3 Differences Between Working in Canada vs UK

Canada and the United Kingdom are both popular destinations for professionals seeking career opportunities and a better quality of life. While both countries offer their own unique set of benefits, it can be argued that Canada comes out on top. In this article, we will explore three key differences between working in Canada versus the UK: work benefits, immigration programs, and quality of life and cost of living. By examining these factors, we hope to provide insight into which country may be the better choice for those considering a move abroad. So, whether you're a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, read on to discover the advantages and disadvantages of working in these two countries.

Let’s take a look at the three main differences between working in Canada versus the UK

Work Benefits: Canada Vs. The UK 

Work Benefits: UK v Canada

According to the latest available data from Statistica (2021), the average Canadian works 36.5 hours per week. Canadian federal law stipulates that the standard amount of hours that an employee can work is eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. The maximum amount of hours that an employee can work is 48 hours per week. However, any hours worked beyond the standard hours must be paid at an overtime rate of 1.5 times the regular hourly rate.

In the United Kingdom, according to the Office for National Statistics (2021), the average full-time worker works 36.2 hours per week. By law, no employee should work longer than 48 hours per week on average over a 17-week period, although workers can choose to opt-out of this limit.

Canadians are known to get incredible work benefits, including paid parental and annual leave as well as various others like sick and caregiving leave. Below is a breakdown of the various benefits you can look forward to when you choose to work in Canada, even if you’re self-employed.

Canadians are known to get incredible work benefits, including paid parental and annual leave as well as various others like sick and caregiving leave. Below is a breakdown of the various benefits you can look forward to when you choose to work in Canada, even if you’re self-employed.

Benefits of Working in Canada
Regular Benefits
Employer InsuranceLoss of job through no fault of their own eg. shortage of work, mass lay-offs, available for but can’t find work
Sickness benefitsUp to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you can’t work for medical reasons (55% of earning up to a maximum of $595 per week)
Maternity and Parental BenefitsStandard Parental Benefit - Up to 40 weeks but 1 parent can’t get more than 35 weeks of standard benefits (55% of earning up to a maximum of $595 per week)
Extended Parental Benefit - Up to 69 weeks but 1 parent can’t get more than 61 weeks of extended benefits (33% of earning up to a maximum of $357 per week)
Caregiving BenefitsFamily Caregiver Benefit for Children - Up to 35 weeks
Family Caregiver Benefit for Adults - Up to 15 weeks
Compassionate Care Benefits - Up to 26 weeks
Annual Leave BenefitsThis depends on the length of employment. For example, If you have worked for a company for less than five years you can legally take two weeks of paid vacation. This will eventually increase to three weeks once you have worked at a company for five years.

The UK offers similar workers benefits but differs in various ways. Take a look at the worker benefits afforded to those working in the UK below.

Benefits of Working in the UK
Regular Benefits
Employer InsuranceJobseekers Allowance (JSA) up to 24 years old = up to £59.20 and 25 years or older = up to £74.70 weekly
Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or out of work
Pension Credit - housing benefits (rent), Support for Mortgage Interest (own), Council Tax reduction, free TV licence, help with NHS dental treatment, glasses and transport costs for hospital, heating costs for those over 75 years old.
Sickness benefitsYou get £96.35 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work for up to 28 weeks.
Maternity and Parental BenefitsStatutory maternity leave is 52 weeks (paid up to 39 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings for first 6 weeks and £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks) - Ordinary Maternity Leave - first 26 weeks
Additional Maternity Leave - last 26 weeks. It is compulsory to take at least 2 weeks
Shared parental leave - £151.97 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Annual Leave BenefitsMost people who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year or 5.6 weeks paid holiday a year

Immigration Programs In Canada Vs. The UK

Immigration Programs

Both the U.K. and Canada offer great job opportunities, however, Canada has arguably better options available for foreign workers.

Skilled Workers

Both countries offer immigration opportunities, however, Canada makes it much easier for skilled workers to immigrate. For example, Canada’s Express Entry system does not require applicants to have a job offer to qualify. The British equivalent, however, does and also has a minimum salary requirement of £25,600.

If you go the Express Entry route, you can check your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score using our CRS Calculator.

Healthcare Workers

The UK currently only has a program for healthcare workers who have a job offer from the NHS.

Canada, however, has various programs that help healthcare workers get visas, including federal and provincial. For example, Nova Scotia has programs that help nurses and doctors immigrate. There is also the federal work programs that help homecare provider and home childcare providers get visas to work in Canada and eventually get permanent residency.

With in-demand jobs in almost every province and territory in Canada, the opportunity to take your career to new heights is boundless.

Quality of Life & Cost of Living In Canada Vs. The UK

Quality of Life & Cost of Living

Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) are both amazing places to live. However, they differ in several ways, from weather to culture to job opportunities. There are many ways the two are different.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Canada is generally lower than in the UK. This is particularly true when it comes to housing costs, where Canada is often more affordable. However, the cost of living can vary greatly depending on which city you live in. For example, Toronto and Vancouver are known for being some of the most expensive cities in Canada, while smaller cities like Halifax and Regina are much more affordable.


