Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

March 2017 - 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 Employment News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.

Tip of the Month Federal News Provincial News
Featured Article Software Updates Newsletter Archive

Tip of the Month

March 2017 - T4 reporting for certified non-resident employers - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) states that under recently enacted legislation, a certified non-resident employer may not have to report the salary, wages, or other remuneration paid to a qualified non-resident employee if the amount is $10,000 or less if certain conditions are met. Non-resident employers who apply for non-resident employer certification, will not have to withhold and remit tax on the payments they make to non-resident employees who are working in Canada for a limited time and are exempt from tax in Canada under a tax treaty. Click Here to learn more.

Looking for past tips? Please visit our Tip of the Month archive for historical tips other useful information that will assist with your payroll and HR tasks.

Canadian Federal Payroll and HR News

March 27, 2017 - Interest rates for the second 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 April 1, 2017, to June 30, 2017. 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)

March 26, 2017 - New employment help for spouses of Canadian Armed Forces - Military spouses across Canada will be able to get help in finding a new career as the METSpouse program expands nationwide this April. Canada Company – a federal charity that helps military members transition into civilian life with a focus on finding new employment – in partnership with Military Family Services, plans to expand their METSpouse program coast to coast on April 19. METSpouse is designed to address underemployment among spouses of active, reserve and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces by leveraging opportunities through the Canada Company’s existing Military Employment Transition Program, which helps members of the Canadian Armed Forces transition into civilian careers. (Full Story)

March 26, 2017 - Youth Employment Strategy - 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 and 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. YES includes Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience, and is delivered by 11 federal departments. Each year, the Government invests more than $330 million through the Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to find and keep good jobs. (Full Story)

March 23, 3017 - Monthly Employment Insurance numbers drop slightly in January - Slightly fewer Canadians received employment insurance benefits in the first month of 2017, with the number of beneficiaries down 0.3 per cent from December's level. A total of 567,900 people received EI benefits in January, up 3.7 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier. Statistics Canada said the annual increase is "largely as a result of increases in Alberta." Canada's unemployment rate fell to 6.6 per cent in February, when the economy saw a net gain of 15,000 jobs. (Full Story)

March 13 2017 - Canada Adds 15,300 Jobs In February, Unemployment Rate Lowest Since 2008 - Canada added only 15,300 jobs in February from January with the gain entirely from full-time employment, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada. The number of full-time jobs rose by 105,100 in February, the second notable increase in three months following a significant increase in December. Part-time jobs fell by 89,800. Compared to the same month a year ago, Canadian employment rose by 288,100 jobs in February, an increase of 1.6%, with most of the increase occurring since July 2016. This coincided with stronger economic growth in the second half of 2016. (Full Story)

March 10, 2017 - Canada's unemployment rate drops to lowest in two years - Canada's unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 per cent last month, its lowest level in more than two years, Statistics Canada said Friday, as the economy created more jobs than expected even with fewer people looking for work. The report was the latest in a line of stronger-than-expected data. Several economists hailed the numbers as further evidence that Canada's economy is on the mend from the oil price shock of recent years, though at least one questioned the survey's findings of a massive swing toward full-time employment at the expense of part-time jobs. The decline of 0.2 percentage points from the previous month brought the unemployment rate down to a number not seen since January 2015. (Full Story)

March 3, 2017 - Stronger Canada Pension Plan Now a Reality - The Government's plan for a strong and growing middle class includes helping Canadians achieve their goal of a safer, secure and dignified retirement. Minister of Finance Bill Morneau marked the final step in implementing an improved Canada Pension Plan (CPP) today by announcing that the Governor General has signed the Order in Council to bring the CPP enhancements in Bill C-26 into force, meaning all necessary legislative requirements have been met by Canada's governments to implement the agreed-upon enhancements. The strengthened CPP will provide more money to Canadians when they retire, so that they can worry less about their savings and focus more on enjoying time with their families. (Full Story)

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

March 24, 2017 - New jobs, investment to come from renewable - Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program is expected to attract at least $10.5 billion of investment into the Alberta economy by 2030, creating more than 7,200 jobs for Albertans. The Alberta Electric System Operator is set to open the first of a series of competitions to create greener energy in the province, putting Alberta on track to achieve its target of 30 per cent renewable electricity by 2030. (Full Story)

March 16, 2017 - Wildrose jobs plan calls for holiday from Alberta WCB premiums - The Wildrose wants to give businesses a break on paying premiums to the Workers' Compensation Board, which the party says has more than enough money to pay for the needs of injured Alberta workers. As part of its 12-point plan to stimulate job creation released Tuesday, the official Opposition called for cutting WCB premiums 50 per cent for the first 100 employees in each business and eliminating premiums for new hires until surplus assets at the corporation are drawn down to 114 per cent of its liabilities. (Full Story)

