Canadian Payroll Updates: April Roundup

Canadian Payroll Updates: April Roundup

We’ve summarized the updates below so you have everything you need to make sure your employees are paid correctly and on time.

This month’s roundup includes:

  • Provincial budget update for Manitoba
  • Reduction of off-campus work hours for international students
  • 2024 federal budget updates

Read on for more details on this month’s Canadian payroll updates.

2024/2025 Manitoba budget update


The newly approved 2024 provincial budget for Manitoba includes several changes that may impact payroll:

Basic Personal Amount (BPA) updates
  • The Basic Personal Amount (BPA) is currently projected at $16,206 for 2025
  • The value of the credit is the BPA multiplied by the lowest Manitoba tax bracket rate of 10.8%
  • Beginning with the 2025 tax year, Manitoba will phase out the BPA over a net income range of $200,000 to $400,000
Collective bargaining

The government will make it easier for employees to exercise their right to join a union, bring in single-step certification, allow project labour agreements, establish a transparent dispute resolution process for essential services disputes, and ban replacement workers so that employees can exercise their legal rights in the workplace.

Reduction of off-campus work hours for international students


Canada's temporary suspension of the 20-hour weekly work limit for international students during academic sessions expired on April 30, 2024. Employers should return to the standard work-hour restrictions for international students holding study permits. The reinstated regulations allow these students to work:

  • Up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions
  • Full-time during officially scheduled breaks, provided these breaks are included in the school's academic calendar and do not exceed 150 days

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) guideline on the off-campus work regime provides further information on eligibility and allowable hours of work.

2024 federal budget


The 2024 Federal Budget was approved on April 16, 2024. It includes several measures that directly impact Canadian payroll and additional initiatives that may affect employers and employees.

Canadian payroll updates to know about
Employment Insurance premiums

The Employment Insurance (EI) premium rate projection is forecast to fall to $1.62 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2025—26 cents lower than it was between 2013 and 2016 ($1.88).

Extending temporary support for seasonal workers

Many seasonal workers rely on EI for the support they need between work seasons. To address gaps in EI support between seasons, the government introduced temporary rules in 2018 to provide up to five additional weeks—for a maximum of 45 weeks—to eligible seasonal workers in 13 economic regions. This support is set to expire in October 2024.

The 2024 Federal Budget proposed to extend this support for seasonal workers in targeted regions until October 2026. The cost of this measure is estimated at $263.5 million over four years, starting in 2024-25.

Doubling volunteer firefighter and search and rescue tax credits

The 2024 Federal Budget announced the government’s intention to amend the Income Tax Act to increase the tax credits, from $3,000 to $6,000 in recognition of the important role played by these volunteers in contributing to the security and safety of Canadians. Enhancing the tax credits will provide these essential volunteers up to an additional $450 back on their taxes.

Employer updates to know about

Employer-led training  

The 2024 Federal Budget proposes $50 million over four years to provide skills training for workers in sectors disrupted by AI and $10 million over two years to train more early childhood educators, building up the talent needed for the expansion of affordable, high-quality childcare

Job protections for federal gig workers

The 2024 Federal Budget proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to improve job protections for federally regulated gig workers by strengthening prohibitions against employee misclassification.

Establishing a right to disconnect

The 2024 Federal Budget proposed to provide $3.6 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, and $0.6 million ongoing to enable the Labour Program at Employment and Social Development Canada to implement legislative amendments to the Canada Labour Code that would require employers in federally regulated sectors to establish a right to disconnect policy limiting work-related communication outside of scheduled working hours.

Modernizing the Employment Equity Act

Through the Employment Equity Act, the government promotes and improves equality and diversity in federally regulated workplaces. In 2021 the government launched a task force to review the Act and advise on how to modernize the federal employment equity framework.

Following the recommendations of the task force, the 2024 Federal Budget announced the government’s intention to propose legislative amendments to modernize the Employment Equity Act, including by expanding designated equity groups.

Non-compliance with information requests

The 2024 Federal Budget proposed several amendments to the information-gathering provisions of the Income Tax Act. These proposed amendments are intended to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of tax audits and facilitate the collection of tax revenues on a timelier basis.  

Notice of non-compliance

The 2024 Federal Budget proposed to amend the Income Tax Act to allow the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to issue a new type of notice (referred to as a “notice of non-compliance”) to a person who has not complied with a requirement or notice to provide assistance or information issued by the CRA.  

Helping students gain work experience

Work-integrated learning opportunities, such as co-ops and internships, are a proven way for post-secondary students to gain valuable skills and get a foot in the door of their future careers. The government supports practical, hands-on learning and connections with employers through the Student Work Placement Program. The 2024 Federal Budget proposed to provide $207.6 million in 2025-26 to Employment and Social Development Canada for the Student Work Placement Program.

The new Canada Carbon Rebate for small businesses

The 2024 Federal Budget proposed to return fuel charge proceeds from 2019- 20 through 2023-24 to an estimated 600,000 businesses with 499 or fewer employees through a new refundable tax credit. This would deliver over $2.5 billion to Canada’s small- and medium-sized businesses.

A single sign-in portal for government services

To establish a modern, single sign-in portal for federal government services, the 2024 Federal Budget proposed to provide $25.1 million over five years starting in 2024-25 to Employment and Social Development Canada.

Automatic tax filing for low-income Canadians

In February 2024, the CRA increased the number of eligible Canadians for SimpleFile by Phone (formerly File My Return) to 1.5 million people, more than double the number of people eligible last year. In summer 2024, the CRA will pilot new automatic filing services, SimpleFile Digital and SimpleFile by Paper, to help more Canadians who do not currently file their taxes receive their benefits.

Additional Reading Links

  1. How to be a more strategic payroll leader
  2. 5 ways to advance your payroll career
  3. How to do payroll reconciliation: the 6-step process

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