Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

January 2020 - Welcome to the latest edition of The Payroll News! As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and associates who are interested in keeping up with the latest changes in Canadian payroll, employment and HR News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.

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Tip of the Month

January 2016 - Revised Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) - The January 1, 2020 edition of the Payroll Deductions Online Calculator (PDOC) is now available on the CRA Web site. The PDOC is an interactive web application that calculates payroll deductions for all pay periods, provinces (except for Quebec), and territories. It will help you to confirm the deductions you include on your official statement of earnings. 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

January 16, 2020 - Nearly one-third of workers plan to change jobs in next 2 years: report - Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of employees plan to change jobs within the next two years while only 16 per cent intend to stay at their current employer within the next five years, according to a new survey. The top considerations for wanting to find another job have to do with benefits, with 34 per cent believing they would receive better core benefits at another company, 33 per cent believing they will receive better ancillary benefits and 29 per cent believing they could have better childcare benefits. (Full Story)

January 13, 2020 - Employment gains in December led by Ontario and Quebec; new Labour Force Survey - Ontario and Quebec led the provinces in employment gains last month, according to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey. There were 57,000 more employees in Canada's private sector in December, which offset November's decline of a similar size. Employment grew by 25,000 in the accommodation and food services industry, driven by Quebec gains. (Full Story)

January 6, 2020 - Federal employers face new penalties - Federally regulated employers have had plenty to contend with of late, with new rules around pay equity, workplace harassment and the overall Canada Labour Code rolling out in 2019 and 2020. From 2013 to 2016, for example, there were about 22,500 violations by about 1,700 employers, with 35 per cent being repeat offenders when it came to part II of the code (occupational health and safety). (Full Story)

January 3, 2019 - New year brings changes to federal tax and payroll contributions - From employment insurance to small business taxes, 2019 is already changing the way Canadians manage their pocketbooks.As in many years past, Jan. 1 heralded the introduction of several federal tax and benefit changes, including hikes to premiums paid to the Canada Pension Plan. Starting Jan. 1, employee contributions to the Canada Pension Plan on earnings between $3,500 and $57,400 have increased to 5.1 per cent from 4.95. It's the first of five gradual increases that will eventual bring the contribution rate up to 5.95 per cent in 2023. (Full Story)

January 2, 2020 - EI premiums to fall in 2020 for workers and employers - Canadian workers and employers will enjoy a slight decrease in employment insurance premiums in the new year, resulting in about $1.1 billion in total reductions in 2020. Starting on Jan. 1, the premium for individual workers will be $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings while their employers will pay $2.21 per $100 of the workers' insurable earnings. (Full Story)

December 30, 2019 - Employment Insurance premiums to fall in 2020 for workers and employers - Canadian workers and employers will enjoy a slight decrease in employment insurance premiums in the new year, resulting in about $1.1 billion in total reductions in 2020. Starting on Jan. 1, the premium for individual workers will be $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings while their employers will pay $2.21 per $100 of the workers' insurable earnings. (Full Story)

December 27, 2019 - Reduced 2020 Employment Insurance Premium Rate Takes Effect January 1st - Effective January 1, 2020, the Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate for employees will be reduced to $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings - a decrease of four (4) cents compared to the 2019 rate of $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings. This represents a reduction of 30 cents from the 2016 rate of $1.88, meaning that a single worker who earns $48,000 annually in 2020 will pay $144 less in EI premiums compared to 2015. For employers who pay 1.4 times the employee rate, the 2020 rate will decrease by six (6) cents to $2.21. (Full Story)

December 11, 2019 - Payroll can remit reconciliation payments later this year - With the new payment-on-filing (POF) initiative, the deadline for the last payroll remittance of the year is now the end of February. Announced in the fall, Canada Revenue Agency's new policy allows eligible employers to remit a reconciliation payment later without being subject to a penalty or interest. The new approach is a win for Canadian employers, says Peter Tzanetakis, president of the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), which advocated for the change. (Full Story)

