Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

May 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

May 2019 - Canada Summer Jobs 2019 - Did you know that Canada Summer Jobs 2019 hiring season is underway? Employment and Social Development Canada continues to help young Canadians get the skills and experience they need to start their careers. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada Summer Jobs program, creating meaningful, paid work experience for over 70,000 youth per year. Click Here to learn more about this valuable program.

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

May 12, 2019 - Why seniors often make great employees - Patrick Campbell and Mary Conway are instructors for Passport to Employment, a program on P.E.I. that helps Islanders find work later in life. They say many seniors are coming out of retirement to work out of necessity or just to keep busy. They said older workers are often surprised at how easily their skills can transfer to other jobs. Teachers, for example. And they say employers are recognizing the benefits of hiring older workers. Here are some reasons they say older people often make great employees. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - Canada's job numbers make history with biggest gain on record - Canada's economy posted record job gains in April that, along with a pick-up in wages, is the strongest signal yet the country is coming out of a six-month stint of weakness. Employment rose by 106,500 in April, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, the biggest one-month increase in data going back to 1976. That trounced the median economist forecast for a gain of 12,000 positions. The country's jobless rate dropped to 5.7 per cent, and is hovering near four-decade lows. (Full Story)

April 26, 2019 - Government releases Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention consultation report - All Canadians deserve a workplace that is free from harassment and violence. That is why the Government of Canada took action with Bill C-65, legislation to better protect federally regulated workplaces from unacceptable behaviours. The legislation received Royal Assent last October and will come into force in 2020. To ensure these regulations are robust and respond to the needs of the diverse workplaces where they will apply, the Government asked Canadians and stakeholders for their feedback on the proposed regulations. (Full Story)

April 24, 2019 - Over 85,000 jobs are available for youth in Canada - It's the hiring season for Canada Summer Jobs where youth from across Canada will be able to apply for jobs and gain skills and experience. Over 85,000 jobs are available for youth in Canada on The Government has doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada Summer Jobs program since 2015, creating meaningful, paid work experience for over 70,000 youth per year. All the jobs will be posted until July 12. (Full Story)

April 23, 2019 - Employment insurance recipients on the rise: StatsCan - The number of people who received regular employment insurance benefits increased by 4,400 in February, a rise of one per cent since January, according to new data from Statistics Canada. Most of the increase was observed among those employed in manufacturing and utilities, which rose 4.7 per cent, while there was a smaller increase of 1.6 per cent in trades, transport and equipment operator occupations and education, law and social, community and government services. Art, culture, recreation and sport decreased 1.6 per cent. (Full Story)

April 11, 2019 - Canadian Payroll Association Applauds Ontario Government's Commitment to Reduce Red Tape - The Canadian Payroll Association commends the Ontario Government for its commitment to working with the Canadian Payroll Association, as identified in today's provincial Budget, and other employer groups to reduce red tape for Ontario businesses and Government through the establishment of the Ontario Payroll Burden Reduction Advisory Council. The first objective of this initiative is to bring Ontario more in line with other provinces, as it currently has the most onerous payroll compliance regulatory framework in Canada, outside of Quebec. Currently, Ontario has more payroll-specific regulatory requirements than British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba combined. (Full Story)

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

May 11, 2019 - 34,000 Albertans jobless for six months or longer - Roughly 34,000 Albertans - more than the population of Okotoks - have been jobless for six months or longer, according to Statistics Canada. This long wait for work emerged as a significant source of financial and economic hardship for scores of Albertans after the 2014 oil price collapse triggered a recession. This trend hit a peak in April 2017, when nearly 68,000 Albertans were jobless for six months or more. But in the years following the recession, these numbers haven't fallen back to what economists consider normal levels. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - Alberta added 21,000 jobs in April... maybe - Alberta joined three other provinces in posting big employment gains in April, according to Statistics Canada, but an economist says the figures should be viewed with caution. If the figure of 21,000 new jobs in Alberta is taken at face value, it still doesn't make up for reductions seen over the past few months, including "significant losses" in December and January. The unemployment rate in the province now sits at 6.7 per cent. It was 6.9 per cent in March. (Full Story)

May 8, 2019 - Rise in minimum wage helps ease labour shortage in Banff and Canmore, says hiring organizer - Alberta's new $15 minimum wage may be helping to ease long-standing labour shortages in the Bow Valley, says the organizer of annual hiring fairs in Banff and Canmore. While there are an estimated 400 jobs on offer this week at the two events - which aim to help hotels, restaurants and retail businesses in the popular tourist towns find the employees they need - Michel Dufresne of the Job Resource Centre said the labour shortage in the area is not as dire as it has been in past years. (Full Story)

