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Frequently Asked Questions - Research Grant Holders

Summary of Questions
 
1. How much do I pay my research employee?
2. How do I hire a Graduate student?
3. How do I get a research employee paid?
4. How do I know whether to pay an employee bi-weekly or monthly?
5. Do I have to pay my research employee overtime, public holidays or vacation pay?
6. Does my grant cover the payment of discretionary (e.g., extended health) benefits?
7. Can I hire someone on contract instead of as an employee (e.g., as a consultant)?
8. Can I hire a family member?
   
   
Answers - Recruitment
 
1. How much do I pay my research employee?
You pay according to the type of work performed, the amount of your funding available and the rate paid to those in similar positions on other projects, in a comparable lab, etc. in compliance with ESA. Undergraduate students generally receive between $11 and $15 per hour.
   
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2. How do I hire a Graduate student?
Contact the Departement of Administrative Assistant. Hiring a graduate student may have an impact on the funding package he or she receives. Pay rates also vary greatly depending on whether the position is designated as a graduate assistant (GA) or research assistant (RA).

“For the purpose of clarity, a [Graduate Student] research assistant is defined as a graduate student registered as full-time at York University who is receiving financial assistance from or through York University in support of research or academic activities relevant and related to that student’s field(s) of study within the academic programme. The term “field(s) of study” shall have the meaning as set out in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.” (Collective Agreement, Article 3.01)

   
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3. How do I get a research employee paid?

You must first complete an Employee Transaction Form for Research Assistants and Associates. If the position is bi-weekly, the form must be accompanied by timesheets. Timesheets must be submitted according to the payroll schedule. Once an ETF has been submitted for each monthly paid employee, payroll will occur on the 25th of each month without filing any further documents. You must, however, complete a new ETF for any change to the employee’s records, such as increase in salary, stoppage in pay (consult with payroll first) or a new contract. New ETFs are also required if you wish to redirect labour costs to a different cost centre at any point during the term of the grant or contract.

A non-student research assistant is a research employee working on the project in a technical, administrative, or research capacity where the work is highly directed by the principal investigator (PI). A research associate (non-student) is an employee who possesses an advanced degree and who is actively and directly engaged in the research with the PI, and who may be credited in any dissemination of research results.

   
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4. How do I know whether to pay an employee bi-weekly or monthly?
Bi-weekly employees are generally paid on a part-time basis if they work less than 24 hours per week. Employees paid on a monthly basis work more than 24 hours per week.  
   
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5.

Do I have to pay my research employee overtime, public holidays or vacation pay?
All conditions of the Employment Standards Act of Ontario apply to research employees.

NOTE: Payroll does not automatically allocate a percentage for public holidays and requests for public holiday pay. In accordance with the Employment Standards Act of Ontario, public holiday hours must be submitted with timesheets for bi-weekly paid employees.

Employees paid on a monthly basis receive this allocation with their regular pay, so you do not need to make an extra request for them.

   
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6. Does my grant cover the payment of discretionary (e.g., extended health) benefits?
Grants cover the payment of statutory payments, such as vacation pay and statutory benefits (e.g., CPP, EI), but may not cover discretionary payments for extended benefits. It is best to review these items with Research Accounting before the employee is hired since your particular funding agency may have specific rules.
   
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7. Can I hire someone on contract instead of as an employee (e.g., as a consultant)?
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) defines the employer-employee relationship as an agreement in which an employee agrees to work on a full- or part-time basis for an employer for a specified or indeterminate period of time in return for salary or wages. The employer has the right to decide where, when and how the work will be done.

Managers who hire individuals must establish the type of relationship that will exist for each employee. The CRA provides guidelines to assist in determining whether a relationship is an employee-employer relationship or whether an individual can be hired on a contract. For more information please refer to the CRA Web site
   
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8. Can I hire a family member?
A family member’s eligibility for hire depends on the conditions and terms of the particular grant or contract. See YUFA Collective Agreement (PDF) – Article 3.02.
   
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