2018 will be a year of massive change
for employers across Canada

Alberta and Ontario recently passed substantial amendments to their employment and labour relations laws. Alberta also just introduced a Bill to make big changes to occupational health and safety legislation in 2018, and Ontario tabled legislation to greatly increase administrative penalties under occupational health and safety.

British Columbia, New Brunswick, etc. have all started or completed reviews of their employment standards laws and it’s reasonable to expect Bills from those jurisdictions next year. Employers in Manitoba will have to implement the customer service standard by November 2018, while Manitoba introduces the official version of the employment standards, and other provinces are watching.

Employers across Canada are going to need help keeping up with the new requirements. Policies, practices and training will all require thorough review and updating to ensure you comply and to avoid unnecessary complaints, penalties and legal costs.

We want employers to know that we are implementing the changes into our products as quickly as we can so that you can have the information and resources you need to meet the new requirements. We’ve already updated the Alberta Human Resources PolicyPro software twice since October to add or update the policies you’ll need to comply. But with new regulations introduced on December 6 clarifying certain of those requirements, Alberta Human Resources PolicyPro will be further updated in 2018.

For Ontario subscribers, we’ll be releasing supplementary updates to the PolicyPro software in advance of the Febuary 2018 update so employers can comply with the new and upcoming requirements. The first of these updates was released on December 7, 2017 (details below).

We are also updating the Western and Ontario editions of The Human Resources Advisor to cover the new requirements.

All the best and happy compliance for 2018!

HR policies update

Ontario: Bill 148 receives royal assent

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148) received royal assent on November 27, 2017 and some of the changes are in force now.

Many of the Employment Standard Act amendments will come into force January 1, 2018 or January 1, 2019, while some amendments have already become law (i.e., parental leave and critical illness leave). The Labour Relations Act amendments will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Subscribers of the Ontario edition of Human Resources PolicyPro can expect supplementary software updates in the coming weeks so they can understand and comply with the new legal obligations with up-to-date model policies. As previously mentioned, the first update was released last week, covering changes to the following policies:

  • SPP 2.22 – Independent Contractor
  • SPP 3.05 – Pay Range Structure
  • SPP 4.02 – Vacation and Vacation Pay
  • SPP 4.06 – Parental and/or Adoption Leave

The remaining supplementary updates coming in December 2017 and January 2018 will cover:

  • SPP 2.05 – Employment Classifications
  • SPP 2.06 – Hours of Work
  • SPP 2.16 – Flexible Work Arrangements
  • SPP 2.18 – Volunteers
  • SPP 2.19 – Relocation
  • SPP 2.23 – Dealing with Government Inspectors
  • SPP 2.24 – Student employment
  • SPP 2.25 – Interns and Co-op students
  • SPP 3.01 – Pay Principles
  • SPP 3.03 – Pay Administration
  • SPP 3.06 – Overtime
  • SPP 3.07 – Reporting Pay
  • SPP 3.08 – Call-in Pay
  • SPP 3.11 – Absenteeism
  • SPP 3.15 – Tips and Gratuities
  • SPP 4.03 – Holidays
  • SPP 4.04 – Personal Leave
  • SPP 4.05 – Pregnancy Leave
  • SPP 4.07 – Bereavement Leave
  • SPP 4.11 – Part-time Benefits
  • SPP 4.12 – Personal Emergency Leave
  • SPP 4.13 – Sick Leave Benefits
  • SPP 4.15 – Family Medical and Family Caregiver Leaves
  • SPP 4.24 – Critical Illness Leave
  • SPP 4.25 – Crime Child Leave
  • SPP 4.28 – Domestic and Sexual Violence Leave (new)
  • SPP 5.02 – Dispute Resolution
  • SPP 5.06 – Discipline
  • SPP 5.07 – Personal Information Protection
  • SPP 5.10 – Dress Code
  • SPP 5.17 – Access to Employee Records
  • SPP 6.04 – Personal Protective Equipment
  • SPP 6.10 – Emergencies and Business Interruptions

Alberta: Additional Bill 17 amendments coming into force soon

The second supplementary update to the electronic version of Human Resources PolicyPro – Alberta Edition is now available to help you review your current HR policies and procedures to ensure they meet the new employment standards requirements in The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17) before January 1, 2018.

