Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

March 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

March 2022 - Free Payroll Information Database - As part of our support of the Canadian Payroll industry, CanPay continues to provide a free Payroll Information Database to all payroll practitioners. Available for all thirteen provinces and territories, it lists a wide variety of payroll rates, thresholds, and important dates for numerous payroll categories including: Minimum Wage, Worker's Compensation, Work Leaves, Statutory Holidays, Overtime Hours, and many more. Click Here to learn more about this free service.

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

March 2, 2022 - How many employers reveal pay in job ads? - When it comes to pay transparency, Canadian employers are less inclined to disclose salaries in job listings. Two-thirds (66 per cent) reveal pay in job ads, compared to 78 per cent in the U.S. and 80 per cent worldwide, finds Indeed Canada. Almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) respondents who indicated that their company does disclose the salary on job postings agree this has been beneficial in the hiring process. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Worker's compensation: What are your responsibilities when an employee is injured? - The worker's compensation system can be difficult to navigate for both workers and employers. It also varies throughout Canada, adding an extra layer of confusion. While some workplaces may be lucky and never experience a workplace injury, it's certainly not uncommon. Employment and Social Development Canada reports that on average, one out of 15 workers was injured at work in 2003 (a total of one million injuries were reported that year). (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Applications now being accepted for Youth Employment and Skills Program - The government has announced an investment of up to $3.7 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and support approximately 300 jobs for youth in the agriculture sector. The YESP aims to support agri-food employers and provide young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30 with job experience in agriculture that could lead to a career working in the sector. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Call for proposals to help increase skills development opportunities for Indigenous people - Indigenous people continue to face multiple and persistent barriers to labour market entry and success. At the same time, Canada's economic recovery from COVID-19 is challenged by labour shortages in key sectors. For these reasons, the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous people and organizations to help prioritize their access to targeted skills development opportunities that they need to succeed. (Full Story)

February 25, 2022 - Federal labour minister pushing provinces to mandate paid sick leave - Federal Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan is calling on Newfoundland and Labrador - and other Canadian provinces - to make paid sick leave mandatory. Right now, businesses in N.L. are required only to give workers seven sick days but aren't required to pay staff for those days off. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, various labour groups, public health officials and members of Parliament have been pushing to make paid sick leave mandatory. (Full Story)

February 25, 2022 - How flexible back-to-work plans could tap the talents of workers facing employment barriers - Kevin McNichol has been helping Albertans find secure work for three years. McNichol is the CEO of Prospect Human Services, a company with a focus on assisting people with disabilities and other employment barriers. He says the not-for-profit organisation has already noticed more opportunities for its clients as the pandemic meant more people could work from home. (Full Story)

February 24, 2022 - Canadian Job Vacancies Are Rising But Wages Aren't Budging - Canadian unemployment fell and job vacancies are rising, creating a tighter labor market. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) payroll data shows job vacancies were climbing in December. At the same time, the unemployment rate has dropped to pre-pandemic levels. A tight labor market is usually good for wages, but that isn't the case this time. The national statistics agency found average salaries moved very little last month. Unlike the US, Canada's tightening labor market is producing very little wage growth. (Full Story)

February 14, 2022 - Towards Excellence in Return to Work/Disability Management Professionalization - In 2021, the Federal government announced the "Towards Excellence in Return to Work/Disability Management Professionalization" initiative. Further detail are now provided on this initiative which is designed to support improved Return to Work (RTW) and Disability Management (DM) knowledge, programs and practices, and promote Disability Management professionalization across Canada (with the exception of BC which developed its own similar initiative), and mirrors major efforts currently underway across the UK, Belgium, Malaysia and other jurisdictions. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Job vacancies in Canada remain near record highs - The number of job vacancies in Canada remains high with 874,700 unfilled positions, according to the latest Statistics Canada figures. Data from November suggests the number of job vacancies was down 9.3% from October, but still significantly higher than before the start of the pandemic. Although the last two months have seen a decline from the all-time high recorded in September, the number of unfilled positions remains 72% above that of the fourth quarter of 2019. (Full Story)

February 3, 2022 - Canada could see lowest jobless rate in more than 50 years - There are about one million job vacancies and slightly more than one million people unemployed as country heads towards a potentially record -low jobless rate. Economic forecasting is a complex business at the best of times, but trying to read the portents of a global economy in recovery from a pandemic has made it even more complicated. One of the biggest stories of 2022 for the economy is going to be employment - high employment. (Full Story)

February 2, 2022 - Skilled Trades Jobs In Construction Are Available Across Canada & Some Pay $30 An Hour - If you're looking at getting into the skilled trades sector, there are currently so many construction jobs available across Canada. The Government of Canada recently launched a campaign to encourage people to pursue "in-demand skilled trades as a first-choice career path." "Construction is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Canada that offers high demand careers," says the government website. (Full Story)

January 31, 2022 - Government of Canada promotes in-demand skilled trades as a first-choice career path - Now more than ever, as Canada recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, skilled tradespeople are in high demand to fill well-paying jobs and build rewarding careers. The most recent projections estimate about 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028, creating an ever-growing need to recruit and train thousands more. Also launched as part of this campaign is, a comprehensive website that offers a one-stop national repository for information about the skilled trades. (Full Story)

