees at Saint John customer service call centre - Air Canada has hired almost 80 new full-time employees at its customer service call centre in Saint John, with support from the provincial government. The centre had previously expanded by about 50 employees in April of 2014. In total, the centre now employs almost 270 people. Under the terms of the extended agreement, Opportunities NB is providing up to $360,000 in payroll rebates over the next five years to support up to 80 additional new jobs. (Full Story)

September 10, 2015 - Nordia Inc. expands Moncton operations creating 275 jobs - Nordia Inc., a leading customer service provider, is expanding operations in Moncton and creating 275 new jobs with the help of the provincial government. The company will announce a further expansion and additional new jobs in Saint John on Sept. 11. Opportunities NB is providing the company with a payroll rebate of up to $853,125. The new jobs will be created over the next three years. The overall investment in both locations is expected to increase the provincial GDP by about $17.7 million annually. (Full Story)

August 23, 2015 - Youth Employment Fund has helped 800 young people gain employment experience -The Youth Employment Fund, launched in April, has helped 800 young people gain employment experience and is on track to match 1,500 New Brunswick youths and employers in the program’s first year. The fund provides an entry point to long-term employment for individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 who require an opportunity for work experience. By placing an individual with an employer, the youth will gain work experience and develop skills. (Full Story)

October 7, 2015 - Provincial Government Helps Employers Connect with Skilled Immigrants - The government has announced an initiative to attract more skilled immigrants to the province. The new Express Entry Skilled Worker Category, under the Provincial Nominee Program, is a faster way to process economic immigration applications, which supports the Immigration Action Plan of the Population Growth Strategy. Employers will have access to a pool of candidates who fit labour market needs, and they will be able to use an improved National Job Bank website to connect Express Entry candidates with eligible employers. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - Minimum Wage Increase Takes Effect October 1 - Effective Thursday, October 1, the provincial minimum wage will increase by 25 cents to $10.50 per hour. This increase in minimum wage by 25 cents to $10.50 per hour aligns Newfoundland and Labrador with other provinces throughout the country. The minimum wage has steadily increased from $6.00 in 2005 to today’s wage of $10.50. Since 2005, the provincial minimum wage increased from $6.00 to $10.50 per hour, which represents a 75 per cent increase. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - Summer Employment Programs Create 2,566 Jobs in 2015 - The Provincial Government supported the creation of 2,566 student summer jobs this past summer through an investment of $5.3 million. These jobs were created in cooperation with employers across the province through the two summer employment programs delivered by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, and through funding provided to various local initiatives. The provincial student employment programs help connect students in the province with employment while school is out for the summer. (Full Story)

September 25, 2015 - WorkplaceNL Client Service Satisfaction Survey - Beginning the week of September 28, Workplace NL will conduct its second quarter client service satisfaction survey. This is part of Workplace NL’s strategy to further improve client service. A random sample of injured workers and employers will be contacted.  In the event a client is selected for surveys, we assure our clients that they will only be called once per year. The surveys will gauge satisfaction levels among clients. The outcomes of the surveys will be made public annually, and used to develop action plans and enhancements to programs affecting client services. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - WSCC Releases New Code of Practice on Return to Work - The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) announces the release of our new Code of Practice on Return to Work Programs. Return to Work (RTW) programs benefit injured or ill workers and the employer. This code describes key components and steps to developing a RTW program, identifying safe modified duties that allow for an injured or ill worker to safely return to work, while maintaining the safety of co-workers as well.  The code describes how, through the RTW program, the employer and workers can identify modified and alternative work and adjust workloads to accommodate a recovering worker. (Full Story)

September 29, 2015 - Nova Scotia Launches New Business Immigration Streams - Nova Scotia is launching two new business immigration streams to attract international entrepreneurs and to retain international graduates of provincial universities and colleges. The Entrepreneur Stream aims to attract those who want to start or buy, and actively manage, a business in Nova Scotia. "To grow as a province by making it easier for business to create new jobs, Nova Scotia needs more people, more investment and more entrepreneurs," said Robert Batherson, chair of the board of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. (Full Story)

September 1, 2015 - WCB Announces 2016 Employer Rates - The average employer assessment rate for workplace injury insurance will hold steady in 2016, as WCB Nova Scotia commits to implementing an ambitious path of injury prevention, return to work, and improved service outlined in its new 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. The average rate of $2.65 per $100 of assessment remains unchanged, as it has for the past 12 years. However while the average rate remains unchanged, most employers will see their rates rise or fall, based on their industry and company claims experience. (Full Story)

