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First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Older workers and declining performance

When mandatory retirement was eliminated, I noted that this change might create some interesting HR issues for employers of older workers. In the past, employers were often in a position to tolerate declining performance, comfortable in the knowledge that the employment relationship had a fixed “end date.” As a result, they could allow the employee to work out their last few years and retire with dignity.


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Retiring employee when he reaches 65 on grounds of poor performance

business man thumbs down

The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently challenged the Human Rights Commission’s decision to dismiss an employee’s discrimination complaint based on age as without merit. The employer denies discriminating against the employee on the basis of his age, and maintains that the employee was terminated for poor performance.


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Federal budget 2012 – don’t forget the Old Age Security changes!

Effective, April 1, 2023, with full implementation by January 2029, the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS) is increasing to age 67 from 65 to reflect the reality that Canadians are living longer and healthier lives, and intending to keep working and delay retirement. In line with the increase in age of OAS/GIS eligibility, the ages at which the allowance and the allowance for the survivor are provided will also gradually increase from 60–64 today to 62–66, starting in April 2023.


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Slaw: PRPPs vs. VRSPs

On March 21, 2012, Quebec became the first province to set up a detailed framework of provincial rules that will apply for PRPPs.


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Tax and employment insurance issues when settling dismissal claims

Employment lawyers are generally quite adept at negotiating and resolving disputes arising out of the termination of an individual’s employment. We have all seen the statistics that only a miniscule number of dismissals result in a full trial and we know that in almost every case, it is better for the parties to reach a resolution than to proceed with litigation. That said, many traps exist in the settlement of a wrongful dismissal claim.


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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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Pooled registered pension plans introduced in legislature

On November 17, 2011, Bill C-25, An Act relating to pooled registered pension plans and making related amendments to other Acts, received first reading in the House of Commons. There is a bit of controversy about this Bill… let’s take a look.


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The standards challenge

How do you measure turnover? Most people think they understand turnover. It is a simple and useful concept when it comes to understanding the flow of people through your organization. It is an important marker for determining overall organizational health and likely productivity impacts. If turnover is too high, your business stalls due to constant re-training; if turnover is too low, it can stagnate, leading to mediocre performance.


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Changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contribution rules in 2012

Starting in 2012, the federal and provincial governments are making a series of changes to the Canada Pension Plan that affect employees aged between 60 and 70. These changes permit CPP and QPP contributions for employees when CPP or QPP retirement benefits are received, before employees turn 70 years of age. These changes bring the CPP into line with similar changes made to the QPP in 1997.The purpose, in part, is to offer more support to employees who wish to phase in their retirement.


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Alzheimer’s disease/dementia in the workplace

Alzheimer’s/dementia is becoming a nationwide epidemic and impacting the workforce more and more every day. “Alzheimer’s not only touches more and more lives every day but also impacts the workplace, especially as older people are postponing retirement and continuing to work into their 70s…”


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Loss of benefits under employer-provided pension plans

Much has been written about our aging workforce and the implication for employers of the coming tide of retirements. The premiers and Prime Minister recently met to attempt to deal with those workers who do not have company pension plans by enhancing the benefits available under the Canada Pension plan, unfortunately without success. Clearly, retirement planning and the funding for that retirement are hot issues.


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Nova Scotia introduces phased-in retirement

The Nova Scotia government is in the process of finalizing amendments to the Pension Benefits Act to introduce phased-in retirement to the Nova Scotia labour force.


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