BUSINESS

The to p 100

RICHARD YEREMA October 16 2006
BUSINESS

The to p 100

RICHARD YEREMA October 16 2006

The to p 100

Every company likes to say they treat their staff like valued assets. Here are the very best that are actually doing it.

RICHARD YEREMA

(X) Indicates number of Canadian full-time employees

BUSINESS

ALCOA ALUMINERIE DE DESCHAMBAULT S.E.N.C. (540) Aluminum smelting operation, Deschambault-Grondines, Que. Free on-site fitness facility; maternity topups to 95 per cent of salary for 18 weeks.

ALTAGAS INCOME TRUST. (327) Energy company, Calgary. Workers start with three weeks vacation plus days off at Christmas; pays workers while doing apprenticeship training; top performer gets Rockies weekend for two.

CEMENTATION CANADA INC. (617)

Mine contracting firm, North Bay, Ont.

Weekly volleyball games plus curling and golfing tournaments; at holiday party, a worker won a free trip to Cuba.

DOFASCO INC. (6,781)

Steel manufacturer, Hamilton. Profitsharing—started in 1938—paid out over $9,000 per eligible employee recently; fitness centre open to families.

ENBRIDGE INC. (3,220)

Natural gas distribution, Calgary.

Vacation starts at three weeks, plus 12 more paid days off per year; matching group RSP contributions.

YOGA STUDIOS AND GYMS ARE COMMON, BUT ONE PR FIRM HAS A WEEKLY BEER CART

EPCOR UTILITIES INC. (2,352) Electricity, water and gas supplier, Edmonton. Workers can take five personal days off each year in hourly increments; donates $200 to local charity when an employee volunteers 50 hours there.

GREAT LITTLE BOX CO. LTD. (164)

Box manufacturer, Richmond, B.C.

Books are open to employees; monthly profit-sharing cheques; all employees go on free trips when profit goals reached.

NEW FLYER INDUSTRIES LTD. (1,070)

Transit bus maker, Winnipeg. Full salaries for employees training for certifications; employees volunteer at local university; annual wellness week.

NORTH ATLANTIC REFINING LTD. (622)

Fuel production, Come By Chance, Nfld.

Employee discounts on gasoline and home heating fuel; uses employee firefighting and safety skills to train volunteer departments.

PCL CONSTRUCTORS INC. (1,266) General contractor, Edmonton. Employeeowned firm with a “promote from within” strategy also moves staff from job to job to ensure steady employment; huge hockey tournament.

SHELL CANADA LTD. (4,565) Petroleum company, Calgary. Five per cent discount on gas purchases; will help workers find child care and even seniors’ facilities.

SPRUCELAND MILLWORKS INC. (175)

Lumber products, Acheson, Alta. Workers get $10 when the firm reaches daily

target; all staff got $1,000+ bonus for record profits last year; recently took everyone for paid trip to Mexico.

SUNCOR ENERGY INC. (4,634) Energy company, Calgary. Twelve paid personal days on top of vacation; scholarships up to $1,800 for workers’ kids; tuition subsidies up to $4,500 per year.

TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING CANADA INC. (4,545) Automobile manufacturer, Cambridge, Ont. Families get $1,000 off vehicle sale or lease; great fitness facilities.

CONSUMER SERVICES

ABEBOOKS INC. (90)

Online network of booksellers, Victoria.

Employees start with three weeks of vacation; moving into new head office.

EFFEM INC. (485)

Foodmaker, Bolton, Ont. Canadian maker of Mars and Snickers offers these snacks at cost in its store; vacation purchase program.

FAIRMONT HOTELS INC. (7,559) Luxury hotels & resorts, Toronto.

Discounted employee rates at the company's hotels and resorts; website to review worldwide job postings.

G.A.P. ADVENTURES INC. (112)

Tour operator, Toronto. Top employees - get trips around the world; four weeks n vacation after five years on the job.

P IKEA CANADA LP (1,271)

1 ' Home furnishings retailer, Burlington, ? Ont. On-site daycare at some loca' tions; range of flexible work programs available; career opportunities in over 32 countries.

INDIGO BOOKS & MUSIC INC. (1,857)

Book retailer, Toronto. Benefits for part-time employees; performance rewards include trips to New York City.

L’ORÉAL CANADA INC. (1,200)

Cosmetics company, Montreal. Downtown workplace has specialty coffee bar and discount cosmetics boutique; on-site daycare; international training courses in Paris and New York City.

