The extensive reform of the Act respecting Labour Standards adopted on June 12, 2018 requires that employers adopt a policy on preventing psychological harassment and addressing complaints.

The measure is effective as of January 1, 2019, however, 50% of employees say that, to their knowledge, their organization does not have such a policy. What about your organization?

What is a harassment policy?

According to the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), the purpose of a corporate policy is to:

  • Communicate the employer’s commitment to prevent and stop psychological harassment;
  • Mobilize management and all employees of the organization around the objectives set.

Effective January 1, 2019, employers must adopt and make available to their employees a psychological harassment prevention and complaint processing policy that includes a section on behaviour that is expressed in the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature.

Employers who fail to meet these obligations could be liable for all psychological or sexual harassment in their organization. It is therefore crucial that the right tools be implemented as quickly as possible.

How will a complaint be addressed?

The policy must set out how a potential complaint will be addressed and this must be given a prominent place in the policy. The process for making and investigating a complaint must be defined so that employees and managers know what to do when harassing behaviour is reported.

The policy must clearly set out the steps, person in charge of handling the complaint, mediation possibilities, preventive measures, etc. Employers should indicate that the process for reporting such behaviour is not designed to hamper reporting it.

Remember, while it is important to adopt a policy, it is just as important to:

  • Adequately inform all parties of the policy’s provisions;
  • Train managers regarding their role;
  • Make all employees aware of the importance of having a workplace that is free from all forms of harassment.

Our experts can support you in the process to develop a policy that meets the CNESST’s requirements, train your managers and communicate appropriate information to the employees.

When it comes to harassment, prevention is essential.

Next article

The last quarter has been a quiet one for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), with just two amendments issued on the Definition of Material and the Definition of a Business.

We therefore consider some topical issues in this final edition of our newsletter for 2018. These include regulators’ views on IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, reverse factoring, and issues related to the discontinuance of LIBOR and other inter-bank offer rates.

Further on in the newsletter, you will find IFRS-related news at Grant Thornton and a general round-up of financial reporting developments. We finish with a summary of the implementation dates of newer standards that are not yet mandatory, and a list of IASB publications that are out for comment

IFRS Newsletter is your quarterly update on all things relating to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). We’ll bring you up to speed on topical issues, provide comment and points of view and give you a summary of any significant developments.

Download the newsletter.

For more information or to conduct an audit, contact our assurance experts.

Next article

Maryse Janelle
Partner | Lawyer, LL.B., M. Fisc. | Tax

Do you export goods or services to the United States? You may be required to collect commodity taxes even if you do not have a physical presence.

The United States Supreme Court June 21, 2018 ruling in the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. et al. case has paved the way for significant commodity tax changes to reflect the e-business upsurge.

As a result of this decision, economic presence provisions may now be sufficient to trigger nexus, that is, a connection that requires that you register with a state’s tax authorities.

An increasing number of states (30 as of the fall of 2018) require or are on the verge of requiring that businesses register for and collect Sales & Use Tax if their annual sales exceed a certain amount in the state, even though the business does not have a physical presence (e.g. offices, inventory or employees). Among other criteria, these states set a minimum threshold for sales (generally US$100,000 of taxable goods or services) or the number of transactions (200 in most states).

Different taxation system

The U.S. taxation system differs substantially from ours. Here are the main characteristics:

  • Generally, sales tax applies to tangible real property and certain services. Use tax is generally imposed on goods and services purchased outside the state for use or consumption in the state.
  • In the U.S., sales tax is not a value-added tax, like the GST or QST, rather it is charged once, to the final consumer, which can be a business.
  • This means you are not entitled to any input tax credits. The U.S. tax system is based on exemptions rather than tax refunds through input tax credits. For example, sales for the purpose of resale or to manufacturers are generally exempt.
  • Most states have a sales tax that applies throughout their territory (there are five exemptions: Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, Montana and Oregon). There is no federal sales tax.
  • In most states, a local tax may be added, depending on the municipality, district or county where the transaction occurs. For example, the average combined state and local taxes can range from 1.43% (Alaska) to 9.46% (Tennessee), according to a 2018 Tax Foundation report.
  • There may be specific provisions in counties or municipalities. For example, a good or service considered non-taxable by a state may be taxable for certain local tax purposes.

Is your business in compliance?

With the new nexus concept, businesses that export to the U.S. must be doubly alert to ensure that they comply with the tax rules in effect in the various locations they do business. We suggest paying special attention first to the states where your presence and number of transactions is the greatest.

Here other important considerations:

  • Monitor your sales in each state to ensure that you satisfy the tax rules at all times.
  • If you have nexus (physical or economic presence) in a state, you must file sales tax returns on a regular basis even if no tax was collected.
  • Make sure you obtain and keep all the documentation that proves the tax-exempt status of your sales in a state.
  • There are voluntary disclosure programs to rectify your situation if you failed to collect taxes that should have been.

Nevertheless, if you do business in several states, managing your tax liability may become somewhat complicated. You would be well advised to call on specialists. Contact our experts for personalized support.

18 Dec 2018  |  Written by :

Maryse Janelle is a partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. She is your expert in taxation for the...

See the profile

Next article

The Grant Thornton International IFRS team has published Insights into IFRS 16 – Lease term.

The Insights into IFRS 16 series provides insights on applying IFRS 16, Leases, in key areas. Each edition will focus on an area of IFRS 16 to assist you in preparing for the required changes on adoption of the standard.

This edition provides guidance on the determination of the lease term.

The issue

Determining the lease term under IFRS 16 is significant. Firstly, the longer the lease term, the larger the lessee’s right-of-use asset and lease liability will be. Secondly, the length of the lease term determines whether a lease qualifies for the short-term lease exemption.

Finally, IFRS 16 contains additional application guidance on how to deal with periods covered by options to extend or terminate a lease. While the new detailed guidance can be helpful, it also means there is more to consider when determining the lease term.

This bulletin explains the key aspects of determining the lease term at commencement date and when it should be reassessed.