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Remote’s guide to employing in Canada.
Remote-Owned Local Entity
We own our own entity in the countries where we operate to shield your company from risk and provide you and your employees with the signature Remote experience.
Canada is the second-largest country in the world by land area, split into 10 provinces and three territories. With a GDP of nearly $2 trillion in 2020, Canada has a robust economy with workers in a variety of critical industries. Companies looking to hire remote workers in Canada will find plenty of talent in tech, finance, health, professional services, and a variety of other industries. Thanks to its abundant resources, Canada is also home to thriving businesses in agriculture, mining, forestry, and construction.
Ease of doing business
Cost of living index
VAT - standard rate
5% (varies by province)
GDP - real growth rate
To employ in Canada, companies must own a local legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solution, such as Remote. Managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance in Canada can get complicated, especially without established local relationships.
With Remote’s global employment solution, you can employ workers in Canada quickly, easily, and in full compliance with all applicable labor laws. We take on the responsibility and legal risks of international employment so you can focus on growing your business.
Canadian labor laws vary from one province to another, although the country does enforce some laws at the federal level. Employees in Canada enjoy protections against discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, and race.
Although “Canadian work experience” is a common subject, employers should avoid asking employees about Canada-specific work history. Depending on the laws of the province, certain questions about Canadian work experience could be considered discriminatory. When interviewing candidates in Canada, limit questions to the duties and responsibilities of the role instead of focusing on where the candidate gained the experience.
Common questions including minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off vary depending on the province. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Canada.
Below are national public holidays applicable for all regions in this country. Remote customers have access to a detailed list of regional public holidays within the Remote platform. Sign up now to access all public holiday information.
|Monday, January 3, 2022||New Year’s Day|
|Friday, April 15, 2022||Good Friday|
|Friday, July 1, 2022||Canada Day|
|Monday, September 5, 2022||Labour Day|
|Sunday, December 25, 2022||Christmas Day|
Canada’s minimum wages vary by province. Most provinces adjust their minimum wages regularly to keep up with inflation. The Retail Council of Canada maintains an updated list of minimum wages in the country. The Government of Canada proposed a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour, rising with inflation, effective on December 29, 2021. However, each province still sets their own hourly minimum wage.
For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal installments twice a month (15th of the month and end of the month), payable in arrears.
We can help you get a new employee started in Canada fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 4 working days.
Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.
For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.
Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.
Remote supports our clients by offering competitive benefits packages that will help you attract and retain the best talent across the globe! Our benefits specialists have done the research on norms and requirements in each local market and have crafted packages that will allow your employees to thrive, no matter what country they live in.
Our benefits packages in Canada are tailored to fulfil the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:
Our core benefits (which often include things like healthcare) are required in most countries where we hire. Because Remote is the employer of record, it’s important for us to offer the same core benefits to all employees in a country to ensure fair equity and non-discriminatory hiring practices, which protects your business and ours. Note that we do not add a markup on any benefits premiums or administration costs.
If you'd like specific information about our benefits packages in Canada, start onboarding your first employee with Remote today.
For more insight into fair equity and benefits best practices, download our Global Benefits Guide and share with the rest of your hiring team.
Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Canada.
5.25% - Canada Pension Plan, up to $2,899 per year
2.21% - Employment Insurance, up to $1,198.90 per year (can vary by province)
5.25% - Canada Pension Plan, up to $2,899 per year
1.58% - Employment Insurance, up to $856.36 per year
5.4% - Quebec Pension Plan contribution, up to $2,980.80 per year
0.022% to 0.08% - CNESST
1.68% - Employment Insurance, up to $910.56 per year
0.736% - Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, up to $563.04 per year
1.7% to 4.25% - Health Services Fund
0.07% - Labour Standards
1% - Workforce Skills and Development (if global payroll exceeds $2 million)
5.4% - Quebec Pension Plan, up to $2,980.80 per year
0.526% - Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, up to $402.39 per year
1.2% - Employment Insurance, up to $650.40 per year
15% - $0 to $48,535
20.5% - $48,535 to $97,069
26% - $97,069 to $150,473
29% - $150,473 to $214,368
33% - $214,368 and up
Canada’s individual provinces and territories charge their own income taxes to residents and workers. These rates change periodically and vary widely from one province to another. For example, in 2020, Nunavut levied a 9% tax on income from $57,918 to $150,473, while Nova Scotia levied a tax of 17.5% on income from 57% to $150,000. For updated information regarding tax rates in specific provinces, view Canada’s official tax website.
Paid time off laws in Canada vary by province. Federal law guarantees two weeks of PTO to employees after one year of work. After five years, the minimum increases to three weeks, then four weeks at 10 years. Employers may offer unlimited time off in Canada.
Employees in Canada who work for an employer for three months are eligible for personal leave. Personal leave is separate from regular paid time off and can be used for a variety of purposes. Employers are only required to pay for the first three days of personal leave.
Canada is one of a few nations to offer family violence leave for victims. Employers must offer at least 10 days of protected leave to employees to use in case of family violence, five of which must be paid. Employees accused of committing acts of family violence are not eligible.
Employees in Canada are guaranteed a minimum of 17 weeks of unpaid protected medical leave. Employers are permitted to request medical documentation verifying the need for any leave lasting longer than three days.
Canada offers protected paid leave to employees who must quarantine because of COVID-19 and employees who must take time off to recover from the virus or care for a relative who tests positive. Quarantine leave can last up to two weeks, while sickness or care leave can last up to 26 weeks. Canada’s COVID-19 leave guarantees are set to expire on September 21, 2021.
Canadian employees are entitled to protected leave to care for sick family members. Protected critical illness leave covers 37 weeks per sick child and 17 weeks for sick adults.
Canada observes several public holidays (see above). Employees are entitled to holiday pay no matter how long they have worked for the company.
Employees in Canada are entitled to protected unpaid leave to serve on juries or act as witnesses, but this leave does not extend to employees who are parties in lawsuits, either as plaintiffs or defendants.
Parents of children who go missing are entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid protected leave. If the child is discovered to be deceased, leave entitlement increases to 104 weeks beginning on the date of the death. Adoptive parents, guardians, and primary caregivers are all eligible to receive child disappearance leave, provided they are not charged with a crime related to the disappearance. This leave also does not extend in cases where children are suspected to be party to a crime related to their own disappearance.
Canada guarantees at least 15 weeks’ maternity leave, though some provinces set a higher minimum. Employers do not have to pay for maternity leave, as Canadian social programs provide payments to new parents.
Parents in Canada are also entitled to at least 27 weeks’ shared parental leave, regardless of gender. In some provinces, the shared parental leave minimum is 35 weeks.
Employees in Canada with Aboriginal heritage are entitled to receive five days of unpaid leave per year to observe Aboriginal customs and events, which can include fishing, hunting, and traditional ceremonies.
Federal law in Canada guarantees employees at least five days of unpaid protected bereavement leave after the death of an immediate family member. As with personal leave, employers are only required to pay for three of the five days. Employees become eligible for bereavement leave after three months of employment.
Canadian laws encourage employers to work with employees who are underperforming instead of defaulting to termination. In cases where termination is unavoidable, though, employees in Canada retain a few protections. Canada does not practice at-will employment. Quebec has special protections in place regarding employee terminations for employees with more than two years of service.
Employees are usually entitled to notice (or pay in lieu of notice) when being terminated. Notice periods vary based on age, experience, tenure, and availability of other work options.
Probationary periods are common in Canada and typically last around three months. Some provinces enforce mandatory probationary periods to provide employers with some protection, even when the probationary period is not specified in the employment agreement.