Changes in payroll laws and regulations from across Canada
New pension law in force
The province enacted a new Employment Pension Plans Act on Sept. 1. The provincial legislature passed the act in December 2012, but delayed proclaiming it until regulations could be drafted.In a news release announcing the act’s implementation, Provincial Finance Minister Doug Horner said the new legislation allows for "innovation in plan design, more flexible funding rules and reduced administrative complexity."
Highlights of the legislation and accompanying regulations include the following:
• The act harmonizes pension rules in Alberta
and British Columbia.
• The act allows for more flexible rules for setting up
different types of plans, such as target benefit plans.
• The regulations clarify the roles and functions of the
administrator, fund holder and participating employers.
• The regulations provide rules for unlocking benefits
in certain situations.
More information is available at www.finance.alberta.ca/publications/pensions/legislation.html.
Reminder: Minimum wage rates rose Sept. 1.
The general minimum wage rate in Alberta rose to $10.20 from $9.95 per hour. The rate for liquor servers increased to $9.20 from $9.05 per hour. When the government implemented the minimum wage for liquor servers three years ago, it announced the rate would stay at $9.05 until the general minimum wage reached $10.05 an hour. Once that happened, the rate for liquor servers would increase, but would be $1.00 an hour less than the general rate.
The minimum wage rate for certain salespersons specified in provincial regulations rose to $406.00 from $397.00 per week. It includes those selling automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles, farm machinery and heavy duty construction equipment, as well as commissioned salespersons (excluding route salespersons) who work away from their employer’s workplace. For a full listing of salespersons covered, contact Employment Standards.
The minimum rate for domestic employees who live in their employer’s residence increased to $1,937 from $1,893.00 per month. If an employer provides board and lodging to employees, as of Sept. 1, the employer may reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum wage by a maximum of the following amounts: $4.41 per day for room and $3.35 per meal.
Reminder: Minimum wage going up Oct. 1
Effective Oct. 1, the minimum wage rate will rise to $10.70 from $10.45 per hour.
The Manitoba government is also phasing in a new, higher minimum wage rate for security guards who hold a license issued under The Private Investigators and Security Guards Act. The aim of the increase is to help address high turnover rates in the industry.
The guards are currently covered under the general minimum wage rate. Beginning Oct. 1, the rate will rise by 25 cents more than the general minimum wage increase, to $10.95 an hour. On Oct. 1, 2015, the rate will go up by 50 cents. On Oct. 1, 2016, it will increase 75 cents above the minimum wage. On Oct. 1, 2017, it will increase by another 75 cents above the general rate, resulting in a total minimum wage rate that will be $2.25 more per hour than the provincial
Newfoundland and Labrador
Reminder: Minimum wage rising Oct. 1
Effective Oct. 1, the minimum wage rate will rise to $10.25 from $10.00 per hour. The provincial government has announced the rate will go up again on Oct. 1, 2015 to $10.50.
Last year when the government announced the changes, it said it expected to carry out a further review of the minimum wage in 2015.Ontario
Income tax changes implemented
The Ontario government passed legislation to implement personal income tax changes announced in the 2014 Ontario budget. The changes are retroactive to Jan. 1, but for source deduction purposes the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is implementing them Sept. 1.
The changes affect employees who earn more than $150,000 in 2014. The province is lowering the taxable income threshold for the highest tax bracket from $514,090 to $220,000 and adding a new rate of 12.16 per cent on taxable income between $150,000 and $220,000. The ceiling for the tax bracket that applies for the 11.16 per cent rate is reduced from $514,090 to $150,000.
As a result of the changes, the following brackets and rates apply from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 for employers who use the CRA’s Option 1 in its guide Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs for source deduction calculations:
For employers who use Option 2 the following brackets and rates apply from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31:
The CRA says it will not penalize employers who cannot implement the change for the beginning of September.
"The CRA normally requires employers to withhold and remit income taxes in line with current rates, but because of the complexities and timing of the Ontario budget measures it is recognized that these income tax changes will be implemented on a best-effort basis where practical, in full appreciation of the different payroll systems and administrative capacities of employers. Employers will not face penalties for failing to withhold as a result of the Ontario budget measures passed on July 24, 2014," the website says.
For more information, see to the CRA’s guide Payroll Deductions Formulas for Computer Programs (T4127), effective Sept. 1, at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/pyrll/t4127/menu-eng.html.
Prince Edward Island
Reminder: Minimum wage going up Oct. 1
Effective Oct. 1, the minimum wage rate will rise to $10.35 from $10.20 per hour. The government increased the rate to $10.20 on June 1, the first change in close to two years.
Reminder: Minimum wage going up
Effective Oct. 1, the rate will rise to $10.20 from $10.00 per hour.
The provincial government will annually index the minimum wage rate in the future. The indexation formula will be based on percentage changes to the consumer price index and the average hourly wage for the previous year. Changes will occur on Oct. 1, with the government announcing the rate change on or before June 30 each year.