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Even though we’re hearing incessantly about the economic crisis, many of us are still happily going to work at a job we love. More than 2,100 companies in Canada applied to be among Canada’s Top 100 Employers in both public and private sectors.
Each job was rated based on eight key criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere as a social setting; pay and benefits; vacation and provisions for time off; communication to employees; performance management; training and skills development and community involvement. Applicants are assigned grades for each category, and they are then compared with others in their industry to determine whether they make the national or regional cuts. The scores are not published in the final lists, and the top employers are not ranked in any particular order.
Among Canada’s Top 100 Employers was Research in Motion (RIM)!
Research In Motion Ltd., Waterloo, Ont.
Gives employees a free BlackBerry on their first day and covers usage and service fees; offers tuition subsidies to employees; celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting a private concert for employees that featured Aerosmith and the Barenaked Ladies; offers a profit-sharing plan and year-end bonuses; provides on-site massage services, flu shot clinics and discounted gym memberships.
Interested in working at RIM? Check out our job boards for great opportunities here.
Royal Bank of Canada / RBC, Toronto
Offers traditional pension plan and matching RSP contributions; provides in- house and online training programs, career planning services and subsidies for professional association memberships; offers telecommuting and modified work schedules; provides maternity leave top-up benefits (to 100% for 6 weeks).
Royal Canadian Mint, Ottawa
Gives employees exceptional parental leave top-up payments (to 93% of salary for 52 weeks) for new mothers and fathers; provides generous pension plan contributions; provides free memberships to their on-site fitness facility; offers tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions.
Russell Investments Canada Ltd., Toronto
Offers generous monthly contributions to employee pension plans; gives employees an exceptional paid vacation allowance of four weeks during their first year on the job; closes early on long weekends in the summer; provides employees with paid time off for course work and recently doubled its annual tuition subsidy (to $8,000); offers long-term staff an eight-week paid sabbatical after 10 years on the job – and every tenth year thereafter.
SAS Institute Canada, Inc., Toronto
Provides employees with four paid days off each year to volunteer at a local charity; offers employees free memberships to its on-site fitness facility, plus a home fitness equipment allowance; matches employee RSP contributions; gives three weeks paid vacation to new hires and personal days off; boasts an in-house band – called the “SASations” – that performs at awards celebrations.
Sapient Canada, Inc., Toronto
Offers maternity and adoptive leave top-up payments for new parents (to 100% for 17 weeks); provides employees with four weeks paid vacation after only three years on the job; provides matching RSP contributions and discounts on home Internet access and computer equipment; subsidizes employee tuition fees for courses at outside institutions.
SaskEnergy Incorporated, Regina
Encourages families to perform simple home energy upgrades for low-income families, provides maternity leave top-up benefits (to 95% for 52 weeks); provides a range of training and development programs, including tuition subsidies, apprenticeship programs and an in-house Aboriginal mentorship program; gives new employees three weeks paid vacation to start.
Offers employees free memberships to their on-site fitness facility; operates an in-house charitable program that lets employees help one another in times of need; provides matching RSP contributions and pension plan; offers employees over 720 training programs online so they can access materials from any work location across the province; pays tuition fees for employees completing courses at outside institutions.
Saskatchewan Gaming Corp., Regina
Is a leader in workplace diversity – 48% of employees are of Aboriginal heritage; operates a unique Aboriginal management development program to prepare employees for management positions; offers employees generous maternity top-up payments (to 95% for 17 weeks); provides free employee memberships to a fully equipped on-site fitness facility.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Regina
Pays generous tuition subsidies for employees taking courses at outside institutions; provides employees with an interest-free loan of up to $5,000 toward the purchase of a new home computer; offers employees parental leave top- up benefits (to 100% for 26 weeks); developed an Aboriginal recruitment and advancement strategy; manages an apprenticeship program that targets members of equity groups.
Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary
Offers employees discounted gasoline purchases; is committed to work-life balance, helping employees find child care, schools and senior care facilities across Canada; has a health benefits plan that provides coverage to retirees; pays tuition fees for courses at outside institutions; created an Aboriginal Employee Network; operates diversity and training sessions.
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.
Provides parental leave top-up payments for new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents; employees can take advantage of an on-site daycare facility; operates summer day camp programs for the children of employees; gives employees free memberships to a state-of-the art fitness facility; provides a staff tuition subsidy – with no annual maximum – for courses taken at the university.
Sophos Inc., Vancouver
Pays compassionate care leave top-up (to 100% of salary for 4 weeks); offers matching RSP plan; provides maternity leave top-up benefits (to 80% for 10 weeks) for new mothers; pays referral bonuses when employees recommend a friend who is hired by the company (to $2,500).
Spruceland Millworks Inc., Acheson, Alta.
