Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

January 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

January 2019 - Canada Pension Plan Enhancements - As of 2019, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is being gradually enhanced. This means workers will receive higher benefits in exchange for making higher contributions. The CPP enhancement will only affect workers if, as of 2019, they work and make contributions to the CPP. The enhancement increases the CPP retirement pension, post-retirement benefit, disability pension and survivor's pension you may receive. Eligibility for CPP benefits is not affected. Click Here to learn more about these recent changes.

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

January 7, 2019 - Should employers support non-terminated workers during layoffs? - While Canada's unemployment rate is just six per cent, according to Statistics Canada, it doesn't mean workforces are immune to layoffs. Employment in certain industries, such as information, culture and recreation, continually declined between August and November 2018, noted Statistics Canada. Indeed, compared to 12 months earlier, employment in those industries was down three per cent nationally. (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - Canada adds 9,300 jobs in December, economy "remains very close to full employment" - The Canadian economy saw job growth slow in December, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.6 per cent and the Bank of Canada unlikely to hike interest rates in the near future. After posting record employment gains in November, there were 9,300 new jobs added in the month of December, according to Labour Force Survey data released by Statistics Canada on Friday. The economy saw 28,300 part-time jobs added last month, while the number of full-time employment positions decreased by 18,900. (Full Story)

January 3, 2019 - New year brings changes to federal tax and payroll contributions - From employment insurance to small business taxes, 2019 is already changing the way Canadians manage their pocketbooks. As in many years past, Jan. 1 heralded the introduction of several federal tax and benefit changes, including hikes to premiums paid to the Canada Pension Plan. But none of these changes may be as significant as the federal carbon tax set to go into effect later this year. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Don't miss these important pension and benefits dates for 2019 - As 2018 draws to a close, professionals in the pension, investment, benefits and human resources industries have a number of dates to add to their calendars for the year ahead. For example, on January 1, 2019, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan enhancements take effect. In the first stage, employees and employers will see their CPP contribution rates climb from the current level of 4.95 per cent each to 5.95 per cent each by 2023, for a total of 11.9 per cent up to the year's maximum pensionable earnings. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Here's how CPP, EI and small business taxes are changing in 2019 - Your paycheque might see an adjustment come 2019 as new Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) rates kick in. For many Canadians, the changes will be slight, considering CPP's cut is rising while EI is falling. EI rates that employees pay are dropping by four cents per $100 of insurable earnings from $1.66 to $1.62. In Quebec, the rates are dropping five cents per $100 of insurable earnings from $1.30 to $1.25. (Full Story)

December 28, 2018 - Unemployment rate for immigrants to Canada at lowest level in years - The employment gap between newcomers and Canadian-born workers continues to narrow as immigrants make up a growing percentage of the Canadian labour force, says new data from Statistics Canada. According to a Dec. 24 report from Statistics Canada, the immigrant unemployment level is at its lowest since 2006, when the data first started to be collected. The unemployment rate for working-aged immigrants in Canada is 6.4 per cent as of 2017. In contrast, the unemployment rate for Canadian-born people was five per cent in the same year. (Full Story)

December 28, 2018 - Middle class Canadians will have more money in their pockets in 2019 - The Government of Canada is making life more affordable for middle class Canadians. In 2019, as a result of the Government's changes, middle class Canadians will see more money on their paycheques, compared with 2015, while changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) means they will have more money for their retirement. Taken together, changes to the Employment Insurance (EI), enhancements to the CPP and the middle class tax cut, mean that a single person earning $48,000 will save almost $60 in paycheque deductions 2019 compared with 2015. For a single person earning $75,000, this would represent a saving of almost $210. (Full Story)

December 27, 2018 - Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women - In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women to further support women in entering, progressing, and completing their training in Red Seal trades where women are underrepresented. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women (AIG-W) is a taxable cash grant of $3,000 per year/level (or equivalent) up to a maximum amount of $6,000 per person. (Full Story)

December 24, 2018 - Controversial value clause lifted from Canada Summer Jobs applications - The Canada Summer Jobs program has begun to take applications with last year's controversial value attestation clause modified. The clause had asked applicants to pledge their core mandate respected abortion rights among others. That deterred some groups, particularly religious ones, from making applications for last summer. Furthermore, about 1,500 applications were rejected by Service Canada for being incomplete. (Full Story)

December 17, 2018 - Canada Summer Jobs 2019 application season kicks off - Canada's prosperity increasingly depends on young Canadians succeeding. By supporting them in getting good quality summer jobs, young Canadians will gain valuable skills and workplace experience towards starting a meaningful career, all while helping build our workforce. Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the launch of the employer application period for the 2019 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program. Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and private employers with up to 50 employees can now apply for funding to hire a young Canadian this summer. (Full Story)

December 16, 2018 - Most Canadian employees are ready to quit their jobs, survey finds - Canadian employers may need to step up their game if they want to avoid costly staff turnover, a new survey suggests. Research conducted by Nielsen on behalf of human resources software company Ceridian found that nearly three quarters of respondents were either looking for work, or would consider jumping ship if approached with the right opportunity. Among 1,001 Canadians and 1,000 Americans surveyed for the company's annual Pulse of Talent report, 37 per cent said they were either actively or casually looking for a new job, and 36 per cent say they'd consider a new position if recruited.  (Full Story)

December 13, 2018 - Legislation to better protect workers and support good quality jobs receives Royal Assent - On October 29, the Government of Canada highlighted that Royal Assent has been given to legislation that will modernize federal labour standards to better protect Canadian workers and help set the stage for good-quality jobs. The legislation includes changes to improve employees' eligibility for entitlements such as general holiday pay, sick leave, maternity leave and parental leave. It also improves work–life balance by introducing new breaks and leaves, including a new 5-day personal leave and 5 days of paid leave for victims of family violence. (Full Story)