January 27, 2022 - Minimum Wage Is Going Up In Several Provinces In 2022 & Here's Who'll Be Paid The Most - It may only be January but, already, multiple provinces and territories in Canada have plans to increase their minimum wage in 2022. While some regions will pay employees at least $16 per hour by the end of this year, others are set to end up falling behind with wages of $11.81 or even less per hour. (Full Story)

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

February 28, 2022 - Two-thirds of employers plan to hire 'extensively' - Two-thirds (66 per cent) of Canadian employers plan to hire extensively over the next 12 months. That's according to a survey by Randstad Sourceright of more than 900 human capital and C-suite leaders across 18 markets. Nearly one-third (30 per cent) of human capital leaders say talent scarcity is a major pain point. This was the top-cited response, followed by talent retiring or voluntarily choosing to leave the workplace (30 per cent) and increased competition for top talent (16 per cent). (Full Story)

February 24, 2022 - Powering Trades job fair offers opportunity to further skilled trades - Powering Trades will be hosting a job fair Mar. 3 for the Skilled Trades Program that begins training April 19. Powering Trades is a 16-week pre-employment training program designed to assist people to get their foot in the door for several skilled trades. The program also supports individuals with work experience placement and aims to offer long-term steady-paid employment that leads to an apprenticeship. (Full Story)

February 9, 2022 - Part-time jobs on the rise in Alberta - Over the last decade, part-time workers have been making up an ever-increasing percentage of total workers in Alberta. In December 2021, there were 1,868,200 full-time jobs in Alberta and 431,600 part-time jobs. Full-time jobs made up 81.23% of all jobs and part-time jobs made up 18.77%. By comparison, in 2011, those percentages were 83.27% full-time and 16.73% part-time. (Full Story)

February 8, 2022 - $6.5M to increase employment supports across Alberta - As part of Alberta's Recovery Plan, 41 grants were awarded to service providers based in communities throughout the province to help underemployed Albertans get back to work. These grants are part of a partnership with the federal government. This grant has helped many people reach their full potential by gaining employment or furthering their education. (Full Story)

February 7, 2022 - New Workforce Partnerships get Albertans back to work - A $1.53-million investment under the Workforce Partnerships program will support 16 projects that will spur economic growth and diversification and build a skilled and diverse workforce. These projects will give Albertans a range of job opportunities across several sectors, including biotechnology, commercial trucking, energy, aviation, forestry and retail. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Employment falls by 200,000 in January - After gains for several months, Canadian employment fell by 200,000 (one per cent) in January, spread across both part-time (down 117,000 or 3.3 per cent) and full-time (down 83,000 or 0.5 per cent) work. All of the decline was among private sector employees, says Statistics Canada, which also cited the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, leading many jurisdictions to implement stricter public health measures such as capacity limits or closures. (Full Story)

February 1, 2022 - 70,000 fewer salaried employees in Alberta since Job Creation Tax Cut - Nearly half of those were gone before the government implemented public health restrictions in March 2020. Last week, Statistics Canada released data on payroll employment, earnings, hours, and job vacancies. In November 2021, there were 1,956,552 salaried employees in Alberta. That's down from October, when there were 1,965,383, a decrease of 0.45%. (Full Story)

January 24, 2022 - Despite struggles, Alberta workers come out on top - Hybrid work, creative benefits keep employees engaged in a competitive market. It's no secret that both employers and employees found 2021 to be a hard financial year; it was defined by disruptions from resurgent COVID strains, destruction from increasingly common extreme weather events and general economic downturn from a global supply chain backup. Harder still, Alberta continued to experience its own brand of economic hardship through continued struggles in the resource sector. (Full Story)

January 12, 2022 - Mentoring newcomers for success in Alberta's workforce - The Alberta Immigrant Mentorship Innovation Grant supports organizations in delivering career mentorship programs that help newcomers find meaningful employment based on their work experience, education and skills. By matching newcomer professionals with mentors, new Albertans can establish professional connections that help them find meaningful employment and strengthen Alberta's workforce. (Full Story)

January 7 2022 - Alberta's unemployment rate dropped to pre-pandemic levels in December - Alberta's unemployment rate finally hit pre-pandemic levels last month, but Calgary's jobless rate remains among the highest in the country. According to Statistics Canada's December 2021 Labour Force Survey, Alberta had a jobless rate of 7.3 per cent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from November 2021. (Full Story)

February 22, 2022 - B.C. looks to bring back skilled traded certification - After being eliminated in 2003, a new act has been introduced in British Columbia to make certification in the skilled trades compulsory again. B.C. legislature introduced the Skilled Trades BC Act last week. The government said it will support and train apprentices, and modernize the Crown agency responsible for trades training. (Full Story)

February 18, 2022 - B.C.'s strong jobs market holds steady in January - B.C.'s labour market was surprisingly firm in January with 4,200 more people (0.2 per cent) working compared with December, contrasting with a one per cent loss nationwide. With a sixth straight increase, employment moved 2.4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels marking the strongest rebound among provinces. (Full Story)

