National Pharmacare Online Consultation

Please take a moment to register and sign in on this site.  The Federal government is looking for public feedback on their proposed national pharmacare plan.  This is an opportunity for the public, employers and all stakeholders to provide feedback, receive and respond to opinion polls and overall stay in touch with the process.

I think all Canadians should get involved and pay attention to this issue.

The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare announced on July 20 the launch of the Council’s online consultation.

The Council, which was formally launched last month, is inviting Canadians to provide their views on national pharmacare through an online questionnaire, as well as by providing written submissions to the Council. The online consultations will close on Sept. 28.


Probationary Periods: How Long Is Too Long?

Just a quick read on probation periods for each province.  Most think it is always 3 months, but sometimes a day can make a difference….

In each Canadian jurisdiction, there are rules under employment standards legislation regarding the period of employment during which a non-unionized employee can be dismissed without cause and without notice or pay in lieu of notice. If the probationary period in an employment agreement allows for termination of employment on this basis, then the probationary period should be limited to the following statutory periods:


Your Brain on a Boat: Research Says Boating Improves Creativity, Emotional Health, Relaxation

I could not resist sharing this article.  So many find being on and around the water peaceful (me included) and a great reset to the hectic lives we all live.  If you don’t have a boat and want to se the positive effects of sailing, please join us  Summer Sailing with Mainstay

Recent research shows people experience emotional, behavioural and psychological benefits of being near, in, on or under water, and while participating in activities such as boating. One of the leading researchers on the health benefits of the water is Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, the bestselling book on the scientific connection between water and happiness.


Demand for EI sickness benefits rising

EI sick benefits are the one benefit that most of our clients rely on to support employees in the period before Long Term Disability (LTD) begins.  This is an area that the government has not materially changed in almost 50 years and we see no indication that they are looking at making changes.  Few employers having formal salary continuance programs or insured Short Term Disability (STD) coverage, so this is an area where any change could have a real effect on employers.  We’ll continue to monitor the area for changes, as the usage (and government costs increase)…

More and more Canadians are applying for federal help as they take time away from work to battle serious illness — and almost four out of every 10 applicants are maxing out their benefits.


Ontario government to become second payer under OHIP+ changes

Over the weekend we had a very big announcement that may affect not just those in Ontario, but possibly the future of federal pharmacare as well.

The change to add OHIP+ , for youth under 25, were just implemented in January and was expected to result in about a 3-4% average savings for most group plans that had youth under 25 on their plans as drug claims would now be picked up by the province.

Now the new Ontario government has stated they will make OHIP+ the second payer after private plans.  This change means those costs will now revert back to the employers as they had in the past (prior to the January implementation).

Ontario’s new Conservative government has announced changes to the province’s youth pharmacare program to make it second payer for Ontarian’s under age 25 who have coverage through private benefits plans.


Personal Emergency Leave – Your Questions Answered

We have been getting questions from employers on the Personal Emergency Leave days in Ontario.  We try and help point to reference material that can help, and some of those questions are answered in this posting from a Toronto employment lawyer.

Due to…popular demand for more information about Personal Emergency Leave (“PEL”), we have answered the most pressing questions from participants in this update.

Notably, because the changes to PEL are so new, there is very little case law regarding their application. As always, the summary below is not legal advice. Employers should seek legal advice if they are unsure about how the legislation applies to their circumstances.


Webinar: A primer on cannabis legalization and benefits plans

This is a 45 minute previously recorded webinar that provides information for employee benefit plan sponsors on the legal perspective, past cases etc. related to Cannabis which will be legalized in mid October this year.

With the federal government having passed legislation to legalize the possession of recreational marijuana, employers have lots of questions about what it means for them. Watch Benefits Canada’s recent webinar on some of the legal issues for benefits plans with Miller Thomson LLP’s Kim Ozubko.


Canadian employers concerned about implications of cannabis legalization

If you thought you were alone in being concerned about the upcoming changes… A recent survey shows you are far from alone.

Our last industry seminar touched on the importance of corporate policies on impairment and we have one linked below that was hared with us.

The Mainstay HR Resources available to all our clients can also provide info to assist you in establishing practices and policies to protect your employees and firm.

Take a peek.  Call us for details…

More than half (52 per cent) of Canadian employers said they’re concerned or very concerned about the implications of legalized marijuana on the workplace, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.