December 11, 2018 - Backgrounder: Other Government of Canada support for apprentices - The Government of Canada makes several other investments in apprenticeship to help Canadians become certified. These include loans, tax credits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits (during in-school training), project funding and support for the Red Seal program. Additionally, the Government is working with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship training requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. (Full Story)

November 28, 2018 - Support for families with critically ill loved ones - Today, millions of Canadians provide informal care and support for seriously ill family members. That is why in Budget 2017 the Government of Canada announced a commitment to support family caregivers with Employment Insurance benefits that are more flexible, inclusive and easier to access. As part of this commitment, the Government of Canada moved forward with the following improvements to the Employment Insurance (EI) program in order to better support workers who take time off work due to specific life events. (Full Story)

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

December 28, 2018 - New WCB rules for Alberta employers - As of Sept. 1, employers in Alberta have to comply with new rules for paying health benefits to injured workers and for re-employing them once they are fit to return to work. The new benefit rules mean that employees off work with a work-related injury will continue to be covered under their employer's health benefits plan. Employers will have to keep paying health benefit premiums for up to one year while workers are absent as a result of a workplace injury that occurred on or after Sept. 1. (Full Story)

December 20, 2018 - Fair holiday pay for Alberta workers - Health-care workers, first responders, utility employees, road crews, grocery staff and many in the hospitality industry will be working this holiday season to ensure Albertans are safe and can make the most of their time with friends and family. Alberta's labour laws were updated on Jan. 1, 2018 after remaining unchanged for decades and falling out of step with the rest of Canada. Albertans now hold the same basic rights as their colleagues across the country, including fair compensation ensured by rules around holiday pay and overtime. (Full Story)

December 20, 2018 - Wages, jobs on the rise in Alberta in October: StatsCan - Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Alberta remained the highest among all provinces in October at $1,143.82, according to data released on Thursday by Statistics Canada. The federal agency said earnings rose by 0.4 per cent on a monthly basis and by 0.2 per cent year over year in the province. It also said the number of employees in Alberta rose by 3,000 month over month and by 14,600 year over year. (Full Story)

December 7, 2018 - New employment standards for youth under 13 - The Government of Alberta is updating employment rules for youth aged 12 and under. The new standards only apply when there is an employment relationship, such as jobs where employers make mandatory deductions or provide benefits such as vacation pay. They do not apply to volunteer activities or casual work such as babysitting, lawn-mowing, snow-shovelling or farm and ranch work. (Full Story)

November 30, 2018 - Health, safety rules in force on farms and ranches - On Dec. 1, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code will apply to farms and ranches that employ waged, non-family workers. The code contains technical health and safety rules and now includes new rules specifically for farms and ranches. The new rules were created through extensive consultation with industry stakeholders during the past two years. The rules reflect the need to protect health and safety while preserving the unique way of life on farms and ranches. (Full Story)

November 30, 2018 - Banning mandatory high heels in the workplace - Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code by the Government of Alberta will explicitly prohibit employers from requiring workers to use footwear that may pose health and safety risks. The change will provide clarity and prohibit employers from requiring servers and bartending staff to wear high heels. Prolonged high heel use is associated with workplace trips, slips, falls, painful foot conditions and skeletal and muscular injuries. (Full Story)

November 28, 2018 - WCB Alberta Announces 2019 premium rates - The Alberta WCB's rate setting process ensures the long-term stability of the workers' compensation system and the protection of benefits for injured workers well into the future. In 2019, the average premium rate will be $1.08. The rate directly reflects a company's related industry performance as well as their own within the workers' compensation system. The premium rate is the cost of coverage per $100 of assessable earnings of all company workers (plus any personal coverage an individual buys for themselves). (Full Story)

November 28, 2018 - New office to improve supports for injured workers - The new, independent Fair Practices Office will provide a single point of access to help injured workers navigate the workers' compensation system. As a result of the workers' compensation system review, An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans established an independent Fair Practices Office to: help workers and employers navigate the system; assist and advocate for workers and certain employers through the review and appeals process; be a place for people to raise concerns and to monitor trends in the workers' compensation system to ensure that it is working efficiently and effectively. (Full Story)

November 20, 2018 - New governance proposed for pension plans - The Joint Governance of Public Sector Pension Plans Act proposes a joint governance structure for three of Alberta's largest pension plans - the Local Authorities Pension Plan, the Public Service Pension Plan and the Special Forces Pension Plan. Under joint governance, a Sponsor Board comprising nominees from employee and employer sponsor organizations would govern each plan and would be responsible for plan design (benefits, funding, eligibility, etc.). (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - B.C. adds 4,400 jobs in December amid "so-so" numbers for nation - B.C. added 4,400 jobs during the holidays with a burst of full-time employment making up for big losses among part-time workers. While 18,300 part-time jobs evaporated last month, data released Friday, Jan, 4 from Statistics Canada reveals the province added 22,700 full-time positions to make up for losses. B.C.'s unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained in a holding pattern at 4.4 per cent between November and December. (Full Story)

January 3, 2018 - B.C.'s new Employer Health Tax about to launch - Some B.C. employers are sweating over the incoming Employer Health Tax with registration set to open next week. The new levy on businesses with payrolls greater than a half million dollars was introduced in the provincial budget last February. As of Jan 1, 2020, The EHT will replace Medical Services Plan premiums, which are generally paid by individuals. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Don't miss these important pension and benefits dates for 2019 - As 2018 draws to a close, professionals in the pension, investment, benefits and human resources industries have a number of dates to add to their calendars for the year ahead. For example, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan enhancements take effect. In the first stage, employees and employers will see their CPP contribution rates climb from the current level of 4.95 per cent each to 5.95 per cent each by 2023, for a total of 11.9 per cent up to the year's maximum pensionable earnings. (Full Story)

