Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

June 2022 - 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

June 2022 - An employee is overpaid? Here's what to do - If you have overpaid an employee, there are a number of actions that must be taken to correct the error. Depending on your province, regional governments in Canada also have different rules around how employers can retake overpaid amounts to employees. The CRA also offers specific rules on the repayments and how they can affect an employee's maximum pensionable and insurable amounts. Click Here to read an article about this topic from HRReporter.

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 Employment News

June 16, 2022 - The real cost of hiring a new employee - Generation Z and Millennials seem to have itchy feet, with more and more younger employers leaving roles for pastures new. In fact, the average Generation Z and Millennial employee barely lasts two years in the same job. But just maybe companies can extend the tenure of Generation Z and Millennial employees by searching other ways to increase their satisfaction and, equally importantly, their interest. (Full Story)

June 16, 2022 - Nearly half of Canadian women would quit their jobs if working from home isn't an option: poll - Nearly half of Canadian women say they would quit their jobs if asked to return to the office full-time and an even higher percentage say they would turn down promotions in order to continue working from home, according to a new survey. The Prosperity Project released its fifth Canadian Household Perspectives survey on Thursday, which revealed that 91 per cent of women surveyed would prefer most or part of their work to be done remotely going forward. (Full Story)

June 16, 2022 - 81% of employees factoring hybrid work into job search: survey - Eight in 10 (81 per cent) white-collar workers cite hybrid work as a top factor when looking for a new job, ranked alongside higher pension contributions (90 per cent), bonuses/profit sharing (85 per cent) and unlimited vacation and holiday allowances (76 per cent), according to a new survey by IWG. The survey found 45 per cent of respondents would consider changing jobs if asked to return to the office five days per week. Two-thirds (67 per cent) stated a preference for a workplace within 15 minutes of their home. (Full Story)

June 16, 2022 - Best Places to Work: Entries now open - Canadian HR Reporter wants to uncover the absolute best workplaces for our second annual Best Places to Work report. Open to all organizations, the feature will recognize companies big and small based on the evaluation of several metrics, including corporate culture, employee benefits, training and development and more. (Full Story)

June 16, 2022 - One third of Canadian employees being monitored at work - but has HR told them? - One in five or 18% of employees have revealed that they are unsure if their employers are actively using surveillance tools to monitor their activities, according to a new report, as Canadian lawmakers scramble to protect employees by introducing monitoring legislations. A new Capterra report said the finding implies a "lack of transparency and communication of policies on workplace surveillance and employee consent." (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - Posthaste: Workers really don't want to go back to the office five days a week - After two-plus years of working from home, Canadians still doing their jobs remotely have started worrying they'll be called back to the office full time - and they really don't want to go back. Two in five remote workers are bracing for an imminent return to the office five days a week, according to new research from IWG, a shared workspace provider. But it's not something they want to do: close to half said they'd consider quitting if asked to come back full time. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - 3 In 10 Canadian Workers Considering Job Change In Second Half Of 2022 - Staff turnover will continue to trouble employers, new research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the company's biannual Job Optimism Survey of more than 500 workers in Canada, 31 per cent of respondents said they are currently looking or plan to look for a new role in the second half of 2022, up from six months ago. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - One third of your people are looking for a new job - how can HR stop them? - The number of employees who are considering switching employers have risen, according to a new report, as workers consider pursuing hybrid or fully remote work arrangements. The latest Robert Half report revealed that 31% workers in Canada say they're currently looking or are planning to look for a new role in the second half of 2022. This is slightly higher than the 28% recorded in December, according to a previous report from the organisation. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - How does the Provincial Nominee Program work? - The PNPs has proven to be a successful method of attracting skilled workers to provinces that historically do not have large immigrant populations, such as the prairies and Atlantic provinces. By offering dedicated provincial pathways, like the recently announced program for healthcare workers in Saskatchewan, provinces are able to fill gaps in the workforce while offering skilled careers to newcomers. (Full Story)

June 13, 2022 - Canada Unemployment Rate Hits New Low In May As More Youth And Women Get Full-Time Jobs - A lot more younger adults and working-age women landed full-time jobs in Canada in May, driving up the country's employment figures and pushing down the unemployment rate to a new record low. "Canada added 40,000 jobs in May," tweeted Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough. "Our employment rate is now 5.1 per cent, the lowest rate since 1976, when this data was first collected." (Full Story)

June 11, 2022 - Interest grows in 4-day work week as employers consider impact on staff, retention, productivity - Many dream of a shorter work week, one where you spend less time at the office, more time with loved ones, all while still being able to afford life as we know it. And for more people, that's becoming a reality. Businesses and organizations in countries across the world are testing out a four-day work week, one that wouldn't compress 40 hours into fewer days or pay workers a smaller salary. (Full Story)

