Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

October 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

October 2019 - Over-deducting EI or CPP Premiums - As an employer, if you over-deduct EI or CPP contributions from your employees, you should not adjust the amounts that are reported on the T4. Rather, the CRA will credit each employee for their over-contribution when they file their personal tax return. Employers can then use the PD24 form (available from the CRA website) to apply for a refund for the employer overpayment. Click Here to learn more.

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

Canadian Federal Payroll and HR News

October 1, 2019 - NDP would allow new parents to receive full EI benefit over shortened leave, Singh says - NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says a New Democrat government would allow new parents to condense their employment-insurance benefits so they can take shorter parental leaves while still receiving the full benefit. Allowing new parents to condense their parental leaves would give breathing room to families who would struggle to live on 33 per cent of their salaries for a full 18-month leave period, he said. (Full Story)

September 26, 2019 - The cost of a strong Canada Pension Plan is that the survivor's benefit is pretty bad - With one exception, complaints about the Canada Pension Plan as a source of retirement income can be explained away fairly easily. The CPP is reliable, inflation-protected income paid as long as you live. It's not enough to retire on, but it can be considered as a major piece of anyone's retirement income flow. Where the CPP falls down hard is its survivor's pension. (Full Story)

September 25, 2019 - Can employers help ease workers' financial stress? - When stress over personal finance is mounting, Canadians tend to lose focus in the workplace, data from the Canadian Payroll Association suggest. One in four workers surveyed said concerns about personal finance affected their performance at work: 70% reported spending half an hour of their shift thinking about money problems, the annual study revealed. (Full Story)

September 13, 2019 - Canada Employment Insurance Commission announces 2020 Employment Insurance Premium Rate and Maximum Insurable Earnings - The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) today announced that the 2020 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate will be $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings - a decrease of 4 cents for employees compared to the 2019 rate, and a decrease of 6 cents to $2.21 for employers who pay 1.4 times the employee rate. The CEIC also announced that the Maximum Insurable Earnings (MIE) for 2020 will increase to $54,200 from $53,100 in 2019. (Full Story)

September 10, 2019 - Giving young Canadians the skills and experience they need to launch meaningful careers - Funding has been announced under the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) to Roots to Harvest. Roots to Harvest will receive more than $610,000, from 2019-2021, for their innovative project called Youth and Sustainable Livelihoods Employment Strategy. This project will help 73 youth get the skills they need to overcome employment barriers and enter the workforce by offering targeted entrepreneurship experience. Activities include training in agricultural skills and basic food-industry knowledge as well as connections to local community partners and services. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - Labour shortage has Atlantic Canadian employers sweetening job offers - Facing a deepening labour shortage, companies in Atlantic Canada are ratcheting up efforts to recruit workers from machinists to salespeople, with some employers even offering on-the-job training or moving bonuses. Steady employment growth and a rise in job vacancies across much of the region have led to mounting labour pressures. The tight labour market is underscored by new figures from Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

September 2, 2019 - CFIB calls for changes to payroll taxes for businesses - Payroll taxes are taking a bite out of employers' and employees' earnings, and the bite is about to get bigger, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). This burden is so severe that 77 per cent of small business owners say payroll taxes are what most severely impedes business growth. With CPP and QPP set to increase by at least 20 per cent over the next seven years, payroll taxes will be taking an even bigger chunk out of salaries and profit margins, putting small firms' ability to grow, hire new staff and compete at risk. Depending on where their business is located, an employer faces between three and seven different payroll taxes, including CPP/QPP, EI and Workers' Compensation. (Full Story)

September 1, 2019 - Government boosts funding to eradicate workplace harassment - The federal government's commitment to combat workplace sexual harassment has begun in earnest. Portions of a five-year, $50-million commitment announced in Budget 2018 are being doled out to organizations across Canada in an effort to address the issue. While the solutions aren't necessarily new, employers will need to prepare for systems and frameworks that employees expect to deal with these situations. (Full Story)

August 30, 2019 - Government of Canada working with Indigenous partners to provide skills training and job opportunities for young Indigenous people - Indigenous people represent the youngest and fastest-growing segment of Canada's population, yet they continue to be under-represented in the workforce. Funding has been announced under the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) for the Centre d'amitié autochtone de Val d'Or. The Centre d'amitié autochtone de Val d'Or will receive more than $3.5 million for programs that are helping Indigenous youth overcome skills and employment barriers when transitioning into the labour market. (Full Story)

