Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

July 2018 - 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, employment and HR News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.

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Tip of the Month

July 2018 - Pay Statement Payroll Best Practices Guidelines - Did you know that the Canadian Payroll Association provides a series of Payroll Best Practices Guidelines to help you benchmark and refine your core payroll-related tasks? Members can choose from a variety of excellent guidelines including payroll audit preparation, setting up a new payroll, statutory holidays, employee or self-employed, to name a few. Try the Pay Statement Payroll Best Practices Guidelines for free today. Click Here to learn more about this useful service.

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

June 27, 2018 - What's old is new! Changes to holiday pay for Canada Day - In what would turn out to be the Liberal Government's swan song, and amid widespread criticism from the business community, the controversial changes to the method of calculating statutory holiday pay in Bill 148 were rescinded on May 7, 2018 and replaced with the calculation method that was in place prior to January 1, 2018. As we approach the Canada Day long weekend when employers will be reverting to the old legislative calculation, CCP provides a timely reminder of the public holiday rules in Ontario under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). (Full Story)

June 27, 2018 - Helping 40,000 young people in Canada gain skills and find jobs - In Canada, more than 840,000 young people are unemployed, or not receiving the education and training they need to build a future for themselves. By working closely with Canadian businesses, the Government of Canada is making sure that more young Canadians - of all backgrounds and abilities – have the skills and work experience they need to find and maintain good jobs. The Government of Canada is supporting Opportunity For All Youth's project, which aims to provide meaningful employment for 40,000 vulnerable NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) young Canadians. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - Employment insurance recipient list falls to lowest level since 1997 - Statistics Canada says the number of people collecting employment insurance in April fell to the lowest level in at least 21 years. The federal agency says 453,100 people received the regular wage insurance payments in April, down 100,200 or 18 per cent since April 2017, and the lowest number since comparable data became available in 1997. The reduction in beneficiaries was reflected in every province and coincides with a reduction in the national unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to a record low of 5.8 per cent over same 12-month period. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - Opportunities Fund enhancements support recruitment and retention of persons with disabilities - The Government of Canada is investing approximately $18 million over six years to better support employers who have a demonstrated commitment to hiring persons with disabilities, but who need support to find the right match and to create workplaces that allow employees with disabilities to reach their full potential. Persons with disabilities are talented and capable, but many lack the opportunity and the enabling environment to demonstrate what they can achieve. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - The Government of Canada approves base pay increases for senior public servants - The Government of Canada has approved the annual salary revisions for executives and other senior leaders in the federal public service. The salary increases reflect those that were recently negotiated under collective agreements. Since agreements have now been reached with most public service unions, awarding similar increases to executives will help maintain the integrated salary structure within the public service. The adjustments to the salaries of executives and other senior leaders will be processed only after salary adjustments for represented public service employees have been processed. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Métis Nation Skills and Employment Training Accord signed - Today, the Government of Canada is taking a major step forward in its renewed nation-to-nation relationship with the Métis Nation. In a signing ceremony between the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council (MNC) and its five Governing Members, the Métis Nation Skills and Employment Training Accord became the first sub-accord to be endorsed by leaders following the Canada-Métis Nation Accord signed in April 2017. (Full Story)

June 13, 2018 - Going back to school is now more affordable for unemployed Canadians thanks to Skills Boost - People who are eligible for EI after several years in the workforce can now apply to keep their EI benefits when they take a full-time course or training program at an approved institution starting August 5 of this year. This will help people who find themselves out of work adapt to the changing job market and economy. Skills Boost gets them the support they need to go back to school and upgrade their skills, so the next job is a better one. (Full Story)

June 8, 2018 - 7,500 jobs lost in May, unemployment rate holds steady at 5.8 per cent - Canada's economy unexpectedly lost jobs for the second month in a row in May, but wages posted their fastest year-over-year increase in nine years, Statistics Canada said Friday. The economy lost 7,500 jobs in May as a drop in full-time employment was only partially offset by an increase in part-time jobs, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent for the fourth consecutive month. (Full Story)

May 29, 2018 - Payroll Deductions Formulas - 108th Edition Effective July 1, 2018 - The CRA has released the 108th edition of the Payroll Deductions Formulas. This guide has 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 let you calculate payroll deductions for special cases such as commission, pension income, bonuses, and retroactive pay increases. The formulas used in this guide to calculate statutory deductions have been approved for purposes of the Income Tax Act, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Employment Insurance Act, as well as their related regulations and any amendments proposed to these acts. (Full Story)