OLIVER BONACINI PARTNERSHIP (352)

Restaurant chain, Toronto. Offers field trips to NYC for chefs; paid trips to winemaking regions around the world.

PROCTER & GAMBLE INC. (1,868) Consumer products, Toronto. Workers can increase vacation days by transferring unused credits from health benefits plan; flexible work options.

ALLIANCE ATLANTIS COMMUNICATIONS INC. (558)

TV and film company, Toronto. Free movie screenings; maternity top-ups reach 80 per cent of salary for 27 weeks for birth and adoptive moms; dads get same for 10 weeks.

BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON LLP (870)

Law firm, Toronto. Overseas career opportunities; lunch-hour workshops.

CERIDIAN CANADA LTD. (1,230) Human resources management, Winnipeg. Workers nominate an employee for firm-paid southern vacation; pet insurance subsidy.

ERNST & YOUNG LLP (3,605)

Audit, tax, corporate finance services, Toronto. Adoption assistance bonus of $5,000; pays for emergency daycare workers to go to an employee's home.

GOLDER ASSOCIATES LTD. (1,676) Engineering consultants, Burnaby, B.C.

Global employee exchange program; employee-owned firm spends one per cent of net revenue on training.

HALIFAX HERALD LTD. (337) Newspaper publisher, Halifax. Recently gave workers a cash subsidy to offset high energy prices; paid birthdays off.

HILL & KNOWLTON CANADA (173) Public relations firm, Toronto. Employee lounge complete with supermarket tabloids; weekly office beer cart; cash bonuses for course completions.

I LOVE REWARDS INC. (25) Employee recognition developer, Toronto. Vacations start at four weeks; all current workers got a two-week vacation bump-up; up to five days off for volunteering at local charities.

JACQUES WHITFORD LTD. (984) Consulting engineering firm, Dartmouth, N.S. Parental leave top-ups of 75 per cent for a year.

KPMG LLP (4,730)

Audit, tax, corporate finance services, Toronto. 5even paid personal days off; co-workers recommend performance bonuses; just doubled mat leave top-up.

MINTZ & PARTNERS LLP (142) Accounting firm, Toronto. Bonuses up to $10,000 when a recommended friend is hired; matching RRSP contributions.

PATIENT NEWS PUBLISHING INC. (55)

Dental newsletters, Haliburton, Ont.

Lakefront office has private dock, on-site fitness facility and outdoor volleyball court; top employees get a paid trip for two to an exotic destination.

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS

LLP (4,926)

Accounting and professional services, Toronto. Donates $10,000 on behalf of the employee volunteer of the year; annual fitness allowance to $1,200; monthly draw for prizes including weekend getaways for two.

SASKTEL (3,571)

Communications company,

Regina. Massive online training system; free fitness centre; never laid off a permanent employee in its history.

THOMSON NELSON (395)

Academic publisher, Toronto.

Discounted share purchase plan; maternity leave top-up payments to 95 per cent of salary for 17 weeks.

EVEN FIDO CAN GET BENEFITS. CERIDIAN PAYS A SUBSIDY ON PET INSURANCE.

URBAN SYSTEMS LTD. (250) Engineers, planners and landscape architects, Kamloops,

B.C. Hires disadvantaged young people for oneyear work terms and offers support if they pursue a trade or more schooling.

WARDROP

ENGINEERING INC. (549)

Consulting engineering firm, Winnipeg.

Cash bonuses of up to 50 per cent for good job performance; paid more than a dozen employees while they joined tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia

WORLEYPARSONS KOMEX (224) Consulting engineering firm, Calgary.

Phased-in return-to-work program for new mothers; career possibilities in over 30 countries.

YELLOW PAGES GROUP (1,924) Telephone directories, Montreal. Alternative work options include telecommuting; flexible schedules and reduced summer hours.

APPLEBY COLLEGE (153)

Private school, Oakville, Ont. Free meals at cafeteria; free extensive fitness facilities; complimentary laptop computer.

ATLANTIC LOTTERY CORP. INC. (527)

Gaming products, Moncton, N.B. Customized health benefits; funky downtown office; three paid personal days.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA (1,535)

Crown corp. for business, Montreal.

Pension contributions up to 13.3 per cent; maternity top-up payments to 95 per cent of salary for 17 weeks.

