Is your firm planning
to enter the
A Short HR Guide for International Firms
By: Kathryn Benson
Senior Human Resources Consultant, HR Options
Doing business in Canada presents a great opportunity for international firms. But hiring Canadian employees is complex. You must comply with Canada’s employment laws or risk penalties or lawsuits if you get it wrong.
There are three things you need to do:
Comply with Canadian employment laws - both federal and provincial
There are strong protections for Canadian employees in both federal and provincial law. Wherever you do business, you are responsible for implementing compliant policies for:
Vacation and holidays
Classification of employees
Health and safety
Workplace harassment and violence
Discipline and terminations
Make all of the right payments to the government and your employees
You must pay the right taxes at the right time to the right government agency. You also need to make sure that your employees are paid properly. Your payroll must accurately account for:
Retirement Savings Plans
There are strong protections for Canadian employees in both federal and provincial law.
Before determining how you will administer your payroll and remit your taxes, it is important to understand responsibilities of vendors and partners.
Companies that don’t have significant expertise in Canadian HR should look for vendors who will not will only follow your direction, but will also insure that you are fully compliant with employment laws.
Communicate with employees that you are in compliance
Best practices in Canadian HR include significant documentation of major events in your relationship with employees. We recommend that you have clear documentation in each employee’s file, so that you protect your company should a dispute arise. Essential documents include:
Engagement letter outlining the mutually agreed upon terms and agreements of employment
Performance reviews, especially if specific performance improvement has been requested of the employee
A record of any disciplinary action
Record of employment – when employees leave, they are entitled to a written record of their employment
Notice of termination
Getting into action:
If your company is planning to employ Canadian workers, it is important that your company works with an expert in Canadian HR. There are too many pitfalls to attempt the journey without a guide. The options you can consider are:
Hire an employee who brings expertise
Hire a consultant who can help you set up your HR in a compliant manner, and be with you every step
Choose an outsourced employer of record who will handle your administrative HR and payroll
About HR Options
HR Options helps international companies entering Canada navigate Canadian Employment laws and use HR best practices.
We offer two types of services:
Canadian Outsourced Employment Services deliver full-service HR to international companies doing business in Canada.
HR Consulting provides expert advice and implementation on Canadian HR on a fractional or project basis.
I'd be delighted to understand your situation and help guide you to make the right decision for your organization.