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

January 14, 2020 - No increase to WCB claim cost threshold - The Alberta WCB has announced that there will be no increase to the claims cost threshold for no-time-lost claims (it will remain at $1,500 for claims occurring in 2020). This threshold is used in experience rating and is reviewed annually. Adjustments to premiums are based on claims experience to provide businesses with incentives to reduce their costs. For small business employers, adjustments are based on the total number of claims. For large business employers, adjustments are based on the cost of the claims. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - Latest job numbers peg Edmonton as having highest unemployment rate of Canadian cities - Edmonton ended 2019 with the second-highest unemployment rate of Canadian metropolitan areas as eight per cent of employable folks looked for work, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Alberta's unemployment rate ended the year at seven per cent, compared to the Canadian average of 5.6 per cent. At eight per cent, Edmonton had the highest unemployment rate of 33 census metropolitan areas tallied in December by Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

January 8, 2020 - Opinion: An Alberta pension plan has many risks and uncertain rewards - Premier Jason Kenney recently created a “fair-deal” panel which will consider whether Alberta should withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and create its own plan. Whether this is a serious proposal or a political gambit, Albertans need to think hard before abandoning a public pension plan that is a Canadian success story. (Full Story)

January 3, 2019 - STEP 2019 ready to help employers and students - The Alberta government re-introduced STEP to create work opportunities for high school and post-secondary students between May and August, by providing a $7-per-hour wage subsidy to employers. Last year, STEP helped almost 1,400 employers hire 3,050 students for summer positions. The program is available to small businesses, non-profit organizations, public libraries, school boards, publicly funded post-secondary institutions, municipalities, First Nations and Metis settlements. (Full Story)

January 1, 2020 - Job creation tax cut: Alberta open for business - This scheduled tax reduction, effective Jan. 1, improves Alberta's competitiveness and encourages businesses to invest and hire in the province. Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) announced plans to expand its operations in response to the Job Creation Tax Cut. In early December, CNRL increased its 2020 capital budget by $250 million, which they estimate will create about 1,000 new full-time jobs for Albertans. (Full Story)

December 27, 2019 - Several changes to employment insurance go into effect January 1st - The new year will bring new changes to how Canadians pay into and receive employment insurance (EI). According to the Canadian Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC), the EI premium rate will be reduced to $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings, marking a decrease of four cents compared to 2019's rate. In 2016, workers paid $1.88 per $100 of insurable earnings into the system, meaning that a person who earns $48,000 in 2020 will pay $144 less to EI than they would have just a few years ago. (Full Story)

December 17, 2019 - Alberta government warns childcare programs will lose grants in spring - The UCP will be cutting a pair of programs meant to support childcare centres and workers in Alberta. In a letter dated Dec. 11, Alberta Children's Services said that the Benefit Contribution Grant and the Staff Attraction Incentive programs would be discontinued on April 1, 2020. The Benefit Contribution Grant is a program that offsets the costs of mandatory employer payroll contributions like the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, vacation pay and statutory holiday pay. (Full Story)

December 13, 2019 - Streamlined rules for workplace committees - New rules will reduce administrative burdens for job creators, uphold workers' rights to participate in workplace health and safety and support a consistent health and safety culture across organizations. Rather than being required at each work site, committees and representatives will be required for each employer regardless of how many sites the employer operates. For example, a school division will require only one committee rather than having a committee at each school in the division. (Full Story)

December 10, 2019 - WCB Alberta Posts Procedures Online - Alberta WCB's first injured worker procedures are now available online to both staff and the public. This change means that all can read from the same page of a shared book. The procedures manual is updated as amendments are made and new procedures are approved. Legislation and policies form guiding principles and procedures put policies into practice. (Full Story)

January 15, 2020 - Forestry job placement offices open throughout Interior - Displaced forestry workers can access direct, hands-on supports at job placement co-ordination offices now open in five Interior communities. These dedicated offices are in 100 Mile House, Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Mackenzie and Clearwater. Each office employs a co-ordination officer who is a displaced forestry worker. These co-ordinators understand what clients are experiencing and are trained to assist others in finding new jobs or training opportunities. (Full Story)

January 14, 2020 - Payroll tax fuels ‘gig economy' drift away from full-time jobs - The second year of B.C.'s employer health tax to replace Medical Services Plan premiums has arrived. For many small businesses, 2020 is when they have to write their first cheques. While larger business and local governments began paying the tax in instalments during 2019, small businesses that just clear the $500,000 payroll threshold have a deadline of March 31 to pay up for last year's tax. (Full Story)