September 1, 2015 - Fishing safety improvements lead to lowest industry rate in 12 years - The 2016 employer rate announcement brings good news for the fishing industry, which will see its lowest rate since 2004. At $6.51 per $100 of assessment, the industry rate is decreasing 19 per cent in 2016. For more than 10 years, rates in fishing have been steadily increasing, as a direct result of injury and tragedy at sea. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - WSCC Releases New Code of Practice on Return to Work - The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) has announced the release of a new Code of Practice on Return to Work Programs. Return to Work (RTW) programs benefit injured or ill workers and the employer. This code describes key components and steps to developing a RTW program, identifying safe modified duties that allow for an injured or ill worker to safely return to work, while maintaining the safety of co-workers. (Full Story)

September 21, 2015 - Department of Family Services launches G.R.E.A.T. program - The Department of Family Services is launching the "Getting Ready for Employment and Training", or G.R.E.A.T. program, which is a 12-week Nunavut Arctic College program designed to help prepare income assistance clients for employment opportunities. The program combines course content on personal portfolio development, essential skills and work readiness. A two-week, on-the-job work experience is also included. (Full Story)

October 5, 2015 - WCB 2015 Employer Survey - The Workers Compensation Board’s bi-annual Employers Survey is now underway. The telephone survey is being conducted by an independent research firm, Corporate Research Associates (CRA), who will ask employers about their satisfaction with the WCB's programs and services. Participation is entirely voluntary and confidential. The survey is one way the WCB gathers feedback from stakeholders, so the WCB can continue to improve how they serve Island employers and workers. (Full Story)

September 22, 2015 - New Chair of Workers Compensation Board appointed - Stuart Affleck has been appointed Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. Affleck, of Summerside, served as an Employer Representative on the board since 2008 and has worked with many Island organizations. The WCB is an independent, non-profit organization funded entirely by Island employers. It provides no-fault workplace injury and illness insurance and promote workplace health and safety for all Islanders. (Full Story)

September 3, 2015 - Province expands Graduate Mentorship Program by adding 50 additional work opportunities for new post-secondary grads - The Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning is expanding Skills PEI’s Graduate Mentorship Program by adding 50 additional work experiences for new post-secondary grads, says Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown. Skills PEI’s mandate is to assist unemployed Islanders with acquiring the training, skills and experience needed to find and maintain work in PEI. (Full Story)

September 4, 2015 - Province’s labour force shows reason for optimism, renewed efforts - A decrease in Prince Edward Island’s unemployment rate in August, coupled with hundreds of jobs available today in the province, are reasons for optimism as the provincial government steps up its efforts to help match businesses with Islanders looking for employment. Numbers from Statistics Canada today show a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.7 per cent in August from July. The rate increased 1.4 per cent in August 2015 compared to August 2014. (Full Story)

August 27, 2015 - Jobs for Youth Program funds student workers across PEI - Students across Prince Edward Island are gaining job skills, earning money and supporting their communities through the province’s Jobs for Youth Program, says Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown. This summer the Jobs for Youth Program, along with the Post-Secondary program offer by Skills PEI is supporting the employment of 407 students at more than 300 employers from the non-profit, public and private sectors in locations from North Cape to East Point. The budget for the two programs for the current year is approximately $1.5 million. (Full Story)

August 26, 2015 - Island records Canada’s strongest wage growth in early 2015 - A new report from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council showing Prince Edward Island’s recent wage growth as the strongest in Canada is a further sign of continued economic growth, says Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown. The APEC report singles out improved wages in finance and manufacturing as contributing to the increased wages levels. There has also been an improvement in the wages paid to entry-level workers in recent years.The legislated minimum wage on Prince Edward Island has increased from $6.80 per hour in 2005 to $10.50 per hour as of July 1, 2015. (Full Story)

October 8, 2015 - Ontario Seeking Public Input on Closing the Gender Wage Gap - Ontario is seeking public input to develop a strategy which will help close the wage gap between men and women. This fall, the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee will host consultations sessions with diverse groups across the province and discuss a variety of topics including how the roles of women at work, in their families, and in their communities are affected by the gender wage gap; understanding how the gender wage gap specifically affects women in the workforce across the economic spectrum; and assessing ways in which government, business, labour, other organizations, and individual leaders can work together to address the conditions and the systemic barriers that contribute to the wage gap. (Full Story)