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

June 24, 2018 - Temporary foreign workers looking elsewhere for employment since Alberta recession, study says - The oil and gas recession in Alberta left thousands of Canadians without jobs, but it also prompted thousands of temporary foreign workers to leave Wild Rose country for greener pastures. A new study from ATB Financial, a Crown corporation that provides financial services in the province, says Alberta had 110,000 workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2014. Since then – when oil prices began to drop – their population has plummeted. As of last year, only 76,000 foreign workers remained in the province. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - Employment insurance recipient list falls to lowest level since 1997 - Statistics Canada says the number of people collecting employment insurance in April fell to the lowest level in at least 21 years. The federal agency says 453,100 people received the regular wage insurance payments in April, down 100,200 or 18 per cent since April 2017, and the lowest number since comparable data became available in 1997. The reduction in beneficiaries was reflected in every province and coincides with a reduction in the national unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to a record low of 5.8 per cent over same 12-month period. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - Helping workers collect unpaid wages - Government is working to recover money that is owed to people for work done in Alberta that has not been paid by their employers. Alberta Labour will send letters to employers who are alleged to owe their workers outstanding pay, encouraging the employers to resolve complaints before a formal investigation starts. The letters are expected to decrease the number of complaints to employment standards requiring a formal investigation. More than 6,000 claims in Alberta have been made for unpaid work with a value of $1,500 or less in the last three years. (Full Story)

June 12, 2018 - New Employer Report Card available - The WCB-Alberta has improved the information you'll find in the Employer Report Card. It's easier to read and includes more detailed information about the duration and costs of your claims. This is only one of the many reports accessible through myWCB. Sign in to myWCB to learn more. (Full Story)

June 11, 2018 - How Much is Too Much? WorkSafeBC is Over-funded by $6.4 Billion Dollars -  In light of the latest WorkSafeBC financial results which shows the workers' compensation system in BC continues to be massively over-funded, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has renewed its call for a significant portion of the surplus be returned to employers. WorkSafeBC is a provincial agency 100 per cent funded by employers. CFIB has been lobbying for years to ensure workers' compensation boards (WCB) across Canada are accountable to business owners, producing positive results, and properly funded. (Full Story)

June 8, 2018 - Workplace changes for youth will improve safety - Albertans are invited to provide feedback on proposed youth employment rules to improve safety. After consultation, a clear definition of hazardous work has been developed along with a preliminary light work list. The government is looking to hear from Albertans on how these changes will ensure the health and safety of young workers. Youth employment rules were included in an extensive review of Alberta's labour laws that took place over the past 18 months. This was the most extensive review of Alberta's labour laws since 1988. (Full Story)

June 8, 2018 - Alberta's unemployment rate dropped in May, especially among young men - The numbers in Statistics Canada's latest labour force survey have a good news story for Alberta, particularly for young men. The national unemployment rate hasn't budged in four months, but in Alberta, the numbers are the lowest they've been since 2015. According to the survey, May saw little change in unemployment across the country, which has been sitting at 5.8 per cent since February. (Full Story)

June 4, 2018 - Employment health benefits - Under new legislation effective Sept. 1, employers are required to continuing paying the health benefits of their injured workers. This means that injured workers are now entitled to the same health benefits they had before the accident. If your worker was paying into the benefit plan before the injury or illness occurred, he or she must also continue paying into the plan. This legislation applies to all claims with a date of accident on or after Sept. 1, 2018. (Full Story)

June 1, 2018 - New rules create safer, healthier workplaces - Modernized workplace laws are now in force to better protect Alberta workers and ensure they have the same rights as other Canadians. For the first time in more than 40 years, Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws have been comprehensively reviewed and updated. Starting today, workers have stronger protections and three new fundamental rights: the right to know potential hazards; the right to refuse dangerous work; and the right to participate in their health and safety. (Full Story)

May 28, 2018 - New rules mean safer workplaces - New occupational health and safety (OHS) rules will help prevent workplace bullying, harassment and violence, while providing better support for victims. On June 1, Alberta's updated OHS laws will include clear definitions of harassment, including sexual and domestic violence, and increased protections from violence and harassment – a historic step towards safer workplaces throughout the province. The new standards will better protect workers' mental and physical health by requiring employers to develop violence and harassment prevention plans. (Full Story)

May 24, 2018 - Continued funding means hundreds of new teachers - The Classroom Improvement Fund is continuing for the upcoming school year, helping to hire hundreds of teachers and support staff across the province. Originally introduced as part of the collective agreement between the Teachers' Employer Bargaining Association and the Alberta Teachers' Association, the Classroom Improvement Fund (CIF) has enabled school boards to hire additional staff and provide more supports to students, particularly in priority areas like math and literacy programs. (Full Story)

