Payroll News for Canada, Employment Articles Employment News and Payroll Tips

Payroll News Canada - Employment Articles

May 2018 - 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.

Tip of the Month Federal News Provincial News
Featured Article Software Updates Newsletter Archive


Tip of the Month

May 2018 - CRA Minimum Wage Database - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) provides a Minimum Wage Database that lists information on current and forthcoming minimum hourly wage rates for adult workers, young workers and workers occupying specific occupations across Canada, as well as historical data on minimum wage rates in Canada since 1965. It also allows for a customized search, by jurisdiction, for general minimum wage rates. Click Here to learn more about this useful 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 HR News

May 4, 2018 - Government of Canada announces new approach to address pay issues - The Government of Canada is committed to resolving public service pay issues as quickly as possible and supporting affected employees. Following a successful pilot project, Pay Pods are being introduced at the Miramichi Pay Centre to better support employees by processing pay transactions. Pay Pods, a concept developed by Pay Centre employees, group together compensation advisors assigned to a specific department or agency. These groups will work with client departments to address all outstanding transactions in an employee’s pay file, in contrast to the current approach of addressing pay issues by transaction type. (Full Story)

May 3 2018 - Expanding CPP could decrease investment in Canada during next decade - By forcing Canadian workers to contribute more to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Ottawa and the provinces will inadvertently shrink the pool of money available for investments in Canada — potentially up to $114 billion by 2030, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank. Starting January 2019, the federal and provincial governments will increase the amount Canadian workers have to pay into the national pension program, with the payroll tax increases being phased in over seven years. (Full Story)

May 3, 2018 - Changes to the Employment Insurance sickness benefit are needed to get people with MS, ‘Canada’s disease,’ back in business: report - Allowing people with chronic conditions to claim EI for longer and with fewer restrictions could add $1.1 billion to Canada’s GDP, the Conference Board of Canada says. That was the topic of a report released Wednesday by the Conference Board of Canada, which concluded this country could improve its employment insurance benefits program to get more people with MS participating in the labour force. (Full Story)

April 29, 2018 - New internship opportunities for Canadian students will lead to skills development, jobs - When Canada’s college and polytechnic students have the opportunity to learn in a hands-on work environment, they build the real-world skills and connections they need for the good middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow. Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, announced a new pilot program that will allow colleges and polytechnics to work with businesses and not-for-profit organizations to send students into the workforce. The new pilot program expands on an existing Mitacs initiative that has a proven track record of supplying students with new skills and training opportunities. (Full Story)

April 24, 2018 - Canada Summer Jobs 2018 Hiring Season Kicks Off - A strong middle class and a growing economy depend on young Canadians getting the skills and work experience they need to succeed. That’s why the Government of Canada has doubled the number of jobs created through the Canada Summer Jobs program since 2015, creating meaningful, paid work experience for almost 70,000 students per year. This year, more than 3,000 employers are first-time funding recipients, ensuring thousands of fresh new experiences for young Canadians. (Full Story)

April 24, 2018 - Backgrounder - Youth Employment Strategy - The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help Canada’s newest workers get a strong start to their careers. The YES is delivered by 11 federal departments and agencies and helps young people between the ages of 15 and 30 get  the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workforce. The YES has three complementary program streams: Skills Link, Career Focus and Summer Work Experience. (Full Story)

April 18, 2018 - Just 17% of employers starting plans for CPP, QPP changes - Most Canadian employers have yet to take action to prepare for the incoming changes to the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, according to a survey by Aon. The survey found just 17 per cent of the 325 organizations polled have started to make plans to accommodate the changes. More than a third (37 per cent) said they expert to start preparations this year and 32 per cent said they don’t know when they will make changes. (Full Story)

April 12, 2018 - Immigrant women in Canada earn less, face more employment challenges: government report - Immigrant women in Canada face greater employment barriers and earn less money than both male immigrants and Canadian-born women, data compiled by the immigration department suggests. The information, obtained by the Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act, shows a persistent gap between female immigrants, both new and established in Canada, compared with their Canadian-born counterparts. (Full Story)

April 10, 2018 - Statement on Equal Pay Day - The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, issued the following statement regarding Equal Pay Day, an occasion to raise awareness about the gender wage gap: As a government, we are committed to helping the next generation of Canadians break free from the barriers that have held us back for so long - because we know that we can’t continue to grow the middle class when half of our citizens are being held back. To face the challenges of today and tomorrow, we will need the hard work and creativity of all Canadians. Gender equality is not only the right thing to do for Canadians; it is also the smart thing to do for the economy." (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Canada adds 32,300 jobs, all full time, as jobless rate stays at record low - The economy delivered 32,300 net new jobs last month as Canada generated a rush of full-time work that helped keep the national unemployment rate at its record low. Statistics Canada said Friday the jobless rate stayed at 5.8 per cent in March for a second-consecutive month - and for the third time since December -- to match its lowest mark since the agency started measuring the indicator in 1976. The only other time the rate slipped to this level was 2007. The March gains were driven by a surge in full-time work. (Full Story)

