Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

August 2019 - 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

August 2019 - Service Canada starts using email to reach Employment Insurance clients - Starting June 2019, if Service Canada needs more information about your Employment Insurance claim and cannot reach you by phone, a Service Canada agent will send you a toll-free number to the email address that you provided, asking you to call an agent. Click here for more information on this helpful new 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

August 9, 2019 - Unemployment Rate Jumps To 5.7% As Canada Posts Surprise Job Losses - After stellar growth over the past few years, Canada's job market is showing signs of slowing down - even as wage growth is accelerating. The country posted a decline of 24,200 jobs in July, according to Statistics Canada, pushing the unemployment rate up to 5.7 per cent - still a very low rate by historic standards. (Full Story)

August 9, 2019 - Canada loses 24,200 jobs in July, pushing unemployment rate higher - Wage growth accelerated last month to its fastest clip in more than decade, according to numbers released Friday from Statistics Canada. The 4.5 per cent burst came in a month that also produced less-positive data: the unemployment rate moved up to 5.7 per cent as Canada shed 24,200 jobs. (Full Story)

August 8, 2019 - Job vacancies maintain record high for a fourth consecutive quarter: 429,000 jobs went unfilled in Q2 2019 - Canada's private sector job vacancy rate maintained its record high of 3.2 per cent for the fourth quarter in a row, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)'s latest Help Wanted report. In total, 429,000 private sector jobs - 23,000 more than in the second quarter of 2018 - went unfilled for at least four months in the second quarter of 2019. (Full Story)

August 8, 2019 - Minister Bains announces investment to help prepare young Canadians for tomorrow's jobs - Canada needs a workforce savvy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), capable of taking on challenges to compete in the digital economy. That's why, to prepare the next generation of Canadian workers to succeed in the increasingly digital economy, the Government of Canada is supporting millions of young Canadians in improving their digital skills. (Full Story)

August 8, 2019 - Why Canada's monthly jobs numbers don't tell the whole story - Once a month, Statistics Canada releases its latest data on the state of the Canadian job market. News coverage of the Labour Force Survey often focuses on one number above all others: the net job change from the previous month. Political players pick up on those headlines, citing every positive jobs number as proof that the government is handling the economy well, and every negative number to suggest it isn't. (Full Story)

July 31, 2019 - Backgrounder: Investment in apprenticeship - The Government of Canada invests significantly in apprenticeship through grants, loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance benefits during in-school training and project funding, such as for Union Training and Innovation Program projects. Budget 2018 announced the Women in Construction Fund with an investment of $10 million over three years to increase the participation of women in construction trades by helping them progress through their training and retain jobs in the trades. (Full Story)

July 29, 2019 - Canada launches pilot project for undocumented construction workers - The government of Canada has launched a new temporary pilot project that will offer permanent residency to undocumented construction workers. The initiative will create an avenue to residency for up to 500 construction workers, and their families, based in the Greater Toronto Area. (Full Story)

July 25, 2019 - Canada's May wage gains highest in 15 months - Canadians' average weekly earnings rose in May at the fastest pace in 15 months, according to data released Thursday by Statistics Canada. Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,031 in May, a 3.4% year-over-year increase and the highest growth rate since February 2018. Wages were up 1.1% from April. (Full Story)

July 24, 2019 - Government of Canada to announce support for on-the-job work experience for post-secondary students - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Jennifer O'Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), will make an announcement about how the Government of Canada is ensuring young Canadians have the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow through work-integrated learning. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - Canada Labour Code changes coming at end of summer - Summer is often a time for rest and relaxation but federally regulated employers will need to spend at least part of the summer months preparing for significant changes to the Canada Labour Code, which come into effect Sept.1, 2019. These changes are in addition to amendments that have already come into force and further changes that are pending, all in the federal government's efforts to modernize the code. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - Canada announces 3-year permanent residence pilot for eligible agri-food workers - Temporary foreign workers with experience in Canada's agri-food sector will have a new pathway to Canadian permanent residence starting in early 2020. The three-year Agri-Food Immigration Pilot will help retain experienced, non-seasonal foreign workers with eligible job offers in Canada's agricultural and agri-foods industry. (Full Story)

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

August 6, 2019 - Alberta employers on hook longer for civil claims for privacy breaches - A new ruling by the Alberta Court of Appeal says civil claims for privacy breaches can be filed more than two years after the breach occurred. Calgary-based Moore's Industrial Service Ltd. requested the dismissal of a civil claim, which was filed by a former employee whose privacy had been breached after his termination. The request was filed on the grounds that the breach occurred almost six years prior. (Full Story)