April 25, 2019 - Alberta's COR program about to change - Last year brought a slew of changes to Alberta's occupational health and safety legislation and, as a result, obtaining the current Certificate of Recognition (COR) is not quite as impressive as it once was. The provincial government has identified a need to modernize the COR program, according to Jody Young, assistant deputy minister, Safe, Fair and Healthy Workplaces, Government of Alberta. (Full Story)

April 3, 2019 - Alberta workers pay four times what Ontario workers pay to CPP: study - Albertan workers disproportionately contribute to the Canada Pension Plan, a new study released Wednesday suggests. From 2008 to 2017, Albertans paid $27.9 billion more to CPP than the province's retirees received in payments over the past decade, according to the study by the Fraser Institute. In 2017 only, Alberta workers made 16.5 per cent of all contributions to the CPP, but pensioners received 10.8 per cent of CPP payments. The province's net contribution that year was $2.9 billion. (Full Story)

May 13, 2019 - Proposed policy amendments regarding vocational rehabilitation and proposed options regarding cost relief - In January 2018, WorkSafeBC's Board of Directors commissioned an external compensation policy review. The resulting report entitled Restoring the Balance: A Worker-Centred Approach to Workers' Compensation Policy was published April 2018 and contains a number of recommendations. Recommendations #5 through #15 propose amendments to WorkSafeBC's Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) policies, and recommendations #16 and #19 propose amendments to cost relief policy in relation to VR and return to work. (Full Story)

April 30, 2019 - Restoring fairness and stability to British Columbia's worksites - Greater protections for workers, job security, labour rights and stability for employers are the focus of amendments to the Labour Relations Code. The changes to the Labour Relations Code support the recommendations put forward by an independent review panel after a thorough public consultation and engagement process last year with labour organizations, businesses, industry, individual people and legal professionals. To ensure the Labour Relations Code continues to meet the needs of workers and employers, an independent review of the code will now be required at least every five years. (Full Story)

April 29, 2019 - Changes to employment standards will better protect children, support workers - New legislation to bolster British Columbia's employment standards will better protect children and youth from dangerous work, and deliver improved support for workers whose rights have been violated. These improvements directly address the priority problems identified from changes made in 2003, when protections for workers with legitimate complaints were weakened and children as young as 12 were put at risk of serious workplace injuries. The amendments will build on updates to the Employment Standards Act last spring that provided new, extended and more flexible maternity, parental and compassionate care leaves. (Full Story)

April 16, 2019 - Eliminating barriers for emergency dispatchers, nurses, care aides - Emergency dispatchers, nurses and publicly funded health-care assistants will have easier access to workers' compensation for mental-health disorders that come from work-related trauma. Regulatory changes that take effect on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, make this possible. Last spring, government amended the Workers Compensation Act to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health disorders to the list of illnesses that are recognized as being associated with certain professions - specifically police, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs and correctional officers. (Full Story)

April 15, 2019 - Survivors of violence and abuse to get skills training, employment support - New skills training and employment programs throughout B.C. will soon be available for survivors of violence and abuse. Funding of up to $5 million annually will provide skills training and employment supports to about 450 people in British Columbia. Final agreements for the expanded programming will be signed with service providers in June 2019 for programming throughout B.C. to start July 1, based on a call for responses issued in January 2019. (Full Story)

April 15, 2019 - Fair Wages Commission seeks input on living wage - To better understand the needs of working people, British Columbians are invited to share their views on ways to close the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage, from April 11 to May 31, 2019. A living wage is defined as the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. A living wage is generally higher than a minimum wage because it considers what earners in a family need to bring home based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. The minimum wage is the legislated minimum set by the provincial government. (Full Story)

April 11, 2019 - Eliminating barriers to supports for firefighters - Legislative amendments will allow wildfire fighters, fire investigators and firefighters working for First Nations and other Indigenous organizations to gain easier access to workers' compensation and support services. Presumptive illnesses under the Workers Compensation Act are conditions that are recognized as being caused by the nature of the work, rather than having to be proven to be job related to access supports and benefits under the workers' compensation system. (Full Story)

April 3, 2019 - B.C.'s workers' compensation system under review - To increase the confidence of workers and employers, the British Columbia government will undertake a formal review of its workers' compensation system with the appointment of retired labour lawyer Janet Patterson. There will be a public engagement process to ensure that Patterson's review is informed by feedback from employers, labour organizations and injured workers. The review will consider any steps that may be required to increase the confidence of workers and employers in the system, and whether there are any other improvements that could be made. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - Province Announces Summer Youth Job Opportunities - The Manitoba government is offering summer employment opportunities for students and youth, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today. Manitoba Youth Job Centres (MYJC) are located in 43 rural and northern communities. The centres match Manitobans age 12 to 29 with local employers for summer jobs and offer assistance with job searches, employment referrals, resumes and interviews, as well as other employment-related resources and events.  Each summer, they serve 8,000 to 11,000 youth and students. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - Unemployment Rate Increases - The unemployment rate in our province increased two-tenths of a point last month, to 5.2 per cent. Statistics Canada reports 400 fewer people were working in Manitoba in April. At that same time, an additional 500 people were looking for work. Across Canada, the economy added a record 106, 500 jobs in April and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.7 per cent compared with a 5.8 per cent in March. (Full Story)

