Canada: Claiming Home-Office Expenses On Your Tax Return

Disclaimer – The views in this article are not necessarily the views of, nor express our reality in, ASPA.  The purpose of highlighting this article is to provide members with varying viewpoints and information about the happenings around campus, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Written by Crowe MacKay LLP, February 14, 2022.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a large portion of Canada’s workforce transitioning to a work-from-home environment. Because of this, the Federal Government introduced temporary changes to how employees may claim their home-office expenses in 2020 and have extended them for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.

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Did You Know? – Returning to Work

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

The last twenty months have been a difficult and strange time for all of us.  In March of 2020 many of us ended up working from home. Trying to juggle work and family became an even bigger challenge. We heard from members on all sides of the spectrum, some saying that they were putting in even more hours while working from home than they did before and that it was difficult to put work aside. Others said they hoped they never have to come back to campus as they have loved working from home. 

During the fall semester, more members are being asked to return to campus to work.  For some, this was a welcome change and for others, a time of fear and anxiety.  We also anticipate that once the winter semester is upon us, even more people will be coming back to campus to work. 

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Did You Know? – Salary Continuance

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

If you are an ASPA member in a term or permanent position of one (1) year or greater and at least 0.5 Full Time Equivalent (FTE), did you know that you are eligible for the Salary Continuance Plan? 

ASPA’s Salary Continuance Plan, or sick leave, is broken down into three distinct groupings or phases. 

1. Days 1 – 5 

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Did You Know? – Position Review

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

Did you know that ASPA members or their supervisor could request a review of their position once every twelve (12) month period if they felt that the position might not be in the correct Family or Phase? (Article 9.1.2 of the ASPA Collective Agreement) 

The duties of a position may alter over time or particularly in the first year of a new position.  To ensure that the duties of the position are being correctly classified, the member or their supervisor may seek to have the position reviewed by U of S Compensation ( ). 

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Did You Know? – Merit 2021

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

Well, it is the time of year again, to talk about merit.   You may or may not know that merit changed significantly in 2021.  Here is an update of those changes:

1. Eligibility – to be eligible for merit there are two criteria that need to be met:

a. You are an ASPA member.

b. That you have been employed since November 1 of the current fiscal year.

We have seen some of the documents that the employer has sent out recently and it appears that in a few cases their documents have not been updated or the employer is adding criteria that is not referenced or inferred in the Collective Agreement.  If you have been advised that you are not eligible for Merit, we encourage you to find out the reason why and then reach out to ASPA so we may have the appropriate follow up conversations.

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Did You Know? – Remote Work Space

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

We have been working from home for close to a year now.  Who would have thought this back in March?  During this time, many members have been limping along in their homes making do with a less than optimal workspace.  To that end we want to reinforce with you the fact that the employer has modified the eligibility criteria of our Accountable Professional Development Account (APDA) to give members a chance to access these funds to improve their remote workspace.

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Temporary Layoffs

Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird

As you are probably aware the University of Saskatchewan (the employer) announced on April 28, 2020 how they will manage their workforce moving forward.  You should have received an email from People and Resources outlining their plans.

The people leaders in your area will be reviewing the work that is being done in your area over the upcoming days.   The employer identified in this communication that  “Staff working in essential campus operations will continue, some work in isolated areas of campus or sites outside the main campus may partially re-start, and work that can be done remotely will continue to be done off-campus.” 

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What to Do When You are Victim of a Data Breach

Article by Frank M. Schlesinger

We occasionally receive panic calls from clients whose computers have been breached.

If this has happened to you, you will want to know what to do to protect yourself in such a circumstance.

Depending upon your understanding of the information that was hacked, it would be wise to do the following:

  1. Change all of your passwords;
  2. Call the issuers of your credit cards in order to put a hold on or change your credit cards;
  3. Call your bank or financial institution, speak to the security officer, advise him/her data-breach-word-cloud-concept-60193316of what happened and ask him what steps should be taken with your accounts;
  4. Contact Equifax (1-800-465-7166) and TransUnion (1-800-663-9980) in order to put a credit freeze on your accounts in order that no new loans or credit cards may be issued to a fraudster using your personal information;
  5. File a police report with the local authorities;
  6. If you have credit card or other type of credit insurance or insurance for data breaches, contact your insurance company and follow their instructions;
  7. For a reasonable period of time after the breach, check constantly your various accounts to determine whether any unauthorized charges have been placed on your accounts and if so, immediately notify the relevant financial institutions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.