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Three responsibilities for employers to keep in mind

By Samantha Garner | October 25, 2014

When you’re an employer in your small business, there are many responsibilities you have to be aware of. Today, we’ll talk about Employment Assistance, Employment Standards, and Workers’ Compensation.

Employment Assistance

If your budget won’t let you hire new employees, be sure to check out your company’s eligibility for the Employment Assistance Services offered by Service Canada. You might be able to get funding as a sponsor or coordinator, which will cover expenses related to offering employment assistance services to unemployed people. For more information on this program, click here.

Employment Standards

Legal employment standards differ by province and industry. Make sure you’re familiar with the required standards as an employer so that you don’t run into any difficulties during CRA’s employer visits, and to avoid any legal issues.

There are many rules when it comes to your employees’ working conditions, including work hours, overtime and meal breaks to Sunday closings, whistleblower protection and mandatory retirement. Of course, minimum wage and minimum daily wage requirements, statutory holidays, equal pay policies and severance pay also apply. It’s a lot, but it’s all important!

The Canada Revenue Agency has strict guidelines that distinguish employees from self-employed contractors. This is important for you as an employer, because you’ll need to figure out the right deductions and policies to follow with payroll. For example, with employees, you’ll deduct Employment Insurance Premiums (EI), Canada Pension Plan contributions (CPP) and income tax when paying payroll.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation programs protect employees from work-related injuries or illnesses. Policies are different province to province. In Alberta, for example, newly incorporated companies have to contact the Workers’ Compensation Board within 15 days of hiring workers, to figure out whether or not an account is needed. Accounts can be set up online and, after paying annual premiums, employers get no fault insurance to protect them in any lawsuits by injured workers.

Directors should contact the Workers’ Compensation Board to learn about personal coverage, because the corporation is protected from lawsuits, but directors remain open to personal lawsuit. Personal coverage may be a smart option for many business owners, even if there are no employed workers.

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