Changing Canadian Employment Standards Laws Challenge Employers and Employees

The Canadian Payroll Association's Employment Standards Seminars Enhance Payroll Compliance and Protect Against Litigation

TORONTO, April 1, 2016 /CNW/ - In 2015, the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) communicated more than 140 federal and provincial regulatory changes and updates to its members, 22 of them concerning vital employment standards law. Employment standards are rules that employers and employees must follow depending on legislation. These standards affect how employers pay employees (for example, calculating overtime, compressed work weeks, statutory holidays, vacations, sick leave, etcetera). This increased regulatory burden has created a growing organizational demand for employment standards training to manage the complexities of payroll compliance to mitigate business risk. This is especially true for international organizations that may have Canadian employees and need to be aware of their increased compliance responsibilities for Canada's 13 provinces and territories.

The CPA recognizes that finding the right information on employment standards in each jurisdiction can be challenging. CPA research shows that 45% of payroll practitioners work alone, with many handling accounting and human resource responsibilities on top of their payroll function. That's why the Association provides comprehensive employment standards Professional Development Seminars and compliance resources that help clarify employment standards legislation in every province and territory and keep practitioners up-to-date.

Federal Budget 2016 Could Influence Employment Standard Amendments

The Federal Government proposed Employment Insurance (EI) amendments providing for increased flexibility of parental leave benefits and compassionate care EI benefits for those caring for a seriously ill family member.

"While the Canadian Payroll Association recognizes the Federal Government's steps to modernize its Employment Insurance program, these developments impact employment standards and payroll compliance," says Janet Spence, the CPA's Manager of Compliance Services and Programs. "Anyone responsible for a Canadian payroll should take employment standards training to ensure they remain compliant."

Provinces Implement Numerous Changes, But More Education Needed

There were numerous developments to employment standards in 2015. For example:

Several provinces made changes to their minimum wages to adjust for inflation. Manitoba introduced leave for domestic violence and long-term illness and increased their compassionate care leave. Nova Scotia introduced legislation to expand employee protection from reprisal under the Labour Standards Code. Northwest Territories introduced new regulations on violence and harassment in the workplace. Prince Edward Island's job protected leaves for Care of Critically Ill Children and Crime-Related Death or Disappearance of a Child were harmonized with other jurisdictions based on the CPA's advocacy efforts, streamlining employers' multi-jurisdictional administrative responsibilities.

Early in 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Labour conducted an employment standards inspection blitz, which uncovered wide-spread non-compliance. In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of employment standards administration for employers, the CPA influenced Ontario's Ministry of Labour to enable employers to provide electronic versions of the new Employment Standards poster to all employees instead of requiring paper copies. Employers, who are often well-intentioned in their employment standards policies, are challenged by administrative burden and are frequently unaware of changing regulations. This is evidenced through data from the CPA's Payroll InfoLine, which fielded over 42,000 inquiries from payroll practitioners in 2015. Inquiries pertaining to Labour and Employment Standards remained the number #1 topic addressed by Payroll InfoLine.

"The Canadian Payroll Association is pleased to be a part of the Ontario government's ongoing public consultations on Ontario labour laws and employment standards," said Rachel De Grâce, the CPA's Manager of Advocacy and Legislative Content. "With frequent regulatory and legislative changes to employment standards, there is a greater need to educate employers across Canada on their responsibilities. The CPA's seminars support this growing need."

Seminars Help to Mitigate Business Risk Associated with Non-Compliance

Non-compliance can cost employers. Notwithstanding the reputational risk, organizations can experience monetary risks including costly fines and penalties for non-compliance. The CPA continually updates its payroll compliance tools and resources and Payroll Best Practices Guidelines for employers to provide the most current payroll compliance information to help manage that risk.

The CPA also offers over 20 different Professional Development Seminars across Canada, for members and non-members in payroll, accounting, finance and human resources who recognize the value of payroll compliance knowledge. Our Employment Standards seminar is being offered across Canada throughout the year.

For a complete listing of seminar dates and for more information on the Canadian Payroll Association's Professional Development Seminars, Certification Programs and Benefits of Membership, visit payroll.ca / paie.ca

About the Canadian Payroll Association:

Canada's 1.5 million employers rely on payroll practitioners to ensure the timely and accurate annual payment of $901 billion in wages and taxable benefits, $305 billion in statutory remittances to the federal and provincial governments, and $169 billion in health and retirement benefits, while complying with more than 200 federal and provincial regulatory requirements. Since 1978, the Canadian Payroll Association has annually influenced the payroll compliance practices and processes of over 500,000 organizational payrolls. As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll compliance knowledge, the Canadian Payroll Association promotes payroll compliance through education and advocacy. 

SOURCE Canadian Payroll Association

Image with caption: "The Canadian Payroll Association offers over 20 different Professional Development Seminars across Canada, for members and non-members in payroll, accounting, finance and human resources who recognize the value of payroll compliance knowledge. Our Employment Standards seminar is being offered across Canada throughout the year. (CNW Group/Canadian Payroll Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160401_C8128_PHOTO_EN_655123.jpg

For further information: Alison Rutka, Communications Specialist, alison.rutka@payroll.ca, 416-487-3380 x 125

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