December 28, 2018 - Farm workers who hand-harvest crops get rate increase - The minimum wage for farm workers paid by piece rate will increase by 11.5% on Jan. 1, 2019, making life more affordable for workers who hand-harvest certain crops in B.C. This increase is the same rate of increase made to the general minimum wage in June 2018. The last increase to the agricultural piece rates took place in September 2017. (Full Story)

December 23, 2018 - Time to apply for student employment funding - It's time again for regional employers to apply for funding to hire students for the summer of 2019, says Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski. "The annual Canada Summer Jobs Program helps our young people find summer employment and gain valuable workplace skills," said Stetski. "At the same time small employers can use the funds to subsidize an expanded summer workforce. This is a win-win for our communities." (Full Story)

December 14, 2018 - WCB - Nine-digit employer account numbers now being assigned - In November 2018, Worksafe BC began assigning nine-digit WorkSafeBC employer account numbers to employers who open a new account with them. The nine-digit numbers for new employer accounts allow our system to accommodate more employers. If you're an employer who already has an account with us, your six-digit account number will not be affected or changed. (Full Story)

December 12, 2018 - NDP seeks changes to Employment Standards Act - Employers are bracing in the wake of B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains' promise to delegates at the recent BC Federation of Labour convention that he will introduce legislation next spring to revamp the province's Employment Standards Act and "address some of the very critical issues for the working people." The last overhaul of the act that governs B.C.'s non-union workers took place 24 years ago, and there is widespread agreement that it needs to be updated to recognize how technology has transformed work since then, and to address the rise of the gig economy. (Full Story)

December 9, 2018 - Deadline for retroactive wage enhancement is Dec. 31, 2018 - The Government of British Columbia is reminding licensed child care providers that they have until Dec. 31, 2018 to apply for retroactive wage enhancements for their frontline staff. In September 2018, the Province announced its Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, which aims to better support early childhood educators (ECEs) around British Columbia. As part of the strategy, ECEs will have access to a wage enhancement, as well as student bursaries and professional development opportunities. (Full Story)

December 7, 2018 - Canada hits record low unemployment rate, B.C. bucks trend - Canada's unemployment rate hit an all time low of 5.6% in November with British Columbia leading the country at 4.4%. The country created 94,000 jobs far surpassing expectations of 10,000 new jobs based on the soft employment growth trend in recent months. Most of the gains in the country were full-time jobs. However, this was not the case for British Columbia. Bucking the trend in the rest of the country, full-time employment in November fell by 17,500 jobs. The decline was offset by a massive 33,400 gain in part time jobs. (Full Story)

November 8, 2018 - Seniors and patients to benefit from fair workplace legislation - People throughout the province, including patients, families and especially seniors and people with disabilities, will benefit as legislation that has been introduced takes aim at improving working conditions for health and social-sector employees. The proposed health sector statutes repeal act would rescind two existing acts - the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, commonly known as Bill 29, 2002, and the Health Sector Partnerships Agreement Act, commonly known as Bill 94, 2003, in their entirety. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - Manitoba launches new mandatory worker readiness course for youth employees - The Manitoba government has launched a new online course in hopes of preparing youth to enter the job market. The Young Workers Readiness certificate course aims to help youth understand pay statements, workplace safety and employees' rights. The course replaces the previous requirement of having employers apply for a government permit to hire an employee between the ages of 13 and 15. Manitoba was the only province to require the permit, which the province says was difficult to enforce. (Full Story)

December 3, 2018 - Province Launches New Online Course To Prepare Youth For Entering Job Market - The Manitoba government is launching a new online Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course to teach youth the basics about workers' and employers' rights and responsibilities for safety and health in the workplace, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today. "Having a job can be a fulfilling experience for youth as it can provide a sense of accomplishment and responsibility," said Pedersen.  "This course contains important information everyone should know before getting their first job." (Full Story)

November 28, 2018 - What to do when your workplace is toxic - If you are working in an abusive environment you may feel trapped, but there is help. Your first steps depend upon the issues in your workplace and your employer's existing policies. You should then identify the reporting procedures through your supervisor, human resources or your union. Beyond the structures in the workplace there are also legal protections for workers. (Full Story)

November 23, 2018 - Manitoba To Harmonize Occupational Safety And Health Regulations With Other Provinces - Manitoba has become the first province to harmonize occupational safety and health regulations in several key areas to reduce barriers to interprovincial trade and increase labour mobility, while maintaining protections for workers, Premier Brian Pallister announced today following a meeting of Provincial and Territorial Trade Ministers in Montreal today. (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - Employment Fell In N.B. In December As Canada Sees Lowest Unemployment in 43 Years - The unemployment rate in New Brunswick rose to 8.4 per cent in December as employment decreased by 3,100, according to the latest labour force survey released by Statistics Canada Friday. The change was a small one, the report said, noting the unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage points. But overall, after little change in 2017, employment in New Brunswick fell by 5,100 (-1.4%) last year. The province's labour force also shrank by 1,200 workers, from 385,000 in November to 383,800 in December. (Full Story)

January 3, 2019 - 2019 SEED applications now available - Summer job applications for the Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) program are now available. Students may access the applications and other information on the program online. The deadline for submissions is March 31. For many years, the SEED program has provided experiential learning opportunities for students during the summer months. These placements are intended to help young New Brunswickers gain and develop skills and competencies that will benefit them in their future careers. (Full Story)

December 21, 2018 - New guidelines for employers regarding addictions - The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission is issuing guidelines to help employers meet their legal obligations to accommodate employees who have an addiction to cannabis, alcohol and drugs. Sixty-seven per cent of the complaints filed with the commission in 2017-18 involved allegations of discrimination that affected employment and were related to reasons of physical disability and mental incapacity. The document is designed to provide employers and employees with the information they need. (Full Story)