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


Apr 28, 2018 - Most workplace injuries go unreported in Alberta: survey - A poll of 2,000 workers suggests that nearly 70 per cent of disabling workplace injuries in Alberta go unreported, according to a new report released by the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute Friday. The survey's data suggests there may have been more than 170,000 injuries serious enough to require time off or modified work in 2016, but just 45,000 were reported. (Full Story)

April 26, 2018 - Alberta leads country in average wages and wage growth - The average weekly paycheque in Alberta is up 4.3 per cent between February of last year and this year, the second highest jump in the country.  Alberta's overall increase, bested only by Quebec with a 4.4 per cent rise, means the average Albertan is earning $1,158 each week. Those earnings are more than any other province. "Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since March 2017," reads an update from Statistics Canada. (Full Story)

April 24, 2018 - Provincial employment supports expanded - Job seekers around the province will find more employment training opportunities through the expansion of the Transition to Employment Services program in 14 communities across Alberta. This funding will provide about 1,500 Albertans in both urban and rural settings with opportunities to gain new skills, expand existing ones and learn about transitioning trends in emerging job sectors. (Full Story)

April 23, 2018 - Learn more about new rules to keep workers safe - Employers can now get updated information online about new Occupational Health and Safety rules that come into effect later this year. On June 1, three new workers’ rights come into force: the right to know potential hazards, the right to refuse dangerous work and the right to participate in their health and safety. New rules will also protect workers from harassment and violence in all its forms, and provide other protective measures. (Full Story)

April 23, 2018 - Connecting Albertans to meaningful careers - The Alberta government is partnering with community organizations across the province to offer more than 150 career events this week. From job fairs to resume-writing workshops, Alberta Career Week highlights the programs and services available to help Albertans connect with the jobs and training they need to be successful. (Full Story)

April 19, 2018 - Alberta experiences decrease of more than 62,000 EI recipients in early 2018 - According to Statistics Canada, Alberta saw a significant decrease in employment insurance (EI) beneficiaries in February of this year, ending a four month trend of relatively stagnant recipient numbers. In February 2018, there were 62,100 fewer EI recipients in Alberta than the month prior, a 1.9 per cent decrease. From February 2017 to February 2018, Alberta experienced a 26.7 per cent decrease in EI beneficiaries as the province’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 per cent to 6.7 per cent. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Alberta’s unemployment dips to a three-year low, pointing to recovery - Alberta’s jobless rate has sunk to its lowest level in nearly three years, another sign that the oil-producing province is recovering from the energy slump. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3 per cent in March from 6.7 per cent in the previous month, according to Statistics Canada’s labour force survey released on Friday. That is the province’s lowest level since the summer of 2015, when employers were slashing jobs in response to the drop in oil prices. (Full Story)

April 4, 2018 - What young people need to know about landing their first jobs - As thousands of Calgarians reinvent themselves in order to adopt to the recovering Alberta economy, a new generation of young job seekers are also entering the market in search of that elusive first job. Thousands of young people attended the Calgary Youth Hiring Fair Tuesday to get face time with over 80 different employers, all of whom have hung a Help Wanted sign for the upcoming summer season. (Full Story)

March 27, 2018 - Legislative changes effective April 1 - Enhanced WCB coverage is available for injured workers diagnosed with psychological injuries following a traumatic event at work. April 1 legislation also includes additional occupations for presumptive PTSD and cardiac coverage. (Full Story)

April 30, 2018 - Statement from the Province on 3,000 new B.C. jobs with Amazon by 2022 - Premier John Horgan and Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, have issued the following statement in response to Amazon’s announcement that it will create 3,000 new jobs in British Columbia by 2022, in addition to the 1,000 new jobs the company announced in November 2017. (Full Story)

April 25, 2018 - Review of WorkSafeBC Rehabilitation and Claims Services policies - The purpose of this review was to assess current policies to determine if there are policies that could be amended to ensure a worker-centred approach wherever practicable. Mr. Petrie was asked to consult with external stakeholders and internal staff and provide recommendations to the Board on possible changes to rehabilitation and claims policies. (Full Story)

April 19, 2018 - Raises coming for liquor servers and other alternate minimum wage earners - Workers who earn an alternate minimum wage - including liquor servers, piece-rate farm workers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders - will soon see a pay raise. Based on recommendations from the Fair Wages Commission, the Government of British Columbia is eliminating the liquor server wage by 2021, and gradually increasing the wages for specific groups of workers who do not earn the general hourly rate. Liquor servers, resident caretakers and live-in camp leaders will all see wage increases, as of June 1, 2018, while farm workers paid by piece rate will see an increase, as of Jan. 1, 2019. (Full Story)