June 11, 2022 - Canada's worker shortage has one big upside for employers - The supertight job market that is bedevilling employers and the Bank of Canada alike has an upside: it has managed to do quickly what employment equity practices and public policy have struggled with for years. It has drawn in racialized workers, new immigrants, young people, older workers and women in astounding numbers, making history along the way. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - Canada reports record-low unemployment in May - Employment goes up, unemployment hits record low, and more than one-quarter of employees enjoy workplace flexibility - these are the results from the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) released by Statistics Canada for May. According to the figures released on Friday, employment across Canada increased by 39,800 for the month of May, driven by strong growth in full-time work. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - Looking For A Job In Canada? Follow These Five Steps - Canada immigration news: Record-high vacancies and record low unemployment are good news for foreign nationals looking for a job in Canada as part of an immigration project. In March, there were 1,012,900 vacant jobs in Canada, a record high, and there were more paid jobs in all but two of Canada's 10 provinces that month than there were before the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada figures reveal. (Full Story)

June 8, 2022 - Advertising requirements for Canadian employers hiring foreign workers - Canadian employers who need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to hire foreign workers will oftentimes need to complete an advertising requirement. The purpose of the advertising requirement is to demonstrate to the Canadian government that there are no Canadian workers available or willing to fill a job vacancy. Employers must satisfy the guidelines set out by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the federal government department that oversees the LMIA process. (Full Story)

June 6, 2022 - Canada To Help Foreign-Train Health Care Workers Get Jobs - Canada has announced $1.5 million in spending to help foreign-trained health care workers get their credentials recognized. The spending, announced on Monday by Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, is to help professionals educated abroad fill important positions in Canada's health care system in provinces outside Quebec. (Full Story)

June 3, 2022 - Government of Canada invests to make communities and workplaces barrier-free for persons with disabilities - The Government of Canada is investing to ensure accessibility and disability inclusion is prioritized in Canadian communities and workplaces. As part of National AccessAbility Week, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced $67.1 million to support projects by 959 organizations across Canada through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. (Full Story)

May 30, 2022 - Canada posts record-high job vacancies - Canada posted a record-high job vacancy at the start of March with employers seeking to fill more than one million positions, according to a report from Statistics Canada (StatCan). Vacancies increased by 22.6 per cent (186,400) from February, and were up 60.5 per cent (382,000) from March 2021. Three in four (75 per cent) employers globally are having difficulty finding the talent they need, the highest in 16 years, according to a report from ManpowerGroup. (Full Story)

May 30, 2022 - Government of Canada helps to create more than 25,000 apprenticeship positions across Canada - The skilled trades are at the centre of Canada's economic recovery. Few industries are as essential to Canadians' everyday lives. Smart investments are needed to support Canadians from all backgrounds in taking up apprenticeship training now, and kick-starting lucrative careers in well-respected skilled trades. (Full Story)

May 24, 2022 - Expert panel: How employers can design health benefits, retirement plans for gig workers - Whether they're delivering takeout, chauffeuring passengers, or fixing leaky sinks, most gig workers in Canada don't get benefits. Classified as independent contractors rather than employees, they're excluded from employer contributions to Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, they may not be protected under worker's compensation and they can't participate in tax-advantaged benefits programs like registered pension plans and employee life and health trusts. (Full Story)

May 20, 2022 - Employers adjusting benefits, compensation amid inflation, labour shortage: survey - More than half of Canadian employers have considered adjusting employee rewards and benefits (57 per cent) and salary/wages (55 per cent) to contend with rising inflation and an ongoing labour shortage, according to a survey by Ento Canada. The survey, which polled more than 400 human resources leaders, found four in 10 (42 per cent) employers have also considered adjusting staffing levels. (Full Story)

May 10, 2022 - CFIB calling on governments to follow Ontario's lead and legislate surplus rebates - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on workers' compensation boards (WCBs) across Canada to rebate surplus funds back to small business owners. According to CFIB's latest research snapshot, Workers' Compensation and Surplus Distributions: A Small Business Perspective, seven provincial and territorial boards are in an over-funded position, meaning boards have exceeded their desired funding target. (Full Story)



Provincial Payroll and Employment News (Click a province to view articles)