March 14, 2017 - Every worker needs to be protected - A job is a job whether a person works in manufacturing, an office, retail or in agriculture... all workers deserve the same rights and protections. That is why I was pleased when the Alberta government said they were going to bring in the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, better known as Bill 6. The purpose of the legislation is to make farm work safer and bring the province’s labour laws more in line with the rest of Canada. When it was introduced Alberta was the only province that didn't have, in some form, a farm worker safety law. (Full Story)

March 13, 2017 - Public input sought on Alberta’s workplace laws - Albertans are invited to participate in a review of the province’s labour legislation to ensure fair and family-friendly workplaces that support a strong economy. The review focuses on the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code, neither of which has undergone significant updates since 1988. These laws cover topics such as hours of work, overtime, general holidays, special leaves and collective bargaining rules. Some of Alberta’s workplace rules are currently out-of-step with the rest of Canada and these areas need to be reviewed. (Full Story)

March 7, 2017 - Have your say on employment standards and labour relations regulations - Two reports - one for employment standards, one for labour relations - will be available for public comment until April 3. Alberta farmers have asked to have their say on proposed new workplace safety rules — and the provincial government says they will now have their chance. The NDP government is asking Albertans to give their views on two reports on proposed employment standards and labour relations recommendations. Feedback will be accepted until April 3 online, via email, or by mail. (Full Story)

February 28, 2017 - Innovative pilot helps Alberta youth find good jobs - A new $1.7-million youth employment partnership will help up to 350 young Albertans find work and prepare hundreds more to join the labour force. With $1.7 million in grant funding from the Government of Alberta, the two-year pilot is expected to help more than 1,200 youth, placing 350 into direct jobs as well as connecting 200 employers with eager, talented prospective employees. Employers are also seeing the benefits as 165 individual employers are using the program to find and recruit youth. More than 65 employers have also accessed consultation services for the attraction and retention of youth workers. (Full Story)

February 17, 2017 - Number of Alberta employment insurance recipients nears record - A near-record 97,870 Albertans received employment insurance (EI) in December as jobless figures remain high despite signs of hope for the oil and gas industry. It was the third consecutive monthly increase in the number of Albertans collecting benefits, which peaked at 102,950 last July when changes to EI legislation expanded the area eligible for extended coverage, Statistics Canada reports. Alberta’s 1.7 per cent rise in December EI recipients was the largest of any province in Canada, bucking a national 0.6 per cent drop. (Full Story)

March 21, 2017 - B.C. jobs growth accelerates in February - B.C.'s jobs juggernaut plowed ahead in February, signalling continued momentum for the economy. Estimated employment rose 0.8% from January to a seasonally adjusted 2.44 million persons with net growth of 19,400 entirely reflecting full-time hiring. Unemployment fell half a percentage point to 5.1% of the labour force, pointing to the tightest labour market in the country and the lowest rate for B.C. since late 2008. (Full Story)

March 17, 2017 - Province commits $798,000 to help connect students with construction employers - The B.C. government and the Construction Foundation of BC announced today the new Construction Ready Pilot Project to help B.C. students build their careers in the construction industry while they are still in school. The project announced today is worth $923,000 in total, including $798,000 from the Province through the Sector Labour Market Partnership (LMP) program, and $125,000 from industry partners. The Construction Foundation of BC will also contribute $100,000 to the apprenticeship training costs of students who complete the pilot and are offered employment. (Full Story)

March 13, 2017 - Employer Health and Safety Planning Tool Kit: New and enhanced features - WorkSafeBC has upgraded their Employer Health and Safety Planning Tool Kit so you can better understand your organization’s performance and your industry’s risks. The online tool kit helps employers learn about injuries and claims, compare their performance to their peers, identify trends, and plan health and safety initiatives for their workplaces. You can use the tools to see how adjustments in your health and safety and return-to-work initiatives can impact your injury and claims costs and the experience rating used to calculate your insurance premium. (Full Story)

March 10, 2107 - BC leads in recent job creation in Canada - British Columbia led the provinces in job creation last month - continuing an upward trend that began in the spring of 2015. Statistics Canada says employment increased by 19,000 - fuelled by gains in full-time work and spread across several industries. The federal agency says employment in the province was up 3.6 per cent over the same month last year - the fastest growth rate among the provinces. British Columbia also posted the lowest unemployment rate among the provinces last month at 5.1 per cent - down from 5.6 per cent in January. (Full Story)

March 10, 2017 - Northwest job seekers training for local jobs with government support - Up to 192 residents in the northwest and Nechako regions are receiving the training they need for jobs in their communities, thanks to support from the provincial and federal governments for various skills training projects. The governments have allocated more than $1.1 million in total to five service providers to provide eight training projects at no cost to eligible participants. (Full Story)