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

September 25, 2019 - Telus Will Be Offering 25,000 New Jobs In Alberta In The Next 5 Years - Telus announced on Tuesday that they will be investing $16 billion in Alberta over the next five years. As a result, 25,000 new Telus jobs in Alberta will be up for grabs between now and 2023. Telus will be hiring 5000 people directly and supporting the creation of 20,000 more jobs for Alberta residents. In the same press release, Alberta's premier, Jason Kenney said that the government is committed to making it easier for people to open startups, grow businesses, and create jobs (Full Story)

September 25, 2019 - Task force to strengthen skilled trades education - The Northern and Southern Alberta Institutes of Technology (NAIT and SAIT) will head a 19-member task force that will provide recommendations on how to best renew and expand apprenticeship education and skilled trades opportunities for Albertans. The task force will inform government on ways to: Increase awareness of the value of skilled trades careers and strengthen enrolment in apprenticeship programs; Raise the parity of esteem for apprenticeship education; and Expand the apprenticeship model of classroom education with on-the-job learning to other careers and occupations. (Full Story)

September 19, 2019 - Empowering women to enter the skilled trades - Increased investment in Women Building Futures will create more opportunities for women to explore the skilled trades and get the training they need to launch careers in a variety of high-demand occupations. The Government of Alberta is providing the non-profit career-building organization with $10 million over the next four years. The investment will ensure the province is able to meet the growing demand for skilled labour. Initial funding this year of $2.5 million will enable Women Building Futures to expand its programming. (Full Story)

September 12, 2019 - Alberta shortchanged yet again with summer job program - Those who argue that the Canadian federation exhibits plenty of fiscal and program biases against Prairie Canadians will likely see further evidence to that effect, with the most recent study published by the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. The original program was designed to encourage businesses and community organizations into hiring young people, full-time students in high school or university, aged 15 to 30, so that they may acquire work experience during the summer as they move toward joining the active workforce in the near future. The authors found that in this period between 2016 and 2018, essentially, the first three years of the current government, the Prairie provinces received significantly less money per unemployed student than the national average. (Full Story)

September 10, 2019 - Central Alberta job prospects brightening: survey - Things are looking up for job seekers in the Red Deer area, suggests a new survey. Employers expect a favourable hiring climate in the fourth quarter, according to the Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey that was released Tuesday. "Survey data reveals that 17 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter, while five per cent anticipate cutbacks," says Randy Upright, CEO of Manpower's Alberta region. (Full Story)

September 10, 2019 - Investing in apprenticeship education - Alberta is supporting high school students pursuing trades education by improving and increasing the scholarship program. The $1.5-million High School Apprenticeship Scholarship, which consolidates previous programs, will help more high school students access the education and training needed to get jobs in the trades. Qualified high school graduates in either the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) or Career and Technology Studies (CTS) apprenticeship programs will receive a scholarship. In addition, qualified graduates who have completed both a RAP and a CTS programs will receive a Bright Future, High School Apprenticeship Scholarship. (Full Story)

September 17, 2019 - B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers - The B.C. government has announced a $69 million fund for Interior forest workers and their communities to assist with forest industry closures and curtailments that have swept the province. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said $40 million over two years goes to early retirement funds. Another $15 million funds short-term work programs, focused on wildfire prevention and "community resiliency projects." Labour Minister Harry Bains said the training assistance, employment and mental health support is designed to prevent the "emptying out" of forest-dependent communities. (Full Story)

September 14, 2019 - B.C. posts year-over-year wage growth in June - Wage growth in B.C. remained solid in June despite losing some momentum following a strong gain the prior month. Weekly earnings averaged $996.30, down 0.5 per cent from the previous month but up 3.2 per cent from a year ago. Average hourly wages were up by a near-identical pace, meaning growth was driven by compensation gains rather than an increase in hours worked over the past year. (Full Story)

