Guide To Employing Staff in Canada

Employers in most Canadian provinces are governed by both legislation and the common law, with the exception of Quebec, which does not follow the common law system, but rather adopts a civil law system in the form of the civil code. This guide goes through everything you need to know about employing staff in Canada with a focus on provincial laws and specifically, those of the four major business centres in Canada, namely:

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Montreal, Quebecc
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Calgary, Alberta

Working Hours, Overtime and Time-Off

In British Columbia, standard working hours are 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week, and overtime must generally be paid for any hours worked beyond these limits up to 12 hours a day. Any time worked over 12 hours during a day is paid at a more enhanced rate. In Alberta, the maximum working hours before overtime is payable are 8 per day or 44 per week. Employers in Ontario can require their employees to work up to 48 hours in a week, with overtime payable after 44 hours. In Quebec, there is generally no maximum limit on weekly working hours, although overtime is payable after 40 hours.


The period of payment of wages differs between the provinces. The Employment Standards Act of Ontario provides only that employees must be paid on the regular pay day as established by the employer. However, in Alberta the payment period must be no longer than one month, whilst in British Columbia and Quebec pay periods cannot exceed 16 days. Employees are entitled to receive pay slips and again the exact requirements vary
between provinces.

To read the complete 17-page guide with more information on Canadian payroll, paid leave, the social security system in Canada, health coverage, employment insurance and much more, fill out the form above.