October 5, 2015 - Ontario Ensuring Workplaces are Accessible by Launching Compliance Audits - Ontario is conducting targeted audits of retail companies with 500 or more employees to ensure workplaces and employee practices are accessible during a three-month audit blitz this fall. The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure is leading the audits, with the goal of ensuring that employers are making accessibility a regular part of recruiting and supporting employees with disabilities. The results of the audits will be available in Ontario's annual compliance and enforcement plan. Compliance with the AODA is an essential part of the government's goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - Ontario Continuing to Increase Minimum Wage - As announced earlier this year, Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective October 1, 2015. The increase is a result of recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and a recommendation from the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel  to tie the annual increase to Ontario's Consumer Price Index. Minimum wage rates for certain jobs and/or employees such as liquor servers, homeworkers, and students are also increasing at the same time. (Full Story)

September 2, 2015 - Ontario Launches New Youth Employment Program - Ontario is launching the Youth Job Connection program to provide intensive support and training to young people with multiple barriers to employment. The province will invest more than $160 million over two years to help over 27,000 young people get the skills and training they need to build a better future. Helping youth who experience complex barriers to employment find and keep jobs is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up by making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history. (Full Story)

September 2015 - WCB September consultation update - Since the launch of the Rate Framework Modernization consultation in March, the WSIB held two technical sessions in April, and over 60 working group sessions between May and September with stakeholders. The September Consultation Update shares a number of themes or items have been identified in these sessions since the posting of the July Consultation Update. (Full Story)

August 27, 2015 - WSIB announces that 2016 premium rates will not increase - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced today that it will not increase premium rates in 2016. Premium rates will remain the same for 2016, making this the third consecutive year that employers have not seen an increase in premium rates. (Rate Group 845, "Government and Related Services", did see an increase in 2015 due to presumptive legislation for firefighters.) (Full Story)

October 9, 2015 - Lowest Unemployment Rate in the Country for Two Straight Years - In September 2015, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 5.1 per cent (seasonally adjusted), marking two consecutive years the province has had the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.  The national unemployment rate in September stood at 7.1 per cent. There were 579,400 people working in the province in September 2015, a record for the month.  Employment was up 1,400 over September 2014. (Full Story)

October 9, 2015 - WorkSafe Saskatchewan launches video contest - Young workers under 25 are at the highest risk for being injured on the job in Saskatchewan. More than 6,000 young workers are injured on the job each year. WorkSafe Saskatchewan hosts the annual Youth Video Contest for Saskatchewan students in Grades 9 to 12 to help students learn more about workplace safety. The contest's theme "It's your job" makes young people aware that they have rights and responsibilities in the workplace, just like all other workers. (Full Story)

October 1, 2015 - Province Declares Disability Employment Awareness Month in October - The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to proclaim the month of October as Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM). The goal of the month is to raise awareness of the employment barriers that many people with disabilities face, and promote strategies and services that eliminate these barriers ultimately creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. (Full Story)

September 30, 2015 - Saskatchewan's Minimum Wage Will Increase to $10.50 - Effective October 1, 2015, Saskatchewan minimum wage earners will earn $10.50 per hour.  Since 2007, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage has increased by 32 per cent, with eight increases from $7.95 to $10.50 over the past eight years. The Government of Saskatchewan previously announced the increase to minimum wage in June of this year helping business prepare for the change. Changes are subject to Cabinet approval and are to be announced by June 30 each year. (Full Story)

September 10, 2015 - New Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course Now Available - Young workers in the province will have a better way to learn about their workplace rights and responsibilities through the updated Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC). This job readiness course, which is mandatory for fourteen and fifteen year-olds, teaches young workers about their rights and responsibilities that relate to health, safety, and employment standards in the workplace. All fourteen and fifteen year-olds who want to work in Saskatchewan are required to take the YWRCC and obtain their certificate prior to beginning any work. (Full Story)

September 4, 2015 - Lowest Unemployment Rate in Canada for 23 Months - Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 4.7 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in August 2015, down from 5.2 per cent in July. For 23 straight months, Saskatchewan has had the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.  In August, the national unemployment rate was 7.0 per cent. Employment reached an all-time high in the month of August, with 578,700 people working, up 1,600 (0.3 per cent) when compared to last August, and up 4,000 (0.7 per cent) compared to July (seasonally adjusted). (Full Story)

September 2, 2015 - Public Feedback Requested for Review of the Workers' Compensation Act - The Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review (COR) is seeking feedback from individuals and organizations on their opinions, concerns and experiences with the workers’ compensation system either through written submissions or by attending a public hearing. Legislation requires a review be conducted at least every four years to ensure that Saskatchewan’s workers’ compensation system reflects the changing needs of workers, employers and communities. (Full Story)