July 30, 2019 - Producers and their farm workers urged to take workplace safety survey - Farmers, ranchers, and their workers are being asked by the provincial government what they would like to see in new farm workplace safety legislation. The online survey is soliciting producers' and workers' views on four areas - employment standards, occupational health and safety, workers' compensation and labour relations. (Full Story)

July 11, 2019 - Tips and complaints about workplace harassment rise sharply in Alberta - The former NDP government's overhaul of employment standards and occupational health and safety codes resulted in a surge of anonymous tips and on-the-record complaints about workplace harassment last year. According to the most recent annual report, the labour department received 811 anonymous tips about alleged violations to employment standards in 2018-2019, almost triple the number (315) that came in the previous year. (Full Story)

July 4, 2019 - What you need to know about workers' compensation in Alberta - For now at least, farm employers still have to have insurance from the Workers Compensation Board of Alberta. But there are benefits that come from WCB coverage, an official with the company told attendees at a recent Alberta Beef Producers meeting. (Full Story)

August 6, 2019 - Workers' compensation review opportunity to restore benefits - While employer associations have stated they have concerns over the timing and vague scope of the current review of B.C.'s workers compensation system, labour representatives see it as a potential opportunity to reclaim ground lost in the early 2000s. According to Sigurdson the system currently holds $6.5 billion in reserve and almost $3 billion in surplus. (Full Story)

August 1, 2019 - Businesses need help to secure workers - This week, in a message to its members, the chair of the Tourism Industry Association of BC, Alroy Chan, lamented the shortage of workers and raised concerns over the changes the federal government is making to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFW). B.C.'s tourism industry is projected to create 106,000 new job openings in a range of careers over the next decade. (Full Story)

July 30, 2019 - WorkSafeBC improves access to occupational health and safety information - WorkSafeBC is making it easier for employers and workers to access occupational health and safety information through an expansion of its Prevention Information Line, a toll-free phone service dedicated to health and safety in B.C. workplaces. The expansion of the telephone line means that workers and employers can connect directly to eight dedicated prevention officers with diverse specializations across B.C. (Full Story)

July 19, 2019 - Licensing recruiters to protect foreign workers - Foreign workers who help fill labour shortages in a wide range of B.C. sectors will be better protected under a new government licensing requirement for recruiters. Those recruiters who help secure employment in B.C. for foreign workers have until Oct. 1, 2019, to acquire a licence. (Full Story)

July 19, 2019 - B.C. establishing new licensing requirements for job recruiters to protect foreign workers - In an effort to better protect foreign workers, the B.C government is bringing in new licensing requirements for job recruiters. The Ministry of Labour says the requirements are aimed at holding abusive recruiters accountable. Recruiters have until Oct. 1, 2019, to get licensed. Those who don't comply face fines up to $50,000 or a year in prison, or both. (Full Story)

July 19, 2019 - Revised employer resource on preventing slips, trips, and falls in manufacturing - Slips, trips, and falls in manufacturing is a revised bulletin that is primarily for employers in manufacturing, but is relevant for any industry. This bulletin helps employers better understand how slips and trips happen, and how to identify hazards and assess the risks. It also provides information on how to use the hierarchy of controls to manage the risks. (Full Story)

July 11, 2019 - WorkSafeBC announces preliminary premium rates for 2020 - Richmond, B.C. - WorkSafeBC announced today that the preliminary average base rate for 2020 will remain unchanged, at 1.55 percent of employers' assessable payroll. The Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers in order to pay for the workers' compensation system. (Full Story)

July 11, 2019 - Labour shortage worsening in B.C. - B.C. employers continue to grapple with job vacancies, according to the latest Statistics Canada data. The agency estimated that there were 101,945 unfilled positions in B.C. during 2019's first quarter, up 10% from the same quarter in 2018. While growth in job vacancies is comparable with the national picture, relative shortages are more acute in B.C. (Full Story)

August 1, 2019 - Protect employees from workplace violence and harassment - Everyone is entitled to protection while on the job. When workplace harassment and violence are not defined they can go unnoticed and unreported. There's a tendency to think of violence as physical – hitting, shoving, kicking and other threatening behaviours. But it can also be arguments, property damage, vandalism, theft, psychological trauma and anger-related incidents. There are also less obvious, but equally destructive, behaviours such as verbal or written threats, rumours, pranks and abuse such as swearing, insults or condescending language. (Full Story)