June 26, 2018 - B.C. eases requirements for foreign tech worker recruitment - The provincial government is extending a pilot program aimed at attracting foreign tech workers and easing one requirement for highly sought-after talent. Victoria announced June 26 its provincial nominee program (PNP) tech pilot go for at least one more year until June 2019. The pilot was introduced in 2017 to fill in job gaps in the B.C. tech sector when local talent wasn't available. The program helps fast-track skilled foreign workers to permanent residency. Along with extending the pilot, the government is loosening up the requirement that job seekers receive a permanent full-time job offer. (Full Story)

June 26, 2018 - B.C. tech companies get better access to international talent - To help make it easier for tech and innovation companies to recruit top international talent to British Columbia, the Province is extending its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) tech pilot program for another year. The tech pilot program also is being enhanced by reducing the requirement from a permanent full-time job offer, to a one-year full-time job offer, to be eligible for permanent residency. Changes to the program are based on feedback from tech companies, such as those in the animation and digital effects sectors, where job offers are often awarded on a project-to-project basis, for a specific duration of time. (Full Story)

June 25, 2018 - Province introducing tougher rules on payday loans, cheque-cashing fees - The Province is starting to tighten the rules to rein in payday-lending practices, and to protect people from excessive fees when cashing BC Employment and Assistance cheques. For some time, British Columbia's most financially vulnerable individuals have used non-traditional lenders and credit providers, who often impose high borrowing costs and debt loads on borrowers. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Government promotes respectful workplaces in creative sector - The Province is taking action to support respectful and inclusive work environments for workers in British Columbia's creative sector. Funding is aimed at supporting immediate steps in B.C. creative industries on this issue. “We all deserve to go to workplaces that are free from harassment and bullying. By creating safe, respectful work environments, we can help boost productivity and innovation across all industries,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. (Full Story)

June 7, 2018 - Parental, compassionate leave changes take effect in B.C. - Expanded leave of absence entitlements in British Columbia, including parental and compassionate leave, took effect at the end of May. The changes to the province's Employment Standards Act allow mothers to start their maternity leave as early as 13 weeks before their expected due date, which is up from the previous 11 weeks. The province also brought its leave rules in line with federal employment insurance benefits, providing birth mothers with the option to take longer unpaid parental leave of up to 18 months. (Full Story)

June 6, 2018 - Raising B.C.'s minimum wage won't help working poor - On June 1, the minimum wage in British Columbia increased from $11.35 to $12.65 per hour – the first in a series of hikes en route to $15.20 in 2021. That's a 34 per cent increase in three years. Despite claims from Premier John Horgan and others, raising the minimum wage is the wrong way to help B.C.'s working poor. There's a better policy option that warrants serious consideration. (Full Story)

June 5, 2018 - New first aid training requirements effective July 1, 2018 - First aid attendants are a lifeline for those who become injured or ill in the workplace. WorkSafeBC regularly reviews the occupational first aid training program to ensure that it is keeping up with best practices. In order to cover a broader spectrum of medical issues, and align treatment protocols with Canadian and international best practices, occupational first aid training requirements are changing on July 1, 2018. (Full Story)

May 31, 2018 - Reminder: B.C. minimum wage increases June 1 - Employers in British Columbia should note that the general hourly minimum wage will increase to $12.65 from $11.35, and the minimum wage rates for liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders will also all increase, effective Friday, June 1, 2018. These wage increases for B.C.'s lowest-paid workers are the first of four annual increases that will take effect on June 1 of each year. (Full Story)

May 28, 2018 - New report finds business set to be hit hard by new B.C. Employers Health Tax - The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) are concerned small- and medium-sized businesses will get hit hard by the province's new Employer Health Tax (EHT). The report, produced for the organizations by the Mustel Group, found that more than 60 per cent of respondents who are small businesses expect to pay the tax. The B.C. NDP cut Medical Service Plan (MSP) premiums in half last fall and will get rid of them entirely in 2020. The province is putting a health payroll tax in place on Jan. 1, 2019, to pay for the lost revenues. (Full Story)

