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Shannon Dowdall

Shannon Dowdall is a business development specialist at The Staffing Edge. She brings 10 years of extensive customer service and sales experience to her role. Shannon studied business marketing at Sheridan College and proceeded to work in the hustle of the fitness industry as a sales and marketing manager selling commercial fitness equipment. Passionate about sales and marketing and having grown up in the recruitment industry, the move to The Staffing Edge was a great fit. Shannon enjoys working with new potential members to help them discover how we can help put them on the path to prosperity and focus on the future, without all the worry that comes with owning a staffing company. In her free time, she enjoys being active outdoors by playing soccer, skiing and snowboarding, and hiking. The Staffing Edge works seamlessly with our members and Shannon makes sure all new members are equipped with the information and tools they need to move forward with a “business edge.”
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Recent Posts

US Payroll Considerations to Keep in Mind before Expanding

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Apr 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

US Payroll Considerations to Keep in Mind before ExpandingIf you’re planning to expand your business to the United States, you have plenty to learn about your new market. Some of it will be cultural, while other challenges will appear in logistics, supply chain management, and employment.

Request a quote for US payroll services today!

There will also be rules and regulations you have to familiarize yourself with. Some of those will be associated with US payroll. If you plan to hire and pay American workers, you’ll want to keep these considerations in mind.

US Payroll May Have to Be Conducted at Certain Intervals

There is no federal regulation dictating when you have to pay your employees in the US. If you want to pay them once a month or once a year, that’s absolutely legal according to federal law.

Individual states may have different rules on the matter, so you’ll want to check the legal fine print wherever you choose to set up shop. If you’ll be operating in two or more states, keep in mind that the regulations may differ.

The IRS Schedules Remittance Payments

Once you’ve established a schedule for conducting payroll, you’ll need to consult with the IRS to determine when your payroll remittances will be due.

The IRS collects federal income tax withholdings, which can range from around 10 to almost 40 percent of an employee’s wages. This is tied to how much they make.

The tax you withhold from your employees must be remitted to the IRS within a specified period. If you don’t submit on time, you’ll be subject to penalties for late payment. You’ll also need to get the proper paperwork submitted.

Tax Isn’t the Only Withholding

Income tax is the biggest portion of US payroll withholdings, but you will also have to hold back funds for programs like Social Security and Medicare. These withholdings are assessed as a percentage of wages.

As the employer, you’ll be required to supply a match for what you hold back from your employees. Keep in mind that portions of some employees’ salaries may be exempt if they make above a certain amount.

Misclassification Is an Easy Mistake

In recent years, the IRS and several states have become more concerned with employee misclassification. This situation usually arises when an employee is misclassified as a contractor.

You may know that, in US payroll, you don’t need to hold back income tax or payments to social programs like Medicare from 1099 contractors. If an employee has been misclassified, however, you may need to pay.

It’s a good idea to monitor worker classification to ensure compliance.

Minimum Wages and Overtime

Other aspects of US payroll you’ll want to keep in mind are regulations about minimum wages and overtime. The US federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Individual states are allowed to set minimums higher than the federal wage. Some states do not set their own minimum. Most do, and some of them have wages that are substantially higher than others.

Overtime is another key concern for employers. Some employees are exempt from overtime requirements, but many are paid time and a half if they exceed full-time work hours. The number of hours that count as “full time” can vary by industry and even by position, so you’ll need to pay careful attention to this aspect of your payroll activities.

Help Is Close at Hand

Perhaps the most important matter to keep in mind when it comes to US payroll is that you don’t have to go it alone. A professional employer organization can help you navigate the waters and conduct payroll correctly and on time.

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Topics: Payroll

5 Important Things Global Companies Need to Know about American Payroll

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Mar 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5 Important Things Global Companies Need to Know about American PayrollThe United States is one of the largest economies in the world today, and success in the American market often predicts success in other markets. It’s little wonder that so many global companies put the American market on a pedestal when it comes to expansion targets.

Request a quote for US payroll services today!

If you do plan to expand into the United States, you’re probably aware that it comes with a few challenges. The American market can be difficult to crack. Expansion needs to be planned and executed properly.

Beyond concerns about American consumers responding to your product or service, there are also business processes you must pay close attention to. A good example is American payroll. Although you’re likely familiar with payroll regulations in your home market, there are a number of differences to watch out for in the US.