July 22, 2019 - Manitoba invites 173 skilled worker candidates in latest provincial nominee program draw - A new draw by the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program held July 18 invited 173 skilled worker candidates to apply for a nomination for Canadian permanent residence. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) allows the province of Manitoba to nominate economic-class immigration candidates for Canadian permanent residence. (Full Story)

July 19, 2019 - Farm human resources crunch to worsen - There are no signs that Canadian agriculture's labour crunch will be easing any time soon. In fact a recent labour market forecast from the Canadian Agriculture Human Resources Council (CAHRC) suggests the situation is set to worsen sharply over the next 10 years. That will limit future growth and delay expansion plans, the group says. (Full Story)

July 16, 2019 - Local Companies Not Impacted By Temporary Migrant Worker Delays - Some employers in Canada are dealing with long delays in bringing in temporary foreign workers, especially in the agricultural sector. The federal government says the volume of applications for foreign workers is up almost 25 per cent over last year - forcing some businesses to wait 100 days or more for approval to bring them into the country. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - Agriculture foreign workers get new path to residency - The federal government has announced a pilot program that will make it easier for farms and food companies to maintain workers they recruit from around the world. The program, called the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot Project, will allow temporary foreign workers to apply for permanent residency after a year of employment in Canada in the past three years. (Full Story)

August 8, 2019 - Minimum wage is not just for hourly employees in New Brunswick - The recent New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision J. Clark & Son, Limited v. New Brunswick provides guidance on to whom the minimum wage applies in the province and how it should be paid to employees who are paid a commission. The Court of Appeal decision was rendered on April 11, 2019, following changes to the province's Minimum Wage Regulation – Employment Standards Act, NB Reg 2019-2, which came into force on April 1, 2019. (Full Story)

July 29, 2019 - New Brunswick introduces targeted searches of Express Entry pool - Express Entry candidates may now receive an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination from New Brunswick whether they've registered an Expression of Interest with the province or not. The Express Entry pool contains the profiles of candidates for three of Canada's main economic-class immigration programs - the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class and Canadian Experience Class. (Full Story)

July 17, 2019 - WorkSafeNB aims to lower rates for automate claims and employers - WorkSafeNB hosted almost 200 shareholders at their annual general meeting on Wednesday. The organization is a corporate entity committed to promoting healthy and safe workplaces for New Brunswick's workers and employers. WorkSafeNB has 15,000 registered employers, 320,000 workers and an average of 5,900 claims per year resulting in workers missing time from work due to injury. (Full Story)

July 16, 2019 - New handout offers evidence-based, practical advice on supporting RTW - How can workers with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions be supported to return to work (RTW)? Based on findings from a series of systematic reviews, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) has put together a two-page handout that offers practical solutions for workplaces, insurance and workers' compensation agencies, and health-care authorities. (Full Story)

July 5, 2019 - New Brunswick's economy adds 1,100 jobs in June - New Brunswick's economy gained 1,100 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate still rose to 7.8 per cent, according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey. The unemployment rate increased in June after 3,500 people entered the labour force. In May, the rate was sitting at 7.2 per cent. (Full Story)

August 2, 2019 - Debate over $15/hour minimum wage ramps up in Newfoundland and Labrador - The question of whether Newfoundland and Labrador should have a $15 an hour minimum wage appears to be heating up, as the government reviews the current minimum wage formula. Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador has the third-lowest minimum wage in the country, at $11.40, with a 25 cent increase last introduced in April. Once October hits, this province will have the second-lowest minimum wage, when Manitoba's rate increases to $11.65. Only Saskatchewan will have a lower minimum wage by the end of the year, at $11.32 after its October increase. (Full Story)

July 31, 2019 - Government of Canada helps women in Newfoundland and Labrador prepare for high-demand and well-paying jobs in the construction trades - Canada's changing economy and investments in infrastructure make skills training critical to our future. The Government recognizes the importance of building a diverse workforce and supporting women so they can launch careers in high-demand construction trades. Through this project, over 200 women from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick will get support in a number of areas. (Full Story)

August 2019 - WSCC Employer's Report of Incident Form - The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut has released an Employer's Report of Incident Form. Employers must submit the fully-completed incident report within three business days, or will incur penalties as listed in the Workers' Compensation Acts. Please note that to report an accident causing serious bodily injury or a dangerous occurrence, you must call the 24-hour Incident Reporting line at 1-800-661-0792 as soon as is reasonably possible and complete and submit the form within three business days. (Full Story)

