Online tool to aid access to government benefits

I found another great tool you can share with friends, employees, or really any Canadian resident.  By answering a series of questions (really quick), the program provides you a list of government services and assistance programs you may qualify for.  They range from emergency benefits to WSIB and Trillium high cost drug benefits (should you need them).

Prosper Canada has launched a free online tool intended to simplify the search for government benefits. The tool is meant to help individuals as well as community service providers that help people access income benefits.

Benefits Wayfinder Tool

Apply for reimbursement for the Small Business Health and Safety Training Program

I came across this interesting program while reading “What’s New” from the Ontario Ministry of Labour and Skills Development.  The cost of the training is low (~$25), the courses are often 7-8 hours long and this program can be used to subsidize the employees time attending. 

Ontario’s Small Business Health and Safety Training Program will reimburse eligible employers for health and safety representative training for a selected employee in an Ontario workplace. The program will cover the course registration cost of $25 for the representative and $150 toward the cost of the representative’s training time, for a total reimbursement of $175.

Get all the details here:

Employee Injured at Home Eligible for Workers’ Comp

As COVID continues, we are getting more questions from employers dealing with employees working remotely.  A few things to keep in mind if you have employees working remotely out of the country:

  • Employees must maintain provincial health coverage (e.g. OHIP) to be entitled to benefits
    • Employees away for 183+ days/year must request and be granted an extension by OHIP
  • Employers are responsible for the safety of their employees at work (OHSA)
    • This can by extension encompass the employee working from home or elsewhere
    • This might extend to ensuring that there are smoke and CO detectors installed and functioning
  • Employees working from home could be considered in a WSIB workplace (if mandated)
  • Employers are expected to be aware of tax considerations for staff working in a foreign country
    • Employees could possibly face double taxation requirements if working in the US for example.

The issue of WSIB coverage was highlighted in the legal case below.  Though this is Quebec, I think we will see more of these in the coming years as more people work remotely.

If you have questions on staff working remotely (out of Canada), please call us, and consider speaking to your HR professional, and/or accountant/ tax expert, and/ or employment lawyer to see if there are any concerns that could effect you or the employee. 

A recent Quebec labour ruling found that an employee who sustained an injury while working from home was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Back in September 2020….

Another Minimum Wage Increase Coming for Ontario

Earlier this fall, Ontario’s minimum wage increased by $0.10 to $14.35 per hour, however, that number is now set to increase even more.
Effective January 1, 2022, Ontario’s new general minimum wage is going up to $15.00. Student minimum wage will raise from $13.50 to $14.10.
It’s also noteworthy that currently the minimum wage for bartenders and servers is set at $12.55 per hour, however this special rate will be eliminated come January 1st and servers and bartenders will now make the general minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.