If you plan to employ Americans to staff your expansion or provide service to your customers in the US, you’ll need to know about these five important aspects of payroll.

1. American Payroll Doesn’t Have Set Pay Periods

Most aspects of payroll in the United States are governed under federal law. Individual states are allowed to adopt rules adding to or building on the federal rules.

A good example is the lack of set pay periods in US federal law. There is nothing within American labour law that states when or how often employees must be paid. Employers are free to choose when to pay their employees. If desired, you could pay your employees one lump sum every year.

Some states have created their own rules, so you’ll need to ensure your company policy is in line with the law where you operate. If there is no regulation, you’re free to choose what will work best for your business.

2. Employers Are Responsible for Several Payroll Remittances

Tax withholding is fairly common around the world, and in the United States, the IRS considers it mandatory for employers to remit tax withholdings to them. Employees may be taxed at rates anywhere from 10 to nearly 40 percent, depending on how much they earn.

This only accounts for the federal portion of income tax. In most states, there is also a state income tax. Employers are expected to withhold this amount and submit it to the appropriate state revenue department.

Unemployment taxes are also levied on the employer.

3. Employers Contribute to FICA

Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, you as an employer will be expected to make contributions to programs like Social Security and Medicare. These contributions are deducted from your employees’ wages.

The amounts for these programs vary. You’ll need to check in with the IRS to ensure you’re using the proper calculations for withholding.

There are also wage limits, so if an employee earns above a certain amount, they may not need to be taxed on what they earn above the limit.

Finally, employers are expected to provide a match, which means you’ll need to contribute the same amount from your own funds.

4. Laws around Paid and Unpaid Time Off

Global companies hoping to employ Americans should look out for regulations around paid and unpaid time off.

Generally speaking, the US doesn’t have much in the way of paid time off. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t mandate any paid time off. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) outlines certain medical conditions that entitle employees to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

The US also recognizes 10 national holidays, but employers don’t have to offer these as paid days off.

5. Expertise Makes It Easy

If you’re expanding into the US market, consider getting a helping hand with American payroll to streamline your efforts. Like any other market, the American system has a number of unique regulations you need to be aware of. By working with the experts, you can avoid the most common mistakes and make payroll easier for everyone in your organization.

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Topics: Payroll

5 Tips to Manage Currency Fluctuation Adjustments & Salaries

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

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Feb 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Tips_to_Manage_Currency_Fluctuation_Adjustments_&_SalariesIf your business has international operations, you’re likely all too familiar with the uncertainties of the exchange rate. Today, the exchange might be high, but tomorrow, it might take a tumble. Your buying power can increase and decrease at the drop of a hat.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Pay a Worker In Canada Needs to Know

Managing these currency fluctuations is particularly important when it comes to paying your international employees. Here are a few tips you can use to manage these changes in the value of currency as you continue to employ and pay people in international markets.


1. Consider Paying in the Local Currency

One issue employers sometimes face is the question of which currency to pay in. Many favour paying in their own currency versus the local currency. This is often the case for employers backed by a relatively stable currency, such as the US dollar.

Almost every other currency experiences volatility, although to varying degrees. The Canadian dollar, for example, has been weak against the US dollar for some time now, although there was a period when Canadian currency achieved parity with the US dollar. The euro is traditionally very strong, but economic crises in Greece, Italy, and other EU countries have affected the exchange rate. Brexit has been predicted to cause fluctuations in the pound and the euro alike.

Paying in the local currency often isn’t attractive for the employer because its value against the home currency may increase or decrease. Nonetheless, it keeps your employees’ wages stable against these changes.

In some countries, you’ll be obligated to pay in the local currency by law. Always check the regulations to ensure compliance. Even if you’re allowed to pay in another currency, it’s sometimes a better idea to pay in the local currency.


2. Keep an Eye on Inflation

Inflation erodes the buying power of currency within its home economy. Argentina in 2018 provides an excellent example. Consumer prices increased over 47 percent.

What does that mean? If you paid your employees one Argentine peso, they could buy 47.6 percent less with it in 2018 than they could in 2017. Their salary is worth less than it is on paper.

One way to deal with this is to issue bonuses or adjustments on a regular basis. You may opt to do this annually or even quarterly to keep pace with inflation. This allows your employees’ wages to maintain their buying power.


3. Work with an Experienced Partner

What else can you do to ensure you’re dealing with currency fluctuations adjustments properly? Perhaps your best option is to work with an experienced partner. This partner is often familiar with the market and the country you’re operating in or looking to expand to. They can advise you on law and compliance, as well as help you monitor matters of currency.

