Canadian Payroll Reporter

August 2015

Focuses on issues of importance to payroll professionals across Canada. It contains news, case studies, profiles and tracks payroll-related legislation to help employers comply with all the rules and regulations governing their organizations.

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4 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2015 News in Brief A look at news, facts and figures shaping the world of payroll professionals WorkSafeNB offers new way to report injuries › SAINT JOHN — Employers in New Brunswick now have two ways to report workplace injuries online to WorkSafeNB. The workers' compensation body recently created a new online tool called Electronic Form 67, which allows employers to notify it of work- related accidents and illnesses through its website. For several years, WorkSafeNB has allowed employers to report workplace injuries online using Service New Brunswick's website. It says the new option is ideal for employers that have no more than a dozen workplace injuries to report each year since employers will not have to maintain password changes and their accounts will not be de-activated if they do not access it frequently, as is the case with the Service New Brunswick reporting system. Unlike using the paper version of Form 67, the online tool does not let an employer submit the form unless it has completed all of the necessary information, "making the process faster and without followup phone calls," WorkSafeNB says in a news release. It adds that the Service New Brunswick reporting tool is better suited to employers with more than 12 work-related injuries a year. It also has the advantage of letting different company departments complete relevant sections of the form (such as payroll for salary information and the supervisor for accident details). Employers can also use it to update a previous no-time loss claim if an injured worker's status changes. WorkSafeNB says employers should select the method that works best for them. More information on the two online reporting methods is available on WorkSafeNB website at www.worksafenb.ca/Electronic- Form-67. Average weekly earnings virtually unchanged in April: StatsCan › OTTAWA — Average weekly earnings of non- farm payroll employees were $955 in April, almost unchanged from $954 in March, Statistics Canada reports. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 2.5 per cent in April. The increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to April reflected a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week. Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.1 hours a week in April, up slightly from an average of 32.9 a year earlier. Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces, with the biggest growth in Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The smallest growth occurred in Saskatchewan. Unemployment rate remained 6.8 per cent in June: StatsCan › OTTAWA — Canada's economy gained almost 65,000 full-time jobs in June, but lost over 71,000 part-time jobs, resulting in an overall loss of 6,400 jobs, Statistics Canada reports. The unemployment rate remained 6.8 per cent. Industries where employment increased included public administration, construction and transportation and warehousing. Employment was down in industries such as other services (such as personal and laundry services), business, building and other support services, and accommodation and food services. On a provincial basis, Newfoundland and Labrador continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 12.3 per cent, down from 13.8 per cent in the previous month. Saskatchewan continued to have the lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 per cent, down from 4.9 per cent in May. The unemployment rate also went down in Alberta (from 5.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent), British Columbia (from 6.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent), Manitoba (from 5.7 per cent to 5.3 per cent) and Nova Scotia (from 8.8 per cent to eight per cent). It was up in New Brunswick (from 9.6 per cent to 10.8 per cent), Prince Edward Island (from 11 per cent to 11.1 per cent) and Quebec (from 7.6 per cent to eight per cent). In Ontario, the rate was unchanged at 6.5 per cent. In the United States, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the American economy added 223,000 jobs in June, lowering the unemployment rate from 5.5 to 5.3 per cent. WSIB reminds employers of reporting options › TORONTO — Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is reminding employers of the different options available to them to report their premiums to the board after learning that a number of banks and credit unions in Ontario no longer allow businesses to report their premiums at the financial institution. The WSIB requires employers to report their premium amount to the board when they make premium payments. It advises employers to report premiums online through its ePremium service, by mail (sending the board the bottom of the Premium Remittance form along with a cheque covering the premium payment) or by dropping off the form (and the payment) in person at a local WSIB office. Employers that want to use the ePremium service must register for it. The board says most banks and credit unions will still accept premium payments even though they will not take the reports, but employers should check with their financial institution to be certain. The WSIB says employers can also pay their premiums by debit or MasterCard through the board's ePayment service, by Mastercard over the phone with the board, by mail (sending a cheque) or in person at a local WSIB office (using debit or a cheque). For more information on the board's online payment and reporting services, please see the WSIB's website at www.wsib.on.ca. Federal government consulting on voluntary CPP supplement › OTTAWA — The federal Department of Finance is asking for public feedback on options for a voluntary supplement to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), including what role, if any, employers should play. The government has previously said it would not consider mandatory increases to CPP contribution rates for employers or employees. The voluntary supplement would give individuals the option of making additional contributions to the plan. In a recently released list of discussion points for the consultation, the department says that while employer participation in the supplement would not be mandatory, it is seeking comments on how employers could be involved. One issue it is considering is whether to give employers the option to make voluntary contributions to the plan for employees. The Finance Department says it is also interested in feedback on whether employers could play a role in administering the supplement by collecting and remitting contributions from employees who sign up for it. It also wants comments on whether the supplement could be designed in a way that would enable contributions to be made directly to a fund manager rather than going through an employer's payroll department. The department is also looking for feedback on issues such as allowing individuals to set up automatic deductions from their pay to contribute to the supplement, whether individuals and employers should determine a contribution amount for the supplement or whether it should be fixed and whether voluntary contributions should be made on the same schedule as mandatory CPP deductions. More information on the discussion points is available at www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/ vscpp-svrpc-eng.asp. The deadline for providing feedback is Sept. 10.

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