April. 19, 2018 - B.C. liquor server wage to be phased out by 2021 - The B.C. government is phasing out the $1.25 discount on its minimum wage for liquor servers, and raising the minimum pay for farm workers and other employees who make less than the general minimum wage. The liquor server wage will begin increasing each year on June 1 until it matches the general minimum wage in 2021, Labour Minister Harry Bains said Thursday. By that time the general minimum wage will reach $15.21 an hour. (Full Story)

April 18, 2018 - Funding boost to increase the number of trained caregivers - The ministries of Health and Advanced Education, Skills and Training are providing approximately $3.3 million to create new health-care assistant seats in 11 post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia. This is one part of a larger human resource strategy to increase staffing levels in residential care facilities and community care sectors. There are currently an estimated 28,000 health-care assistants employed by health authorities and affiliated employers in B.C. Health-care assistants provide personal support services for seniors, people with a disability and people with acute or chronic illnesses. (Full Story)

April 17, 2018 - BC employment hits first-quarter speed bump - Extending a recent hiring lull, BC employment fell by 0.2% (down 3,900 persons) from February in March, albeit with a rebound in full-time job growth. While the headline drop was insignificant, employment has declined over the past three months with no net gains since the summer. The flat employment trend has whittled away the strong year-over-year growth trends observed through most of 2017 to just over 1%. (Full Story)

April 9, 2018 - New and extended leaves support working families - Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act today. The amendments, if approved by the legislature, will better support working families in British Columbia by providing new, extended and more flexible maternity, parental and compassionate care leaves. The amendments will allow mothers to start their pregnancy leave, also known as maternity leave, as early as 13 weeks before the expected birth date, up from the current 11 weeks. New parents will also have the option to take a longer unpaid parental leave to care for their new child — resulting in a total of up to 18 months of leave for birth mothers — while ensuring job protection. These changes align B.C.’s leave provisions with federal employment insurance (EI) benefits. (Full Story)

April 2, 2018 - Trade war, payroll tax could be behind B.C. small business confidence dip: pollster - Small business owners in B.C. aren’t feeling too confident this spring, suggests a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The dip in confidence could be tied to the anticipation of the new payroll tax coming in next January. The tax, which comes into effect next January, means that businesses already paying health premiums for their employees will pay double the amount in 2019 before MSP is phased out in 2020. (Full Story)

May 1, 2018 - Manitoba government ends employment training program for provincial inmates - A program that taught more than 75 adult and youth offenders marketable skills at four correctional institutions in Manitoba is being dissolved by the Pallister government, CBC has learned. The ManCor Prison Industries program was designed to teach offenders marketable trades to increase their chances of getting a job after they are released. (Full Story)

April 11, 2018 - Province Announces Increase To Minimum Wage On Oct. 1 - The Manitoba government is improving wages for working Manitobans and increasing the minimum wage on Oct. 1, 2018, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today. The increase of 20 cents per hour will raise the current minimum wage to $11.35 from $11.15 and ensure that Manitoba remains competitive with other provinces.  This adjustment is based on Manitoba’s 2017 inflation rate of 1.6 per cent, and rounding up to the nearest five cents. (Full Story)

March 20, 2018 - Province Introduces Legislation To Extend Parental Leave Provisions - The Manitoba government is introducing legislation that would extend parental leave provisions and leave for individuals to care for a critically ill adult family member, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today. The minister noted the proposed legislation would make several changes to the Employment Standards Code, including: extending parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks to care for a new child in the family; establishing a new 17-week leave to allow employees to care for an adult family member who is critically ill; and more. (Full Story)

April 28, 2018 - Regulations proposed to address workplace violence and harassment - The provincial government today proposed regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act aimed at preventing workplace violence and harassment. The proposed regulations have been posted for public review until May 16. Anyone wishing to review or comment on them may visit the Public Review of Draft Regulations webpage. Last November, the provincial government established a steering committee to build stronger relationships between government and the labour movement and to identify areas of co-operation. (Full Story)

April 15, 2018 - Firms need to hire younger workers and mentor them, says Moncton economic expert - "Companies and employers need to be more realistic and invest and really explore the talent that's coming out from university and colleges out here and really mentor [them]," said Gionet, who's the vice-president of business intelligence and operations of 3+, Greater Moncton's economic development corporation. (Full Story)

April 12, 2018 - How Immigration Can Help Moncton Tackle Its Labour Market Challenges - It’s not that there are no jobs in Moncton. Companies like Dream Payments, BMM Testlabs, J.D. Irving and, more recently, Dovico Software, are all planning to hire a total of more than 1,000 people over the next few years. In fact, according to BMO’s Regional Labour Market Card for the first quarter of 2018 published earlier this week, Moncton saw the number of jobs grow 9.9 per cent in one year. It led Canadian cities with the most growth in employment, climbing from the last spot last year to the top one this year. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - New Brunswick lost 1,800 jobs last month, while unemployment rate declined to 8% - New Brunswick lost 1,800 jobs in March, but saw its unemployment rate fall slightly as well, according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force report. The monthly report showed that 2,700 full-time jobs were lost and 900 part-time jobs were added. The unemployment rate declined to eight per cent from 8.2 per cent, according to the agency. (Full Story)

