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U.S. Employers Beware: 4 Major Changes to Saskatchewan’s ESA

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Jul 16, 2014 8:30:00 AM

U.S. Employers beware: Saskatchewan has updated their ESAAs an American or foreign employer of Canadian workers, you need to protect yourself from ESA violations. The government of Saskatchewan made significant changes to their separate pieces of Canadian employment legislation regarding employment standards, occupational health and safety and Canadian labour relations.

The previous versions of Saskatchewan’s Canadian employment laws were found separate from each other across different employment related pieces. As of April 29, 2014, the government of Saskatchewan announced a new Employment Standards Agreement to tie all those pieces together.

If you are an American or Foreign employer paying Canadian employees please take note that Canadian labour standards in Saskatchewan have changed:

1. Minimum Wage Changes

The current minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $10.00 per hour with an increase of twenty cents taking effect on October 1, 2014. Saskatchewan’s ESA sets out that any changes to the minimum wage will now be announced on June 30 of each year and any changes will take effect on October 1 of each year. Furthermore the minimum wage in Saskatchewan will now be indexed to the consumer price index.

2. Hours of Work and Overtime 

The ESA now allows employers to schedule their Canadian employees for either four 10 hour workdays or five 8 hour workdays. Employers and employees can also choose to average an employees work hours over 1, 2, 3 or 4 week schedules without a work permit. Overtime pay can now be banked by employees.

3. Leaves of Absence 

Service requirements for Maternity, Parental and Adoption leaves are reduced from 20 weeks to 13 weeks. 
New Leaves in the ESA include: Organ Donation Leave, Critically Ill Child Care Leave, Crime Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave and Citizenship Ceremony Leave. 

4. Termination 

Workers in Saskatchewan with more than 13 weeks of continuous employment are now entitled to notice or pay in lieu upon termination of their employment. 

Hiring workers in another country is great for expanding business but risky for Employment Standards Act violation liability. Staying on top of new regulations in the Canadian workforce is difficult. Gaining the services of an Employer of Record service provider (similar to a PEO) like The Payroll Edge allows U.S. and foreign companies the freedom of expansion without the compliance and potential for violating Canadian employment law.

For more Canadian employment law updates and payroll tips, subscribe to our blog. Click here for more information on our services or contact us to hear about how our Professional Employer Organizations helps hundreds of American and foreign companies get competitive while staying compliant.

A U.S. Company Looks to Expand Tts Workforce in Canada

Topics: US Firms Expanding into Canada, Employment Standards Act, Employer of Record, ESA, ESA Violations, ESA Compliant, Canadian Employment Laws, Employee Relations, American Business in Canada, Paying Canadian Workers, Paying Canadian Employees

How Outsourced HR Management Services Can Improve Your Business

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Jul 22, 2013 9:00:00 AM

Outsourced HR ManagmentBusinesses often try to make do without an in-house HR department, rationalizing that since human resources employees don't directly contribute to the bottom line of the company's operations, they're superfluous. The truth is the work done in the human resources area of your company is essential to your company's functioning and success.

Your business success depends entirely on the people working for you, and by neglecting this critical people part of your business, you open yourself up to running into not only personnel and management trouble, but maybe even trouble with the law.

Here are three areas that demonstrate why HR management is essential.

Employee Relations

From the moment you post a job listing for a position in your company, you need systems in place to help your employees to help you. You need up-to-date HR policies, job descriptions, employment agreements, and orientation materials and handbooks.

Once your employees are hired, you need to be prepared to deal with sensitive issues like disciplinary misconduct, lay-offs, and terminations, and possibly employee outplacement. You must stay on top of the legislative changes that could affect the way you work with your employees to ensure you are always in compliance with the law.

Employee Training and Development

As an employer, it's your responsibility to provide a workplace that is safe,respectful and accessible. Some laws mandate particular attention in certain areas, including the development and implementation of proper training, monitoring and testing for:

  • Health and Safety
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Workplace Violence and Harassment
  • Workplace Claims Management
  • Compliance with AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)
  • Compliance with WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Material Information System)
  • Workplace Inspections
  • Hazard Identification
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls

The Health & Safety of a workforce should be priority to any employer, but often gets pushed to the back burner as the day to day tasks of regular operations take precedence. Fines and penalties can quickly add up for a business owner who doesn’t take the time to ensure their health & safety due diligence. Not to mention the very real possibility of a workplace injury due to an untrained or improperly trained employee.

Regulatory Compliance

Compliance with the Ministry of Labour, The Employment Standards Act, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act also falls under the responsibility of an HR department. Keeping up to date with the ever evolving rules and regulations, customizing paperwork and manuals and acting as a liaison with these government agencies is time consuming and takes expertise that few companies have in house.

Even when an HR department is thorough with their compliance, incidents with employees are bound to take place. Does the person acting as HR know how to conduct a workplace investigation when a worker is injured or handle an audit from the MOL? What if an employee claims harassment or needs to take a leave of absence, does the acting HR person know the proper steps to take?

Unfamiliarity with the minefield of HR can be extremely costly not just from a monetary point of view but when considering employee morale and reputation as well.

The Outsourcing Option

Any of these areas can directly impact your bottom line, but the costs of hiring on-staff HR management can be difficult to justify from an ROI perspective. And delegating the HR administrative load to other staff members puts a counter-productive strain on existing resources and productivity bandwidth. Thankfully, there is a way to ensure effective management of these staffing issues without having to add an HR Manager to your headcount.

HR can be outsourced. The Payroll Edge, for instance, handles all of the above for hundreds of companies as an ala carte solution or as part of its integrated payroll processing service, providing a completely hands-off HR management solution for busy business owners. And it does it for much less than hiring a full-time HR person or retaining expensive lawyers or HR consultants.

You don't have to spend your time and worry on HR Management, The Payroll Edge takes it all off your hands, freeing you to focus on what you do best – run your business.

7 Signs It's Time to Outsource Payroll

Topics: Outsourced HR Management, Employee Policies, Employee Training and Development, Employee Relations, Compliance, HR Management, Regulatory Compliance

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