Holiday Season Paycheques - Get Them to Your Employees on Time

TORONTO, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - Is your organization's payday on a Friday? Then don't pull a "scrooge" this season; make sure you get that pay to your employees on time.

"This year Christmas and New Year's Day are on a Friday" reminds Janice MacLellan, Chairman of the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA). "Employers and payroll professionals need to be prepared to pay employees earlier if their pay date is typically on Friday. Keeping in mind that 59%* of Canadian employees said they would have trouble making ends meet if their paycheque was delayed by even one week, paying your employees on time is very important during the holiday season." (Source: CPA 2009 National Payroll Week Survey)

All provinces have laws requiring employees receive their pay within a specified time frame, after the end of the pay period, except for Ontario and federally-legislated organizations (Canada Labour Code, Part III).

When a pay date falls on a floating statutory holiday such as Christmas Day, or New Year's Day, only one province (Quebec) requires that the payment must be paid the day before the holiday.

In all other jurisdictions, the payment must be paid within, but not after, the legislated time frame, or as illustrated in the chart below. It should be noted that Manitoba and Nova Scotia use working days as opposed to calendar days for their timing of payment.

Employers should also be aware that if they move their pay date into this taxation year to compensate for New Year's Day, it will impact the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) exemptions, so they need to ensure that the payroll systems are adjusted to take the additional pay period into consideration.

CPA President Patrick Culhane suggests employers "use as a best practice, Quebec's method and make the payment the day before the holiday, even though this practice is not required by legislation. Employers need to recognize the financial and emotional needs of Canadian employees and their families during the holiday season by ensuring their staff is paid correctly and on time."

Chart: Timing of Payments by Jurisdiction

    Jurisdiction           Pay Frequency      Timing of Regular Payments
    Federal                No set frequency   On established day and within
     (Canada Labour Code,                      30 days of entitlement
     Part III)
    Alberta                At least monthly   Within 10 days of the end of
                                               each pay period, at least
                                               once per month
    British Columbia       At least           Within 8 days from the end of
                            semi-monthly       the pay period
    Manitoba               At least           Within 10 working days of the
                            semi-monthly       end of the pay period
    New Brunswick          At least           Within 7 calendar days of the
                            semi-monthly       end of each pay period
    Newfoundland           At least           Within one week of the end of
     and Labrador           semi-monthly       each pay period
    Northwest              At least monthly   Within 10 days of the end of
     Territories/                              a pay period
    Nova Scotia            At least           Within 5 working days of the
                            semi-monthly       end of each pay period
    Ontario                No specific        On regularly established payday
    Prince Edward Island   At least every     Must include all wages earned
                            16 days            up to and including a day
                                               that is not more than 5
                                               working days prior to the
                                               actual payday
    Quebec                 At least           At regular intervals of not
                            semi-monthly       more than 16 days, or once a
                                               month for management positions
    Saskatchewan          At least            Within 6 days of the end of
                           semi-monthly.       each pay period
                           If the majority of
                           employees on an
                           hourly, daily or
                           weekly wage desire
                           a weekly payment,
                           the employer must
    Yukon                 At least            Within 10 days of the end of
                           semi-monthly        the pay period

About the Canadian Payroll Association

Payroll professionals in 1.5 million organizations across Canada are responsible for ensuring the timely and accurate payment of $730 billion in wages and taxable benefits, $230 billion in statutory remittances to the federal and provincial governments and $80 billion in health and retirement premiums, while complying with more than 185 legislative requirements.

The Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) has influenced the payroll compliance practices and processes of hundreds of thousands of employers since 1978. As the authoritative source of Canadian payroll knowledge, the CPA affects the legislative processes and practices of payroll service and software providers, as well as hundreds of thousands of small, medium and large employers.

SOURCE Canadian Payroll Association

For further information: For further information: Wendy McLean-Cobban, CMP, ABC, Manager, Marketing & Communications, The Canadian Payroll Association, Tel: 1-800-387-4693 or (416) 487-3380 ext. 111,

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