Disability management: 4 things all SMEs should consider

When illness or disability strikes an employee, it can disrupt the whole team. In the case of a small business, it can cripple the entire company.

As a result, smaller employers might even be tempted to fire an incapacitated employee faced with the prospect of extended disability. But in trying to keep their business afloat, they might stumble into a legal quagmire. So, if firing seems like the only viable option, advise your clients to first consult with a lawyer.

Group insurance market reaches $40 billion

Fraser Group’s report shows that total revenues generated by the group insurance industry in Canada in 2016 increased 4.7 per cent compared to 2015, (when they reached $38.6 billion). He points out that group insurance revenue growth in 2016 was higher than that of gross domestic product. Real GDP growth (excluding inflation) was 1.5 per cent.

Fraser says costly medications have driven revenue growth for group insurers in Canada over the past two years. “The major driver of growth nationally in both years was medical benefits (drugs and extended health care services).” Revenues from medical benefits increased 4.8 per cent in 2016 and 5.5 per cent in 2015, he said.

Bill 148 and Pay Equity: A Changing Landscape and Increasing Scrutiny of Ontario Employers

As part of the 30th anniversary of the Pay Equity Act (Act), the Pay Equity Office has implemented several new initiatives in 2017 in support of its mandate to administer and enforce the Act. These initiatives, coupled with pending legislative changes under Bill 148, present significant changes and potential risks to employers across the province.

The purpose of this FTR Now is to consider the pay equity risks posed by Bill 148, to raise awareness of the new Pay Equity Office initiatives and to review the pay equity challenges that currently face Ontario employers.

The impact of Ontario’s public drug program changes on private plans

It has been a busy period for changes to public drug programs in Ontario, as the provincial government has been working on policies with the potential to offer savings to private benefits plans: pharmacare coverage for people under the age of 25 and upgrades to the Trillium drug program for people with high drug costs. What are the possible impacts on plan sponsors?

Ontario tweaks labour reform bill, but no changes to minimum wage phase in

A major Ontario labour reform bill is being tweaked but so far is seeing no significant changes to key parts, including a controversial phase-in of a $15 minimum wage, leaving concerned businesses looking to a relief package promised by the premier.

There will be another chance to make changes to the bill, after second reading expected next month, and business groups say they’ll continue to press for amendments.

Tips for boosting employee acceptance of benefits changes

The irony of pensions and benefits is that employees tend to ignore them until they need them or until their employer changes them. And whether it’s good news or bad news, there are almost always trade-offs.

Changing pensions or benefits can be a tough sell to employees. When employers say “change,” employees often hear “change for the worse” and are likely to react defensively. So what can plan sponsors do to ease employees’ anxiety and help ensure the change goes smoothly?