Determining a company’s payroll

Who should be included in payroll calculations?
By Brian Kenny
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/29/2013

Question: Under our employment standards legislation, a company doesn’t have to pay severance to terminated employees if the total annual payroll is less than $2.5 million. However, some employees are paid by drawing from the firm’s trust account and are responsible for all of their own deductions, such as CPP, EI and income tax, much as contractors would be. Should these employees be counted as part of the payroll when it comes to determining if severance must be paid?

Answer: Questions related to an employee’s entitlement to severance pay are governed by the applicable province's employment standards legislation. This question appears to be informed by Ontario's legislative regime and the following response will be focused on the rules governing Ontario. It is important to keep in mind that different rules apply in different provinces.