December 12, 2018 - New legislation leads to the elimination of the unpaid 3-day waiting period and a reduction in the 2019 assessment rate - Workers and employers both benefit from today's proclamation of new legislation impacting New Brunswick's workers' compensation system. Over 25 years ago, an unpaid waiting period was introduced whereby an employee who suffered a work-related injury was not eligible for compensation for the first three days of the claim. New legislation repeals that provision in stages, with the initial elimination of one unpaid day effective July 1, 2019 and the complete elimination of the unpaid waiting period by July 1, 2021. (Full Story)

November 30, 2018 - New Brunswick updates workers' compensation system - The Government of New Brunswick has introduced legislative amendments that address the recommendations from the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB. The amendments are designed to ensure that benefits for injured workers are protected while offering financial stability for the province's employers. The amendments will also better align New Brunswick's workers' compensation program with those in the rest of Canada. (Full Story)

November 27, 2018 - Legislative amendments introduced to workers' compensation system - The provincial government today introduced legislative amendments that address the recommendations from the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB. The amendments are designed to ensure that benefits for injured workers are protected while offering financial stability for the province's employers. The amendments will also better align New Brunswick's workers' compensation program with those in the rest of Canada. (Full Story)

November 12, 2018 - Cities of New Brunswick calls WorkSafeNB rate increase "staggering" - An organization representing eight of the largest municipalities in New Brunswick has slammed the recently announced rate increase for WorkSafeNB premiums. The Cities of New Brunswick Association says the increase - which saw premiums jump from $1.70 per $100 of payroll in 2018 to $2.92 per $100 of payroll in 2019, is "staggering." It's the third year in a row that WorkSafeNB has increased its rate. (Full Story)

December 21, 2018 - All Newfoundland workers to be covered by PTSD presumption - The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has introduced amendments to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act that would provide presumptive coverage for work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for all workers. The changes, if passed, would come into effect July 1 and mean that a worker who experiences a traumatic event or multiple events at work will be presumed to have developed their diagnosed PTSD as a result of their work. (Full Story)

December 10, 2018 - WorkplaceNL launches New Online Young Worker Occupational Health and Safety Course - WorkplaceNL launched its new Young Worker Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Course today at Waterford Valley High in St. John's. The online course will better prepare young workers as they enter the workforce by helping them understand health and safety principles and practices. Starting this academic year, the Young Worker OHS Course will be incorporated into the Career Development 2201 curriculum, meaning that every graduating high school student will have the opportunity to take the course. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - Discounted Assessment Rates Address Workers' Compensation Surplus - Effective January 1, 2019, WorkplaceNL is applying a $0.21 discount to its average assessment rate, to reduce the rate from $1.90 to $1.69 per $100 of payroll for employers in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the lowest average assessment rate paid by employers in over thirty-five years. Assessment rates are premiums paid by employers to cover expected costs of workplace injuries, return-to-work programs, prevention initiatives and the cost of administering the workers' compensation system. (Full Story)

January 7, 2019 - Year End Unemployment Rate In NWT At 7.4 Percent - The unemployment rate in the NWT rose to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. In December the employment rate decreased to 65.9 percent, a 1.3 percent drop from the previous month. Statistics Canada notes that the unemployment rate in the NWT went up 2.7 percent from the previous quarter in which the rate was at 4.7 percent. The estimated number of people employed in the territory increased by 900 in the third quarter as opposed to the final quarter in which the number of people employed dropped by about 1,000. (Full Story)

November 26, 2018 - WSCC releases assessment rates for 2019 - The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (WSCC) have announced the 2019 employer assessment rates. This year, the average provisional assessment rate will be $2.10 per $100 assessable payroll. This provisional target rate is the rate employers would pay if there was only one rate for all employers, and is the rate the WSCC uses as a starting point when setting individual subclass rates. In 2019 the Year's Maximum Insurable Remuneration (YMIR) will increase from $90,600 to $92,400. YMIR is the maximum earnings the WSCC uses to calculate compensation paid to an injured worker per year. (Full Story)

January 2, 2019 - NSBI Approves Payroll Rebate - Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) has approved a business development incentive in the form of a payroll rebate for REDspace Inc. to expand its operations in Bedford. REDspace Inc. has the potential to create up to 125 jobs under the five-year payroll rebate agreement. Based on the maximum growth forecast of the agreement, NSBI estimates the company could spend $22,187,500 in salaries. The company provides new ways for its clients to deliver interactive experiences to its users around the world. (Full Story)

December 25, 2018 - How an American businessman saved hundreds of Nova Scotians' jobs - His message to laid off Cape Breton call centre workers is straightforward. But the Iowa-based businessman's words resonate like gospel in this hardscrabble region plunged into economic uncertainty earlier this month. "We've committed to hiring every employee back plus some," says Anthony Marlowe, a self-made telecommunications mogul who himself started as a telemarketer at 18 and quickly rose through the ranks before breaking out on his own. He added that he will honour pre-bankruptcy wages and offer retention sign-on bonuses for returning workers. (Full Story)

December 21, 2018 - Online Services for People Receiving Income, Employment and Disability Supports - Work will soon begin to give Nova Scotians who receive income, employment and disability supports online access to programs and services. The Department of Community Services has signed an agreement with information systems company, VitalHub, to improve the delivery of supports and services. The goal is to simplify administration, deliver services more quickly to clients and better integrate programs across government. (Full Story)

