Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

May 2023 - Welcome to the latest edition of The Payroll News! As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and associates who are interested in keeping up with the latest changes in Canadian payroll, employment and HR News. Federal and Provincial news items are listed immediately below followed by our Featured Article.

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Tip of the Month

May 2023 - Record of Employment - what you need to know - Service Canada requires employers to provide a Record of Employment (ROE) to your employees when employment ends, whether temporarily or permanently. This is essential for determining whether a worker is eligible for employment insurance benefits. CFIB provides an excellent article that explains the basics of ROEs, and how to ensure that you are in compliance with Service Canada's requirements. Click Here to read this valuable article.

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

May 7, 2024 - HSB Canada Launches Employment Practices Liability Insurance for Small Businesses - Specialty insurer HSB Canada today introduced Employment Practices Liability Insurance, a new coverage to help small businesses respond to claims arising from employment-related practices. The offering covers not only claims brought by employees but also by any third party, including customers or vendors. (Full Story)

April 30, 2024 - How Workplace Diversity Fails Indigenous Employees - In February 2022, a twenty-one-year-old Ojibwe and Métis woman named Christine Paquette was job-hunting online. She clicked on a posting for an entry-level position in customer service at CIBC. The call for applications, which was targeted to self-identified Indigenous candidates, seemed typical at first. But then came strange questions: "Do you have a favourite Indigenous story and/or tradition?" (Full Story)

April 30, 2024 - Canada is scaling back temporary foreign workers. Critics say the program needs an overhaul - As part of its plan to shrink the number of temporary residents in Canada by 2027, Canada is cutting the number of low-wage foreign workers that companies can hire in most sectors from 30 per cent to 20 per cent of their workforces. Health care and construction will remain at 30 per cent, while seasonal industries, such as agriculture, fishing and tourism, are exempted from a cap during their peak seasons. (Full Story)

April 29, 2024 - Pay transparency in job listings is less transparent than you might think - With pay transparency legislation now in effect in British Columbia, passed in P.E.I., Newfoundland and Ontario, and proposed in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, companies are being called upon to include salary ranges with job postings, a move advocates say can help close the pay gap. But while good progress is being made overall, they say, some organizations just aren't playing ball. They're posting such wide pay ranges it's impossible for candidates to assess whether the job is a fit. (Full Story)

April 26, 2024 - Small employers slow hiring outlook in Canada: survey - Small employers are looking at a timid hiring season ahead of summer, according to a recent report. Just 16% of small employers are expecting to hire within the next three to four months, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Total payroll employment increased by 1.6% in 2024 Q1 following a slight contraction at the end of 2023. (Full Story)

April 24, 2024 - Keeping Current on Mandatory Workplace Policies Across Canada - While the updating of workplace policies is often on an organization's to-do list, regular review of such policies frequently gets pushed aside for other more pressing tasks. Depending on the jurisdiction in which your organization operates, multiple workplace policies are mandated by legislation. It is important to keep current on newly introduced obligations in this respect. (Full Story)

April 18, 2024 - More youth are seeking EI amid rising unemployment rates: StatCan - More young people have been receiving employment insurance (EI) amid rising unemployment rates, according to a new Statistics Canada report. The data, released Thursday, showed that the number of youth aged 15 to 24 receiving the benefits increased this February for the fourth consecutive month, up 900 from the previous month. (Full Story)

April 12, 2024 - Canadians' wages took major hit in 2022 amid high inflation rates: StatCan - Peak inflation rates in 2022 cost Canadians a major chunk of their wages, according to a new Statistics Canada report. The report, released Friday, says the Consumer Price Index rose 6.8 per cent on average that year, while median annual wages decreased in most provinces and territories when adjusted for inflation. (Full Story)

April 11, 2024 - 7 in 10 Canadian employers can't meet workers' benefits demands - Workers' demand for benefits are increasing in Canada, and most employers just can't keep up, according to a survey. Overall, 42% of employers say employees are asking for better benefits this year compared to last due to the increased cost of living, according to the report from Express Employment Professionals. However, 70% say it's impossible to offer all the benefits employees want. (Full Story)

April 11, 2024 - Government of Canada launches new Employment Assistance Services funding stream to strengthen the vitality of official language minority communities - The Federal government announced the first call for proposals for the Employment Assistance Services (EAS) stream under the Enabling Fund for Official Language Minority Communities (EF-OLMC). The Government of Canada continues to promote the economic vitality and well-being of individuals in these communities by ensuring that they have the supports they need to find employment and succeed in their careers. (Full Story)

April 1, 2024 - Increased payroll costs concerning for small business, CFIB says - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising concerns over minimum wage hikes in Atlantic Canada. The CFIB estimates with these increases payroll costs also went up by $54.5 million across the four provinces. They add 58 per cent of business owners have found it difficult to absorb the cost of past increases, forcing them to put up the cost of their goods and services. (Full Story)

March 30, 2024 - Minimum wage hikes will add $54.5 million to payroll costs across Atlantic Canada - Payroll costs across Atlantic Canada will increase by $54.5 million on April 1, when the minimum wage increases in all four provinces, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) estimates. In response to past minimum wage hikes, 58% of business owners indicated that they have not been able to absorb the cost of past increases and have had to increase the prices of their goods and services to be able to raise wages.  (Full Story)

March 28, 2024 - 47% of Canadian employees relying on workplace benefits to improve well-being: report - Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadian employees say they're interested in improving their well-being and plan on using workplace benefits to do so, according to a new report commissioned by Dialogue Health Technologies Inc. and conducted by Canadian market research firm Environics Research. The report analyzed multiple surveys polling more than 1,000 Canadian employees and 86 human resources professionals. (Full Story)