March 29, 2018 - Details released on investment to increase wages for human service workers - The provincial government announced details today about an investment of $12 million to increase the wages of human service workers. There are about 10,000 human services workers in New Brunswick, including home support workers, special care home workers, ADAPT workers, family support workers, family support workers for adults with a disability and community residence workers. Workers in the human services sector will receive hourly wage increases ranging from 25 cents to $1 per hour as a result of this latest investment. The increase is effective April 1. (Full Story)

March 20, 2018 - Feds announce pilot program to address ‘EI black hole’ for New Brunswick seasonal workers - New Brunswick workers who experience a gap between their employment insurance and seasonal employment may be eligible for a new federally-funded program that will address the gap for people living in certain regions. New Brunswickers who work in the fisheries, agriculture, forestry and tourism sectors in some parts of the province may find relief from what’s being referred to as the “EI black hole,” which is the period when employment benefits run out and seasonal work begins. (Full Story)

May 4, 2018 - Parliamentary Secretary Davis to Launch NAOSH Week - Bernard Davis, Parliamentary Secretary for Service NL, will participate in the flag-raising and provincial kick-off of North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week. The event will take place in St. John’s on Monday, May 7, at 12:00 p.m. in the lobby of East Block, Confederation Building. NAOSH Week is celebrated every year at the beginning of May throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Its goal is to raise awareness on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community. (Full Story)

April 26, 2018 - WorkplaceNL reports 2017 workplace injury rates - For the third consecutive year, the lost-time incidence rate due to workplace injury or illness in Newfoundland and Labrador has remained at an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers, which is among the lowest in Canada. The rate among 15 to 24 year-old workers also remained stable for the second consecutive year at 1.3 per 100 workers, and remains below the provincial rate. There were small declines in new claims, including approximately 200 less short-term claims and 160 less health-care only claims in 2017 versus 2016. (Full Story)

April 26, 2018 - Provincial Government Now Accepting Applications for New Student Mentorship Program - The government has announced that the application process for the new Student Mentorship Program is now open. The employer-driven program will support summer career development opportunities in the agriculture, aquaculture, technology, and oil and gas sectors. The Provincial Government made these sectors a focus for development as part of The Way Forward, which included commitments to help residents explore careers in these fields. (Full Story)

April 22, 2018 - Training needed for thousands of coming computer jobs, says Code NL founder - Government's announcement of $400,000 for coding education in schools is a good start, says the founder of Code NL, but it needs to go further. On Monday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government announced $400,000 in funding aimed at getting students in the province computer coding. A study by the Information and Communications Technology Council, showed that in 2015, there were 7,900 people in Newfoundland and Labrador working in ICT — information and communications technology. (Full Story)

April 18, 2018 - Provincial Government Invites Applications for Job Creation Partnerships - The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced applications are now being accepted from employers for this year’s Job Creation Partnerships (JCP) program. The JCP program supports projects that provide individuals eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) with opportunities to improve their employability through work experience. These projects benefit the participant as well their community. In 2017-18, more than 1,400 individuals participated in the program through projects delivered by over 250 organizations. Each year, funding is allocated throughout the province based on the share of EI beneficiaries. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Enhanced Benefits for injured workers - The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has amended the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act to enhance benefits by increasing the income replacement rate (IRR) for injured workers in Newfoundland and Labrador, or their dependents, from 80 to 85 per cent. Effective April 1, 2018, wage-loss benefits will be calculated at 85 per cent of an individual’s net (after tax) earnings. The individual’s gross (before tax) income is capped at the Maximum Compensable Assessable Earnings (MCAE), which is $64,375 for 2018. (Full Story)

April 5, 2018 - Provincial Government Invites Applications for Summer Student Employment Programs - The government has announced applications are now being accepted for Summer Student Employment Programs (SSEP). SSEP applications may be made online at www.aesl.gov.nl.ca and must be received by May 7, 2018 for post-secondary students, and May 22, 2018, for high school students. Budget 2018 provides more than $1.6 million for SSEP and increases the subsidy rate for private sector employers hiring post-secondary students to $5.60 per hour from $5.00. (Full Story)

April 5, 2018 - Pay Equity Day Focuses On Wage Gap In NL - Today is provincial Pay Equity Day, a day to raise awareness about the difference between what men and women earn in Newfoundland and Labrador. The St. John’s Status of Women’s Council says for every dollar earned by a man in Newfoundland and Labrador, a woman makes 66 cents. Executive Director Jenny Wright says that’s because more women work part-time and in minimum wage jobs. She says the perception that women seek out part-time and minimum wage jobs is simply not true. She says child care options are limited, often forcing women to take part-time jobs to accommodate the deficiencies. (Full Story)

