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

Payroll News Canada

August 2016 - Welcome to the latest edition of The Payroll News! As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and associates who are interested in keeping up with the latest changes in Canadian Payroll and HR. 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

August 2016 - Businesses: You can pay your taxes online through your bank or directly on the CRA website - In the event of a Canada Post postal disruption, you can use online payments to pay your business taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It’s more efficient than mailing a cheque, especially if you’re making more than one payment a year. Even if a postal disruption occurs, you are still required to make every effort to submit your payment on time to the CRA. Click Here to learn more about online services can help you meet your tax obligations on time to avoid late penalties and charges.

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

July 28, 2016 - Average Canadian Paycheque Little Changed In May To $956 - Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $956 in May, little changed (+0.2%) from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings increased 0.9%. The change in weekly earnings reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week. (Full Story)

July 19, 2016 - Youth Employment Strategy and Canada Summer Jobs - The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. YES helps youth between the ages of 15 to 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. In February 2016, the Government announced that it will create up to 35,000 additional jobs in each of the next three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program. The investment of $339 million over three years starting in 2016-17, will nearly double the number of job opportunities supported by the program. (Full Story)

July 14, 2016 - Employment Insurance Improvements Taking Effect to Support Canada's Middle Class - The Government of Canada is keeping its commitment to helping the middle class and those seeking to join it by improving the Employment Insurance (EI) program. The elimination of the new entrant and re-entrant rules is expected to benefit approximately 50,000 Canadians who claim EI annually across Canada. Eligible claimants in 15 economic regions where EI benefits were extended are eligible for an additional 5 weeks of EI regular benefits, up to a maximum of 50 weeks. Up to an additional 20 weeks of EI regular benefits is also available to long-tenured workers, up to a maximum of 70 weeks. (Full Story)

July 8, 2016 - Canada loses 700 jobs in June but unemployment rate falls to 6.8% - The country's labour market ran on fumes last month as gains in the services sector were offset by declines in factory and construction work, Statistics Canada said Friday. Overall, the report indicated the labour force shed 700 net jobs last month - a change so slight it is statistically insignificant. On a positive note, service sector jobs continued to rise in June. They rose by 45,500 net positions, with the biggest increases in accommodation and food services as well as information, culture and recreation. Compared to 12 months earlier, the survey found that Canada had added 170,600 services jobs, an increase of 1.2 per cent. (Full Story)

July 7, 2016 - Canada Pension Plan revamp popular across country, poll suggests - Boosting the Canada Pension Plan is a popular move across the country, a new he Forum Research survey suggests. Forum found 72 per cent of Ontarians polled back the CPP expansion, with 16 per cent opposing it and 13 per cent unsure. Even in Quebec - which has its own pension plan and, along with Manitoba, did not sign the CPP deal - 57 per cent support it, with 12 per cent disapproving and 31 per cent not sure. Under the provisional agreement, which must be approved by July 15, premiums for employees and employers will begin to rise in 2019 and CPP benefits, which currently pay out a maximum of $13,110 a year, will eventually rise to $17,478. Higher premiums will be fully phased in by 2026. (Full Story)

June 29, 2016 - Salary increases expected to average 1.39 per cent for 2016: Survey - The projected national average base salary increase is expected to drop to 1.39 per cent for 2016 from the 1.99 per cent predicted in November, according to surveys by the Wynford Group. The highest provincial base salary projections are for Ontario (1.78 per cent), British Columbia (1.64 per cent) and Quebec (1.62 per cent), found the recent survey of over 270 participants, collected in May 2016. (Full Story)

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

July 26, 2016 - Job grant helps employers remain competitive - Employers are seeing the benefits of the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG) program that is helping businesses build a strong workforce through training. Launched in October 2014, the Canada-Alberta Job Grant responds to Alberta’s labour challenges by helping employers build a skilled workforce to meet current and future needs. Since the launch, more than $20 million has been committed for training. More than 5,700 applications have been approved for more than 2,400 unique employers in Alberta. The program lets employers decide who gets trained and what type of training their current or prospective employee should receive. For employers who are training potential workers, it’s expected the individual will be hired upon completion of training. (Full Story)