September 13, 2019 - New Canadians getting opportunity for new job paths - New Canadians in the Lower Mainland will get training opportunities that build on skills they have, while forging a path to rewarding work. Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) will train up to 36 newcomers and immigrants in working for public utilities, building and grounds maintenance, water and waste treatment and fire protection in the Lower Mainland. The program will help new Canadians who have arrived here with similar or transferable skills. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - BC loses jobs for third straight month; unemployment up slightly in Prince George - The unemployment rate in Prince George is sitting at 4.9 per cent, a slight increase from the 4.3 per cent last month. The other factor is participation, which is over 73 per cent. Bigger picture, unemployment has risen to five percent for the province as a whole. With that increase, BC no longer holds the title of lowest rate in the country. Still, both Prince George and the province sit below the national unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - B.C. eliminates self-help kit for employment standards complaints - The B.C. government has eliminated the "self-help kit" for making employment standards complaints it says has hampered workers' abilities to voice their concerns, a step observers are viewing as a positive one. The kit was formally eliminated at the end of August, after legislation abolishing it passed in May. Previously, workers were required to use the kit - where they had to deal directly with their employer - before filing a complaint with the B.C. Labour Ministry's Employment Standards Branch. The new complaints process will involve a direct application to the branch. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - 2020 preliminary rates - WorkSafeBC projects that the average base rate for 2020 will remain at the same level as 2019, at 1.55% of employers' assessable payroll. Our positive financial results and stable claims costs have enabled us to keep the average rate flat for 2020. Together with worker and employer stakeholders, WofkSafe BC is working to reduce serious injuries and enhance return-to-work opportunities. In doing this, they can collectively help to prevent injuries, improve return-to-work outcomes, and ultimately lower insurance rates. (Full Story)

September 4, 2019 - New resources to help employers develop a noise control and hearing conservation program - Too much exposure to workplace noise can cause permanent and irreversible damage to workers' hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related disease, but it is preventable. As an employer, you are required to have a noise control and hearing conservation program if your workers are regularly exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels or higher. (Full Story)

September 2, 2019 - "Banner year" for workers in B.C. - Labour Day is about recognizing efforts to try to ensure that workers' rights are strengthened, and a union leader in B.C. says there's a lot to celebrate this year. The rights of workers in the province have been strengthened after significant policy changes, according to BC Federation of Labour President Laird Cronk. "For the first time in two decades we've seen substantial improvements in the Employment Standards Act," he says. (Full Story)

September 30, 2019 - Manitoba minimum wage increases but advocate says it isn't enough - Manitobans earning minimum wage will their paycheques grow, as the province's minimum wage will increase by 30 cents to $11.65 per hour, as of Oct. 1. But an anti-poverty advocate says it will not translate into more money in people's pockets. Josh Brandon says the increase won't make much of a difference, as it keeps pace with inflation. (Full Story)

September 29, 2019 - Manitobans Reminded Minimum Wage Will Increase Oct. 1 - The province reminds Manitobans the minimum wage will increase by 30 cents to $11.65 on Oct. 1. Pedersen confirmed 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, rounding up to the nearest five cents. (Full Story)

September 12, 2019 - Manitoba invites 360 skilled workers and international grads - Skilled foreign workers and international graduates were the focus of Manitoba's most recent Expression of Interest draw. Details of the August 15 draw, which were published only recently, show the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) issued a total of 360 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence through its Skilled Worker in Manitoba and Skilled Worker Overseas pathways and the International Education Stream. (Full Story)

September 9, 2019 - New skill sets needed in farm workers of the future - In the not too distant future, farms will depend on high-tech workers with titles like tech-gronomist, ag tech integrator and knowledge translators. In a presentation entitled Agriculture Skills for the Future, Stuart Cullum, president of Olds College in Alberta spelled out the kinds of skills that will be needed to ensure farming takes full advantage of new technology to increase food production to meet the needs of the global population. (Full Story)

September 5, 2019 - Canada adds 81,100 jobs in August: StatsCan - Canada's economy added 81,100 jobs in August, though the unemployment rate remained flat at 5.7 per cent as more Canadians entered the job market, according to new figures from Statistics Canada. The federal agency's monthly labour survey says most of the job gains came in Ontario and Quebec, and were largely for part-time work. There were also smaller increases seen in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. (Full Story)

September 5, 2019 - Jobs summit to connect workers, private sector would be first up for re-elected Manitoba Tories - PC Leader Brian Pallister says summit would be part of plan to create 40,000 more jobs in the province. Party Leader Brian Pallister says the Progressive Conservatives will hold a jobs summit to connect workers with the private sector a week after being sworn in if re-elected on Tuesday. He says the Tories are ready to roll up their sleeves to jump-start their plan to create 40,000 more jobs in Manitoba. The summit would bring together economic groups, investors and entrepreneurs. (Full Story)

