WSIB to cut or freeze all 2020 rates!

I know that not all my clients have to have WSIB coverage, but thought I’d share this recent article that I received.

Great news for business owners in Ontario: The WSIB will cut 2020 premiums by an average of 17%! This means that $607-million can stay in the province’s businesses, instead of going to the government….

How do I find out my new rate group?

Please keep an eye on your mailbox! The WSIB sent information to every business that pays WSIB premiums. Each customized statement includes your new rate class, your 2020 rate, your projected rate, and details on the WSIB’s transition approach.


BASE SALARIES EXPECTED TO RISE – Benefits & Pension Monitor

There are a number of surveys that come out near the fall/end of year, to estimate salary trends.  This is just one, but gives an indicator of where things are going…

Employers in Canada are expecting base salaries to rise by an average of 2.7 per cent in 2020, says Morneau Shepell’s 2020 ‘Salary Projection Survey.’ This is an increase from the actual 2.6 per cent average increase in 2019. The forecast includes increases in salary structure, length of service, cost of living and merit pay, and excludes salary freezes and promotional adjustments. The expected 2.7 per cent increase is higher than the projected rate of inflation for the year. In July, the Bank of Canada noted that consumer price index inflation is expected to rise to about two per cent by the end of 2020. When looking at economic growth, the Bank of Canada projects the Canadian economy will grow by just 1.4 per cent in 2019. “While the Canadian economy is projected to see slowed growth in the coming year, we’re expecting to see continued wage increases as a result of the tightening labour market,” says Anand Parsan, vice-president, compensation consulting practice. “Employers are optimistic about the anticipated growth in 2020. We have seen a steady rise in projected base salary increases over the past few years, with actual numbers equal to or above our forecast since 2017.”

Election 2019: Are Your Employees Entitled To Time Off On Election Day? Here’s What You Need To Know

This post is not really benefits focussed, but it came up in a recent conversation with a client, so when I saw the article, I thought I’d pass it along.

On Election Day, eligible electors — i.e., Canadian citizens 18 years or older who are registered to vote — are entitled to three consecutive hours to vote between when the polls open and when they close. If an employee’s work schedule does not otherwise allow for this, an employer must grant them time off to vote.


Ontario Employment Law Q&A

I’ve attached a series of Questions and Answers that I recently received from an employment law firm.  Some are geared to employers and others to employees.  Both can be useful to understand specific parts of the Ontario Employment Standards.

Q&A: The Rights of Ontario Employees to Overtime Pay

Q&A: Maternity Leave & Your Rights as an Employee in Ontario

Q&A: Vacation Entitlements for Ontario Employees and Employers

Q&A: Employment Insurance (“EI”) and Severance

Q&A: Temporary Lay-Offs from Work

Q&A: Ontario Severance Packages and Termination of Employment

Five things to know when dealing with an emergency abroad

Just read this great article for those travelling abroad.  Share it wth staff, family and friends.  I find that if we’re prepared, thenigs always tend to work out for the better (maybe it comes from the old sailing adage of …Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance)

I have also added the SOS numbers to reach the Canadian Government to the Mainstay USEFUL LINKS page.

Dreaming about your next getaway? That probably means imagining unlimited glasses of mojitos and sunshine or an afternoon spent getting lost down the streets of a new city… or maybe both (but hopefully not at once). Whatever your ideal vacation looks like, the last thing that’s on your mind before arriving is the accidents that could occur while travelling. But the reality is, emergencies abroad can and do occur.


Court Of Appeal Confirms: Reasonable Notice Is Capped At 24 Months

Employers that follow employment law cases (like the ones I send out from time to time) were a tad concerned about the common law notice period being extended from 2 to 3 years maximum after this case.  The recent appeal has reduced that judgement to 2 years max. except for really exceptional cases.  Employers may still find hardship in paying the 2 years notice, but can rest a bit easier knowing it’s not 50% more.

Court of Appeal Confirms: Reasonable Notice Is Capped At 24 Months, Absent Exceptional Circumstances

Toronto hospital fires around 150 employees after uncovering multimillion-dollar fraud

We are as vigilant as possible in reviewing renewal data, and looking for high paramedical claims that may indicate fraud.  We educate clients, and have several each year that inform us of suspicious behaviour by employees (often TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE offers).

We call fraud lines from time to time to report, and often make plan design changes (read as benefit cuts) in an attempt to protect employers.  The story below, shows how big the problem can become…

One of the fired employees said she began claiming for physiotherapy she did not receive because she was paying more each month into a benefits plan than she was actually using.

In what could be one of the largest and longest-lasting benefits fraud schemes ever discovered in Canada, a Toronto geriatric hospital has dismissed approximately 150 employees for falsely claiming as much as $5 million in benefits over an eight-year period.


Interested in seeing a doctor, without having one, or actually going to the doctor?

From time to time we find new technology launched into the employee benefits space, that while very cool, doesn’t really solve a problem.  It’s a great idea, but you can’t see an employer paying for it, unless they fit just a certain set of conditions (and few clients are working at remote mining towns in northern Ontario).

Telemedicine is one of those things.  Sure, having a doctor on your phone can save a visit to (and hence some lost time), but do employers want to pay when the current system works pretty good for free (and heck, they can go after hours and on weekends…right?)

Well now here is a fee for service model that can be used by anyone.  Don’t have a family doctor?  Wish you could do a quick consult but have a deadline and can’t afford to wait at the doctors office?  Are out of town at the cottage or a business trip and not close to your doctor?  All these situations may make this an option for you…

Appointment pricing ranges depending on the type (generally $25-$50). Appointments are paid by the employee, but can be covered by health spending accounts and a complete receipt is provided for reimbursement.

If you’d like to make this available AND pay for it for all your staff, yearly and monthly membership plans are available, just let us know and we can set you up..

For more information, check out TIA Health at

Top Five Things to Consider When Dismissing an Employee

This article came across my desk and I thought it well written and hit the points where we often see things go wrong, especially with smaller employers where HR might be part-time or absent.

The decision to terminate an individual’s employment is not an easy one. At times, however, whether due to economic pressures, or poor performance, it may nevertheless be necessary.

The process your organization follows when carrying out a termination of employment is important. It can have a big impact on the affected individual and, if done carefully, can reduce the potential risk of liability to your organization.

Here are our top five things that any employer should take into consideration when looking to dismiss an employee….