August 8, 2019 - WCB reports highlight need to reduce workplace injuries - The amount of time lost to workplace injuries continues to be a challenge in Nova Scotia, according to WCB Nova Scotia's quarterly report and 2018 annual report, both released Thursday. During the first three months of 2019, the number of days lost to workplace injury and the average duration of a claim increased. The index used to measure average claim duration increased to 128 days from 127 days at the end of 2018. It was 120 days in the same quarter last year. (Full Story)

August 2, 2019 - Nova Scotia workers fall behind: report - Nova Scotia falls short on labour standards that cover hours of work, overtime provisions, vacation time, minimum wage and public holidays, says Rebecca Casey, the author of a recently published study. “Labour standards legislation is not keeping pace with the rise in precarious employment, leaving many already vulnerable workers further disadvantaged,” Casey, a sociology professor at Acadia University in a study commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. (Full Story)

July 30, 2019 - Program Changes Support a More Diverse, Inclusive Workforce - Government is helping more Nova Scotians who are underrepresented in the workforce upgrade their skills and become job ready. The Skills Development Program is changing to provide quicker access to training for these unemployed Nova Scotians looking for a job. The program helps unemployed Nova Scotians who are having trouble getting a job and needing to develop new skills. (Full Story)

July 23, 2019 - NSBI Approves Payroll Rebate - Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive in the form of a payroll rebate for VERB Interactive Inc (VERB). VERB has the potential to create up to 130 jobs under the five-year payroll rebate agreement. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the agreement, NSBI estimates the company could spend $24.3 million in salaries. (Full Story)

July 5, 2019 - Youth Unemployment Lowest on Record Since 1976 - Youth unemployment in Nova Scotia reached a record-setting low in June, according to Statistics Canada. New data released by Statistics Canada today, July 5, shows the youth unemployment rate at 9.8 per cent, the lowest since the monthly Labour Force Survey began in 1976. (Full Story)

August 2019 - WSCC Employer's Report of Incident Form - The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut has released an Employer's Report of Incident Form. Employers must submit the fully-completed incident report within three business days, or will incur penalties as listed in the Workers' Compensation Acts. Please note that to report an accident causing serious bodily injury or a dangerous occurrence, you must call the 24-hour Incident Reporting line at 1-800-661-0792 as soon as is reasonably possible and complete and submit the form within three business days. (Full Story)

July 11, 2019 - Mining will drive double-digit economic growth in Nunavut this year: report - Nunavut's mining boom will help the territory see enviable economic growth for the foreseeable future, according to a new forecast by the Conference Board of Canada. But the report's authors don't expect this growth to make a big dent in the territory's unemployment rate, which currently stands at nearly 2.5 times the national average. (Full Story)

August 7, 2019 - Ontario court rules employee allowed to revoke retirement notice - The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled an employee was in the right when she rescinded her retirement notice after circumstances changed. The case demonstrates how important it is for employers to enquire about the circumstances surrounding an employee's resignation or retirement notice. (Full Story)

August 3, 2019 - Ontario's minimum wage is frozen at $14. Could Ottawa set its own? - Less than a year after Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives cancelled a scheduled minimum wage bump to $15, an expert panel is preparing to publish a report on how the federal government can better protect vulnerable workers -  including the possibility of a federally mandated minimum wage. The report, expected to be released publicly this month, could impact approximately 1 million workers across the country whose industries fall under federal labour laws, including banking, telecommunications and rail travel. (Full Story)

August 2, 2019 - Canada-Ontario Job Grant Available for Cornwall Companies - A program to help employers hire and train staff continues to be popular with Cornwall companies. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support for employers (up to $10,000 per person) who wish to purchase training for their workforce. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees. (Full Story)

July 30, 2019 - Ontario conducting inspection blitz for new, young workers - The Government of Ontario is inspecting workplaces that hire summer students to ensure these workers are safe on the job. The inspections come after several months of outreach by the Ministry of Labour to educate employers and assist them in creating safe workplaces. (Full Story)

July 26, 2019 - Expanding Learning Opportunities in STEM and Skilled Trades - Ontario is putting a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as well as the skilled trades. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange signed an agreement while at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) meeting in Victoria, B.C. to enhance learning opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering and math as well as the skilled trades. (Full Story)