September 4, 2019 - Manitoba NDP, Liberals pledge to hike minimum wage - Manitoba's New Democratic Party and Liberal Party announced a host of worker-friendly campaign promises over the Labour Day weekend, with both parties committing to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The province's minimum wage, one of the lowest in Canada, is currently $11.35 an hour. It's set to increase to $11.65 on Oct. 1, 2019. The Liberals said they would raise the minimum wage within two years. The NDP didn't offer a timeline, but in 2017 committed to implementing the change by 2024. (Full Story)

September 19, 2019 - New Brunswick sees biggest jump in EI recipients in Canada in July - The number of New Brunswickers receiving employment insurance jumped by 4.9 per cent in July, the largest increase in the country from the previous month, according to figures released by Statistics Canada on Thursday. There were 29,400 regular EI beneficiaries in the province, up from 28,040 in June, bucking a downward trend since January. (Full Story)

September 8, 2019 - N.B. Adds 2,300 Jobs In August, But Unemployment Rate Rose Slightly - There were 2,300 more people working in New Brunswick in August, partly offsetting a drop in July, according to Statistics Canada's latest labour force survey. The employment numbers showed little change from the same period last year, according to Statistics Canada. But the province's labour force increased by 5,500 compared to a year ago, and by 1,400 since July. (Full Story)

September 5, 2019 - N.L. job vacancy rate symbolic of lagging economy, says analyst - A new report from Statistics Canada shows there were nearly 5,000 job vacancies in Newfoundland and Labrador at the end of June, but don't think it's an indicator of a booming economy. A closer look at the data exposes some troubling trends for the province, says labour market economist Brendan Bernard of the online job site Indeed Canada. "That number isn't particularly high," Bernard told CBC News. But it raises the question: how can a province with the highest unemployment rate in Canada - 13.1 per cent in August, according to Statistics Canada - have thousands of unfilled jobs? (Full Story)

September 5, 2019 - Provincial Government to Appoint an Independent Minimum Wage Review Committee - The Provincial Government is establishing an Independent Minimum Wage Review Committee. The Committee will be made up of an independent chair and representatives from the business and labour community. The purpose of the committee will be to solicit targeted stakeholder input and report to the Minister of Advanced Education Skills and Labour with observations, findings and recommendations on the current adjustment process for setting the minimum wage and the wage rate. (Full Story)

August 29, 2019 - New Initiatives to Help Foreign-Trained Professionals Work in their Fields in Newfoundland and Labrador - Funding has been announced for four new initiatives to help foreign-trained professionals, including newcomers to the province, get their credentials recognized and work locally in their fields. These initiatives were chosen following a fourth call for Expressions of Interest under the federal-provincial Foreign Qualification Recognition Agreement. The agreement is supported by $800,000 in federal funding. (Full Story)

August 26, 2019 - Increase in Burial Coverage for Work-Related Fatalities Supports Families - The Provincial Government has amended the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Regulations to increase burial coverage for a death resulting from a workplace injury or illness. The maximum coverage for burials has been increased from $5,000 to $10,000. This increase is retroactive for work-related deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2019. The regulations were published on Friday, August 16 in the Newfoundland and Labrador Gazette. (Full Story)

August 23, 2019 - Provincial Government Extends Pilot Employment Programs for International Students - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced nearly $415,000 through the Labour Market Partnerships Program to extend two pilot employment programs for international students and graduates. This continues to fulfill commitments in The Way Forward on Immigration in Newfoundland and Labrador to provide international student placement and graduate internship opportunities. The two programs are delivered by the Association for New Canadians AXIS Career Services. (Full Story)

August 23, 2019 - Appealing a workers' compensation decision in N.L.? It may take a year to get a hearing - Injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador who want to appeal decisions about their cases are currently facing a one-year wait for a process that, by law, is supposed to take just 60 days. In fact, the appeal backlog is worse now than it was in 2014, when the then premier pledged to address the issue. The extent of the problem is outlined in government briefing papers obtained by CBC News through an access to information request. (Full Story)

September 2019 - Schools North Apprenticeship Program - Did you know that the Northwest Territories' department of Education, Culture and Employment offers the Schools North Apprenticeship Program (SNAP) program? It's a work experience program for NWT high school students that provides students who are interested in skilled trades with a way to gain valuable work experience while also attending High School. The new work skills can open up manny new career alternatives. Students can also earn money while learning a trade and completing their high school education at the same time, (Full Story)