March 7, 2017 - Single Parent Employment Initiative - The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) removes barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance, providing them with the training and supports they need to secure long-term employment. About 17,000 single parents on income or disability assistance in B.C. are eligible for the Single Parent Employment Initiative. Single parents must have been on income or disability assistance for three months to be eligible for funded training programs. (Full Story)

March 6, 2017 - Employment Program of BC (EPBC) - The Employment Program of BC (EPBC) is the province’s one-stop employment program. Its services include self-serve job search services, as well as client needs assessment, case management and other employment service options, for those needing more individualized services, to prepare for, find and maintain sustainable employment. Since the program launched in 2012, EPBC has served more than 330,000 people. Since the program launched in 2012, EPBC has facilitated employment opportunities for nearly 105,000 people – 85% of which are full-time positions. (Full Story)

March 3, 2017 - Building new BRIDGES to employment for Aboriginal youth - The Province is providing the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) with $1.97 million to help Aboriginal youth with multiple barriers to employment find work through a unique experience that is rich in culture and heritage. This is a first-of-its-kind project in British Columbia. Its employment and educational outcomes will be put side by side with a group of clients of similar age and background to compare results and find best practices for offering employment services to Aboriginal youth who face multiple barriers to employment. (Full Story)

February 27, 2017 - B.C.’s minimum wage increases on Sept. 15, 2017 - In accordance with a commitment made in May of 2016, the B.C. government will increase the minimum wage by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour, effective Sept. 15 of this year, to better reflect the province’s overall economic growth and ensure all workers benefit from B.C.’s thriving job market. The new rate includes a 20-cent increase based on the BC 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus an additional 30 cents. There will also be an identical increase of 50 cents per hour to the liquor server minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. (Full Story)

March 27, 2017 - Training and Employment Services - Training and Employment Services helps Manitobans prepare for, find and keep employment, including support for training to meet labour market needs. A wide range of employment and training services are offered through our 13 Centres situated throughout Manitoba as well as through partnerships with community-based organizations and employers. (Full Story)

March 17, 2017 - Jobless rate among off-reserve aboriginal people second-lowest - Manitoba boasted one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates for off-reserve aboriginal workers in 2015, according to a new report from Statistics Canada. The report, entitled Aboriginal People Living Off-Reserve and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2007-2015, said the jobless rate for off-reserve aboriginals in Manitoba in 2015 was 10.2 per cent. That was the second lowest among the seven regions covered in the report. Ontario had the lowest rate at 9.2 per cent, while the national average was 11 per cent. (Full Story)

March 10, 2017 - Province gains 3,400 jobs - Manitoba’s unemployment rate dropped below six per cent last month as the local economy added thousands of new full-time jobs. In its latest monthly Labour Force Survey report released on Friday, Statistics Canada said the Manitoba economy created 3,900 new full-time jobs in February. Those gains were only partially offset by the loss of 500 part-time positions, leaving a net gain of 3,400 new jobs for the month. The rise in employment levels — there were 637,700 Manitobans working last month — pushed down the provincial unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent from 6.1 per cent in January. That’s the second lowest jobless rate in the country after British Columbia’s 5.1 per cent. (Full Story)

February 24, 2017 - Province Providing Funds To Train Newcomers For Wood Manufacturing Jobs - The Manitoba government is partnering with the Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC) to prepare newcomers in the Winkler/Morden region for jobs in the wood manufacturing industry, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today. "Wood manufacturers in the Winkler/Morden region have told us they need help recruiting skilled workers to fill vacant positions," said Wishart. "We are investing in this training initiative to help connect workers with in-demand jobs in a growing industry." (Full Story)

March 30, 2017 - Reminder: minimum wage to increase on April 1 - New Brunswickers are reminded that the minimum wage will increase from $10.65 per hour to $11 per hour on April 1. "Helping families is one of our government's priorities," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "Increasing the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of hard-working New Brunswickers and have a positive effect on the provincial economy, so families can continue to live and work here in New Brunswick." This marks the third increase to the province’s minimum wage since December 2014. Increasing the minimum wage honours a commitment made under the government’s poverty reduction plan. (Full Story)

March 28, 2017 - SEED applications close March 31 - Students are reminded that applications for the summer 2017 Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program will close on Friday. Through the program, students can apply for jobs that will help them develop transferable skills and reach their career goals. They can learn more about the application process and eligibility, and also apply online. Employers may also post job opportunities online. Once the application process is closed, eligible students will be randomly selected from the pool of registered applicants to ensure fairness and equal opportunity. High school and college students will receive a summer job placement of up to eight weeks. University students will receive placements of up to 10 weeks. (Full Story)