June 30, 2016 - Minimum-wage plan brings hope to hardworking Albertans - The province is mapping out the next steps toward a $15 minimum wage by 2018 following several weeks of consultation with Albertans.The increases to minimum wage will move nearly 300,000 hardworking Albertans closer to earning a living wage for their families and provide certainty to businesses. Alberta’s general minimum wage will rise $1.00 to $12.20 per hour and the current liquor server rate will be removed, effective October 1. Weekly and monthly minimum wages used by certain professions will rise to $486 and $2,316, respectively, at the same time. (Full Story)

June 29, 2016 - Government receives confirmation of foreign firefighters’ pay - Officials with the Working on Fire agency confirmed that firefighters deployed in Alberta to help battle the forest blaze in the Fort McMurray area have been paid according to Alberta labour laws. Close to 300 South African firefighters stepped up to help the province fight the massive wildfire in northern Alberta last month. They were paid in the same salary range as Alberta wildland firefighters. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry was grateful that these women and men came to help in a time of need and was pleased to confirm that they were paid in accordance with the province’s labour laws. (Full Story)

August 2, 2016 - WorkBC’s Find Your Fit to showcase B.C.’s in-demand jobs in Penticton - Young people of Penticton will have an opportunity to learn the skills they will need for tomorrow’s in-demand occupations. WorkBC’s Find Your Fit tour will be making its next stop at the Penticton Peach Festival from Aug. 3-7, 2016. Find Your Fit is part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment to re-engineer education and deliver the skilled workforce needed in B.C.’s growing economy. The tour has had more than 150,000 participants so far. (Full Story)

July 22, 2016 - Policy & Regulation Workplans - At their July meeting, the WorkSafeBC Board of Directors approved the Policy, Regulation and Research Division’s 2016 – 2018 Policy Priorities Workplan. This workplan encompasses policy priorities relating to compensation, occupational disease, assessments, and occupational health and safety. The Policy, Regulation and Research Division (PRRD) consults with internal and external stakeholders to develop effective policies and regulations regarding occupational health and safety, compensation for injured/disabled workers, and their dependants, and employer assessments. (Full Story)

July 19, 2016 - Program stimulates jobs creation in natural gas sector - The Province has approved $120 million in royalty deductions that will create jobs and support the construction of 15 infrastructure projects through British Columbia’s Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program (IRCP). The IRCP keeps B.C.’s natural gas sector flourishing by attracting investment in new roads and pipeline projects, which facilitates growth in communities like Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson. As a result of this year’s program, approximately $185 million is expected to reach service-sector companies, creating more than 1,640 new jobs. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Immigrant job seekers get head start to employment - A group of immigrant job seekers is getting a head start to employment in the retail industry of one of British Columbia’s fastest-growing regions. Participants began the Job Connections for Immigrants (JCI) program on May 16, 2016, and will be training for 21 weeks, 13 of which will be spent in the classroom as participants gain employability skills before spending eight weeks in job placements in the Abbotsford-area retail industry. Funding for the project is provided through the Project-Based Labour Market Training stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Province launches engagement on Canada Pension Plan proposal - The Province is engaging the public to help ensure British Columbians understand the impact of the proposed Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement. The proposed CPP enhancement is meant to balance the needs of business owners with those of employees. Once approved, the enhancement would start in 2019 and be phased in over seven years until 2025. The proposal has two key elements. First, the income replacement rate will be increased from one-quarter to one-third of insured eligible earnings. Secondly, the upper insured earnings limit will be increased to $82,700 in two steps in 2024 and 2025, an increase of about 14% from its projected level in 2023. (Full Story)

July 14, 2016 - 2017 Preliminary Rates - WorkSafeBC announces that the average base rate for 2017 is projected to drop from 1.70% to 1.66% of employers' assessable payroll. Lower claims costs, and strong investment returns, have enabled us to lower the average rate for 2017. Together with employer groups, WorkSafeBC is working to reduce serious injuries and enhance return-to-work opportunities. In doing this, they can collectively help to prevent injuries, improve return-to-work outcomes, and ultimately lower insurance rates. (Full Story)