February 17, 2022 - B.C.'s minimum wage set to rise on June 1 at the rate of inflation - The B.C. Fair Wages Commission is preparing a report on ways to close the gap between the minimum wage and the rate of inflation before the provincial government announces what that wage will increase to on June 1. Last week, the B.C. government announced minimum wage increases would be tied to the rate of inflation. (Full Story)

February 14, 2022 - New act supports good trades jobs, economic recovery - New legislation to establish a made-in-B.C. system to support and train apprentices and modernize the Crown agency responsible for trades training has been introduced in the legislature. The new Skilled Trades BC Act lays the foundation to address labour shortages, and support and recognize the critical work that skilled tradespeople do in British Columbia. In 2003, compulsory skilled trades certification was eliminated, making B.C. the only province without this requirement. (Full Story)

February 11, 2022 - Increasing apprenticeship training seats, supports for trades workers - The Province has provided $5 million to the Industry Training Authority (ITA) so that more trades workers can start an apprenticeship or upgrade their skills at recognized post-secondary and trades training providers across B.C. The funding will support apprentices re-entering or completing apprenticeship training in the mechanical, electrical and automotive trades included in skilled trades certification. (Full Story)

February 7, 2022 - Find a job that works for you with the new WorkBC app - The WorkBC app was developed in response to clients and service providers who asked for a faster, easier way to access WorkBC employment services online. The app enables users to explore career options, browse career profiles and access education and training opportunities such as trade certification, as well as communicate securely with employment counsellors at their local WorkBC Centre. (Full Story)

February 7, 2022 - B.C. expected to have more than 1 million job openings in the next decade - The latest labour market outlook for British Columbia shows nearly 80 per cent of job openings over the next decade will require some level of post-secondary education, reflecting the changing nature of the economy. The outlook released Monday by the provincial government also forecasts more than one million job openings in the next 10 years, with about 63 per cent of those replacing people who retire. (Full Story)

February 7, 2022 - One million jobs forecast in B.C.'s Labour Market Outlook - B.C.'s latest Labour Market Outlook (LMO) forecasts more than one million job openings into the next decade, creating opportunities for students and jobseekers to develop their skills and find rewarding jobs of the future. The LMO is a 10-year forecast that helps governments and businesses guide resources to support the future workforce and it gives British Columbians up-to-date information so they can make decisions about their future career paths. (Full Story)

February 17, 2022 - Sunshine Coast Foundation becomes first certified living wage employer on Lower Coast - The Sunshine Coast Foundation (SCF) has become the first employer on the lower Coast to become certified for committing to providing a living wage to its employees. On Jan. 28, the non-profit announced its new certification as a living wage employer during a virtual conversation it hosted with regional stakeholders about the importance and challenges of a living wage. (Full Story)

February 25, 2022 - Manitoba PNP Draw: Province Invites 278 Canada Immigration Candidates - Manitoba has issued 278 Letters of Advice to Apply to Canada immigration candidates in a new draw through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. The February 24 draw saw LAAs issued through three MPNP streams. Skilled Workers in Manitoba received 206 LAAs, with the lowest ranked candidates scoring 612 points. (Full Story)

February 22, 2022 - Wage and benefit increases coming for regulated child-care workers in Manitoba - Increased pay and benefits are coming for child-care workers in Manitoba after the federal and provincial governments announced they have extended a funding agreement. The Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, originally signed in February 2018, has now been extended to March 31, 2025, with a $98-million boost, according to a Tuesday news release from the province. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Massive Canada Labour Shortages Outlined In Latest Jobs Numbers Report - Canada has massive labour shortages, offering opportunities for economic immigration, with employers still in hiring mode as they rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. In its Payroll Employment, Earnings And Hours, And Job Vacancies, December 2021, the statistical and demographic services agency of the federal government noted employers in many sectors are still very much looking for employees even as they bring workers into their workforces. (Full Story)

January 17, 2022 - Wage top-up for workers who provide services to vulnerable residents - The provincial government is offering a $3 per hour wage top-up for workers who provide services to vulnerable residents and who earn less than $18 per hour. The top-up took effect on Saturday in conjunction with the province's move to Level 3 of the COVID-19 winter plan. The Emergency Essential Work Wage Top-Up will be available until March 14 and represents an investment of $8 million. It is estimated that more than 8,000 workers could benefit from the program. (Full Story)

January 17, 2022 - WorkSafeNB seeks public's input on regulatory review - WorkSafeNB is seeking stakeholder feedback to understand the economic and business impacts of proposed amendments to General Regulation 91-191 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The proposed amendments were developed in collaboration with stakeholder technical committees and aim to enhance workplace safety in a number of areas. (Full Story)

February 22, 2022 - Newfoundland and Labrador to hike minimum wage in April - Employers are urged to review the current minimum wage and adjust by March. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that it is increasing the minimum wage to $13.20 per hour starting April 1, a 45% increase from the current $12.75 per hour there. The government early this month also announced an increase in the minimum overtime wage rate from $19.13 per hour to $19.80. (Full Story)