The following sample policies and their adjoining commentaries have been updated to meet the new requirements for Alberta employers:

  • SPP 2.04 – Probationary Period
  • SPP 2.06 – Hours of Work
  • SPP 2.09 – Termination of Employment
  • SPP 2.17 – Flexible Work Arrangements
  • SPP 2.23 – Dealing with Government Inspectors
  • SPP 2.24 – Student Employment
  • SPP 3.01 – Pay Principles
  • SPP 3.03 – Pay Administration
  • SPP 3.05 – Pay Range Structure
  • SPP 3.06 – Overtime
  • SPP 3.11 – Absenteeism
  • SPP 5.04 – Accommodation on the Basis of Disability
  • SPP 5.17 – Access to Employee Records
  • SPP 6.09 – Workplace Violence

Use the electronic version of HRPP to find out what you need to know about these updated policies, or sign up for 30-day trial to download the software if you’re not a subscriber.

Noise Control and Hearing Protection

A new topic dealing with Noise Control and Hearing Protection (SPP HR 6.16) has been added to the Atlantic, British Columbia and Manitoba & Saskatchewan editions of Human Resources PolicyPro.

Many employers may have to implement noise assessments in their workplaces to ensure the level of noise remains under the limits of their respective jurisdiction.

For example, employers must ensure that employees are not exposed to a prescribed average noise level over the course of an eight-hour workday. When the prescribed exposure limit is exceeded, employers are required to put in place protective measures to proactively reduce workers’ noise exposure.

If you’re not a subscriber of Human Resources PolicyPro and would like more information, visit our website to request a free trial.

Addressing workplace violence and
harassment at non-profits and charities

We recently added a new policy on workplace violence and harassment to Not-for-Profit PolicyPro®—along with a new commentary on the impacts for the non-profit sector—so you can be ready to meet your evolving compliance obligations.

Depending on your jurisdiction, various laws (e.g., human rights, employment standards and occupational health and safety) may affect your obligation to prevent workplace violence and harassment in your workplace. We hope workplace violence or harassment never affects your workplace, but it's essential to be prepared just in case—not only to minimize harm to your employees and your organization, but also to ensure you comply with the law.

Preparing your payroll for year-end and 2018
Revised CRA/RQ forms

We’re continuing to update information and charts in PaySource® to help organizations with their 2017–18 filing obligations, including CPP/QPP contribution rates, employment insurance and QPIP premiums, minimum wage updates, updated CRA forms and guides, maximum assessable earnings for workers’ compensation, and more.

As more information becomes available, we’ll advise subscribers through the weekly Inside PaySource newsletter and update the content on our online platform so that employers and payroll professionals can correctly apply the various payroll rates for 2018.

Users can also find information about updated employment standards requirements for Alberta and Ontario in their complimentary subscription to The Human Resources Advisor™.

Not a subscriber? Click here to try the online platform free for 30 days.

We also recommend utilizing the effective and efficient year-end checklist found in PaySource to ensure your payroll filing is accurate and compliant.

The next AODA accessibility compliance report is due at the end of the month
AODA requirements

In Ontario, organizations in the private and non-profit sectors with 20+ employees, and all public-sector organizations, must submit their next accessibility report by December 31, 2017.

The provincial government requires this report to be completed so required organizations can confirm they have met current accessibility obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

If you’re concerned about meeting the accessibility standards before the reporting deadline arrives, you can use the sample policies, plans and other documents found in Accessibility Standards PolicyPro® (ASPP) to ensure you report compliance with AODA regulations on time and avoid inspections, fines and other penalties. Click here if you would like to try it free in December.

Just in time for the (statutory) holidays
stat holiday rules Canada

Our best practice and compliance guide for stat holidays now covers all 14 jurisdictions of Canada! Statutory Holiday Rules Across Canada provides you with a sample policy that covers statutory holidays and will help you to understand:

  • Which statutory holidays apply to your jurisdiction
  • How to calculate statutory holiday pay for your jurisdiction
  • How—and if—overtime can affect statutory holidays and holiday pay
  • The process to determine whether employees should be given premium pay or a substituted day off for working on a statutory holiday
  • The latest requirements for Alberta under The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17)
  • And much more
For a closer look at the guide, click here to view this free sample for more information.

About the First Reference Update

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