December 18, 2018 - Women's employment project ends after 33 years in Sydney - The Ann Terry Project has ended after 33 years of helping women in Sydney, N.S., find work, with one organizer blaming a partnership with a provincial employment agency for the sudden shutdown. The project recently shared office space on George Street with Island Employment, a non-profit organization funded through Nova Scotia Works and Service Canada. Both offered career counselling, resume assistance and child-care support for people looking for work. However, the Ann Terry Project catered specifically to women. The society itself plans to carry on. (Full Story)

November 9, 2018 - Average time lost due to workplace injury continues to increase - WCB Nova Scotia's Report to the Community for the second quarter of 2018 tells the story of a province where fewer injuries are happening – but when they do, it's taking longer to achieve a return to the workplace. The index used to measure average claim duration increased to 121 days, from 117 days at the end of 2017. It was 115 days in the same quarter of last year. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - Ottawa, Nunavut sign renewed job-training deals - The federal government will give the Government of Nunavut a little more money for job training over the next five years, thanks to two agreements the federal employment minister, Patty Hajdu, and Nunavut's family services minister, Elisapee Sheutiapik, signed on Monday, Dec. 3. Under the agreements, Ottawa will give Nunavut $34 million over five years to spend on skills training for workers. (Full Story)

December 3, 2018 - Governments of Canada and Nunavut announce agreements to give workers the tools they need 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, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada's Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and the Honourable Elisapee Sheutiapik, Minister of Family Services for Nunavut, announced that the two governments have signed agreements that will see Canada provide Nunavut with over $34 million over five years to invest in their workers. (Full Story)

November 28, 2018 - In Nunavut, most employed Inuit have government jobs: StatCan - Nunavut is a territory of government workers. That's the one of the biggest takeaways from yesterday's 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey—Nunavut Inuit Supplement. The figures from this Statistics Canada report show that if you are an Inuk and work in Nunavut, the chances are that you work for government. Of those Nunavummiut who were employed, more than half (54.7 per cent) reported working for government in Nunavut, either at the federal, territorial or hamlet/municipal level. (Full Story)

November 26, 2018 - WSCC releases assessment rates for 2019 - The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (WSCC) have announced the 2019 employer assessment rates. This year, the average provisional assessment rate will be $2.10 per $100 assessable payroll. This provisional target rate is the rate employers would pay if there was only one rate for all employers, and is the rate the WSCC uses as a starting point when setting individual subclass rates. (Full Story)

January 7, 2019 - Living Wages Are Good For Ontario's Businesses And Taxpayers - On New Year's Eve, Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), chose to finish off 2018 with a crass attempt at humour he later said was "meant to be satirical." "Celebrating the New Year's the 1-percenter way! Let them eat cake:-)" he said, in a since-deleted tweet accompanied by pictures of a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, caviar and canapes. (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - Ontario Continues to Support Job Creators and Workers - The government of Ontario will continue their work to bring good jobs back to the people. Statistics Canada announced December job numbers this morning, and Ontario saw a net increase of 17,600 jobs. The Ontario government acted immediately to fulfill their promise of making Ontario Open for Business. In just a few months, the government brought forward two major pieces of legislation that make it easier for businesses to thrive and create good jobs. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Regulations and Statutes Coming Into Force January 1, 2019 - Under the Making Ontario Open for Business Act key many amendments to the Employment Standards Act will come into force. Under the Ministry of Labour, some of the amendments include: repealing Personal Emergency Leave and replacing it with three unpaid days; maintaining the minimum wage rate at $14 per hour until 2020; repealing equal pay for equal work on the basis of employment status; reversing Bill 148's scheduling provisions; reinstating exemptions from certain Employment Standard Act Standards for Crown workplaces and certain public bodies; and revoking the special rules regarding personal emergency leave for the auto industry. (Full Story)

December 10, 2018 - Changes to provincial labour regulations will eliminate restrictive tendering - New labour rules in an omnibus bill introduced by the Ford government in early December was being applauded by the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). Known as the "Restoring Ontario's Competitive Act," the province is amending Ontario's Labour Relations Act to allow all qualified companies to bid on publicly funded construction projects. (Full Story)

December 10, 2018 - WSIB to review past claims of rubber workers - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced today that a Dedicated Review Team will re-examine more than 300 claims filed by rubber workers in the Kitchener Waterloo area since 2002 that had not previously been allowed. "I am very deeply concerned by recent reports about the very serious health issues facing people who worked in the rubber industry in our community," said Elizabeth Witmer, WSIB Chair. "I have asked for a review to ensure we are applying the latest science and evidence to make decisions about these claims." (Full Story)

December 6, 2018 - Proposed Changes to Create Jobs and Reduce Regulatory Burden in Specific Sectors - The Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and the lead minister on reducing red tape and regulatory burden, has announced over 30 actions to make it easier for businesses to create jobs - and for people to find them. If passed, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2018 will, along with regulatory changes, eliminate red tape and burdensome regulations so businesses can grow, create and protect good jobs. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - WCB coverage expanded to cover six cancers for Sask. firefighters - Workers' Compensation coverage for firefighters in the province has been expanded to cover six new cancers, the government announced on Tuesday. Firefighters will now be able to file a Workers' Compensation Board claim for prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, along with multiple myeloma under occupational disease presumption. (Full Story)

November 21, 2018 - Ontario passes labour reform law, scraps many changes made by Liberals - The Ontario government passed sweeping labour reform legislation Wednesday, effectively rolling back many changes brought in by the previous Liberal regime. The law freezes the province's minimum wage at $14 an hour until 2020 and cuts two paid personal leave days for workers, among other things. (Full Story)

November 16, 2018 - Ontario to raise payroll exemption on employer health tax - Ontario's smallest companies will be saving on their employer health tax come Jan. 1, 2019. The province's 2018 economic outlook and fiscal review, presented by Finance Minister Vic Fedeli on Thursday, proposed an increase to the amount of payroll eligible for exemption from the employer health tax from $450,000 to $490,000 for organizations with 10 or fewer employees. (Full Story)

