Not only does Canada produce 80% of the world’s maple syrup, it also boasts a highly educated workforce—including more than half of the population with college or university education—and a growing economy. It’s no wonder businesses are sweet on the Great White North.
If expanding to and employing workers in Canada is on your radar, it’s important to consider how labor laws and cultural norms can affect your growth and workforce strategy. Here are a few factors to weigh:
- Working hours: The standard working hours for most employees are eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. A maximum of 48 hours may be worked in any week, and employees must have one rest day a week.
- Equality: Male and female employees who perform work of equal value in the same organization are required to be paid equal wages, according to The Canadian Human Rights Act. “Equal value” is determined by the skill, effort and responsibility required to perform the job, as well as the conditions in which it is performed.
- Vacation: Employees generally are entitled to two weeks of paid vacation after each of their first five years of employment, and three weeks of time off after six consecutive years with an employer. Employment contracts may also provide for additional vacation.
- Holidays: The Canada Labour Code recognizes nine paid holidays, but employees may also be entitled to paid time off for provincial or territorial holidays, such as Family Day in Alberta or Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. If a public holiday is on a day that employees don’t normally work, they are entitled to observe the holiday with pay at another time.
- Benefits: Pregnant employees are entitled to 17 weeks of maternity leave, and either parent may take up to 63 weeks of parental leave. Employers are not required to pay wages during pregnancy leave because Canada’s Employment Insurance provides eligible employees with maternity and/or parental benefits.
- Culture: Beyond sourcing most of the world’s maple syrup, the maple tree has a symbolic and ecological significance in Canada. The iconic maple leaf is found on Canada’s flag, on coins, on highway signage and as part of various company logos. And two-thirds of the world’s maple tree species grow in Canada, including 10 native species, providing an important food source for wildlife.
Whether you’re just beginning to explore growing your workforce in Canada, or you already have in-country contractors and are looking to expand their roles compliantly, we can help you navigate the employment laws and cultural considerations that come into play.
To date, Safeguard Global has helped 107 companies employ almost 450 people in Canada. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our global solutions experts.