March 8, 2017 - Pay inequity still an issue for some N.B. job sectors - The chair of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity says pay equity in the province does not compare very well with the rest of Canada, especially in certain job sectors. Vallie Stearns-Anderson said while manufacturing is one, the caregiving sector is the worst. For anything to change, Stearns-Anderson said there needs to be adequate legislation to cover all workers in the province. She says without pay equity, a large portion of the workforce lacks the spending power needed to drive the economy. (Full Story)

March 2, 2017 - New Brunswick joins federal government in approving enhancements to Canada Pension Plan - Today the federal government announced that the Governor General has signed the order-in-council to bring into force Bill C-26, which will enhance the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) beginning in 2019. The enhancement will increase the maximum CPP retirement benefit by about 50 per cent for New Brunswickers. The current maximum benefit is $13,370. In today’s dollar terms, the enhanced CPP represents an increase of nearly $7,000, to a maximum benefit of about $20,000. It will take about 40 years of contributions for a worker to fully accumulate the enhanced benefit. (Full Story)

March 2, 2017 - Investment in Edmundston jobs - The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour is investing $1,298,431 through the Youth Employment Fund, One Job Pledge and Workforce Expansion programs to support jobs in the Edmundston region. This funding will help 80 employers in the region provide 144 positions. The Youth Employment Fund is a program designed to provide unemployed youth aged 18-29 with an opportunity to develop skills. It also provides an entry point to long-term employment for people who need experience, as identified through their employment action plan. (Full Story)

March 1, 2017 - Fredericton company to create 50 new jobs - Quick Service Software, a Fredericton-based software company, is expanding and creating 50 new full-time positions. The company, founded in 2000, currently employs 50 New Brunswickers. Opportunities NB is providing a payroll rebate of up to $400,000 to assist in the creation of the new positions over a four-year period. During that time, the government estimates these jobs will add $11 million to the provincial GDP while generating about $500,000 in provincial income tax. (Full Story)

March 22, 2017 - Minister Byrne Announces Enhancements to Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program - Enhancements to the Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program, which assists apprentices in their pursuit of journeyperson certification by providing subsidies directly to their employers, have been announced. Changes include: Increasing focus on subsidizing third and fourth year apprentices to assist those already working in the skilled trades in completing their journeyperson certification with a wage subsidy of 75 per cent for all apprentices, up to a maximum of $14 an hour; Implementing a more responsive approval process designed to meet the time constraints experienced by businesses when hiring; and Introducing an evaluation component that will allow apprentices and their employers to regularly assess each other’s program performance. (Full Story)

March 14, 2017 - Better wages, not temporary foreign workers, needed to fill jobs, labour group says - The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour says better offers - not temporary foreign workers - is the answer for Gander businesses looking for new hires. The group's vice president says people are looking for secure jobs, with higher wages and health benefits - especially in uncertain economic times. With plenty of job openings, but seemingly no one to fill them, business owners in Gander are looking for ways to attract workers to the service industry, which typically has wages at or just above the minimum wage. (Full Story)

March 07, 2017 - Supporting Women in Skilled Trades - On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Honourable Cathy Bennett, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, is congratulating the Union Collaboration Working Committee in their work to address issues affecting women’s equality in the workplace, particularly in trades and technology occupations. The Union Collaboration Working Committee was formed in 2016 as a result of feedback of roundtable discussions hosted by the Women’s Policy Office on the issues affecting women‘s participation in the skilled trades. The committee was formed as a means to engage trade unions on diversity issues and to find solutions to issues affecting women’s participation in the skilled trades. (Full Story)

February 20, 2017 - Injured Workers’ 2016 Statement of Benefits (T5007) Forms to be Distributed - WorkplaceNL has commenced processing of injured workers’ 2016 Statement of Benefits (T5007) tax forms. Forms are scheduled to be mailed by Tuesday, February 28, 2017. These forms are for injured worker clients receiving wage-loss benefits directly from WorkplaceNL. If you have any questions regarding your 2016 T5007, please call WorkplaceNL at 709.778.1000 or 1.800.563.9000. (Full Story)

March 25, 2017 - Annual Payroll Reporting - The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) requires employers to report their payroll figures annually. In order to avoid a penalty, employers must report their payroll to the WSCC by the last day in February of each year. The WSCC offers Fast File - an easy way for employers who belong to a single industry to report their payroll without having to sign up for an online user account. With Fast File, you can quickly report your payroll in one sitting. To access Fast File, you must provide your company's Employer Number and a corresponding and valid Connect Code. If you are unsure about what your Employer Number and Connect Code is, please contact the WSCC. (Full Story)

