Hire employees
and contractors in Canada

Remote’s guide to employing in Canada.

Capital city
Ottawa
Currency
Canadian dollar ($, CA$)
Population size
37,589,262
Language spoken
English, French
01

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.

Canada Map
  • Capital city
    Ottawa
  • Currency
    Canadian dollar ($, CA$)
  • Language 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%
02

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.

Note that Remote is not yet eligible to hire external employees in all Canadian provinces. We cannot currently employ in Quebec, but we are actively working on availability. We can still support and pay contractors in this province.

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Canada risks illustration

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.

03

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
New Year
Good Friday
Victoria Day
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day Quebec only
Canada Day
Civic Holiday All but Quebec and Yukon
Labour Day
Thanksgiving
Remembrance Day
Christmas Day
Boxing Day
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. In 2020, minimum wages in Canada were:

Province Minimum Wage
Alberta 15.00
British Columbia 14.60
Manitoba 11.90
New Brunswick 11.70
Newfoundland and Labrador 12.15
Northwest Territories 13.46
Nova Scotia 12.55
Nunavut 16.00
Ontario 14.25
Prince Edward Island 12.85
Quebec 13.10
Saskatchewan 11.45
Yukon 13.71
Payroll
Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal instalments 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 2 business days prior to start date.

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.

04

Competitive benefits package in Canada

Remote can help you provide a competitive and compliant benefits package for your employees in Canada. If you have questions or would like to offer a custom benefit, let us know and we can help.

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05

Taxes in Canada

Learn how employment taxes 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
    • 33% - $214,368 and up
    • 20.5% - $48,535 to $97,069
    • 26% - $97,069 to $150,473
    • 29% - $150,473 to $214,368
  • 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.

06

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.

07

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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