April 30, 2018 - GNWT  Announces Strategy To Improve Labour Market In Smaller Communities - The Government of the Northwest Territories released its plan to improve employment in small communities across the territory. The Small Communities Employment Strategy will focus on creating jobs for Northerners, as well as help the GNWT in partnering with communities to support the development of community labour market development plans. Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Caroline Cochrane, made the announcement today. In a statement, she focused on the working class being an important piece of the NWT’s future. (Full Story)

May 3, 2018 - Consultations on PTSD Regulations - WCB Nova Scotia is inviting stakeholders to participate in discussions about regulations regarding providing the benefit of presumption for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for frontline or emergency response workers. In Fall 2017, government made changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Nova Scotia to provide the benefit of presumption to police, paid and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, nurses, provincial and federal correctional officers, continuing care assistants and emergency dispatchers with post-traumatic stress disorder. This means it is presumed that a diagnosis of PTSD in these frontline or emergency response workers is work-related. (Full Story)

April 25, 2018 - Regulations Updated Regarding Canada Day Holiday - Updates to regulations make it clear when stores will be required to close and when workers are eligible to receive holiday pay for Canada Day. “We understand there was some confusion around when stores should close when Canada Day falls on a Sunday,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “The changes to regulations clarify that retail stores required to close, will do so on the Sunday, July 1, and the holiday pay rules will apply on that day.” Previously, stores were required to close and holiday pay rules applied on the Monday, July 2. (Full Story)

April 10, 2018 - Jobs for Students - Government is now hiring students across the province for the spring and summer - Postings for apprentice, co-op, internship and summer student positions began in January with 185 posted to date and more to be posted throughout the spring. There are positions in a wide range of sectors from research and communications, business and community development, plumbing, technology, agriculture and engineering. (Full Story)

April 5, 2018 - Despite long-term progress, workplace injury in Nova Scotia takes a big toll in 2017 - Workplace injuries leading to time off the job remained about steady in 2017, according to statistics released by WCB Nova Scotia today. The 2017 time-loss injury rate of 1.76 per 100 covered workers represents a slight increase from last year, when the injury rate was 1.74. There were 5,906 time-loss claims in 2017, compared to 5,847 in 2016. By comparison, in 2005 more than 9,000 workers were hurt seriously enough to lose time from work. (Full Story)

April 2018 - Safe + Secure eNews April 2018 edition now online - The latest edition of the Safe + Secure eNews is now available. In this edition we offer information on upcoming events to honour those who have died or been injured on the job - the Day of Mourning and Steps for Life. You'll also find tips for planning NAOSH Week activities and links to resources that will help you maintain your commitment to safety year-round. Look for information on keeping young workers safe as they enter the workforce this summer, view our most recent statistics and check out a video series to aid home care workers. (Full Story)

March 29, 2018 - Nova Scotia to give up to 16 weeks unpaid leave to domestic violence victims - Victims of domestic violence in Nova Scotia would be able to take up to 16 continuous weeks of unpaid leave under legislation introduced Thursday by the Liberal government. The changes would allow victims leave to seek medical attention, to obtain help from victim services organizations, to get legal help, and to relocate either temporarily or permanently. The leave would also cover situations where an employee’s child is the victim of domestic violence. (Full Story)

March 22, 2018 - Province adds to support for job seekers with autism - People with autism looking for jobs and those already in the workplace will get more help under a new provincial program. The province has committed $1.4 million, to be paid over three years, that will provide employment supports and services, including coaching, for people with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Nova Scotia has a job seekers’ database into which anyone looking for work can upload their resume. There are now about 350 people in that database, Carroll said, who are actively reporting to the organization that they’re looking for work. (Full Story)

Apr 27, 2018 - New Inuit program launches to prevent community support workers from quitting - A new program aims to train Inuit as community support workers in Iqaluit and Ottawa to get more people into the field and teach them how to avoid burning out. Nunavut is grappling with high employee turnover in the social work industry. Helen Roos, president of the ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre, says workers are often quitting within six months of being hired. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Become a summer student - Nunavummiut students: the Government of Nunavut wants you to apply for great summer jobs! Come join us, learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. The Summer Student Employment Equity Program (SSEEP) is offered every year to secondary and post-secondary students to encourage continuous learning and foster skill and career development. Applications are accepted until July 6, but most positions start in April, May and June. The earlier you get your application in, the more chances you have to get the summer job you’re looking for! (Full Story)

May 4, 2018 - Ontario Helping Students with Disabilities Reach Employment Goals - Ontario is supporting postsecondary students with disabilities through a new initiative led by Carleton University in Ottawa. The initiative will develop accessible, innovative resources for students with disabilities, including: Support and mentorship for entrepreneurial development; Employment support, including connecting students to employers; and One-on-one coaching and mentoring for students. Increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. (Full Story)