June 13, 2022 - Alberta looks for feedback on pension system - Alberta is seeking stakeholder feedback as it looks to improve its workplace pension system. Focusing the Employment Pension Plans Act and the Employment Pension Plans Regulation, the province is seeking input on innovation and modernization, funding and reducing red tape. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - Alberta again Canada's 'economic engine' as unemployment dips - The latest labour force numbers released by Statistics Canada show Alberta's unemployment rate dropped in May to 5.3 per cent from 5.9. Also key to the jobs recovery is the employment rate - the share of the working age population in employment - has improved to 4.1 per cent above pre-pandemic levels. Overall, Alberta added 27,600 jobs last month. (Full Story)

June 3, 2022 - Applications for Alberta Jobs Now reopen Friday - The provincial government is taking steps to help address a labour shortage in the province. Applications for Alberta Jobs Now reopen on Friday, June 3, 2022. Eligible employers can hire and train up to 10 new full or part-time workers. Grants would cover 25 per cent of an employee's annual salary up to a maximum of $25,000 per employee. (Full Story)

June 1, 2022 - Alberta unveils Respectful Workplace Policy for political staff - Alberta has released a new policy to ensure a safe workplace environment for people working in politics. The Respectful Workplace Policy includes detailed information on how to make a complaint, how investigations will be conducted, consequences for violation and definitions of various types of workplace harassment. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Alberta NDP promises to revive summer job program for students and employers - Alberta's New Democratic Party intends to revive and enhance a program that connected summer job seekers with employers aiming to hire and train workers. Opposition leader Rachel Notley said the NDP - if re-elected to power - will "bring back and expand" the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP), which incentivized high school and post-secondary student employment from May to August through a $7 per hour wage subsidy. (Full Story)

May 30, 2022 - Wages are going up in Alberta, but not enough to match inflation - Wages are going up in Alberta, but not enough to keep pace with inflation, according to a recent analysis by ATB Financial. Average weekly earnings in Alberta rose by 3.2 per cent in March, relative to the same time the year before. This was a significant bump - and the fastest increase in about five months - but still only about half the province's March inflation rate of 6.5 per cent, the report said. (Full Story)

May 26, 2022 - Alberta towers above other provinces in the number of long-term unemployed - Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released its labour force survey for April, the agency's monthly household survey that aspires to assess the health of the Canadian economy. That survey offered up some positive indicators for Alberta: jobs in the province were up by nearly 16,000, while the province's unemployment rate dipped to its lowest level since 2015. (Full Story)

May 25, 2022 - The Government Of Alberta Is Hiring For So Many Jobs & These Will Pay Over $70K - If gas and grocery prices are making you reevaluate your current job scenario, you're in luck. The Government of Alberta is hiring for loads of different jobs and you could earn $70,000 or more. There are a ton of government jobs available, and you could work in anything from wildlife biology to communications and get paid a decent salary too. (Full Story)

May 24, 2022 - How WCB is helping keep workers safe - The Workers' Compensation Board of Alberta (WCB) services around 156,000 employers and 1.8 million workers throughout the province. Though the broad goal of the organization is, of course, recovery and return to work, the WCB also has some key areas that it chooses to focus on. Over the last few years, the organization has also been building partnerships with employers and industry groups, with the hopes that increased collaboration will help bring about further innovations. (Full Story)

May 3, 2022 - Alberta lifts restrictions on temporary foreign workers - Effective May 1st, Alberta is lifting restrictions on the hiring of new temporary foreign workers. All pending applications, including those submitted prior to May 1, are subject to this change. Prior to the change, the Alberta government had a "refusal to process" list containing occupations for which employers could not submit applications to the Canadian government to hire temporary foreign workers in the province. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - B.C. unemployment plunges to three-year low in May as tourism bounces back - After shedding 2,000 jobs in April, the West Coast economy bounced back last month with the addition of 5,100 jobs, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday. Food services and accommodation added 6,800 jobs from April to May, while the information, culture and recreation category saw an uptick of 7,400 jobs during that same period. (Full Story)

June 9, 2022 - High job vacancies and an aging population define B.C.'s labour force - B.C. has the highest job vacancy rate in Canada, contradicting the province's lower-than-average long-term unemployment rates. A recent Statistics Canada report found that long-term unemployment in Canada accounted for a fifth of total unemployment in April, up five per cent from pre-pandemic levels. Over one in four of those individuals, defined as being out of work for almost seven months, hold a bachelor's degree or higher. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - B.C. minimum wage increases June 1 for lowest paid workers - As of June 1, 2022, B.C.'s lowest paid workers will get a pay boost as the minimum wage increases from $15.20 to $15.65 per hour, which is the highest of any province. This increase is part of a commitment made by government in 2018 to support workers and their families. Five years of measured, predictable increases have benefited as many as 400,000 British Columbians, the majority of whom are women, immigrants or youth. (Full Story)