Professional employer organizations have already helped other companies like yours through currency fluctuation adjustments, and they know the best way to handle them.


4. Choose What to Protect

If you offer your employees packages, such as healthcare benefits or assistance with the costs of living, you’ll need to choose what elements of this package to protect.

Protecting salary is usually a good choice. You may decide to let the value of other benefits you’re providing erode in order to keep employees’ salaries in line with inflation.


5. Establish a Guaranteed Exchange Rate

Another thing you can consider doing if you want to protect against currency fluctuation adjustments is to establish a guaranteed exchange rate for your employees. This can protect against small fluctuations in the market, but it poses a larger risk if the currency experiences extremes.

If you’re not sure what your best option is, get in touch with the experts at a professional employer organization in the US or Canada. We can help you evaluate the situation and determine the best solution for your business.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: human resources

How Are Payroll Regulations Different between Canada and the US?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Feb 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How_Are_Payroll_Regulations_Different_between_Canada_and_the_USWhether you’re a US company looking to pay workers in Canada or a Canadian company hiring American employees, you’re probably concerned with payroll regulations. You may be fairly sure you’ve got the basics down in either country, but you also know there are different rules you may not be familiar with.

Download "What Are You Leaving to Chance By Handling Payroll on Your Own" Guide

Just what are the differences between Canadian payroll and American payroll? This guide will give you a quick overview of some of the key variances.


Federal Regulations, States, and Provinces

One of the first things employers should determine is whether a payroll regulation exists at the federal level in Canada or the US. You’ll want to note which regulations are governed by provincial or state legislation, which can mean huge variation across the country.

One notable difference is in the legislation of minimum wage. In the US, there is a federal minimum wage, which sets a floor across the country. Individual states can adopt a higher minimum wage if they want. In Canada, the minimum wage is set by the provinces and territories.

The situation is reversed when it comes to unemployment insurance plans. In Canada, the Employment Insurance (EI) program is a nationally run program. In the US, unemployment insurance is governed by the individual states.

You’ll need to pay close attention to the differences between what’s federal and what’s not. Then, you’ll need to note the differences between states or provinces, especially if you operate in many locations.


Overtime and Exemptions

Both Canada and the US allow for overtime work. They also designate some employees exempt from overtime. As an employer moving across the border, you’ll want to be sure you read the new definition of overtime-exempt employees very carefully.

In Canada, for example, employees paid an annual salary are not exempt from overtime pay. In the US, a salary test is used to determine if overtime pay is necessary.

Again, there can be differences at the provincial or state level. In Canada, for example, Quebec law states managers are usually exempt from overtime pay. In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, however, employees in management are usually eligible for overtime pay.


Severance Pay Is Very Different

In the United States, the law permits “at-will” employment. This means an employee or employer can terminate the employment relationship at any point in time, for almost any reason. Unless you’ve opted to create severance packages for your employees, you probably won't need to payout anything for an employee who is terminated without notice.

This isn’t the case in most of Canada. You should check legislation in individual provinces, but you’ll need to give notice to most employees if you wish to terminate their employment. You’ll also need a good cause to do so. If you don’t give proper notice, you may need to compensate the employee instead.


Benefits and Healthcare

You probably know Canada has a public healthcare system, which is funded through taxes and sometimes through levies on employers. In any given province, you may end up paying a set amount to the provincial government for your employees’ healthcare.

In the US, you’ll be expected to withhold for your employees. This withholding includes their income tax, as well as FICA payments such as Medicare and Social Security. The rules around these sorts of payment differ between Canada and the US, so you’ll need to check them carefully to make sure you’re remitting them correctly.

Benefits are treated very differently in the two countries. Fringe benefits offered in Canada are sometimes taxable, and you’ll need to determine whether they are where you operate.


There Are Many Similarities

The fundamentals of payroll in both Canada and the US are more similar than you might think. The differences are often in the details. If you keep a sharp eye out and enlist expert help from a PEO, you’ll be well on your way to trouble-free payroll, no matter where you do business.