January 2, 2019 - Additional coverage for P.E.I. firefighters offers 'peace of mind' - Additional coverage for P.E.I. firefighters and fire inspectors and will now include specific types of cancer and heart injuries as of Jan. 1. Until now, P.E.I. was the only province that did not consider cancer in firefighters as an occupational disease. The new coverage comes as a result of amendments made to P.E.I.'s Workers Compensation Act. The changes are designed to ensure if a firefighter or fire inspector develop specific diseases, they will be presumed to be work-related illnesses. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Presumptive Coverage for Firefighters & Fire Inspectors - As of January 1, Prince Edward Island firefighters and fire inspectors will have presumptive coverage for specific types of cancer and heart injuries as a result of amendments to the Workers Compensation Act. "This coverage will offer much needed care to many firefighters who may encounter serious health problems resulting from the valuable work they did to protect their communities," said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. Eligible firefighters include fire inspectors, and full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters who are members of a fire department or brigade. (Full Story)

December 30, 2018 - Improved employment benefits now in effect for Islanders - Family-friendly amendments to the Employment Standards Act passed during the 2018 fall legislative session are now in effect. Changes to the act include extended parental leave from 12 months to 18 months to align with the federal employment insurance changes. Compassionate care leave has been extended from eight weeks to 28 weeks. Also, the qualifying period for an employee to receive sick leave has been reduced from six months to three months. (Full Story)

December 29, 2018 - Older workers on P.E.I. most likely to be working by necessity - People past the age of 60 who are in the workforce are more likely to be working out of necessity if they are on P.E.I. than in any other province in the country, according to Statistics Canada. The special survey was an addendum to the Labour Force Survey, and covered people working from August of 2017 to September 2018. It found 53 per cent of older Islanders in the workforce were there out of necessity. (Full Story)

December 27, 2018 - Changes to Employment Standards Act take effect - Family-friendly amendments to the Employment Standards Act passed during the 2018 fall legislative session will come into effect on Saturday, December 29, 2018. Changes to the act include: extended parental leave from 12 months to 18 months to align with the federal employment insurance changes; extended compassionate care leave from 8 weeks to 28 weeks; and reduced qualifying period for an employee to receive sick leave from 6 months to 3 months. (Full Story)

December 15, 2018 - P.E.I. Workers Compensation Board average employer rates reduced - The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. has reduced the average amount that businesses pay into to cover the current and future costs of injured workers. In 2019, the average rate per $100 of payroll is $1.58. In a press release, the WCB explains that the actual costs to the system would have placed the rate at $1.66, but "because of its strong funded position" the WCB was able to adjust its funding policy to reduce the assessment amount by eight cents. (Full Story)

December 12, 2018 - Showing the benefits of supported employment - Inclusions East is overseeing production of the video series with the help of a Wellness Grant from the Department of Health and Wellness.  The videos will highlight clients at work in the community with the hope of creating more opportunities for both business operators and people with intellectual disabilities. Fewer than 30 per cent of Canadians with intellectual disabilities are employed, as opposed to approximately 67 per cent of non-disabled Canadians. For those who are employed, they are earning less than half of those without a disability. (Full Story)

December 5, 2018 - P.E.I.'s Workers Compensation Board average employer rates reduced - The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. has reduced the average amount that businesses pay into to cover the current and future costs of injured workers. In 2019, the average rate per $100 of payroll is $1.58. In a press release, the WCB explains that the actual costs to the system would have placed the rate at $1.66, but "because of its strong funded position" the WCB was able to adjust its funding policy to reduce the assessment amount by eight cents. The WCB is also distributing a $22-million surplus to employers as a result of strong financial investment returns. (Full Story)

December 3, 2019 - Canada's Top Employers continue to raise the bar on workplace innovation - It's often said people are the biggest asset of any business. To many it's just a slogan, but Canada's Top 100 Employers 2019 live by those words. These companies and organizations build exceptional workplaces with an array of progressive and innovative programs that make life better for their people. All the winners are leaders in their industry and able to attract and retain top talent, but that kind of success doesn't just happen without committed effort. (Full Story)

November 14, 2018 - P.E.I. introduces legislation to tackle workplace harassment - The province has introduced new legislation that it hopes will protect workers from workplace harassment and bullying. The act is named after Eric Donovan, an Island resident who died in 2013 after experiencing workplace harassment. The legislation would amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to require employers to establish policies to prevent and investigate cases of workplace harassment. It also includes provisions to ensure confidentiality. (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - Saskatchewan Sees Strong Job Growth Heading Into 2019 - Saskatchewan saw strong job gains for the fifth consecutive month in December.  Year-over-year employment increased by 10,900 jobs from December 2017.  Saskatchewan's growth rate of 1.9 per cent ranked second among the provinces. The job gains were driven entirely by full-time employment with an increase of 13,300 full-time jobs. Major year-over-year gains came from the province's agriculture sector.  From 2007 to 2018, Saskatchewan had the third highest employment growth rate among the provinces at 12.9 per cent. (Full Story)

December 12, 2018 - Worker Compensation rolls out changes to rate premiums - For the twelfth consecutive year, the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board has reduced the average premium rate. This year employers in the province will save 1.7 per cent. Peter Federko, the CEO of the WCB, said the reduction is a product of a couple things but mainly fewer workplace injuries and lower claims cost which is a result of education and training. (Full Story)

December 11, 2018 - WCB approves 2019 premium rates - The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has approved the 2019 average employer premium rate of $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll, a decrease of 1.7 per cent from the 2018 rate of $1.19. The 2019 rate marks the 12th consecutive year the rate has dropped, making it the lowest rate in more than 30 years. The 2019 average rate is 42.9 per cent below the 16-year high of $2.05 in 2004. (Full Story)

