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February 22, 2019

New and Revised Workers Compensation Board policies 

The following Workers Compensation Board has developed a new policy and revised two other policies.

New Policy

A new policy, Annuity (POL-154), has been developed to reflect the amendments to the Workers Compensation Act related to the provision of retirement benefits. Pension Replacement Benefits (POL-124) has been revised as a result.

Revised Policies

  1. Repetitive Strain Injuries (POL-91). The amendments set out the criteria for acceptance of repetitive strain injuries including how risk factors are considered and weighed to determine entitlement to compensation. 
  2. Conditions for Entitlement (POL-71), formerly titled Arising Out of and in the Course of Employment. The amendments provide clarification on the criteria and conditions that must be satisfied for a claim to be accepted for compensation. Emergency Callout of Workers (POL-127) has been rescinded as the content has been incorporated into the Conditions for Entitlement (POL-71).

Information about the changes can be found in the History section of each policy. For more information visit


February 19, 2019

Feedback requested on Occupational Health & Safety Regulations - Workplace Harassment (Additional Proposed Amendments)

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Advisory Council is requesting feedback on additional proposed amendments to the OHS Act General Regulations to include workplace harassment.

The consultation summary and draft regulations have been posted on the Legislative Feedback page of the Workers Compensation Board website, under the heading, "OHS Regulations - Workplace Harassment."

The Council encourages stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed changes by March 1, 2019, using the online feedback form.


December 28, 2018

Changes to Employment Standards Take Effect December 29, 2018

Family-friendly amendments to the Employment Standards Act passed during the 2018 fall legislative session will come into effect on Saturday, December 29, 2018.

Changes to the act include:
•    Extended parental leave from 12 months to 18 months to align with the federal employment insurance changes;
•    Extended compassionate care leave from 8 weeks to 28 weeks; 
•    Reduced qualifying period for an employee to receive sick leave from 6 months to 3 months. 

Government received feedback from Islanders on the amendments through consultation last summer. 

“Our workforce is changing and our employment standards need to evolve with it,” said Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant. “Thank you to everyone who provided their input, together we are continuing to create healthy and supportive workplaces in Prince Edward Island.”

With these changes, PEI is more closely aligned with the federal employment insurance benefits as well as all other provinces.

More information on the amendments to the Employment Standards Act is available at


December 21, 2018

Canada Summer Jobs Funding Deadline - January 25, 2019

Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment Strategy, which is the Government of Canada’s commitment to help young people between the ages of 15 and 30, particularly those facing barriers to employment, get the information and gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to transition successfully into the labour market.

The program provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public-sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years.

In delivering on these objectives, the Government of Canada aims to ensure that youth job opportunities funded by the program take place in an environment that respects the rights of all Canadians.

These youth summer work experiences represent important pathways facilitating future transitions to the workforce. For more information visit 

Source: Government of Canada - Employment and Social Development Canada

December 19, 2018

Grants in support of Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program

Employers of Reservists and self-employed Reservists may be eligible for funding under the Compensation for Employers of Reservists Program (CERP). The purpose of the CERP is to:


  • Provide financial support to civilian employers of Reservists and/or self-employed Reservists, to offset operational costs they incur when Reservist employees deploy on full-time operational duty (Chief of Defence Staff directed operation), both domestically and abroad.
  • Enable Reservists to be more fully integrated alongside the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force.
  • Enable a better understanding of the role of Reservists in the military, their places of employment and in their communities.


Service Canada (SC) is administering this program on behalf of the Department of National Defence(DND). Application information available at the Government of Canada

Source: Employment and Social Development Canada

November 28, 2018

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Enhancements Effective January 1, 2019

CPP enhancements (approved through Bill C-26) set out to increase the amount working Canadians will receive from the CPP in their retirement years, from one-quarter to one-third of their eligible earnings. The federal working income tax benefit (WITB) will also be increased to offset the increase in CPP contributions of eligible low-income workers. Employee contributions to the enhanced portion of the CPP will be deductible. The changes will have effects on:

  • CPP retirement pension and post-retirement benefits
  • CPP disability benefits
  • CPP survivors pension

Currently, employees contribute 4.95% on these earnings to the CPP. Employers make an equal contribution. If you are self-employed, you contribute both the employee and employer portions, which is equal to 9.9%.

