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May the joy of this season fill your home

Winter 2004 E-NOTES

To print the Winter 2004 E-notes click here:








A reminder that the following are public holidays in Ontario, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.


If your employee works any public holiday they are entitled to either 2.5 times their regular pay or 1.5 times their regular pay plus a day off with pay.


As mentioned previously all employees are entitled to public holiday pay immediately upon hiring. There is no longer a three month exemption upon hiring. This means part time seasonal workers will be paid public holiday pay based on the formula (daily hours worked preceding four weeks/20).


A simple way to avoid paying public holiday pay to new part time seasonal employees is to terminate the employee on Dec 24 and rehire the employee, if required, Dec 27. Legally you would be within your rights as an employer and could save yourself the public holiday pay. As mentioned previously you would be viewed as the Grinch to your remaining employees but you would be following the Employment Standards Act.



For calendar 2004 the Federal personal exemption amount (draft) has increased to $8,012 and the Provincial personal exemption amount (draft) has increased to $8,044. Please adjust your payroll ledger information accordingly.

For calendar 2004 the CPP deduction rate has remain constant at 4.95% ($1,831.50 total deduction) and the maximum earned income has increased to $40,500.

For calendar 2004 the EI rate has decreased to 1.98% ($772.20 total deduction) while the maximum earned income has remained constant at $39,000.

Note that the proposed Ontario personal tax rate reduction for January 1, 2004, which was the original January 1, 2003 tax rate reduction has been canceled by the new Provincial government. This also means that any payroll update packages received in the past month will likely have the wrong tax rate formula as the new Ontario tax rates have not been confirmed by the legislature.


Once again, in the spirit of the Christmas season, our office will be closed to allow our staff to enjoy time with their families. The office will be closed from the afternoon of December 24, 2002 to the morning of December 29, 2003 and will also be closed from the afternoon of December 31, 2003 to the morning of January 5, 2004.

We will be checking our messages on a timely basis throughout the Christmas holidays and will respond where required.


Simply Accounting has once again updated their package, the new version is Simply 2004. They are not supporting Version 9 or Simply 2003 and you need to upgrade to Simply 2004 in order to receive the payroll upgrades. Any customer who signed on SimplyCARE last year will be able to download the new version and/or order a CD update.

Please visit their site at for more information.

As a point of interest Simply Accounting still supports the old DOS program and is presently issuing Version 4.0V updates for calendar 2003.


All businesses should be receiving their 2003 payroll package from the Federal government the first week of December. For the clients who utilize our services to prepare your T4's and T4 Summary we ask that you include this package with your companies payroll information in January 2004.

Simply Accounting users should make a separate backup diskette of their payroll information prior to changing the system date to January 1, 2004. You can still prepare your T4's anytime in 2004 by selecting the previous year T4 option.

Please note that the 2003 T4 internet filing options have expanded but may require additional work. For clients who use a payroll package, including Simply Accounting, it will be easier and more accurate to print the T4's and T4 Summary and mail this information to Revenue Canada.

Clients who have declared dividends in the past will receive a T5 remittance package that includes a preprinted T5 Summary. Please forward this package to our office in order to facilitate our T5 Summary preparation for 2003.


At present the Department of Finance has not introduced new vehicle deduction limits so for 2004 the amounts remain the same. If new amounts are announced we will post the changes at our website,


Thankfully we have a new Provincial government. Within the first month of office the proposed personal tax rate decrease has been canceled, the Equity In Education tax credit has been eliminated (after only one year), the corporate tax rate for incomes in excess of $400,000 is increasing, they have eliminated the remaining small business corporate tax rate decreases and the minimum wage is increasing to $8.00/hour. Any Ontario based business owner could be bankrupt by the end of the Liberals term.

The minimum wage increase, effective February 1, 2004, is as follows:

The minimum wage for students under 18 years old and working less then 28 hours per week will increase $.30/hour to $6.70.

The minimum wage for liquor serves will increase $.25/hour to $6.20.

The regular minimum wage will increase $.30/hour to $7.15. 


A number of our clients have incorrect information regarding employees meal periods and break periods. Under the Employment Standards Act an employee must not work more then five hours in a row without receiving a 30 minute eating period (meal break) free from work. Meal breaks are unpaid unless specified otherwise in an employment contract. Regardless whether the employer pays for the meal break period these hours are not included in overtime calculations.

The is no provision under the Employment Standards Act for a Acoffee@ break for employees. If the employer provides any type of break and requires the employee to remain at the workplace the employee must be paid for the break time. If the employee is free to leave the workplace the employer does not have to pay for the time.

Basically each regular full time employee is entitled to 2 hour break, unpaid, in the middle of the work shift for Alunch@. No other time Abreak@ from work is required in an eight hour shift.



Contren Management Consultants Inc.
109 Industrial Dr., P.O. Box 295
Dunnville, Ontario. Canada N1A 2X5
Tel: (905) 774-2977
Fax: (905) 774-1096


Contren Management Consultants Inc. 1999. All Rights Reserved.