May 3, 2019 - WCB Distributes $74 Million in Surplus Thanks to Better Than Anticipated Injury Prevention & Return to Work Results - Better than expected results in injury prevention, return to work and financial investments have allowed the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) to distribute surplus funds to employers, whose premiums fund the workers compensation system. The WCB has reduced the average rate for four consecutive years from $1.50 in 2014 to $0.95 in 2018. In percentage points, there has been a 37% reduction in rates since 2014. The Manitoba WCB is now in a position to distribute surplus funds back to employers while still maintaining the lowest average assessment rate in Canada. (Full Story)

March 28, 2019 - Manitoba To Increase Minimum Wage on Oct. 1 - Manitoba's minimum wage will increase by 30 cents on Oct. 1, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today. Pedersen noted the increase of 30 cents per hour will raise the current minimum wage to $11.65 from $11.35 and ensure that Manitoba remains competitive with other provinces.  This adjustment is based on Manitoba's 2018 inflation rate of 2.5 per cent and rounding up to the nearest five cents. (Full Story)

March 11, 2019 - Province Introduces Workplace Safety And Health Amendment Act - The Manitoba government has introduced proposed legislation that would reduce red tape, strengthen penalties for serious workplace infractions and improve the efficiency of services by modernizing The Workplace Safety and Health Act, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today. Pedersen noted raising the maximum fines would better align Manitoba's penalties for workplace infractions with those in other jurisdictions including the Western provinces. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - New Brunswick loses 3,900 jobs in April, labour force report shows - New Brunswick's economy lost 3,900 jobs in April, going against a brighter picture of the labour market in the country as a whole, according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force survey. The province lost 6,400 full-time jobs but added 2,500 part-time jobs last month. The labour force report, which was released Friday morning, showed the unemployment rate was at eight per cent, up 0.1 per cent from this time last year. The rate in March was 7.9 per cent. (Full Story)

May 8, 2019 - Legislative amendments introduced to address task force recommendations - The provincial government today introduced legislative amendments that address the remaining legislative recommendations from the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB. The proposed amendments fall within the areas of occupational health, benefits and governance. In December 2018, the Act Respecting Addressing Recommendations in the Report of the Task Force on WorkSafeNB implemented a number of legislative amendments and addressed the recommendations concerning the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal, benefits, and the three-day waiting period. (Full Story)

April 5, 2019 - Details released on $16-million wage increase for home support workers - Wage increases, effective May 1, are intended to improve recruitment and retention of workers who support some of the province's most vulnerable residents. These wage increases will apply to home support workers, family support workers and attendant care workers, all of whom provide the care needed to help clients live at home, independently, for as long as possible. Increased wages for staff at special care homes and youth group homes will help to ensure that those unable to live in their own homes will receive the care they need in a suitable environment. (Full Story)

April 1, 2019 - Minimum wage increased - New Brunswickers are reminded that the minimum wage increased to $11.50 per hour. The minimum wage rate is indexed to the province's consumer price index, rounded to the nearest five cents. Other jurisdictions, such as Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon, also link minimum wage to the consumer price index. The New Brunswick consumer price index grew by 2.13 per cent in 2018. The provincial government and the governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have agreed to harmonize the date of effect of any minimum wage increase to April 1. (Full Story)

March 28, 2019 - Legislation protecting workers from harassment and violence becomes effective April 1 - All New Brunswickers deserve a workplace that is free of harassment and violence and where unacceptable behaviour is not tolerated. Legislation intended to protect workers from violence and harassment becomes effective April 1. The regulatory changes define harassment and violence as workplace hazards that affect health and safety. Sexual violence and harassment, domestic violence and intimate partner violence are also included. (Full Story)

May 12, 2019 - Living wage of $18.85 an hour needed for 'decent quality of life' in St. John's, study finds - A new study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the living wage required to meet basic household needs in St. John's is more than seven dollars an hour greater than the province's minimum wage. The study is also meant to ask employers to examine what they can do to better support workers. There is evidence from across the country that shows employers who have begun paying workers a living wage see less turnover and reduced costs for training and hiring. (Full Story)