December 30, 2019 - Job recruitment through social media rising in Canada - A survey confirms the growing popularity of social media as a recruiting tool for employers. The Job Vacancy and Wage Survey released by Statistics Canada found employers used social media to help fill more than half of available jobs in the third quarter of 2019. Four years ago, employers used social media to help fill every third job. Other methods have seen their popularity decline. The use of newspaper ads dropped by 8.5 per cent to 11.9 per cent. (Full Story)

December 30, 2019 - Full weight of B.C.'s employer health tax to be felt in 2020 - The second year of B.C.'s employer health tax to replace Medical Services Plan premiums has arrived, and for many small businesses, 2020 is when they have to write their first cheques. While larger business and local governments began paying the tax in instalments during 2019, small businesses that just clear the $500,000 payroll threshold have a deadline of March 31 to pay up for last year's tax. Larger businesses have the same deadline for paying the remainder of their 2019 employer health tax. (Full Story)

December 24, 2019 - B.C. sees decrease in job vacancies - British Columbia is among several provinces with declining job vacancies, according to Statistics Canada. Employers in British Columbia reported a decline in job vacancies of 3.9 per cent (about 4,300 posting) in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. This was the first year-over-year decline in vacancies since the first quarter of 2016. (Full Story)

December 12, 2019 - New funding framework increases sustainability of defined benefit plans - Changes to the funding framework for defined benefit pension plans will give employers the payment predictability needed to support the long-term sustainability of pensions that British Columbians depend on. Members' pensions will not be affected by the reforms. Defined benefit pension plans provide financial security and the goal of the reforms is to keep these plans as a viable and sustainable option in an uncertain global economy. (Full Story)

December 9, 2019 - Skills training, job supports for those who need them most - New programs throughout the province will support British Columbians who face multiple barriers to employment to build the skills they need to embark on new careers. "Skills training and employment supports for people who face multiple barriers to employment help build a more diverse workforce, accessing the untapped potential in people while making sure no one is left behind," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. (Full Story)

December 8, 2019 - Reducing injuries for health-care workers focus of new safety organization - The Province is taking action to make work safer for health-care workers by committing $8.5 million over three years for a new organization that will address workplace safety. The new agency will tackle high rates of injuries in the health-care sector by identifying and promoting best practices that make working in the industry safer. (Full Story)

December 6, 2019 - Skills training leads to encore careers for older workers - British Columbians aged 55 and older are getting opportunities to build skills for new careers, with training programs that break down barriers to employment for older workers. Older workers can face barriers to employment, including a lack of technical skills and training opportunities, and an unfamiliarity with current hiring practices. Government is taking action to support vulnerable British Columbians and those who need support to build a new skill set to re-enter the workforce or transition careers. (Full Story)

January 15, 2020 - Manitoba Supports Education on Employment Accessibility - The Manitoba government is investing $120,800 with the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) to provide educational and outreach work that will help ensure organizations understand and comply with the accessible employment standard. With this provincial investment, MLPD will collaborate with organizations to identify, remove and prevent barriers related to accessibility in employment.  This work will also help businesses and organizations better understand the regulatory requirements related to Manitoba's accessible employment standard. (Full Story)

December 20, 2019 - Manitoba issues 183 invitations to skilled workers and international graduates in latest draw - Nearly 200 international graduates from Manitoba and skilled workers who submitted an Expression of Interest profile to the province received invitations to apply for a provincial nomination yesterday. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) issued 183 invitations on December 19. Candidates were invited from the Skilled Worker in Manitoba, and the Skilled Worker Overseas categories as well as the International Education Stream. (Full Story)

December 18, 2019 - Common Questions about Payroll Reporting - The WCB calculates your annual premium using your annual payroll estimate. Whether you are required to, or choose to, cover your workers, one of your primary obligations under The Workers Compensation Act is to submit accurate payroll information each year before the last day in February. The most common questions employers have when reporting annual payroll to WCB are wide ranging. (Full Story)

December 18, 2019 - When Am I Considered an Employer by the WCB? - Workers compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers in Manitoba. When your business activities fall within a mandatory industry and you pay earnings to workers you are required to register to cover your workers. Your workers include any family members that work in your business and are paid out of your business. The only exception to this is Family farming operations that can choose to cover family members. (Full Story)

January 9, 2020 - Employers in Atlantic Canada improve workplace benefits - More employers in Atlantic Canada are sharpening their pencils and offering better workplace benefits and progressive human resources initiatives. That's the message from this year's Atlantic Canada's Top Employers, announced this morning by Mediacorp Canada Inc. in a special feature in the January issue of Atlantic Business magazine. Atlantic Canada is the only region of Canada where the unemployment rate actually decreased last year, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

