Types of Employment

Different types of Canadian work contracts

There are several types of employment arrangements in Canada. Understand the differences, so you can work out what is the best type of work that would suit your needs, profile, education (if any), goals, etc.

Permanent Employment

In Canada, the most common form of employment is the permanent employment. In this type of position, the employee usually gets a package that involves base salary, health benefits and perhaps some other perks such as bonuses, company stock option plans, personal incentives, etc. Permanent employees often have opportunities for education and personal development.

For this type of position, ordinarily there are different payroll deductions both employee and employer must pay such as the Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan, Income Tax, Union Dues (if applicable), etc. In addition, this type of employee is eligible for government support (Employment Insurance payments) in the case he or she loses a job for no fault of their own.

Contract/Freelance Employment

One can also be employed on contract (or as a freelancer), which usually entails being paid a fixed amount of money for a particular project with no additional benefits. Some variations where contract workers are allocated benefits additional to their pay are possible. This type of worker can be hired to address a particular problem that exists for a limited time, say several months and that contract worker must leave the company once the contract expires unless a new, longer-term contract is negotiated.

Contract employees are not required to make deductions for the employment insurance or the Canada pension plan, although they may elect to do so. Income tax is paid at the end of the year and in some instances, contract employees may qualify for employment insurance, however, this has to be determined by the Canada Revenue Agency and the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada through an interview process.

In order to be a contract employee, companies usually prefer that you have a registered corporation so that they can avoid some contingent liabilities if they arise. However, this is not a legal requirement. To freelance you need an individual GST number, which can be obtained from Revenue Canada without having to open a business.

Part-time Employment

In Canada, many jobs exist that offer occasional, weekend, evening, partial day or daily part-time employment. Most of those jobs are service jobs, and are available in the hospitality industry, food stores, retail stores and so on. Depending on the company, these types of jobs are paid differently but they usually pay the minimum wage (currently the average is CAD$10.15 per hour).

Other Types of Employment

There are also other types of employment such as summer jobs, internships, co-operative, seasonal, unpaid voluntary work and so on. Depending where you are in Canada and/or your affiliation with an educational institution, you may get different opportunities.

Volunteering in Canada

Many employers prefer to hire people with experience of working in Canada (this is obviously a problem if you don’t have that experience). If you are studying or have the financial resources to dedicate a few weeks full-time or a few hours per week to volunteer with a not-for profit organization in Canada, that could pay enormously when you look for a job because of the following two reasons:

  • You will have proof of “Canadian Experience”
  • You will have demonstrated your concern for others and your willingness to help without expecting anything in return. Many employers in Canada will consider those who volunteer before those who do not.

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