May 3, 2018 - Ontario Removing Barriers to Employment and Education - Ontario is establishing clear and consistent rules to govern police record checks in the province to protect public safety and strengthen individual civil liberties by removing unnecessary barriers to employment, education and volunteer opportunities. Ontario takes the responsibility of protecting public safety very seriously. For example, the rules around vulnerable sector checks have been rigorously designed to help screen individuals in a position of trust or authority over vulnerable persons, like children or the elderly. (Full Story)

April 30, 2018 - Ontario introduces pay transparency legislation in Ontario - Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, passed Third Reading in the Ontario Legislature on April 26, 2018. The legislation will require an employer to disclose certain compensation information about, and to, employees and prospective employees, and restrict the information an employer may solicit during the hiring process. The Pay Transparency Act, 2018, comes into force on Jan. 1, 2019. Accordingly, employers (particularly those with more than 100 employees) should prepare now. (Full Story)

April 29, 2018 - New employment incentives for employers - Prescott and Russell employers can now take advantage of the new Employing Young Talent Incentive program available through The Employment Services Centre (CSEPR) in Hawkesbury. Established by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development under the Employment Ontario program, these incentives aim at helping businesses which have fewer than 100 employees hire young people aged from 15 to 29 years old. (Full Story)

April 25, 2018 - Ontario Helping to Raise Awareness of Workplace Rights and Responsibilities - Ontario is supporting workers and businesses by investing in educational and training initiatives that will help them understand their workplace rights and responsibilities. Starting today, non-profit organizations can apply for the Employment Standards Training and Education Program (ESTEP) for 2018-19. The program helps non-profit organizations educate vulnerable workers and small- and mid-sized businesses on their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. (Full Story)

April 20, 2018 - Ontario Inspecting Workplaces to Protect Workers' Health and Safety - Ontario is conducting more than two dozen inspection blitzes in 2018-2019 to ensure employers are meeting health, safety and employment standards at workplaces across the province. Occupational health and safety inspectors will look for occupational health and safety violations involving issues such as working at heights, hazardous materials, machine guarding, conveyors, mobile equipment, violence, ergonomics and falls. (Full Story)

April 9, 2018 - How workers can use Ontario's Equal Pay For Equal Work legislation - Part-time, casual and seasonal workers in Ontario now have the power to demand the same wage that their full-time colleagues receive if they do the same job under new rules brought in by the province on April 1. The change forces employers to either boost the wage of the lower-earning worker, or justify the gap based on seniority, merit or a “system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production,” when a potential discrepancy is raised. (Full Story)

April 19, 2018 - Ontario Increases Cancer Coverage for Firefighters - Ontario is making it easier for firefighters to get the help and care they need by extending the presumption for entitlement to benefits to cervical, ovarian and penile cancers. By adding the three cancers to the list of cancers presumed to be related to their work, firefighters and fire investigators will have greater access to healthcare and compensation. With the expanded presumption, once a firefighter is diagnosed with cervical, ovarian or penile cancer, the claims process for WSIB benefits will be expedited, and firefighters will not be required to prove a causal link between these cancers and a workplace exposure. (Full Story)

April 18, 2018 - Ontario to Review Rules on Personal Emergency Leave for Auto Sector Workers - Ontario will review the rules around personal emergency leave (PEL) for the auto sector. On January 1, 2017, after consultation with industry experts, Ontario launched a personal emergency leave pilot project for the auto sector. The pilot project required auto sector employers with 50 or more employees to provide each employee with up to seven PEL days each year for illness, injury, medical emergency of the employee or a specified family member, or urgent matters of a family member, as well as up to three days for the death of a family member on each occasion of the passing of a loved one. (Full Story)

April 17, 2018 - Fair Wages to Protect Workers - Ontario will introduce legislation today that would ensure that people working in construction, building cleaning or security jobs under contracts with the government will be paid the fair, prevailing wage in those sectors. The proposed Government Contract Wages Act, 2018, would, if passed, allow Ontario to establish minimum rates of pay for workers in construction, building cleaning and security services work, requiring contractors and subcontractors to pay according to those rates. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Ontario Enacting Provisions to Provide Further Protections for Temporary Help Agency Workers - Ontario is taking strong action to increase protections for temporary help agency workers. The government has proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,1997 (WSIA) to enable a new regulation to better protect temporary help agency workers. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Ontario Added 10,600 Jobs in March - Employment in Ontario increased by 10,600 jobs in March and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 per cent, the lowest it has been since July 2000. Over the past three years, Ontario's economy has outperformed all G7 countries in terms of real GDP growth. Exports and business investments have increased, and Ontario's unemployment rate has been below the national average each month for almost three years. (Full Story)

