TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2020 /CNW/ - For millions of working Canadians, it seems like the pressures of balancing work and family commitments have never been greater. The good news, however, is that more employers are helping out by offering new family-friendly benefits and progressive workplace policies. The best of these were recognized today, as this year's Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers were announced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., organizers of the annual Canada's Top 100 Employers competition.
"What society considers a 'family-friendly employer' is changing," says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "When we started the family-friendly competition 19 years ago, a good employer in this area focused exclusively on employees with young families. Today, with many Canadians supporting ageing parents and starting families later in life, progressive employers are responding by providing family assistance at every stage of life."
"The term 'family-friendly' has also become more inclusive," adds Kristina Leung, Senior Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. "There's a growing awareness that policies need to be inclusive of a wide variety of family types – many of this year's winners offer the same parental top-up across the board."
To determine this year's family-friendly winners, the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers evaluate each employer in terms of the programs and initiatives they have to help employees balance work and family commitments. The competition looks at a wide range of HR practices, including: maternity and parental leave; daycare assistance; paid personal- and earned-days-off (EDO) programs; flexible work arrangements; compassionate leave and elder care assistance; adoption assistance; reproductive assistance, including fertility drugs and IVF; and even academic bursaries for employees' children. In addition, the editors look at other programs each employer may have to address specific work-life balance issues unique to their industry.
Some of the benefits offered by this year's winners include:
The City of Toronto recently extended maternity and parental leave top-up for new mothers to 75% of salary for 78 weeks, making it one of the best family leave policies in the country.
KPMG offers new parents-to-be a generous adoption subsidy (to $20,000) and supports new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks). The national accounting and professional services firm has in-house employee networks for parents with young children as well as parents of children with special physical, emotional or behavioural needs.
Fidelity Canada, based in Toronto, provides an excellent package of family-friendly benefits – including a IVF subsidy of up to $15,000 for employees starting new families.
Along with onsite childcare, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, offers a variety of flexible working arrangements to help employees balance personal and professional commitments, including telecommuting, shortened work weeks (fewer hours, less pay), and 35-hour work weeks with full pay.
Toronto-based Salesforce recently increased its maternity and parental leave top-up. The cloud-based CRM software provider also offers a subsidy of up to $10,000 to employees to help offset the costs of adoption.
BC Public Service offers up to a full year of maternity leave top-up payments for its new moms (with onsite daycare at some locations) and supports parents with older children through academic scholarships.
St. John's-based Verafin Inc., which develops software for the finance industry, provides excellent maternity and parental leave top-up to new mothers (to 75% of salary for 52 weeks) as well as parental leave top-up for fathers and adoptive parents.
Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation's largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 15 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, one of Canada's largest job search engines, which reaches millions of unique visitors annually and features editorial reviews from the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. Mediacorp also hosts Canada's largest conference for senior-level HR professionals, the Top Employer Summit – this year's conference took place at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto in November.