EcoAction Community Funding Program: conditions

1.1 Paid Employment

Recipients who employ paid workers on their projects have certain responsibilities under provincial or territorial and federal laws, as well as under collective agreements if workers are unionized. You must ensure that you are aware of your legal responsibilities.  For example, as an employer, you are required by law to take all reasonable precautions to protect your workers from illness or injury (refer to your provincial/territorial workplace safety and insurance/compensation board).

For projects that use paid labour, recipients must not employ members of their immediate families, nor of the immediate families of project directors, nor those of senior managers of the project, unless prior written approval from Environment Canada is obtained.  Immediate family includes spouses, children or step-children, wards, parents, sisters and brothers.

You should also note that:

  • A person can draw wages from more than one EcoAction Community Funding Program project only if Environment Canada gives written approval in advance; and
  • Former federal public servants employed on a project must comply with post-employment guidelines (which can be obtained from your Project manager).

Before hiring staff, the following working conditions must be established:

  • Daily hours including start and end times;
  • Length of rest and lunch breaks;
  • Sick leave and bereavement leave;
  • Paid holidays and respect of statutory holidays; and
  • Policies regarding absenteeism without cause.

All workers must be informed of working conditions, and of wages they will be paid.

Paid employees must receive at least the minimum wage.  The nearest Canada Employment Centre can provide information about wage rates.

Recipients choosing to use professional services are advised to research market rates for specific services in the region.  Rates for consultants, for example, can vary significantly (from $350-$1,500 per day).

1.2 Income Tax, Employment Insurance, Pension Plans

Federal and provincial/territorial laws require that specific deductions be made from wages for income tax, employment insurance, and pension plans (and in some provinces, health insurance as well).

If you are paying employees, you will need to set up a Business Number (BN) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  An application, as well as a Guide for Canadian Small Businesses, can be obtained from your nearest Tax Services Office.  The Guide for Canadian Small Businesses includes tables for working out deductions and the employer’s share of contributions.  Your Tax Services Office can also provide TD1 forms and applications for Social Insurance Numbers.  If your project location is in Québec, refer to the Guide de l’employeur qui exploite une petite entreprise (TPF-1015.GP) for all the requirements.  As well, most of the forms you need to submit to the federal and provincial/territorial governments are available on-line and may be submitted electronically.

Two special circumstances are noted below:

  • Employees under the age of 18 are not subject to deductions under the Canada Pension Plan or Le régime des rentes du Québec; and
  • If you, as the Recipient, are collecting wages from your project, you are also subject to deductions from your pay.  Consult with the federal Tax Services Office and, in Québec, the ministère du Revenu du Québec on how to remit your own contributions.

Besides monthly remittances of money deducted from pay cheques, you are required by law to complete certain reports and issue specific documents at the end of each year related to Income Tax, Canada and Québec pension plans, and Employment Insurance:

  • A T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid (commonly known as the T4 Slip) must be issued to each person who has completed paid work on the project at any time during the year by the last day of February following the calendar year to which the information returns apply (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca);
  • A T4 Summary Form, a summary of information on all the T4 Slips must be submitted to Canada Revenue Agency (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca);
  • In Québec, RL-1 Slips and RLZ-1.S Summary of Source Deductions and Employer Contributions covering provincial income taxes and contributions to the Québec pension plan (Régime des rentes du Québec) have to be submitted to the ministère du Revenu du Québec (http://www.revenu.gouv.qc.ca) in addition to the T4 Slips and T4 Summary Form to Canada Revenue Agency; and
  • A completed Record of Employment for each employee, using forms obtained from the nearest Human Resource Centre of Canada (www.hrsdc.gc.ca), must be submitted to Human Resources and Social Development Canada for Employment Insurance purposes.

1.3 Health Insurance

In some provinces/territories, recipients may be required to deduct health insurance premiums from pay cheques and remit them to the province/territory.  You should contact your provincial/territorial department of revenue for details.

1.4 Safety and Workers’ Compensation

The risk of injury is unavoidable on any work site.  Paid employees must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance (or comparable, if permitted by law).  Moreover, recipients are responsible for minimizing this risk by ensuring that employees and volunteers work in a safe environment. In some places, Workers’ Compensation Boards offer safety training.  If you are unsure of your responsibilities, contact your nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office.

1.5 Liability Insurance

You will need to assess the potential risks of damage or injury to third parties, in addition to uncovered risks to your employees or volunteers.  Remember, if you are not part of an incorporated organization, you are assuming personal responsibility for this project.  This normally includes damage to property or personal injury.  The cost of insurance premiums is an eligible expense under EcoAction Community Funding Program, and should be included in your project budget.

1.6 Payroll Records

The Canada Revenue Agency requires that each employee of your project complete a TD-1 Form Personal Tax Credits Return or in Québec, Form TP1015.3-V, Source Deductions Return (these forms may be found in the Guide for Canadian Small Businesses from Canada Revenue Agency).  Provincial/territorial authorities may also require specific payroll records to be completed.

A Payroll Record must be kept for each employee.  The number of hours worked should be recorded daily.  Gross wages are determined by multiplying the rate of pay by the total hours worked during the pay period.  Deductions for items such as union dues should then be applied.

 

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