CANADA POST CORP. (53,612) Postal firm, Ottawa. Phased-in retirement leave program; $50 annual fee for fully equipped fitness facility; manages $anta Claus’s letter-writing division.

CATHOLIC CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO 562)

Social support services, Toronto. Extended maternity leave for up to three years; inhouse training programs and a special education leave program.

DURHAM REGIONAL POLICE SERVICE (1,157)

Police service, Oshawa,

Ont. Parental top-up to 75 per cent of salary for 35 weeks for new dads; job-sharing available.

ECOTRUST CANADA (18) Sustainable development consultants, Vancouver.

Trust-based personal days off program; maternity leave top-up to 80 per cent of

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA (1,025) Crown export agency, Ottawa.

Compassionate leave top-up payments to 95 per cent of salary for eight weeks; generous parental leave plan.

FARM CREDIT CANADA (1,102) Crown farmers’ agency, Regina. Mat

leave top-up payments to 95 per cent of salary for 50 weeks; alternative work arrangements for returning new parents.

HAMILTON HEALTH SCIENCES CORP. (5,456)

Health care service provider, Hamilton.

On-site daycare has emergency care space; tuition subsidies up to $5,000.

KWANTLEN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (847)

Higher education, Surrey, B.C. Its courses are free to workers; fully equipped fitness facility, on-site Starbucks.

LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA (393)

Governing body for lawyers, Toronto.

Extra vacation if sick days not taken; top-ups for compassionate leave.

MANITOBA LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION (337)

Provincial alcohol agency, Winnipeg.

Maternity top-up to 93 per cent of salary for 15 weeks; five paid personal days off every year; tuition subsidies.

ROYAL CANADIAN MINT (626)

Coinage maker, Ottawa. Parental leave top-ups to 93 per cent of salary for a year; generous pension contributions.

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE (23,363)

National police service, Ottawa. Crosscountry work opportunities; parental leave top-ups to 93 per cent for 52 weeks for new moms and dads.

SEVEN OAKS GENERAL HOSPITAL (539)

Health care service provider, Winnipeg.

On-site daycare; spring break and summer day-camp programs for employees’ children; huge wellness institute.

TORONTO HYDRO CORP. (1,688) City-owned electrical utility, Toronto.

Health benefits for retirees; employees control the charitable foundation.

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL GROUP (97)

Film festival organizer, Toronto. All-year free film tickets plus staff pass for the festival; tuition subsidies.

UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK (7,070)

Academic health sciences centre, Toronto. On-site 24-hour daycare; a range of alternative work arrangements.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (7,817) Canada’s largest university, Toronto.

Free tuition; Christmas shutdown and reduced summer hours; massive intramural sports league.

CITY OF VANCOUVER (3,369) Municipal government, Vancouver.

Work options include compressed and flexible work schedules; continuing education with apprenticeship option.

REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF YORK (1,310)

Municipal government, Newmarket,

Ont. Leaves of absence for academic studies and travel; matching retirement contributions.

ASSINIBOINE CREDIT UNION LTD. (190)

Financial services, Winnipeg. Helps new Canadians develop career skills through training and paid internship programs;

up to $1,400 yearly for workers health care spending accounts.

BANK OF MONTREAL (24,739)

Financial services, Toronto.

Operates a $50-million training institute and residence for overnight guests; online awards program that provides travel and gift certificates.

CONEXUS CREDIT UNION (616)

Financial services, Regina.

Company pension contributions to seven per cent of salary; no maximum on tuition subsidies; eight paid personal days off.

VIVENDI HAS A MUSIC REHEARSAL ROOM, WHILE OTHERS OFFER FREE SNACKS

FIDELITY CANADA (1,262)

Mutual fund company, Toronto.

Year-end bonuses to $24,000; fitness subsidies; parental leave top-ups.

HSBC BANK CANADA (5,746) Financial services, Vancouver. Adoptive parents get $4,000; scholarships for kids; flexible time-off program to take care of day-to-day errands

MBNA CANADA BANK (1,457) Affinity credit card programs, Ottawa.

Four weeks of vacation after one year; newlyweds get additional week of paid vacation and free limo service.

MEDAVIE BLUE CROSS (1,335) Insurance services, Moncton, N.B.

Loyalty card for discounts at downtown businesses; paid time off to volunteer at local charities.

ROGERS INSURANCE LTD. (86) Insurance brokerage, Calgary. Firm took employees and their families for two nights at a Kananaskis resort; cash awards for accreditations.