July 26, 2019 - New immigration program opens door to undocumented construction workers in GTA - Ottawa has unveiled a new program that will offer both an immigration pathway for undocumented construction workers in Greater Toronto and help to address a labour shortage in the city. The pilot has spots for 500 workers — plus their family members — and will open for application on September 3 through the Canadian Labour Congress, which will pre-screen and refer qualified candidates for final assessment by the immigration department. (Full Story)

July 18, 2019 - Ontario Cutting Red Tape to Support Jobs and Growth in the Construction Industry - Attorney General Doug Downey announced an essential next step to the full implementation of a first-in-Canada prompt payment regime to support jobs and growth in the construction industry. This regime will help cut through red tape, help create and protect jobs and attract investment to the province. The implementation of these changes will prevent payment disputes from delaying work on construction projects, speed up the payment process and reduce time and money spent on litigation for businesses. (Full Story)

July 17, 2019 - Changes to help Northern Ontario business attract skilled workers - In hopes of making it easier for businesses in the North to attract top talent and skilled workers from around the world, the province is making changes to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. This, the government says, will help build the province's labour force and grow the economy, as well as supporting entrepreneurship and addressing labour shortages in Northern Ontario. (Full Story)

July 15, 2019 - Ontario Building Skilled Workforce in Sudbury - Ontario's Government for the People is helping students across the province prepare for successful careers in the skilled trades and technology sectors so that employers have the skilled workforce they need to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs. Today, Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, was at Cambrian College to discuss Ontario's historic investment into pre-apprenticeship programs and applied research at the college. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - New immigration program offers migrant farm workers pathway to permanent residence - The federal government has launched a pilot program to give migrant farm workers a pathway to permanent residence as a partial solution to the agriculture industry's chronic labour shortages. The program marks a new beginning for foreign farm workers, who, usually with little formal education, have had limited opportunities to stay in Canada for failing to meet the requirements of the country's economic immigration programs that are designed to attract highly educated and skilled professionals. (Full Story)

August 9, 2019 - P.E.I. added 1,000 jobs in July - The unemployment rate across Canada was little changed in July increasing by 0.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent, but Prince Edward Island added jobs, according to a report from Statistics Canada. Employment on P.E.I. increased by an estimated 1,000 jobs in July and the provincial unemployment rate fell by 0.9 per cent to 8.4 per cent. Compared to the same time last year, employment in the province grew by 2,200 jobs, an increase of 2.9 per cent. (Full Story)

July 26, 2019 - New and Revised WCB Policies - The WCB Board of Directors has approved a new policy, French Language Service and Communications/Services en français et communications (POL-155), and amendments to the following policies: Pre-existing Conditions (POL-61); Transportation Assistance (POL-73), formerly titled Vehicle Modifications; Details about the amendments can be found in the History section of each policy. (Full Story)

July 23, 2019 - Cornwall calling on Ottawa to restore P.E.I. to single EI zone - Cornwall Town Council is planning to formally request the federal government return P.E.I. to one zone for employment insurance. Since 2014 the Island has been split into two zones, so that people who live in and around Charlottetown have to work more hours to qualify for EI benefits. Cornwall is part of that zone. (Full Story)

July 15, 2019 - Temporary foreign workers needed to grow processed-foods sector, says Senate report - Canada should make it easier for some temporary foreign workers to get into the country and stay, says a Senate report. The report says there is potential for growth in the value-added food sector — where basic foods such as grains and milk are turned into products such as bread and ice cream — but Canada doesn't have enough people to do the work. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - Shortage of workers costing P.E.I. farms millions, study finds - P.E.I. doesn't have enough agricultural workers, and the losses to the farming sector are expected to rapidly mount, according to a federally-funded study. The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council says the shortage is affecting farm production. The report estimates the lost production cost farms $4 million in 2014. By 2017, the losses grew to $15 million, or about three per cent of total production. (Full Story)

July 7, 2019 - P.E.I. construction industry addressing growing shortage of skilled workers - The release of a career promotional video and new industry-led training programs are strategies the construction industry has embraced in response to growing labour shortages. The video is part of the Island Builder recruitment campaign the industry launched two years ago to respond to growing labour shortages. (Full Story)

