Oh Canada ~ By Christina Stewart

This month we're going to post a few things about Canada, About Labour in Canada and most specifically why it's great to be Canadian.  We're also going to go a little narrower and talk about why we love the Sunshine Coast, BC - for work, play & life. Stay tuned for our #coastersdo hashtag! To kick us off here's why I think it’s great to be an employee in Canada.

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Happy Canada Day!  I’m proud to be a Canadian Employer – I’m hoping that by showing the difference between Canadian work practices and laws and work practices and laws just south of our border I’ll be able to express why I think it’s great to be an employee in Canada.  I’m not trying to slag on the US (they get a lot of that these days…) but rather show Canadian employees why they have it pretty good.

·        First of all – employees in Canada work fewer hours.  We work 36 to 40 and Americans clock in about 47!

·        Next, we have strict laws enforcing breaks, such as 30 minutes during five hours of work, and ensuring employees get at least 24 hours off in a row each week, and also making sure there are at least eight hours in between each shift. American work culture has a reputation that taking a break is for the weak spirited, whereas in Canada the laws are there to promote healthy workers.

·        Third, vacation. Law dictates that we offer paid vacation of two weeks from the get go, and often more progressive employers are generous with much more. American companies aren’t required to do so. Anecdotally I’m told that some employers offer paid vacation, but the law is the law and American employees aren’t protected by it in the way we are in Canada.

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·        Lastly, the biggest difference I see is paid parental leave.  In Canada not only are there hefty laws protecting parents from discrimination around pregnancy and parental leave we’re also entitled to paid leave.  PAID leave… And not just 12 weeks. 18 months!  There is law in the US that provides some employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave (UNPAID!), but not everyone is entitled to even that! 

The law is on the side of the employee in Canada, and even as an employer I’m grateful for that as employees should be protected. I still see lots of work to do for Canadian employers related to creating stronger more positive cultures free from Bullying and Harassment, and certainly diversity and inclusion can be amped up, but we’re seeing more and more practices and laws around those areas too. It won't be long until we're ahead of the pack on those laws too!

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Go Canada Go