What Are You Leaving to Chance by Handling Payroll on Your Own

Topics: Payroll Processing

Know These Facts before Hiring a 1099 Employee in the US

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Jan 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM

HKnow_These_Facts_before_Hiring_a_1099_Employee_in_the_USiring across international borders comes with its own unique set of challenges, as any hiring manager who has done it can attest. Differences in employment legislation can cause headaches in the hiring process. Even the differences in labour markets in different areas can prove challenging.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

For Canadian employers, hiring in the US can seem daunting. At first glance, hiring may not seem very different than it is here in Canada, but the regulations can vary widely from state to state. Even the federal definitions of different types of workers can vary from what’s familiar here in Canada.

You might be thinking about hiring what’s known as a 1099 employee for your American operations. If so, there are a few things you’ll want to know before bringing them on board.


A 1099 Employee Isn’t Really an Employee

In the United States, employee misclassification is a big concern. The IRS has a program dedicated to determining how a worker should be classified.

Worker classification determines an employer’s responsibility to them. Employees are entitled to certain benefits. And although they’re called “employees,” 1099 employees are actually contractors or freelancers.

Hiring a 1099 employee reduces the employer’s responsibilities to them. In most ways, it’s similar to hiring a vendor to deliver a service. You sign a contract with them, agreeing to pay them a certain amount for the services they deliver.


You Have Fewer Responsibilities

As mentioned, American employers have certain responsibilities towards their employees. Some of them will be familiar to Canadian business owners. For example, American business owners need to provide workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance for their employees. They’re also responsible for taxes.

When you hire a 1099 employee, however, you’re not responsible for these costs. You also aren’t expected to provide office space or equipment, as the contractor should supply their own. Finally, you don’t need to train them. The person you hire should already be competent. If they need more training, it’s at their discretion and cost.


You Also Have Less Control

When you hire an employee in the US, you’ll have control over many aspects of their job and how they perform it. For example, you can require them to be at work in your office between certain hours. You can also specify the equipment they’ll need to use, and you can provide it.

With a 1099 employee, you have much less control. The contractor can fulfill the terms of the contract the way they see fit. If you give them a deadline, they can work on the project when they have time, provided they meet the deadline.


There Are Penalties for Misclassification

As discussed above, there are concerns about employers misclassifying employees as contractors. The issue often stems from the concern that employers are purposefully misclassifying workers in order to reduce their responsibilities and save money.

The IRS uses a test to determine employee classification, which you should take advantage of.

There are penalties for misclassification, and some states levy their own fines as well.


Contractors Retain Rights to Intellectual Property

If you hire a contractor to produce work for you, they may still own their IP at the end of the day. Even if your contract specifies the work as being work-for-hire, the contractor might still have rights.

In order to qualify as work-for-hire, the work must meet three criteria. It must be specially commissioned, it must fall into one of several categories, and you and the contractor must agree to terms.


Working with a PEO Can Help

Hiring 1099 employees can be tricky for international companies. Working with a professional employer organization can help you navigate the nuances.

If you have more questions about how to hire the right people for your business, talk to a PEO today.


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Topics: Compliance

How to Obtain a Work Permit for the US

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Dec 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How_to_Obtain_a_Work_Permit_for_the_USEvery employee working in the United States needs to show they’re legally eligible to work there. Employers have to ensure the people they hire are legally able to work for them, and they have to send documentation of this to the government.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States are allowed to work without any additional paperwork. There are several other classes of people who can be permitted to work in the United States, but they need some special paperwork to be legally eligible.

Most foreign workers will need to obtain a work permit before they’re able to accept employment in the United States. Whether you’re sending people to work at your new American branch office or you’re hiring non-Americans to work at your US company, you’ll need to know these steps for obtaining the right paperwork.


Who Needs a Work Permit?

The first step is to determine whether the worker in question will need a permit to legally work in the US.

Citizens, non-citizen nationals, and lawful permanent residents who have a Green Card do not need additional paperwork to accept employment. Most foreign workers, including permanent immigrants, will need a permit to accept anoffer of employment.

Types of foreign workers who can be authorized include temporary workers, permanent workers, and students and exchange visitors.

If you’re sending someone to help you with your new branch office opening, they may fall under the temporary worker category. A foreign national being hired into a permanent position would be considered a permanent worker.


Reasons to Apply for a Permit

There are only a few valid reasons to apply for a work permit. This document, officially called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is a plastic card. It’s usually valid for one year from the time of issue. At the end of the year, the EAD can be renewed.

Those who don’t yet have an EAD but need one in order to work in the US will need to apply and receive one before they can accept employment in the United States.