July 6, 2016 - Site C reaches employment milestone surpassing 1,000 B.C. workers - There are now more than 1,000 British Columbians working on the Site C Clean Energy Project, according to BC Hydro’s latest employment statistics. The latest employment statistics show that there were 1,547 total workers on the Site C project in May 2016, with 1,223 workers from British Columbia (79%). The more than 1,200 British Columbians working on the Site C project represent a varied workforce including: carpenters, truck drivers, crane operators, safety advisors and officers, general labourers, heavy-equipment operators, mechanics, electricians, worker lodge operations staff, construction supervisors, environmental workers and project staff (engineering consultants and office staff). (Full Story)

July 28, 2016 - Ottawa to create satellite office in Winnipeg to deal with Phoenix fallout - As many as 50 people will be hired for a temporary satellite location in Winnipeg to help speed up compensation to federal employees frustrated by a multimillion-dollar payroll computer-system debacle that's left workers with partial or no compensation. Winnipeg is one of four Canadian cities — the others are Montreal, Gatineau, Que., and Shawinigan, Que. — to become temporary compensation hubs to deal with the slew of phone calls coming in from government workers to address payroll issues caused by the new Phoenix system. (Full Story)

July 21, 2016 - WCB to Resume Using Canada Post for Mail Delivery - WCB to Monitor Possible Canada Post Disruption - Beginning July 22, 2016, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) will resume using Canada Post services for all mail delivery, including injured workers' wage loss, pension and medical aid cheques and healthcare providers goods and services cheques. In June, the WCB implemented its postal disruption contingency plan by discontinuing the use of Canada Post and providing a cheque pick-up service. Employers can pay their premiums in a number of ways as an alternative to sending payment via Canada Post. (Full Story)

July 7, 2016 - Manitoba agrees to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the retirement security of Canadians - Finance Minister Bill Morneau has issued the following statement: "On June 20th, Canada’s Finance Ministers came together to help middle class Canadians achieve a safe and secure retirement by strengthening the CPP for generations to come. At that time, the newly elected government of Manitoba indicated its intent to give the matter careful consideration. Today, I am pleased to welcome Manitoba to this historic agreement-in-principle, which now includes all CPP participating provinces." The agreement-in-principle now includes the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, with Quebec agreeing to remain part of the discussions moving forward in recognition of the unique nature of the Quebec Pension Plan. (Full Story)

July 2015 - Manitoba's payroll tax burden still increasing 34 years later - Since 1982, June 30 is the anniversary of the creation of the province's "payroll tax."  Thirty-four years later, the tax is slowly expanding its reach and affecting more businesses, putting ever more tax pressure on Manitoba's small businesses. Unlike the other taxes businesses are charged, payroll taxes are insensitive to business conditions. They must be paid regardless of the state of the economy, whether or not a business makes a profit or whether a business's sales volume increases or decreases. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Environmental Trust Fund projects create green jobs in Campbellton region - The Environmental Trust Fund is providing about $73,000 to support green jobs and environmental projects in the Campbellton region. "We are proud of the many innovative initiatives supported through the Environmental Trust Fund, and we are particularly proud that so many young New Brunswickers find employment with the proponents," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. A total of 207 projects valued at $6.5 million have been approved under the fund. (Full Story)

July 7, 2016 - Pay equity awarded to court stenographers - The provincial government today announced it is implementing pay equity adjustments with the court stenographers union, Local 1840 of the Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE), which represents about 80 court stenographers in New Brunswick. This follows the announcement that CUPE 2745 will be granted pay equity adjustments of $3.5 million a year over a 10-year period. The more than 3,000 workers include educational assistants, administrative assistants, school library workers and intervention workers. (Full Story)

June 29, 2016 - WorkSafeNB encourages direct deposit - WorkSafeNB is reminding clients that a postal services disruption may happen in early July. WorkSafeNB’s priority is to ensure their clients experience as little inconvenience as possible if a disruption occurs. They are encouraging clients to sign up for direct deposit if they haven’t already done so. Registration is simple and quick, and will ensure that benefits are received as soon as they are processed. (Full Story)

July 22, 2016 - Federal and Provincial Governments Take Action to Help Newcomers Find Employment in their Fields - The government has signed a partnership agreement that will help foreign-trained workers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Under the Foreign Qualification Recognition Agreement, newcomers will benefit from improved foreign credential recognition, allowing them to apply their skills and talents and increasing opportunities for employment in their fields. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Client service satisfaction surveys - Beginning July 14, WorkplaceNL will conduct its second quarter client service satisfaction survey for 2016. This is part of WorkplaceNL’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)