September 5, 2019 - Workplace accidents trending downwards in Nova Scotia - Fewer people are being hurt on the job in the residential construction industry, leading to lower workers' compensation premiums. The industry rate in residential construction is set to decline by nine per cent in 2020, WCB Nova Scotia announced this week, as part of its release of 2020 employer rates for workplace injury insurance. (Full Story)

September 4, 2019 - WCB Nova Scotia releases 2020 employer assessment rates - Fewer people are being hurt on the job in the residential construction industry, and it's leading to lower workers' compensation premiums. The industry rate in residential construction is set to decline by nine per cent in 2020, WCB Nova Scotia announced today, as part of its release of 2020 employer rates for workplace injury insurance. (Full Story)

September 3, 2019 - Syrian pilot helps Nova Scotia newcomers find jobs - When he moved to Canada three years ago, Omar Allouh struggled to find a job. Now he helps newcomers get employed as quickly as possible. Many immigrants land here with limited knowledge of English. They don't have work experience in Canada, and they need time to adapt to the new environment and culture, said Allouh. To help them overcome these obstacles, he co-ordinates a wage subsidy program at the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. (Full Story)

September 30, 2019 - Minimum Wage Survey - The Department of Justice is currently reviewing the minimum wage rate in Nunavut and would like to request feedback from Nunavummiut. The Minimum Wage Survey can be completed online, any time between September 30, 2019 and October 30, 2019. All information provided is confidential. Data collected will help the Department of Justice complete its minimum wage review. Minimum wage was last increased to $13 an hour on April 1, 2016. (Full Story)

September 24, 2019 - New recruitment, retention strategy for Nunavut nurses close to release - The Nunavut government plans to soon release a new recruitment and retention strategy for nurses, its first since 2008. The hope is that this new package of incentives will help remedy the chronic shortage of nurses in Nunavut, said Jennifer Berry, the Government of Nunavut's chief nursing officer. The 2008 plan, still in place until its replacement is approved, includes a system of "special allowances," bonus payments and monthly payments for continuous service for the territory's nearly 300 nurses. (Full Story)

October 1, 2019 - Safety Blitz Targets Cause of Top Workplace Injuries - Ministry of Labour inspectors will blitz workplaces in an effort to prevent Ontario's top workplace injury, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, announced today. Musculoskeletal injuries result from repetitive work, heavy lifting and carrying, and awkward postures that affect people's bones, joints, ligaments and other soft tissues. That could include such tasks as lifting heavy bags of cement, repositioning patients in a hospital or long-term care home, or handling objects while on a ladder. (Full Story)

September 2019 - 2020 WSIB Premium rates announced - For the fourth year in a row, the WSIB has been able to offer reductions to the average premium rate for Schedule 1 businesses. The average premium rate has been reduced by 17 per cent for 2020. This represents a premium decrease from a Schedule 1 average rate of $1.65 on every $100 of insurable payroll in 2018 to an average of $1.37 in 2020. The total cumulative reduction to the average premium rate since 2016 is 47.1 per cent. (Full Story)

September 25, 2019 - Ontario Government Freezes WSIB Rate Increases for Non-profit Sector - Workplace insurance rate increases will be frozen for all non-profits in Ontario, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, announced today. The move comes after the Ontario government stepped in and worked with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) to halt planned increases. Without a freeze, nearly 2,700 non-profits including daycares, legions, charities, women's shelters and others would have faced increases in their workplace safety insurance premiums. (Full Story)

September 24, 2019 - More Than $600 Million Back Into Ontario Economy After WSIB Eliminates Unfunded Liability Charge - Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is ending its unfunded liability charge, leading to a $607 million reduction in costs to business, Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton announced today. With the reduction announced today, the Doug Ford Conservative government has reduced WSIB costs to business by more than $2 billion since taking office. These costs are falling while benefits to injured workers are maintained and workplace safety continues to improve. (Full Story)

September 23, 2019 - Making It Easier and Faster to Work in the Skilled Trades - Ontario is taking steps to make the province open for business and open for jobs by appointing two new training and skills advisors to help make the skilled trades and apprenticeship system more user friendly. The Training and Skills Advisors have been appointed to consult on issues related to the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, specifically portable skill sets and risk-based restricted activities. (Full Story)

