Bret Silverberg

Workforce Expansion to Canada is Much Harder Than You Think

by Bret Silverberg

It’s geographically our neighbor and the spoken language is English in most territories. So, what’s the big deal when it comes to expanding to Canada?

When companies look to expand internationally, often — especially if it is a first foray — those companies look to Canada.

This makes sense, Canada is close in proximity to the U.S., the language is English (except where it’s French), and the economy is robust. Talent is easy to find, and a visit is only a short plane ride away.

But, given the complex rules and regulations of employing people in Canada, expanding your workforce to our neighbor to the north can be complicated. Here’s why.

Provinces provide unique challenges

Every province — and actually, every territory within every province — has tailored rules and regulations as it pertains to hiring, onboarding, and ongoing management of employees.

The most glaring example of this is that, even though most of the country does speak English, in Quebec, employment contracts must be written in French.

Employees are eligible for overtime

Most Canadian employees — even at a senior-level — are eligible for overtime pay in Canada. This is far from how business is done in the U.S., but common in Canada. Typically, this is ironed out in an employment contract, and companies can require employees to have preauthorized approval to receive overtime pay prior to working overtime hours.

Local payroll companies could prove unreliable

If a company goes with a local payroll provider in Canada, often, that company will register your U.S. business as an entity doing business in Canada. This brings with it responsibilities to comply with local labor laws, compliance filings, worker’s compensation regulations, and other stipulations. Again, this differs by province, adding another layer of complexity to the arrangement.

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Bret Silverberg

Bret Silverberg

Director, Content Strategy, Globalization Partners

Bret Silverberg joined Globalization Partners in April 2017 as Director of Content Marketing. Bret has extensive experience in publishing, including his background in human resources and employment marketing.