July 12, 2016 - WorkplaceNL committed to alternate service delivery during postal service disruption - WorkplaceNL has taken steps to minimize inconvenience to our clients and service providers during any possible disruption in mail services in Newfoundland and Labrador. Payments issued via direct deposit will not be affected. Employers and service providers are encouraged to use our online connect services to submit forms and other information to WorkplaceNL. (Full Story)

July 4, 2016 - Supporting Youth Employment Opportunities - High school students will have the opportunity to gain work experience this summer with 2,800 weeks of available employment. This will create 469 jobs supported through the Student Summer Employment Program - High School and made possible via $780,000 in funding. This program allows non-profit organizations throughout the province to avail of a wage subsidy to assist with the hiring of high school students for the summer. (Full Story)

August 2016 - Taking on an apprentice is good for business - A study completed by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum in 2009 found that for every $1 spent on apprenticeship training, a business receives an average of $1.47 in benefits. It’s also great for the NWT workforce. That’s because having a greater number of trained Northerners means more of the benefits from large-scale developments stays in the North. Apprentices earn while they learn. Skilled tradespeople are in high demand and there will continue to be lots of job opportunities across Canada, and especially in the Northwest Territories. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Revised Payroll Information for the Northwest Territories - CanPay has posted the 2016 revisions for NWT payroll and HR-related data in its free online database. This page provides current provincial payroll information for the Nunavut territory that includes such topics as Minimum Wage, Hours of Work, Worker's Compensation, Leaves, Statutory Holidays, Minimum Working Age, Termination Notices Requirements and much more. Revised payroll information for all of Canadian provinces and territories is also available. (Full Story)

July 26, 2016 - Payroll Rebate Approved - Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive in the form of a payroll rebate for Surrette Battery Company Limited of Springhill, Nova Scotia. The company has the potential to create up to a maximum of 90 new jobs under the payroll rebate agreement. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the five-year payroll rebate agreement, NSBI estimates Surrette Battery could spend $11.13 million in salaries. It is estimated the new employees would contribute provincial tax revenues of about $1.18 million through their income and consumption taxes. As a result, Surrette Battery would earn up to $810,600 through the rebate agreement. (Full Story)

July 26, 2016 - New Apprenticeship Program for High School Students - Halifax-area high school students are getting the chance to explore careers in the culinary trade this summer. Serve It Up! is a new youth apprenticeship program that gives students the opportunity to work in commercial kitchens with Red Seal Certified cooks to gain practical, hands-on experience while earning credits toward graduation. This initiative will help increase the number of youth apprentices in the culinary trade, ensure that the sector has the skilled and professional workers it needs. TestDrive and Building Futures for Youth have provided more than 650 students with paid summer employment and hands-on trades experience. (Full Story)

July 12, 2016 - Unemployed Nova Scotians to Get More Support to Pursue Studies - Government is increasing support for living expenses, child care and dependent care for eligible participants of the Skills Development program for the 2016/17 school year. The program, provided through federal labour market funding, offers financial support to people who need additional skills to find long-term, meaningful employment. Changes to the program, which take effect Sept. 1, will help make post-secondary study more accessible to more Nova Scotians. These changes will also help to provide businesses with a more qualified, skilled and ready to work labour pool to recruit and hire from. (Full Story)

July 4, 2016 - Athletes to be Exempt from Some Provisions of Labour Standards Code - Athletes playing on Nova Scotia-based teams are exempt from parts of the Labour Standards Code after changes made today, July 4. Changes to the General Labour Standards Code Regulations and the Minimum Wage Order apply to all athletes who meet the definition of an employee. The amendments recognize the uniqueness of the sport world and other ways players are compensated, such as per diem, training costs and supplied equipment. There are also some types of work in Nova Scotia that are already exempt from similar sections of the code. For example, salespeople who receive part, or all, of their compensation as commission. (Full Story)

July 21, 2016 - Nunavut Business Survey - The Government of Nunavut (GN) is looking to businesses for their thoughts on jobs, training, skills and other business topics. In July and August, the GN is doing a survey with business owners and representatives. All information collected in the survey will be confidential and used only for statistical and information purposes. The answers will help the GN better understand the business community and improve its programs and services. (Full Story)