April 3, 2018 - Ontario Helping Young People Find Jobs - Ontario is helping young people find jobs and supporting employers by providing businesses with financial incentives to hire youth aged 15 to 29. The Employing Young Talent Incentive helps young people find jobs by offering: Small businesses with less than 100 employees, an initial $1,000 incentive upon hiring and an additional $1,000 retention incentive after six months for each youth hired through Employment Service. Further incentives are also offered. (Full Story)

May 7, 2018 - Island Builder campaign looks to draw more workers to P.E.I. - On a chilly day in mid-April about 175 job openings for skilled tradespeople were listed on a website for the Construction Association of Prince Edward Island (CAPEI). Such is the reason why the association launched a recruitment campaign called Island Builder, which aims to draw more people to the trades from around Canada. The campaign’s website includes online job openings and a list of programs to help both employers and workers with training. (Full Story)

May 4, 2018 - P.E.I. government introduces new PTSD legislation, despite private member’s bill - A bill to give workers coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder may never become law despite passing in the legislature in December. That’s because the governing Liberals started debate Friday on a new bill they tabled to amend the Workers Compensation Act and replace the one they already voted for. Workforce Minister Sonny Gallant brought the bill to the floor and said he thought the spirit of the private member’s bill passed last year was good. (Full Story)

April 29, 2018 - Youth outreach co-ordinator points to looming shortfall in tradespeople at job fair in western P.E.I. - As she explains the steps in a routine household wiring project to a high school student, Rosemary Crane has to raise her voice to be heard over the pounding of a nearby carpentry demonstration. Crane, the Skills Canada P.E.I. provincial youth outreach coordinator, helped set up hands-on displays for the carpentry, electronics and electrical trades during the Western P.E.I. Job Fair held recently at Mill River Experience. A red seal electrician, Crane said she’s accustomed to being on job sites when workers from other trades are present. Last week she was helping to promote education and careers in the trades. (Full Story)

April 10, 2018 - Matching eager workers with construction job opportunities - Team Construction is a program that helps young Islanders get skills training and find employment in the construction industry. The Construction Association of Prince Edward Island – which runs Team Construction – recently received $295,000 in funding as part of nearly $1 million the Prince Edward Island government awarded to community groups that help Islanders become employment ready and connect with jobs in the expanding Island economy. (Full Story)

March 29, 2018 - Reminder of minimum wage increase - As announced last fall, Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage will remain the highest in Atlantic Canada when it increases by 30 cents to $11.55 per hour on April 1, 2018. Prince Edward Island’s gross-domestic product increased 2.3 per cent year over year. PEI’s employment growth was the second highest in Canada in 2017, up 3.1 per cent over 2016. This resulted in 2200 more Islanders working last year. Nearly 84 per cent of employed Islanders were working full-time in 2017 and full-time employment has continued to grow in 2018. (Full Story)

Mar 27, 2018 - Employers report high satisfaction with P.E.I. Workers Compensation Board - Prince Edward Island’s Workers Compensation Board (WCB) scored an 82 per cent in service satisfaction among employers, according to a survey. In the fall of 2017, Corporate Research Associates polled 500 Island employers for its survey measuring their satisfaction with a variety of service dimensions, including effectiveness, fairness and service delivery. Based on the survey results, 80 per cent of employers surveyed believe the WCB is effective in providing service, which is on par with 2015 and up from 74 per cent in 2013. (Full Story)

May 4, 2018 - Province Marks Occupational Health And Safety Week - North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is May 6 to 12, 2018.  Each year, Canada, the United States, and Mexico observe NAOSH week to promote and encourage employers and employees to be healthy and safe in the workplace and at home. May 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Mission: Zero.  This is a shared goal led by WorkSafe Saskatchewan, a partnership between Labour Relations and Workplace Safety and Workers’ Compensation Board Saskatchewan.  According to WorkSafe, the only acceptable number of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities is zero. (Full Story)

Apr 24, 2018 - More Sask. employees having difficulty escaping part-time work: StatsCan - More Saskatchewan workers are finding a hard time getting out of part-time work, according to a new report from Statistics Canada. In the 2017 national review of the labour market, StatsCan found 23.6 per cent of part time workers in Saskatchewan said they would prefer full-time work. That's an increase of 2.8 percentage points, one of the highest increases in the country. While most of national job growth last year was in full-time work, part-time jobs numbers still increased by 55,900 across the country. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Saskatchewan employment growth 'flat': Statistics Canada - Despite the provincial government touting Saskatchewan’s “strong job growth,” employment in the province remains flat, according to Statistics Canada. The province pointed to month-to-month comparisons in its press release on the numbers: Seasonally adjusted, there were 4,200 new jobs created in March when compared to February. There were just 900 more jobs in March 2018 than a year before. (Full Story)

April 6, 2018 - Strong Job Growth in March - There were 4,200 new jobs created in Saskatchewan in March when compared to February (seasonally adjusted), a 0.7 per cent increase and highest percentage increase among the provinces.  The national percentage increase month-to-month was 0.2 per cent. There were 562,700 people employed in March, 1,500 more than in March 2017.  Female employment hit a record high for the month of March at 264,400. (Full Story)