Both Canada and the UK have publicly-funded healthcare systems, which means that access to medical care is generally affordable for most people. However, Canada's healthcare system is known for longer wait times for certain procedures and services, while the UK has a reputation for being more efficient. Both Canada and the UK have a strong public healthcare system that employs a large number of healthcare workers. In Canada, healthcare is publicly funded and delivered by a mix of public and private providers, while the UK's National Health Service (NHS) provides healthcare services that are free at the point of use

Healthcare workers in both countries are highly trained and dedicated professionals who play a vital role in the well-being of the population. In both countries, healthcare workers face similar challenges such as staff shortages, high workload, and stressful work environments. However, the pay and working conditions for healthcare workers in the UK have been a topic of much debate and criticism in recent years, with concerns about low pay, long hours, and burnout. In Canada, while some similar challenges exist, the pay and working conditions for healthcare workers are generally considered to be better than in the UK.

Quality of Life

This is a subjective measure that can vary greatly depending on individual preferences. However, in general, Canada is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, while the UK is known for its history, culture, and arts scene. Both countries have strong economies and stable political systems, which can contribute to a high quality of life.

Four Seasons

One of the most significant differences between Canada and the UK is their weather. Although both countries can get chilly in winter, Canada's winter temperatures can drop well below -40 degrees Celsius, compared to the UK, which is milder, averaging at 0 to 7 degrees Celsius. Summers in Canada average around 25-30 degrees Celsius, while the UK's summer temperatures average around 15-25 degrees Celsius. However, summers in the UK are short-lived. Spring and fall have temperatures that average around 5 to 15 degrees Celsius.

Multicultural Menus

Both Canada and the UK are incredibly diverse, and it's no surprise that you could taste dishes from nearly every country in the world in both countries. The UK is known for traditional dishes such as beef wellington, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, falafel, kebabs, and a spicy chicken tikka masala. In contrast, Canada offers a wide variety of food, including the French-inspired Canadian breakfast of pancakes and Canadian maple syrup. Food influences in Canada are from all over the world, including European, Asian, American, and North African.


Canadians are known to be some of the friendliest people on earth. Warm and welcoming, Canadians pride themselves on their kind nature. This friendliness has even led to the creation of the Apology Act, which was created to protect Canadians from implicating themselves in a crime by apologizing. While people in the UK are friendly, they are less so than Canadians.

Beautiful Landscapes

While the UK has its landscapes such as its Lake and Peak Districts and rolling countryside, it cannot compare with the beauty and vast rolling landscapes that Canada offers. Canada has 48 national parks and over a million rivers and lakes, not to mention the longest coastline in the world to explore. Visit the majestic Canadian Rockies or experience nature's phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.

Better Job Outlook

Canada offers greater opportunities in certain fields than the UK. Canada's current unemployment rate is 5 percent. Although the UK's unemployment rate is lower, sitting at 3.7 percent, when looking at job trends and opportunities, there are a few sectors where Canada beats the UK.


Canada is ranked number 10 globally for business skills. Canada is conveniently located in terms of transportation and offers attractive business tax incentives to encourage businesses to innovate and go green. Begin your adventure and start your own business in Canada

UK v Canada: Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons Canada UK
Pros Beautiful natural scenery Diverse and multicultural population
High standard of living Strong economy
Quality healthcare system Rich cultural history
Cons Colder weather and longer winters Higher cost of living
Higher taxes Less space and more crowded cities
Less variety in consumer goods Unpredictable weather

How to Get Visa to Work in Canada

Whether you want to work in Canada on a temporary basis or you eventually want to move to Canada permanently, there are over 100 immigration and visa options for you to choose from. So how do you know where to begin?

Step 1: Have a professional evaluation done

To find out what the best options are for your specific needs, the best thing you can do is to have a visa and immigration professional help you see what all your options are and which ones will give you the best chances at getting a visa. Can you do it alone? Yes, absolutely. But there’s always the risk of choosing the wrong visa.

Step 2: Make sure you’re eligible to move to Canada

It’s not only important to know whether you qualify for a visa but whether or not you are legally fit to enter Canada. Having a helpful visa professional by your side is once again a big asset. They’ll be able to tell you if you may have you visas denied for reason such and not having a clear criminal record or good health report. Even if you are deemed admissible there may be ways for you to bypass these results, all of which your visa consultant will be knowledgeable of.

Step 3: Submit your application

The Canadian government has very specific requirements about how visa forms should be completed and submitted, with strict deadlines that need to be met. By using a visa professional like Candianvisa.org, your Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) will not only take care of all your visa submissions, but you’ll also have access to our state-of-the-art Visa profile Builder, where all of your information will be uploaded directly. No more confusing government forms and you can enjoy a quicker turnaround time on visa processing, without the stress or hassle.

While there are many similarities between the United Kingdom and Canada, there are also several key differences that set them apart. Both countries have a shared history and cultural ties, but Canada has developed its own unique identity and political system over time. The UK has a strong economy and a diverse population, while Canada is known for its natural beauty and multiculturalism. Ultimately, both countries offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them will depend on individual priorities and preferences. Regardless of which country one chooses, however, it is clear that both the UK and Canada are great places to live, work, and visit.


What are the major differences between living in Canada and the UK?

Both Canada and the UK are developed countries with high standards of living, but they differ in several ways. Canada has a more diverse landscape with mountains, forests, and lakes, while the UK has more of a temperate climate with rolling hills and coastlines. Canada is also known for its friendly and welcoming culture, while the UK has a more reserved and traditional culture.

What are the job prospects like in Canada compared to the UK?

Both Canada and the UK have strong job markets with opportunities in a range of sectors. However, the job prospects may differ depending on the industry and region. Canada has a strong economy with growing industries such as technology and healthcare, while the UK has a more established financial sector and a wider range of cultural and creative industries. Overall, job prospects may be similar in both countries, but it may depend on the individual's skills and experience.