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This year things are somewhat different if you are not a "7-days-a-week" operation. Friday December 25 2015, Saturday December 26 2015 and Friday January 1 2016 are all statutory holidays. Unless you are an industry with an exception, all Ontario employees receive a calculated amount for each of these days. The important additional note for this year, is that because BOXING DAY falls on Saturday, you will need to give an alternate day off if your business does not normally staff its operations on Saturday.
This policy is in place so that all Ontarians receive the same treatment. Most companies will either choose to close on the 24th or 28th of December. You must let your payroll services provider know what day you are choosing as this will be needed for proper calculation of the statutory holiday pay.
If you are not sure if your business has exceptions, follow the guidelines for your industry as outlined in the Act (Employment Standards Act, 2000). You can locate the Act simply by clicking the link on our Links page.
Some employers may choose to be open for business on the statutory holidays, and therefore they can assign a different day as the statutory holiday, however, that assigned day cannot be more than 3 months after the actual holiday, unless it has been agreed in writing by the employee and in that case the assigned day can be any time within the following 12 months. On our links page you will also find the link for the Statutory Holiday Pay Calculator. This is an invaluable tool and if you are not using it, I would encourage you to start.
If you decide to "close" for the holiday week, please remember that the other days within the week are not statutory holidays and do not need to be paid. Some employers choose to use this time as their annual company shutdown and in that case staff will be taking vacation time (Remember that they must also be paid their accrued minimum 4% vacation allotment in addition to the time off). Other employers will allow their employees to use any unused vacation days they have left for 2015 and for still others it will be unpaid days off.
This time of year can be very confusing for employers in respect of payroll and employment requirements. Please call us if you would like our advice in this area.
Installments: If you are required to pay either GST or Income Tax in instalments, your next payment is due on Dec 15th.
Payroll remittance: For all those who pay their source deductions monthly, the payment for November's liability is Dec 15th. If you file quarterly, your payment for Oct1 - Dec31 2015 will be on January 15 2016.
Finally, if you are one of those people who has all year long thought "I must get my papers in order", time is running short! BCD Accounting knows how hectic this month can be, and all too quickly 2016 will be here and the T4s, T5018s and other information slips need to be filed and then it is tax time. We are here for you...we can take the shoe box, the crumpled up pile of receipts, the paperwork that defines what you did this past year...we can take it all and make it into a complete set of financial records for you. Do not feel overwhelmed, give the whole kit and caboodle to us and we will get you set straight.
I know it is too early for most of you, but ...... Don't forget..... filing your information slips on time is of the utmost importance!
I attended an employment law conference this past Wednesday. Here is a snapshot of some things to take notice of.
RIGHT TO STRIKE
On Jan 30 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada determined that unions have a constitutional right to strike. SCC says the right to strike is constitutionally protected under the freedom of association provisions of The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This decision came out of a court case Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan (Jan 30 2015).
A court case in the Ontario Supreme Court in December 2013 has deemed that if an employee's work duties are changed/expanded too greatly it can be considered constructive dismissal. Fundamental changes (in either earnings or duties) implemented wthout proper notice and discussion with an employee, may result in constructive dismissal. The case law is from Damaso v. PSI Peripheral Solutions Inc. In that case, the employer PSI, added a great deal of expanded duties to a field technician without an increase in pay. The employee, Mr Damaso, subsequently was given a notice of termination, 12 months working notice, as he would not do the expanded work duties. Mr Domaso went on disability leave and eventually sued his employer. The court's decision was that the additional duties DID indeed result in a constructive dismissal and that the date of dismissal was deemed to be the day the employer issued the 12 month working notice of termination. The court acknowledged that employers should have flexibility in managing the staff workload but that the changes need to be reasonable. Employment contracts that allow for the employer to have discretion in changing and expanding a person's job duties become far more important in light of this ruling.
Bill 18: Minimum wage in Ontario will be subject to an automatic CPI adjustment starting Oct 1 2015. If the CPI has gone up, the minimum wage will as well. However, if the CPI has decreased, the minimum wage will not change. At this time, I do not know how this informaiton will be disseminated to employers but I have diarized it and will post further information as it becomes available.
On Oct 29 2014 three new leaves came into effect for employees covered under the ESA of Ontario. The leaves are unpaid, and the employee may receive EI benefits, but there is no guarantee. These leaves have various durations and if a staff would like to use one of these leaves it will be important to review the legislation in detail. The three new leaves are Family Caregiver Leave, Critically Ill Child Care Leave and Crime-related Child Death or Disappearance Leave.
Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training is now law in Ontario and inspectors are beginning to hold employers accountable. In December2014, 2 owners in an Ontario business were given 25 days in jail and a fine of $250,000 because the OHSA&T was ignored. If you have not met the requirements yet, please review our newsletter on this subject posted Apr 21 2014 and get the training finished.
One last piece of news:
The Ontario government is reviewing the Pension Act. Bill 56 Ontario Retirement Pension Act, 2014 had 1st reading on Dec 8 2014. If this bill is passed, it is expected that on Jan 1 2017 the Ontario Pension Plan would be established. It will mean mandatory participation, and most likely will be administered as the provincial portion of income tax is, via withheld amounts on payroll and subsequent submission of those amounts through employer source deductions payments to CRA.