February 21, 2022 - Minimum Wage Review Committee Seeks Stakeholder and Public Input - The Newfoundland and Labrador minimum wage is an important decision, made by the Provincial Government, one that impacts tens of thousands of employees, employers, and the overall economy in the province. Every two years, the Provincial Government is legislated to conduct a review of the current minimum wage rate, as well as the adjustment process. (Full Story)

February 2, 2022 - Former N.L. service workers say minimum wage increase is a long time coming - Minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador will increase by 45 cents to $13.20 an hour on April 1, 2022. According to 2020 data from Statistics Canada, about 43,500 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador make $15 or less an hour, and 35,300 of them are workers over the age of 19. According to data from the same year, 12.5 per cent of minimum wage workers stay in their job for five years or more. (Full Story)

February 1, 2022 - Minister Davis Announces Increase to the Minimum Wage - As of April 1, 2022, the minimum wage will be $13.20 per hour. The minimum overtime wage rate will increase to $19.80. This increase is required under the Labour Standards Regulations and is based on the percentage change in the National Consumer Price Index. The most recent increase to the minimum wage rate of $0.25 occurred on October 1, 2021, bringing the minimum wage rate to $12.75 per hour. (Full Story)

January 31, 2022 - MyWorkplaceNL online service available for injured workers - WorkplaceNL has added new services for injured workers to its suite of online tools. MyWorkplaceNL is a secure, convenient online service where injured workers can submit a report of a workplace injury, view claim and payment data, live chat with a representative, view and print select information, order hearing aid batteries, submit expenses and send in other claim-related documents. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - New Safe Workplace Program for Employers in Northwest Territories - A new initiative entitled "Safe Workplace" has been announced, and is led by the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission. Launched this year in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, Safe Workplace is a health and safety program that recognizes employers for their workplace safety performance and helps others identify areas to improve. As part of the program, every year, employers must file their annual payroll numbers with the WSCC and complete a health and safety questionnaire. (Full Story)

February 9, 2022 - GNWT launches new apprenticeship support - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has launched a pilot program titled Build Your Skills, which provides formal essential skills assessments to identify foundational skill gaps in potential and current apprentices. Through this pilot program, potential and current apprentices can access curriculum supports online and tools to build essential skills. Participation in Build Your Skills can help future apprentices prepare for the Trades Entrance Exam and help apprentices be successful in completing their technical training. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Announces New Program to Recognize and Promote Safer Workplaces - The Workers' Safety & Compensation Commission (WSCC) is pleased to announce a new program - Safe Workplace. The Safe Workplace program will recognize employers for their safety performance, while supporting others to improve how they manage and prioritize safety. All employers registered with the WSCC can check their status in the program once they submit their Annual Payroll Report (APR) for 2022, which includes a health and safety questionnaire. (Full Story)

January 31, 2022 - GNWT makes changes to Trades and Occupation Wage Subsidy Program (TOWSP) - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is announcing changes to the Trades and Occupation Wage Subsidy Program (TOWSP). The changes will help employers hire and retain third and fourth year apprentices, and will encourage employers to recruit women into non-traditional trades. When the TOWSP has surplus funding on October 1 of the given fiscal year, an employer will be able to receive up to 6400 hours of funding for an apprentice, which represents an increase of 3200 hours. (Full Story)

February 23, 2022 - Workplace safety, return-to-work more important than ever - As the Omicron variant continues to take a toll on Nova Scotia, its workplaces, and the healthcare system, WCB Nova Scotia says it has never been more important to prevent workplace injuries and help those who are injured return in a safe and timely manner. The organization's Q3 2021 results, released today, paint the picture of a province that was enjoying a relatively normal summer with an increasingly vaccinated population, loosening restrictions and workplaces resuming regular operations. (Full Story)

February 10, 2022 - Province Accepts Minimum Wage Recommendations - The Province has accepted all remaining recommendations from the Nova Scotia Minimum Wage Review Committee, which include a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2024. In January, the Province accepted the committee's recommendation to increase the minimum wage by 40 cents to $13.35 an hour on April 1. To reach $15, the minimum wage will increase several times over the next two years. (Full Story)

February 9, 2022 - Better Wages for Continuing Care Assistants - The Province is investing approximately $65 million in health authorities, long-term care and home care to increase pay for continuing care assistants (CCAs) so they will become the highest paid in Atlantic Canada. Wages for unionized and non-unionized CCAs at all levels in the publicly funded sector will increase by approximately 23 per cent effective Thursday, February 10, bringing the top annual salary to $48,419. For most full-time CCAs, this is an annual increase of close to $9,000 a year. (Full Story)

February 9, 2022 - CCA pay increase ‘a good start… but we're not done' - The day after a conference call where he heard directly from continuing care assistants (CCAs) across Nova Scotia, Premier Tim Houston announced a 23% wage increase for the sector. The announcement was made during Wednesday's provincial COVID-19 briefing. The increase takes effect Thursday and means the province's CCAs will go from the lowest paid in Canada to the highest paid in Atlantic Canada. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia: CPI adjustment for workers - For workers receiving regular monthly benefits, your February payment will include a one-time Consumer Price Index (CPI) benefit adjustment amount which covers the month of January. When the CPI shows the cost of living in Nova Scotia has increased, WCB benefits are increased by one half of the CPI percentage increase, as directed by the Workers' Compensation Act. We use the annual average CPI as calculated by Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

