Working in Canada by the Numbers

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This is a list of numbers you have to familiarize in order to make your working life as well as your looking for work life a bit easier. Though this numbers may be of importance, you can get away with just familiarizing, with some of them you may use to invoke additional fees, extended benefits, others your rights and your company’s rights, the most important numbers which must be memorized always is your 9- digit Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Your employer or future employer will always ask for your SIN whether you are a permanent resident of Canada or not. If you still don’t have your SIN you can apply for it personally at the Service Canada Center with documents of proof of identity. Always remember that SINs that start with “9” are issued to temporary workers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents of Canada. Once you have secured your SIN, you may proceed.

8 and 40 – for full time employment, Canadian Constitutions states a standard of 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. Anything higher that this will be considered overtime and must be paid overtime wage

$11.00 – The 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada under Canadian Constitution must enact and enforce labor laws which include minimum wage. Effective October 1, 2015, minimum wage will be $11.00 from present $10.70 in Manitoba.

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5 – This is the number of public holidays known as “statutory holidays.” This includes New Year’s Day on January 1, Good Friday on the Friday before Easter, Canada Day on July 1, Labor Day on first Monday of September and Christmas Day on December 25. These holidays are observed nationwide and are paid days off for employees. Aside from this, there are also holidays celebrated by provinces and territories.

30 – This is the number of minutes given to an employee as a work break for every 5 hours of work. Employment Standards Code offer a no less, no more than 30 minutes break.


2 – The number of times an employee gets paid in a month. Some employers do not follow an exact payday schedule this but pays their employees biweekly.

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2 – The number of weeks of notice upon resignation, two weeks is the norm if there is no notice of obligation set out in the employee contract.

2 – the number of weeks of paid vacation after completing a year of service with an employer. There are notable differenceswith regards to entitlement and eligibility however this is the standard in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

1.8 – The rated percentage provided by the Service Revenue of Canada to calculate the amount of Employment Insurance (EI) premium to deduct the insurable earnings of employees. Employers meanwhile are required to deduct 1.4% the amount of employees’ premiums.

55 – the percentage of insurable weekly earnings from EI benefits that Canadian residents who have lost their job through no fault of their own or those who are sick, pregnant, caring for a child or family member who is seriously sick may receive as a temporary financial assistance. The maximum insurable earnings as of this year is $49 500 which gives a maximum amount of $524 per week.

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4.95 – the rate used to calculate the amount of Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) contributions from employees’ remuneration. The employer also contributes the equal amount to the employees’ contribution.

These numbers are an easy way to help understand some of the pay-related matters and employment regulations in Canada. So the next you might find some disappearing and appearing digits from your paycheck, double check where it goes using some of these numbers.

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