June 17, 2018 - Manitoba Youth Job Centres Have Summer Jobs - Know someone who is looking for a summer job? The province is encouraging students and youth to take advantage of one of the 38 Manitoba Youth Job Centres (MYJC) in communities throughout the province, Minister Ian Wishart said in a news release. Located throughout rural and northern Manitoba, youth job centres help match local employers with qualified students and youth aged 12 to 29 for summer employment. This year, the Manitoba government is investing nearly $400,000 in the program. The centres are expected to help approximately 11,000 students find jobs this summer, which the minister noted is the highest amount since the program's creation in 1976. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Province Helps Youth Find Summer Jobs, Learn Skills Through Manitoba Youth Job Centres - The Manitoba government is encouraging students and youth to gain employment skills and experience this summer at one of 38 Manitoba Youth Job Centres (MYJC) in communities throughout the province, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today. Located throughout rural and northern Manitoba, youth job centres help match local employers with qualified students and youth aged 12 to 29 for summer employment.  This year, the Manitoba government is investing nearly $400,000 in the program. (Full Story)

June 11, 2018 - Should HR allow employees to secretly record meetings? - We live a tech-savvy world, where everything is attainable at the click of a button. But with this privilege comes penchant for sneakiness, as employers and employee alike seek to use emerging tech to prove discrimination and bullying in the workplace. We spoke to Stephen Wolpert, Partner at Whitten & Lublin - and speaker at HRD Canada's upcoming Employment Law Masterclass 2018 - who revealed to us what drives employees to record HR conversations and what employers can do to mitigate the situation. (Full Story)

June 29, 2018 - New Brunswick announces five days paid domestic violence leave - Unifor commends the New Brunswick government's decision to provide five days of paid leave for victims of domestic and sexual violence. "Unifor has proudly led a campaign to get this paid leave for victims of violence and the New Brunswick government has now set the standard for Atlantic Canada," said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. The union will continue to push the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to do the right thing and also introduce paid leave. Unifor billboards promoting this important measure to prevent violence can be seen in both provinces. (Full Story)

June 21, 2018 - WorkSafeNB needs to focus on injured workers says opposition parties - New Brunswick's opposition parties are calling for WorkSafeNB, a Crown corporation, to do its work as an independent board and allow the focus to be returned to helping injured workers during this week's Political Panel. People's Alliance Party leader Kris Austin says the auditor general's report clearly shows upper management at WorkSafeNB is overpaid and underperforming. (Full Story)

June 11, 2018 - New Brunswick Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3 Per Cent In May - New Brunswick's unemployment rate fell from 8 per cent in April to 7.3 per cent in May, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada. The economy produced 1,800 new jobs. The job pictures in Moncton and Saint John remained relatively stable. The unemployment rate in Moncton went from 5.7 per cent in April to 6 per cent in May. In Saint John the rate went from 6.5 per cent in April to 6.6 per cent in May. (Full Story)

May 28, 2018 - New benefit for primary informal caregivers - The provincial government is introducing a new benefit for people who provide informal care to help seniors and people living with a disability remain independent. A primary informal caregiver is defined as a person who provides regular ongoing care and assistance, without pay, to someone in need of support due to a physical, cognitive or mental health condition. The non-taxable monthly benefit is only available to an eligible primary informal caregiver of a Social Development client receiving in-home services through the Long Term Care or Disability Support Services programs. (Full Story)

June 26, 2018 - Helping Indigenous people in Labrador get vital job skills and work experience - A $23.6 million dollar project led by the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP) has been announced - with funding approved from the federal Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) totaling over $9.6 Million. Over the course of this project, LATP will provide skills development and training-to-employment opportunities that will assist over 400 indigenous participants in Labrador to have the opportunity to work at the Vale mine site. Participants will gain skills and on-the-job training in various occupations including underground miner, apprentice trades, and mine site support and services. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Applications Open for Linkages Program to Help Youth Gain Employment - Non-profit community-based organizations are invited to submit proposals for the 2018-19 Linkages program to help young people between the ages of 18-30 gain and maintain meaningful employment. Linkages is a client-centred employment initiative that helps community-based agencies offer 26-week work placements for youth. The program is designed for young people who have completed a minimum of Level II high school, but have not completed post-secondary education and have not made a successful transition to the labour force. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - WorkplaceNL meets its 2017 strategic objectives - WorkplaceNL has met its 2017 performance objectives in the areas of financial sustainability, injury prevention, facilitating recovery at work and fostering a client-centered culture. WorkplaceNL's 2017 Annual Performance Report has been tabled in the House of Assembly. The injury rate remained stable, at an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers in 2017. Further reductions in the injury rate require leadership and collaboration from all workplace parties and safety partners. (Full Story)