January 18, 2022 - New Employment Services Providers for Cape Breton - More Cape Bretoners will have access to a one-stop job search and career-advice resource as the YMCA Cape Breton and le Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ) expand their delivery of employment services. People in Arichat, Chéticamp, Inverness, Port Hawkesbury, St. Peter's and Sydney will have access to their services online or in person starting this month, about three months earlier than expected. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Announces New Program to Recognize and Promote Safer Workplaces - The Workers' Safety & Compensation Commission (WSCC) is pleased to announce a new program - Safe Workplace. The Safe Workplace program will recognize employers for their safety performance, while supporting others to improve how they manage and prioritize safety. All employers registered with the WSCC can check their status in the program once they submit their Annual Payroll Report (APR) for 2022, which includes a health and safety questionnaire. (Full Story)

February 1, 2022 - Call for proposals - Targeted Labour Market Program - The Department of Family Services is now accepting proposals for targeted employment and training programs to be delivered in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, starting any time after April 1, 2022. Training providers, including non-profit organizations and institutions, municipal corporations, Inuit organizations and Nunavut-based businesses, may apply for funding to deliver programs. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Ontario Establishing General Minimum Wage for Digital Platform Workers - Today, the Ontario government is introducing the Working for Workers Act, 2022 (Working for Workers Act 2), which would, if passed, continue to lead the country in building a stronger economy that works for everyone. Included in the legislation are changes that would make Ontario the first province in Canada to establish a minimum wage and other foundational rights for digital platform workers who offer rides or deliver food and other items for companies such as Uber, Door Dash and Instacart. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Working for Workers Act, 2022 - The Ontario government is introducing legislative changes today that would, if passed, deliver better protections, bigger paycheques and greater opportunities for workers and their families. Numerous changes would occur in including; 1) establishing foundational rights and protections for digital platform workers who provide ride-share, delivery, or courier services, and 2) enhancing worker protections and ensure that employers are held responsible for not complying with health and safety laws. (Full Story)

February 28, 2022 - Skilled Trades Ontario: the one-stop-shop for apprenticeship - You would be hard-pressed to find someone more engaged in apprenticeship and skilled trades than Melissa Young, who has lived and breathed skilled trades for some 30 years. A quick scan of her LinkedIn profile shows years of experience with training, apprenticeship, certification and harmonization. When we published news of the launch of Skilled Trades Ontario, industry stakeholders sounded, on the whole, quite positive about the new agency. (Full Story)

February 25, 2022 - Ontario Removing Barriers for Out-of-Province Skilled Workers - The Ontario government will introduce changes that would help workers in over 30 in-demand professions move here with their families while continuing their careers. The changes, if passed, would tackle Ontario's historic labour shortage - the largest in a generation - by ensuring out-of-province workers can register in their regulated profession or trade within 30 days. (Full Story)

February 24, 2022 - Ontario proposes new law that will require employers to tell workers if they're being electronically tracked - The Ontario government is introducing a new law that will force companies to tell their employees if and how they are being monitored electronically. The proposed law would require companies in Ontario with 25 or more employees to have a written contract in place that spells out how company computers, cell phones, GPS systems, and other electronic devices are being tracked. (Full Story)

February 16, 2022 - Ontario's Safe Employers Receiving up to $1.5 Billion Rebate - Ontario's safe employers are receiving a rebate of up to $1.5 billion as Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) surplus funds are returned for the first time. This rebate will give 300,000 businesses back approximately 30 per cent of their annual premium payments, helping create new jobs and allowing for bigger paycheques for workers. This builds on the government's $2.4 billion that has already been given back to employers through premium reductions, while maintaining benefits for injured workers. (Full Story)

February 11, 2022 - New skilled tradeswomen network seeks to draw more women into the workforce - Tradeswomen from across the province are banding together to raise awareness about the opportunities that the skilled trades can offer women. Kayla Bailey is the project manager with Ontario Building & Construction Tradeswomen (OBCT), a committee established by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, whose work is focused on promoting the skilled trades to women and providing support that will help them succeed. (Full Story)

February 11, 2022 - Province Providing Free Training for PSWs in Southwestern Ontario - The Ontario government is connecting over 100 job seekers in Southwestern Ontario with paid training and job placements as personal support workers (PSWs) through the Grow Your Own HSW-PSW Partnership Program. This $2.5 million investment is helping address the shortage of PSWs and ensure residents get the high-quality health care they deserve. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Sudbury councilors push to establish living wage for city employees - The City of Greater Sudbury could soon be exploring the idea of becoming a living wage employer. At an upcoming finance committee meeting, Councillors Deb McIntosh and Mike Jakubo are expected to put forward a motion asking city staff to bring back a report outlining the impact increasing some employees' wages would have on the municipality. According to the Ontario Living Wage Network, a living wage- the amount needed to cover basic expenses and participate in the community- in Sudbury is $16.98 an hour. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Ontario Offering Free Training for Food and Beverage Careers - The Ontario government is investing almost $1 million to prepare over 600 people across the province for rewarding careers in food and beverage processing. This funding to Food and Beverage Ontario provides jobseekers with training, mentorship, and job placements with local employers in baking, food science, and food production and processing. (Full Story)

