Canada

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Country Snapshot

The GPS Country Snapshot includes 25 sections of information about labor law compliance in Canada. See a sample of popular sections below.

Termination of Employment

Federally regulated employees are not required to give their employer notice if they choose to quit. However, when employers decide to terminate a position, they must either give the employee 2 weeks’ written notice or pay 2 weeks’ regular wages in lieu of the notice. When employees resign or are dismissed for just causes, they are not entitled to a notice.

In the case of collective dismissals of over 50 employees, an additional notice of 16 weeks is required. 

Work Permits

Foreign nationals are required to obtain a work permit for most jobs in Canada. The types of documents required depend on the type of work permit noted in the application. There are two types of work permits:

  • Employer-specific work permit - allows a person to work for a specific employer in Canada. This permit must include the type of work to be performed, the employer, the place of work, and its duration.
  • Open work permit - allows any to work for any employer in Canada with a few exceptions

Regulated professions are required to ensure they comply with any regulations respecting English or French language proficiency testing requirements. Additional qualifications are required. 

Paid Annual Leave

The Labour Code of Canada provides a paid maternity leave of up to 17 weeks, which may begin no earlier than 13 weeks prior to the estimated date of delivery. The leave and benefits vary within provinces ranging from 16 to 19 weeks.

An employer cannot dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because she is pregnant, or has applied for or intends to apply for maternity or parental leave, maternity-related reassignment or leave, or modification of her job functions. 

Employees on maternity leave who have completed at least 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of their claim are eligible to receive a benefit for up to 15 weeks at the rate of 55% of their regular wages, up to a maximum of CAD 638 per week.

Working Hours

The statutory hours for employees are eight per day or 40 per week. The maximum number of hours of work permitted per week is 48. Where the nature of work in an industrial establishment necessitates irregular distribution of employees' working hours, daily and weekly hours may be calculated as an average for a period of two or more weeks. Regulations allow for different standard working hours for certain industries and types of work.

During a week when one or more holidays occur, the standard hours of work are reduced by eight for each holiday.

Employers with 25 or more employees must have a written policy in place for all employees to disconnect from work. 

Maternity Leave

The Labour Code of Canada provides a paid maternity leave of up to 17 weeks, which may begin no earlier than 13 weeks prior to the estimated date of delivery. The leave and benefits vary within provinces ranging from 16 to 19 weeks.

An employer cannot dismiss, suspend, lay off, demote or discipline an employee because she is pregnant, or has applied for or intends to apply for maternity or parental leave, maternity-related reassignment or leave, or modification of her job functions. 

Employees on maternity leave who have completed at least 600 insured hours of work in the 52 weeks before the start of their claim are eligible to receive a benefit for up to 15 weeks at the rate of 55% of their regular wages, up to a maximum of CAD 638 per week.

Minimum Wage

In Canada, experienced adult employees receive the federal minimum wage. Employees working in a province or territory that provides a higher minimum wage will receive the higher rate. The minimum wage rates vary from CAD 14.00 to CAD 16.77 per hour.

Country Profile

The GPS Country Profile contains detailed information on over 60 topics related to labor law compliance within Canada.
  • Type of Employment Relationship
  • Permanent Employment
  • Fixed-Term or Specific-Purpose Contracts
  • Temporary Employment Contracts
  • Part-time Employment
  • Young Worker Employment
  • Vendors and Independent Contractors
  • Types of Contracts
  • Probationary Period
  • Termination of the Contract of Employment
  • Grounds for Termination
  • Notice of Dismissal
  • Fair Dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Suspension of Contract of Employment
  • Severance Benefits
  • Hours of Work
  • Work Week and Timekeeping
  • Night Work and Shift Work
  • Overtime
  • Remote Work
  • Required Time Off
  • Public Holidays
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Maternity
  • Other Forms of Leave
  • Social Insurance and Retirement
  • Social Security Contribution
  • National Retirement Scheme
  • Dependents’/Survivors Benefit
  • Life and Disability Insurance/Benefit
  • Statutory Allowances
  • Compensation and Benefits
  • Minimum Wage (Basic Wage)
  • Bonuses, Profit Sharing and Other Compensation
  • Medical Insurance
  • Work Environment
  • Workplace Safety and Health
  • Prohibition of Discrimination
  • Prohibition of Harassment
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Whistleblowers and Retaliation
  • Workers’ representation in the organization
  • Freedom of Association
  • Registration and Recognition of Unions
  • Trade Union Personality
  • Collective Bargaining and Agreements
  • Disputes and Settlements
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Taxation of Compensation and Benefits
  • Income Tax
  • Taxation of Employee Benefits
  • Tax Filing and Payment Procedures
  • Double Tax Relief and Tax Treaties
  • Visas and Work Permits
  • Visas
  • Work Permits and Residence Permits

 Country Snapshot

Get the full Country Snapshot with 25 sections of information about labor law in Canada.