Employee benefits refer to the non-wage compensation offered by companies to their employees. Employee benefits play a significant role in attracting new employees, retaining old ones, and keeping the overall morale of the employees high.
Mandatory Employee Benefits
There are some employee benefits that are provided by companies because the companies are REQUIRED to provide them in Canada. The details of these requirements vary a little based on the area, but they are more or less the same in all of Canada. Read on to know more about these employee benefits that you are entitled to if you are doing a full-time job in Canada.
Workplace Insurance Coverage
The premiums and worth of workplace insurance vary with the industry you are working in and with the nature of the work you are doing. Your employer will be the one paying for the workplace insurance.
Canada Pension Plan
Canada pension plan is a retirement plan that both you and your employer pay for so that you can get a monthly stipend after you retire from the job.
Paid Vacation Days: In most provinces of Canada employers are required to give their employees at least 10 paid vacation days. It is up to the company to add more days but at least ten are required.
Employment Insurance, also referred to as EI, is another benefit that companies are required to provide to their employees in Canada. Both the employer and you must contribute to the employment insurance.
Additional Employee Benefits
Apart from the mandatory employee benefits that the companies are REQUIRED to give in Canada, some companies also like to give additional employee benefits. These additional employee benefits help companies to keep up the morale of the employees and have them stick to the company long-term. Although there is no limit to what these employee benefits can be, the following are some examples of common additional employee benefits in Canada.
Flexible Working Hours: Maintaining the right work-life balance is a big challenge for many employees. Companies that offer flexible working hours give more freedom to the employees to manage their life in a better way thus resulting in less work stress.
Gym Memberships: Reebok offers free on-site fitness classes to its employees. Not all companies can follow suit but some companies in Canada do provide gym memberships to their employees. This contributes to the physical well-being of the employees and shows that the company cares about its employees, thus developing employee loyalty.
Childcare facility: By providing a childcare facility, the prospect of a job can be made incredibly attractive for the employees who are also parents. If a company is not able to offer childcare facilities itself, it can offer childcare voucher schemes.
Training and development: Companies that offer training courses and are invested in the well-being of their employees show that they are concerned about the future of their employees and are promoting growth instead of halting it.
Extra holiday allowance: Apart from the mandatory paid vacation days, some companies give extra holiday allowance. Making employees “earn” extra holidays by completing certain tasks or performing well can act as a great strategy where both the employer and the employee are benefiting.
Charity days: The concept of charity days is giving a day off to the employees to lend their services to a charity organization or engage in some charitable activity on their own. To encourage the employees even more companies sometimes match the contribution of their employees.
Creative perks: There is no limit to what employee benefits a company can offer to its employees. Google provides balanced meals to its employees to ensure their well-being. One can offer free drinks in the afternoon to energize the employees and give them something to look forward to. Organizing monthly dinners can also be a terrific way to foster better interpersonal relationships at the workplace.
Choice: One employee benefit offered by a company will not appeal to all the employees in the same way. For example, providing a childcare facility is useless to people with no kids and similarly, it is quite possible that some employees are not even interested in getting a gym membership or a yoga club membership. In such a case, what helps is giving your employees a choice of benefits so that they can pick and choose what will work the best for them.
Given above were some of the few employee benefits that companies can offer to promote loyalty and ensure the wellness of their employees. Following are some actual examples of employee benefits that are offered by different companies in Canada.
- Adobe Canada is offering tuition subsidies to its employees. Moreover, it also has a women’s executive shadow program designed to provide women with a new perspective on leadership. Along with these benefits, Adobe Canada also provides on-site fitness training for its employees.
- The Bank of Canada is great at promoting learning and growth through employee benefits. It offers 100% tuition for job-related courses and has its own leadership development program.
- Labatt Brewing Company Limited provides free beer to its employees. What a perk! Moreover, the company also offers scholarships for the children of the employees and gives paid days off to participate in volunteer work.
- Shopify in Canada is loved by its employees for the vacation time it provides. Moreover, Shopify keeps its employees motivated and performing well by giving them performance-based rewards.
Taxable Employee Benefits
It is important to note that some of the employee benefits offered by the company are taxable and so it is important for an employer to calculate the value of such benefits and make the payroll accordingly. This is important because these benefits are considered to be a part of the salary by the Canadian Revenue Agency. Examples of such benefits include free lodging, the cell phones provided by the company, and company cars.
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