September 15, 2019 - WSIB: Changes to clearances - The Ontario WSIB has announced that clearances will now automatically be created for your business if you are up to date with your premium reporting and payment. A clearance is a unique number issued by the WSIB that shows that a business, contractor or subcontractor is registered and up to date with us, including keeping current with premium payment and reporting. (Full Story)

September 9, 2019 - Ontario led the way in employment gains in August - Employment in Canada increased significantly in August largely as a result of gains in part-time work, Statistics Canada is reporting. Five Canadian provinces saw employment gains while the rest of the country held steady, according to the StatsCan Labour Force Survey, and three industrial sectors benefitted from significant increases. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - Government's "Open for Jobs" Plan Working - The Ontario government continues to create the conditions where businesses can thrive, grow and create good jobs for people. Statistics Canada announced this morning that employment in Ontario increased by 57,800 in August. Since June 2018, employment in Ontario has risen by 231,300 jobs. The positive momentum was reflected in the recently released Ontario Employment Report. It showed the province gained 202,900 net new jobs between the second quarters (April to June) of 2018 and 2019 - 126,000 of those new positions were full-time jobs. (Full Story)

September 27, 2019 - Feedback Requested on Proposed changes to the Workers Compensation Act - The Workers Compensation Board is requesting feedback on proposed amendments to the Workers Compensation Act. The consultation summary has been posted on the Legislative Feedback page of the Workers Compensation Board website under the heading, "Proposed Ammendments to the Workers Compensation Act." (Full Story)

September 20, 2019 - PEI issues new invitations to Express Entry, Labour Impact and Business Work Permit candidates in latest draw - Prince Edward Island issued new invitations to apply for a provincial nomination to candidates in its Express Entry, Labour Impact and Business Impact immigration categories in a draw held September 19. Candidates for these streams must be working in PEI or have an eligible full-time, long-term job offer from an employer in the province, among other criteria. The PEI PNP has now issued 1,031 invitations to candidates in both the Express Entry and Labour Market Impact categories since the start of 2019. (Full Story)

September 17, 2019 - Employment in Charlottetown's digital sector growing rapidly - Charlottetown is a national leader in employment growth in the digital technology sector, according to a new study from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. The study shows a 21 per cent growth in the sector's employment, second only to Vancouver's 21.5 per cent. In 2016, 4.7 per cent of Charlottetown's workforce was in the digital technology sector, which put it on the lower end for cities in the region. (Full Story)

September 16, 2019 - New literacy program provides training, paid work in aquaculture industry - A new literacy program on P.E.I. provides essential skills for the workplace, plus four weeks of paid work in the aquaculture industry. The program is called Essential Skills for Atlantic Fisheries P.E.I. and the pilot project started in August at Atlantic Aqua Farms in Georgetown, P.E.I. The literacy alliance offers free tutoring for adults, children and youth, usually in public libraries, but this is the first time they've actually worked with an employer and done a direct service with an employer. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - P.E.I. has 2nd record-setting jobs month in a row - P.E.I. set a record in August for the number of full-time jobs in the province for the second month in a row. Statistics Canada released the latest job figures for the country Friday morning. They show 66,300 full-time jobs on the Island in August, up from a record-setting 65,900 in July. The increase came from a shift from part-time to full-time jobs. The total number of jobs fell marginally, to 78,400. (Full Story)

September 30, 2019 - Workers needed for Oct. election - About 300,000 poll worker jobs will need to be filled across the country, according to a spokesperson for Elections Canada. Regional Media Advisor Marie France Kenny said in the Prince Albert riding, there are a lot of opportunities. Kenny explained the wage for a poll worker starts at $15 per hour, and jobs vary from information officers, supervisors, or registration. To be eligible the applicant must be 16 years old, a Canadian citizen, and agree to be impartial. A three hour training session must also be taken, but the trainee gets paid to do it. (Full Story)

September 24, 2019 - Government Invests In Programming To Help People With Visual Impairments Find Jobs - Funding has been announced to provide better access to specialized services that will help Saskatchewan residents who are blind or partially sighted prepare for, secure and maintain employment. The Government of Saskatchewan is providing Vision Loss Rehabilitation Saskatchewan (VLRS), a sister organization of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), with $291,000 in funding for programming that supports clients with visual impairments who require skill development. (Full Story)

