CCH summarizes recent Canadian payroll news

Interested in the latest news affecting Canadian payroll professionals? Here’s a summary of recent Canadian payroll news, as provided by PaySource, a monthly newsletter published by CCH Canadian Limited.

Recovery of unpaid wages amendments to Ontario’s employment standards legislation now in force. On February 20, 2015, certain amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the Act) came into force. Prior to February 20, 2015, employment standards officers were restricted to ordering employers to pay a maximum of $10,000 in wages owed to an employee. Now, there is no limit on such orders for wages that become due on or after February 20, 2015, although the cap remains for wages due before that date. Additionally, the power of employment standards officers to issue orders for wages was extended from six months before the complaint was filed or inspection commenced (12 months for vacation pay and for wages in narrow circumstances) to two years. However, the previous time limit remains in place for wages due to the employee before February 20, 2015 “if they became due more than six months [or 12 months, where applicable] before the complaint was filed or the inspection was commenced, as the case may be.”

British Columbia minimum wage. British Columbia’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour recently announced a minimum wage increase and a new mechanism to determine future increases. Effective September 15, 2015, the minimum wage will increase as follows:

• Employees who serve alcohol: from $9.00 to $9.20 per hour

• Live-in home support workers: from $102.50 to $104.50 per day

• Live-in camp leaders: from $82.00 to $83.60 per day

• Resident caretakers of apartment buildings (9-60 suites): from $615 per month + $24.64 per suite to $627 per month + $25.13 per suite

• Resident caretakers of apartment buildings (61+ suites): from $2,094.84 per month to $2,135.71 per month

The rates for farm workers who hand-harvest crops will also receive a proportionate increase.
Beginning in 2016, the minimum wage rate shall be adjusted annually in accordance with the percentage increase in the previous year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for British Columbia. Each year, the adjusted minimum wage rate shall be announced in March and shall take effect on September 15. In years where there is a negative CPI change, the minimum wage will remain the same.

Northwest Territories minimum wage. Effective June 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $12.50 per hour up from the current rate of $10.00. The increase will give the Northwest Territories one of the highest minimum wages in Canada. The increase was based on findings from the Minimum Wage Committee, appointed by Minister Lafferty in 2013 to research, engage stakeholders, and provide options on the minimum wage rate in the Northwest Territories.

Nova Scotia minimum wage. Effective April 1, 2015, the general minimum wage is increasing to $10.60 per hour up from the current rate of $10.40. Also effective April 1, 2015, the inexperienced worker minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour up from the current rate of $9.90. Minimum wage rates are adjusted annually and are based on the previous year’s national CPI.

Ontario minimum wage. Effective October 1, 2015, the general minimum wage is increasing to $11.25 per hour up from the current rate of $11.00. Also effective October 1, 2015, the liquor server minimum wage will increase to $9.80 per hour up from the current rate of $9.55.

The minimum wage is adjusted annually in accordance with a formula based on the provincial CPI. The adjusted rate is rounded to the nearest five cents, and no adjustment shall be made if the formula results in a decrease in the minimum wage. By April 1 of each year, the government must publish the minimum wage that will apply beginning October 1.

Prince Edward Island minimum wage. Effective July 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour up from the current rate of $10.35.

Quebec minimum wage. Effective May 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $10.55 per hour up from the current rate of $10.35. The minimum wage for employees who usually receive gratuities will increase to $9.05 per hour up from the current rate of $8.90.

Yukon minimum wage. Effective April 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase from $10.72 per hour to $10.86. The minimum wage is calculated in accordance with the CPI for Whitehorse and is adjusted every April 1.

CRA announces second quarter interest rates. The second quarter interest rates for 2015 were recently confirmed by the Canada Revenue Agency. The interest rates for the second quarter of 2015 are:

• 5% on overdue income tax payments, insufficient income tax installment payments, unremitted employee source deductions, unremitted CPP contributions and Employment Insurance premiums, and unpaid penalties;

• 3% on overpayments paid to non-corporate taxpayers;

• 1% on overpayments paid to corporate taxpayers; and

• 1% deemed interest on employee and shareholder loans.

Alberta personal income tax rates and brackets. Two new tax brackets will be introduced starting January 1, 2016. The changes will only affect Albertans with a taxable income over $100,000, and will be phased in over three years to reduce the impact:

• Taxable income of $100,000 to $250,000: 10.5% in 2016, 11% in 2017, 11.5% in 2018, 11.5% in 2019 and later;

• Taxable income of $250,000 and up: 11% in 2016, 11.5% in 2017, 12% in 2018, 11.5% in 2019 and later.

For more information on this and other topics, consult the Visit our News Library.