March 22, 2024 - Sounding Board: How employers can foster a neuro-inclusive workplace - Neuro-inclusion means creating an inclusive employee life cycle for neurodivergent professionals by employing technology, processes and support systems that accommodate their unique needs and enhance the experience of securing and advancing a career for these workers. Creating a truly inclusive work culture requires collaboration at all levels of an organization. (Full Story)

March 21, 2024 - Temporary immigration programs are pushing down wage growth in Canada, economists say - Temporary immigration pathways are putting downward pressure on wage growth in Canada, but aren't responsible for the country's stagnating GDP per capita growth rate or the productivity rate, economists say. While immigration does not normally suppress wages, economists agreed, temporary foreign workers entering the country over the last 18 months arrived when Canadian job vacancies were peculiarly high due to the pandemic. (Full Story)

March 18, 2024 - What employers need to know about determining remote workers' province of employment - The Canada Revenue Agency's guidance for determining a full-time remote worker's province of employment for payroll deduction purposes, which came into force on Jan. 1, could prove burdensome to employers. Earlier guidance mandated that the POE for an employee who was required to physically report for work at their employer's establishment was the province from which the employer paid the employee's salary and wages. (Full Story)

March 9, 2024 - With AI, workplace surveillance has ‘skyrocketed'. But are Canadian laws keeping up? - Technology that tracks your location at work and the time you're spending in the bathroom. A program that takes random screenshots of your laptop screen. A monitoring system that detects your mood during your shift. These are just some ways employee surveillance technology - now turbocharged, thanks to the explosive growth of artificial intelligence - is being deployed. Canada's laws aren't keeping up, experts warn. (Full Story)

March 8, 2024 - Canada sees uptick in employment in February - In February, Canada saw a notable uptick in employment, adding 41,000 jobs, a 0.2% increase, building on a similar trend from January, which recorded an increase of 37,000 jobs. This positive momentum was predominantly driven by a surge in full-time work, with a noteworthy addition of 71,000 full-time jobs, marking a 0.4% gain, says Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

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

May 6, 2024 - Easy money: Alberta is calling again and you could net $5,000 if you move there - Alberta Is No Longer Canada's Wage Leader - Data compiled by Statistics Canada, and released today by the Alberta Federation of Labour, show that average wages in Alberta are now lower than wages in both British Columbia and Ontario. Ten years ago, wages in Alberta were about 20 per cent higher than the Canadian average. When the UCP took over in 2019, Alberta wages were still about 7 per cent higher than other provinces. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - Easy money: Alberta is calling again and you could net $5,000 if you move there - If you have a job in the skilled trades and are thinking about relocating to Alberta, you could net yourself a cool $5,000 by making the move. The Alberta government launched the third phase of its Alberta is Calling campaign, which is now being advertised in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. The newest addition to the campaign might be one that has many people clamouring to answer the call: a moving bonus is being offered in the form of a one-time, $5,000 refundable tax credit aimed at luring skilled trades workers to come to Alberta. (Full Story)

April 29, 2024 - Pay raises: Rights for employees in Alberta - In Alberta, the decision to increase an employee's pay is entirely at the discretion of the employer. There are only two circumstances where an employer is legally required to provide a raise: if there is an increase in the minimum wage, or if an employee's contract explicitly stipulates a pay raise. It is best practice to provide salary raises to employees so that the employer can retain the best workers, but employers are not legally required to do so. (Full Story)

April 29, 2024 - Do Albertans want to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan? - The UCP government has been exploring the idea of withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in favour of a provincial pension plan, but the proposal has faced vocal pushback. On Sept. 21, 2023, the Alberta government released a third-party report exploring the possibility of setting up a potential Alberta Pension Plan. "Albertans pay too much into CPP for the benefits they receive," according to the Alberta Pension Plan website. (Full Story)

April 19, 2024 - Province looks to reduce workplace injuries among young Albertans - The Alberta government is taking a step that it hopes will help to keep young workers safe. The province is providing a grant of $175,000 to CAREERS: The Next Generation's SafeGen program. SafeGen is a free program that allows high school students to gain foundational knowledge on health and safety in the workplace through online or in-person instruction. (Full Story)

April 11, 2024 - Can I be fired for taking on a side gig in Alberta? - In Alberta, employers can fire non-unionized workers for taking on a side gig. This is known as a termination without cause. You can be let go for any reason, as long as you are provided full severance pay and the reasons for your dismissal aren't discriminatory. It's very unlikely that your boss would be able to fire you for cause over a side hustle - meaning no severance package or access to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. (Full Story)

April 10, 2024 - Alberta used to have the highest minimum wage in the country. Now it's the second lowest - When Alberta hiked the province's minimum wage to $15 an hour in the fall of 2018, it was the highest rate in the country. But nearly six years and a pandemic later, the minimum wage hasn't budged - even as Albertans face the highest inflation rate in Canada. Most provinces and territories are increasing their minimum wage this year, and those that aren't just raised theirs in 2023. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - Alberta's above-average unemployment rate doesn't "spell doom and gloom," economists cite annual job gains - Alberta's unemployment rate is tracking slightly above the national average, according to Statistics Canada's monthly job report - partly due to the province's record influx of newcomers over the past two years, economists say. But economists say that shouldn't cause concern for Albertans, in part because the province is contributing to more than a quarter of Canada's job growth. (Full Story)

March 19, 2024 - Alberta tops list of people doing 'gig work' as main job: StatsCan - They're the people who pick you up in an Uber or deliver groceries to your door - and about five per cent of Alberta's workers do so-called "gig work" in their primary job, according to a new report from Statistics Canada. An estimated 116,700 working Albertans between the ages of 15 and 69 took on jobs that featured those characteristics consistent with the concept of gig work in the final three months of 2022, according to the latest data available. (Full Story)

