Competitive total rewards programs are a critical component of Canadian organizations’ human resources and corporate strategy.
This was a main finding in WorldatWork’s “Canadian Total Rewards Inventory Programs and Practices” survey. The study, which was fielded in February, found that most companies’ health and welfare offerings go above and beyond the government-mandated programs.
Of the 150 Canadian companies surveyed, 96% or more offer prescription, dental, life insurance/accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), long-term disability and employee assistance programs (EAP). Additionally, 93% of companies offer vision benefits and 92% offer short-term disability.
Unlimited paid time off programs have not taken hold in Canada, as the survey found that only 5% of companies offer it. The reason for this is likely because of mandated paid time off regulations. In general, Canadian law dictates that employees are entitled to two weeks of vacation for every completed year of employment. After five consecutive years of employment with the same employer, the entitlement increases to three weeks. After 10 completed years, they are entitled to four weeks of vacation.
The law differs in each province, but Canadians are generally entitled to sick and personal leave. The survey found that sick and personal leave beyond what is required by law is the most popular paid time off policy with 87% of companies offering paid sick and personal leave pay.
Performance-based merit systems are very prevalent in Canada, as 90% of companies have one in place. Additionally, 75% of companies offer individual performance-based incentives (cash bonus). Only 10% offer cash profit sharing and only about half of companies offer long-term incentives with 40% offering restricted stock and 22% offering stock options.
“Competitive total rewards offerings above and beyond government mandated programs are critical for employers of choice in Canada,” said Steve Boddy, content director, WorldatWork. “Even in today’s difficult employment environment, having differentiators in the areas of health, welfare, well-being, and paid time off could be considered even more important than they were just a few short months ago.”
Other key findings:
- The most popular wellness program offerings include discounted fitness memberships, smoking cessation, stress reduction, and nutritional counseling.
- Formal annual performance reviews are the most often used performance management system (89%).
- Workplace well-being initiatives such as corporate social responsibility/green initiatives, diversity and inclusion, and flexible work schedules are popular, with approximately 70% of companies offering them. 60% offer personal financial planning services.
- 35% of companies offer childcare, 33% offer elder-care resources; 26% offer fertility services, and 12% offer on- or near-site childcare services.
About the Author
Brett Christie is the managing editor of Workspan Daily.