September 29, 2015 - Ready to Work program supports tourism workers and employers - Forty-five new Yukon graduates are celebrating their successful completion of the Ready to Work program. Ready to Work is a nationally recognized program that provides participants with classroom learning, on-the-job experience and mentoring to develop the skills, knowledge and practical experience needed for entry-level employment in Canada’s tourism sector. Participants in the 12-week program learn about workplace safety, first aid, food safety and Yukon human rights and employment standards. The program is delivered in Yukon by the Yukon Tourism Education Council with $166,000 in funding from the Department of Education. The funding is part of a larger Canada-Yukon Job Fund agreement aimed at creating jobs and driving economic growth in the territory. (Full Story)

Featured Article

Playing politics

(Part 1 of 2)

Managers need training to deal with workplace conflicts

During the past several months, readers and the public have been exposed to the highest level of relationship conflict an organization can experience: conflict between warring executives.

Those very same people whose role is to develop strategic direction and delegate to administration to make things happen. I can just envision the warring parties, locked in conflict and ignoring each other as they walk down one of those hallowed halls of government. I don’t know whether the conflict within the provincial NDP has been festering for years, but I think most of us recognize decisions are not being made and work is not being done.

While we hate to see this level of conflict arise at the government level, I can say conflict such as this occurs in any organization, no matter its size. Size plays no role because all organizations have some sort of internal political struggles that can create havoc for all concerned.

It is the political manoeuvring between key organizational leaders at all levels of the organization that causes the conflict.
Political maneuvering is a skillful power game where individuals are vying to secure the top leadership role, gain more personal power and/or get a special project approved. Or, they want to take the organization in a certain direction and must use politics to realize their goals. Leaders do this by vying to manage the largest division, the largest budget and/or the largest staffing numbers.

If asked, most people will tell you they refuse to get involved in politics; however, they don’t realize whenever you have people, you have politics. Unfortunately, if a leader is not astute enough to read the political landscape, they might soon find themselves on the outside of that all-important inner circle or back on the street looking for a job.

Conflict is a reality in any organization and employees must accept this as part of the work environment. Problems arise when either major or minor conflicts are not dealt with. It has been demonstrated that 85 per cent of employees at any level in an organization deal with some type of conflict on a daily basis. Studies also suggest employees are spending up to three hours per week on conflict. This equates to one day per month and billions of dollars in paid hours of work time. Most conflicts are based on personality, ego or a combination of the two.

Not only is conflict very costly, it can significantly affect an organization in many other ways. For instance, absenteeism will increase, the use of stress leave will increase, projects will fail because teamwork is lacking and good employees will leave for other, more harmonious workplaces. Those employees who stay enter into a private realm I call "career survival." They hunker down, trying to look small so no one notices them. They create an invisible protective box around themselves. They resist volunteering for tasks, and don’t reach out to help others. Stress levels in the workplace are so high the old saying "you can cut the tension with a knife" rings true.

Not only that, conflict creates the risk of losing customers and clients. Believe it or not, people sense conflict when they arrive at your doorstep. Conflict is in the air, so to speak, and people can feel it.

On top of that, most managers will acknowledge they have never had training in managing workplace conflict. And, at the same time, many believe they do a good job of managing conflict. Their employees would disagree. Employees most frequently blame leaders as being the prime source of organizational conflict.

It is well-known the role of human-resource managers has helped to make organizations stronger, but the true responsibility for managing day-today conflict lies with managers. And if this is the case, what should managers be focusing on and what skills do they need? The following will assist you to evaluate where your managers fit.

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

Software Updates


  • Alberta Tax Changes- Added the calculation changes based on Alberta's October tax updates.
  • Pay Stub Report - Added ability to e-mail pay stubs for Pressure Seal report option.
  • New Report Columns - Added three new report items; Times E-mailed, Times Generated, and Last E-mailed Count. See the online help for full descriptions.
  • Revamped Welcome Screen - We have updated the Welcome screen to include descriptive icons and a note about inactive services.
  • Quebec TYD Queries - Adjusted year-to-date queries for Revenu Quebec accounts.
  • French Updates - Numerous updates to French language text, labels and screens.

GrandMaster II v9.94

  • Record of Employment - Fixed an issue where appending to a file was not correctly handled when using the employee select button on the main screen.
  • Journal Entry, Export and Imports - We have added function entitled "Edit" which allows the user to edit existing formats instead of having to delete then add a new format. Formerly the Edit button directed the user to the selected dormat's field list. The "Fields" button is now located at the bottom of the function button column.
  • Pay Statements - We have simplified the use of the "Alternative Format" after user feedback. Changes include separating the two formats into separate menu items entitled Paystubs and Cheques, respectively.
  • List Box Display - We have adjusted the list box display for various program screens in order to support several resolution/font issues in Windows XP.

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