January 25, 2022 - Ontario Launching New Agency to Better Serve Tradespeople - The Ontario government has launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services. The new agency will promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards, and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople. These changes will result in more workers for in-demand jobs and prepare Ontario for a strong economic comeback. (Full Story)

January 1, 2022 - Ontario Working for Workers by Increasing Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour - As part of its plan to grow an economy that works for everyone, the Ontario government has raised the general minimum wage to $15.00 per hour starting today. This new, higher general minimum wage is expanded to now include bartenders and alcohol servers. The special minimum wages for students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides have also increased. (Full Story)

March 1, 2022 - New immigration stream to help fill jobs - The Office of Immigration has a new stream to help employers fill jobs that are in high demand across Prince Edward Island. The Occupations in Demand stream is an employer-driven program that allows employers to fill specific positions that they are unable to fill through the local job market, such as nurse aides, accommodation housekeepers, truck drivers, and construction labourers. (Full Story)

February 6, 2022 - P.E.I. suffered biggest proportional job losses in the country in January - P.E.I. saw the largest proportional job losses of any province in the wake of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Statistics Canada's January labour force survey found employment in P.E.I. dropped by 3.5 per cent in for the month, resulting in 2,900 fewer jobs than in December 2021. Newfoundland and Labrador saw the second highest drop in employment at 1.7 per cent, or 3,900 job losses. (Full Story)

February 1, 2022 - Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island: Draft policies for feedback - The Board of Directors has approved the following, in principle: 1) Amendments to the policy, Responsibilities of Recovering Workers (POL-76), under the revised title, Worker Role in Recovery and Return to Work, and 2) A new policy, Employer Role in Worker Recovery and Return to Work (POL-###). The draft policies, along with the summaries of the proposed changes, are available in the Policy Consultation section of the PEI WCB website. (Full Story)

January 27, 2022 - Province offers support grant for small businesses - The province is launching a new support grant for small businesses that have been impacted by the public health restrictions. The Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant will provide funding to eligible small businesses in amounts ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 based on their November 2021 gross payroll or revenue. Examples of businesses that may be eligible include, gyms, full-service restaurants and theatres. (Full Story)

January 20, 2022 - Province offers wage rebate for impacted industries and extends programs - The province is launching a new COVID-19 support program for industries impacted by the latest public health restrictions. The Wage Rebate for Impacted Industries provides a 25 per cent wage rebate on payroll for businesses of impacted industries, such as full-service restaurants and fitness centers, for the period of January 19 to 31, 2022. To review eligibility criteria and apply, visit: COVID-19 Wage Rebate for Impacted Industries. (Full Story)

March 1, 2022 - Saskatchewan Announces $638,000 for Bridging to Employment Program - The Government of Saskatchewan announced the funding of $638,000 for training and work placements for internationally educated newcomers to Saskatchewan through the Bridging to Employment program. Bridging to Employment is a 20-week program that includes 10 weeks of classroom training, focusing on communication, job readiness, and digital literacy skills. This is followed by a 10-week paid work experience with a Saskatchewan employer. (Full Story)

February 24, 2022 - Sask. government funds $2M program providing training to re-enter labour force - A program that trains people to re-enter into the labour force coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic will be funded by the Saskatchewan government. On Feb. 24, the province announced an investment of $2.2 million for the Training Voucher Program that will make re-training accessible and affordable to workers impacted by recent economic challenges. (Full Story)

February 24, 2022 - Saskatchewan Announces $2.2 million for Training Voucher Program - Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $2.2 million in funding to help individuals train and re-enter the labour force with new marketable skills. The funding will be provided through the Training Voucher Program and will make re-training accessible and affordable to workers impacted by recent economic challenges. (Full Story)

February 6, 2022 - Saskatchewan sees 4.6% increase in jobs in January - Job numbers released by Statistics Canada show 24,600 jobs were added in Saskatchewan in January 2022, an increase of 4.6 per cent from January 2021. Of those jobs, 21,000 were full-time jobs. The province's unemployment rate went down to 5.5 per cent, which is down from 7.2 per cent one year ago and below the national average of 6.5 per cent. (Full Story)

February 4, 2022 - Saskatchewan Continues Economic Recovery With Strong Job Growth - Today, job numbers released by Statistics Canada for January 2022 show Saskatchewan added 24,600 jobs, an increase of 4.6 per cent, compared to January 2021.  21,100 of these were full-time jobs.  The month-to-month seasonally adjusted employment increased by 3,900, an increase of 0.7 per cent and the highest among provinces in terms of percentage change. (Full Story)

January 31, 2022 - Saskatchewan WCB extends cost relief for employers - Amid the surge of the omicron variant, Saskatchewan employers will have a better capacity to cover costs for accepted work-related COVID-19 claims. That's because the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has announced it is further extending cost relief to June 30, 2022. (Full Story)