July 05, 2016 - Summer Employment for Nunavut Students - The Department of Family Services is piloting a new work experience program for high school and post-secondary students - the Summer Employment for Nunavut Students (SENS) program. The program targets employers in the private and non-governmental sectors, as well as hamlets, who want to hire youth for the summer. The program provides 50 per cent of the student’s hourly wage, up to $10 per hour. All students receive on-the-job training and mentorship to prepare them for future careers. Youth must be between the ages of 15 and 30, and returning to school in the fall. The program runs until September 3, 2016. (Full Story)

July 28, 2016 - Joint Statement on Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontario Workers - The Ontario government today announced that they have won a majority mandate on a promise to improve retirement security for Ontario workers through the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). During a period of uncertainty about whether CPP enhancement could be achieved, the government took a responsible approach and continued their work on establishing the ORPP. (Full Story)

July 28, 2016 - Ontario Partnering with Ferrero Canada to Create Jobs - Ontario is partnering with Ferrero Canada Ltd. to expand its product line and pursue new markets, creating 55 new jobs and retaining 831 jobs in Brantford. The project has a total value of over $36.1 million and is expected to be completed by August 2017. The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is helping to create jobs and diversify the economy by encouraging regional businesses to pursue innovation and new markets. The funds cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remainder from its own resources. This leveraging of private sector investment provides enhanced value for taxpayers. (Full Story)

July 19, 2016 - Strengthening Home and Community Care - In May 2015, Ontario launched Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, the government's three-year plan to improve and expand home and community care. Improvements for personal support workers include enhancing wages for personal support workers, including an hourly wage increase for eligible personal support workers working in the home and community care sector and a higher minimum base wage of $16.50/hour as of April 1, 2016. (Full Story)

July 6, 2016 - Investing In Workplace Safety - The province's Research Opportunities Program and Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program aim to improve occupational safety outcomes and support projects that reduce workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. This year, a total of $4.38 million in funding for these programs will support research, health, educational, industry, labour and community organizations to deliver innovative occupational health and safety initiatives and conduct successful projects that focus on vulnerable workers, high hazard activities or occupational diseases. (Full Story)

July 1, 2016 - Regulation and Fee Changes Coming Into Force July 1, 2016 - A number of legislation and regulation changes will come into effect on July 1, 2016. The Ministry of Finance changes include allowing the rules that apply to single-employer pension plans in circumstances of a merger to apply also to multi-employer pension plans. The Ministry of Labour changes include; adopting new international standards for providing employers and workers with consistent health and safety information about hazardous workplace chemicals (e.g., on labels) and, requiring employers to take appropriate safety measures to ensure construction workers are protected from hazardous concentrations of biological and chemical substances. (Full Story)

July 22, 2016 - Skills Link funding available - Organizations wishing to hire youth are encouraged to apply for funding through the Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) Skills Link program, says Minister Richard Brown, Workforce and Advanced Learning. Applicants from across the country can apply to fund projects, through two streams, that incorporate essential skills through group-based employability, work experience, and entrepreneurship interventions. Stream one projects target green jobs; essential skills; female at-risk youth; indigenous youth; etc. Stream two projects focus on social innovation, including innovative approaches and social enterprises. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Aligning Millennial Skills with Jobs - Gradpeek allows educated and talented millennials and employers to connect efficiently and strategically. The company uses a unique and searchable database that helps potential employees build themselves an impressive profile, and it assists employers in the screening process for potential employees. The company is pleased to receive this federal and provincial support which will enable them to introduce Gradpeek as the go-to platform for growing small and medium-sized businesses to make their next hire. Their marketing plan will position Gradpeek to inform students and recent graduates that this service is available to them which will hopefully in turn reduce youth unemployment and underemployment. (Full Story)

July 11, 2016 - New Online System for Saskatchewan Businesses - A new online system will make it easier to register and maintain a business in Saskatchewan. The Corporate Registry system will make it faster and more convenient for businesses and non-profit corporations to search, register and operate in Saskatchewan.  Among other things, the new system will allow corporations to submit yearly filings online, check business name availability, and gain easier access to a wide variety of documents and services.  Customers have been eagerly awaiting the new system. (Full Story)

