3 Differences Between Working in Canada vs UK

Deciding to up and leave your home country can be a difficult decision, especially when it comes to finding a job that matches your needs.

Most immigrants opt for Western countries when making the move, two of the most popular being the UK and Canada.

Both are very appealing options but when it comes to choosing between the two, how do you decide?

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

3 Differences Between Working in Canada vs the U.K.

Not only is life in Canada different from the UK but so are the working conditions. There are various differences between working in either country, but perhaps the biggest is how many hours you’ll end up working per week, the work benefits, and job opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when working in either country.

woman with feet up at work desk | working in Canada

According to Statistica, the average Canadian works a total of 35.8 hours. Canadian federal law states that the standard amount of hours that an employee can work is eight hours a day and 40 hours per week. The maximum amount of hours that an employee can work is 48 hours, however, the hours that exceed the standard hours worked will be paid at an overtime rate of 1.5 times the regular hourly rate.

In comparison, people in the U.K. work an average of 42.5 hours. By law, no person should work longer than 48 hours within a 17 week period. In an interview with Shadow Chancellor John McDowell in 2019 (Labour Party), stated that people in the UK work some of the longest hours in Europe and in his latest speech vowed to reduce the full-time workweek to 32 hours in the next 10 years. This is however still far off and yet to be determined if it will be actualized.

2. More Benefits

mother looking at photo album with children | working in Canada

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 in 2021
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 U.K. offers similar workers benefits but differs in various ways. Take a look at the worker benefits afforded to those working in the U.K., below.


Benefits of Working in the U.K. in 2021
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

3. Better Job and Immigration Opportunities

happy woman holding Canadian flag and passport | working in Canada

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.

Seasonal Workers

The U.K. Seasonal Worker Pilot was extended in December 20201 and offers 30,000 visas.

Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) allows workers to work in Canada for up to nine months. The great part about working in Canada temporarily is that once you’ve gained work experience you may qualify to apply for permanent residence through a Provincial Nominee Program like the Saskatchewan Semi-skilled Agriculture Worker Program.

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.

Ready to find out what your options are to work in Canada?

How to Get Visa to Work in Canada

employees in boardroom | working 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.

Taking the Next Steps to Get to Canada

Still not sure if Canada is the right option for you or which direction to take? Why not speak to a visa professional with years of experience behind them. Moving to another country is a big step and you need to ensure that you have made the right choice before taking your first steps toward working in Canada. Simply fill in your details by clicking the link below and let one of our friendly consultants guide you on your path to a new, brighter future in Canada.