May 19, 2022 - Worker shortage leaves B.C.'s restaurant industry hungry for employees - Competition for employees is heating up among restaurants in B.C., amid a labour shortage that has forced many businesses to come up with new ways to attract and retain skilled workers. Ian Tostenson, CEO and president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the sector has lost around 35,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Manitoba looks to amend rules for minimum wage - The Manitoba government is introducing legislation that would allow larger increases to the provincial minimum wage. Currently, annual increases are indexed to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Each year, on Oct. 1, the minimum wage is adjusted in proportion to the change in the previous year's inflation. Manitoba's minimum hourly wage is set to increase by 40 cents to $12.35 on Oct. 1. The proposed legislation would allow cabinet to authorize a larger increase. (Full Story)

May 28, 2022 - Manitoba workers, union president say it's time for a minimum wage increase - With Manitoba set to introduce a bill as early as Monday that could raise its minimum wage, workers in the province say it's about time. The Prairie province has some of the lowest-paid workers in Canada. And with Saskatchewan planning to raise its minimum wage to $13 an hour in October, Manitoba is poised to have the lowest minimum wage in the country, at $11.95 an hour. (Full Story)

May 27, 2022 - Manitoba cannot fall behind other provinces in minimum wage, premier vows ahead of new legislation - After initially suggesting the wages of Manitoba's lowest-paid employees are rising on their own, Premier Heather Stefanson wants to tip the scales and improve a minimum wage that's poised to be the lowest in Canada. On Friday, Stefanson said Manitoba needs to be competitive with other provinces in the pay its businesses offer. (Full Story)

May 9, 2022 - Canada-Manitoba Job Grant: First Intake Open - On April 20, 2022, the Province of Manitoba opened the first of two intake periods for the 2022-2023 Canada-Manitoba Job Grant (the "Grant"), a new program that will provide funding to employers to help cover training costs of new and existing employees. A second intake period will open in August 2022. (Full Story)

May 09, 2022 - Labour shortage boosting low wages by itself, Manitoba premier says in defence of minimum wage - Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson doesn't appear too concerned her province may soon be home to the lowest minimum wage in the country. Considering the labour shortage afflicting businesses, Stefanson figures employers are raising the wages of their lowest-paid employees on their own to recruit workers. (Full Story)

June 14 2022 - Thinking outside-the-kitchen: Maritime employers try unconventional ways to recruit talent in a labour shortage - A Fredericton hotel is hoping a new strategy will attract the culinary talent they need - a $2,000 signing bonus for new hires. The general manager at the Delta Hotel says they tried all the traditional methods to get people through the door, including working with a recruiter, but have found it very difficult to find new talent.  (Full Story)

June 13, 2022 - Low wages factoring into New Brunswick labour shortage, says economist - The task of finding enough staff to keep the lights on continues to be a challenge for employers in most sectors throughout New Brunswick. The latest data from Statistics Canada noted nearly 16,000 vacant jobs in New Brunswick as of March. Positions in a health care setting have deterred some candidates due to the stringent measures implemented to protect against COVID-19. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - Unemployment rate in N.B. near all-time low, some sectors struggle to find workers - New Brunswick's unemployment rate is declining, and available jobs have decreased this month, while some sectors continue to look for workers. The province's unemployment rate has decreased by 1.8 per cent from May of last year to May 2022. The province's unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent this May was the second-lowest it's been since 2001. The absolute lowest unemployment rate in that period was seven per cent in April. (Full Story)

June 6, 2022 - Should job ads in N.B. always post the pay? Yes, say pay equity advocates - Advocates for pay equity in New Brunswick are meeting today to talk about what kind of law could help close the province's gender pay gap. Women in New Brunswick who get paid hourly make about seven per cent less than men, according to the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity. (Full Story)

June 2, 2022 - NBCC's Going Beyond campaign to transform New Brunswick's workforce - NBCC has launched its first-ever fundraising campaign, Going Beyond. The $16-million campaign looks to: Accelerate skills development by creating fast, flexible training opportunities that meet the needs of learners and employers; Innovate educational delivery through the use of new tools, technology, spaces, and partnerships; and Reach unprecedented numbers of New Brunswickers by reducing the barriers that prevent people from seeking training. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Legislation aims to get skilled newcomers into workforce sooner - The provincial government introduced legislation today to help internationally educated people practise their professions in New Brunswick sooner. "We know that there are skilled workers already here, and others looking to move here, who have had difficulty getting their foreign credentials recognized, leaving them with limited options," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Why We Need To Stop Pretending N.B. Has High Unemployment - I have to say I was surprised to read a recent Globe & Mail editorial on the future of the EI program. It covered everything: eligibility requirements, maternity/parental leave, gig workers - some thoughtful insights and recommendations - not a single mention of seasonal EI usage. (Full Story)