August 9, 2019 - A Year Of Strong Job Growth For Saskatchewan - According to a report issued today by Statistics Canada, employment in Saskatchewan rose by 12,200 jobs in July, compared to July 2018. The 2.1 per cent increase marks 12 consecutive months of year-over-year job increases. Seasonally adjusted unemployment was 5.4 per cent last month, down from 6.5 per cent in July 2018. The unemployment rate was the third lowest among provinces and below the national average of 5.7 per cent. (Full Story)

August 9, 2019 - Saskatchewan's unemployment rate rises slightly in July - The unemployment rate in Saskatchewan increased slightly in July as the province's economy shed 2,200 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday. StatCan said the unemployment rate for the month was 5.4 per cent, up 0.3 percentage points from the previous month. (Full Story)

August 6, 2019 - WCB: View and pay your Statement of Account online - The WCB is always looking for ways to improve service to you, our customers. That's why you are now able to view your Statement of Account (SOA) online with your WCB Online Account. With your WCB Online Account under Statement of Account, you can: View your current balance owing, and; Sign up to be notified by email when you have a new bill. This will ensure you don't miss a payment with the WCB. (Full Story)

July 25, 2019 - Highest Wage Growth In Canada - New figures released today show Saskatchewan had the highest increase in average weekly earnings among the provinces in May, up 5.8 per cent year-over-year, well ahead of the national increase of 3.4 per cent. May's average weekly earnings in the province were $1,070.11 (seasonally adjusted), the second highest in the nation. (Full Story)

July 18, 2019 - Sask. employment insurance cases down 10% from last year, biggest drop of provinces - In a potential sign of a strengthening economy, the number of people receiving employment insurance in Saskatchewan has declined over the past year. Between May 2018 and May 2019, Saskatchewan saw a 10 per cent decrease in the number of people on EI, according to Statistics Canada. The May year-to-year decrease is the biggest of all provinces. Across Canada, the comparable figure is 4.3 per cent. (Full Story)

July 12, 2019 - The Sprout: Pilot program gives temporary foreign workers a pathway to permanent residency - The federal government is launching a three-year immigration pilot program that will try to attract workers by offering a pathway to permanent residency. Employers seeking to use the pilot will be eligible for a two-year labour market impact assessment, which is often required by the government before hiring foreign workers. (Full Story)

July 5, 2019 - More People Working In Saskatchewan Than Ever Before - According to a report released by Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan set an all-time record for employment last month at 592,900 jobs. In June, employment was up 9,200 jobs compared to June 2018, a 1.6 percent increase, the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year job increases. Month-to-month, employment was also up, rising by 2,500 jobs between May 2019 and June 2019, a 0.4 per cent increase (seasonally adjusted). (Full Story)

August 7, 2019 - Employer Payroll Revision - At the beginning of each year, employers are required to submit an Employer's Payroll Return and Contract Labour Report (EPR) that provides an estimate of their payroll for the upcoming year. To avoid an underestimating penalty, employers have until December 31, 2019, to make a revision to their payroll estimate. Note that if this revision is made after September 30, 2019, no payment plan option is available for the increased assessment. The employer will be required to pay the full premium assessed on the revision immediately. (Full Story)

July 23, 2019 - Yukon's labour shortage 'choking off economic growth,' says economist - Yukon's economic growth is expected to be slow in 2019, then pick up again in the next few years as new mines go into production, according to the Conference Board of Canada. But Yukon's unemployment rate will likely remain around three per cent and there is an ongoing labour shortage. Halliday said just over three quarters of Yukoners have jobs or take part in the labour force, which is the highest in Canada. (Full Story)

July 19, 2019 - Youth on Board program gives young people job opportunities with non-profit organizations - Young people in the Yukon are getting job training and career opportunities through an organization in Whitehorse thats offering a program called Youth On Board. But these aren't just any jobs. The mission behind the program is to provide experiences with non-profit organizations. Funded by the government of Canada, the program offers a 20 week job placement with a non profit organization. (Full Story)

Beat those post-vacation blues

Strategies for return to work ease end-of-holiday angst

Summer is finally here and, with luck, you successfully arranged your two-week vacation around the traditional long weekend. You’ve relaxed, visited friends, spent a day at the beach, read several books and slept in almost every day. You’ve let go of your daily work stresses and even engaged in some reflective thinking about life, work and career.

So why are you experiencing a sense of gloom and anxiety? Actually, these feelings are quite normal, especially as your vacation winds down. It’s a psychological phenomenon that is often referred to as "post-vacation blues." And believe me, post-vacation blues are real.

