Legislative Roundup

Changes in payroll laws and regulations from across Canada

Province to review workers’ compensation law

The provincial government is launching a review of Manitoba’s Workers Compensation Act, Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun recently announced. 

A committee of business, labour and general public representatives will reviewe the act to ensure it continues to meet the needs of employers and workers in a changing workplace, she added.

The act requires that there be a comprehensive review of the legislation at least once every 10 years. The last review took place a decade ago and resulted in 100 recommendations for improvements.

Annual health and tax levy report due Mar. 31

Employers that are required to pay the provincial Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy must file a Health and Education Tax Levy Annual Report with the provincial finance department by Mar. 31.

Employers must register to pay the tax if their total annual payroll is more than $1.25 million. The first $1.25 million is exempt from the tax. On payroll between $1.25 million and $2.5 million, the rate is 4.3 per cent of accumulated remuneration exceeding $1.25 million. If an employer’s annual payroll is more than $2.5 million, the tax rate is 2.15 per cent of monthly remuneration.

The finance department uses the report to reconcile an employer’s annual remuneration with the tax levy the employer paid for the year to determine if the employer paid more than was required or did not pay enough.

If an employer paid an insufficient amount, the amount owing is subject to a penalty and interest retroactive to the date the payment was due during the previous year. 

Employers must also file a copy of the federal T4 and T4A summaries for the preceding tax year; a summary of their contributions to an employee profit-sharing plan or an employee trust; a reconciliation of the difference between the amount reported on the annual report and the amounts entered on T4 and T4 summaries; and, if they are part of an associated corporation or corporate partnership, a Schedule for Associated Corporations/Corporate Partnerships. 

Reminder: Minimum wage going up

The general minimum wage rate in New Brunswick will rise to $10.65 an hour on April 1. It is currently $10.30.
Previously, the premier had said the provincial government plans to raise the general minimum wage rate to $11 an hour by 2017. 

In future years, it plans to index the minimum wage rate.

Nova Scotia
Minimum wage rates going up on April 1

Minimum wage rates in the province are going up on April 1.
The rate for experienced workers (meaning those with at least three months’ experience) will increase from $10.60 an hour to $10.70. 

The rate for inexperienced workers (those with less than three months’ experience) will rise from $10.10 per hour to $10.20. 
Nova Scotia adjusts its minimum wage rates every year based on the previous year’s national consumer price index. 

Reminder: Government proposes hike to minimum wage

The Nunavut government says it plans to raise the territory’s minimum wage rate from $11 an hour to $13 on April 1. Legislation to enact the change is currently before the legislature. 

Annual EHT report due by Mar. 15

Employers that are required to pay the Employer Health Tax (EHT) must file an annual return with Ontario’s Finance Ministry no later than Mar. 15. 

The ministry uses the form to calculate the employer’s total EHT owing for the previous year. For employers that remit the tax in monthly instalments, the ministry uses the form to compare the instalments already paid for the year with the total tax due to determine if there is a refund owing or a balance due. 

Employers who are members of an associated group must complete and submit an Associated Employers Exemption Allocation form in addition to the annual report. Only one employer in the group is required to complete and submit it.  

WSIB reconciliation form due by Mar. 31 

Employers who pay monthly premiums to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for workers’ compensation coverage must file an annual Reconciliation Form with the WSIB by the end of the month.

The WSIB uses the form to compare the employer’s actual earnings for the previous year with the amounts the employer reported monthly throughout the year.   

Along with the form, there are several schedules that employers may have to complete for earnings, such as those related to contractors or subcontractors, municipal volunteer forces and ineligible gross earnings. 

Minimum wage rates rising May 1

The province’s minimum wage rates are going up on May 1. 

The general minimum wage rate will rise from $10.55 an hour to $10.75. This rate will also apply for employees in certain sectors of the clothing industry. The rate for employees who receive tips will increase from $9.05 an hour to $9.20.

The rate for raspberry pickers will increase from $3.12 per kilogram to $3.18, while the rate for workers who pick strawberries will rise from 83 cents a kilogram to 85 cents.

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