From 2019 to 2023, the contribution rate for employees will gradually increase by one percentage point (from 4.95% to 5.95%) on earnings between $3,500 and the original earnings limit.

In 2024, employees will begin contributing 4% on an additional range of earnings. This range will start at the original earnings limit (estimated to be $69,700 in 2025) and go to the additional earnings limit, which will be 14% higher by 2025 (estimated to be $79,400). To learn more visit the Government of Canada website

November 9, 2018

Domestic Violence Leave, Intimate Partner Violence Leave or Sexual Violence Leave

In 2018 Bill 116, An Act To Amend The Employment Standards Act (No. 3) received Royal Assent by the Government of Prince Edward Island.  The Domestic Violence Leave, Intimate Partner Violence Leave or Sexual Violence Leave provides for up to three days of paid leave, and another seven days of unpaid leave for employees needing time to deal with the consequences of domestic, intimate partner or sexual violence.  Read more:


  • As an employer here are a few things you can do to support employees:
  • Put together a list of resources for your employees to ensure they always have easy access to resources such as medical assistance, RCMP, helplines, shelters, counsellors, and legal help. A list of resources is available at:
  • If you are contacted in a crisis situation ensure the employee is not in immediate danger and encourage the individual to phone the police.
  • Ensure your workplace is safe. Be vigilant in protecting the privacy of the employee. The employee's home phone number/cell number should not be listed on the employer's website and should never be given out to individuals calling the office. Domestic abusers may attempt to access their victim through his or her place of employment.
  • Consider inviting someone with expertise in the field to attend your office and conduct a training seminar to management.
  • Ensure that all employees know about their right to a leave of absence in the event of sexual or domestic abuse – this should be included in the company employee policy.
  • Have clear policies on what evidence, if any, you require from employees taking this leave. In addition, have clear policies on what, if any, notice you require.


October 31, 2018

Decrease in Employment Insurance Premiums for 2019

The 2019 Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate will be $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings—a decrease of 4 cents for employees compared to the 2018 rate and an effective decrease of 5 cents for employers, who pay 1.4 times the employee rate:

October 27, 2018

Minimum Wage Adjustment Effective April 1, 2019

On 1 April 2019, a new Minimum Wage Order will come into effect for Prince Edward Island with the minimum wage being set at $12.25 per hour.

October 17, 2018

Legalized Cannabis (Legislative Frameworks)

Drugs can have serious adverse effects on the safety and well-being of employees, contractors and the public. Awareness of the potential risks associated with the use recreational cannabis is a vital first step in providing a safe workplace. 

Did you know:  Bill C-45, an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other acts (the Cannabis Act) was introduced in the House of Commons on April 13, 2017.  Effective October 17, 2018 recreational use of cannabis is officially legal across Canada.

The Cannabis Act creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. The Act aims to accomplish 3 goals:

  • · keep cannabis out of the hands of youth
  • · keep profits out of the hands of criminals
  • · protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal cannabis
Employers and employees should become familiar with Federal and Provincial legislation to determine the impact these may have related to the workplace.

To learn more about the federal government’s cannabis legislation visit:

To learn more about the provincial government’s (PEI) cannabis policy framework:

To learn more about the provincial government’s public awareness initiative:

July 30, 2018

Give Input on Employment Standards Act Regulations

Most employees are eligible for a variety of leaves under the Employment Standards Act of Prince Edward Island including protection of employment for persons needing time off from work to address issues due to family violence.

During the 2018 spring sitting of the provincial legislature, the Employment Standards Act (Bill 116) was amended to provide for for up to three days of paid leave, and another seven days of unpaid leave for employees who need time to deal with the consequences of domestic violence.  

