When hiring workers, there are certain regulations employers are required to comply with. Some regulations are specific to the agriculture industry. There are also voluntary programs and best practices employers can implement to improve their ability to attract and retain the best employees and ensure they are contributing to the success of the operation.
Mandatory Payroll Deductions
Employers are required to comply with mandatory payroll deductions including:
- Income Tax
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions
- Employment Insurance
For current and comprehensive details on payroll deductions, refer directly to the Canada Revenue Agency website for payroll deductions and remittances.
When starting a business or if you are self-employed, there are several other requirements business owners need to comply with. The Canada Revenue Agency offers information regarding small businesses and self-employment, which includes a checklist for new small businesses. The Government of Saskatchewan also offers information regarding starting a business.
Part II of The Saskatchewan Employment Act applies to most employees and employers in the province. However, some agricultural employees are exempt from portions of the Act. There are also employment standards specific to the agricultural industry.
Recruitment Costs and Employment Agencies
The Saskatchewan Employment Act prohibits employers from passing recruitment costs onto job seekers. If employment agencies are used to assist with employee recruitment, employers must pay these costs. More information can be found on the Employment Agencies website.
Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
Provisions in The Saskatchewan Employment Act and the associated Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 apply to employers and employees in all workplaces in Saskatchewan, including farms. Specific on-farm responsibilities can be found under Farm Safety.
There are also non-government institutions that provide information and resources regarding farm safety:
The Workers' Compensation Act provides financial protection, medical benefits and rehabilitation services to workers and their dependents when a workplace injury occurs. A farm owner/operator or farm worker can be covered by Workers' Compensation in Saskatchewan; coverage is optional and an application must be made to the Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board.
Detailed information about Workers' Compensation, including employer responsibilities and applicable legislation, can be found on the Workers' Compensation Board website. See the "Employers" tab for information on how apply for insurance coverage.
Human Rights Legislation
Saskatchewan employers are required to comply with The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Regulations. The legislation prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, gender, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability or family status, among other things. Employers also have the "duty to accommodate", meaning reasonable effort must be made to assist people who could otherwise be denied opportunities because of gender, disability, religion or other illegal grounds of discrimination. Provided under the Bill of Rights, everyone in Saskatchewan also has the right to freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and free association. Additional information can be found on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission website.
Foreign Worker Legislation
In 2013, the Government of Saskatchewan introduced The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act (FWRISA) to protect immigrants and foreign workers from exploitation. Key employer requirements and other aspects of the legislation can be found at the Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act Information webpage.
Landlord and Tenant Legislation
If you are a landlord of residential tenants, some provisions in The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and The Residential Tenancies Regulations, 2007 may apply to you. For more information regarding landlord and tenant responsibilities, visit the Office of Residential Tenancies.