March 7, 2024 - Moving to Alberta? Job hunting? This is what you should know about the changing labour market - If you're thinking about moving to Alberta, or if you're already here and you're looking for a job, the Business Council of Alberta wants to help you better understand the changing labour market - including who's hiring. Using publicly available job postings from 2018 to 2023, the council's new report explores which occupations are currently seeing the highest need for workers, and what skills employers are looking for nowadays. (Full Story)

May 2, 2024 - B.C. doctors create template letter to replace sick notes - Family doctors frustrated with writing sick notes have created a template letter for patients to give to their employers, explaining that the notes place an unnecessary burden on physicians during an ongoing primary-care crisis.  They are also calling on the province to restrict when and how employers can ask for sick notes. (Full Story)

April 30, 2024 - B.C. residents more likely to work in retirement than other Canadians, says report - West Coast residents should expect a little less rest in their golden years compared with other Canadians. Nearly half (49 per cent) of British Columbians anticipate working in some capacity during their retirement, according to a report released Tuesday (April 30) from Fidelity Investments Canada ULC. That's higher than the national average of 41 per cent. Only the Prairie region (50 per cent) manages to outdo B.C. among residents expecting to work during retirement. (Full Story)

April 29, 2024 - Pay raises: Rights for employees in B.C. - In B.C., the decision to increase an employee's pay is entirely at the discretion of the employer. There are only two circumstances where an employer is legally required to provide a raise: if there is an increase in the minimum wage, or if an employee's contract explicitly stipulates a pay raise. It is best practice to provide salary raises to employees so that the employer can retain the best workers, but employers are not legally required to do so. (Full Story)

April 23, 2024 - WorkSafeBC's inspectional approach for construction in 2024 aims to reduce serious injuries and fatalities - Statistics from WorkSafeBC show that the construction sector in B.C. had a time-loss claims rate that was 24 percent higher than the provincial average for all sectors. Across B.C., the time-loss claims rate was 2.40 per 100 workers in 2022, while in construction it was 2.98. WorkSafeBC's inspectional initiative for construction comprises proactive, unannounced inspections, and takes a risk-based approach to ensure the most significant risks are being effectively managed. (Full Story)

April 22, 2024 - 2024 minimum wage increases confirmed - Increases to the upcoming minimum wage rates for 2024 have been confirmed through an order in council, following legislative changes that ensure these wages keep pace with inflation. On June 1, 2024, B.C.'s lowest-paid workers will get a pay raise, when the general minimum wage increases from $16.75 to $17.40 per hour. This represents a 3.9% increase, consistent with B.C.'s average rate of inflation in 2023. (Full Story)

April 15, 2024 - May 2024 public hearing on proposed changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation - WorkSafeBC is holding a virtual public hearing on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation. The virtual public hearing will be streamed live on May 14, 2024, in two sessions. The first will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second from 3 to 5 p.m. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - TradeUpBC builds, enhances tradespeoples' skills - Tradespeople in British Columbia now have access to new and specialized training opportunities through TradeUpBC, an online hub that supports experienced trades professionals and employers. TradeUpBC is a one-stop shop with information about trades-training opportunities available at public post-secondary institutions around B.C., including professional development offerings, micro-credentials and short-term training.  (Full Story)

April 1, 2024 - Can employers in B.C. fire workers for taking a vacation? - Contrary to popular belief, non-unionized employees in British Columbia can't take a vacation whenever they want. If you take a vacation, and your employer didn't approve the time off, you could be fired. While companies in the province must provide staff with a certain amount of vacation each year, they get to choose when an individual takes their time off. (Full Story)

March 19, 2024 - Province creates clearer pathways for workers coming to B.C. - The Province is creating clearer pathways for international workers coming to B.C., making it harder for predatory recruiters and other bad actors to take advantage of people. To do this, the Province is updating the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) selection criteria to better reflect the level of education, experience and language skills that set people up for career success in British Columbia. (Full Story)

March 13, 2024 - Changes coming to workplace first aid requirements - On November 1, 2024, amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation relating to occupational first aid will come into effect. The changes mean employers across the province will need to review their current first aid plans and make necessary adjustments. Under the amended OHS Regulation, employers will have a duty to establish their workplace first aid requirements in consultation with their workers. (Full Story)

March 5, 2024 - Occupational first aid regulatory change: March 2024 update - On November 1, 2024, amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation relating to occupational first aid will come into effect. The changes mean employers across the province will need to review their current first aid plans, supplies, and equipment and make adjustments. (Full Story)

May 3, 2024 - Funding to increase for Manitoba child-care workers' wages - A little more cash could be going to licensed and funded child-care professionals in Manitoba after July 1. On Friday, the provincial and federal governments announced that funding for wages in 2024-25 will increase by 2.75 per cent on Canada Day, with $10.3 million coming from Ottawa and $600,000 from Manitoba. (Full Story)

May 2, 2024 - WCB distributes $118 million in surplus funds to Manitoba employers - For the fifth time in six years, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) is distributing surplus funds to employers whose premiums fund the workers compensation system. This distribution is made possible by the WCB's prudent stewardship of its reserve fund, which is guided by a commitment to offer stable employer premiums, and protect Manitoba's workforce now and in the future. (Full Story)

April 15, 2024 - What you need to know when hiring someone under 18 in Manitoba - Young employees can be a great addition to your business. You have the chance to offer meaningful work experiences for Manitoba's youth as they consider their career options. There are employment standards and workplace safety laws specific to employees under the age of 18. Manitoba's minimum wage rate applies to all workers, regardless of age. Effective October 1, 2023, minimum wage is $15.30 per hour. Anyone who is 13, 14 or 15 years of age must complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate. (Full Story)

