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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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2011

Public (statutory) holidays reminder and Seasons Greetings!

We’ll be taking a short break from posting and will be back in the New Year. However, before we go, we want to remind employers there are three public (statutory holidays) between December 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012. Happy Holidays to all!

 

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Québec and Ontario sales taxes on group employee benefits

Employee benefits are subject to provincial sales in both Ontario and Québec, at 8 and 9 percent respectively. These sales taxes only apply to coverage provided through group plans so, for example, term life insurance provided to just one individual is not subject to tax. These taxes are separate from the normal HST, GST or QST that apply in these provinces. These taxes apply to both employee and employer payments of premiums for the coverage or benefits supplied.

 

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Recap: New payroll amounts and other legislative changes effective January 1, 2012

It’s the time of the year again when employers and payroll specialists have to start their T4 year-end process and need to know what’s new in payroll for 2012. In addition, several changes to pension, employment standards and other legal requirements are coming into force January 1, 2012. This blog post provides you with a brief summary of some of the changes employers need to know and prepare for:

 

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Slaw: Mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service now law

On December 8, 2011, the federal Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service (formerly Bill C-22) came into force. The new legislation aims to protect children from online sexual exploitation, by requiring suppliers of Internet services to the public to:

 

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Reminder: Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and the Post-Retirement Benefit effective January 2012

An earlier First Reference Talks blog post dealt with CPP contribution changes effective January 2012. This post will deal with changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and the Post-Retirement Benefit your employees need to know.

 

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Reminder: Canada Pension Plan contribution changes in January 2012

On January 1, 2012, changes to the rules for deducting CPP contributions will come into effect. These legislative changes do not affect the salary or wages of an employee who is considered to be disabled under the CPP, nor do they affect the salary and wages of a person who has reached 70 years of age. In addition, individuals will not be affected by these changes if they started receiving a CPP retirement pension before December 31, 2010, and they remain out of the workforce. So, what do employers need to know?

 

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New provisions for family caregiver leave

On December 8, 2011, the Ontario Liberal Government introduced Bill 30, entitled the Family Caregiver Act. This Act intends to create an additional entitlement to a leave of absence from work while the employee’s job is protected. The proposed Act will provide for an unpaid leave of absence for up to eight weeks to allow an employee to care for a sick relative.

 

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Constructive dismissal: a tough call for employees

Constructive dismissals are something that most employers are aware of, but many may not be aware that constructive dismissals are in fact very difficult cases for employees to win. This is illustrated by a recent case out of Nova Scotia, Gillis v. Sobeys Group Incorporated 2011 NSSC 443.

 

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Reverse discrimination: is it just an attitude?

Reverse discrimination is not a legal term but a socially constructed idea that describes a particular phenomenon; it is a side effect of employment equity programs, as they are called in Canada; “affirmative action” programs in the United States. Reverse discrimination in employment is perceived to have occurred when the majority (or a member of it) is denied an opportunity because the law forces an employer to hire a person from a minority group.

 

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Safety and security for business travellers: a legal and moral imperative for Canadian employers

When it comes to employee travel, the risk landscape is changing for Canadian employers. The nature and extent of security and safety risks faced by today’s business traveller are expanding, and conditions on the ground for international travellers are becoming more unpredictable. In parallel with these changes, we are witnessing a tidal wave of new occupational health and safety statutes and regulations aimed at preventing work-related violence, including recent examples in Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland.

 

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It’s time for the Clawbies nominations

It’s that time of year when we are asked to recognize the hard work of Canadian bloggers who take to heart all things legal. This year, with so many good new Canadian law blogs out there, the competition for Clawbies will be especially tough . The Clawbies awards recognize the Canadian legal blogosphere’s best and brightest: the interesting, innovative and informative sites that readers rely on for legal news and interpretation.

 

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Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan proposes immigration-related initiatives

On December 7, 2011, US President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper released their Beyond the Border Action Plan, which discusses their shared vision for perimeter security. In furtherance of this objective, the plan proposes several immigration-related initiatives.

 

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Attention AODA organizations: actions to complete by January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012, is the date to complete all actions required under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service and emergency preparedness requirements in the Integrated Accessibility Standards. The good news is, if your organization is obligated to report, you do not have to file with the government until December 31, 2012.

 

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Meeting the customer service standard: restaurant menus

All businesses with at least one employee will have to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Customer Service Standard taking effect January 1, 2012. With regards to restaurants you need to have a policy on allowing people to use their own assistive devices to access your goods and services, and that includes your menu.

 

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The sale of a business and some implications for employers and employees

Last month I was consulted by a woman with respect to a new employment agreement that she wanted reviewed. The employment opportunity presented to her was by a company that had purchased the software company she was currently employed with for the past 19 years. Her salary remained the same, as did the total of her bonus, although the bonus structure was altered to reflect seemingly unattainable goals. While the new bonus structure did in fact reflect the purchasing company’s exact bonus structure with all of its existing employees, this arrangement was originally her main concern.

 

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