May 24, 2022 - Investing in youth employment opportunities throughout New Brunswick - Canada's economy and future prosperity depends on young people being able to get good, well-paying jobs now and into the future. That is why the Government of Canada is making historic investments in young people, to ensure they have the supports, skills and opportunities needed to build long and successful careers. This year, 845 young people are benefiting from 12 YESS projects across New Brunswick, through organizations that provide job placements and skills development services to youth facing barriers to employment. (Full Story)

May 12, 2022 - Incentive program helping to fill hard-to-recruit nursing jobs - More than 170 nurses have been hired under an incentive program designed to attract newly registered nurses for jobs that are hard to fill. The initiative was launched last spring. Newly registered nurses can receive up to $10,000 in exchange for a three-year commitment in either full or part time jobs that are hard to fill with either of the two regional health authorities or with Extra-Mural/Ambulance NB Inc. (Full Story)

May 27, 2022 - 'Everyone is hurting': $15 minimum wage may be too little, too late for people in N.L. - An increase in the minimum wage feels too little and too late for many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are struggling with cost-of-living increases that have seen prices of gas, groceries and other necessities soar over the past few months. On Thursday, May 26, the province announced it will bolster the minimum wage ahead of schedule, bringing the total to $15 by October 2023. (Full Story)

May 26, 2022 - Provincial Government Releases Minimum Wage Review Committee Report - The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Labour, today released the final report of the Minimum Wage Review Committee. The report was completed after a comprehensive analysis and stakeholder engagement process, including input from employers, employees, advocacy, labour and employer groups, and the public. (Full Story)

June 6, 2022 - N.W.T. government releases plan to address health-care staffing shortage - The N.W.T. government has developed a plan to address staffing gaps in the health and social services department. Recruitment and retention of health and social services staff in the territory has long been an issue, with the pandemic exacerbating the problem. The new long-range human resources plan, released Friday, aims to reduce vacancy and turnover rates, and to increase Indigenous representation throughout the system. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Youth Safety Leadership Program - The NWT Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission is now accepting applications for a new Youth Safety Leadership Program. This is an opportunity for young workers aged between 14 and 24 in the Northwest Territories to develop as safety leaders within their communities and build skills that could lead to a rewarding career in workplace health and safety. (Full Story)

May 2, 2022 - What's a fair living wage in smaller NWT communities? - A group that calculates a fair living wage in the Northwest Territories' largest hubs has now attempted a similar exercise for smaller communities. Alternatives North stressed the newly published estimates are not formal living wage assessments as not enough data exists to meet the guidance of the Canadian Living Wage Framework, which is ordinarily used to make such calculations. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - First Responders Mental Health NS Conference Registration is now open - Registration is now open for the First Responders Mental Health NS Conference to be held September 13-14, 2022. This two-day, in-person event will offer expert speakers and dynamic sessions on a range of mental health topics, including resilience, workplace psychological safety, navigating psychological injuries, developing peer support programs and more. The conference is presented by the Nova Scotia First Responders Mental Health Steering Committee, with support from WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration. (Full Story)

June 12, 2022 - Nova Scotia in midst of labour shortage in skilled trades, experts say - Nova Scotia has a shortage of tradespeople and some in the sector say upcoming projects could suffer due to the lack of labour. Estimates show the province will need about 11,000 newly certified tradespeople in the coming years up until 2030, said Marjorie Davison, the CEO of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. (Full Story)

June 8, 2022 - New Program to Help Attract and Retain Young Skilled Workers - Young skilled trades workers in Nova Scotia will be the first to benefit from the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades (MOST) program, aimed at attracting and retaining young people in key sectors and shaping the workforce of tomorrow. For Tradespeople under 30 who are employed and registered as apprentices or certified as journeypersons in eligible skilled trades and occupations, MOST will return their provincial income tax paid on the first $50,000 of income earned. (Full Story)

June 8, 2022 - Nova Scotia touts skilled trades income tax rebate - Nova Scotia officially launched its MOST program to help young people in skilled trades on Wednesday at an event held at lunchtime at Irving Shipyards. The More Opportunity for Skilled Trades program offers a provincial tax rebate for trades workers under the age of 30 on the first $50,000 of income. The program is expected to apply to about 7,500 workers with an average refund of about $2,700. It was announced earlier in the 2022 provincial budget. (Full Story)