April 8, 2024 - Skilled workers want Manitoba to resume NOC draws - Skilled trade workers in Manitoba are calling on the provincial government to resume the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to help fill in-demand jobs in the province. Since the new government assumed office in October, there has been a cessation of the draws specific to NOC, said skilled trade workers in Winnipeg who staged a protest at the legislature late last week. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - Manitoba Federation of Labour calls for legislation to close gender wage gap - The Manitoba Federation of Labour is calling on the provincial government to introduce legislation that would effectively close the gender wage gap. Even though Manitoba was the first province to usher in its own pay equity laws, the legislation is not enough to make a difference, said federation leader Kevin Rebeck, according to a report from the Winnipeg Free Press. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - Manitoba ratio change will ‘cost apprentices jobs and opportunities': WCA - Construction employers in Manitoba are lambasting the provincial government's decision to reduce the ratio of apprentices to journeypersons. However, the building trades are hailing it as a step forward. The government has signalled it will set the apprenticeship to journeyperson ratio at 1:1 later this year, down from the present 2:1 ratio, arguing the move will increase safety and proper training for the trades. (Full Story)

March 27, 2024 - Manitoba Government Restores 1:1 Apprenticeship Ratio to Keep Workers Safe - The Manitoba government is restoring the apprenticeship ratio to 1:1, a move that will increase safety and proper training for Manitobans in the trades. The previous government removed the 1:1 ratio requirement, which had been in place for many years. The ratio was in response to the 1999 death of Michael Skanderberg, who was killed on the job while working unsupervised. (Full Story)

March 19, 2024 - Manitoba Sets Predictable Minimum Wage Increase to $15.80 - Effective October 1, 2024, Manitoba will increase its minimum wage by 50 cents to $15.80 per hour, following a CPI-indexed formula established annually. As part of RCC's Vote Retail Election Campaign last year, the NDP had committed to RCC they would follow this inflation-sensitive indexing model, and we are pleased that despite pressure from labour groups, they have held true to their word. (Full Story)

March 18, 2024 - Manitoba proposes new workplace safety legislation - The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation to re-establish a safety advisory council that was repealed by the previous government. Bill 17 would amend the Workplace Safety and Health Act and re-establish the Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health, which was repealed in 2018 by the Progressive Conservatives. (Full Story)

March 18, 2024 - Bill to ban replacement workers among those held up by Manitoba Opposition delays - The Manitoba government's legislative agenda, including efforts to ban replacement workers and make it easier to join a union, was pushed back Monday. The NDP government tried to introduce a bill that would ban the use of replacement workers during strikes and lockouts. Another bill would end a requirement for secret-ballot voting for workers to join a union, and instead allow unionization if a majority of workers at a location sign a union card. (Full Story)

March 13, 2024 - Manitoba plans regular hike to minimum wage, labour group wants more - Manitoba minimum-wage earners will make an extra 50 cents an hour as of Oct. 1, Premier Wab Kinew said Wednesday. The increase, which will bring the hourly rate to $15.80, follows a formula set in provincial law that is tied to the rate of inflation of the previous calendar year. Critics said the NDP government should have gone much further. (Full Story)

March 12, 2024 - Manitoba Government Introduces Proposed Legislation That Would Make Workplaces Safer - The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation that would strengthen protections for Manitoba workers' safety and health, Labour and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino announced today. Bill 17 would amend the Workplace Safety and Health Act and re-establish the Advisory Council on Workplace Safety and Health, which was repealed in 2018 by the previous government, the minister noted. (Full Story)

March 11, 2024 - Province introduces amendments to Employment Standards Code - The government of Manitoba has introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Code to help protect workers who are recovering from illnesses or injuries. According to Labour and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino, the amendments will extend the long-term leave of employees for serious injuries or illnesses to 27 weeks, which will align with the federal employment insurance (EI) benefit period. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - N.B. Coalition for Pay Equity says wage increases still fall short - The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity says the $29.7 million earmarked for wage increases for care workers across the province is welcomed, but still not enough. "Pay equity evaluations that show these jobs should be getting paid anywhere from $25 to close to $30 an hour and that even with these investments directly into wages, we're seeing that they're still falling really short of equitable wages," said Krysta Cowling. (Full Story)

April 26, 2024 - New brand unveiled to boost interest in skilled trades - The provincial government has launched Skilled Trades NB, its vision for the future of skilled trades and apprenticeship in New Brunswick. The new brand aims to raise the profile of the apprenticeship program among employers and potential participants, and to build on recent growth of the program. Since 2019-20, there has been a 20 per cent increase in registered apprentices, a 77 per cent increase in the number of women apprentices, and a 68 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous apprentices. (Full Story)

April 24, 2024 - WorkSafeNB launches consultation for New Brunswick artists - WorkSafeNB is pleased to launch a consultation regarding workplace injuries and illnesses experienced by professional artists. New Brunswick artists contribute significantly to the economy and play a vital role in shaping our province's cultural industry, influencing it with creativity, diversity and a unique sense of identity. (Full Story)

April 4, 2024 - New WorkSafeNB onboarding package for health care partners - WorkSafeNB has developed an information package to help introduce health care partners to WorkSafeNB's network of care. Health care professionals play a vital role in ensuring the health and well-being of New Brunswick workers. They're at the forefront, delivering essential rehabilitation and assessment services that allow workers to get back to work and daily activities. (Full Story)

