The top 20 family-friendly employers in Canada

Our annual list of Canada’s top family-friendly employers

If you’re a veteran Today’s Parent reader, the first thing you’ll notice about this list of companies offering progressive family benefits to their employees is the fact that it’s twice as long as last year’s. So many employers are now offering such a wide array of perks that it was too difficult to whittle the final selection to just 10. “When we started this list six years ago, I don’t even think all of the employers had maternity top-up,” says Richard Yerema, editor of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, the annual guide from which our list is taken. In contrast, all of this year’s top 20 offer significant top-up to parental leave benefits — the majority for up to a full 52 weeks. Flexible hours, alternative work schedules and the ability to work from home at least part of the time have also become more common among employers of all sizes. Read on for information on the entire top 20, listed alphabetically.

AMAPCEO
Public sector bargaining agent, Toronto
Full-time employees: 24

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks, for new mothers, and 37 weeks for new fathers

• paid spousal leave to attend birth or adoption for up to three days over and above parental leave

• employees receive four weeks paid vacation after one year of service

• self-funded leave program allows employees to take time off with pay

Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
Provider of social services to protect children and families in need, Toronto
Full-time employees: 597

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 70% of salary for 29 weeks, including adoptive parents

• new mothers and fathers have the option of extend their leave for up to three years

• employees can take unpaid leaves of absence ranging from a few days to a full year

• family leave benefit offers eight days off at 100% of salary to deal with family-related emergencies

• new employees receive four weeks paid vacation to start, plus personal days off

• offers paid time to attend an accredited program of study

Durham Regional Police Service
Provides police protection services, Durham Region, Ont.
Full-time employees: 1,345

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 75% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 37 weeks for new fathers

• offers tuition subsidies up to $1,500 a year for continuing education

• offers alternative work options, including flex hours, telecommuting, job-sharing and compressed work weeks

Farm Credit Canada
Provides financial and management services to farmers and agriculture businesses across the country, Regina
Full-time employees: 1,295

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 95% of salary for 50 weeks for new mothers, 35 weeks for new fathers

• flexible health plan lets employees convert unused health benefits into retirement savings

• new employees receive three weeks paid vacation to start, plus six personal days per year

George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology
Non-profit educational institution, Toronto
Full-time employees: 1,176

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 93% of salary for 37 weeks for new fathers and adoptive parents

• new employees receive a minimum of three weeks paid vacation to start, plus five days off during the Christmas season

• offers alternative work options, including telecommuting and a 35-hour work week with full pay

• family tuition assistance program

• subsidized child care at on-site daycare centers

• subsidized fitness programs

Jacques Whitford Limited
Environmental consulting firm, Dartmouth, NS (with regional offices across Canada and the US)
Full-time employees: 1,355

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 75% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 35 weeks for new fathers

• offers tuition subsidies for continuing education and a scholarship program for employees’ children

• subsidized fitness program

KPMG LLP
Accounting and professional services firm, Toronto
Full-time employees: 5,165

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 100% of salary for 17 weeks for new mothers, and four weeks for new fathers

• employees who adopt are eligible for leave benefits and grants of up to $20,000 to help cover adoption-related expenses

• subsidizes cost of backup child care and elder care services

• new employees receive three weeks paid vacation to start, plus up to 50 hours of personal time off each year

• offers paid time off for volunteer work

L’Oréal Canada Inc.
Cosmetics and personal care products manufacturer, Montreal
Full-time employees: 1,200

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 100% of salary for 17 weeks for new mothers, including those who adopt

• offers alternative work options including a “leave early on Friday” program, where employees can make up hours on other days

McGill University
Large university, Montreal
Full-time employees: 5,495

• tops up maternity leave benefits to 95% of salary for 20 weeks

• operates on-site daycare

• new employees receive three weeks paid vacation to start, plus Christmas holiday shutdown and personal days off

• offers alternative work options including flex hours and telecommuting

Monsanto Canada Inc.
Agricultural biotechnology company, Winnipeg (with regional offices across Canada)
Full-time employees: 250

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 90% of salary for 26 weeks; includes adoptive parents

• new employees receive three weeks vacation plus up to three paid personal days off each year

• offers tuition subsidies for continuing education

• offers alternative work options, including telecommuting

National Energy Board
Independent federal agency regulates aspects of Canada’s energy industry, Calgary
Full-time employees: 319

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 37 weeks for fathers and adoptive parents

• new employees receive three weeks paid vacation, plus an annual Christmas holiday shutdown and designated days off on an ad hoc basis

• offers paid education leave and allowance for post-secondary education

• employees are entitled to flexible start and finish times from the very first day on the job

• offers alternative work options, including telecommuting

• guaranteed access to child care and elder care

• benefits for part-time employees

Next Level Games Inc.
Custom computer programming firm, Vancouver
Full-time employees: 102

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 80% of salary for 27 weeks for new and adoptive mothers

• new employees receive three weeks vacation to start, plus time off at Christmas and five paid personal days off

• provides health benefit coverage to part-time employees

• offers alternative work options, including flex hours and telecommuting

Office of the Auditor General of Canada
Conducts independent audits and examinations for Parliament, Ottawa
Full-time employees: 644

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 35 weeks for new fathers

• new employees receive three weeks pad vacation to start

• offers alternative work options, including flex hours and telecommuting

Royal Canadian Mint
Coinage producer and Crown corporation, Ottawa
Full-time employees: 730

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and for 37 weeks for new fathers

• employees receive three weeks paid vacation and up to six personal days off

• offers tuition subsidies for continuing education

Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Provides social housing to low- and moderate-income tenants, Toronto
Full-time employees: 1,312

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 93% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, 37 weeks for new fathers and adoptive parents

• tops up compassionate care benefits to 93% of salary for eight weeks

• new employees receive three weeks paid vacation to start

Toronto Hydro Corporation
Distributor of electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers, Toronto
Full-time employees: 1,725

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 95% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, 37 weeks for new fathers and adoptive parents

• extended health benefits plan includes health coverage with no age limit

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.
Automobile manufacturer, Cambridge, Ont.
Full-time employees: 5,186

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 65% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, and 37 weeks for new fathers

• offers tuition subsidies for continuing education

• flexible health plan

Trican Well Service Ltd.
Provides equipment and technology for oil and gas well drilling and production, Western Canada (with international offices)
Full-time employees: 1,537

• tops up maternity and parental leave benefits to 100% of salary for 52 weeks for new mothers, 36 weeks for new fathers and adoptive parents

• offers tuition subsides and books for employees who wish to pursue an engineering degree or diploma

• offers alternative work options, including flex hours and telecommuting

University Health Network
Canada’s largest academic health sciences centre, operating three major hospitals and a research institute, Toronto
Full-time employees: 8,000

• tops up maternity leave benefits to 85%–93% of salary for up to 25 weeks

• offers on-site daycare plus partnerships with off-site daycares for employees who commute

• the majority of management positions are filled by women

• flexible work arrangements where possible

• offers benefits of up to $5,000 to help with costs associated with adoption

WorkSafeBC
Provincial agency committed to the prevention of workplace injury and occupational disease, Vancouver
Full-time employees: 3,155

• tops up maternity leave benefits to 75% of salary for 17 weeks, parental leave benefits for 13 weeks; 30-week top-up for adoptive parents

• four-year deferred pay program allows employees to take the fifth year off with pay

• offers tuition subsidies up to $5,000 for continuing education

• offers alternative work options, including flex hours, telecommuting and an earned days off program where employees can work an additional 25 minutes per day each quarter to earn time off in the following quarter