May 8, 2019 - Newfoundland harvesters seek extended employment insurance to deal with ice - The group representing harvesters in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, says it's been waiting for weeks for an answer from the Canadian government in response to its request for extended unemployment benefits to help with severe ice conditions. The Fish, Food & Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) said it first submitted a formal request for employment insurance benefit extensions to Jean-Yves Duclos, the province's minister of families, children and social development, on April 18. (Full Story)

April 9, 2019 - Provincial Government Now Accepting Applications for Expanded Student Mentorship Program - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, is inviting applications from employers for the Student Mentorship Program. The employer-driven program supports summer career development opportunities in the agriculture, aquaculture, technology, forestry, mining, community, and oil and gas sectors. The Provincial Government made these sectors a focus for development as part of The Way Forward, which included commitments to help residents explore careers in these fields. (Full Story)

April 1, 2019 - Small hike in minimum wage means little to workers in poverty, union head says - Newfoundland and Labrador's minimum wage may have gone up, but it doesn't mean people making it will have more money to spend. Effective Monday, the wage is up a quarter to $11.40 per hour, and the minimum wage for overtime work is up to $17.10. But the increase is meant to match fluctuations in Canada's consumer price index, and Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour president Mary Shortall says workers will have the same spending power they did two years ago. (Full Story)

March 11, 2019 - Provincial Government Enhances JobsNL Wage Subsidy Program - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced significant enhancements to the JobsNL Wage Subsidy Program that increase flexibility for employers and expand accessibility for workers. Employers will now be able to choose between two wage subsidy options, both of which extend the subsidy period and increase the level of subsidy over current funding levels. (Full Story)

May 2, 2019 - N.W.T. and Nunavut have highest 5-year-average injury fatality rate in Canada - The rate of deaths in the workplace in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut over the past five years is the highest in the country, according to a new study from the University of Regina. The report focused on workplace fatality and injury rates throughout Canada. It shows that the two territories have a combined five-year average injury-related fatality rate of 7.7 per 100,000 people. The working population of the two territories combined is 40,000 people, but 22 people died on the job between 2012-2017, according to data from the Association Of Workers Compensation Boards Of Canada. (Full Story)

April 17, 2019 - Government of Canada supports economic diversification and job creation in NWT - Economic diversification and job creation are key to ensuring a strong and resilient economy in the North. This is why the Government of Canada is investing $2.7M in nine economic development projects in the Northwest Territories (NWT). This announcement was made today by Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor. (Full Story)

May 9, 2019 - Nova Scotia companies need more immigrant workers, lobster plant CAO says - With an aging population and a lack of workers in rural Nova Scotia, immigrants seem to be the only solution to the labour shortage crisis, says Frank Anderson. The median age of the population in Nova Scotia is increasing and the baby boomers are all going to retirement. For many employers, immigration is the answer. They attended the Atlantic Immigration Summit Wednesday in Halifax. Almost 300 people representing corporations, non-government organizations, government agencies and immigrants, sat around tables to exchange ideas and experiences. (Full Story)

May 7, 2019 - Lawyer: Work program for poor teens a Band-Aid solution for decreasing social assistance rates in Nova Scotia - A provincial work skills program targeting teenagers in poverty is a Band-Aid solution as long as income assistance rates remain dismally low in Nova Scotia, says a Halifax-based poverty lawyer. Brandon Grant, executive director of Employment Support and Income Assistance for the Department of Community Services, touted the program as a tool to break the cycle of poverty and part of the department's goal “to build a suite of programs for young people to ensure they have the same training and education opportunities as everyone else in this province does.” (Full Story)

April 24, 2019 - Grant jobs are back in Cape Breton - The federal government's 2019 Canada Summer Jobs program will provide employment opportunities for 600 local young people. The number of summer grant jobs breaks down equally to 300 in each of the island's two federal ridings. The jobs are open to people between the ages of 15 and 30. There is no criteria that they have to be students. Ottawa says this year's program is expected to make about 85,000 jobs available across Canada. Nova Scotia's share is 3,323 jobs. (Full Story)

April 23, 2019 - Canada Summer Jobs 2019 Hiring Season Kicks Off - Helping young Canadians get the skills and experience they need to start their careers is part of the Government's plan to build a strong, resilient workforce and grow the middle class. That is why the Government of Canada has doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada Summer Jobs program since 2015, creating meaningful, paid work experience for over 70,000 youth per year. (Full Story)

April 17, 2019 - Workplace deaths on the rise in Nova Scotia - The number of Nova Scotians killed on the job in 2018 almost tripled the previous year's total. Fourteen people died from acute traumatic injuries on the job last year, shows data released by Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. Five people died from acute traumatic injuries in 2017. Of the 14 acute fatalities, six drowned or were lost at sea from the fishing industry and three were in the construction industry. (Full Story)