March 18, 2024 - . Applications for N.B. workers benefit running behind government projections - Applications for a one-time $300 tax-free "workers' benefit" offered by the New Brunswick government have been running well below projections, rekindling criticism the program excludes too many moderate income households, particularly those headed by pensioners. The program excludes individuals who cannot show they had employment income in the last two years of at least $3,000. (Full Story)

May 6, 2024 - Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant Suspended Due to Federal Employment Funding Cuts - The 2024 Federal Budget removed the 2017 top-up funding under the Labour Market Transfer Agreements, resulting in a funding reduction of more than $16.8 million per year for Newfoundland and Labrador. With the Government of Canada's decision to cut $625 million in jobs funding nation-wide, almost 200,000 fewer people will be served across the country. As a result of this federal decision, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Job Grant for employers and workers is suspended until further notice. (Full Story)

April 24, 2024 - Federal cuts threaten programs that help people with disabilities and autism find work - A group that helps people with disabilities and autism find employment in Newfoundland and Labrador has had a massive funding cut by the federal government. The recent federal budget cut $625 million from the Labour Market Development Agreement, which is used to fund community support organizations that help people find jobs. The program started in 1997. That extra money was added on top in 2017. (Full Story)

April 19, 2024 - Extra cash for small businesses will take pain out of minimum wage hike, employers hope - The Newfoundland and Labrador government is offering cash to employers in a new program aimed at supporting small- and medium-sized businesses through rising costs and the latest minimum wage increase. The program, announced Friday, will be available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees, with at least one person making minimum wage between April 2023 and last month. Applications will open in May. (Full Story)

March 31, 2024 - Payroll Costs Increasing Significantly for Atlantic Businesses as Minimum Wage Goes Up: CFIB - Businesses in Atlantic Canada say their payroll costs will increase significantly tomorrow when the minimum wage goes up in all four provinces. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says payroll for their members will increase by $54.5 million tomorrow. Nearly 60 per cent of them have not been able to absorb the cost of past increases much less the pending one, so they have increased costs to consumers. (Full Story)

March 28, 2024 - 42% of N.L. early childhood educators plan to leave the field. Low wages are driving the exodus - A new report from the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour says 42 per cent of the province's early childhood educators are considering finding a new job because of low wages and a lack of benefits. The report released Thursday surveyed 520 educators, or ECEs. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents said they don't receive health or dental benefits through their work, 80 per cent don't have a pension, and 90 per cent don't know when they'll be able to retire. (Full Story)

March 28, 2024 - No-poaching clause means travel nurses can't accept jobs in N.L. - The Registered Nurses' Union Newfoundland and Labrador says it's appalled that the provincial government included a clause in private-agency nursing contracts preventing some nurses from staying and working in the province's public health-care system. Union president Yvette Coffey said she became aware of the issue when a nurse who was employed by a private agency inquired about taking a permanent, full-time position in the public system. (Full Story)

March 5, 2024 - Growing Newfoundland and Labrador's Workforce with Employment Steps for Success Program - The Provincial Government is taking applications for its Employment Steps for Success Program (ESS). A total investment of $1 million is now available to non-profit community organizations to assist people with career planning and employment readiness. Last year, the Employment Steps for Success Program funded 19 community organizations in delivering ESS programming. (Full Story)

March 4, 2024 - Understanding Newfoundland and Labrador's Health and Safety Requirements - As an employer, you play an important role in preventing workplace injuries and promoting a safe and healthy workplace. In fact, under the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS), you have a legal obligation to properly inform, instruct and supervise your employees and to do everything you reasonably can to protect them. What are my obligations under the OHS Act of Newfoundland and Labrador? (Full Story)

March 1, 2024 - N.L. updates workplace safety laws for smaller employees, raises threshold to 20 or more employees - New requirements for occupational health and safety programs and committees in Newfoundland and Labrador come into effect today following amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act passed in the House of Assembly last spring. These new requirements raise the worker threshold for occupational health and safety programs and committees from 10 or more to 20 or more workers at a worksite. (Full Story)

March 14, 2024  - Paid sick leave? Family Day? Here's what you say you want - Last April, the GNWT asked for feedback on changes to the Employment Standards Act and its regulations, saying a comprehensive review had not been carried out in more than a decade and it wanted to ensure the legislation was on par with other Canadian jurisdictions, reflecting the post-Covid realities of work. The territory released the survey results in a report this week. For many proposed changes, there was a contrast between the views of employers and employees. (Full Story)

March 12, 2024 - GNWT releases What We Heard Report on Employment Standards Act engagement - The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has released a What We Heard Report that summarizes the results of engagement on the Employment Standards Act and regulations. Between April and June 2023, a total of 323 individuals participated in the engagement, which included surveys, roundtable discussions, and written submissions. Employers and employees who are subject to the Act were represented, as well as labour, employer and non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Governments and Indigenous Organizations, GNWT employees, and Northwest Territories (NWT) residents. (Full Story)

May 7, 2024 - Nova Scotia introduces new ratios to address burnout and workplace injuries - Nova Scotia has taken a significant step toward addressing the burnout and challenging working conditions experienced by nurses in hospitals across the province. Under a new collective agreement, the province will establish nurse-to-patient ratios, a move that the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union believes will improve workplace conditions and patient care. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - Attracting Healthcare Workers to Inverness - A recruitment website, awards and recognition celebrations, school career fairs, promotional videos and a strategic plan will help the Municipality of the County of Inverness recruit healthcare workers to Cape Breton this year. In total, 30 organizations from across the province will receive support through the OHPR Community Fund this year. (Full Story)

March 27, 2024 - New report outlines troubles with migrant worker program in Nova Scotia - A new report suggests that migrant workers in Nova Scotia face overcrowded and substandard housing, wage theft, and other pressing issues despite regulations intended to protect them. Falling Short: Troubles with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program in Nova Scotia was released Wednesday morning. (Full Story)