May 30, 2022 - Feds announce $247 million for apprentice training at Halifax conference - With labour shortages looming across the country, Carla Qualtrough, the minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, on Monday announced the expenditure of $247 million to train apprentices. The federal funding will go to 13 projects that will enable small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) to offer apprenticeship training opportunities. (Full Story)

May 9, 2022 - New Podcast Launches - WorkShift hosted by Stuart MacLean - Connecting with safety leaders to influence best practice approaches that prevent injuries and support safe and timely return to work is the main thrust behind WCB Nova Scotia's ongoing strategic outreach activities. Up until now, most of these conversations happened one-on-one, virtually or in person. This week, the WCB will ramp up their efforts to reach more safety leaders, with the launch of a new podcast. (Full Story)

May 2, 2022 - Long-term workplace safety culture continues to build in Nova Scotia - Nova Scotians spent less time off the job due to workplace injury in 2021 than the year before, but getting hurt at work still takes far too great a toll, accounting for 2,955 person-years of work lost to workplace injury, according to WCB Nova Scotia. As Safety and Health Week kicks off across the country, WCB Nova Scotia is reporting their annual statistics from 2021, which paint a picture of workplace injury's impact on the province. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Youth Safety Leadership Program - The NWT Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission is now accepting applications for a new Youth Safety Leadership Program. This is an opportunity for young workers aged between 14 and 24 in the Northwest Territories to develop as safety leaders within their communities and build skills that could lead to a rewarding career in workplace health and safety. (Full Story)

May 27, 2022 - Hundreds of skilled unionized jobs at risk without approval of an increase in production at Baffinland's Mary River Mine - The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 ("Local 793") and International Union of Operating Engineers ("IUOE") urge the federal government to approve Baffinland's request for an emergency order to allow the company to increase production at the Mary River Mine through to the end of 2022. This step is needed to safeguard the jobs of hundreds of skilled unionized workers, many of whom reside in Nunavut. (Full Story)

May 24, 2022 - Getting paid while learning skills - Ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre hosted a Youth Employment Skills Strategy (YESS) week-long training session at the drop-in centre early May, and the program is set to continue throughout summer. The ultimate goal of the program is to help youth find work placements, at which point they would be guaranteed $21 an hour and the employer would actually receive some wage reimbursement. The program is funded by the Government of Canada. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - Ontario's 'right to disconnect': everything HR needs to know - As of June 2nd 2022, employers across Canada were forced to grapple with the somewhat confusing 'right to disconnect' law. Namely, all employers with over 25 workers on their books need to have a policy delineating how and when employees can and cannot be contacted - with leaders being urged not to reach out to staff after their working day is done. (Full Story)

June 13, 2022 - Niagara unemployment rate still trending downward, now at 5.5 per cent - It may have taken a few additional months to catch up to national and provincial levels, but Niagara's unemployment rate is the lowest its been in about two years. Niagara Workforce Planning Board project manager Thalia Semplonius said Niagara is sitting at about 5.5 per cent unemployment in May (7.1 per cent in March) - just below Ontario's 5.6 per cent, and above Canada's 5.1 per cent. (Full Story)

June 6, 2022 - WSIB doubles rebates for smaller businesses enrolled in its Health and Safety Excellence program - The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is sweetening the incentives for smaller businesses with fewer than 99 employees to invest in health and safety. A new pandemic bonus will double the rebates eligible businesses can earn for each topic they complete in the WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence program. The WSIB's Health and Safety Excellence program connects Ontario businesses with approved providers in their industry or community who help design a plan based on 36 available health and safety topics. (Full Story)

April 29, 2022 - Majority of Ontario workers aware of right to refuse unsafe work - Health and safety in the workplace are in the minds of workers, according to a new report. Overall, 90 per cent of workers in Ontario said they were aware of their right to refuse unsafe work, the province's Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) reported. And when asked what they would do if they had a safety concern at work, 63 per cent said they would raise the concern with management, found WSIB's survey of 1,001 adult Ontarians conducted April 15 to 17, 2022. (Full Story)

April 28, 2022 - Workforce development strategy needed to address skills mismatch - It's unfortunate to have people out of work in Ontario while many employers cannot find qualified candidates to fill job vacancies. Labour shortages are one of the greatest challenges facing businesses today. In some instances, shortages are exacerbated by what is known as a "skills mismatch," a dynamic in which employers' needs don't align with the skill sets of job seekers. (Full Story)