January 2, 2020 - The process to appeal a WorkSafeNB decision has changed - As of January 1, WorkSafeNB's Decision Review Office (previously known as the Issues Resolutions Office) reviews every decision when requested before an appeal can be filed to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT). This refers to any decision made on or after January 1, and excludes decisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. In addition, all reviews by the Decision Review Office must be initiated by a worker or employer within 90 days of the original decision. (Full Story)

December 20, 2019 - Statement regarding legislative amendments enacted to the workers' compensation system - On behalf of WorkSafeNB's board of directors, I want to thank the Government of New Brunswick for enacting the legislative amendments introduced by Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour in Bills 26 and 27. These changes will enhance workplace safety, facilitate recovery for workers following a workplace injury, and continue to optimize our cost structure so that we are able to stabilize assessment rates for employers and consider benefit improvements for injured workers. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - It's time to file your 2019 Annual Employer Statements - WorkplaceNL is reminding businesses that their 2019 Annual Employer Statements are due by February 29, 2020. This includes: Employer Payroll Statement; Occupational Health and Safety Statement; and Employer Contractor Statement. To complete your statements, log into the WorkplaceNL Connect website and select Annual Employer Statements from the menu. Remember to file on or before the deadline to avoid a late reporting penalty and be considered for a PRIME refund. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - Newfoundland and Labrador workers deserve better than poverty wages - Employers that refuse to offer workers an hourly wage of at least $15 are sentencing their employees to poverty. The executive director of the Employer's Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, Richard Alexander, recently called a $15 an hour minimum wage an "extreme policy." This couldn't be further from the truth. The current situation in Newfoundland and Labrador is extreme, and a long-overdue increase to the minimum wage is a common sense, necessary change. N.L. is a mere eight cents away from having the lowest minimum wage in the country. (Full Story)

January 2, 2020 - Changes to OHS rules in Newfoundland and Labrador now in effect - Changes to Newfoundland and Labrador's Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations that include provisions addressing workplace harassment and violence took effect Jan. 1. Among the changes, “violence” is defined as the attempted or actual exercise of physical force to cause injury to a worker, including threatening statements or behaviour that gives a co-worker reason to believe that they are at risk of injury. (Full Story)

December 31, 2019 - Newfoundland's Office to Advance Women Apprentices' model going national next year - Based on a formula which has found work for 1,300 women in Newfoundland, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) is assisting others to set up offices in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the rest of Atlantic Canada. While the national average of women in under-represented trades is three to four per cent, in Newfoundland that number is between 13 to 14 per cent - up about 10 per cent since the OAWA was founded a decade ago. (Full Story)

December 12, 2019 - New and Enhanced Employment Leave Provisions - The Government of the Northwest Territories is introducing amendments to the NWT Employment Standards Act and Regulations that provide new and enhanced types of employment leave and will be effective as of January 01, 2020. These Amendments align with the Government of Canada's amendments to the Employment Insurance program and the Canada Labour Code, and let workers take advantage of the federal leave allowances and associated benefits while providing recognized and consistent guidelines for employers to better support their employees during important life events. (Full Story)

December 12, 2019 - Amendments to the Employment Standards Act - On January 1, 2020, Northwest Territories residents will be able to access new and enhanced types of employment leave to protect their jobs when faced with important or challenging moments in life. These changes align with the Government of Canada's amendments to the Employment Insurance program and the Canada Labour Code; and allow the Northwest Territories to remain competitive with other jurisdictions by offering employees the flexibility to balance personal responsibilities while maintaining their employment status. (Full Story)

January 15, 2020 - ova Scotia announces details on training for workers affected by Northern Pulp closure - The Nova Scotia government has announced more details on its plan to assist the forestry sector ahead of the closure of the Northern Pulp mill at the end of the month. In a press release issued on Wednesday, the province said it is spending $1.5 million of a $50-million transition fund to create “new training paths” for approximately 200 workers affected by the closure. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and Nova Scotia Community College have teamed up to offer programs that will connect workers to the job market. (Full Story)