March 21, 2024 - Canada/Nova Scotia: New novel pension option for private-sector employers - New legislation in Nova Scotia will allow private-sector employers to participate in the province's defined benefit (DB) Public Service Superannuation Plan (PSSP), including the option to transfer past service DB pension liabilities and assets under an employer plan to the PSSP. The PSSP - currently open only to public employers and universities in Nova Scotia - provides pay- and service-related DB lifetime pensions to members and is funded by equal employer and employee contributions. (Full Story)

March 7, 2024 - New tools and awareness campaign to help keep care providers safe in the workplace - Homes, facilities, and communities across Nova Scotia are workplaces for home care and long-term care providers. And, new tools for leaders in the sector and a new awareness campaign, Better Safety, Better Care, are focused on the safety and well-being of workers, and their ability to provide safe and healthy care to their clients and residents. WCB Nova Scotia is proud to be a partner with AWARE-NS and government in this work. (Full Story)

March 6, 2024 - Many N.S. immigrant women suffered with jobs they held during COVID-19: report - Immigrant and migrant women in Nova Scotia, who were an important part of the essential worker labour force during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, suffered physically and mentally from their jobs and continue to struggle, says a new report. Researchers said that most of the women interviewed said they had experienced extreme stress at work and were struggling to get back on their feet. (Full Story)

April 9, 2024 - Nunavut Arctic College has positive impact on Inuit employment, says former college president - Former Nunavut Arctic College president Mike Shouldice saw a lot of positive developments during his almost three decades with the institution. "Personally, I think the college has had a significant impact on the employment of Inuit in the public service sector," said Shouldice. "I kept saying to people while I was the president of the college that if it wasn't for Nunavut Arctic College, when you look around, the whole face of employment in Northern communities, Rankin Inlet in particular, would be totally different. (Full Story)

April 2, 2024 - Payday Loans - Nunavummiut are reminded of the risks associated with payday loans. Payday loans are short-term loans with higher interest rates than those of regular loans or lines of credit. Payday loans are typically required to be paid back within two weeks, coinciding with the borrower's receipt of their pay cheque. Additional fees apply if the terms of the repayment agreement are not met. (Full Story)

March 14, 2024 - Nunavut working to overhaul harassment policy - Nunavut is in the early stages of revamping its rules around workplace harassment as it has received hundreds of complaints over the past seven years. The territorial government is in the early stages of developing a policy that would create opportunities for employees to resolve complaints informally before proceeding to a formal investigation, according to a report from Nunatsiaq News. (Full Story)

March 12, 2024 - With AI, workplace surveillance has ‘skyrocketed'-leaving Canadian laws behind - Technology that tracks your location at work and the time you're spending in the bathroom. A program that takes random screenshots of your laptop screen. A monitoring system that detects your mood during your shift. These are just some ways employee surveillance technology - now turbocharged, thanks to the explosive growth of artificial intelligence - is being deployed. Canada's laws aren't keeping up, experts warn. (Full Story)

May 8, 2024 - Ontario worker's second job while on medical leave leads to firing - An Ontario arbitrator has upheld the firing of a worker who was caught working a part-time job while claiming to be totally disabled from work. Working for another employer while on sick leave is often just cause for dismissal, with some exceptions, according to Madeleine Loewenberg, an employment lawyer at Loewenberg Psarris in Toronto. (Full Story)

May 7, 2024 - Ontario announces measure to further support women in skilled trades - The Ontario government has introduced new measures aimed at making skilled trades more accessible to working women. As part of the Working for Workers Five Act 2024, Ontario will require menstrual products be made available on larger construction sites. It is also mandating that washrooms are clean and sanitary. The initiative is part of the government's plan to tackle generational labour shortages. (Full Story)

May 6, 2024 - Working For Workers Five Act, 2024 - The Ontario government is building on progress from its previous four Working for Workers acts by introducing new first-in-Canada supports and even stronger protections that would, if passed, open pathways into the skilled trades, remove barriers to employment, protect frontline heroes and workers and support women at work. (Full Story)

May 5, 2024 - Ontario proposes bigger ESA fines, greater job transparency with new legislation - The Ontario government is looking to crack down on exploitative employers, while taking steps to level the playing field for jobseekers, through proposed legislative changes. These changes aim to ensure fair hiring practices and impose stricter penalties on violators of the Employment Standards Act (ESA). (Full Story)

May 3, 2024 - Skilled trades in Ontario: What are the industries and jobs in most need? - There are huge shortages in various skilled trades right now, says Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft, but that also means there are career opportunities available to people. He said the areas of greatest need are in the following sectors: In food services, chefs and servers are badly needed; In manufacturing, there's a need for electricians, machinists and millwright; and in construction, there's a need for electricians and carpenters. (Full Story)

May 3, 2024 - Ontario Helping Jobseekers and Cracking Down on Exploitative Employers - The Ontario government is proposing legislative changes that would make the hiring process fairer for jobseekers who are trying to get into the workforce and that would get tougher on exploitative employers by increasing maximum fines for violating the Employment Standards Act (ESA) to the highest level in Canada. (Full Story)

May 2, 2024 - Ontario addresses labour shortage with new pathways to enter skilled trades - Ontario students will be able to spend the majority of their senior years working in the trades while still completing a few compulsory academic courses. The Ontario government announced on Wednesday the introduction of the Focused Apprenticeship Skills Training program, a new stream of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program aimed at accelerating the training and employment of young Ontarians in the skilled trades. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - Ontario considering 27-week personal illness leave - The Ontario government is conducting a consultation on amending the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to include an unpaid 27-week personal long-term illness leave, which would align with the length of federal Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. Currently, the ESA provides for three unpaid days of personal leave per year for illness, injury, or medical emergency. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - Ontario Making It Easier to Enter Skilled Trades - The Ontario government is introducing new policy and legislative measures to attract more young people to the skilled trades, including adding a new apprenticeship pathway and an online job matching platform. These initiatives are designed to promote the skilled trades to youth and workers and help set them on a path to rewarding, well-paying careers as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other skilled trades. (Full Story)