May 31, 2018 - WorkplaceNL seeks feedback on PRIME Program - WorkplaceNL is seeking comment from interested stakeholders on the operation and effectiveness of the Prevention and Return-to-Work Insurance Management for Employers/Employees (PRIME) program. Started in 2005, PRIME gives refunds to employers that meet certain criteria on their documented occupational health and safety programs and return-to-work programs. It also gives additional refunds or levies costs, depending on the employers' workplace-injury claims experience. (Full Story)

May 29, 2018 - Provincial Government Introducing Changes to Compensation and Benefits for Non-Unionized Employees - The Provincial Government will today introduce changes to compensation and benefits for most non-unionized employees in core government and in most agencies, boards and commissions. These changes, which are similar to those applied in the recently completed Collective Agreements with NAPE employees, will support government's balanced approach to fiscal management, maintaining services and creating a more affordable public service. (Full Story)

June 28, 2018 - Federal government increases funding for NWT job training - The Northwest Territories will receive $46 million from Ottawa, over six years, to spend on training to help residents get jobs. The funding is an increase of $4 million on previous agreements, the federal government claimed. The money is intended to help people under-represented in the territory's workforce, like those with disabilities, women, and Indigenous people. Michael McLeod, the NWT's Liberal MP, said the funding was proof his government is committed to investing in northerners. Caroline Cochrane, the territorial employment minister, said strengthening the labour market was critical to the territory's economic future. (Full Story)

June 27, 2018 - Government of Canada announces agreement to give workers in Northwest Territories tools and training to find and keep good jobs - By investing directly in Canada's greatest asset - its resilient, hardworking people - the Government of Canada is helping to ensure that the economic growth we create is the kind of growth that works for everyone. Today, Michael Mcleod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced that the governments of Canada and Northwest Territories have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Northwest Territories with over $46 million over six years to invest in Northwest Territories workers. (Full Story)

May 28, 2018 - Labour Market Programs - Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment in NWT spoke recently of how through the Skills 4 Success actions, they are seeing progress in developing an educated, productive and thriving labour force that will meet the needs of the territory's economy and meet our mandate commitment to improve labour market outcomes. These redesigned programs will help employers to find and train the workers they need, and they will assist individuals in accessing the training, skill upgrading, and supports they need to secure employment and advance in the labour market. (Full Story)

June 28, 2018 - Canada Day retail rules different in N.S. and N.B., retail council calling for change - Where you can shop and what services you can receive this Canada Day depends on where you are in the Maritimes, as most provinces have chosen to override federal regulations surrounding the observation of the holiday. The Nova Scotia government surveyed retail employees ahead of the holiday, which falls on a Sunday, and made changes to the Federal Holidays Act. The act states in such an instance, Canada Day is to be observed the following Monday. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Encouraging a Safety Culture for Young Workers - As the school year comes to an end and more young people step into new workplaces, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education and WCB Nova Scotia are encouraging workers and employers to make workplace safety a priority. In 2017, of the 23,952 workers injured in Nova Scotia WCB-covered workplaces, 3,179 were young workers and 527 of them were hurt seriously enough to need three days or more off work. While this number has steadily decreased from 647 in 2015, there is still progress to be made. (Full Story)

June 12, 2018 - NSBI Approves Payroll Rebate - Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive in the form of a payroll rebate for REIN Technologies Inc. REIN is an insurance technology company building an insurance and risk platform. The company is establishing a new office in Halifax. The company has the potential to create up to a maximum of 65 jobs under the five-year payroll rebate agreement. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the agreement, NSBI estimates the company could spend $13,860,000 in salaries. (Full Story)

May 10, 2018 - Province Expands Youth Initiatives - The province is creating more opportunities to connect Nova Scotia youth and employers to help recent graduates find jobs in their fields. Premier Stephen McNeil announced the expansion of the Connector Program to the Annapolis Valley. This is part of government's plan to roll out the program across the province. It is currently available in western Nova Scotia, Halifax and Cape Breton. The program helps connect local business and community leaders with youth and new immigrants who are interested in starting and growing their careers in the province. It will be delivered by the province's Valley Regional Enterprise Network by September, at a cost of $100,000. (Full Story)

June 28, 2018 - Cheque cashing fees - The Consumer Protection Regulations were amended to address cheque cashing fees that local retailers may charge consumers. The amendments came into force on April 1, 2018, and set limits on how much can be charged when cashing a cheque at your local stores. If you receive a cheque from either the Government of Canada or the Government of Nunavut, you should not be charged a cheque cashing fee. (Full Story)

