2024 Employment law updates you may have missed in January

As we step into 2024, it's your responsibility as an employer to keep tabs on any changes in employment law. Here’s a recap of new laws you may have missed this January.

Monday, Jan 15, 2024
4 min read

Making sure you’re up to date with the latest legislation is key to ensuring your business is in line with the law and being prepared helps you avoid costly fines.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the major employment law updates for January 2024 that you need to know. So, you can protect your business and your people this year and beyond.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Administrative Policy – Province of Employment for Full-Time Remote Employees

The CRA has introduced a new policy. Its purpose?

To determine the province of employment for full-time remote employees for income tax, CPP, and employment insurance deductions.

As of January 1, 2024, full-time remote workers are now considered to be employed in the province where they physically report for work or are reasonably attached. This applies to both temporary and permanent remote workers.

A quick breakdown of what the new law has changed

  1. When an employee transitions from working in the office to working fully remotely, their province of employment is determined by the last physical location they reported to.
  2. Their province of employment also includes the location specified in their employment agreement as their supervising establishment. It’s also the establishment where they would report for in-person meetings, pick up equipment, or receive instructions.

For example, if your employee lives in Ontario but has the address of their supervising establishment in B.C., they would be considered an employee in B.C.

So, you’d have to make the income tax, CPP and employment insurance deductions in line with B.C.’s regulations.

Here's how it impacts you

As an employer, you’ll need to clearly establish a worker’s attachment to a particular establishment to avoid making the wrong deductions. You should also review your payroll practices to make sure that they align with the new law.

It’s also important to know it’s illegal to report an attachment to one establishment in a province to avoid making deductions or employer contributions in another province. Otherwise, you could face hefty fines.

Need support reporting accurate information to the CRA?

Our people management software and HR tools can help you store employee information including their location. Plus, you can efficiently track their working hours.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Administrative Policy – Filing Returns Electronically

Effective January 1, 2024, businesses that plan to file six or more information returns during the upcoming tax season and beyond must file them electronically.

However, you can still file your returns by paper if your business has five or fewer information returns.

Some examples of information returns that must be filed electronically include your T4, T3, and T4A.

A quick breakdown of what the new law has changed

  1. You can no longer file any paper records as of 2024—if you are filing six or more information returns.
  2. There are penalties attached for filing between 6 and 50 paper returns ranging from $125 to $2,500.

Key impacts for you

As a business owner, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the CRA website, web forms, and secure portals. That way your business is set up to move to electronic filing.

You can also refer to the CRA’s resources for small and medium businesses web page for more information on tax-related services and a better understanding of your business's tax obligations.

With BrightHR’s payroll reports feature, you can create comprehensive employee reports to populate your tax information returns correctly.

Fight against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act

This new Act imposes obligations on government institutions associated with producing, purchasing, or distributing goods in Canada or elsewhere. It also applies to certain private businesses producing goods in Canada or importing goods from outside.

A quick breakdown of what the new law has changed

  1. Certain private businesses must draft and publish a report on what steps they’re putting in place to prevent and reduce the risk of forced labour or child labour along their supply chain for goods produced in Canada or imported into the country.
  2. These reports must be readily available to the public (e.g. published on your website).

Here’s how it impacts you

You can’t afford to ignore this Act if any of the following apply to your business:

  • You sell or distribute goods in Canada or elsewhere or import goods from outside Canada.
  • You are listed on a Canadian stock exchange or have assets, a place of business, or do business in Canada.
  • Your business fulfilled at least two of the following conditions for one of the last two fiscal years: o $20 million in assets o $40 million in revenue o 250 employees

It’s also important you have policies and practices in place. This will help to prevent and reduce the risk of forced labour or child labour along your supply chain.

If your business is a privately owned organization, you must be ready to publish a Forced Labour and Children in Labour Supply Report by May 31, 2024.

Our document library, BrightBase, is packed with customizable policies and procedures your business can rely on. Plus, with BrightAdvice, you can also get 24/7 expert advice on new legislations.

Legislative updates in health & safety

British Columbia (B.C.)

The following health & safety legislation in B.C. came into effect January 1, 2024:

  • Workers, employers, and WorkSafeBC have a duty to cooperate to maintain workplace connections and facilitate a worker’s timely and safe return to work.
  • WorkSafeBC will have authority over disagreements between the worker and the employer over a worker’s right to a timely and safe return to work.
  • Employers must maintain the employment of an injured worker who has been continuously employed with the employer for at least 12 months.
  • If an employer fires a worker within six months of the worker starting pre-injury, alternative or suitable work, it’s assumed that the employer has not fulfilled their obligation to maintain employment.

Ontario

Starting January 1, 2024, amendments to various crane-related provisions took effect for construction projects. These amendments mean that all crane owners must:

  1. Keep a logbook that shows all inspections, tests, repairs, modifications, and maintenance for each crane.
  2. Periodically perform operational and mechanical inspections under the supervision of a professional engineer.

Many of these laws are already in effect, and it’s your responsibility as a business owner to make sure you stay in the know to avoid landing in legal hot water.

Armed with expert advice from our team of employment relations professionals and with our suite of people management software, you can be sure you’re always on the right side of the law.

Want to find out what else is on the horizon for 2024? Download our full in-depth guide for FREE.


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