January 14, 2020 - More Training Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Barriers to Employment - With government support of $500,000, the Flower Cart Group in New Minas will help more persons with diverse abilities access employment training. The Flower Cart Group provides supportive employment and training opportunities to persons with an intellectual disability or barriers to employment through a variety of social enterprises and partnerships with local businesses. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - 2019 Marks Second Year of Strong Employment Growth - Nova Scotia experienced the fastest employment growth and labour force growth since 2004 last year. The unemployment rate also averaged 7.2 per cent in 2019, the lowest unemployment rate since the early 1970s. Almost half of the annual job growth is attributable to improved employment for youth. (Full Story)

December 19, 2019 - Regular monthly long-term benefit payment dates for 2020 - The Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia has announced that the regular monthly long-term benefit payment dates for 2020 are now available. Workers who receive payments by direct deposit can expect to receive funds in their bank accounts by the 12th of the month. Paper cheques will be mailed by the 12th of the month as well. Please allow a few days to receive it in the mail. (Full Story)

December 13, 2019 - Energy Training Program Helping Young Nova Scotians Start Careers - Having opportunities to start your career at home is important for helping young people stay in Nova Scotia. That is why government is supporting students and recent graduates who want a career in the province's energy sector. The Energy Training Program connects young people to jobs through specialized training and work experience and it is now accepting applications for 2020. (Full Story)

December 13, 2019 - Paper Clearance Letters Extended Until March 31, 2020 - The Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have extended paper clearance letters until March 31, 2020. If you are in good standing, you should receive your letter shortly. The letters were mailed December 12th. If you have not received a letter and believe you should have, you can request a letter by calling the board. The board is also in the process of adding clearance letters back to MyAccount, where you will be able to download, email, and print them. This functionality will be available for employers in early 2020. (Full Story)

January 6, 2020 - Payroll tax annual returns due - The Department of Finance reminds employers that the Nunavut annual payroll tax returns are due by February 28, 2020. The payroll tax annual return form is no longer mailed out. It is available for download at Annual return forms are different from monthly, quarterly, semiannually, and annual remittance forms that accompany payments. (Full Story)

December 9, 2019 - Payroll tax registration for employers - 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. The payroll tax application for registration form is available on the Nunavut government website. (Full Story)

January 16, 2020 - Ontario offers foreign workers permanent residency in exchange for taking up a job in manufacturing - Ontario is so desperate for industrial painters, sewing-machine operators and electronic assemblers that it wants to throw open its doors to lower-skilled foreign workers, promising them permanent residency in exchange for taking up a job in manufacturing. The catch is the newcomers have to work outside Greater Toronto. (Full Story)

January 16, 2020 - Construction careers are highly rewarding, Ontario workers say on video series - Every Ontario guidance counsellor office should have three display walls – one for universities, one for colleges and one for skilled trades, says a consortium of construction associations. "On that third wall, the wall for the skilled trades, there should be a monitor so that young people can watch dozens of fantastic two-minute video profiles of people telling their stories about their construction careers on the Job Talks website," says Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). (Full Story)

January 13, 2020 - Ontario Accounted For 76% Of The Job Growth In Canada Over The Past Year - Despite signs of a slowdown at the end of the year, 2019 was about as good as it gets when it comes to employment in Canada. The country added a net 320,000 new jobs, almost all of them ― 283,000― full-time, according to Statistics Canada data. To cap off the run, December saw Canada's jobless rate drop three notches to 5.6 per cent as the country added an unexpectedly large 35,000 jobs. (Full Story)

January 12, 2020  - Living Wages for Airport Workers? - The 2018 increase in Ontario's hourly minimum wage to $14 was perhaps the most substantial victory for low-wage workers in decades, including workers at Pearson International Airport. In a recent survey, it was found that 1 in 5 of the airport's 50,000 workers earns minimum wage. The Fight for $15 and Fairness continues the struggle, confronting a Conservative government that cancelled the scheduled increase to $15 per hour and froze minimum wage for a decade when last in power. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - Ontario's Open for Jobs Plan Working - The government's plan to build Ontario together is working - creating more jobs, putting more money in people's pockets and building towards the future. Statistics Canada announced this morning that employment in Ontario increased by 25,100 in December. Since June 2018, employment in Ontario has risen by 296,700. Last month, the Ontario Legislature officially passed the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. The legislation will lower the cost of doing business by making it simpler and more cost-effective to comply with regulations - leading to more jobs, higher wages and more opportunities for hard-working families. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - Ontario takes Action to Address Skilled Trades Shortage - The Government of Ontario is taking action to attract more people to the skilled trades and employers to hire more apprentices. The province is facing a serious labour shortage which has the potential to get progressively worse. On any given day tens of thousands of jobs go unfilled and many of those are in the skilled trades. Over the first nine months of 2019, Ontario employers had, on average, 204,000 job openings across all occupations and industries. Of these, 13,000 were in the construction sector. (Full Story)