March 15, 2019 - Prompt Payments for Construction Industry - Legislation introduced today, March 15, will ensure Nova Scotia's construction businesses and workers get paid on time for the work they do. Proposed amendments to the Builders' Lien Act will establish prompt payment rules so that contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry are paid for their services based on clear timelines set out in regulation. The legislation will provide the authority for establishing an adjudication process to resolve disputes faster when timelines are not met. (Full Story)

March 12, 2019 - Amendments to Act Bring Flexibility to Managing Pension Plans - Government introduced changes to the Pension Benefits Act today, March 12, to support greater flexibility in managing defined-benefit plans and remove barriers for employers so they can continue to offer them. About 92,000 Nova Scotians belong to defined-benefit pension plans registered under the Nova Scotia Pension Benefits Act, with about 132 defined-benefit plans registered under the act. (Full Story)

March 8, 2019 - Statistics Canada Shows Nova Scotia Employment Growing While Unemployment Declines - Employment in Nova Scotia reached a new high of 466,500 this February, continuing eight consecutive months of growth, according to Statistics Canada. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 6.4 per cent, its lowest recorded level since modern labour force surveys began in 1976. Year over year, employment is up 10,800 compared to February 2018 while the labour force grew by 3,900. Since February of 2018, the unemployment rate has fallen 1.5 percentage points. (Full Story)

May 8, 2019 - Payroll tax registration - The Department of Finance reminds employers to register with Nunavut Payroll Tax within 21 days of an employee's first paycheck. The payroll tax rate is two per cent of taxable wages per employee working in Nunavut. It is the employers' responsibility to deduct the taxes and make payments to the Government of Nunavut. Employers should also update their contact information and make payments on time to avoid penalties. (Full Story)

May 2, 2019 - N.W.T. and Nunavut have highest 5-year-average injury fatality rate in Canada - The rate of deaths in the workplace in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut over the past five years is the highest in the country, according to a new study from the University of Regina. The report focused on workplace fatality and injury rates throughout Canada. It shows that the two territories have a combined five-year average injury-related fatality rate of 7.7 per 100,000 people. The working population of the two territories combined is 40,000 people, but 22 people died on the job between 2012-2017, according to data from the Association Of Workers Compensation Boards Of Canada. (Full Story)

April 9, 2019 - As Nunavut turns 20, where is it on Inuit hiring goals? - Almost 26 years after the Nunavut Agreement was signed, Inuit are still underrepresented in Nunavut's government workforces. Article 23 of the land claims agreement was meant to ensure all three levels of government in Nunavut - federal, territorial and municipal  - have a workforce reflective of the population of Inuit in Nunavut. As of the 2016 census, Inuit represent 85 per cent of the population. Today, the Government of Canada, and the Nunavut government's workforces aren't even close to that mark. (Full Story)

April 1, 2019 - New report gives thumbs up to Indigenous employment in Nunavut mines - A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says employers looking to hire and keep northern Indigenous employees could learn from a Canadian gold mining company, Agnico Eagle Mines. When it comes to Indigenous employment in mining, Nunavut is the front runner. Ninety-seven per cent of Nunavut residents who work in the industry in the territory are Indigenous. In the Northwest Territories, it's 52 per cent. (Full Story)

March 29, 2019 - Mining companies seek more Inuit employees - In the Kitikmeot, TMAC Resources has a 600-person workforce at its gold mine that comprises only 10-15 per cent Inuit, well below the target. At Sabina Gold and Silver, Inuit employees make up just 13-18 per cent of the workers at the Back River gold project. The territorial government needs to play more of a role, according to Paul Emingak, executive director of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KitIA). (Full Story)

May 13 2019 - Ontario workers face less protection from injury - At least three four companies were fined in 2019 for violations related to missing guards or protective devices in industrial machinery. The Ministry of Labour only announces these infractions when the fines are large enough to warrant a public notice. Aidan MacDonald, community legal worker at the Injured Workers' Community Legal Clinic in Toronto, says that things are going to get worse for Ontario's workers, due to decisions by Doug Ford's government to cut funding to workers' health and safety programs. The Progressive Conservative government is cutting the number of proactive inspections and safety inspectors, says MacDonald. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - Ontario Employment Grew by 47,100 in April - The Ontario government is creating good jobs throughout the province by opening Ontario for business, reducing the deficit and cutting red tape. Statistics Canada announced this morning that employment in Ontario increased by 47,100 in April. The gains included 10,100 full-time positions and 37,000 part-time jobs. With its open for jobs agenda, the government has made job growth a top priority. In the 2019 Ontario Budget, released last month, the government introduced a comprehensive and sustainable plan that sets out a five-year path to a balanced budget and to bring investment to the province. (Full Story)

