payroll year end 2017

Year End Checklist: Closing 2017 and preparing for your first pay of the New Year

As we are ready to celebrate the year it was and welcome the next chapter, we as payroll people have to ensure our year end is as clean as possible.

Below is an internal checklist to consider for your year-end payroll process:

– Attend training and read up on Year End Processes from your payroll service provider
– Be aware of crucial team member time offs and availability during the holidays
– Adjust for any payroll processing days that fall on Statutory Holidays
– Last payments for 2017. Before the calendar days run out, any payments that need to be included on this year’s T4s need to be completed
– Auditing and Previewing your Year End Reporting before finalizing (T4s, Tax Remittances, Discrepancies Reports etc..)
– Adjustments for any mistakes or accruals
– Reviewing year end deadlines with your payroll service provider
– Completing your year-end process with your payroll service provider
– Communications to employees the delivery of T4s
– Review the 2018 payroll calendar to make sure any pay dates don’t conflict with Banking Holidays
– Update Provincial Health Taxes rates, exemption amounts in your payroll system if applicable
– Update Workers Compensation rates in your payroll system if applicable
– Update any Reduced EI, CSST rates in your payroll system if applicable
– Update any payroll or benefit rates for 2018 in your payroll system if applicable
– Coordinate with your payroll service provider on the 2018 tax updates to the system
– Distribute and/or communicate to employees any updates to Federal and Provincial TD1s for 2018
– Send Reminders to employees about updating their address, emergency contacts, dependent/beneficiary contacts
– Be prepared to review and audit the first pay for 2018 ahead of your normal processing time because of any system issues or updates above that must be correct prior to the first pay completion

As the subject matter expert in your organization you must always keep track with the latest in legislative and compliance updates. In addition, it is important to connect with your HRIS and Canadian payroll service provider about year-end trainings, support hours and availability around the holidays to make sure you are ready for the first payroll of the new year.

Bill 17: Alberta Employment Standards Updates for January 2018

Bill 17 as known as The fair and family-friendly workplace act will come into effect January 1, 2018. Here is what you should know as an Alberta Employer:

Leave Eligibility
– Now employees are eligible for any leave after 90 days of employment. Prior law was 1 year.

New Leave types
– Death or disappearance of child leave
– Critical illness of child leave
– Long-term illness and injury leave
– Domestic violence leave
– Personal and family responsibility leave
– Bereavement leave updates
– Leave for citizenship ceremony
– For details around time off and whether paid or unpaid periods please review the Alberta Employment Standards Website.

– Employees must receive a 30 min break after 5 hours of work. This break can be paid or unpaid.
– If both the employer and employee agree, this can be taken in two 15 min break periods

Employees with Disabilities
– Permits are no longer valid that allow employees with disabilities to be paid less than minimum wages

– Banked overtime is now banked at the overtime rate of time and a half (1.5) instead of straight time
– Banked time can now be kept for 6 months instead of 3.

Holiday Pay
– No minimum requirement of 30 days worked prior to the holiday.
– Holiday pay is calculated at 5% of wages from the last 4 weeks.

Vacation taken
– Vacation can be taken in half days increments rather than a full day only

Alberta employers, HR professionals, union leaders and employee managers should become familiar with these changes that will have an impact immediately. These changes must be incorporated into your policies and union agreements if they do not already account for the minimum standards. Particularly, understanding the new leave types and the extended periods employees can be away for. In addition, its always a good idea to reach out to your HRIS and payroll service provider to see what plans they have to help you account for these legislative employee standard changes and how to use them.

For details of all changes please visit the employee standards website of Alberta here.

bill 148 esa ontario changes

Bill 148: The impact to your business starting January 2018

Bill 148 will have significant changes to your business effective on January 1st, 2018. You should be aware of these changes as well as be in a position to help assist your HR department and employee managers with any questions that might come up from your work force. You should also engage your HRIS / Payroll Service partners on how to prepare and incorporate these changes for the new year.

The reforms to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) applies to Ontario. Some key highlights are below:
Minimum wage increase

  • $14.00 per hour in January 2018
  • $15.00 per hour in January 2019

Stat Holiday Pay

  • Changes to the way holiday pay is calculated
    • Holiday pay is equal to the total wages earned in the prior period before the holiday / number of worked days during the pay period with the holiday (current period)
  • You must provide documented or written agreement to the employee if you require them to work on the holiday. Additional details include the day the employee will take as a substitute, communication date and agreement.


  • Employees now with 5 or more years of service must receive at a minimum 3 weeks’ vacation. Equivalent of 6% of employee’s wages.

Leave of Absence

  • There are new categories in effect that provides additional time off listed below:
    • Death of a child – up to 104 weeks
    • Crime-related disappearance of a child – up to 104 weeks
    • Domestic or Sexual Violence of employee or child – up to 10 days paid, additional 15 weeks unpaid
    • Maternity or miscarriage or stillbirth – up to 12 weeks (prior was 6 weeks)
    • Parental – 35 up to 61 weeks (for a parent who has taken maternity already), 37 up to 63 for other
    • Family Medical – 8 up to 27 weeks
    • Personal Emergency – 2 days paid, up to 10 days in total


  • The Employee is entitled for a minimum of 3 hours regular pay for any Schedule shift cancellations or sent home early for any circumstances beyond your control such as storms, outages etc…
  • On call employees must be paid a minimum of 3 hours regular pay regardless if they have worked or not
  • If you cancel a shift and only provide the employee less than 48 hours (4 days) of notice before the start of the shift you must pay 3 hours regular pay
  • The employee can decline work if you have requested them to work 96 hours (8 days) before the shift start

Detailed Records

  • You now have to track the dates and times employees:
    • Work
    • Was schedule to work
    • On call
    • Scheduled shift cancellations

In summary, with Bill 148, the Ontario government is looking help promote a better work life balance. Changes will give employees better flexibility, however, might have some negative impacts at the company level. As an Ontario business, you should evaluate these changes and how to incorporate them in day-to-day operations.
Details and debates on Bill 148 are available on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website here.