Applying for the Permit

You’ve determined your employee requires an EAD to be eligible to work in the US. To obtain the work permit, you’ll need to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

You’ll need to fill out Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization. The USCIS website includes special instructions and a checklist of required initial evidence.

The employee will need to supply the evidence along with the completed Form I-765 in order to be considered. The types of evidence required vary by the class of person applying. For example, refugees have different evidence requirements than students. There are several different classes of students as well.

Generally, you’ll need to supply a Form I-94, Non immigrant Arrival-Departure Record, and two passport-style photos. If you had an EAD previously, a copy needs to be included. Otherwise, you’ll need to supply government-issued identification.


Fees and Filing

The fee to apply for an EAD is $410 US. Certain classes of applicants may also be required to pay a biometric services fee of $85, for a total of $495 US.

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, you’ll want to be sure the forms are being filled out correctly and the right evidence is supplied. Being required to start the process over due to an incorrect or incomplete application is quite costly.

When you’re sure the application is correct and all of the required evidence is ready, you’ll file the application at one of the designated locations. The filing location depends on the eligibility category.

Obtaining a work permit is a necessary step to securing employment in the US. Start the process early. If you need help, talk to the experts at a professional employer organization. They may be able to ease the process.


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Topics: Business Expansion

5 Global Expansion Strategies to Consider

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Dec 3, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Global_Expansion_Strategies_to_ConsiderA growing business is good news for any business owner, and it’s likely one of your goals. One of the routes to growth you may be exploring is a global expansion.

Download "7 Challenges Companies Face When Expanding into the US" eBook

The idea of expanding your business globally is attractive for many reasons. It provides more opportunities and benefits beyond mere growth. You’ll want to be sure you’re expanding wisely, however, and to do so, you’ll need the right strategy.

Whether you’re just beginning to consider an international expansion or you’re planning to revise your plan, you’ll want to consider these five strategies for a successful global expansion. Adopting one or more of them could be the difference between runaway success and a lackluster launch.


1. Pick the Right Partners for Global Expansion

As you begin to move outwards from your home country, you’ll likely realize foreign markets can be difficult to crack. You may not have the understanding of the local culture needed to drive demand for your product or service. You might not know where to find the talent you need.

Other challenges abound, from marketing to human resources legislation compliance and more.

One of the best things you can do is find partners to work with as you enter new markets. Bringing on a professional employer organization ought to be your first move when you want to expand globally.


2. Adopt a Clear Strategy for Your Product or Service

The next thing you’ll want to consider when you’re expanding internationally is how your product or service will be received around the world. What sets you apart? Why should people want what your business offers?

A clear product or service strategy will help you define and redefine yourself in shifting markets. In turn, this helps define you to your clients and your potential customers. Give them a reason to choose your brand over the competition.


3. Think Proactively

Many business owners like to play a game of wait-and-see. This often works in your home market, where you can stand to take a few more risks. You know the market well, and you have the infrastructure to react quickly to changes.

When a global expansion is the end game, however, a reactive strategy isn’t going to serve you well. Waiting to see how things pan out could leave you lurching from crisis to crisis or taking unnecessary risks.

Instead, plan a long-term strategy and try to anticipate the changes in the market you’re likely to encounter. Be ready to take proactive steps to secure your investment in your global operations.


4. Reinvest in the Business

Some businesses that aim to expand globally take any revenue gain they get and record it as profit. Instead, you should look at revenue gains from a global expansion as opportunities to reinvest in your business.

You may decide to use this money to reinvest into the market or even to enter a new market.

This strategy creates a cascade effect, whereby each market you expand into funds additional expansions. If your sights are truly set on a global expansion, this is a great way to achieve it.


5. Go Lean in a New Market

You should be entering international markets with a lean approach. Hold off on investing in infrastructure until you’re sure the new expansion is viable. Local employees can help you evaluate your opportunities and fine-tune your strategy.

If you’re thinking about going global with your business, these five strategies can help you achieve success as you continue to grow. If you need more advice as you cross international borders, don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand.


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Topics: Business Expansion

Start Selling in Canada by Hiring Canadians through a PEO

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Sep 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Start_Selling_in_Canada_by_Hiring_Canadians_through_a_PEOAre you ready to expand your business into Canada? Maybe you’ve done some careful market research and you know the Canadian market is wide open for the product or service you offer. Perhaps you’ve heard from many Canadians who wish your business operated in Canada.

