Hire employees and contractors in Canada

Remote’s guide to employing in Canada.

  • Capital city

    Ottawa

  • Currency

    Canadian dollar
    ($, CAD)

  • Population size

    37,589,262

  • Languages spoken

    English, French

  • Availability

    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.

Facts & Stats

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.

  • Capital city

    Ottawa

  • Currency

    Canadian dollar
    ($, CAD)

  • Languages spoken

    English, French

  • Population size

    37,589,262

  • Ease of doing business

    Very easy

  • Cost of living index

    $$$

  • Payroll frequency

    Biweekly

  • VAT - standard rate

    5% (varies by province)

  • GDP - real growth rate

    1.9%

Grow your team in Canada with Remote

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.

Risks
of misclassification

Canada, like most countries, treats self-employed contractors differently than full-time employees. Misclassifying an employee, deliberately or by accident, could lead to fines and penalties.

Employing in Canada

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.

Public holidays

Date
Holiday Name
Extra information
Saturday, January 1, 2022New Year's DayNational Holiday
Sunday, January 2, 2022Day After New Year’s DayProvince of QC
Monday, February 21, 2022Islander DayProvince of PE
Monday, February 21, 2022Heritage DayProvince of NS
Monday, February 21, 2022Louis Riel DayProvince of MB
Thursday, March 10, 2022Family Day Provinces of AB, BC, NB, ON, SK
Monday, March 14, 2022St. Patrick's DayProvince of NL
Friday, April 15, 2022Good FridayNational Holiday
Monday, April 18, 2022Easter MondayProvinces of NB, QC
Monday, April 25, 2022St. George's DayProvince of NL
Monday, May 23, 2022Victoria DayNational except NB, NS, PE. In QC this is called Patriot's Day
Tuesday, June 21, 2022National Indigenous DayProvinces of NT and YT
Friday, June 24, 2022St. Jean Baptiste Day/National Holiday/Fête NationaleProvince of QC
Monday, June 27, 2022June HolidayProvince of NL
Friday, July 1, 2022Canada DayNational; but also called Memorial Day in NL
Saturday, July 9, 2022Nunavut DayProvince of NU
Monday, August 1, 2022Civic Holiday - first Monday in AugustProvinces of NT, NU, NB, BC, NS, AB
Wednesday, August 3, 2022Regatta DayProvince of NL
Monday, August 15, 2022Discovery DayProvince of YT
Friday, August 19, 2022Gold Cup ParadeProvince of PE
Monday, September 5, 2022Labor DayNational Holiday
Friday, September 30, 2022National Day for Truth and ReconciliationHoliday for Federal Employees
Monday, October 10, 2022ThanksgivingNational except PE
Friday, November 11, 2022Remembrance DayNational except MB, ON, QC, NS
Saturday, December 24, 2022Christmas EveProvince of NB
Sunday, December 25, 2022Christmas DayNational Holiday
Monday, December 26, 2022Boxing DayNational except BC, QC, MB, PE,

Minimum Wage

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.

Payroll Cycle

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.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Canada fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 9 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.

Competitive benefits package in Canada

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:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Mental Health Support
  • Pension or 401(K)
  • Life and Disability Insurance

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.

Local market insights

  • In Canada, 99%* of employers offer supplemental health insurance to their workforce. (*based on 3rd-party market research from our partners)
  • Although the country has a public health system, supplemental health insurance provides employees with access to a wider range of options for providers and specialists, as well as significantly shorter wait times. Our plans also offer global coverage (excluding the US) to protect your employees when they are traveling outside their home country.
  • Life, accident, and long-term disability insurance are also offered by 90%* of employers in Canada. (*based on 3rd-party market research from our partners)

Taxes in Canada

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Canada.

  • Employer (outside Quebec)

    • 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)

  • Employee (outside Quebec)

    • 5.25% - Canada Pension Plan, up to $2,899 per year

    • 1.58% - Employment Insurance, up to $856.36 per year

  • Employer (Quebec)

    • 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)

  • Employee (Quebec)

    • 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

  • Employee Federal Income Tax

    • 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

  • Employee Provincial Income Tax

    • 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.

Types of leave

Paid time off

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.

Personal leave

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.

Family violence 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.

Medical leave

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.

COVID-19 leave

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.

Critical illness leave

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.

Paid holiday leave

Canada observes several public holidays (see above). Employees are entitled to holiday pay no matter how long they have worked for the company.

Leave for legal proceedings

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.

Child disappearance leave

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.

Maternity leave

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.

Paternity and parental leave

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.

Aboriginal employee leave

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.

Bereavement leave

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.

Employment termination

Termination process

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.

Notice period

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.

Probation periods

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.

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