December 7, 2018 - Highest Rate Of Job Growth In Western Canada - Saskatchewan's year-over-year employment increased by 16,300 jobs in November according, to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey released today.  This is the largest job increase since 2013 and marks the fourth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province. Saskatchewan had the highest rate of year-over-year job growth in Western Canada at 2.9 per cent, ranking second nationally, behind Prince Edward Island. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - WCB Coverage Expanded for Saskatchewan Firefighters - Saskatchewan firefighters were in the legislature today when an amendment to include six new cancers for presumptive coverage under The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013 was announced. Fire fighters will be able to file a Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) claim for prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer, as well as multiple myeloma under the occupational disease presumption.  This addition makes Saskatchewan a leader in Canada for the number of occupational diseases firefighters have presumptive coverage for. (Full Story)

November 22, 2018 - Sask. employers can soon use software to detect workplace fatigue and impairment - A new software designed to detect workplace fatigue and impairment called AlertMeter will soon be available to employers in Saskatchewan. The Safety Association of Saskatchewan Manufacturers (SASM) announced on Thursday that they'll be the first licensed distributor in the country. (Full Story)

November 21, 2018 - Saskatchewan to Improve Job Leaves for New Parents, Caregivers and Assault Survivors - Today the Government of Saskatchewan announced changes to some job-protected leaves in an amendment to The Saskatchewan Employment Act. Maternity and adoption leave will increase from 18 weeks to 19 weeks, which will make Saskatchewan a leader in the country, offering the longest maternity and adoption leave in Canada. (Full Story)

January 4, 2019 - Yukon hits national record-low annual unemployment rate - Yukon has hit an all-time low annual unemployment rate, not only in the territory, but in Canada. Gary Brown, senior information officer with the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, said the territory's 2018 annual unemployment rate was 2.7 per cent - a "record low of any jurisdiction in Canada since the Labour Force Survey began, and for the provinces that was in the 70s." To compare, Canada's unemployment rate in December 2018 was 5.6 per cent - that number in Yukon was 4.0 per cent. (Full Story)

December 31, 2018 - Decision will improve workers' safety: YEU - Workers at Whitehorse's youth group homes will no longer be forced to work alone – a practice the Yukon Employees' Union (YEU) has long been opposed to for safety reasons. The new reality is based in a decision from Pamela Muir, the Public Service Commissioner. The YEU had filed a policy grievance against the employees being forced to work alone back in January. (Full Story)

December 27, 2018 - Yukonomist: Will you be working forever? - Almost 40 per cent of Yukon seniors were working full or part-time, according to the 2016 census. Over a quarter of those working were toiling full-time. That 40 per cent figure for the Yukon is double the national average. And that national average is itself double what it was twenty years before, in 1995. If you look more closely at the data, it's clear that there has been a major societal change in senior working patterns in recent decades. (Full Story)

December 13, 2018 - Employer's Payroll Return and Contract Labour Report (EPR) - Each year, registered employers are required to submit a report of their previous year's payroll and contract labour costs along with an estimate of the upcoming year's payroll. This is done using the Employer's Payroll Return and Contract Labour Report (EPR) form. Every December the YWCHSB prints an EPR form for each registered employer and mails it to the address that they have on file. All registered employers should receive this document by mid-January. If you haven't received it, or if you misplaced it, the YWCHSB can send you a new copy. (Full Story)

December 10, 2018 - Government of Yukon receives minimum wage review - The Employment Standards Board has submitted its review of Yukon's minimum wage to the Minister of Community Services. The report includes recommendations for changes to Yukon's minimum wage based on numerous factors. Yukon's current minimum wage of $11.51 per hour ranks eighth out of the 13 Canadian jurisdictions at this time. Stakeholders provided their feedback to the Employee Standards Board through an online survey and written submissions. In all, there were 661 responses received from June 8 to July 15, 2018. (Full Story)

December 6, 2018 - Yukon Workers' Compensation System To Provide Employers With A Further $5-Million Rebate - For the fourth year, the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) will distribute a rebate to eligible Yukon employers. The 2018 rebate amounts to approximately $5 million. The unprecedented growth in global financial markets contributed to this exceptional circumstance. The Compensation Fund still has more than it needs to provide excellent care to every Yukon worker injured on the job. (Full Story)

December 4, 2018 - YWCHSB Maximum Wage Rate - The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) has set the 2019 maximum wage rate at $89,145. The maximum wage rate is sometimes referred to as "maximum assessable earnings." The maximum assessable earnings amount is relevant to employers. It establishes a cap on the premiums they pay. The maximum wage rate is relevant to claimants. It sets a ceiling on the amount injured workers will receive in loss-of-earnings benefits. (Full Story)

November 19, 2018 - Job vacancies in Yukon close to passing number of unemployed people - This fall has been the worst ever for finding employees, says the owner of the Independent grocery store in Whitehorse. Labour shortages in the service and other industries are not new in Yukon. The staff shortage facing employers is reflected in figures released by Statistics Canada. They show Yukon, at 5.1 per cent, had the highest job vacancy rate in the country in the second-quarter of this year. The agency says there were 890 vacant jobs in the territory. (Full Story)

CPP/QPP, WCB, EI and Related Payroll Rates for 2019

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced the updated rates for Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and Worker's Compensation (WCB), Pension Adjustments (PA) and other related items. They are briefly discussed below along with some basic year-end procedures for each item.

2019 Canada/Quebec Pension Plan

Employee and employer contributions to EI and CPP are based on all eligible earnings and commence January 1, 2019. For CPP and EI there are yearly maximum contribution amounts and once these are reached during the calendar year the contributions will cease. For those employees who earn more than $57,400.00 in a calendar year the maximum contributions amounts will be reached prior to the December pay period.