Provide your feedback on draft regulations to support the implementation of Bill 116: An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act(link is external). Regulations provide specifics on how to put action into an act (law). The Lieutenant Governor–in-Council (cabinet) is responsible to pass regulations; rather than the legislature which passes legislation. 

To help inform the development of regulations appropriate for PEI, a scan of other Canadian jurisdictions was completed. As a result, draft regulations were written based on the PEI Victims of Family Violence Act, as well as related New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan regulations.

Please complete the survey or send a written submission by August 27, 2018.  Take the Survey


Employment Standards Office

161 St. Peters Road, 2nd Floor
PO Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-5550



April 1, 2018

Minimum Wage Adjustment

Effective immediately, the minimum wage on Prince Edward Island has been adjusted to $11.55 per hour.

February 28, 2018

Minimum wage keeping up with Island’s growing economy

Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage will remain the highest in Atlantic Canada when it  increases by 30 cents to $11.55 per hour on April 1, 2018.“Given Prince Edward Island’s economic growth, it is very important that all Islanders benefit from improved economic conditions,” said Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant. “Being a small province helps us work well together and be nimble enough to focus on what matters most. As the GDP expands, increasing the minimum wage means more money goes back into the economy and into the pockets of Islanders.”

The Employment Standards Board – which reviews the minimum wage rate each year – recommended the minimum wage increase based on economic factors in the province and on input received from the public. The board gathered input from 15 organizations and 12 individuals during consultations this past summer.Prince Edward Island is Canada’s only jurisdiction to show continuous economic growth since 2008. The province leads the Atlantic region in population growth. In addition:

  • gross-domestic product increased 2.3 per cent last year;
  • housing starts year-to-date are up by 20 per cent over the previous year;
  • export growth leads the Atlantic region and ranked third in Canada in 2016;
  • manufacturing sales growth exceeds the national average and has led Canada over the past five years;
  • international exports are up by 7.1 per cent;
  • employment growth is double the national average; and
  • 2,500 more Islanders are working full time compared to this time last year.
Source: Government of Prince Edward island

December 12, 2017


Jurisdiction, Timelines, and Current Details Concerning Pending Legalization of Cannabis on PEI 

The Government of Prince Edward Island has an obligation and an opportunity to actively shape the implementation of the federal decision to legalize cannabis in a way that balances the challenges presented by legalization as well as Islanders’ interests, circumstances and values. To do this, provincial government is assessing the implications of legalization, exploring regional opportunities, gathering research, and listening to Islanders' views. Read More

Source: Government of Prince Edward island


November 16, 2017

More choice and flexibility for family caregivers, starting December 3, 2017

Beginning December 3, the following improvements will be made to Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits in order to better support workers who take time off work due to specific life events:

· Caregivers who provide care to a critically ill or injured adult family member will have access to a new benefit of up to 15 weeks. This will help more Canadians support loved ones when they need it most.

· Immediate and extended family members of children who are critically ill will, for the first time, have access to a new benefit that was previously available only to parents. It will replace the Parents of Critically Ill Children benefit and continue to provide up to 35 weeks of benefits.

· Both medical doctors and nurse practitioners will now be able to sign medical certificates for Family Caregiver benefits for adults or children, as well as for compassionate care benefits, which will simplify the process.

These changes will apply to new claims from EI-eligible workers across Canada, as well as self-employed Canadians who opt into the EI program for access to EI special benefits, and who meet minimum income and other requirements to qualify for EI special benefits.

The Canada Labour Code has been amended to ensure employees in federally regulated sectors have job protection while they receive caregiving benefits under the EI program. For employees under provincial or territorial jurisdiction, employment standards vary by province and territory.

These improvements were informed by last year’s consultations on EI caregiving, maternity, and parental benefits and reaffirm the Government’s commitment to improving the EI program so that it is better aligned with the realities of today’s labour market and addresses the needs of Canadian families.

