News briefs

Who needs a pay stub • Striking staff accidentally get paid • Work permit changes • Ont. launches new workplace info site • Nfld. reviewing minimum wage • Pension plan membership rises, but not as fast as the workforce • Blog results in firing

Who needs a pay stub

— Almost half (45 per cent) of all working Canadians never bother to check their paycheques, according to a poll for ADP conducted by Environics Research Group. More than one-third (35 per cent) file away their pay stubs without really reading them, and one in 10 trash them without a look. “The poll reveals that many of us would probably notice a price change at Tim Horton’s before we’d detect an anomaly on our paycheque,” said Rod Dobson, president of ADP Canada.

Striking staff accidentally get paid

Bow Valley, Alta.
— If many employees don’t check their pay stubs, neither does Parks Canada, or so it would seem. Most of the federal agency’s 4,800 striking workers received full pay, including the deduction of union dues, during the first two weeks of their strike. Legislation limits how much the agency can recoup per pay period so it will take a few weeks to get all the money back.

Work permit changes

— The federal government has made changes to work permit regulations to clarify language in the law and make it easier for qualified applicants to enter. For details go click on the related articles link at the bottom of this page.

Ont. launches new workplace info site

— Ontario employers have a new online source to access information on workplace health and safety and employment standards. The website, known as the Workplace Gateway, ( is billed as a “one-stop access point” that offers links to a number of web-based resources for specific industry sectors like construction, restaurants and tourism. The construction link, for example, leads to detailed information on how to start a business or project, licences and trade qualifications, workplace health and safety laws, regulations and other topics. The website outlines the responsibilities of both employers and workers to ensure employment standards and safety requirements are met.

Nfld. reviewing minimum wage

St. John’s
— Newfoundland and Labrador plans to achieve minimum wage parity with the rest of Atlantic Canada. “The current wage will be re-examined in terms of adequacy and impact for affected stakeholders, including a comparative analysis with other jurisdictions, particularly those in Atlantic Canada,” said Joan Burke, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. According to Statistics Canada, about 8.5 per cent of workers (16,100 people) received minimum wage in 2003. “Our province has the highest percentage of minimum-wage earners in the country,” said Burke. The wage was last increased in November 2002 to $6 per hour.

Pension plan membership rises, but not as fast as the workforce

— The number of Canadians enrolled in pension plans rose for the fifth year in a row in 2002, Statistics Canada reports. In 2002, 5.52 million Canadians were in plans, up one per cent from the previous year. The number of women in plans is also growing with a 2.4-per-cent yearly increase. But growth did not keep up with employment growth which was four per cent.

Blog results in firing

— A Nunavut Tourism employee who posted pictures of garbage outside of Iqaluit on her web log (or blog) was fired after her employee determined the photos harmed the territory’s image. Nunavut Tourism said the unflattering photos posted by Penny Cholmondeley on her online journal were incompatible with her job as tourism marketing officer, the Globe and Mail reports. Employers can dismiss someone if off-duty behaviour reflects badly on the employer, said lawyer Howard Levitt. The case will be an early test of the freedom to blog and dismissal jurisprudence.

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