May 6, 2019 - A look at Ontario's employment law changes - If you are from Ontario, you have probably heard about the significant changes to employment laws in the past couple of years. In November 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) was passed into law with dramatic amendments to employment laws, including those relating to personal emergency leave, sick days and bereavement. However, the next year, Premier Doug Ford announced: “We're getting rid of Bill 148. We're going to make sure we're competitive around the world.” What did these words mean? (Full Story)

April 19, 2019 - Ontario provides new details of proposed nominee program changes - Ontario has released new details of proposed changes to a number of key Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program streams. The changes touch on existing Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) streams and do not detail the new stream for foreign tech workers or the new smaller communities pilot announced in the province's 2019 budget last week. (Full Story)

April 18, 2019 - This Ontario city has Canada's lowest unemployment rate - The unemployment rate in Guelph, Ontario, was the lowest in Canada once again last month, maintaining a trend that's attracting an increasing number of immigrants to the so-called “Royal City.” Located 100 kilometres west of Toronto, the city of nearly 132,000 people had an unemployment rate of just 2.2 per cent last month - the lowest in Canada, according to a monthly labour market report card compiled by BMO Capital Markets. The average unemployment rate for the 33 Canadian cities listed was 5.3 per cent. (Full Story)

April 16, 2019 - Ontario Making the Automotive Sector Open for Business and Open for Jobs - Ontario's government is providing real relief to job creators and making Ontario open for business with the introduction of the 2019 Budget, Protecting What Matters Most. Today, Premier Doug Ford joined Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Growth, Job Creation and Trade, at Veoneer Canada Inc. to congratulate them on forecasting the creation of 300 new jobs and to reinforce the government's commitment to help businesses invest and grow in Ontario. (Full Story)

April 15, 2019 - Workers' rights advocate calls for overhaul of WSIB - An advocate for workers' rights is calling on the province to establish an independent body to adjudicate fair and efficient evaluations on claims associated with work-related illness. Janice Martell of Sudbury believes the current compensation system, which is overseen by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), is ineffective and should be entirely overhauled. (Full Story)

April 2, 2019 - Ontario Passes Legislation to Cut Red Tape and Create Jobs - Ontario's government is putting people first by taking another major step towards cutting red tape and reducing the regulatory burden facing job creators by passing the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act today. The Act will reduce regulatory burdens in 12 sectors, helping job creators thrive, create and keep good jobs. The Act will reduce the high cost of doing business in the province. This will make Ontario companies more competitive and attract new investments - growing jobs and the economy. (Full Story)

May 14, 2019 - Revised WCB Policies - The Worker Compensation Board of PEI has released several amended policies on their website. The policy, Hernia (POL-31), has been rescinded as a separate policy for this type of injury is no longer required. The following WCB policies have been amended: Return to Work (POL-93); Review of Benefits (POL-85); Clothing Allowance (POL-44). The changes are noted in the History section at the end of each policy. The WCB thanks all stakeholders for their feedback in the policy consultation process. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - P.E.I. job numbers at all-time high - The P.E.I. economy created 800 more jobs in April, pushing the total number of jobs on the Island to an all-time high. There were 77,800 jobs on P.E.I. in April. The 77,000 in March had beaten the previous record of 76,800 set in October. At 8.6 per cent the unemployment rate was below 10 per cent for the second month in a row. The rate rose to 10.3 per cent in February following a record nine-month stretch in single digits. (Full Story)

April 29, 2019 - Report studies students in the workplace - Student organizations across Canada have released a joint publication on student employability titled “Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on Preparing Students for the Workforce”. This publication features student perspectives on several issues in post-secondary education, including employability, skills development and experiential learning opportunities. (Full Story)

March 11, 2019 - Island employers invited to support new internship program - Government is looking for Island businesses and non-profit organizations to help recent graduates gain work experience with an internship to improve their digital skills and prepare for current and future job opportunities. The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are partnering to offer the new Digital Skills for Youth Program (DS4Y PEI), through which 20 internships will be initially funded to provide recent post-secondary graduates with meaningful work experience to help them transition to career-oriented employment. (Full Story)

May 13, 2019 - Paid Job Leave For Survivors Of Interpersonal Violence - Today paid job leave for survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence was introduced and passed in the Saskatchewan Legislature. Employees will be able to take five paid days and five unpaid days under Bill No. 172, The Saskatchewan Employment (Paid Interpersonal Violence and Sexual Violence Leave) Amendment Act, 2019.  Previously, employees could take a 10-day, unpaid leave. (Full Story)