September 23, 2019 - Minimum Wage In Saskatchewan Is $11.32 Effective October 1 - Employers and employees are reminded that Saskatchewan's minimum wage will increase to $11.32 as of Tuesday, October 1. The change, which was announced in June, is the 11th increase since 2007 when the minimum wage was $7.95. Every year Saskatchewan's minimum wage is calculated using an indexation formula.  In 2010, the government introduced the formula, which gives equal weight to changes to the Consumer Price Index and Average Hourly Wage for Saskatchewan.  This annual review provides regular and predictable changes to the minimum wage. (Full Story)

September 18, 2019 - Funding to Help Regina Job Seekers Prepare For Workforce - The province is investing $783,000 into the Employment Pathways program at the Regina Work Preparation Centre. The investment will assist people facing barriers to employment or who are unemployed or underemployed with job readiness and basic skill development to prepare for the workforce. The program will support 300 job seekers on their path to sustainable employment while developing strong employees who have the skills needed to be successful in the labour market now and in the future. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - 13,000 New Jobs Created Year-Over-Year - According to a report released by Statistics Canada, year-over-year job growth in Saskatchewan continues to rise.  In August 2019, employment was up 13,000 jobs from August 2018. Full-time employment increased by 4,300 jobs and part-time employment increased by 8,800 jobs.  This marks the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year job increases.  Month-to-month employment also rose by 2,800 jobs from July 2019. (Full Story)

September 6, 2019 - Thousands more people have found jobs in Sask., StatsCan says - Saskatchewan's employment rate is up, according to the latest seasonally adjusted numbers from Statistics Canada. The numbers show unemployment fell by about 2,300 people between July and August, cutting the unemployment rate to 5.1 per cent from 5.3 the month before. Canada's national unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent, which is unchanged from last month's data. (Full Story)

September 26, 2019 - New Yukon community immigration pilot program announced - A new pilot program is being launched to meet Yukon's economic development and labour market needs. The Yukon Community Pilot is a new stream under the Yukon Nominee Program that will allow more flexibility for nominees working in specific Yukon communities. The new approach will provide nominees with a work permit for a specific community, rather than a specific employer, and allow them to work for several employers in the same community. (Full Story)

September 13, 2019 - Canada's Yukon territory to hire 2,000 PH nurses, skilled workers - As many as 2,000 Filipino nurses and skilled workers can be hired in Canada's Yukon territory every year, according to an agreement between the Yukon Economic Development ministry and the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment. Under the Yukon Nominee Program, Yukon employers can hire qualified Filipino workers for job positions that they can't fill locally, according to the agreement signed by Yukon development minister Ranj Pillai and DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello. Yukon is hiring foreign workers because it is underpopulated, currently with only 20,000 residents. (Full Story)

September 10, 2019 - Moderate changes to rates as Board delivers on promise to reduce excess reserves - The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) announced today that assessment rates will change moderately in 2020 as the Compensation Fund nears its target range. YWCHSB also announced that one industry has been reclassified to a higher rate group to more accurately reflect its claims costs. Policy requires that YWCHSB maintain a funded position between 121 and 129 per cent of total liabilities. This is to provide rate stability, protect the Fund from unforeseen catastrophic events and provide benefits to workers both now and well into the future. (Full Story)

People power

Just like a good teacher is key to a child's happiness, the HR professional plays a big role in an organization's success

My Facebook account is full of happy faces, children all dressed up with new shoes, clothes and school bags, ready to return to school to learn new things. As well, news reporters have been busy interviewing eager teachers and showing the hard work going into those creative classroom setups. And finally, I’m sure behind the scenes there are many parents who are also happy to see their children finally getting back into a routine.

I’ve also already heard several comments regarding relationships… especially comments such as "Thank goodness he/she likes their new teacher." It reminded me just how important key people are in a child’s school life.

It also reminded me how important key people are to employee satisfaction in the workplace. While a direct supervisor is definitely a key person, the human resource manager also plays a big role in helping supervisors to ensure compliance with employment legislation and to focus on creating job satisfaction as an employee retention tool.

But, you might ask, who are these human resource folks, what training do they have, how do they contribute to organizations and how can I enter this profession?

Actually, the whole profession of human resource management has grown and significantly evolved over the years. In Manitoba, the first human resource certificate started right after the Second World War when soldiers needed assistance to integrate back into the workforce. Still, these job roles, typically known as "personnel officers," were very administrative without the opportunity to provide strategic advice.

