Employee Benefits & Services
The Strategic Role of Employee Benefits
Employee Benefits are indirect financial payments given to employees. They may include supplementary health
and life insurance, vacation, pension, education plans, and discounts on company products.
Employment Insurance: is a federal program that provides income benefits if a person is unable to work through
no fault of his or her own; it does not apply to workers that are self-employed.
• Provides benefits for employees who are laid-off, terminated without just cause, or who quit their job for a
• Special EI benefits in cases of illness, maternity/paternity leave, and compassionate care leave
• Qualifying period – minimum hours during a minimum number of weeks
• Waiting period – from the last day of work till benefits begin
o Any severance pay must run out before EI kicks in
• 55% of earnings during last 14-26 weeks of qualifying period (recently qualification period is being
• Payable for up to 45 weeks
• Claimants must demonstrate they are actually seeking work
• Compassionate care – 6 weeks; illness – 15 weeks; maternity – 50 weeks
• Employers pay 1.4 times employee contribution
• SUB (Supplemental Unemployment Benefit) enables employees eligible for EI to receive additional
funds out of the employer’s SUB plan to maintain standard of living closer to full income (90%)
Canada/Quebec Pension Plan (C/QPP) are programs that provide three types of benefits: retirement income;
survivor or death benefits payable to the employee’s dependants regardless of age at time of death; and disability
benefits payable to employees with disabilities and their dependants. Benefits are payable only to those individuals
who make contributions to the plans and/or available to their family members.
• Employed Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65 are covered
• Employer will match 1.4 times the employee contribution
• 4.95 percent of pensionable earnings are matched by employers
• Plan members can start receiving benefits anywhere between ages 60-70
• Survivor benefits are paid on the death of a plan member and a monthly pension
Worker’s Compensation provides income and medical benefits to victims of work-related accidents or illnesses
and/or their dependents, regardless of fault.
• Every jurisdiction has its own laws
• Cannot sue other employees/employer
• Must only prove injury arose while on the job
• Benefits are non-taxable
• Benefits include payment of expenses for medical treatment and rehab, and income benefits during the
time in which the worker is unable to work (temporarily or permanently) because of his or her disability
(partial or total).
• Accident prevention is the best way to manage worker’s compensation costs over the long term.
o Even though claims are paid by the Worker’s Compensation Board, premiums paid by employers
are dependent on the number and amount of claims paid.
o Institute effective safety and health programs
o Institute rehabilitation programs
Vacations & Holidays
• Labour/employment standards legislation sets a minimum number of paid vacation that must be provided
to employees (2 weeks), which vary by jurisdiction; minimum of 4%
• The actual number of paid employee vacation days also varies from employer to employer
Leaves of Absence
• All jurisdictions require unpaid leaves of absence to be provided to employees in certain circumstances
• Maternity leave is normally 17-18 weeks, and adoption leaves 34-52
• Employees who take leaves of absence are guaranteed their old job or a similar job once they return to
work • Bereavement leave is provided to all employees in some jurisdictions, and varies dependent on the
closeness of the employee and the deceased
• Parental/adoption leave
• All jurisdictions, except Alberta, provide compassionate care leave
• Application form for leave should be filled out prior to leave, and legitimizes the leave
Pay on Termination of Employment – employment/labour standards act requires employees whose employment
is being terminated by the employer be provided with termination pay when they leave.
• Pay in Lieu of Notice: an employee must be provided with advance written notice if the employer is going
to terminate their employment (unless if on a short term contract or with just cause). Advance varies with
length of employment by year) and by jurisdiction.
• Severance Pay: employees with 5+ years of service may be eligible for severance pay if:
o (1) the employer’s annual Ontario payroll is $2.5 million+
o (2) the employer is closing down the business and 50 or more employees will be losing their jobs
within a 6 month period
o Receive one weeks pay per year of employment
• Pay for Mass Layoffs: additional pay ranging from 6-18 weeks, depending on the province and the
number of employees being laid off.
Voluntary Employer-Sponsored Benefits
Group Life Insurance is insurance provided at lower rates for all employees, including new employees, regardless
of health or physical condition.
• Employer pays 100% of base premium (2 year’s salary)
• Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is paid for by the employer
• Critical illness insurance provides a lump-sum benefit to an employee who is diagnosed with and survives
a life-threatening illness to help relieve some of the financial burden associated with the illness.
Supplementary Health-care / Medical Insurance: aimed at providing protection against medical costs arising
from off-the-job accidents or illness. They provide major medical coverage to meet medical expenses not covered
by government health-care plans. Employees must pay an annual deductible amount per y