June 27, 2018

The way Public Holiday Pay is calculated was changed in January 2018 as part of the introduction of Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). However, due to input from businesses and business associations, the Ontario Government has retracted those changes to provide them with time to conduct further study on their impact, and has reinstated the rules in place prior to January 1, 2018.

As stated on the Ministry of Labour website:

On Monday, May 7, 2018 the Government made a new regulation 

Reg.375/18) that reinstates the previous formula for calculating public holiday pay that applied prior to January 1, 2018. This change takes effect

July 1, 2018 and generally applies to all employees covered by the Employment Standards Act Information on public holiday pay – for public holidays that occur after July 1, 2018

Clarification on how to calculate the public holiday pay is provided in this excerpt from Your Guide to Employment Standards Act on the Ministry website.

Public holiday pay for public holidays after July 1, 2018

For public holidays that occur after July 1, 2018, the amount of public holiday pay to which an employee is entitled is all of the regular wages earned by the employee in the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday plus all of the vacation pay payable to the employee with respect to the four work weeks before the work week with the public holiday, divided by 20. The Ministry of Labour offers a Public Holiday Pay Calculator for your convenience.

Please refer to the Vacation chapter for information on the different ways vacation pay can be paid.


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WSIB - Mandatory Coverage in Construction By: Brenda Carkner

  • January 8, 2013

The Ontario government has recently expanded the requirements for WSIB coverage in the construction sector. As a result, construction company executives will have to pay higher WSIB premiums on earnings which were not previously insurable. As well, stronger requirements for certification of subcontracted and contracted businesses were implemented which will delay the start time of contracted work if the contractor is not properly certified. The requirement for coverage for the construction industry became effective on January 1, 2013 and is mandatory for people who carry on business in construction as independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships, and executive officers in corporations.

Do I need to register?

All businesses in the construction industry, including those that already have private insurance, are required to register and pay premiums for WSIB coverage. This aligns with the purpose of the mandatory coverage as stated by the Ontario government: to “improve health and safety, level the playing field, and help combat the underground economy in the construction sector”.

When should I register?

Mandatory registration became effective January 1, 2013 so existing businesses that are not registered will be required to do so immediately.  New entrants in the constructions sector will have to register with WSIB within ten days of hiring their first worker or contractor (including the operator). If are required to register, you should do so as soon as possible by either registering online through the WSIB’s website or with the assistance of the staff at Wilkinson & Co.

What happens if I hire contractors or subcontractors?

People who hire contractors or subcontractors must require a WSIB certificate before any construction work can begin to ensure that the subtracted company is insured and in good standing. This certificate must be in effect until contractor or subcontractor has completed their work.

How much will I have to pay?

The premium that a business must pay is determined based on earnings and business activities (such as electrical, plumbing, etc). Rates for businesses under different categories can be accessed through the WSIB’s website.  Note that other officers that do not perform construction tasks may qualify for a new lower premium rate but cannot be completely exempt from the new policy.

Read: Insurable earnings and premium estimator for the construction industry"

Are there any exemptions to this new mandatory coverage?

There are two basic types of exemptions that may apply to people in the construction industry:

  1. A person with no employees and is exclusively engaged in home renovations performed on a private residence occupied by the person or a relative of the person who directly retains the contractor to complete the work is exempt from WSIB coverage
  2. Partnerships and corporations with more than one executive officer can elect one partner or executive officer to be exempt from the new coverage. This person must not perform any construction work but may be permitted to visit construction sites on an occasional basis. Note that independent operators and sole proprietors with workers do not qualify for this second exemption.

Will this exemption be automatically applied?

A form must be filled out in order to request a WSIB exemption and can be accessed through the WSIB’s website.

Helpful link:

WSIB - FAQ - Mandatory Coverage in Construction


Why You Should Care About These New Changes to Canada’s Accounting Standards

  • October 13, 2011

By: Andrew Bryden

Effective January 1, 2011 private entities will be required to adopt new accounting standards for private enterprises or international financial reporting standards. The large majority of private entities will select private enterprise standards. Many private entities which use current Canadian standards to prepare financial statements will have relatively few adjustments to be made in order to comply with the new standards, but some changes will be severe. Some of the significant changes which relate to private enterprise reporting have been presented below, though the impact on individual entities will need to be examined on a case by case basis.

Property, Plant and Equipment

Under current accounting standards, Property, Plant and Equipment are presented at their cost less accumulated amortization. At the time of adopting new accounting standards, an entity may elect to measure an item of property, plant and equipment at its fair value, and use that fair value as the items cost. This revaluation will strengthen the balance sheet immediately, and could allow for increased borrowing based on the net assets of the company. Furthermore, the re-valued balance sheet could help to improve key financial statement ratios and certain debt covenant calculations.

It should be noted that a re-valuation of the company assets may increase depreciation taken in the future on depreciable assets, which may decrease future earnings. Applying this standard to non-depreciable assets, such as land, would allow for a stronger balance sheet, and would avoid the adverse effects of higher depreciation in the future.

Financial Instruments

Under old Canadian accounting standards, financial instrument accounting was complex. Under the new accounting standards, these complexities have been streamlined and simplified. New standards allow for an entity to account for certain assets or liabilities at fair value. As indicated above for Property, Plant and Equipment, an increase in the fair value of an entities investments will improve the balance sheet and therefore, the borrowing power of the entity.

Remember that during market downturns, classifying investment as fair value through profit and loss may result in increased unpredictability to the balance sheet, as fluctuations in fair value will be recognized in income on each balance sheet date.

Policy Choices

Upon the adoption of accounting standards for private enterprises, an entity has the option to re-challenge and re-select all of its accounting policies. There is no requirement for an entity to retain pre-changeover accounting policies.

Nearly all prior accounting policy choice options which were available under prior Canadian standards have been made available under new accounting framework.

This presents entities with the opportunity to reassess all prior chosen accounting policies and to determine whether those policies continue to be the most appropriate to reflect the current and future operations of the entity and to meet the needs of the stakeholders.


The changes which have been presented by new accounting framework may not require a significant change to the majority of our small to medium sized private entities, though specific entity scenarios should be discussed independently with your Wilkinson representative.