April 29, 2024 - Latest employment law reform includes new disclosure rules for AI used for job applicant screening - Ontario's recently passed Working for Workers Four Act represents the first time artificial intelligence is directly referenced in the province's employment legislation, says Marc Kitay, an employment lawyer and a partner at Whitten & Lublin PC in Toronto. "It's also unlikely to be the last," he adds. (Full Story)

March 21, 2024 - Ontario's Ministry of Labour can't force employers to pay worker wages, but why? - Dozens of people have contacted CTV News claiming they weren't paid after working at, or providing services to, a Kitchener, Ont. grocer. Some allege they're owed thousands of dollars from Dutchie's Fresh Food Market. In some cases, they've been waiting years for a resolution. (Full Story)

April 30, 2024 - Ontario expands WSIB coverage for firefighters - Ontario's forest firefighters will soon have the same presumptive Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage that urban firefighters do. The provincial government will introduce changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) to ensure that firefighters who have been at least 10 years in service will be entitled to presumptive coverage for primary-site skin cancer. (Full Story)

April 25, 2024 - Ontario to scrap sick notes: What employees need to know - To ease the burden on family physicians, the Ontario government is planning to scrap sick notes for short absences from work. Currently, the province's Employment Standards Act (ESA) allows employers to ask staff for a doctor's note (as long as the request is reasonable) when they use part or all of their three days of provincially-mandated annual sick leave. (Full Story)

March 28, 2024 - Ontario Raising Minimum Wage to Support Workers - The Ontario government is increasing the minimum wage from $16.55 per hour to $17.20, effective October 1, 2024. This 3.9 per cent annualized wage increase is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) and brings Ontario's minimum wage to the second highest in Canada. (Full Story)

March 13, 2024 - 'Tons of jobs but no people,' says northwestern Ontario workforce planning board - You might have heard someone you know or strangers in passing talk about how ‘nobody wants to work anymore' or how there seems to be a lack of jobs available to people looking for work. During the 2024 Thunder Bay District Municipal League (TBDML) conference and annual general meeting, however, municipal officials from across the region heard a different story during a presentation from Gary Christian, executive director of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board. (Full Story)

May 3, 2024 - P.E.I.'s new population strategy stifling hopes for permanent residency, foreign workers say - Some foreign workers on P.E.I. say they're frustrated and worried as recent changes to the province's immigration strategy put their chance to get permanent residency at risk. Their concerns come after the P.E.I. government announced in February that it's cutting the number of people it nominates for permanent residency by 25 per cent in 2024. (Full Story)

April 17, 2024 - Sick notes still required as PCs vote down change to P.E.I.'s Employment Standards Act - The governing Progressive Conservatives voted down a bill Wednesday that would have eliminated the requirement for doctor's notes for sick employees in P.E.I. The bill was brought forward by the Green Party, which invited Dr. Kay Dingwell to the legislature to help make its case. (Full Story)

April 5, 2024 - Jobless rate jumps on P.E.I. as more people enter labour market - Prince Edward Island's unemployment rate jumped to 7.4 per cent in March, up from 7.0 per cent a month earlier. That's according to the latest edition of Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey, which was released Friday morning. The national unemployment rate was up slightly to 6.1 per cent, a full percentage point more than a year earlier. (Full Story)

March 28, 2024 - Employers continue to be satisfied with WCB programs and services - The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is pleased to share that employers continue to report high levels of overall satisfaction with their WCB service experience, matching the previous record from four years ago. For employers, service satisfaction with the overall WCB experience matches the highest level recorded with 85% attesting that they are completely or mostly satisfied with their experience. (Full Story)

March 22, 2024 - Province proclaims paid sick leave - Island workers will have access to paid sick leave effective October 1, 2024. Following amendments made to the Employment Standards Act during the most recent fall sitting of the legislature, Island workers will be eligible for up to three paid sick days depending on the length of their continuous employment with the same employer. (Full Story)

March 22, 2024 - Some P.E.I. employers worried Ottawa's temporary worker cap will leave them short-staffed - Some P.E.I. employers worry they'll be scrambling to fill labour gaps if the federal government caps the number of temporary foreign workers in the country. Immigration Minister Marc Miller said Thursday that the federal government is planning to reduce the proportion of temporary residents in Canada's population over the next three years. (Full Story)

May 7, 2024 - Workplace violence the focus of Sask. Employment Act changes - As of May 17, 2024, amendments that have been made to the occupational health and safety provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act will come into effect. These changes require that all provincially regulated workplaces put in place a violence policy and prevention plan. Students and post-secondary students, volunteers and contract workers are also included in the provisions regarding violence. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - Managers must tell new hires about risk of violence at work under new Sask. employment rules - Saskatchewan employers will be required to tell new hires if they face a risk of violence in the workplace and to take actions against it starting on May 17. Under the employment act amendments taking effect later this month, workplaces must have a violence policy and prevention plan in place that identifies where violent situations have occurred or may occur. (Full Story)

May 1, 2024 - Violence Policies Required In All Workplaces - On May 17, 2024, amendments to the occupational health and safety provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act will come into force requiring all provincially regulated workplaces to have a violence policy and prevention plan in place. The amendment also ensures that students and post-secondary students, volunteers and contract workers are covered under the provisions regarding violence. (Full Story)