January 6, 2020 - New pilot program to help attract skilled workers in southern Ontario - A new Ontario Government program aims to assist businesses in small and rural communities attract and retain skilled workers in an effort to fulfill labour needs in construction, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism that are not being met locally. The Regional Immigration Pilot program is part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The program is expected to provide an opportunity for businesses in the communities to fill talent gaps and support economic growth and a pathway for skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents. (Full Story)

December 19, 2019 - Making it Easier for Businesses to Find Skilled Workers - The Ontario Government is helping businesses in small and rural communities attract and retain skilled workers through a new Regional Immigration Pilot program. Chatham-Kent, Cornwall and Belleville/Quinte West were selected to participate in an effort to fulfill labour needs that are not currently being met locally. The Regional Immigration Pilot will be an opportunity for businesses in the three communities to fill talent gaps and support economic growth and a pathway for skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents. (Full Story)

January 14, 2020 - Demographic shift contributing to labour shortage on P.E.I. - About 50 per cent of businesses in the Atlantic region are reporting challenges with recruitment and retention of staff, according to recent surveys, the Atlantic Provinces Economics Council says. And that trend is likely to continue well into the future, said David Chaundy, APEC's president and CEO. Chaundy said immigration is helping the labour situation on P.E.I., but demographic trends, retirements and low fertility rates mean employers are finding it harder to fill their employment needs. (Full Story)

January 14, 2020 - P.E.I. sees 'tremendous growth' in jobs in 2019 - The P.E.I. economy had a banner year for job creation, posting records both for the total number of jobs and the number of full-time jobs. The number of jobs passed 80,000 for the first time - reaching 80,100 in December. That included 68,200 full-time jobs. The unemployment rate, 7.9 per cent in December, has been below 10 per cent since March. Those 10 months are also a record. (Full Story)

January 8, 2020 - Indian immigrants top newcomers to P.E.I., filling labour shortages, investing in business - It was the promise of work that attracted Kense Philip to P.E.I. The province is now drawing more new immigrants from India than any other country. In fact, India has topped the list of countries for the past three years, replacing China, which held that top spot for more than a decade, and has seen gradually dwindling numbers of immigrants in recent years. (Full Story)

December 20, 2019 - Prince Edward Island Conducts Final 2019 Expression of Interest Draw - The final draw of 2019 under the Prince Edward Island immigration Expression of Interest system saw 111 candidates invited to apply. In the 12 draws in 2019, PEI has invited 1,629 candidates, including 1,436 through the Labour Impact/Express Entry streams and 193 through the Business Impact stream. (Full Story)

December 18, 2019 - P.E.I. government facing 'lots of competition' to fill vacant jobs - The government of P.E.I. is struggling to fill jobs in a number of fields. Marney MacKinnon, the director of staffing for P.E.I.'s Public Service Commission, said it's become harder to fill many positions over the last few years. MacKinnon said the province is dealing with shortages in a number of departments as older workers are retiring, and there are fewer people working in casual pools ready to move into permanent jobs. (Full Story)

January 17, 2020 - Skilled workers needed to drive Saskatchewan's economy - Over the next five years, there will be almost 100,000 new job openings in Saskatchewan. Here's the good news: many of these new jobs will offer highly competitive starting wages because they fill workplace demands for employees who have occupation-specific training, post-secondary education or apprenticeship training. (Full Story)

January 13, 2020 - Saskatchewan gained 6,700 jobs in 2019: StatsCan - Saskatchewan gained jobs but saw little movement in its unemployment rate over the course of 2019, according to the final monthly employment statistics of the year from Statistics Canada. As of mid-December, there were 579,900 people employed in Saskatchewan. That was down about 2,100 from the previous month but an improvement of some 6,700 jobs from the same time in 2018. (Full Story)

January 12, 2020 - Local Employment Stats Remain Above National Average - Southwest Saskatchewan's stats on employment seem to be improving, however slightly that may be. Statistics Canada released their statistics on Canada's labour force statistics Friday, which show that the Swift Current and Moose Jaw region of the country is slowly making improvements on their employment. The release catalogues the stats from December 2018 to December 2019. (Full Story)