Post-vacation blues are sometimes referred to as a "hangover" because it is essentially all about the psychological transition from a fabulous holiday to reacclimatizing to your normal life. However, it is certainly disconcerting and somewhat confusing to be feeling strangely exhausted and somewhat depressed when you’ve just had a very relaxing holiday.

At the same time, I often find that people will start to blame their job as the source of their melancholy. They tend to focus on any sign of negativity in their job and then magnify it, resulting in increased anxiety. They then view their reluctance to return to work as a lack of job satisfaction.

There are certainly some instances where a job no longer suits an employee and, indeed, it may be time to move on. However, in many cases, the issue simply ties back to those good old post-vacation blues.

So, how do you move past this type of melancholy and get back into the swing of things with a positive attitude? The key is to develop a plan to ease back into your normal life, so that you don’t get overwhelmed with the urgency to catch up.

The following tactics will assist you.

  • Allow for a buffer day: Plan your vacation so that you have at least one day to get settled prior to returning to work. Work with your family to plan a number of extra healthy meals for the next few days so that your body gets back in balance after all those restaurant meals and vacation food treats. Revisit your exercise program and schedule a start time. This allows you to get back into your routine on the home front first of all, which in turn helps to reduce anxiety.
  • Take it easy at home: Avoid trying to jump into the many pre-vacation activities you had previously engaged in. This will compound the tiredness you are already feeling from the post-vacation blues. Take it easy until you are back in the swing of things.
  • Reflect on career positives: Focus some time thinking about the accomplishments you have made to date in your career. Focus on the positives about work, the tasks, your colleagues and the work environment. Thinking about new opportunities will help to recreate the job satisfaction you felt prior to your vacation. At the very least, congratulate yourself on the skills and confidence you do possess.
  • Plan to share: Think about some of the key activities you engaged in during your vacation. Sort out interesting experiences and be prepared to share them with your colleagues. Scroll through your photos. Reminiscing and planning which vacation elements to share at work helps to take the sting out of the anxiety about returning to work.
  • Strategize for your return: Take a moment to think about the assignments you were engaged in prior to the vacation. Prioritize the items that need to be addressed as soon as you get to work. Plan to meet with the colleague covering your work and take time to get debriefed on key issues to help you set new priorities.
  • Take a peek: If possible, access your email account the day before returning to work. Make an assessment of the potential work ahead and develop some priorities. Knowing what you will see when you first arrive back at work will help to reduce anxiety.
  • Get reacquainted: Take a walk throughout your workplace and greet your colleagues. Be sure to wear a happy smile so that people are encouraged to listen to your vacation stories. Check out the staff lunchroom to see if anyone has posted vacation pictures. Having good vacation conversations with colleagues creates a sense of nostalgia that will linger for the next few workdays.
  • Post a vacation photo: Place your favourite vacation photo on your computer so that when you turn it on, pleasant memories will be created. Bring a special souvenir to work to remind you of the good time you experienced.
  • Take it easy: Sort through the long list of waiting tasks and start with the tasks that can be completed quickly, or at least within one day, so that you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Feeling a sense of achievement will give your mood a boost and will start to push off the blues. Plan out the rest of the week, moving toward more complex tasks that will require more time. The more control you can have over your first week back at work, the better you will feel.
  • Get some sunshine: Your vacation probably consisted of time outdoors in the heat and sunshine. So, if it isn’t raining, go outside for a walk during your lunch hour. Head for the closest park bench, sit, enjoy and absorb the energy around you. Pay attention to the birds, the grass, the flowers and the sunshine. Reflect on the good experiences you had during your vacation and then recognize the beauty right there in front of you.
  • Plan for relaxation: Do something special for yourself at the end of the first day back at work. This could simply be an evening walk and/or a bicycle ride around your neighbourhood. Call other family members to let them know you have returned and share more holiday experiences.
  • Pace yourself: Try to keep regular hours for your work and avoid extensive overtime trying to catch up. Delegate where possible and reassess priorities. Avoid over-extending yourself in the off-work hours by getting too involved in too many activities. Take it easy, pace yourself.

Summer vacation is a fun time filled with lots of experiences and lots of memories. However, returning to work can certainly be a downer. Remember, those post-vacation blues are transient. By slowly engaging back to your normal life, they should dissipate in a few days. If not, reach out for help.

Article presented by permission from Barbara J. Bowes, President of Legacy Bowes Group and a professional speaker, author, radio personality and management consultant. She can be reached at

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