Employment contract

Understanding a Canadian job offer

As an international candidate, it’s important to understand what to expect when receiving a job offer from a Canadian employer. We’ve summarized the crucial items, so you can understand the typical items in a Canadian job offer.

Base salary

No surprises here, except that salary is typically paid bi-weekly.

Profit-sharing / Bonus

Discretionary bonus is not a given. This varies from employer to employer. It can be based on individual, project, division, or overall company performance, or a combination of any of these factors. Ask about the calculation and historical payments to get a better understanding of potential value to you.

RRSP

This means Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Your employer may opt not to make any contribution, pay a percentage contribution (typically ~2 – 5%), or opt to match your contribution up to 5-10%.

Learn more here.

Immigration

Your job offer will likely be contingent on your eligibility to work in Canada. Your new employer may need a copy of your temporary work permit or proof of permanent resident status.

Health benefits

While each Canadian province has its own public health plan, your employer will likely offer extended health benefits as well. This can cover up to 80% of dental, physiotherapy, massage, and other expenses that are not covered by your provincial health plan.

Probation

Your job offer will likely contain a probationary period, typically running to three months, which is standard in Canada.

Vacation days

Depending on the job location within Canada, your employer must offer a minimum number of paid vacation days, also known as annual leave. The federal minimum is 10 days, though some provinces mandate employers to offer more paid days off to full-time employees.

You may also receive an allowance for sick leave days and personal days.

Car allowance

Instead of providing a company car, most Canadian firms like to provide a car allowance to their employees. This can typically range from $500-$1000 per month. Your monthly car allowance taxable benefit for these funds are for the lease or purchase of a vehicle, vehicle insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

Offer acceptance date

Remember to check when the employer would like you to accept or reject the offer. The date will be noted in the job offer, and you should respond by this date.

Void cheque

A void cheque might also be requested when accepting a job offer. This is so the company can set up your salary payment. You can provide a copy of a blank cheque if it is in your possession, or alternatively you can visit your local bank and they will issue you with a written void cheque.

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