May 28, 2018 - Become a summer student - The Government of Nunavut is reminding Nunavummiut students that there's still time to apply to the Government of Nunavut 2018 Summer Student Employment Equity Program (SSEEP). The final deadline is July 6, 2018. The SSEEP is offered every year to secondary and post-secondary students to encourage continuous learning and foster skill and career development. They encourage students to join and learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. For an application form or for more information, visit their summer student web page. (Full Story)

June 29, 2018 - Ontario government hiring freeze ices plan to strengthen workplace inspections - The Ontario government's hiring freeze has paused plans to double the Ministry of Labour's complement of enforcement officers charged with investigating wage theft and other workplace abuses. Legislation passed last November under premier Kathleen Wynne included a promise to hire 175 new employment standards officers in order to inspect one in 10 Ontario workplaces and resolve workplace complaints within 90 days. The pledge came after both worker advocates and some business groups argued the ministry's enforcement efforts should be improved. (Full Story)

June 20, 2018 - Pension plan sponsors using group annuities to transfer risk and updates made to employment leaves - Morneau Shepell released the June 2018 issue of its monthly newsletter, News & Views, in which the Company looked at a number of topics including: the Ontario Court of Appeal's treatment of long-term disability (LTD) claims made after termination of employment; and the impact of an Alberta court ruling permitting common law spouses to divide pensions after relationship breakdown. (Full Story)

June 1, 2018 - B.C.'s minimum wage increases 11.5%, Ontario data shows what's in store - British Columbia has started its march towards a $15.20 minimum wage effective by this time 2021. As of today (June 1), British Columbia's minimum wage rises by $1.30, or 11.5%, to $12.65 from $11.35 per hour. The move to a $15.20 minimum wage in four years is a year shorter than business groups, like the B.C. chamber of commerce advocated for.  However, despite this discrepancy, the B.C. roll out schedule provides a longer adoption time than a two-year roll out Ontario legislated. (Full Story)

May 31, 2018 - Understaffing at Ontario workers' compensation board creates ‘toxic' work environment, union survey says - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board exists to compensate injured workers and promote safety on the job - but its own employees say they are so overburdened that their work environment is “toxic,” according to the results of a survey obtained by the Star. Work overload and understaffing at the provincial workers' compensation board have left front line employees unable to “keep up with the volume of work,” a January 2018 survey conducted by the Ontario Compensation Employees Union (OCEU) to assess workplace strain found. (Full Story)

May 30, 2018 - There's no good reason to freeze the minimum wage - Workers in Ontario have fought long and hard for the $15-an-hour minimum wage, and there is no good reason to delay the increase. With data coming in since the January 2018 increase, it's clear that improving standards for all workers helps our province. Shortly after the government tabled Bill 148, Ontarians began to see a steady stream of ominous headlines about the negative consequences of a $15 minimum wage. Some critics warned that the size and speed of the increase would almost certainly lead to large-scale job losses and runaway inflation. (Full Story)

May 8, 2018 - Ontario Passes Fair Wage Legislation to Protect Workers - Ontario passed legislation today that will ensure people working in construction, building cleaning or security jobs under contracts with the government will be paid the fair, prevailing wage in those sectors. The Government Contract Wages Act, 2018 allows Ontario to establish minimum rates of pay for workers under contract with the government in those jobs. The Director of Government Contract wages may establish minimum government contract wages and shall consider any relevant information and sources, including: collective agreements, Statistics Canada data, and other government sources. (Full Story)

May 7, 2018 - Government to Review Public Holiday Rules - Ontario will conduct a review of the public holiday system under Part X of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) following feedback and discussions with stakeholders. The review will be conducted in 2018 by the Ministry of Labour and forms part of the Ontario government's on-going response to the Changing Workplaces Review (CWR), the first comprehensive review of the province's labour and employment legislation in a generation. (Full Story)

June 22, 2018 - Programs help women explore nontraditional work - With support from the provincial government, Women's Network PEI helps unemployed and underemployed women explore, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment in the trades and industrial technology. Funding is administered by the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning through Canada-PEI labour market development agreements. Propelle is a life skills and employment readiness program designed for women who have experienced barriers to employment. (Full Story)

June 19, 2018 - Optimistic hiring climate anticipated for Charlottetown, P.E.I. - Charlottetown-area employers expect an optimistic hiring climate for the third quarter of the year, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. "Survey data reveals that 35 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (July to September), while zero per cent anticipate cutbacks," said Mindy Stoltz of Manpower's Saint John office. Another 65 per cent of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter. (Full Story)