Source: Employment and Social Development Canada


November 9, 2017

Cannabis Legislation on Prince Edward Island

The Government of Canada introduced legislation that will make cannabis, or marijuana, legal in Prince Edward Island and the rest of Canada by July 2018. Before that time, Prince Edward Island must decide how to adapt to this legislation.


Programs, policies, laws and public education will be required to determine where and when cannabis can be sold, tax implications, the legal age to purchase and how communities will be protected from potential negative consequences like drug-impaired driving.  Read more here.

March 7, 2017

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program for Employers

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is an employer-driven federal immigration pilot program designed to help you fill permanent labour shortages and skill gaps in your business by supporting foreign nationals for permanent residency.  There are three different streams which aim to address different needs.  The Atlantic High Skilled Program allows you to attract highly skilled individuals, the Atlantic Intermediate Skilled Program allows you to attract semi-skilled individuals, and the Atlantic International Graduate Program allows you to attract recent graduates from Atlantic Canada post-secondary institutions.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements and the application process follow this link to the Office of Immigration.

February 22, 2017

Effective April 1, 2017 PEI Minimum Wage Rises to $11.25 Per Hour 

Minimum wage on Prince Edward Island will increase by 25 cents on April 1, to $11.25 per hour. The province’s minimum wage has increased 38 per cent since 2008. By comparison, inflation has risen 11 per cent during that time.

 “Our government is pleased to approve this increase in minimum wage, which is intended to improve the quality of life for many Islanders and provide a boost to the economy,” Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant said. “Increasing minimum wage puts more money into the economy and into the pockets of Islanders. ”

 The other three Atlantic provinces also will raise their minimum wages on April 1:

 • New Brunswick’s will rise to $11;

• in Nova Scotia, the rate will increase to $10.35 for inexperienced workers and $10.85 for experienced workers; and

 • in Newfoundland and Labrador, minimum wage will rise to $10.75 with a second increase to $11 planned for October 1.

 "Government is moving in the right direction increasing minimum wage," said Carl Pursey, president of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Labour. "This is good news for people who are struggling to pay their bills, and it will put more money into the economy because people spend what they make." 

The Employment Standards Act requires the Employment Standards Board to review the minimum wage rate each year. It makes recommendations on the minimum wage rate based on economic factors in the province and on input received from the public and stakeholders.

Government increased the basic personal tax exemption to $8,000 last year. It was the first increase since 2008 and it exempted 700 low-income Islanders from paying provincial income tax.

Source: Government of PEI Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning

December 14, 2016

Canada Summer Jobs Funding – Application Deadline January 20, 2017

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities.

Canada Summer Jobs:

  • provides work experiences for students
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

For more information visit: Government of Canada


December 2, 2016 

Effective January 1, 2017 Workers Compensation Board coverage will now include Island farms


Mandatory coverage for farmers under the Workers Compensation Act will come into effect January 1, 2017. Until then, farm employers are still able to register for optional coverage under the Workers Compensation Act. As requested by farm employers, there will be a comprehensive information and education process which will be delivered during the transition period, in advance of the implementation date.  

Farm workers are at high risk of experiencing workplace injuries. While good data on agricultural injuries is difficult to find, Canada’s agricultural industry has among the highest fatality rates of any Canadian occupation.  In the absence of mandatory coverage, costs related to workplace injuries are shifted from the employers onto farm workers and their families who must cope with wage loss and medical expenses. The impact of excluding farm employers from workers compensation can be costly for both the farm worker and the farm employer.

The WCB exists to protect workers and employers through a sustainable no-fault injury insurance program. It provides benefits and services to workers following workplace injuries and protection to employers from liability. Farm rates have shown a downward trend since 2011 resulting in lower rates for the majority of farm sectors, with accident costs being the driving factor.

September 28, 2016

New Record Keeping Rules

New record-keeping rules for employers will come into effect on January 1, 2017. The new payroll rules will require employers to make and keep employment records for:

a) paid holiday pay due or paid to an employee;

b) period of a leave of absence of an employee as well as the reason for the absence; and

c) dates of any suspensions, dismissals or layoffs of an employee and the dates of such notices.

