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Overview of Canada

Canada is on the North American continent and is the second largest country in the world after Russia in terms of land mass. With the longest coastline of the world (243,791 km) it boarders on 3 oceans, the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Arctic. English and French are both the official languages of Canada. Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories. As such, Canada is a Parliamentay Democracy run by the Prime Minister. However, it is also a constitutional monarchy with an executive authority vested in the Queen.

Business culture in Canada is a blend of American, French and British. Canadians are known for being very polite and more formal than their neighbours from the South. One does not start on a first name basis and should adress one by first name after being invited to do so. One should be punctual to meetings. These are down to the point, with pleasantries exchanged in the beginning. Canadians dress more formal than Americans and do not like to be compared with their neighbours.

Currency of Canada

  • Canadian Dollars

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Canada

Living in Canada, one can apply for public health insurance. With it, one does not have to pay for most healthcare services. The universal health-care system is paid for through taxes. Each territory and province has their own health insurance plan. All provinces and territories will provide free emergency medical service.

Most plans cover the following:

  • prescription medications
  • dental care
  • physiotherapy
  • ambulance services
  • prescription eyeglasses

An employer can offer extra coverage as an incentive.

Employer cost of Canada

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Canada is 7.37% on top of the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Canada

In Canada, employees have to be paid bi-weekly / twice a month.

Commissions, incentives, and bonuses are variable and will be agreed upon directly with the employer.

Public Holidays in Canada

  • January 1st – New Years Day
  • Variable date between March 20 and April 23 – Good Friday
  • Monday after Easter Sunday – Easter Monday
  • Monday before May 25th – Victoria Day
  • July 1st – Canada Day
  • First Monday in August – August Civic Holiday
  • First Monday in September – Labour Day
  • Second Monday in October – Thanksgiving
  • November 11th – Remembrance Day
  • December 25th – Christmas
  • December 26th – Boxing Day

Working Hours in Canada

Regular working hours in Canada are from 9am till 5pm. A work week is 40 hours long.

Overtime is paid at a rate of 1.5 times the regular hourly rate. In a few jurisdictions such as New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the overtime rate is based on minimum wage. Not all occupations and job classes fall into the overtime regulations. “Averaging agreements” adjust the standard by which overrate will be paid and these will be posted in the workplace by the employer.

Vacation in Canada

In Canada one is entitled to 2 weeks vacation (10 days) after every “year of employment”. After 5 consecutive years with the same company, the employee is entitled to 3 weeks vacation (15 days) and after 10 years of service at the same company, the employee is entitled to 4 weeks of vacation (20 days).

Sick Leave in Canada

In Canada, one receives 5 days of sick leave a year. After having been employed for 3 months, this includes 3 paid days. One must obtain a medical certificate to show that one is unable to work.

Employment Insurance (EI) provides one with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if one cannot work for medical reasons. One receives 55% of one’s earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week.

Termination/Severance in Canada

When terminating an employee in Canada, one must provide the employee with at least 2 weeks of written notice. During these 2 weeks, the employee still receives his regular wages.

Only employees who have been with the company for at least 12 consecutive months qualify for severance pay. Severance pay is 2 days pay of the employee’s regular wage for every year the employee has been with the company, with a minimum of 5 days pay.