Basic Facts

Canada, the second-largest country in the world in area occupies roughly the northern two-fifths of the continent of North America. Despite Canada’s great size, it is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. 


*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Canada.

Capital :
Currency :
Canadian Dollars (CAD, CA$)
Languages spoken :
English, French
Population :
38.25 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2023 :
CA$16.65 per hour
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (25 of 139 countries)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
5% (varies by province)
GDP - real growth rate :
4.6% (2021)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2024.

Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day
March 29
Good Friday
Movable - The Friday before Easter
April 1
Easter Monday
Movable - Depending on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox
May 20
Victoria Day
Nationwide except for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia - Movable - The last Monday preceding May 25
July 1
Canada Day
August 5
Civic Day
September 2
Labor Day
Movable - The first Monday in September
September 30
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
October 14
Thanksgiving Day
November 11
Remembrance Day
December 25
Christmas Day
December 26
Boxing Day

Contract Sharing Time

The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Canada is 5 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know

  • Most terms of employment, for example, minimum wage and period of probation, among others, vary across provinces.
  • There are differences in statutory holidays but certain days like the third Monday of February are public holidays though with varying names and reasons.
  • It is the law of the province or territory where the remote worker is physically located and where the work is performed that governs the employment relationship.


Labor Conditions

Working Hours

Hours of Work of Part III of the Canada Labour Code sets out the requirements an employer must meet with respect to hours of work and overtime. Managers, superintendents, and employees who carry out management functions are exempted. Architects, dentists, engineers, lawyers, and medical doctors are also excluded.


Hours worked in excess of standard hours must be paid for at the overtime rate. Overtime means any hours worked in excess of the standard hours specified in the Code of Regulations, in most cases eight in a day or 40 in a week. A minimum of one and one-half times the regular rate of wages is prescribed as the overtime rate.

Probation Period

Employees are not provided with a statutory limit for probation. However, every province has provided the maximum possible timelines that range from a month to 6 months.


Termination Notice Period

An employer must provide an employee with at least two weeks’ written notice of their intention to terminate the employment of an employee. In lieu of written notice, the employer must pay two weeks’ wages at the regular rate to the employee. 

An employee must have completed a minimum period of service in order to be entitled to notice (typically three months, except in Manitoba – 30 days – and in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon – six months).

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

In Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Québec, employees must receive two weeks of paid vacation after completing one year with an employer. Saskatchewan offers three weeks after a year of service. Most provinces revise the limit of annual leave to three weeks after the job duration increases. Employees are paid vacation pay when they take their annual leave. 

Sick Leave

Generally, a full-time employee with a workweek of 37.5 hours earns sick leave at the rate of 9.375 hours each month for which they receive 75 hours pay. Sick leave is prorated for a part-time employee.

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide a beneficiary with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if they cannot work for medical reasons. They could receive 55% of their earnings up to a maximum of CA$595 a week. The employee must get a medical certificate to show that they are unable to work for medical reasons.

Parental Leave

The standard parental benefit is provided for up to 40 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 35 weeks of standard benefits. The benefit rate is 55% of the weekly income and is paid up to CA$595. The extended parental benefit is provided for up to 69 weeks, but one parent cannot receive more than 61 weeks of extended benefits. This benefit is paid at the rate of 33% of the weekly income and is paid up to CA$357.


Maternity Leave

Maternity leave varies between the provinces. The employer does not need to pay wages during maternity leave. Maternity benefits are offered by the Employment Insurance agency.


Paternity Leave

There is no statutory provision of paternity leave except the 35 weeks offered to either of the parents as parental leave. Quebec offers five weeks paternity leave.

Other Types of Paid Leave

Personal Leave

Employees are entitled to up to five days of personal leave per calendar year to:

  • Treat an injury or illness;
  • Take care of health obligations for any member of their family or care for them;
  • Take care of obligations related to the education of any family member under age 18;
  • Manage any urgent situation that concerns them or a family member;
  • Attend their citizenship ceremony under the Citizenship Act; or
  • Manage any other situation prescribed by regulation.


Leave for Victims of Family Violence

Employees are entitled to up to 10 days of leave per calendar year if they are:

  • Victim of family violence; or
  • The parent of a child who is a victim of family violence

Unpaid Leave

Special types of leave may be different in each province. Special leave could include compassionate care leave, court leave, casual leave, family responsibility leave, etc.


Leave for Traditional Aboriginal Practices

If the employee is an Aboriginal employee with at least three months of continuous employment, they are entitled to take up to five days of leave per calendar year. They may take this leave in order to take part in traditional Aboriginal practices. 

Leave for Court or Jury Duty

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for the time necessary to participate in a judicial proceeding as a:

  • Witness
  • Juror, or
  • Candidate in a jury selection process.


Medical Leave (unpaid) and Leave for Work-related Illness and Injury (unpaid)

Employees are entitled to medical leave protection of up to:

  • 17 weeks for:
    • Illness or injury
    • Organ or tissue donation, or
    • Attending medical appointments.
  • 16 weeks:
    • Because they may have to quarantine, though this condition of quarantine is not restricted to the coronavirus.

Statutory Benefits

The Canadian social security system incorporates federal law on welfare issues such as unemployment insurance and old age security, as well as, provincial policies and programs on welfare issues, such as education, social services, and social assistance. The country has two key components of its social security: Pension and Employment Insurance (EI). 


CategoryEmployer Contribution Maximum Annual Insurable EarningsMaximum Annual Employer Premium
Employer Employment Insurance (EI)
  • 1.58% Federal
  • 1.2% Quebec*
  • CA$1,333.84 Federal
  • CA$1,013.04 Quebec
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
  • 5.45% Federal
  • 5.90% Quebec*

Health Insurance

Canada has a decentralized, universal, publicly funded health system called Canadian Medicare. Health care is funded and administered primarily by the country’s 13 provinces and territories. Health insurance is not required statutorily by employers.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance


Workers’ Compensation programs protect employees from the financial hardships associated with work-related injuries and occupational diseases. These programs are largely administered by provincial and territorial governments in Canada.

The total cost is financed through contributions that vary by industry and according to the assessed degree of risk (large firms in some provinces may self-insure).

Unemployment Insurance


To prove their eligibility and to receive payments they may be entitled to, unemployed beneficiaries are required to complete bi-weekly reports by internet or telephone. Failure to do so can mean a loss of benefits. For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of their average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. The maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is CA$60,300. This means that they can receive a maximum amount of CA$638 per week.

Public Pension

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) retirement pension is a monthly, taxable benefit that replaces an employee’s income when they retire. To qualify, the employee must:

  • Be at least 60 years old;
  • Have made at least one valid contribution to the CPP;

Valid contributions can be either from an employee’s work in Canada or as the result of receiving credits from a former spouse or former common-law partner at the end of the relationship.

Pension Plan contributions in Canada and Quebec are required by both the employee and employer.


The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

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