The new requirements complement existing record-keeping obligations already required of employers under s. 5.6 of the Employment Standards Act. The changes will also clarify the current payroll rules.  These measures are in line with an initiative of the three Maritime Provinces to streamline record-keeping requirements for employers.  

Source: Government of Prince Edward Island


September 19, 2016

Prince Edward Island’s minimum wage changes effective October 1, 2016

Effective October 1, 2016, a new Minimum Wage Order will come into effect with the minimum wage being set at $11.00 per hour. The Employment Standards Board reviews the minimum wage annually under the terms of the Employment Standards Act. It makes recommendations on the minimum wage rate based on economic factors in the province and on input received from the public and stakeholders. Approximately 9.3 per cent of Island workers are paid at the minimum wage rate. 

 For a complete history of minimum wage adjustments visit the Department of Justice and Public Safety

June 22, 2016

What you need to know about changes coming to Canada Pension Plan, and Canadian wallets
Government of Canada Finance Minister Bill Morneau met his provincial and territorial counterparts in Vancouver on June 20th and reched an agreement with most of them to expand the Canada Pension Plan. Here is what you need to know about CPP and proposed deal:

May 31, 2016

P.E.I.'s minimum wage goes up to $10.75 on June 1, 2016

Effective June 1,  2016, a new Minimum Wage Order has come into effect with the minimum wage being set at $10.70 per hour.
Under the Canadian Constitution, the responsibility for enacting and enforcing labour laws, including the minimum wage, rests with the ten provinces as well as the three territories which have been granted this power by federal legislation. This means that each province and territory has its own minimum wage. For a complete history of the minimum wage order on Prince Edward Island visit: Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Labour, and Justice website 

March 7, 2016

Minimum wage hike does more harm than good: think tank

Raising the minimum wage will do little to reduce poverty mainly because most minimum-wage earners don’t live in low-income households, suggests a new study by the Fraser Institute.

“Despite good intentions, the evidence shows increasing the minimum wage is not an effective policy for helping Canadians struggling with poverty,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and report co-author.

To read the full article click here.

February 18, 2016 

Skills PEI Job/Career Fair

You are Invited!

Please see the below information on the upcoming Skills PEI Job/Career Fairs. We hope you can join us to set up a booth at one or all of our locations!

There is no cost to attend, and there will be 40-50 employers and organizations from all different sectors at the Charlottetown location.

Mark your calendars for Monday, Feb 29th from 2-6 pm at the Eastlink Centre (Civic Centre).  Companies are encouraged to interview potential candidates on the spot at the arranged designated areas, and SkillsPEI is prepared to discuss subsidies to begin immediately!

SkillsPEI will be hosting fairs in four locations across PEI. Here are the dates & places to be:

Montague - Feb 23rd - Wellness Centre

O'Leary - Feb 24th - Mill River

Charlottetown - Feb 29th - Eastlink Center (civic centre)

Summerside - March 1st - Credit Union Place

Attached are the registration form & information sheet, we ask that you return the registration form asap if you are interested in attending, as space is limited. 

Registration form 

Information Sheet

February 1, 2016


The deadline for employers to file their registration renewal with the Workers Compensation Board is February 28, 2016. Employers should submit their 2015-2016 registration renewal by the deadline in order to avoid being assessed a penalty for late filing.
Registration can be renewed electronically using the Workers Compensation Online Services:


January 14, 2016

Construction project manager sentenced to 3.5 years for Christmas eve fatalities

The Metron Construction Corporation ("Metron") project manager who oversaw the construction project on which a swing stage collapsed, resulting in the deaths of four workers and injury to a fifth, has been sentenced to 3.5 years in jail.

In this FTR Now, we discuss the background to this important decision and its significance.