July 8, 2016 - Saskatchewan Unemployment Rate Second Lowest in Canada - Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) was 6.1 per cent in June 2016, tied for the second lowest among provinces and lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.8 per cent. In June 2016, there were 582,200 people employed in Saskatchewan. There has been an increase of 1,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in Saskatchewan between May 2016 and June 2016. Youth unemployment rate was 10.5 per cent (seasonally adjusted), the lowest among the provinces and below the national rate of 13.0 per cent. (Full Story)

June 30, 2016 - Minimum Wage to Increase on October 1 - On October 1, 2016, Saskatchewan’s minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $10.72 per hour.  This will be the eighth increase to the minimum wage since 2007. This increase will directly impact more than 23,000 minimum wage earners in Saskatchewan.  More than half of minimum wage earners are under 25 years of age. Saskatchewan’s legislation provides for an annual review based on changes to the consumer price index and the average hourly wage.  Any changes to the minimum wage are announced by June 30.  Changes take effect October 1. (Full Story)

June 29, 2016 - The WCB to distribute excess surplus to employers - The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) announced a $281.5 million surplus will be distributed to employers in 2016 as part of the 2015 surplus announced at its annual general meeting in May. At the WCB’s 2015 year end, the funded position was 144.7 percent, which exceeded the 105 to 120 percent funding policy target range resulting in a surplus of $281.5 million. The surplus will be distributed to eligible employers in two instalments in July and December of 2016. Employers are eligible for the 2016 distribution if their net premiums were greater than their claims costs over the three-year period from 2012 to 2014. (Full Story)

July 15, 2016 - Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon government ratify new collective agreement - The Government of Yukon and the government’s largest employee group, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada/Yukon Employees’ Union, have ratified a new collective agreement. The new agreement sets out yearly salary increases totaling 5 per cent over three years – 2 per cent in 2016, 1.5 per cent in 2017 and 1.5 per cent in 2018. The three-year term is from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. The new collective agreement covers approximately 70 per cent of Government of Yukon employees. (Full Story)

July 4, 2016 - New Direct Deposit Authorization Form - The YWCHSB has published a new form that allows benefits to be deposited directly into claimant bank accounts on its due date. Claimants will be advised of the deposit via Canada Post. The Direct Deposit Authorization Form is in PDF format and can be downloaded as needed, or saved to Your Library (a private area on the web site that lets you collect pages and documents for your reference). (Full Story)

June 29, 2016 - Revised Policy: GN-01 - Information Access and Privacy - The YWCHSB has published a revised version of GN-01 - Information Access and Privacy. The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) collects personal information in the administration of its governing legislation: the Workers' Compensation Act (the Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). YWCHSB is committed to and responsible for the protection of that personal information and is subject to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP). (Full Story)

Featured Article

Schedule a Summer Intern

Every summer, holiday schedules create challenges, especially in smaller organizations.

In order to alleviate the problem, some leaders require that employees take no more than two weeks of vacation at a time, as it is difficult to accommodate longer stays away from work.

You can imagine the challenges these smaller organizations encounter if an employee is absent with illness for a long period of time.

Many organizations are taking advantage of the co-operative education programs offered by Canadian universities in order to alleviate not only the typical summer staffing issues but to fill general gaps in the workforce. These programs offer a combination of paid work experience and academics such that students gain real-life experience in the workplace. These programs are frequently offered in almost every study area.

Benefits to both employers and students have been widely recognized. Benefits for students include enhanced employability, adjustment to the working world, maturity and career clarity. For employers, the benefits include an energetic addition to the workforce, the potential of retaining a co-op student as a full-time employee as well as the opportunity to act as an advocate for other students in the future.

While not every organization has the capability or financial resources to hire a co-op student for a typical four-month time frame, there are other options, namely hiring a shorter-term summer student and/or intern. These young people are also looking for experience and perhaps more so an opportunity to explore career options.

This year, my firm has been the recipient of two interns, both of whom sought out our company. It is the first time for us and it has been a fabulous experience.

It all happened so quickly and being a smaller company, we didn't have a mentorship program in place and had to scramble to make sure we were going to provide a valuable experience for each individual. This included many of the things you would normally do with any new employee but also making certain we had proper workspace, links to our resources, an understanding of protocols, time set aside for mentoring and of course, real-life work assignments. Thankfully, our young participants are enjoying what they are learning.