May 13, 2019 - Continued Investment in Career Training For People With Disabilities - Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its continued commitment to career training by investing $491,000 for the Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres (SARC) to administer the Supported Employment Transition Initiative (SETI). SETI provides community-based organizations across the province with funding to develop programs to help people with disabilities find employment.  This funding for SARC will help up to 175 individuals with disabilities through 12 to 15 innovative projects over the next year. (Full Story)

May 13, 2019 - Sask's Unemployment Declines, Southwest Area Increases - For the ninth straight month, Saskatchewan saw a year-over-year increase in employment. From April 2018 to April of this year, employment increased by 14,200 people. The unemployment rate was 5.7 percent last month, down from 6.5 percent in April 2018. That rate was the fourth lowest in the country below the national average of 6.1 percent. There were 1,600 more jobs from March 2019, the fifth highest percentage gain among provinces. Saskatchewan had record high levels for the labour force, employment, full-time employment, and male and female employment for the month of April. (Full Story)

May 10, 2019 - 18,000 New Full-Time Jobs - Saskatchewan's year-over-year employment increased by 14,200 jobs from April 2018, marking the ninth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province. The job gains were primarily full-time employment, with full-time jobs increasing by 18,000.  Jobs in the private sector were up 12,100.  Major year-over-year gains were reported for agriculture, up 4,100 jobs; accommodation and food services up 2,500 jobs; educational services up 2,500 jobs; and health care and social assistance up 2,500 jobs. (Full Story)

May 8, 2019 - 3,800 Nurses Added to Saskatchewan's Nursing Workforce Since 2007 - Saskatchewan continues to see an increasing number of nurses providing care to residents across the province.  Since 2007, 3,800 nurses have joined the province's nursing workforce, a 30 per cent increase.  In total, almost 16,500 nurses of all designations are now practicing in Saskatchewan. According to the latest available data, 11,533 registered nurses, 267 nurse practitioners, 3,820 licensed practical nurses and 835 registered psychiatric nurses are practicing in Saskatchewan. (Full Story)

April 18, 2019 - WCB coverage being expanded for Saskatchewan volunteer firefighters - Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) benefits are being expanded for volunteer firefighters in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan government said Thursday 6,500 volunteer firefighters will have access to the same presumptive coverage as their professional counterparts. Legislation to expand presumptive coverage for professional firefighters was introduced this past December. (Full Story)

April 17, 2019 - Saskatchewan WCB continues to be fully funded to cover future claims - The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) is continuing to be fully funded at 115.2 per cent, meaning they'll be able to cover future costs of all claims in the system. Their 2018 report was laid out in the provincial legislature on Tuesday. Per 100 workers, 5.44 were injured in the workplace in 2018 compared to 5.25 in 2017. That's 22,371 injured workers in the province last year. (Full Story)

April 1, 2019 - Sask. drops to lowest minimum wage in Canada, workers call for increase - Saskatchewan now has the lowest minimum wage in Canada at $11.06 an hour and in mock celebration of that statistic, people in Regina and Saskatoon gathered to push the province to institute a $15 per hour minimum wage. This comes after Nova Scotia on Monday increased its minimum wage to $11.55 per hour, leaving Saskatchewan in last place. (Full Story)

May 13, 2019 - Government of Yukon improves job leave provisions for parents and caregivers - On May 8, the Government of Yukon proclaimed Bill 31 to amend the Employment Standards Act and protect jobs for Yukon employees who access new and amended parental leave and leave provisions for family caregiving purposes. The new legislation aligns the territory's leave provisions with federal Employment Insurance programs so that Yukon employees can access the federal benefits while having job protection. (Full Story)

April 22, 2019 - Non-worker injuries may result in OHS fines - All jurisdictions in Canada have some version of a general duty clause in their health and safety legislation that requires the employer to take all reasonable precautions for the protection of workers. Several provinces and territories address the protection of non-workers in both general and specific employer duty clauses. Alberta's general duty clause requires employers to not only ensure the health and safety of workers but also “other persons at or in the vicinity of the work site who may be affected by hazards originating from the work site.” Similarly, in Nova Scotia, employers must “take every precaution that is reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace.” (Full Story)

April 17, 2019 - Changes to workers rules coming - The Yukon government is hoping to revamp rules around the territory's workers' compensation system and occupational health and safety system, with the goal of having the changes tabled for the fall of 2020. That's after engagement is expected to begin in the fall, the details of which are being finalized. Jeanie Dendys, the minister responsible for Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board, announced the review in the legislature Tuesday. It will include improvements to two acts: the Workers' Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (Full Story)

March 8, 2019 - Yukon's minimum wage to rise to $12.71 on April 1 - Yukoners making minimum wage will be seeing larger pay cheques beginning April 1, when the amount they make an hour will increase from $11.51 to $12.71. The Yukon government made the announcement in a press release March 6. The increase stems from an order made by the territory's Employment Standards Board, now approved by the government, to increase minimum wage by 90 cents plus the 2018 Whitehorse consumer price index - a figure calculated based on the costs of certain goods and services - of 2.4 per cent. (Full Story)

Deal with business of tomorrow today

Having a comprehensive succession plan is the smart play -- sooner or later, you will need it

Being a manager is a very busy job: hiring and orienting new employees, coaching, mentoring and supervising as well as thinking, planning and monitoring work projects. However, when was the last time you looked around the workplace and gave some thought to what you would do if one of your workers resigned and/or retired?