January 10, 2020 - 10,400 New Jobs Created In 2019 - According to new Statistics Canada data, Saskatchewan saw an increase of 10,400 jobs, or 1.8 per cent, from 2018 to 580,400 jobs.  More than half of that job growth is due to full-time jobs. Saskatchewan's annual unemployment rate was the fourth lowest among provinces at 5.4 per cent and remained below the national rate of 5.7 per cent in 2019. December 2019 also marked the 17th consecutive month of job growth on a year-over-year basis. (Full Story)

December 9, 2019 - Saskatchewan's unemployment rate rises amid major national job losses - Canada's unemployment rate saw its biggest single-month increase in November since the 2008 finical crisis, with a national loss of 71,000 jobs. This drove the national unemployment rate up from 5.4 to 5.9 per cent. Saskatchewan's unemployment went up from 5.1 to 5.8 per cent, based on Statistics Canada‘s monthly job data. However, the growth isn't being driven by the same factor as other parts of the country. (Full Story)

January 16, 2020 - Low jobless rate reigned through 2019 - The Yukon's labour force statistics showed consistently low unemployment rates for 2019, including December. "(Employment is) holding pretty much the same, consistent," Gary Brown, the senior information officer for the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, said Thursday. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 4.5 per cent, a full percentage lower than the rest of Canada. There were 1,000 unemployed people in the Yukon last month, an increase of 100 compared to the previous month. (Full Story)

December 2019 - YWCHB Announces 2020 maximum wage rate - The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board has announced the 2020 maximum wage at $90,750. The maximum wage rate is sometimes referred to as "maximum assessable earnings." The maximum assessable earnings amount is relevant to employers. It establishes a cap on the premiums they pay. The maximum wage rate is relevant to claimants. It sets a ceiling on the amount injured workers will receive in loss-of-earnings benefits. (Full Story)

December 20, 2019 - Expanding cancer coverage for firefighters is a possibility: WCB - Extending coverage to firefighters grappling with cancer could be recommended to the Yukon government following a public engagement process, according to an official at the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board. Two pieces of legislation are currently under review, part of which means modernizing workers' compensation and occupational health and safety, said Andrew Robulack, manager of social marketing and communications at the board. (Full Story)

December 12, 2018 - A review of Yukon's minimum wage suggests it's time for a raise - The Yukon Employment Standards Board is suggesting ratcheting up the territory's minimum wage to roughly $15 by 2021. Currently, those on a minimum wage payroll earn roughly $11.51 per hour. By next April, if recommendations from the board are implemented, people could be make about $12.60. In 2020 and 2021 the minimum wage would climb to roughly $13.80 and $15.12, respectively. (Full Story)

2020 all about personal vision

Use new year to assess past and plan ahead

Well, we've finally reached the year 2020. What an accomplishment! It's also Manitoba's 150th anniversary and there are many plans underway to involve all citizens across the province. The key word here is "plan" because this is what is required to ensure success.

Interestingly enough, one of my family members tried to crack a joke about this upcoming year. They questioned whether or not people would look ahead to 2020 with 20/20 vision and/or whether they would look back at last year with the same 20/20 vision. That's a good idea and it's a good time to assess what was accomplished and what lies ahead.

The word "plan" is very important. Planning is essentially goal-setting accompanied by implementation strategies. With this in mind, the question is: why set goals and what kind of goals?

Planning and goal-setting are important, in that goals help to set a direction for your personal life, your relationships and your career. Do you remember the old saying, that if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there?

In other words, without plans and goals, you could spend your whole life racing around and not achieve a thing that is personally meaningful. In fact, what you are really doing is fulfilling other people's goals rather than your own.

Think about that statement - other people's goals. It's true. For instance, if you don't have personal goals and are simply listening to all the advertising in our world, you're probably doing what these commercials suggest.

In other words, opting for clothes, entertainment, food and even your vacations based on what advertisers suggest is good for you. This is really satisfying vendors' goals, not yours. It's an artificial situation, because, sooner than later, satisfaction will wear off and you will be off to buy something else.