Click here to read the full article

December 7, 2015

Canada Summer Jobs 2016

Canada Summer Jobs is a Government of Canada initiative. It provides funding for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees to create summer jobs for students between the ages of 15 and 30.

Please note that the application period will be from January 4 to February 26, 2016.

Please visit the Service Canada website for further details.

November 23, 2015

How vision and clarity made a three-time 'Best Employer'

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), a global biopharmaceutical company, has been operating in Canada for more than 80 years. For the past three, it has been accredited by Aon Hewitt as a ‘Best Employer’.

To read more click here

November23, 2015

Five ways to boost workplace diversity

Many organizations talk about diversity but how many actually make it a priority? With the face of Canada’s population rapidly changing, this is one question that every Human Resources department will need to consider.

Click here to read more

November 23, 2015

Planning for a Safe Holiday Party: A Checklist for Employers

It is that time of year again when thoughts are turning to seasonal and holiday celebrations. Whether these celebrations are large or small, it is important that employers take proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees who attend office parties or other celebrations. In this FTR Now, we provide employers with a checklist of measures to consider implementing to help plan a safe holiday celebration for all.

Click here for the checklist

October 28, 2015

Workers Compensation Board eliminates wait period for injured workers

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island is taking steps to provide more support to injured workers by eliminating a 2 day waiting period before benefits begin.

"Eliminating the wait period will provide wage loss benefits to all workers from the day following an accident," said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. "This measure will have a direct impact on our most vulnerable injured workers who might not have access to sick leave benefits during this timeframe."

Click here to learn more....

September 29, 2015

Federal Election 2015: Employers' Obligation to Provide Paid Time Off to Vote

A federal election has been called for October 19, 2015. Under the Canada Elections Act ("Act") all employees who are electors – Canadian citizens who are 18 years of age or older – are entitled to three (3) consecutive hours on election day during voting hours to cast their vote. In this FTR Now, we provide employers with guidance on their obligations under the Act.

Under the Act, voting hours are determined by the time zone in which the electoral district lies. Click here to find out more.

September 28, 2015

WCB Occupational Health & Safety Education Sessions – Fall 2015

Sessions are free to attend; however, registration is required.

If you are interested in any of these sessions click here for more detail.

September 16, 2015

Introducing the “Ask the Panel” HR Series for Small Business
Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Join us for an interactive panel discussion on the challenges faced by employers related to workplace health and wellness issues such as stress, absenteeism and addictions.  Discover resources available to employers and employees that can help to address these issues and build a healthier team.

For more information and to register for this session, click here.

September 9th, 2015

The rise of so-called precarious employment in Canada — mainly work in the services and retail sectors — has brought with it some questionable employer practices that have employees stressed out and labour activists fuming.

They’re calling for the elimination of “on-call” shifts, a practice where management schedules shifts for part-time employees each week, but then requires them to call in ahead of their start time to find out if they’re actually working.

Read the full document here - On-Call Shifts come under scrutiny

August 13, 2015

Get the latest details on The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan from Benefits Canada.

Harper, Wynne lock horns over ORPP

August 10, 2015

Did You Know?

The Canada PEI Job Grant is a new program offered by Workforce and Advanced Learning.  The grant is an employer driven approach that helps new and current employees improve skills and participate in training.  Employers will receive two-thirds of the training investment on eligible training expenses such as tuition, textbooks and fees.  This year $525,000 is available for approved Canada-PEI Job Grants.  For more information visit or contact:1-877-491-4766.  