To be honest, most managers don't spend much time thinking about this issue until one day, "boom"; there's an unexpected notice of resignation and/or retirement. And before you know it, there's a scramble to figure out what to do to fill the hole.

Unfortunately, this type of situation puts a lot of strain on an organization, especially because there is likely no one skilled enough and ready to take on the role. Not only that, conducting an executive search to find a suitable candidate is very time-consuming, often taking three to four months before a successor is in place.

What we are talking about here is called "succession planning"; Essentially, this is a human-resource process where individuals are identified ahead of time as potential replacements for a job role and then groomed for the role through a strong professional development plan. Additionally, succession planning needs to consider all the jobs in an organization and not just the senior executive levels. As well, succession planning is a process that should be ongoing and not simply a task undertaken once every few years.

Succession planning has a number of spinoff benefits. First of all, the process enables an organization to see the big picture of all its jobs and personnel. It enables management to learn and refresh knowledge of just what skills are required to do the various jobs.

It allows managers to determine similarities between jobs so that employees can be cross-trained and/or transferred to a similar job in another department. It also provides an opportunity to assess employee skill sets and determine how they can be developed with targeted training opportunities.

Succession planning makes good business sense. That's because it is a risk-management strategy that serves to protect an organization from vulnerabilities such as losing a key staff person without anyone to promote from within. It helps retain good staff because they not only see opportunity for advancement and/or other work alternatives but they also appreciate the many learning opportunities provided to them. In other words, succession planning is considered a key part of a total rewards and talent-management strategy. In summary, succession planning is all about having the right people in the right jobs at the right time, so that there is continuity within the organization.

So, just how is succession planning carried out? The following steps will guide you:

  • Make a commitment: Undertaking succession planning corporate-wide requires a commitment from senior executives. Managers at all levels will undertake planning in their own departments by examining the level of risk that would result if there was a loss of key staff. As part of this review, they will develop scenarios for the effect of a sudden employee death, disability, resignation and/or retirement.
  • Assess the jobs: Invite employees to complete a comprehensive job-analysis questionnaire that enables them to clearly outline what their key tasks are, how these are accomplished and how much time is spent on each task. Other features of the assessment provide information on education, experience and communication requirements in addition to work-environment elements.
  • Assess future work: Review the assessment tool and job analysis and determine what changes to the job may occur in the future. Will the job be changed due to technology advancement? Will different skills be required? Create a current and future competency model for each job category. Determine the timing for any changes going forward, and identify what employee talent will be required.
  • Assess incumbents: While this is usually completed through the annual performance-review process, management can also now assess the employee against future needs. Take note of high-performing individuals who possess high degrees of ability and willingness to learn and grow and who will be able to make a difference in your organization. Determine the nature of training and grooming required to build up their skills. Develop a number of job possibilities for your high performers.
  • Assess future potential: All of the data gathering up to this point will tell you which employees are prepared for advancement and what skills they currently possess. It will also tell you how well these skills match your future work requirements. Take time to develop a succession-planning map that outlines at least three individuals who have the potential to do each job. Note whether each individual is ready immediately, in the near term or within three to five years.
  • Provide development: Create an individual development plan for increasing each employee's skill level. This could include formal education and development within their current job, assigning higher-level, special projects and/or transferring to a new department where they will learn new skills. In addition, consider assigning an executive coach and internal mentors to support the new learning initiatives.

Succession planning is all about leveraging your internal talent pool, and should be seen as a continuous process rather than a one-time event. However, just as performance management is often poorly done, so too is succession planning. Managers often believe they don't have time while senior executives often fail to make succession planning a priority. Still others see succession planning as just another excuse for a meeting.

This attitude and lack of support is a mistake. That's because succession planning ensures the continuity of your talent pool. It's a recruitment and retention tool that encourages employees to see a future for themselves and prevents them from jumping ship. Succession planning helps to preserve your institutional memory while protecting the organization's ability to successfully manage change. Finally, to repeat an earlier statement, it's all about having the right people in the right jobs at the right time — throughout the organization at all times.

My final advice? Start now, before succession issues become a crisis.

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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