Payroll and HR compliance are important aspects of any business. This is certainly true whether you operate in Canada, the United States, or another country around the world.
Compliance is, of course, a big job. The legislation governing businesses can be quite convoluted, and laws are always changing and evolving. Take a look at the employment legislation in Ontario and Alberta. Both provinces introduced sweeping changes in 2018. Quebec appears poised to follow suit.
Keeping on top of your compliance can thus be a tall task. Using this checklist designed for HR and payroll in Canada can help you get a leg up on your compliance activities.
The first thing you should do when considering your payroll and HR activities in Canada is set up good rules for your record-keeping. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) demands good record-keeping from all businesses operating within Canadian borders. In fact, the federal Ministry of Finance outlines exactly what it takes to keep good records.
Take a look at the Ministry’s guidelines. Is your business keeping records in line with the requirements? If not, what can you do to ensure good record-keeping takes place? You may decide to upgrade the technology you use or streamline a process.
What happens if the record-keeping requirements aren’t met? The penalties associated can become quite hefty. If the CRA ever audits your business, you’ll want to be sure you have your records in order.
CRA Payroll Withholding
Payroll has many nuances, which can make it tricky to maintain compliance with the regulations. Tax withholding is a particularly important aspect of payroll compliance. A Canadian payroll calculator can help you determine exactly how much you need to withhold.
You’ll also want to do some reading on the regulations around what qualifies as taxable income, including benefits. The Canadian payroll calculator can help you here as well. Be sure to use an up-to-date version, so that the latest rules and regulations are being applied.
Each province in Canada has its own regulations surrounding vacation pay. If you’re monitoring HR and payroll compliance, you’ll want to be sure you’re using the most up-to-date rules for calculating vacation and vacation pay in each province you operate and pay employees in.
Overtime and Shift Scheduling
As mentioned above, both Ontario and Alberta began the process of revising their employment legislation standards in 2017. The code revisions began to take effect in early 2018. Employers will want to pay particular attention to changes regarding overtime, overtime pay, and shift scheduling in both provinces.
This is an important aspect of payroll and HR compliance for businesses operating in any province to pay heed to. Just as Alberta and Ontario have both changed their laws pertaining to each of these subjects, so too do other provinces handle them differently.
Pay Equality, Pay Transparency, and Discrimination
Ontario became the first province in Canada to introduce pay transparency legislation. The province has had pay equality legislation on the books for some time now. Pay transparency is designed to strengthen pay equality by allowing employees to see what an employer pays each and every person.
Discrimination is another long-standing concern for businesses in Canada and Canadian governments alike. HR professionals will want to look at the regulations around anti-discrimination and anti-bias measures and ensure they’re complying. For example, there are certain interview questions you cannot ask during the hiring process. Check your own interview process and be sure to remove any of these questions.
Perhaps the most important thing to do when it comes to compliance in payroll and HR in Canada is ensure you’re monitoring your compliance. As demonstrated by Ontario and Alberta, laws can and do change. Keeping an eye on what’s required of you and striving to go above the minimums set out in the law will help you maintain compliance.