June 18, 2018 - Does probationary employment give HR right to terminate? - This one is right up there with “two weeks' notice” and “three strikes you're out”. Some employers are baffled to learn that they do not have an absolute right to terminate an employee within the first three months of employment. One employer on Prince Edward Island found this out the hard way. (Full Story)

June 8, 2018 - P.E.I. adds 800 jobs in May - P.E.I. unemployment rate dropped to 9.3 per cent in May from 11.2 per cent. The province also added 800 jobs for the month. The Canadian economy lost 7,500 jobs in May as a drop in full-time employment was only partially offset by an increase in part-time jobs, Statistics Canada said Friday. The agency reported the dip as the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent for the fourth consecutive month. The overall drop in the number of jobs came as full-time jobs fell by 31,000, offset in part by a gain of 23,600 part-time positions. (Full Story)

June 5, 2018 - 80 Island workers helped out of EI black hole - Close to half the expected applicants have already received money under the new P.E.I. Seasonal Workers Skills Initiative. The new fund was implemented by Ottawa in late April to help people whose employment insurance (EI) runs out before their next contract begins - putting them in what's known as the EI black hole. Funding is channeled to employers to hire staff earlier than they had planned - Ottawa provides employers 90 per cent of the workers' wages, and the workers spend four days a week in the business and one day in essential skills training. (Full Story)

May 30, 2018 - P.E.I. residents whose EI claims expire before work resumes can seek help - A Prince Edward Island Member of Parliament is urging eligible constituents to make use of a new P.E.I. seasonal worker skills initiative the federal government is funding. "The EI (employment insurance) system, as it is currently structured, is failing the most vulnerable of the seasonally unemployed - those in remote communities, those with limited skills and dependent on short-term seasonal work," said Bobby Morrissey, MP for Egmont. Morrissey estimates that those who would benefit from the initiative represent probably less than five per cent of the people who draw EI. He said the new initiative is in place to make sure they don't slip through the cracks. (Full Story)

May 23, 2018 - PTSD now covered under P.E.I. Workers Compensation Act - Legislation to have post-traumatic stress disorder covered under the Workers Compensation Act has passed the last step needed to come into effect. On Tuesday, Workforce Minister Sonny Gallant confirmed in the legislature that cabinet proclaimed a private members bill that made PTSD covered by the Workers Compensation Board. Jason Woodbury, Miscouche's fire chief and president of CUPE local 3324, has been calling for the government to proclaim the bill since it passed in December and he was at the legislature Tuesday to hear the news. Woodbury said it took five years of work to get the coverage for Island workers. (Full Story)

June 15, 2018 - Saskatchewan's Minimum Wage Once Again Set to Increase in October - The minimum wage in Saskatchewan will increase to $11.06 an hour from $10.96 an hour on October 1, 2018. The increase is the 10th since this government took office.  An indexation formula has been used to calculate increases in the minimum wage since 2011. The province also continues to have a low personal income tax rate, ensuring low income earners, including minimum wage earners, keep more of their money. (Full Story)

June 11, 2018 - Saskatchewan unemployment rate up in May; highest among Prairie provinces - The stats are out, and they show Saskatchewan's unemployment rate continues to rise. The province's unemployment rate during the month of May climbed to 6.8%, a half percent increase from the 6.3% rate in April. This gives Saskatchewan the highest unemployment rate of all the western provinces. NDP jobs critic Vicki Mowat said this shows Saskatchewan has the worst job growth in Canada. (Full Story)

June 8, 2018 - Southwest job market continues to shrink - A relatively unchanged job market in May for southwestern Saskatchewan. According to Statistics Canada, the southwest region which encompasses Swift Current and Moose Jaw experienced their unemployment rise by a percentage point in a year-over-year comparison to 4.6 per cent. The southwest unemployment rate has slipped eight spots in just a year's time to sit tied for tenth out of 66 regions in Canada, after losing roughly 1,600 jobs. (Full Story)

May 31, 2018 - Weekly earnings flat in Saskatchewan while pay rises elsewhere - Saskatchewan workers are still among the highest-paid in the country, but other provinces are catching up. That's according to data on weekly earnings released by Statistics Canada on Thursday. They show that earnings fell by 1.67 per cent in Saskatchewan from February to March of this year. With $1,015.37 in weekly earnings, the average Saskatchewan worker made 54 cents less than in March 2017. The figures are based on gross payroll amounts, before any deductions. (Full Story)

May 25, 2018 - Young Workers Reminded to Take the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course - As young people wrap up the school year and start applying for summer jobs, they should remember to look into the employment and safety rules that apply to young workers. Most importantly, 14- and 15-year-old workers need to have their Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course (YWRCC) Certificate of Completion before they can enter the workforce.  The course teaches young workers about their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.  Students will learn the basics about employment standards and workplace health and safety. (Full Story)