Contributions to CPP and EI will commence again January 1 of the following year. Contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (with few exceptions) commence the following month the person turns of 18 years of age. Contributions cease as of age 70 even though the person may continue employment. The 2019 Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) rates are as follows:

For 2019 Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Quebec Pension Plan (QPP)
Annual Maximum Pensionable Earnings $57,400.00 $57,400.00
Annual Basic Exemption $3,500.00 $3,500.00
Annual Maximum Contributory Earnings $53,900.00 $53,900.00
Employee/Employer Contribution Rate 5.1% 5.55%
Employee/Employer Maximum Contribution $2,748.90 $2,991.45
Self-Employed Maximum Contribution $5,497.80 $5,982.90

Some CPP-related items to consider when preparing your T4s and T4As:

  • Ensure that none of your employees have contributed more than the 2019 CPP maximum.
  • All taxable benefits must be included as employment income and the corresponding source deduction totals must be updated. The latter is especially important for individuals below the yearly pensionable (CPP) earnings. Remember that non-cash taxable benefits are not insurable, with the exception of board and lodging benefits provided in the same pay period that an employee receives cash earnings and an employer's contribution to an employee's registered retirement savings plan.
  • CPP/QPP pensionable earnings (Box 26) on the T4 slip must be completed only if the amount is different from the amount reported in Box 14. If the amounts are the same, you can leave the box blank.
  • You must prepare two T4 slips for employees who made contributions to both the CPP and QPP: one showing the QPP deducted and the applicable pensionable earnings and remuneration the employee earned in Quebec, and the other showing the CPP deducted and the applicable pensionable earnings and remuneration the employee earned in any other jurisdiction.
  • Ensure that you have not adjusted the CPP contribution amounts you reported on the T4 if you over-deducted employee contributions. The CRA will credit the employees with the over-contribution when they file their tax return.

Workers' Compensation Filing Deadlines/Assessable Earnings

Each Canadian province/territory has enacted workers' compensation legislation, which identifies the industries covered, employers' responsibilities for paying assessments and responding to workplace accidents, and the conditions under which an employee may claim workers' compensation benefits.

The following table outlines the different province/territory WCB filing deadlines and rates for 2019:

Province 2019 Max. Assessable Earnings Filing Deadline
Alberta $98,700 February 28
British Columbia $84,800 February 28 (Quarterly) or March 3-11 (according to account number).
Manitoba $127,000 February 28
New Brunswick $64,800 February 28
Newfoundland and Labrador $65,600 February 28
Northwest Territories $92,400 February 28
Nova Scotia $60,900 March 31
Nunavut $92,400 February 28
Ontario $92,600 March 31
Prince Edward Island $55,000 February 28
Québec $76,500 March 15
Saskatchewan $88,314 February 28
Yukon $89,145 February 28

When preparing your T4s and T4As, remember that top-up amounts paid to employees receiving WCB benefits are reported on the T4. The actual WCB benefits are not reported on the form. With the exception of Quebec, WCB benefits are reported by the provincial/territorial boards on form T5007, Statement of Benefits.

Pension Adjustments, RRSP and TFSA Limits

The CRA has also posted the limits for Money Purchase Pension Plans, Defined Benefit Pension Plans, DPSPs, RRSPs and TFSAs. The applicable rates for 2019 are as follows:

Pension Adjustment Limits 2019 Amount
Defined Contribution (Money Purchase) $27,230
Pensionable Earnings $151,278
Deferred Profit Sharing Plan Annual Contribution 1/2 the money purchase limit
Defined Benefit 1/9 the money purchase limit
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) Annual Contribution $26,500
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) Annual Contribution $6,000

Employment Insurance

Employment Insurance (EI) contributions are the second deduction following Canada or Quebec Pension Plan contributions. Both employers and employees must pay into EI. There are no age limits for EI premiums. Eligibility for benefits is based on the number of hours an individual works, with their earnings insured from the first dollar earned, up to an annual maximum. The maximum was set at $39,000 since 1997 and increased to $51,700 in 2018.

The following table outlines the new EI rates for 2019:

  Non-Quebec Employees Quebec Employees
Annual Maximum Insurable Earnings $53,100.00 $53,100.00
Employee Contribution Rate 1.62% 1.25%
Employer Contribution Rate 2.268% 1.75%
Annual Maximum Employee Contribution $860.22 $663.75
Annual Maximum Employer Contribution $1,204.31 $929.25

Some EI-related items to consider when preparing your T4s and T4As:

  • No employee has contributed more than the 2018 EI maximum.
  • Ensure that you have not adjusted the EI premium amounts you reported on the T4 if you over-deducted employee contributions. The CRA will credit the employees with the over-contribution when they file their tax return.

Software Updates

GrandMaster Suite (v14.00)

  • Year-End Release - The current release (v14.00) includes the 2019 CRA and Quebec Tax formula changes.
  • You can now print the date of birth (DOB) on the T4 summary report.
  • Adjusted the printing of the company name on Releve 1.

GrandMaster II (v14.00)

  • Year-End Release - The current release (v14.00) includes the 2019 CRA and Quebec Tax formula changes.

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Year-End Release - The current release includes the 2019 CRA and Quebec Tax formula changes.
  • Added 2019 tax parameters and formula changes.
  • Numerous new translations and multi-language support.
  • Refined the calculation for Quebec tax amount.
  • Added a new function expression entitled "earn % with max" This function is useful for calculating deductions to a maximum amount (e.g. for a pension contribution).
  • Fixed a JavaScript error that occurred when running the program in Accelerated Mode.
  • Improved the loading of the Print Report screen on slower computers.
  • Improved the load times for all program pages.
  • Added a confirmation to sort, filter and paging functions when there are unsaved changes on the page.

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