This experience made me think about the importance of developing a mentorship program if and when you accept interns into your organization. So what are some of the best practices you should be aware of if you are wanting to use summer interns and/or engage a student in a mentorship program? The following guidelines will assist you to make your program a great experience.

Prepare an orientation - you don't need as full an orientation as for a new full-time employee but your intern needs to know some basic protocols, be introduced to your team, and assigned a work station with all the tools needed for their assignments. Do the usual walk around, showing them where things are and continue to check on them. Being new can be quite isolating and with so much information being sent their way on the first day, keeping track of everything will be a challenge.

It also means you shouldn't be assigning them tasks you have left behind for the past year and frankly don't like to do. Typically, these tasks don't need to be done and may not even be of value to the business. If you are in a sales environment, be sure to schedule time for the intern to accompany you on customer calls. If you are writing proposals, show the participant some samples and let them give it a try. If you are having an interesting client discussion, invite them in to listen and learn. Be sure to give them variety and let them explore various elements of your business, unless they are specializing in a field of study and wish to focus on that area.

Teach them your tools - most students will come with basic information-technology tools and some will come with more complex skills. But, teach them the tools they will need to do your job. If there are certifications available that can be done within the short time frame and they are proprietary and/or not too costly, enroll them in the programs. These skills can be put to use immediately. Assign them work projects that use these tools and watch them grow.

Hold special mentor sessions - feeling alone is one of the biggest challenges for a student intern as everyone is so busy, people are away on vacation and others recognize the student time frame is short and may not wish to interact. Be sure to assign a specific mentor who will meet with your students frequently, and allow them to ask questions and to challenge the status quo. You'll be surprised at the extent of their new ideas. They can probably teach you a thing or two.

Be flexible with scheduling - while you may have assigned the student intern with a specific task, it is also valuable to have them spend time with specific workers within your organization. This helps them get a sense of the whole organization rather than just one job.

Be inclusive - typically, summer is a time for staff events such as barbeques or family outings. Be sure to include your summer intern. There may be other activities going on in your workplace as well. Get them involved in organizing as well as attending. If clients are invited, be sure to introduce them; it is good experience to be in a social yet business situation.

Talk careers - a summer student or intern might well turn out to be your next employee. So be sure to speak to them about career opportunities within your firm. Often in a small business, the owner is the specialist. If this is the case, be sure to spend time with them as you are the role model. Take them to see customers, invite them to meetings, let them see what it is you do. A good experience will see the student coming back the following year and once fully qualified, they could be your next new employee.

Conduct a performance review - this doesn't have to be as formal as for a regular employee but it should represent meeting with the individual to determine if objectives for their student placement and/or internship were met. There is nothing worse than both student and employer being disappointed.

Conduct an exit interview - at the point of departure, have someone interview the student and discuss the experience. Inquire about what they have learned from a task perspective as well as the work experience and organizational culture. What adjustments did they have to make? Was the learning up to their expectations? What could be different and/or better for the next student? And, what did they learn that will help them in their career journey? These answers will help to strengthen your program. As well, remember, you summer intern can become your ambassador or the individual who spreads negativity about your organization.

Offer reference letters - some student interns are on scholarships that require feedback to their funders. Work with your student to outline the responsibilities they have been involved in and the skills they have acquired. Comment on how quickly the student adjusted to the work environment, speak about their willingness to listen and learn and offer advice for further learning.

Summer students/interns can be valuable resources especially when vacation schedules cause challenges. But if you do take on a student, don't throw them to the wolves; develop a plan and work with them to make their experience a valuable one.

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

GrandMaster Suite v9.01 (Current Release)

  • B.C. Tax Calculation - A correction has been made to one of the variables within the British Columbia July 2016 tax calculation.
  • ROE Printing - An error has been corrected within the Record of Employment print function.
  • EFT Format Conversion - If you have never used the new Electronic Funds Transfer system, any existing formats that exist in your grndmast.ini file will now automatically convert into the new function.

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Password Reset Adjustment - Adjusted the Password Reset function to correct an issue where some users would not receive the reset message, based on their e-mail server settings.

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