Latest CRA forms

The federal government recently reduced the waiting period for employment insurance benefits from two weeks to one week.

This change increases the eligible period employees can receive EI benefits by one week. For example, the total benefit period for pregnancy is now 16 weeks (15 weeks, plus the one-week waiting period), as a result of the change. Employers need to review and revise their leaves policies—including SUB (top-up) plans—to coordinate with the new rule.

The policies in Human Resources PolicyPro® (HRPP) have been updated and now meet the latest compliance requirements. We recommend that you review the following policies:

  • 4.05 – Pregnancy/Maternity Leave
  • 4.06 – Parental and/or Adoption Leave
  • 4.13 – Short Term Disability/Sick Pay Benefits
  • 4.15 – Compassionate Care Leave
  • 4.24 – Critically Ill Child Care Leave

We've also added a new policy to all editions of HRPP on the current issue of accommodation of gender expression and gender identity. Look for policy 5.20 – Accommodation of Gender Expression and Gender Identity. There are related changes in policies 5.10 – Dress Code and 2.01 – Employment Principles.

British Columbia employers should also look out for policy 6.11 – Smoking in the Workplace, which has been updated to meet the recent amendments to BC's tobacco legislation.


Latest free whitepaper
AODA employment standards

As of January 1, 2017, organizations with 1 to 49 employees in Ontario are required to meet the new employment standards obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Larger organizations (50+ employees) had to complete these requirements by January 2016.

To meet these requirements, you’ll need to:

  1. Understand the law and the requirements
  2. Determine your deadlines for compliance
  3. Review existing human resources practices, policies and procedures
  4. Write your policies
  5. Establish a multi-year accessibility plan
  6. Train managers and employees
  7. Monitor and enforce your policies

You can find all the details in First Reference’s free whitepaper, 7 Steps to Complying with the AODA Employment Standards, for organizations of all sizes.

Get your free copy of the whitepaper today and learn how to meet the new AODA employment standards

Don't forget! Your accessibility compliance report is due—for employers with 20 or more employees—by December 31, 2017. With these challenging requirements, there’s no time like the present to make sure you’re meeting your AODA obligations.


What do businesses need to know about fixed assets?

Fixed assets can be costly, so organizations must properly evaluate, approve and record asset purchases—plus catalog existing assets—to ensure that they meet the organization’s needs. Additionally, organizations must keep appropriate (and often different) fixed asset records for both income tax and general accounting purposes. Organizations expect to use fixed assets over many years—often decades—and must safeguard assets from theft, ill repair and obsolescence.

The February release of Finance & Accounting PolicyPro® (FAPP) includes a fully updated chapter on fixed assets to address the above issues, including policies and commentary on:

  • Fixed asset acquisition and records
  • Security of fixed assets
  • Amortization
  • Fixed asset inventory
  • Disposal of fixed assets

Look in chapter 6 of FAPP for all the latest information.

Changing workplaces review: Learn the Latest®

We may see the final recommendations of the Ontario government’s "Changing Workplaces Review" at the end of February. The initial recommendations from July 2016 point to the potential for dramatic changes to employment standards, including:

  • The relationship between employers and employees
  • Hours of work and overtime pay
  • Vacations and public holidays
  • Paid sick days
  • Leaves of absence
  • Terminations, severance and just cause
  • Pay periods
  • Written agreements
  • And much more

The final recommendations could lead to substantial legal changes over the next couple of years. This will mean substantial changes to your workplace policies and practices.

We recommend employers stay on top of the recommendations and legal developments with HRinfodesk®, the comprehensive service for the latest employment law and payroll news across Canada. Try it free for 8 weeks!

We’ll also be discussing some of the issues addressed in the final report at the 18th annual Ontario Employment Law Conference.

AODA employment standards

Join us on June 20, 2017 to Learn the Latest on these topics and more:

  • Upcoming Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations changes
  • New legal breakthroughs in the duty to accommodate
  • WSIB approved rate framework
  • Employer health and safety management systems under OHSA

Register today and save up to $80 with our early-bird rates.

Lobbying policy update

It's essential to the good functioning of a non-profit organization or charity that lobbying activities stay within the boundaries set by law. In December, we updated the Lobbying policy in Not-for-Profit PolicyPro® to help Canadian organizations navigate the latest requirements on advocacy, lobbying and political activities.

Look for policy 3.04 – Lobbying.


Don't forget the 2017 Employer's Guide to Canadian Payroll!
Employer's guide to Canadian payroll

It’s the quick reference guide trusted by employers and payers across Canada to keep up-to-date with:

  • Payroll rates and amounts for 2017, including CPP, EI and income tax
  • Changes to 2016 year-end process and filing requirements for CRA and RQ
  • Other new or revised payroll obligations

Starting at only $29.95, The Employer's Guide to Canadian Payroll is an effective way to ensure you have the new payroll rates, thresholds and information for 2017.

Find out more