Benefits Packages


Employees in Canada are entitled to social insurance contributions made by their employer, as well as the following benefits:  

  • Public holidays  
  • Annual paid time off 
  • Parental leave (usually unpaid) 

Employers may offer additional benefits to their employees as they see fit. A local PEO can ensure that these benefits are compliant with local labor law and are well-documented and managed for your company. 

Mandatory Benefits

The Canadian social security system offers the following benefits, which are regulated by both the federal government and the province where individuals are employed: 

  • Retirement 
  • Unemployment 
  • Disability 
  • Healthcare  

Specific benefits and contribution rates vary significantly between each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. For example, public healthcare benefits are delivered by province. 

All Canadian and foreign employees require a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada and access government benefit programs. Foreign employees may apply for the SIN once they receive their work permit or study permit. 

Private Health Insurance

Canadian healthcare is publicly funded nationwide, but it is run on the provincial level. To access public healthcare, an employee must hold a provincial healthcare card issued by the province’s health ministry. Due to this comprehensive system and the high quality of Canadian healthcare and medical professional training, less than 1% of healthcare needs are serviced outside the public system.

Stock Options 

Employers in Canada are not required to offer stock options to their employees but may choose to do so. The vesting schedule accompanying stock options allows employees to retain star employees until full vesting. Stock options are also valuable non-cash awards that encourage high employee performance in start-ups. You can consult your PEO provider in Canada to help you roll out employee stock options and manage the administrative logistics of operating a stock option plan. 

Other Benefits 

Employers may feel free to offer additional benefits such as extended leave, transportation assistance, housing, or other allowances. Your PEO can advise which benefits to offer and facilitate the process locally, saving you money and allowing you to keep your foreign and local employees motivated.  

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