March 27, 2018 - WCB releases 2017 operating results - The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board’s 2017 Annual Report was tabled in the provincial legislature today. WCB Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky said the report indicates that the WCB remains fully funded and able to cover the future costs of all claims in the system. The past year also marked the second year in a row that 88 per cent of Saskatchewan employers achieved Mission: Zero – zero injuries, zero fatalities, zero suffering. (Full Story)

April 30, 2018 - Job creation to be offset by an aging population - Brighter days are ahead for the Yukon, according to a report forecasting the economic outlook for the country’s northern territories. The Yukon’s mining industry is expected to begin to bounce back over the next decade after a couple of recent hiccups, as reported in the Conference Board of Canada’s Territorial Outlook and Economic Forecast. A not-for-profit organization that analyses trends and public policy issues, the think tank publishes a report on the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories biannually. (Full Story)

April 2018 - YWCHSB - Do I Have To Report A Workplace Accident? - Workplace injuries cannot be ignored. Whatever the severity of the injury, it must be documented. If you missed more than a day of work because of an injury, or your employee did, a report must be filed. The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board needs three forms before it can compensate an injured worker. If first aid was given on the jobsite, and the employee required no time off beyond the day of injury, there is no obligation for employers or workers to fill out a report of injury/illness form. (Full Story)

April 24, 2018 - Yukon workers remembered on Canada’s Day of Mourning - Yukoners will gather on Saturday for the Day of Mourning ceremony taking place at the Workers’ Memorial in Shipyards Park. The annual occasion honours Yukon workers who lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational disease, and workers who were injured on the job. Last year, almost 500 workers suffered a workplace injury that required time away from their jobs to recover. Since 1984, there have been over 60 workplaces fatalities, with one in 2017. (Full Story)

Featured Article: Want an Excellent Job Reference? Then Take These Steps

When it comes to landing your next job, few aspects of the interview process carry as much weight or can be as impactful on a prospective employer as a reference – and this can be either a negative or a positive. And while nobody wants to receive a bad reference, two recent court cases that made their way up to the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice have shown that an employer, ex or otherwise, is under no obligation to provide you with a good reference.

In landmark cases, with the judgments being delivered a month apart, Papp v Stokes Economic Consulting Inc., 2017 ONSC 2357 and Kanak v Riggin, 2016 ONSC 2837, saw two former employees sue their ex-employers for defamation after receiving negative references. In both cases it was easy to establish that the two respective employers had made defamatory statements; however, both defendants were invariably cleared of liability when it was established that the defence of justification (truth) and qualified privilege protected them.

What does this verdict mean?

For employers, it means they can breathe a little easier knowing that (at least, in Ontario) they are not likely to be held liable in defamation if they give a negative reference, assuming they speak truthfully and take steps to verify any poor performance or negative events. While this is undoubtedly good news for employers, it does little in way of protecting employees from receiving a bad reference, but that doesn’t mean you are at the whim of your current or former employer.

So, what can an employee do to ensure they receive a sterling reference?

As an employee, it is always prudent to be proactive throughout your entire tenure with a company to ensure you receive a good reference when the time comes. It is also wise to follow these steps before and when you approach a reference:

  1. Think carefully about who you select – Try choosing a person who has had the opportunity to experience your work ethic, personality and witness your accomplishments first hand.
  2. Ask for their permission – Regardless of how good you feel your relationship with your reference is, nobody likes to be blindsided. Always check first to ensure they are comfortable giving you a recommendation.
  3. Coach your references – Make sure your references have up-to-date copies of your resume and portfolio, and you have taken the time to explain to them your best qualities and some of your notable accomplishments.
  4. Keep your references informed – Searching for a job is a process, and often, you may be required to give references to several employers. When this happens, tell your references they should expect to be contacted, when, and by who.
  5. Use a staffing agency for your search – The reality is that either due to lack of experience or unfortunate events, not everyone will be able to provide a positive professional reference. In these cases, it is best to use a staffing agency, for they will not only handle the initial interviews and references themselves, their expertise can help align you with a job that is more suited to your employment past.

Article provided by permission from Employment Professionals Canada. Visit their website at www.employmentprofessionalscanada.com.

Software Updates

GrandMaster Suite (v12.08)

  • Corrected a problem with the QPIP maximum for Quebec - the 2017 rate ($72,500) was not changed to 2018 rate of $74,000.
  • Corrected a print problem where the same page would print multiple times in some circumstances.
  • Adjusted EI Maximum for Quebec if employees worked in two provinces in same pay period.
  • Corrected a problem with the Reversal Pay Calculation where the EI and WCB were not being reversed properly.

eNETEmployer

  • Corrected an issue where multiple items were not being reversed if they shared the same code.

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