12 Things an American Company Looking to Pay a Worker In Canada Needs to Know

Now you’re thinking about expanding to reach this as-yet untapped market. You’re not ready to open a branch office right now. Or maybe you want to test the waters. Perhaps you’ll open your doors soon, but you want to get the jump on things and start selling now.

You can do this by hiring some Canadian workers. You can do that by working with a PEO.

What does PEO really stand for?

The term PEO stands for “professional employer organization.” This partner company will work with you to manage all of your human resources needs for your Canadian operations, including hiring and terminating employees, in addition to everything in between.


What Does a PEO Do?

As mentioned, a professional employer organization helps you manage all of your human resources needs in Canada. Whether you need to hire Canadian workers, administer payroll and benefits, or terminate someone or manage a leave of absence, the PEO is there to help you do it all.

The PEO acts as the legal employer of your Canadian workers. You enlist the PEO to manage all of your HR needs in Canada. They consult with you about certain aspects of your operations, such as how many people need to be hired, in what capacity, and how much the position will pay.

The PEO can also advise you on local law, on the job market, and who you need.


How Does This Help You Get Started?

You might wonder how working with a PEO gets you selling in Canada any sooner. After all, you could likely hire some Canadian workers yourself. Wouldn’t that have the same effect?

As mentioned, the PEO handles all of your HR-related concerns for the Canadian operations. Since they have better knowledge of the rules surrounding hiring, paying benefits, and remitting payroll taxes, this can make your Canadian operations much smoother.

Working with a professional employer organization is also a way to jumpstart your Canadian operations. By teaming up with them, you gain access to their network of resources. This includes their financing and insurance infrastructure, which can help you do things like pay your employees and insure your business operations.


Getting Great Advice

Another service a PEO partnership can offer you as you begin selling in Canada is good advice. This can be hard to come by. If you handle Canadian HR on your own, you’re more likely to make a few missteps.

The PEO has a better knowledge of Canadian employment standards and the Canadian job market. They can tell you more about competition for certain types of sales people or specialists. They can also inform you about legal requirements for contract lengths and types of workers.

When you expand your business into a foreign country, it’s unlikely you’ll know all the ins and outs of doing business there. The PEO helps you fill in the gaps in your knowledge so you can keep things running seamlessly.


Should You Work with a PEO?

The question you likely have now is whether or not you should work with a PEO. The answer is usually a resounding yes.

If you’re planning to expand your business operations to Canada and you want to get started selling sooner, working with a PEO is a great solution. If you need access to financing or suspect you’ll need help conducting activities like payroll, it’s a good idea to bring a PEO on board from the very start.

If you’re still not sure PEO services are right for you, talk to a provider today. They can help you assess your needs and get starting selling in Canada.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Professional Employer Organization

What Is the Pay Transparency Act?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

|

Sep 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What-Is-the-Pay-Transparency-Act-compressorIf you operate your business in Ontario, you’ve likely been paying close attention to some of the changes coming out of the Changing Workplaces Review. Bill 148, which became the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, was a hot topic in 2017. Employers and employees are still waiting to see what the lasting effects of these new labour laws will be, and the new provincial government has vowed to undo some of the changes.

Download "7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll" Guide

Another piece of legislation on your radar is likely the Pay Transparency Act, or Bill 203. What is the Pay Transparency Act?

This Act is a new law set to come into effect on January 1, 2019. It will promote gender equality and equal compensation between men and women by enforcing increased transparency around compensation.

What Does the Pay Transparency Act Do?

The Act is designed to promote gender equality by increasing the amount of information available to employees about their compensation. Although Canada nominally has gender equal pay laws, they’ve been difficult to enforce because of a lack of transparency around compensation.

Traditionally, it’s considered poor form for employees to discuss their compensation with each other or to discuss their colleagues’ compensation with their employers. Silence around the subject has allowed employers to pay diverse employees different wages. Usually, this is justified by the employer as a difference in experience, training, or ability, but there is concern bias may come into play.

The Act is designed to lift the silence around the subject of compensation. With more information in hand, employees can more easily challenge discrepancies in pay, especially where there appears to be no just cause.

Is It Necessary?

Many critics of the Pay Transparency Act suggest it’s not necessary. Canada has gender equal pay laws, which require employers to pay employees the same regardless of sex and gender. To pay someone more or less than another employee in a similar position with similar training, experience, and performance is a form of discrimination. This is prohibited under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and under various provincial legislation as well.