As well, HR incumbents rarely chose this area as their profession but simply "fell" into the role. And I think I can safely say that between the 1950s and the 1980s, only one in ten organizations employed a "personnel" officer.

Eventually, the term "personnel officer" not only evolved into the term human resource management professional, but also, the profession itself began to play a more important role at all levels of an organization. At the strategic table, a human resource manager can advise and plan for the impact an organization vision will have on employees - including succession, growth or downsizing, reporting and pay structures, change and transition and general employee training. Professionals at this level typically require a master’s degree and years of experience.

As well, the entire field of human resources itself has grown and expanded to such an extent that multiple new job categories have been created, and the educational requirements for each have also grown. Today, young people choose rather than "fall into" the field of human resources, and they also now have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of jobs. These include different roles such as human resource assistant; generalist; co-ordinator; manager; director; consultant; trainer; HRIS professional; employee relations specialist; compensation and benefits specialist; contract negotiator; workplace investigator; and diversity officer.

At a minimum, most of these roles require at least a certificate in human resource management, attained through local community colleges and/or the extension division of a university. Several certificates are also offered through various distance education programs. In addition, many universities have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in human resource management if individuals are seeking graduate-level education.

In addition, the profession of human resources is also one that invites individuals from other professions, particularly if their educational background and work experience relates closely to the people side of management.

So, as children are returning to school, individuals might also be thinking about exploring the field of human resource management. If that’s the case, just what topics would you study? The following outlines only some of the content of a certificate and/or university degrees.

HR roles and responsibilities - courses in human resource essentials help participants understand the growing complexities of today’s organizations and the role human resource professionals can play in an organization. Programs usually provide an overview and history of the field, the different roles now available and highlighting the key components of the employee life cycle. This course is an introduction to the field and is a good program to help individuals explore the profession.

Employment Law and Policy Issues - knowledge in this area is key to helping organizations ensure compliance with employment standards and human rights legislation. This area is very complicated and is often the highest-risk area for employers, as there must be sufficient reasons for progressive discipline and termination. Having a good knowledge of employment law will enable you to provide solid advice in establishing policies and procedures related to employee recruitment, performance management and termination.

Recruitment and Retention - while this is often thought of as the easiest role in human resources, it definitely is not. That’s because a good deal of work and thinking has to go into decision-making, including assessing departmental needs; identifying criteria; determining how and where to find qualified candidates; legally using social media in recruitment; establishing effective interviewing while applying legal standards; and conducting legal and effective reference checks. Courses in recruitment and retention teach all elements of this subject.

Compensation and benefits - these courses help participants understand the role compensation plays in recruitment and retention as well as job satisfaction. You will learn how to structure a compensation framework, the role of job analysis in creating a pay structure, and how to measure and compensate for performance.

Discipline and dismissal - this is one of the more difficult tasks of an HR professional as they deal with unpleasant issues related to policy infractions, absenteeism, substance abuse, embezzlement, damage of company property, and worse. HR professionals must be very process-oriented and be trained in how to document difficult circumstances. Seek out courses in conflict management and dealing with difficult people.

Essentials of HR Analytics - technology has allowed professionals to use real-time data to track and analyze various human resource management activities. This includes tracking annual time/cost for employee recruitment, assessing employee turnover statistics and its subsequent costs and measuring employee engagement. Overall, data analytics helps assess the effectiveness of HR policies and different intervention. As a relatively new field, this area is growing and will require more qualified individuals with a background in statistical analysis.

Strategic Leadership - educational programs at this level train participants to gain an in-depth understanding of business strategy and operations and to learn best practices for integrating strategic HR practices in your organization. Participants are usually senior leaders who share tools and techniques to be more effective as a strategic partner in the organization.

I have been a human resource professional from many years, transferring in with an educational background and then building up my human resource technical skills. Therefore, I can assure you that human resources is an exciting profession continuing to grow and evolve. It is a profession open to individuals transferring from complementary occupations, but it is also a profession continually adapting technology in order to provide better analytics and advice.

Now that kids are in school and summer is winding down, check out the human resource courses in your area. This profession offers many opportunities.

Article presented by permission from Barbara J. Bowes, President of Legacy Bowes Group and the author of eight books, a radio personality, a speaker, an executive coach and a workshop leader. She can be reached at

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