February 27 2017 - Northwest Territories and Nunavut payroll tax - In contrast to other jurisdictions where a payroll tax may be levied on employers, both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut impose a payroll tax directly on employees working in those territories. The Payroll Tax Act came into effect in the Northwest Territories in 1993 and was duplicated for Nunavut upon division of the territories in 1999. Both territories review and update the regime on an ongoing basis. Payroll tax is calculated as 2% of the employee’s gross remuneration earned for work in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut. Remuneration includes salary, wages, bonuses, taxable allowances benefits, and retiring allowance or severance pay. (Full Story)

Minimum Wage Increasing April 1 - Nova Scotia's minimum wage is increasing April 1 to keep pace with the cost of living. Government accepted the Minimum Wage Review Committee's recommendation to increase the minimum wage by 15 cents, to $10.85 an hour. The minimum wage for someone who has less than three months' experience will also increase by 15 cents an hour, to $10.35. Nova Scotia's minimum wage rates are reviewed annually, and adjusted based on the previous year's national Consumer Price Index. (Full Story)

March 26, 2017 - NS Works employer engagement specialists helping businesses make connections - A group of Nova Scotia Works employer engagement specialists are working to help employers make important connections whether they’re looking to hire or access training programs or funding. Nova Scotia Works employer engagement specialists (EES’s) are working to help the economy by simplifying and streamlining access to services through a single point of contact for employers. The services they offer are free of charge. The ESS’s are one component of the Nova Scotia Works program, a government initiative that aims to bring consistency or standardization to employment services offered across the province through a team effort. (Full Story)

March 23, 2017 - Summer Jobs for Students - Government is hiring more than 80 students across the province this spring and summer. Fifty positions, from service jobs to land surveyors, have already been posted online and more positions will be posted during the coming weeks. Students will also be hired through internships and co-op placements directly with schools or will return to summer positions they successfully competed for in the past. Positions are based throughout the province. In the last twelve months, more than 50 per cent of all those hired into the public service have been 35 or younger. Since fall 2013, more than 1,800 public service positions have been filled by younger workers. (Full Story)

March 21, 2017 - Pilot Program Helps Post-Secondary Students Connect to Jobs - A new pilot program will help post-secondary students connect with local businesses, gain experience, and find good jobs in Nova Scotia after graduation. The Experiential Learning Initiative provides a hands-on, practical experience and is one of the best ways for students to explore potential career options. The initiative will help students gain on-the-job experience by working with local employers, and make connections so they can launch successful careers here at home after they graduate. This pilot program will help boost awareness of opportunities for students, and engage employers through the Halifax Partnership’s extensive business network. The objective is to enroll 100 student participants. (Full Story)

March 16, 2017 - Precarious employment jeopardizing workers’ rights, Dal audience told - Cost-conscious employers seeking efficiencies through such measures as hiring casual workers and contracting out jobs has led to an increasing number of Canadian workers employed in insecure situations. At the same time, the impact of trade unions in this country is diminishing, a Dalhousie University audience heard Thursday. Canadian workers employed in insecure situations offering little in terms of livable wages, job security, benefits and pensions are increasingly on their own when it comes to protection of their rights.

March 2, 2017 - Statement from Minister on Canada Pension Plan Improvements - Government is pleased to announce today, March 2, another important milestone has been reached in the implementation of improvements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The federal legislation to bring the CPP enhancements into force has been proclaimed, as agreed in principle between the federal government and provinces in June 2016. The approved enhancements will improve income security for future generations of Nova Scotians. Too many Nova Scotians are without the security of their own pension plan, registered retirement savings plans or other retirement savings. The CPP enhancements will help these individuals. (Full Story)

February 28, 2017 - Government Enhances Workplace Support Program - Nova Scotians with disabilities now have more support to stay in the workforce with enhancements to the Workplace Support Program. Changes have been made that will help those in need of assistive devices and technical aids to stay in their jobs by keeping money in their pockets. The Workplace Support Program provides the supports that Nova Scotians with disabilities need to stay in the workforce. Nova Scotians with a disability who need a technical aid or assistive device to maintain their employment, and who meet the program eligibility, may receive funding. (Full Story)

March 27, 2017 - Summer Employment for Nunavut Students - The Department of Family Services offers the Summer Employment for Nunavut Students work experience program for high school and post-secondary students. 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, depending on funding availability. All students receive on-the-job training and mentorship to prepare them for future careers. To qualify, youth must be between the ages of 15-30 and returning to school in the fall. (Full Story)

March 24, 2017 - Canada Nunavut Job Grant - The Department of Family Services offers the Canada Nunavut Job Grant (CNJG), to support the training of employed Nunavummiut by encouraging employer involvement. Subject to funding availability, the CNJG financially supports two-thirds or more of the costs for individuals to receive training. Employers are eligible for the CNJG if they: are registered in and local to Nunavut; have a position available for the designated trainee to advance into after training; and, can contribute at least one-third of the total eligible training expenses. The CNJG results in training that leads to guaranteed jobs, because employers invest in their employees. (Full Story)