The key to success is to be conscious, proactive and to take charge of setting your own goals. Ask what you want for yourself and what action you will take to achieve success. Athletes and successful people do this all the time. They create a vision for themselves, something they are willing to work towards. They set specific targets and periodic measurements to check their progress. So, ask yourself, what do you want three years from now? Two years from now? One year from now? Just what are your goals and the actions you will need to take? Be sure they are realistic.

Once you are comfortable your goals are realistic and attainable within the time frame you've set, it's important to set up a progress monitoring process. I suggest doing an overall "stop-check" every three months, but also to establish a weekly process to do a brief review.

While you don't need to take notes or do a formal analysis, review your goals and reflect on the week and the steps you took toward your goal. Assess what barriers might have interfered with the action plan and think about what you can do to overcome those barriers the following week.

Barriers come in all sizes and at all times. Just look at your excuses. One common excuse is the issue of time. Yes, it can be a barrier, but, in most cases, this isn't the real issue. The real issue is being realistic with your scheduling. Another barrier is being honest with yourself, especially when you can feel your resistance to taking action. If that's the case, then I suggest the action you created for yourself wasn't realistic. Try again. Otherwise, no action means no goal accomplishment and no success. Take time to assess your excuses - you'll be surprised at how many have become habits that are hard to break.

I admit achieving success towards your goal will indeed run into some setbacks, but don't let that get you down. Getting depressed about a lack of progress takes away your motivation and takes away your personal power. Stop and remind yourself why you set your particular goals. Review the actions you planned to take and check their viability. Can the actions be revised or dropped with new actions put in place? Be analytical and use your creativity to overcome these barriers and keep your long-term goal in mind. Perhaps take a moment and review some of the past weeks and revisit their specific successes. Boost your spirits by keeping in mind that old saying: "Rome wasn't built in a day."

Setting success goals is all about growing from personal and professional perspectives. That is why it is important to set a variety of goals, including personal growth, relationships and career. Personal growth may include the common goal of engaging in more exercise, ensuring better eating habits and/or losing weight. Relationship goals might include developing a better relationship with your teenager, enhancing a relationship with one's partner and/or improving a work relationship by helping someone else be successful. Finally, a career goal might be engaging in some future learning activity to develop or enhance your work skills.

At the same time, one must be careful not to set too many goals. Three key goals are probably best, otherwise your energies will be too scattered. Think about all the areas of your life, including physical health, work and career, family/personal finances, family members, personal, intellectual and skill growth, and friends and social relationships. Take a quick moment and assess your satisfaction with each of these life areas and rate them on a scale of one to 10. Use this rating scale to help determine areas for improvement. However, don't simply rely on the ratings; you need to ensure your "head and heart" are in the same place so you can truly commit to the goal. Otherwise, the goal is artificial, and if you don't put your true energy into a goal, you will not be successful.

Personal goal-setting is not magic. It's hard work, commitment, measurement and accountability. So, as you sit down and contemplate this unique year, use your 20/20 vision to create a set of successful new year's resolutions that you can look back on with 20/20 vision and see your success.

Happy New Year!

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

Software Updates

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Added the Revised Tax Changes for 2020.
  • Adjusted the window height and display for the HR module's text editors.
  • Adjusted the pay statements layout to accommodate longer employee's transaction messages.
  • Adjusted the layout of the T4 report so that box 52 would not overlap the dollars and cents label.
  • Added a Cheque Register report.

GrandMaster Suite and GrandMaster II (Version 15.03)

  • Added the Revised Tax Changes for 2020.
  • Added the new Federal TD1 exemption calculation.
  • Added Certificate number for Quebec Releve 1's.
  • The Federal TD1 amount also had further changes. The Basic was increased from $12,229 to $13,229 and if an employee's annual earning was above $150,473, a proportion of that increase was taken away based on the annual earnings. Now anyone with further claims (e.g. spousal, child, age), must complete a new TD1 form using the TD1-WS (work sheet). The GrandMaster programs now work as follows:
    1. If the TD1 amount is zero, the system will use zero (used for employees who work for two different companies).
    2. If the TD1 amount is greater than the Basic ($13,229), then the programs assume that the employee's TD1 was recalculated using the work sheet and will subsequently use the TD1 amount that was entered.
    3. If the TD1 amount entered is equal to the basic ($13,229) and the employee's annual earnings are less then $150,473, the program will use the basic TD1 rate. Otherwise, the program will reduce the basic amount by the formula provided by the CRA for employees earning over $150,473.

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