Employ Candidates Compliantly in Canada

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  1. Overview: Canada
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Work permit for hiring expats via PEO
  5. Expand without a company set up
  6. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in Сanada

If you hire an international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in Canada Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

When the company is planning to enter a new foreign market of Canada and has a need to employ a local national there, the first question to answer is how it is going to make local hires.

We have designed a Global Employer of Record service to help you outsource global employment of your foreign workforce to companies like ours.

This solution helps you employ your global sales force in Canada as well as in other 180+ countries of the world, and provide pay and benefits to your employees, as well as administer any business expenses with our help.

Our solution is different from other hiring modes in that it helps you engage your foreign workforce in full compliance with the local labor legislation. This means you are protected from any non-compliance and employee misclassification risks while we bear all employment risks, not you.

So, it looks very much like hiring your in-house sales force in your home country. However, you focus on only on your global business development while we admin your global HR. In addition, you don’t need to open your own entities in the foreign countries and can leverage our infrastructure in Canada instead. With our service, you can become a global company with reduced costs and minimized time and effort on your end.

Your employed foreign sales force will devote 100% of their time to your company product and may stay with you longer than foreign independent sales reps.

Global Employer of Record solution is 100% compliant solution that guarantees you and your employees fully compliance with local legislation in Canada .

We are experts in global workforce employment in Canada, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in Canada.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in Canada


Very little is said about an employment contract in the Canada employment law. Notwithstanding, most employers prefer written contract with their employees to a verbal agreement. Employment contract can be drawn up in English or in French. However, greater number of employers draft their contract in English. Few employers, especially those in Québec provide their contracts in French maybe owing to the fact that French is the primary language that is spoken there. Even in that case, an employee has the right to request the contract drawn out in English. Employers are obligated to take the minimum requirements specified in the employment law when drafting an employment contract. Contract of employment can vary in length depending on the type of work an employee is employed to do. For fixed-term employment, the employer is expected to end the contract on the agreed date, otherwise the contract will be regarded as an indefinite contract. Also, a fixed-term contract will automatically translate to an indefinite contract if the employer tries to renew the contract time after time.

Minimum statutory employment rights

# Hours of work
Canadian labor standard set the normal work time for most employees at 8 hours per day and 48 hours per week. Exceptions can only be made for employees who are working under an adjusted work schedules, employees who hold management positions or in the face of emergency. During the legal working week, employees are eligible to get a complete day rest, usually on Sundays, except for when they are working on an averaging period – where they may be called to work during their rest day.

# Probation period
Probationary period in Canada has a standard minimum of 3 months. Because of the often-experienced misunderstandings as to what the legalities, duties and responsibilities of the employers and the employees are during the trial period, it is recommended that both parties should enter a written agreement stating the terms of the probation employment. An employer has the right to terminate a probation contract if he finds the employee’s performance not satisfactory.

# Annual leave
Employees are eligible for rest on all the nine national holidays: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and several others in the provincial cities. Usually, employees are entitled to take an extra day rest if the holiday fall on a standard rest day.

Alongside these holidays, employees are entitled to receive a fully paid two or three weeks’ annual leave from their employers depending on their duration of service with the employer. A 2-week of paid annual leave is reserved for the set of workers who have been in company’s service for up to 6 years, while a 3-week leave is given to those who have held an office in the company for more than 6 years. During a 2-week annual leave, an employer is obligated to pay his employees at a rate of 4 percent of their gross annual pay and at a rate of 6 percent during a 3-week vacation. Employers are required to make this payment 14 days prior to the start date of the leave. It is interesting to note that employers are the ones who decide the actual periods of vacation for their employees.

# Parental leave
Parental leave entitlement covers all employees who are expectant of a baby, have newly put to bed or looking after a newborn baby or have just adopted a child, however, with the eligibility criterion that they must have acquired a minimum of 600 insurable employment hours. Employees who do not meet up with this criterion still have the right to a parental leave, but without the benefits. Female employees who are qualified for a maternity leave benefit are entitled to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave. If both parents are eligible for the benefits, they will be given a grand total of 35 weeks of paid parental leave, which can be used by either of the parents or by both parents. Parental benefits can only be paid after the employee has completed a 2-week waiting periods.

# Sick leave
Employment Insurance makes a provision for employees who cannot continue with the normal duties because of sickness. Sick leave entitlement can last until 17 weeks and might not be extended if the employee continues to be sick thereafter. Similarly to parental leave, an employee is required to have acquired a minimum of 600 hours of insurable employment before he/she can be eligible for the sickness benefit. Sometimes an employer might request for a medical certificate from the employee as a prove for his/her sick absence and if that be the case, the employee must not turn down the request, but rather provide him with the certificate within the 15 days he/she resumes work.

# Overtime
Generally, any services that are performed beyond the statutory maximum working hours are compensated for at a specific overtime rate. The rate at which an overtime is rewarded is dependent on the province/territory of employment.

Listed below are the different provincial/territorial overtime rates:


Sales Agent

Standard work time

Sales Rep

Overtime rate
Federal standard rate8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
Quebec8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
Manitoba8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
Yukon8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
British Columbia8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150% (200% for more than 12 hrs. per day)
Saskatchewan8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
Alberta8 hrs./day; 44 hrs./week150%
New Brunswick44 hrs./week150% * the min. wage
Newfoundland and Labrador40 hrs./week150% * the min. wage
Prince Edward Island48 hrs./week150%
Nunavut8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%
Nova Scotia48 hrs./week150%
Ontario44 hrs./week150%
Northwest Territories8 hrs./day; 40 hrs./week150%

It is important to note that some provinces such as Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, and Saskatchewan have a specific set maximum hours at which an employee can work overtime.

# State minimum wage
Similarly, to overtime, the minimum wage rates are usually regulated atin the provincial/territorial level. Employers are obligated to regularly provide their employees with their remuneration package at a time agreed by both parties: monthly, bimonthly, weekly, fortnightly, or annually.

# Employment termination
Under the provision of the Canada labor standards, there are number of principles an employer must adhere to before terminating any employee’s contract of employment. In the case of an individual termination, an employer is required to notify an employee who has worked a minimum of 3 consecutive months in writing, 2 weeks before the intended day of dismissal or pay him/her an amount equivalent to his/her two weeks’ wage instead. This does not apply to employees who are summarily dismissed for a just cause or those who resigned on their own. Employees who lose their jobs in a collective redundancy situation are entitled to receive a minimum of 16 weeks’ notice before the layoff. Here collective redundancy means the dismissal of at least 50 employees from an individual establishment at the same time over a 4-week period. This 16 weeks’ notice is usually given to the applicable labor union or the individual employee if there is none. Employees whose contracts are to be terminated are eligible to receive a severance pay if they have work for 12 interrupted years in the company.

Acumen International can help you fast-track your possibilities of entering and expanding your business in Canada by providing you with an Employer of Record services. Our unique mix of PEO/EOR solutions will enable you to jumpstart your global operations almost immediately, cost-effectively and compliantly.

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