March 8, 3017 - Become a summer student - Nunavummiut students: do you want to get work experience with the Government of Nunavut? You can now apply to the 2017 Summer Student Employment Equity Program (SSEEP). The SSEEP is offered every year to encourage continuous learning and foster youth development for secondary and post-secondary students. Participating students develop their skills and improve their employability after graduation. Final deadline to apply is July 14, 2017, but many jobs are available beginning in late April. The earlier you get your application in, the more chances you have to get a summer job. (Full Story)

February 27 2017 - Northwest Territories and Nunavut payroll tax - In contrast to other jurisdictions where a payroll tax may be levied on employers, both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut impose a payroll tax directly on employees working in those territories. The Payroll Tax Act came into effect in the Northwest Territories in 1993 and was duplicated for Nunavut upon division of the territories in 1999. Both territories review and update the regime on an ongoing basis. Payroll tax is calculated as 2% of the employee’s gross remuneration earned for work in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut. Remuneration includes salary, wages, bonuses, taxable allowances benefits, and retiring allowance or severance pay. (Full Story)

March 24, 2017 - Minimum Wage Increases in Effect October 1, 2017 - Ontario is increasing its minimum wage rates - the lowest rate that can be paid by employers to employees. The current rate for General minimum wage workers is $11.40 per hour, and will rise to $11.60 per hour on October 1, 2017. Most employees are eligible for minimum wage, whether they are full-time, part-time, casual employees, or are paid an hourly rate, commission, piece rate, flat rate or salary. The minimum wage rates are subject to annual indexation based on the rate of inflation. If that rate is changed, the new rate will be published on or before April 1 and will come into effect on October 1. (Full Story)

March 24, 2017 - Ontario Increasing Minimum Wage to Support Workers and Families - Ontario is continuing to boost income for workers across the province by increasing the general minimum wage for the fourth consecutive year, which will bring the wage up to $11.60 this fall. Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn made the announcement today in Toronto. The increase announced today will come into effect on October 1, 2017, and continues the government's efforts to ensure more workers and their families are able to benefit from the province's growing economy. As a result, full-time minimum wage earners in Ontario are now taking home $2,782 more per year than they did just four years ago. (Full Story)

March 16, 2017 - Job program for immigrants aims to fill labour gaps outside GTA - Apoorvya Kapoor started applying for jobs in Canada even before she arrived from India last May, but none of the 200-plus resumes she sent out to GTA employers yielded a response. Frustrated with the grim employment prospects, the new immigrant attended a job fair in Mississauga in November put on by the Newcomer Centre of Peel and a staff member asked if she would consider relocating outside of Greater Toronto. That’s the mindset the Peel newcomer service agency is hoping to change with an innovative program, called the Rural Employment Initiative, which aims to connect newcomers with job openings in smaller Ontario communities. Currently, the program serves any employer outside the GTA, but ultimately it hopes to focus on communities with populations under 10,000. (Full Story)

March 10, 2017  - Ontario Adds 4,600 Jobs in February - Employment in Ontario increased by 4,600 in February, the seventh straight month of job growth for the province. The employment increase was led by gains in full-time work and in the private sector. Ontario's unemployment rate was 6.2 per cent in February, and has been lower than the national average for 23 months in a row. Ontario's economy is growing and is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing in Canada over the next two years. Over the first three quarters of 2016, Ontario's real GDP growth outpaced that of Canada's and all other G7 countries. (Full Story)

March 6, 2017 - Students Wanted: This is Not Your Ordinary Summer Job - Ontario is offering summer employment opportunities to help students develop important skills, gain meaningful experience and learn more about a career in natural resource management. There are more than 2,000 summer jobs and full-time internships available to young people in over 200 communities across Ontario. The province also offers summer jobs and work exchanges specifically for Indigenous youth that provide hands-on experience, on-the-job coaching and opportunities to explore a career in natural resources management. (Full Story)

February 27, 2017 - Big changes considered for Ontario workplaces - Premier Kathleen Wynne's government is about to get advice that could lead to a significant shakeup of the laws governing work in Ontario. The Changing Workplaces Review is examining just about everything related to labour law in this province, including sick pay, overtime, how workers can join unions and employers' responsibilities to contract workers. The review is focusing on the new realities of the millennial workforce, including the spread of part-time and contract work. (Full Story)