May 9, 2018 - to Continue for the Next Six Months - The transition of to the partnership site with the National Job Bank will be extended for the next six months. On May 1, 2018, Saskatchewan deepened its existing partnership with the National Job Bank.  The new site requires employers and job seekers to use the new platform which includes enhanced security, more benefits and a new look and feel. (Full Story)

June 20, 2018 - Marking World Refugee Day by supporting newcomer employment - Addressing barriers to employment is an important step to ensuring the successful settlement and integration of all newcomers, including refugees. And private sector companies can play a vital role, whether by hiring newcomers directly in their workforce or taking steps to integrate them into their supply chains. Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Tourism HR Canada will receive nearly $7 million to run a 3-year pilot project, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada, which will assist up to 1,300 newcomers – many of them refugees – in gaining job experience, while developing and testing an innovative settlement service delivery model. (Full Story)

June. 14, 2018 - Claims, costs increase for Yukon workers' compensation system - In 2017, the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board accepted 55 more claims than it did in 2016. “That is 1,043 compared to 988,” said Mark Pike, chair of the board of directors, on June 7. The board's recent financials presented at the event show $25.6 million was spent on claims in 2017, which is $7.1 million more than 2016. The the revenue and income of the board's compensation fund totalled $40.6 million in 2017 versus $32 million in 2016. (Full Story)

June 7, 2018 - Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board plans for the future - At its annual information meeting today, the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) discussed its 2017 annual report, released its new strategic plan, and announced that it will release assessment rates earlier beginning this year to provide more timely information to Yukon employers. A renewed strategic plan re-establishes the Board's commitment to working with its stakeholders, employers and workers to continue improving workplace health and safety in Yukon. (Full Story)

Why Candidate Perception Matters During the Recruitment Process

We all know that first impressions matter. So when a candidate is being introduced to your organization, you want to make sure their first impression is a good one.

Candidates may already have a perception of your organization, either from reputation or name recognition. Or, they may just be discovering your organization for the first time. In either case, it is during the recruitment process that people further develop their perception of your organization.

In the 2014 article The Importance of Applicant Perceptions When Recruiting Employees to Teams, researchers Earnest and Landis infer that applicants derive perceptions based on the information they are provided, and that their perception affects their beliefs about an organization.

Candidates like to be kept up-to-date on the developments of their application.  Keeping the channels of communication open is not only respectful of an applicant's time, but it adds to the positive perception of your organization. It shows candidates that your organization is a company that cares about people - both within their ranks and those wishing to join.

The researchers also found that positive perceptions of an organization can ultimately lead to greater recruitment success.  Applicants are more likely to apply for open positions, maintain their interest in the role throughout the recruitment process, and most importantly: accept a job offer.

A well-managed recruitment process, where candidates are kept informed and meaningful information about the position and the organization is provided, increases the likelihood of a successful hire.

In the case where applicants don't accept an offer, Earnest and Landis indicate that positive perceptions can actually lead to other positive outcomes such as customer loyalty, positive word of mouth, referrals, and interest in future job opportunities within the organization.

Relationship building with candidates is the key to maintaining positive impressions and perceptions about your organization. When applicants have had a positive experience, they are more likely to want to join the organization, stay in touch, apply for future job opportunities, or refer their network of friends and colleagues.

How are you ensuring a positive perception during your recruitment process?

Article by Tam Campbell Trant. Provided by permission from HR à la carte. Visit their website at

Software Updates

GrandMaster Suite (v13.01)

  • The province of Ontario withdrew the proposed tax change for July 1. The Ontario tax has been changed back to Jan. 1 requirements.
  • The import file name procedure has been changed to put quotation marks on names with multi-space within the name.
  • The Vacation Pay (Box 17) on the ROE was defaulting to code 2. It will now use appropriate settings.
  • The Calculation Totals Report was pausing indefinitely when print-to-screen was chosen. This has been fixed.


  • Added Employee Recruitment feature. Now you can post jobs online and auto sort candidates based on their response to your job questionnaires.
  • Fixed issue where program was applying a Full business account rate even though the employee template had the reduce rate assigned.
  • Added color coding to the Calculate button to ensure that users calculate the payroll after a data change. A red border indicates that the payroll should be calculated before proceeding. A green border indicates that the payroll is fully calculated.
  • For the calculation reversal (special) type, fixed an issue where only the first item was being reversed when multiple items of the same code existed.

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