June 29th, 2015

Increase to Minimum Wage on July 1, 2015

Effective July 1,  2015, a new Minimum Wage Order has come into effect with the minimum wage being set at $10.50 per hour.  Under the Canadian Constitution, the responsibility for enacting and enforcing labour laws, including the minimum wage, rests with the ten provinces as well as the three territories which have been granted this power by federal legislation. This means that each province and territory has its own minimum wage. For a complete history of the minimum wage order on Prince Edward Island visit: Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Labour, and Justice website

April 22, 2015

2015 Atlantic Canada Minimum Wage Roundup

After a very long winter, the snow is almost gone: time for our annual look at Atlantic Canadian general minimum wage rates. The minimum wage rate in every Atlantic Canadian province is higher than it was a year ago – and there are more increases to come in 2015

Full Legal Update

March 23, 2015

PEI Jobs for Youth Program and Wage Subsidy (2015)

The Jobs For Youth Program will soon be accepting applications from Island employers for wage support to create additional employment opportunities for Island students aged 16 to 29. This program is funded by the Government of Prince Edward Island and is administered by the Employment Development Agency.  Students hired to fill positions on approved projects must be registered with the Employment Development Agency Jobs Registry.  Visit Jobs for Youth Program for further details. Employer applications should be available in late March.

January 13, 2015

Canada Pension Plan Cheques Rising 1.8 % for 2015 and Old Age Security Remaing the Same

Canada Pension Plan benefits are rising 1.8 per cent in the new year for people already receiving benefits.

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the maximum CPP retirement benefit for new recipients age 65 will be $1,065 per month. The increase is calculated on the average yearly maximum pensionable earnings for the last five years.  The new CPP rates will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2015.

Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, which consist of the basic OAS pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and the Allowances, will remain the same for the first quarter (January to March) of 2015.

As of January 1, 2015, the basic OAS pension will stay at $563.74 per month. OAS benefits, like CPP benefits, are based on the consumer price index (CPI). But unlike CPP, which is reviewed annually, OAS rates are reviewed quarterly and revised as required to reflect increases in the cost of living.


December 26, 2014

Canada Summer Jobs Grant Deadline (2015)

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities. Canada Summer Jobs:

  • provides work experiences for students;
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

Down the  PDF Version (175 KB) of the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide.  

The period to apply for Canada Summer Jobs 2015 will be from December 1, 2014 to January 30, 2015. For more information visit Service Canada

September 30, 2014

Increase to Minimum Wage on October 1, 2014

Effective 1 October 2014, a new Minimum Wage Order has come into effect with the minimum wage being set at $10.35 per hour.  Under the Canadian Constitution, the responsibility for enacting and enforcing labour laws, including the minimum wage, rests with the ten provinces as well as the three territories which have been granted this power by federal legislation. This means that each province and territory has its own minimum wage. For a complete history of the minimum wage order on Prince Edward Island visit: Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Labour, and Justice website

August 27, 2014

New Canada-PEI Job Grant Announced

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, today announced the signing of the full agreement for the Canada Job Fund, which includes the launch of theCanada Job Grant, with the Government of Prince Edward Island. 

The Honourable Allen F. Roach, Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning, who participated in the announcement with Minister Shea, announced that Prince Edward Island is now accepting employer applications for the Canada Job Grant, encouraging all employers to help train Islanders for available jobs. 

The Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. By requiring employers to put more skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will result in training that leads to guaranteed jobs. For further details visit (Programs for Organizations)


July 30, 2014

Increasing the Labour Market Participation of Under-Represented Groups

Working Together is a new wage subsidy program that connects job seekers with disabilities with employers by providing a wage subsidy for a minimum of six months. Neil Squire Society is offering this program in partnership with the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Neil Squire Society is a national not-for-profit organization that uses technology, knowledge and passion to empower Canadians with disabilities. The society has developed innovative programs and services, as well as leading edge assistive technology for people with disabilities. The Society can assist any job seeker who has a disability; is unemployed (or working under 20 hours per week) and wants to return to work; is legally entitled to work in Canada; is not currently receiving EI; or has not collected EI within the last three years.

Advantages for the Employer:

  • Provide an individual with a disability with a part-time or full-time employment opportunity, with the likelihood of long-term employment.
  • You select the individual and conduct interviews with job seekers before hiring.
  • Recruit your own job seeker and receive a wage subsidy.
  • Find the right employee for your company.
  • Encourage a more diverse and inclusive work environment.