June 15, 2022 - Senate Committee to study PEI Employment Insurance zones - The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry will be considering a bill that would remove the two zones for employment insurance purposes in Prince Edward island during a meeting slated for Thursday. The committee will hear from Diane Griffin, who proposed the measure before she left the Senate earlier this year after she reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. She is also a former chair of the agriculture committee. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - Employers may struggle as P.E.I. unemployment rate falls steadily - After a volatile couple of years, the P.E.I. job market appears to be settling into a more steady trend. Statistics Canada released the labour force survey for May on Friday morning. The pandemic played havoc with the Island's labour economy. The unemployment rate soared in the early months of the pandemic, peaking at more than 14 per cent in June 2020. It began to fall that summer, dropping to under 10 per cent by January. (Full Story)

May 11, 2022 - Pay Transparency - Effective June 1, 2022, Employers cannot seek pay history information from applicants. A new section (5.8) has been added to the Employment Standards Act that provides that no employer may seek pay history information about an applicant. Applicant may still voluntarily and without prompting disclose pay history information to an employer. Employers may still ask applicants about pay expectations. (Full Story)

May 6, 2022 - Changes to Special Leave Fund - Changes have been made to the provincial COVID-19 Special Leave Fund to support Islanders now that federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), have expired. The fund has changed to provide up to five days per week, on two separate occasions, to a maximum of 10 days of wage support, to coincide with the current COVID-19 isolation requirements in the province. (Full Story)

June 10, 2022 - More People Working In Saskatchewan Than Ever Before - Today, job numbers released by Statistics Canada for May 2022 show Saskatchewan added 19,800 jobs, an increase of 3.5 per cent, compared to May 2021. All of the growth was in full-time jobs. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.8 per cent in May 2022.  It was down from 6.1 per cent a year ago, down from 5.5 per cent a month ago, and below the national average of 5.1 per cent. (Full Story)

June 7, 2022 - Saskatchewan's equity policy hasn't been updated in 22 years: auditor - Saskatchewan's auditor says policy designed to eliminate barriers in government workplaces for people of colour or with disabilities hasn't been updated in almost 22 years. Tara Clemett says in a report covering the last six months of 2021 that she found employees who identified as disabled, Indigenous or racialized were below employment targets set by the Saskatchewan Party government. (Full Story)

May 31, 2022 - WCB's 2020-22 COVID-19 cost relief to conclude at the end of June - For more than two years in 2020, through 2021 and through the first six months of 2022, the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) provided cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 claims. The WCB will conclude providing COVID-19 cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022. Accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2022 are still eligible for cost relief. (Full Story)

May 25, 2022 - Opinion: Sask. minimum wage increase welcome, but still not enough - It's finally happening. Premier Scott Moe is raising Saskatchewan's minimum wage to $15 an hour. This is good news. It's good news for workers in low-wage jobs. It's good news for their children and their families. In Saskatchewan, 62,000 workers currently earn less than $15 an hour for their labour. That's roughly the populations of Prince Albert and Moose Jaw combined. (Full Story)

May 5, 2022 - Boost to Saskatchewan's minimum wage faces criticism - The Saskatchewan government has just announced it is increasing its provincial minimum wage, but some groups are not happy with the development. The base salary for workers will rise to $13 per hour starting Oct. 1, 2022, from the current $11.81 per hour. Saskatchewan is also looking to up the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 - an 89-per-cent increase from the 2007 minimum wage of $7.95. (Full Story)

May 4, 2022 - Saskatchewan Announces Funding of $532,000 to Train Indigenous Job Seekers in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector - The Government of Saskatchewan has announced one-time funding of $532,000 to provide training support for Indigenous job seekers to develop the skills they need to enter the hospitality and tourism sector. The Hospitality and Tourism program is in response to labour needs and aims to improve the employment rate of Indigenous people in the Saskatchewan workforce. (Full Story)

May 3, 2022 - Minimum Wage Will Increase to $13 Per Hour This Year, $15 by 2024 - On October 1, 2022, the provincial minimum wage will increase from $11.81 to $13.00 per hour. On October 1, 2023, minimum wage will increase to $14 per hour and on October 1, 2024, it will increase to $15 per hour. This will represent a 27 per cent increase to the minimum wage by 2024. The increases to minimum wage reflect a market adjustment, rather than using the province's traditional indexation formula. (Full Story)

May 4, 2022 - Saskatchewan restaurateurs surprised by province's decision to abandon predictable minimum wage indexation formula with $3 per hour minimum wage increase over next three years - Restaurants Canada and Saskatchewan's struggling restaurateurs were disheartened by yesterday's announcement that the Saskatchewan Government will be increasing the provincial minimum wage from $11.81 to $13.00 per hour on October 1, 2022, and to $15 per hour on October 1, 2024 - a 27 per cent increase over the next three years. (Full Story)