Celebrated last year’s record profit with a unique “prosperity bonus” for all employees – they received $1,000 for each year of service; ends the workday when the production target is reached so employees can enjoy more family time; offers employee share ownership plan; often holds company-paid annual meetings in exciting locales, such as Mexico.
Stikeman Elliott LLP, Toronto
Provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 95% for 17 weeks); offers flexible work options, such as telecommuting, a formal “earned days off ” program and a 35-hour work week with full pay; provides internship and mentorship opportunities to at-risk youth; pays bonuses to employees when a friend they refer is hired by the company (to $1,000).
Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary
Offers up to 17 personal paid days off each year in addition to paid vacation; provides tuition subsidies to employees taking courses at outside institutions; offers career development, succession planning, mentorship and coaching initiatives for women; awards scholarships annually (to $1,800 each) to employees’ children; established an Aboriginal Affairs department to recruit employees from Aboriginal communities.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation / TCHC, Toronto
Recently introduced a new health workplace plan, whose initiatives include an employee walking club, free health clinics, and lunch and learn sessions on a variety of wellness topics; offers in-house training initiatives and supports continuing education through tuition subsidiesto $1,000) for courses at outside institutions; provides generous compassionate care leave and parental leave top- up benefits.
Toronto Hydro Corp., Toronto
Offers parental leave top-up payments for new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents; hosts draws for employees to win an additional week of paid vacation time as part of fundraising drive for the United Way; pays tuition fees for courses at outside institutions with no annual maximum; offers a $10 monthly subsidy on transit passes and organized car pools.
Toronto International Film Festival Group, Toronto
Provides generous parental leave top-up payments for employees; offers tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions; gives employees access to film screenings and lectures, as well as DVD lending privileges; provides free employee passes to the Toronto International Film Festival; is building a new ‘head office’ that will feature five cinemas, a gallery, learning suites and a film reference library.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., Cambridge, Ont.
Operates an impressive fitness and recreation facility for employees; offers employees generous tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions; gives employees a $1,000 discount when they purchase a new Toyota – and a $1,000 bonus last year for all employees in celebration of another record year; hosts a huge staff Christmas party with great prizes, including a $10,000 certificate towards a new vehicle.
Trican Well Service Ltd., Calgary
Helps older employees transition to retirement by offering a phased-in retirement leave program; provides referral bonuses (to $1,000) for employees who successfully recruit new employees; offers generous tuition subsidies for employees wishing to pursue an engineering degree or diploma; provides employees with maternity top-up payments.
University Health Network / UHN, Toronto
Provides employees with a 24-hour on-site daycare and remote daycare partnerships in the suburbs for commuting employees; offers maternity top-up (to 93% up to 25 weeks); is an equity leader, with women employees occupying 66% of management positions; employs a full-time wellness coordinator to manage two on-site wellness centres; established diversity councils to raise awareness and act as a resource for employees.
University of Alberta, Edmonton
Gives free memberships to on-site fitness facility, which includes a climbing wall and fitness track; operates subsidized on-site daycare facilities for employees with young children, in addition to an off-site daycare subsidy of $2,000 per child; offers transit subsidies, bike parking and shower facilities; provides parental leave top-up benefits.
Upside Software Inc., Edmonton
Rewards exceptional employee performance with cash bonuses and other awards, including a one-week trip for two to Baja, Calif.; manages share purchase and profit-sharing plans; pays employees referral bonuses (to $2500) when a friend they refer is hired; provides maternity leave top-up benefits; offers a matching RSP plan.
Vancouver, City of, Vancouver
Gives employees discount passes and access to pools, rinks and fitness centres managed by the city’s park board; provides flexible work arrangements, including a 35-hour work week (with full pay) and telecommuting; subsidizes courses unrelated to the job; provides six-month work experience terms to recovering drug addicts in partnership with community organizations.
Wardrop Engineering Inc., Winnipeg
Paid more than a dozen employees while they joined tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia; offers employees subsidized home and auto insurance, as well as low-interest home loans; provides training programs and tuition subsidies; recognizes good job performance by offering employees cash bonuses; provides English language instruction and cross-cultural training.
Wellington, Corporation of the County of, Guelph, Ont.
Provides transit subsidies and secure bike parking; offers generous pension plan; gives employees subsidized memberships to an on-site fitness facility and recreation centre next door; encourages continuous learning through in-house and online training programs; pffers tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions.
Operates unique wellness points program that rewards employees for participating in healthy lifestyle activities; offers parental leave top-up payments for new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents; operates a self-funded leave plan; provides tuition subsidies (to $5,000) for courses at outside institutions; hosts regular on-site massage therapy visits for employees.
Yellow Pages Group, Verdun, Que.
Offers parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents; offers employees a variety of alternative work options, from telecommuting to reduced summer hours; subsidizes employee tuition fees (to $2,000 each year) for courses taken at outside institutions; extends full health benefit coverage to retired employees with no age limit.