While these laws are in place, it has been difficult to challenge discriminatory practices where they exist. A lack of information and a culture of silence around pay mean many employees aren’t aware their employers may be discriminating against them.

There are, of course, concerns that the Act will be abused by some individuals, and challenges will be made in cases where the employee feels entitled to more pay but their performance record suggests otherwise. Nonetheless, more information simplifies the process of applying existing laws, with the goal of truly enforcing gender equal pay legislation already on the books.

What Will Employers Need to Do?

Beginning January 1, 2019, job postings in Ontario will need to include a salary range. This creates a public statement of compensation for any position in the province, which employees can then refer to. Employers will also be prohibited from asking candidates about their past compensation. This prevents adjustments to the salary range “in line” with what the candidate had previously earned.

In addition, employers will be prohibited from acting against employees who disclose or discuss compensation. Those employers who include non-disclosure clauses in their employment terms will need to revise their employment contracts.

Finally, large companies with more than 100 employees will be required to establish a reporting framework to track, report, and post compensation gaps based on gender and other characteristics. This reporting will begin in May 2020.

Ontario is the first province to enact pay transparency legislation, and some question how much it is needed. As an employer, you’ll need to be prepared for the changes this new law will bring.

What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Compliance

Why You Shouldn’t Expand into Canada without Assistance

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

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Jul 11, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why_You_Shouldn_t_Expand_into_Canada_without_AssistanceA growing business is a good thing. Almost any business owner will agree with this sentiment. You may experience some “growing pains,” but overall, expansion is a good step forward.

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International expansion can be even more exciting. You’ve carefully evaluated all of the opportunities, and you’ve picked your next market strategically. If that market is Canada, you’ve no doubt started considering many different aspects of your business expansion.

While expanding a business into Canada can be exciting, it can also be challenging. Managing this by yourself can be quite difficult, even if you have team members who have set up Canadian business operations before.

One of the best things you can do when you plan to expand into Canada is engage the assistance of a knowledgeable firm.


Get Expert Advice

Expanding into Canada may seem easy, especially at first glance. The deeper you dig, however, the more complex you’ll find the process. Have you thought about different business structures? All of them have different tax implications for your business operations in Canada.

What about setting up the necessary infrastructure such as banking and insurance? There’s a lot of red tape surrounding infrastructure.

What will happen to your human resources activities? If you’re planning to administer payroll in house, you may want to think again. If you need to bring some of your personnel into Canada to oversee set-up operations, how can you go about making sure they have the right paperwork?

A knowledgeable firm has experts on staff who can assist you in answering these questions and many more. Their expert advice will help you make better decisions about setting up your Canadian business right from the start.


Streamlining Operations

If your business is expanding, you’re probably busy enough as it is. Business expansions usually don’t happen in stagnant or declining companies. As you look to start up operations in Canada, you could also be contending with a full plate at home.

This can cause undue tension and strain on you and your existing personnel, especially if you’re unsure of the rules. Your legal team may recommend a particular business structure without fully studying the tax implications. The accounting department may not set up payroll in accordance with the Canada Revenue Agency’s requirements. HR might begin interviews by asking questions you’re not allowed to ask in Canada.

Getting a helping hand from a Canadian expert can help you avoid these situations and streamline your processes instead. The knowledgeable team at your partner firm knows the ins and outs of Canadian employment legislation and payroll. They can even help you execute some of these functions.


What Happens without Assistance?

Some business owners believe they don’t need help to expand into Canada. Some of them may believe this because they or other team members have dealt with Canadian expansions before. Some may think they know how to expand into any country after overseeing an expansion into another market, but not necessarily the Canadian one.

Still others just don’t think they need help. They believe they can handle everything themselves.

In many cases, this leads to a failure to thrive. While the business may survive, there will be a rocky period as the new Canadian operation starts up. Mistakes can cost businesses, and these can hurt both your new Canadian expansion and the parent business.

Getting a helping hand means you can more readily meet the challenges of Canadian operations. It also means you’ll be less likely to face issues such as lawsuits, tax inefficiencies, and even fines and audits from the CRA.


Who Can Help?

Now you understand the importance of asking for assistance during your Canadian expansion. The question is who can you ask for help? One of your best bets may be a Canadian professional employer organization (PEO). They know their way around employment legislation, HR, compliance, and payroll, and they’re uniquely positioned to help you keep operations running smoothly.


What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada

Topics: Business Expansion

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