The Cost of Employer Compliance and Public Policy Implications


Harmonizing labour and employment standards across Canada should be a priority for governments.

This report investigates three areas where policy changes could lower the cost of compliance, increasing Canada’s attractiveness to investment in an increasingly competitive global market. One way to achieve this is increasing provincial and territorial harmonization of employment and labour standards policies.

Because of variations in legislative requirements by province, the cost of compliance per employee is higher for employers operating in multiple provinces, compared to those operating in a single province.

In addition, some provinces and territories require more compliance time than others. For those operating in a single province, 53.6 per cent of payroll time is spent on compliance in British Columbia, compared to 60 per cent in Quebec.

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Federal and provincial governments should consider improving the harmonization of payroll policy in Canada not only to reduce payroll complexity and decrease the cost of compliance, but to encourage investment and increase Canada’s readiness for dealing with inter-provincial/territorial and global remote work arrangements.

PwC Canada notes that when advising multinational corporations looking to establish a presence in Canada or international organizations accessing the Canadian talent marketplace, a primary concern is understanding how to be compliant with Canadian payroll requirements.