February 17, 2017 - What's an Employee? - Having a job, going to the office, really used to mean something. It meant getting dressed and going to a desk or work station, where you were surrounded by employees of the same company. It meant collecting a regular paycheque and automatically contributing to Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan. It meant getting benefits, overtime, parental leave, a pension and, if things didn’t work out, severance pay. A job was something you did five days a week, 48 or so of the year, until you retired. These are quaint notions for Canadians who have felt the impact of technology, trade, globalization and a host of other factors on the workplace. (Full Story)

March 28, 2017 - Foreign workers at risk on P.E.I. with no protection - The Island is being urged to adopt proactive recruitment legislation to better protect migrant workers. Josie Baker, the migrant worker outreach co-ordinator with the Cooper Institute, says the MacLauchlan government should look to Manitoba for a successful model. Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act and its regulations work to improve protection for foreign workers wanting to live and work in that province. (Full Story)

March 28, 2017 - Foreign workers see better future on P.E.I. - Jocelyn Romero, 39, came to P.E.I. in May 2016 to work at South Shore Seafoods in Bloomfield. Romero is among the 700 to 1,000 migrant workers who have turned to P.E.I. for employment over the past few years with the bulk finding labour intensive work in fisheries and agriculture but others earning a living in manufacturing and even trucking. Right now, Romero, like other migrant workers in the province, is tied to a work permit that only allows her to work for a single employer in a single location in a single job. P.E.I. Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker says he would like the Liberal government do more to help provide permanent status to migrant workers like Romero. (Full Story)

March 1, 2017 - Breakthrough for women in skills trades on P.E.I. - Women’s Network P.E.I. has announced huge gains have been made in regards to gender equity in the trades in P.E.I. In 2009, only a few women worked in the skilled trades and industrial technology in the province. With such low numbers, the sector was projected to see equal numbers of women and men working in the trades in 276 years. Thanks to a shared effort, spearheaded by Women’s Network P.E.I., the province is now on track to see that happen in just 45 years. In 2010, Women’s Network of P.E.I., in partnership with Skills P.E.I. and the interministerial women’s secretariat, developed the Trade HERizons career exploration program. The goal of the program is to increase the number of women in trades and industrial technology occupations in P.E.I. (Full Story)

March 1, 2017 - Governments of Canada and PEI highlight success of training investments - More workers in Prince Edward Island will get training support for in-demand jobs, thanks to additional funding support from the Government of Canada. The federal government is investing an additional $1.2 million through the Canada–PEI Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), and an additional $204,827 through the Canada–PEI Job Fund agreement, the province’s share of the additional funding announced in Budget 2016. Prince Edward Island’s Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning works to develop, attract, and retain an educated, skilled and engaged workforce to grow the economy. (Full Story)

February 22, 2017 - Minimum wage rises to $11.25 per hour - Minimum wage on Prince Edward Island will increase by 25 cents on April 1, to $11.25 per hour. The province’s minimum wage has increased 38 per cent since 2008. By comparison, inflation has risen 11 per cent during that time. The other three Atlantic provinces also will raise their minimum wages on April 1: New Brunswick’s will rise to $11; in Nova Scotia, the rate will increase to $10.35 for inexperienced workers and $10.85 for experienced workers; and in Newfoundland and Labrador, minimum wage will rise to $10.75 with a second increase to $11 planned for October 1. (Full Story)

February 2, 2017 - Construction workers needed on P.E.I., says industry - The Construction Association of P.E.I. is concerned about an industry forecast that predicts a growing shortage of construction workers for the Island. BuildForce Canada is estimating 300 more workers will be needed in the next decade, and currently more skilled workers are retiring than being hired. Sam Sanderson, the general manager of the Island's construction association, says there's already a shortage of workers, and work in all areas of construction are expected to increase. He thinks newcomers should be encouraged to get into trades, and recommends expanding a federally funded program that gets youth-at-risk to try out trades. (Full Story)

March 14, 2017 - Saskatchewan’s 2016 workplace time loss injury rate lowest in 64 years - Total injury rate drops 11.9% from 2015. The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) officially released its 2016 injury rates. The total workplace injury rate for 2016 was 5.55 percent, an 11.9 percent drop from 2015, and a significant decrease from 2008 when the total injury rate was 10.21 percent. The Time Loss injury rate decreased from 2.07 percent to 1.86 percent. Time loss claims fell by 604 claims to 7,813. Total claims fell 2,220 from 2015, an 8.69 percent decrease. (Full Story)

March 10, 2017 - Saskatchewan Leads Nation in February Job Growth - In February 2017, 8,000 jobs were created in Saskatchewan (up 1.4 per cent, the highest growth rate in the country). Nationally, employment was up 15,300 (up 0.1 per cent, seasonally adjusted) from January. More people were employed in Saskatchewan in February than ever before with 563,600 working in our province. Saskatchewan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.0 per cent in February, the third lowest among the provinces.  Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.6 per cent. (Full Story)

