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  • HR Heartbeat: New statutory holidays, deadlines for payroll estimates, and…

HR Heartbeat: New statutory holidays, deadlines for payroll estimates, and…

In our first HR Heartbeat of 2024, we look at what employers must have in place for the new statutory holiday in Manitoba, why businesses in Alberta must file their annual payroll estimates before the deadline and so much more.

First published on Monday, Jan 08, 2024

Last updated on Tuesday, Jan 09, 2024

5 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus, get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.

So, let's check out this week's headlines...

Mark your calendars, Manitoba

Manitoba is the latest province to make September 30th a statutory holiday as Manitoba's Bill 4—Employment Standards Code Amendment and Interpretation of Amendment Act—received its Royal Assent on December 7th, 2023, and is now law.

Employers must now give their staff the day off with holiday pay and pay any workers working on September 30th holiday pay plus premium pay per provincial regulations.

This year, "Orange Shirt Day" falls on a Monday. But if the date falls on a weekend, you'd have to give your staff the following Monday off.

What else does the new law mean for you as an employer? You'll also have to update your business' policies on statutory holidays and your payroll practices to make sure eligible employees get statutory holiday pay.

Our library of up-to-date policies for each province is just what you need to help you stay on the right side of the law and be sure your employment documentation is accurate.

Penny for your payroll?

If you're an employer in Alberta, you only have a few weeks before you must submit your annual payroll estimate to the Workers Compensation Board (WCB).

All employers—yes, even if you have only one employee on your payroll—have until February 29th, 2024, to submit their reports or lose their PIR refunds if they are part of the Partnership in Injury Reduction Program (PIR).

The report helps the WCB make sure employers aren't paying the wrong insurance coverage. So, even if you don't plan to pay anything, you'll still have to file your report.

Here's what you need to complete your annual payroll estimate:

  • Your financial records from 2023
  • Records of how much you paid regular, contract, or casual workers through 2023
  • Your WCB account number
  • The date your workers were or will be hired

Failing to submit this form within the deadline may result in penalties.

The pressures of payroll can be overwhelming, but BrightHR's comprehensive payroll navigator makes putting together your employee's payroll information a breeze. You can easily create essential payroll reports with the correct information for WCB and prevent avoidable penalties.

Charting a safe course

Over in New Brunswick, there's a new online resource with helpful information and services for Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) to create and maintain safer workplaces.

Titled 'The JHSC Centre,' this resource was created by WorkSafeNB based on client feedback and contains various resources like:

  • health & safety training
  • self-evaluation
  • certification
  • legislative guidance
  • and more

Maintaining a safe workplace is your responsibility as an employer. It's essential to keep up with and engage with this resource for *up-to-date health & safety training *and best practices.

You can also rely on our e-learning platform, BrightLearn, to train your JHSC team and staff on health & safety standards. It's packed with bite-sized, easy-to-complete courses on a range of topics, from first aid awareness to fire safety awareness and warden duties and WHMIS 2015.

That's it for today! Come back next week for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.

Have more questions on similar topics and more? BrightLightning has thousands of answers to all your HR and health & safety dilemmas.

How should I calculate statutory holiday pay for part-time workers?

Eligible part-time workers receive statutory holiday pay as determined by applicable federal or provincial employment standards legislation. For example, in Ontario, public holiday pay is calculated by taking all the wages earned by the employee in the four work weeks prior to the holiday and dividing that number by 20. Additionally, in Alberta, employees are entitled to their average daily wage if they do not work on a public holiday. For staff that decide to work, eligible part-time workers may receive pay at 1.5 times what they would normally earn for hours worked, plus their daily average wage.

Are my payroll withholding obligations different for remote workers outside Canada?

Employers must continue to deduct income tax from payroll to non-resident employees who are in regular and continuous employment in Canada in the same way they do for in-person workers. A tax treaty between Canada and the country the remote worker has residence in may release the employer from Canadian tax deductions.

How do I know if I need a Health and Safety Representative (HSR) or Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC)?

Refer to the occupational health and safety laws applicable to your jurisdiction. Both Health and Safety Representative (HSR) and Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) requirements are based on the number of employees at a given workplace. The employee number thresholds vary according to the jurisdiction your organization operates in. Smaller workforces require only one HSR, whereas larger organizations require a JHSC to be established. A JHSC requires both worker and employer members. If you require assistance to determine your obligation to appoint a HRS or a JHSC, please contact our Health and Safety advice line.

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