January 27, 2022 - WCB extends COVID-19 cost relief for employers - As the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in the province, the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) is further extending cost relief to June 30, 2022 for employers to cover costs for accepted work-related COVID-19 claims. The WCB has implemented relief measures for employers and workers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing cost relief for employers. For claims that occurred in 2020 and 2021, the WCB has provided more than $5.6 million in cost relief for COVID-19 injury claims. (Full Story)

January 18, 2022 - Canada Immigrant Wages Rise As Labour Shortages Lead Employers To Pay More - Immigrants' wages are growing and their employment prospects are brighter than ever in Canada as labour shortages make them a much-sought-after commodity by employers struggling to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, a Statistics Canada report reveals. The federal agency reports the media wage of immigrants who were admitted into the country in 2018 was up 4.2 per cent over that of immigrants admitted into Canada a year earlier. (Full Story)

January 7, 2022 - Saskatchewan Leads Nation in Job Growth in December - Job numbers released by Statistics Canada for December 2021 show Saskatchewan's month-over-month employment (seasonally adjusted) increased by 6,000 (up 1.1 per cent) from November 2021, which was the highest growth among provinces in terms of percentage change. Year-over-year employment increased by 21,900 (up 4.0 per cent) from December 2020. The unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent, down from 8.0 per cent a year ago, and below the national average of 5.9 per cent. (Full Story)

January 3, 2022 - Sask. businesses buck province's low minimum wage - Since opening the storefront six years ago, Malty National Brewing co-owner Adam Smith said it was only right to pay employees a living wage. Starting wage for staff at the Regina brewery is about $17 per hour, according to Smith, which is well above the province's $11.81 per hour minimum. It is expected Saskatchewan will have the lowest minimum wage in Canada come April after New Brunswick announced it will boost its wage from  $11.75 to $12.75 in April and then to $13.75 in October. (Full Story)

February 22, 2022 - Yukon to introduce new safety legislation this year - This year, Yukon will be introducing a new Act which will combine the territory's previous Workers' Compensation Act and its Occupational Health and Safety Act to become the Worker Safety and Compensation Act. The new Act will be effective on July 1, 2022. The aim of the Workers' Safety and Compensation Act is to streamline the delivery of OHS services to Yukon employers and workers. (Full Story)

February 10, 2022 - New financial and employment supports announced for Yukon businesses - Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai has announced new financial and employment supports for Yukon businesses. One of the initiatives will be streamlining the Yukon Nominee Program to support Yukon businesses in urgent need of workers. Previously, employers looking to hire a foreign worker through the program were required to demonstrate the need to hire outside of Canada by attempting to recruit locally and nationally. These requirements will be temporarily waived to allow Yukon employers to act quickly to address their staffing needs. This change is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2022. (Full Story)

February 2, 2022 - Government of Yukon realigns services to better support Yukoners - As the Yukon continues to respond to impacts of COVID-19, it is important that Yukon employers and employees can access the support they need when they need it the most. To help make support for employers more accessible, the Government of Yukon is restructuring the Department of Education's Post-Secondary and Labour Market Unit. The new structure will include a labour market component and a training component. (Full Story)

February 1, 2022 - Make paid sick leave mandatory for Yukon private businesses, panel suggests - A panel composed of Liberal and NDP MLAs, and members of the public, recommends making paid sick leave mandatory for Yukon-based private employers. The Making Work Safe panel made the recommendation along with 22 others in a sweeping report Monday afternoon. Over 500 people shared their feedback online with the panel on how permanent paid sick leave should be established in the territory. (Full Story)

January 27, 2022 - The Yukon's minimum wage to increase to $15.70 per hour - Effective April 1, 2022, the Yukon's minimum wage will increase from $15.20 to $15.70 per hour. This increase is based on the 2021 Consumer Price Index for Whitehorse, which is 3.3 per cent. The Fair Wage paid to people working on government-tendered construction contracts will increase April 1, 2022, by 3.3 per cent across all four wage categories. (Full Story)

Post mute-button work life

Time to get reacquainted with in-real-life meetings and face-to-face workplace conversation

For the past two years, a good number of employees working remotely have gotten used to technology solutions for basic communication. While this has worked quite well, there have been situations where connections were lost, mute buttons were left off (or on), or people were talking over each other. It was certainly a new set of skills that needed to be learned in order to have effective conversation.

However, now that workers are returning to their physical worksites, they'll need to re-engage and re-establish positive working relationships through face-to-face communication. There will be no such thing as hitting the mute button when you wish to stop listening to someone. And you'll have to put on a smile when you try to encourage a colleague to stop encroaching on your space.

Workplace relationships, especially face-to-face communication, are important to getting along with colleagues at work. And good relationships lead to job satisfaction. So, it is important to once again pay attention to the art of communication and relationship building.

Returning to the workplace gives everyone an opportunity to deepen relationships, increase teamwork and more effectively share ideas back and forth. At the same time, it is important to brush up on conflict management skills so issues can be resolved and consensus decisions can be made to move projects forward.

While many people are anxious about returning to the physical workplace, attention must be paid to the communication style differences between participating in a virtual meeting versus a "real-life" in-person conversation. The following suggestions will assist you to reflect and refresh some of the skills for developing successful relationships at work.