Advantages for the job seeker:

  • Reasonable, competitive wages.
  • Workplace equipment adjustments provided by the program if required.
  • Opportunity to gain new skills and experiences.
  • Incentive to the employer increases likelihood of long-term employment.


Employers who would like to learn more about the Working Together Wage Subsidy Program may contact the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce at (902) 628-2000 or the Neil Squire Society at (866) 446-7999 or online at 

June 27, 2014

Prevent Heat Stress at Work

Source: Workers Compensation Board of PEI

With the first heat wave of the summer in the forecast, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) reminds all Islanders to take precautions to avoid heat stress at work.

Heat stress refers to a variety of heat-related disorders, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can lead to serious or even fatal injury.  Symptoms may include weakness, muscle pain, light-headedness, nausea and high body temperatures.  

Environmental hazards such as exposure to heat, high humidity and limited air flow can cause heat stress. Contributing factors may also include the worker’s hydration level, clothing, and physical exertion.  

“The best defense against heat stress is prevention,” said Bill Reid, Director of Occupational Health and Safety. “It is important for everyone in the workplace to be aware of the hazards, to take adequate precautions to control the risks and to recognize the signs of heat stress.”

 The WCB recommends the following to help reduce the risk of heat stress: 

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen.
  • Cover exposed skin with loose fitting, tightly woven clothing.
  • Have adequate ventilation in the workplace.
  • Take breaks in the shade or an air conditioned space, if possible.
  • Keep everyone safe by providing adequate supervision and using a buddy system to watch for signs of heat stress in co-workers. Early detection is critical.

If you experience the initial signs of heat stress, remove yourself from the hazard, drink water, monitor the symptoms and advise someone in case you need further assistance or medical treatment.

More information is available in the WCB's Guide to the Prevention of Heat Stress at Work.  To learn more about safety matters at work, visit the Safe Workplaces section of the WCB website or call  902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049.

May 26, 2014

PEI Leading in Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Atlantic Canada

The number of temporary foreign workers in Atlantic Canada tripled between 2005 and 2012 to reach 10,900 workers in December 2012 according to research by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. Prince Edward Island is leading the way in the number of temporary foreign workers:

  • 139 in 2005
  • 644 in 2009
  • 1,000+ in 2012

The largest increases in the number of temporary foreign workers have been in lower paying, lower skill occupations such as fish plant and food service workers. Recent and proposed changes to the temporary foreign worker program will make it more difficult for some Atlantic businesses to use the program. Pending further review, the food services sector is currently under a moratorium for access to the Temporary Foreign Worker program.


April 14, 2014

Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage in Prince Edward Island will be increased to $10.20 cents an hour as of June 1 and to $10.35 an hour as of October 1, says Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry.

“The new rates take into account both the interests of employers and employees,” said Minister Sherry. “As well, the increase reflects a stronger and more buoyant economy and greater confidence in our prospects as a province.”

The new rates were approved by the provincial cabinet based on an annual review and recommendation by the Employment Standards Board. The Board held consultations with employers and employees last fall.

The current minimum wage is $10 an hour. It has been in effect since April 1 of 2012. The new rates are in line with those of the other Atlantic provinces. The current rate in New Brunswick is $10 an hour, it is $10.40 in Nova Scotia for experienced workers and $9.90 for those lacking experience, and the rate in Newfoundland and Labrador will increase to $10.25 on October 1.

The minimum wage has increased from $7.50 an hour in 2007, up by 38 percent.

Source: Government of Prince Edward Island 

April 2, 2014

Gender Identity Added to Human Rights Act

The P.E.I. Human Rights Act now expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

The act previously prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation. The amendments, made in December 2013, underline that the Act also covers the right of people to choose how they express gender identity.

As a result of the changes, businesses may need to review policies related to such items as dress codes or gender neutral washrooms.

New Text for the Human Rights Act

"age, colour, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, family status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or source of income"

For further information visit online at PEI Human Rights Commission 

March 10, 2014