April 24, 2024 - WCB shares 2023 operating results - The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)'s 2023 annual report was tabled in the provincial legislature today. The province's workplace Total injury rate fell to 3.95 per 100 workers, the lowest in Saskatchewan's recorded history. Under the requirements of The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013, the WCB remained fully funded with a sufficiency ratio of 135.7 per cent in 2023. (Full Story)

April 23, 2024 - Expert wants Saskatchewan to implement changes to penalize employers violating OHS rules - One occupational health and safety expert is calling on the Saskatchewan government to make regulatory changes to ensure employers are appropriately penalized for exposing workers to harm in the workplace. Currently, many provinces don't have the ability to issue hefty fines directly to workplaces that put employees in harm's way. (Full Story)

March 20, 2024 - Investments Made to Support Saskatchewan's Growing Workforce - The Ministry of Immigration and Career Training is supporting Saskatchewan's present and future workforce by investing in programs and services that strengthen Saskatchewan's labour force, connect people to jobs and ensure employers can recruit the talent they need to support their business and grow Saskatchewan's economy for a brighter future. (Full Story)

March 20, 2024 - Sask. workplace injury rates lowest in history: WCB - Workplace injury and fatality rates dropped across the province last year, according to statistics from the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board's (SWCB) 2023 report released this week. The total injury rate is the lowest recoded in the province's history, a SWCB news release notes, with 3.95 per 100 workers compared to 4.33 in 2022 - an 8.78 per cent decrease. The total injury rate decreased by 57.62 per cent from 2009 to 2023. (Full Story)

March 9, 2024 - Sask. labour force added over 18,000 new full-time jobs last month - New data from Statistics Canada shows Saskatchewan's labour force added 18,700 new full-time jobs last month. This marks an increase of 15,200 new jobs when compared to February 2023, when a mere 3,500 new jobs were reported, according to Statistics Canada. It raises Saskatchewan's employment growth rate to 2.6 per cent with 6.1 per cent job growth in Saskatoon and six per cent in Regina. (Full Story)

April 9, 2024 - Minister Mostyn issues statement on workplace safety measures - Minister Richard Mostyn has issued the following statement: "Workplace safety is an issue that impacts all Yukoners and something to which I am deeply committed to. As the Minister responsible for the Workers' Safety and Compensation Board (WSCB), I am part of an organization focused on working with employers and workers to prevent workplace injuries. (Full Story)

March 9, 2024 - With AI, workplace surveillance has ‘skyrocketed'-leaving Canadian laws behind - Technology that tracks your location at work and the time you're spending in the bathroom. A program that takes random screenshots of your laptop screen. A monitoring system that detects your mood during your shift. These are just some ways employee surveillance technology - now turbocharged, thanks to the explosive growth of artificial intelligence - is being deployed. Canada's laws aren't keeping up, experts warn. (Full Story)

Is a four-day work week all it's cracked up to be?

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

Admittedly, this sounds bleak. But there are important benefits to consider that may set a business apart. "A four-day work week allows people more time with their friends, family and/or personal time, which results in a more engaged team," says Pathak. "There are countless studies that show that personal relationships drive happiness and health, and that engagement increases when people are happy." Pathak and Joe both note that there are HR benefits such as team retention and satisfaction, as well as creating a boosted labour force and competition for jobs.

So how can companies implement this scheduling and reap the benefits without harming the bottom line? Strategically, according to our experts.

"A company would need to increase efficiencies across all non-billable time to dramatically reduce the hours spent on non-billable work each week, digitize more processes and reduce time spent in meetings," says Pathak.

Joe agrees. "There would have to be more systems, processes, policies, procedures, benchmarks and accountability in place," he says, also noting that standards of performance would need to be raised.

But if it's not the right time to introduce the four-day work week, there are still ways to entice and retain talent outside of it. "Our company and industry already do a lot to entice and retain talent, from robust vacation packages, flexible work schedules, to fun culture and team building activities," says Pathak. "One of the best ways to retain talent is to drive loyalty. Building interpersonal relationships through mutual trust, providing stretch opportunities, and celebrating the work, should all be a priority. One thing I could see more companies exploring is employee-wide profit sharing as financial rewards will always have an impact."

Aiming to give back and reward employees is a sound strategy - whether financially or otherwise, according to Joe. "Incentive programs work well to attract and retain employees," he says. "Plus, with the new generation of workers, we know they are motivated by companies that match their value systems. Being public and upfront about what you stand for and holding to those values can keep workers feeling good about the work they are doing."

He also notes that there's always room to inspire when it comes to how upper management conducts themselves. "Having leaders who are visible and take their work personally, who are invested in their employees and create a culture of caring about their people, will retain talent. People want to be heard."

As for Pathak, she says Faulhaber Communications has not yet decided on the four-day work week, but that it is something she is personally an advocate for and hopes to pilot in the future.

Article by Chelsea Clarke

Software Updates

eNETEmployer (Current Release)

  • Added the ability to export a detailed Journal Entry.
  • Enhanced the HR module's Org Chart feature to include show/hide nodes, employee names/numbers, and also added a zoom feature.
  • Added the Audit feature to the HR and Recruit modules.
  • Numerous French translation updates.
  • Improved the handling of large quantities of messages that appear in the Tools button's Message log.
  • Refined the Journal Entry calculation for very small earning distributions.
  • Adjusted the Transaction Report to remove the "Null" label from the employee total rows.

GrandMaster Suite (v. 19.08)

  • Adjusted Bonus tax calculation for Quebec when current earnings are zero
  • Adjusted printing on CRA copy of T4A.
  • Added Evaluation date to the Human Resource module.

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