  • Identify your strengths: Take time to reflect on the communication skills that have already helped you to create good relationships at work. How have you retained and/or built on these skills while using virtual meetings for the past several years? What are your strengths and areas of weakness? What do you need to work on? Identify some of the positive skills you would bring back to the workplace and how these can be used to rebuild relationships.
  • Define relationship needs: Those working remotely and in isolation may feel anxious about returning to the physical work site because they enjoyed working alone. Most worksites have multiple groups of employees and unless there is private office space, individuals may feel crowded and overwhelmed. Take a moment to think about your need for privacy, the need for personal space as well as peace and quiet. If these are important, plan for how you can meet your needs at work.
  • Be present: While it is important to focus on work tasks and get back into the swing of things, relationship building requires you to interact with colleagues. Take time to join in with the lunchtime crowd and seek out colleagues during scheduled breaks. Initiate a conversation versus quietly sitting in a corner. Let people know you are interested in what they have to say. Share something about yourself.
  • Be positive: No matter how anxious you might feel, it is important to present a positive posture and a positive tone of voice. Any negativity demonstrated through body language will immediately impact a conversation and therefore dampen any effort to establish and/or maintain a relationship. After all, individuals usually don't want to spend time around negative people and you don't want to be tagged with a negative reputation.
  • Balance your communication: Carrying a conversation and developing a relationship goes far beyond responding with a clipped "yes/no." Ask probing questions, listen, and then respond in full sentences but not so long that people get tired of listening. Engage colleagues in conversations beyond a discussion of work tasks.
  • Reach out to help: There may be colleagues who are also experiencing challenges with returning to the worksite such as an inability to focus or to work at their normal level of productivity. Reach out and offer to help with their work tasks. When you sense the issues are more emotional, reach out and have a conversation or refer the individual to further assistance when necessary.
  • Appreciate others: Showing appreciation is a great relationship builder and sometimes takes nothing more than a verbal or written thank you. People also feel appreciated when asked about their well-being. They feel appreciated when asked to demonstrate a task or share a personal story. They feel appreciated when asked to join a conversation or to provide their opinion.
  • Keep a promise: Being reliable and keeping commitments is key to developing trusting relationships. Colleagues want to know they can count on you. This also means arriving on time for meetings and respecting others by paying good attention during meetings versus checking email messages.
  • Offer assistance: If you are heading to the lunchroom for your coffee break and see a colleague still working furiously, offer to bring them something or offer to help complete their task.
  • Join in group celebrations: There are always opportunities for workplace celebrations and this is a good opportunity to socialize and meet colleagues who work in different departments. Volunteer to assist in organizing a company event.

Positive interpersonal relationships in the workplace are important to both the employee and employer. Overall, teamwork and collaboration foster higher employee engagement and employee morale is higher when the organization culture is pleasant and friendly. Good interpersonal relationships help employees feel connected to the organization, which in turn leads to less turnover and creates high levels of tenure.

While leaders make many organizational efforts to create a work environment with high levels of employee morale, each individual also plays a key role in ensuring positive relationships at work. Returning to the physical workspace will create some challenges and individuals will need to make extra efforts to reach out to re-establish and rebuild their relationship networks.

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

Software Updates

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Updated the tax tables and regulations for 2022.
  • Fixed an error where T4s were generated with an empty T4 review in certain cases.
  • Fixed an issue where the data for Address 2 data was not appearing correctly on the T4 printout.
  • Updated the Releve 1 code to support 2021 Releve's.
  • Fixed import issue when importing employees who are marked as inactive.
  • Renamed the Payments screen title to "Transactions" to better represent the purpose of the feature.
  • The necessitated also renaming the existing Transactions screen to "Earning Transactions".
  • Adjusted the Transactions screen so that you no longer lose the loaded pay sequence range when you create a custom view.
  • Adjusted the Transactions screen so that the previous closed payroll sequence is loaded when you access the screen.
  • Added a bread crumb feature to each screen so that you can easily reference the current screen and its location with respect to the program tabs and menus. The title of the current tab/module, menu, and screen are now shown in the color Orange.
  • Changed hour-based accumulators to multiply the amount paid by the rate on the payout earning instead of paying in dollars.
  • Added a "Code' feature to Distributions so that you can easily apply master department, accounts, and descriptions to the default distribution, and then have these items applied to all subsequent departments.
  • Made several enhancements to the Recruitment feature: Added Locations option so that you can setup job postings based on multiple locations instead of having to create individual posting for each location; Adjusted the scrolling settings when using the feature on an iPhone; Revamped the app for improved usage on mobile phones and devices the rely on responsive design.
  • Added sort and filter functions for multiple selection menus and columns.
  • Add description to Journal entry export - previously, only the GL code was included.
  • Added the ROE reason codes to the Employee - Status Parameters screen.

GrandMaster Suite (v 17.01)

  • Updated the tax tables and regulations for 2022.
  • Adjusted the the Employee Import feature where Birthday and Gender settings were causing an error
  • Added a feature where passwords will now expire after xx number of days.

GrandMaster II (v 17.01)

  • Updated the tax tables and regulations for 2022.

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