June 2022 - Workers' compensation and COVID-19 - COVID-19 is a contagious disease. We have community spread of COVID-19 in the Yukon and the risk of exposure is high in the general population. You are not entitled to compensation simply because you contracted COVID-19 while doing your job. For a claim related to COVID-19 to be accepted as a work-related injury: The job tasks you perform must carry an inherent risk of you getting COVID-19; There must be causative significance between the job tasks you perform and you getting COVID-19; and There must be significantly greater risk of you getting COVID-19 compared to the general population's risk. (Full Story)


Managing employee attendance

Part 2 of 2, continued from our previous issue - Click Here for Part 1



The quickest and most efficient way to discover absenteeism issues is to conduct an historical research project to determine the extent of the problem in your organization. Determine the level of absenteeism over a three-year time frame and figure out if the problem is improving or getting worse. Isolate each department and determine where there are higher than usual absentee rates. Interview the managers and get their feedback on the problem. Determine if there are issues related to workplace ergonomics, the nature of the work and/or how the tasks are carried out. Are there workplace hazards that are contributing to the issue and if so, how can these be addressed? Is absenteeism an employee issue or a workplace structure issue? And during this pandemic, try to determine just where the absences are occurring and determine if safety precautions are not doing their job. Then, use your statistics to explore the nature and extent of the problem and then meet with the management team to discuss organization-wide solutions as well as departmental solutions.

Work with the human resource manager to review your reporting system. Are you using daily or weekly timesheets? How is absenteeism reported? How is it authorized and recorded within the HR or payroll department? Review your attendance policies with respect to when a manager should step in to begin taking a more aggressive approach. Review just how you are calculating your absenteeism and ensure it fits your organization.

For instance, you can calculate absenteeism by department, work shift, type of employees, by job family or by other factors such as seasonal patterns of absenteeism. It is also wise to separate data according to short versus long term absences. Determine an incidence rate based on the number of your employees during a given reporting period. (Usually, this is the number of absences multiplied by 100, then divided by the number of employees) You can also calculate an "inactivity" rate where work is not being produced because an employee is absent and there is no replacement.

Once you have identified your absence problem, the key is to put strategies in place to help overcome this challenge. These include taking disciplinary action for excessive absenteeism when necessary, verifying illness through physician reports, management training and reporting on absenteeism, developing and implementing some form of employee reward and recognition program for good attendance, and promotion of health and wellness programs in the organization.

Over the last couple years of the pandemic, organizations have learned how quickly sickness can spread within an organization. Therefore, it is important your policies do not encourage an employee to return to work when they are still feeling ill. This is known as "presenteeism" and is now seen to have much more negative effects on the entire work population. The key is keeping all employees healthy.

Other policy strategies include allowing banked time of paid leave, family and/or personal leave of three to five days where the employee does not need to document an illness, implementation of alternative work arrangements, job redesign and/or increased safety measures. Also, take time to focus on how to improve employee morale through engagement activities and ensuring a positive workplace culture.

Finally, when structuring your management training programs, be sure to include a review of all applicable legislation related to employee absence and illness in respect to the need for accommodation and ensuring human rights and employment legislation is followed carefully. This is especially important during this time of pandemic-related illnesses. Absenteeism management and the assurance that backup plans are in place is critical to ongoing success in this pandemic world. Don't delay, study your organization and make plans to tackle this issue.

Source: Managing Employee Attendance, SHRM website.

This article is by permission from Barbara J. Bowes, FCPHR, CCP, M.Ed., accomplished speaker, trainer, coach, writer and professional strategist/consultant. Barbara is also the President of Legacy Bowes Group, Winnipeg's premier HR Solutions provider. She can be reached at barb@legacybowes.com.


Software Updates

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Added the July 2022 mid-year tax calculation changes (to be released the week of June 20, 2022).
  • Added support for spaces and semicolon separators for fields that support multiple emails addresses.
  • Added a verification to the ROEWeb test button. When this button is chosen, eNETEmployer will verify the ROE against the CRA XML schema.
  • Enhanced the Remittance page for the Pay Register report by adjusting some terminology and better defining the current period's remittance total.
  • Enhanced various French translations across the program (menu items, buttons, messages, etc.).
  • Fixed an issue where uploaded resumes and documents were not displaying in the Recruitment module's Job Applicants screen.
  • Adjusted the four directional settings (Top, Bottom, Left, Right) in the Reports screen so that they are only available for reports that support them.

GrandMaster Suite (upcoming release v17.02)

  • Added the July 2022 mid-year tax calculation changes.

GrandMaster II (upcoming release v17.02)

  • Added the July 2022 mid-year tax calculation changes.


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