Canada: Compliance: 2017 Canadian Employee Benefits Legislation Guide

Canada: Compliance: 2017 Canadian Employee Benefits Legislation GuideLegislated leaves of absence most significant change

Every year Asinta’s Canadian Partner Cowan Insurance Group releases a Canadian Benefits Legislation and Guide Supplement. Together with monthly updates on their blog, this information offers a high-level overview of some of the benefits currently available through various Canadian government programs and legislation.


“There are many changes, but employers should pay close attention to changes in the provinces where they do business. Those are the ones that will matter most to them, says Jacquie Fritsch, Senior Consultant for International Benefits at Cowan Insurance Group. “Most changes apply to legislated leaves of absences for benefit duration or terms. These changes are relevant only if an employee is requesting leave.”


Since leaves can be few and far between, it is important to save the links to the guide and its supplements and use it as a resource should these situations arise.


There are 14 key changes noted by province in the guide. Four of the key changes include:


Minimum Wages by Province / Current wage and Expected Rate changes in 2017 are available from the Retail Council of Canada. Visit the Retail Council of Canada website for details.


Quebec Bill 92 passed into law. The bill was adopted on December 6, 2016 and will go into effect September 15, 2017, and will necessitate the provision of additional details on drug receipts issued by pharmacists in Quebec, were passed.  Instead of showing a single amount, receipts will need to break down the cost to clearly to show: the drug cost, the mark-up margin, and the pharmacist dispensing fees. For more information, visit the Government of Quebec website.


WSIB Schedule 2 Provincial Administration Rates released. For details, visit the Ontario WSIB webpage.

British Columbia

BC 2018 Budget. The BC provincial budget on February 21, 2017 announced major changes to MSP and a reduction in the small business corporate income tax rate. Effective January 1, 2018, the premium rates for those with adjusted family net income of $120,000 and less will be reduced by 50%, and the threshold for elimination of premiums is increased from $24,000 to $26,000.  However, it is necessary to apply for the reduction, for those who have not already applied for premium assistance. For details visit the Government of British Columbia website.

Many thanks to our Canadian Partner, Jacquie Fritsch, for contributing to this story. For direct assistance with your Canadian benefits, Asinta is happy to help you contact her.