February 23, 2017 - Highest Average Weekly Earnings in Province's History - According to Statistics Canada numbers released today, Saskatchewan workers enjoyed the highest month-over-month percentage growth in average weekly earnings among the provinces in December 2016, up 2.2 per cent (seasonally adjusted) from the previous month to $1,010.37. The national month-over-month increase was 1.0 per cent (seasonally adjusted). For the first time in the province’s history, the average weekly earnings were above $1,000—and remain the third highest among the provinces. (Full Story)

February 10, 2017 - Unemployment Rate Drops for Third Straight Month - In January 2017, Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.6 per cent in December to 6.4 per cent in January (seasonally adjusted). Saskatchewan had the fourth lowest unemployment rate among the provinces. There were 558,600 people employed in January 2017, 4,800 fewer than in January 2016. Although the overall number of Saskatchewan people employed has decreased over the past year, there are positives including increased employment for off-reserve aboriginals, and increases in the trade, technical and transportation sectors. (Full Story)

March 16, 2017 - Northern Safety Network Yukon Evaluation Report - Northern Safety Network Yukon (NSNY) has been offering job-specific training and occupational health and safety accreditation programs since 2003. The courses and programs available through NSNY enable employers to better understand their responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. Courses are offered in its Whitehorse training centre and in Yukon communities. NSNY is partially funded by the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, with the goal of promoting a commitment to occupational health and safety among Yukon workers and employers. (Full Story)

March 11, 2016 - Jobs up, unemployment down in Yukon - Yukon appears to be riding out an ongoing slump in the mining industry this winter with big construction projects keeping job numbers up. According to Statistics Canada's labour force survey, there were 900 more jobs in the territory last month compared to February 2016. That represents a 4.3 per cent increase in the seasonally adjusted labour force. Unemployment numbers also dropped over the same period. The territory's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 4.1 per cent,  down from 6.2 per cent a year ago. (Full Story)

Featured Article: Third party recommendation to planned parental EI benefits overhaul

A new study by the Institute for Research on Public Policy says the Liberal government should rethink federal parental Employment Insurance benefits and overhaul a system that is leaving out too many families and women.

The timing of the study comes as the Liberal government explores changes to the federal parental leave EI program, including extending parental leave for federally regulated workplaces to 18 months, however, without a similar increase in EI benefits, and providing specific paid leave to new fathers.

What is the problem?

Self-employed parents can voluntarily opt-in to the current employment insurance system in order to qualify for maternity and parental benefits, but the study notes that the numbers of self-employed people who do is very low. Parents with low income cannot afford to take the whole 35 weeks available, or mothers who have already taken the number of weeks allowed for maternity leave cannot afford to take the other 35 weeks allowed for parental leave due to low income.

There are also many mothers, who don't qualify for EI benefits as employment insurance rules require them to have worked a specific number of hours in the previous year.

According to the Canadian Press, “the study's author Jennifer Robson, said it all leads to questions of how inclusive the parental leave system really is and whether a change in rules would mean parents aren't forced back to work sooner than they are meant to in order to make ends meet.”

Jennifer Robson, an assistant professor of political management at Carleton University stated, “I think there's also this issue of, is the system right now working in a way that gives equitable coverage both on getting into the system but also being able to actually maximize the use of the benefits?”

As it is now, people receiving parental benefits earn on average of $427 a week for a year. Spread over 18 months, that works out to $305 a week, or a little over $1,200 a month.

What is recommended?

The study Parental Benefits in Canada: Which Way Forward? recommends that the federal government consider taking parental EI benefits out of the employment insurance system and give it a new federal program to ensure that more parents (i.e., self-employed and parent with low-income or in nonstandard employment) can qualify for parental leave benefits. The paper also suggests the government look for ways to not force new parents to totally sever themselves from the labour force in order to receive the EI benefits.

The federal special employment insurance benefits program pays out benefits for up to 15 weeks for new mothers when they take maternity leave, and allows parents to split an additional 35 weeks of benefits during parental leave. The paper suggests merging the two leaves and benefits period into one parental leave that can be shared between new parents to give families more choice and flexibility.

The paper also suggests there is some merit to extending benefits to 18 months, including allowing two-parent families to split the leave, but hopes that the federal government planned changes do not leave out low-income parents.

The paper also suggests boosting the family supplement by an extra $41 a week paid to the bottom 4.5 percent of income earners on EI. The government could also find a way to better align the Canada child benefit, which is calculated from a parent's last income tax return. However, this return could be higher or lower than their current earnings.

And lastly, that in their opinion, it is not necessary to increase leaves and benefits for fathers.

Article by Yosie Saint-Cyr, Managing Editor, HRinfodesk. Presented by permission. Yosie can be reached at

Software Updates

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