In Canada, the salary isn’t the be all and end all for job seekers. Compensation is already market related and the high demand for competent workers in most occupations takes care of that. So for companies to attract the. best and the brightest talent, they need to differentiate themselves from their competition. That is how we were able to compile this list of employee benefits that will make you quit your job and move to Canada.
What you may find important, whether it’s more free time to enjoy the great outdoors (and Canada has a GREAT outdoors) or prefer perks that would typically eat into your salary like comprehensive healthcare coverage or gym membership, the perk of working in Canada is most employers offer perk ‘packages’ that employees can tweak to suit their lifestyles. Starting a family? Parental leave will be important. A single professional? Additional training and development is something you may value more. So which of these employee benefits would you enjoy most?
Company Perks That Make Moving to Canada an Easy Choice
Maternity and Paternity Leave
While Canadian law only requires 5 weeks of paternal leave for new fathers, and 40 weeks for new mothers, many companies like to go above and beyond this in the age of gender equality. Netflix offers a full year of paid maternity and paternity leave to new parents, and returning parents can come back on a full-time or part-time basis. Pinterest gives new parents four months of paid leave, and an additional month of part-time work as they transition back to the office. Facebook grants an additional $4,000 to new parents, known as the “Baby Cash” bonus. Spotify grants six months of paid paternal leave, and covers any costs involved with fertility assistance and egg freezing. Who said corporations don’t care? Although we have a feeling it could have a little to do with our slow population growth rate.
It is not uncommon for companies in Canada to be very gratuitous with the amount of paid leave new parents are allowed. Canadians, employers and employees alike, have a very family centric culture, which allows them to balance the needs of their growing families without having to worry about finances or job security.
Flexible Working Hours
One of the most important aspects of what people are looking for in jobs today, is the ability to have a flexible schedule. Employers are valuing productivity over enforcing the regular nine to five day. By allowing workers the freedom of flexi-time around a set of core hours or work from home days has seen a significant uptake in not only productivity, but employee wellness and satisfaction too. Employers love this benefit too because it costs them nothing, and gets the best out of their employees.
The World Wildlife Fund allows employees to take off every other Friday when goals are being met. REI gives employees two “Yay Days”, additional paid leave days every year, for employees to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities.
Training and Development
Key to retaining employees is offering opportunity for growth and professional development. Companies in Canada are incentivized by the government to offer opportunities to employees to increase their skills. Offering learning opportunities also shows employees that the company is invested in their future, and that there is room for them to grow and rise up in the organization.
Asana gives employees access to professional developmental coaching services outside of the company. Evernote combines team building with personal development through their Evernote Academy from macaroon baking to apprenticeships and tuition assistance.
Extended Vacation Days
Any increase above the basic vacation days is a sure fire way to attract potential employees and incentivize current employees. By allowing employees to “win” additional vacation days based on performance or achievements, you will ultimately get the best out of everyone. It should come as no surprise that many companies across Canada employ the progressive tactic.
Adobe shuts down entirely for one week in the summer and one week in the winter. Epic Systems offers a four week paid sabbatical every five years to pursue personal goals. RL Solutions doesn’t even track their employees vacation days, as long as they have the boss’s ok.
Promoting a healthy work environment extends beyond the office. The benefits of exercise are endless, and when employees are motivated to engage in physical activity outside of work, the benefits will shine through in the workplace. Canadian companies that offer this incentive have found that employees are more invigorated, engaged and most importantly, productive.
Reebok offers crossfit memberships to employees. BP has taken on the Fitbit one million step challenge, where employees who run, walk, climb or skip over a million steps in a year are rewarded with various incentives from casual dress days to donations to the winners charity of choice. Even smaller companies like the Williamson Group in Ontario have instituted running clubs, high fibre Fridays and smoking cessation programs. Wellness in the workplace is quickly becoming a top priority in Canada.
Perks at Work
Sometimes, it’s just the little things. Looking forward to fibre fridays or Monday morning breakfast can give employees a small reason to wake up with a smile on a Monday and soldier on through to Friday. Most Canadian companies allow workers to take their birthday off, these gestures greatly improve morale.
Whether it’s a free Kindle and $30 monthly book allowance from Twilio, or the annual $3,000 travel allowance for any AirBnB listing for their employees, showing employees they are appreciated with rewards is just a Canadian way of doing things. Twitter offers catered meals daily, and even brings in acupuncturists and improv coaches. The size of the company you apply to will affect what they are able to offer, but what smaller companies miss in perks, they make up for in personality.
How Can I Work In Canada?
As a foreigner, you will need a work permit to work in Canada. The type of work permit you require will depend on your occupation. The first step will be to secure a job offer. There are a number of ways to do this. You can look for opportunities through immigration programs like the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, you can hunt on Canada's job boards, you can even study a course in Canada, and networking during that time will set you up perfectly to live and work in Canada.
Some employers require Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA’s) to hire foreign workers, other employers in areas of Canada targeted for economic migration, do not. Some employers don’t require an LMIA to hire citizens of certain countries such as the European Union, the United States and Mexico.
You may be eligible to apply for permanent residency without even having a job offer just yet, in which case you can come on over and interview for positions with none of the additional admin.
Are You Ready to Work in Canada?
Working in the Great White North is a different experience to anywhere else in the world. Employers treat their employees with respect and afford them various privileges. While there are a number of employee benefits that will make you quit your job and move to Canada, we think the quality of life you will enjoy here outside of your job may be the best aspect of your decision.
If you want to check your eligibility for Canadian immigration, but don’t want the admin fill out our application form to get the process going and let us take care of the rest. It’s just that simple! Your Canadian journey starts here.
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