While expanding your company and hiring new employees in Canada, you must comply with Canada’s federal or provincial employment and other relevant laws.
Recruiting in Canada
The most common recruiting source in Canada is job boards. Many professionals will look up an advertisement on a popular job board, then also check the company’s recruitment website. However, uploading CVs into a database is becoming a more popular option, so you may want to search for the right candidates on a well-respected resume database.
Just as the culture shifts among provinces, so do the laws that apply to recruitment. Each province has the authority to create its own laws and regulations.
For example, Ontario has the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), which applies to job advertisements. To stay within the law, an employer’s advertisement cannot contain any statements, qualifications, or references that could be seen as discriminatory.
Also, in Quebec, all job postings must be made available in French in a way that is equivalent to the non-French versions. Employers are also prohibited from requiring knowledge of a language other than French unless the nature of the employment requires it. Employers also must avoid any interview questions that could be related to any of the protected rights pursuant to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Anti-discrimination laws in Canada
Canada’s federal and provincial human rights legislation protects employees from discrimination. These laws vary by province but commonly protect against discrimination related to race, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, and marital or family status.
Some provinces or territories in the country have adopted privacy legislation that will protect employees’ or potential employees’ sensitive data. When staffing your Canada-based business, you can collect personal information only for a rational, necessary purpose and must collect it by fair and lawful means. Applicable laws require the employee’s knowledge and consent for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information. Personal information must also be protected by appropriate security safeguards.
Canadian employment laws
Canada has extensive employment laws at both the federal and provincial levels, which can make Canada employment compliance complicated for businesses new to the country. Every province has its own withholding, benefits, and notice periods. Most of employees in Canada are protected by provincial employment laws, while others are covered by federal law. Federally-regulated industries include banks, telecommunications, and air transportation.
Most provinces limit the number of hours employees can work in a week. The majority of employees also have the right to an annual paid vacation — which will vary by province.
It is common for probationary periods to be included in Canada employment contracts. The typical probationary period is 3 months. The maximum probationary period allowed depends on the province and generally ranges from 3 to 6 months. It should be noted that if an employer terminates an employee within the probationary period, the employee may still be entitled to notice pay.
In Quebec, as of June 1, 2022, employment contracts must be presented in French before an employee may request a copy in another language. Employers can initially present a bilingual version as long as one of the two languages is French. Employment documentation, handbooks, other written communication, etc. must also be in French, unless the employee requests that the document be in another language.
Depending on the province and the situation, a sign-on bonus may be required as additional consideration to minimize risks associated with challenging the enforceability of the employment contract, particularly if the employee has pre-existing service with the employer or if a previous offer was presented to the employee.
Onboarding in Canada
Before an employer officially hires employees in Canada, they will need to examine each new employee’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) and record it. If the number begins with 9, the worker is not a citizen of Canada or permanent resident and can only work for a particular employer with authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Employers also need to ask employees to fill out required forms such as Form TD1 (Personal Tax Credits Return), before their first day.
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G-P never forgets that behind every hire is a human being. That’s why we’ve backed our fully customizable suite of global employment products with our robust team of HR and legal experts, so we can remain at your side, ready to support you as you build your global teams. With G-P Meridian Recruit™, you can search for talent anywhere, and find your perfect full-time or contract match with our all-in-one platform.
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