RUSSELL INVESTMENTS CANADA LTD. (120)

Investment management services, Toronto. Monthly contributions to employee pensions up to 15 per cent of salary; early closings on long summer weekends.

SUN LIFE ASSURANCE CO.

OF CANADA (7,632)

Financial services, Waterloo, Ont.

Matching RRSP contributions; funky office in reno’d department store complete with fitness centre; generous share purchase plan; tuition subsidies.

VANCOUVER CITY SAVINGS CREDIT UNION (1,386)

Financial services, Vancouver.

Purchase extra vacation days by changing benefit plan coverage; reduced loan rates for hybrid vehicles.

TECHNOLOGY

ALGORITHMES INC. (353) Financial services software developer, Toronto. Renovated loft office includes café, rooftop patio and fitness facility; one month paid sabbatical after five years; up to $15,000 referral bonus.

CHRISTIE DIGITAL SYSTEMS CANADA INC. (279)

Video projection systems, Kitchener, Ont. On-site personal trainer at fitness centre; in-house training courses.

COGNOS INC. (1,517)

Business management applications, Ottawa. Wellness classes at on-site fitness centre; up to $5,000 referral bonus; extra week of vacation after five years.

CRONUS TECHNOLOGIES INC. (32) Information technology consulting, Saskatoon, Sask.

Managers run the office over Christmas while staff get paid holiday shutdown; spouses invited to annual five-day retreat in the Rockies.

DÁLSA CORP. (805) Digital imaging products, Waterloo, Ont. Transfer of unused health coverage to RRSPs; recently upgraded its health benefits plan.

GENERAL DYNAMICS CANADA LTD. (1,809)

Defence contractor, Ottawa. Eight in-house hockey teams for players of all skill levels; maintains outdoor skating rink for skating and afternoon shinny games; free Christmas turkeys.

HEWLETT-PACKARD (CANADA) CO. (4,260)

Computer products, Mississauga, Ont.

Workers and their families can use the firm’s lakeside lodge north of Kingston, Ont.; discounts on newest computer equipment.

IANYWHERE SOLUTIONS INC. (211)

Web-based and wireless software, Waterloo, Ont. Four weeks vacation after only two years; up to $6,000 annually for continuing education; high percentage of co-op students hired full-time.

KEANE CANADA INC. (588) Software development and consulting, Halifax. Office with views of Citadel Hill; tuition subsidies to $5,250 each year; professional accreditation cash bonuses.

LAURENTIDE CONTROLS LTD. (118)

Process automation products, Kirkland, Que. Spouses invited to the annual weekend retreat at a nearby resort; vacation goes to four weeks after five years on the job.

MDA CORP. (1,708)

Information systems, Richmond, B.C.

Yoga classes led by an executive vice-president at on-site fitness facility; workers get individual training and education budgets; golf course across the

VACATIONS ARE GETTING LONGER. SOME FIRMS OFFER FOUR WEEKS TO NEW HIRES.

MICROSOFT CANADA CO. (844) Computer software products, Mississauga, Ont. Afternoon travelling snack cart; Christmas shutdown on top of regular vacation.

PROGRESSIVE SOLUTIONS INC. (74)

Forest products industry software, Vernon, B.C. Informal policy of never declining a request to help employees achieve a good work-life balance; generous maternity top-up to 95 per cent of salary for 50 weeks; paid Christmas shutdown.

RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD. (3,698)

Wireless communications devices, Waterloo, Ont. Free BlackBerry for all employees; subsidized on-site massage treatments.

SAS INSTITUTE (CANADA) INC. (190)

Data warehousing and business software, Toronto. Free fruit, yogourt, pastries and M&Ms in a “green” office; health allowance for alternative wellness activities such as yoga and tai chi.

SOPHOS INC. (160)

Spam and virus detection software, Vancouver. Year-end bonuses can exceed $41,000; no maximum amount for subsidized tuition; daily fruit deliveries.

VEER INC. (61)

Visual image seller, Calgary. Bring kids to work in a daycare emergency; quarterly contest sends an employee for a week of working and living in Berlin.

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL GAMES CANADA LTD. (245)

Interactive video games, Vancouver.

Known as Radical Entertainment, the firm has an indoor log cabin and music rehearsal space in its office where the CFO jams with co-workers.

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ALTANA PHARMA INC. (246) Pharmaceutical company, Oakville, Ont.

New head office complete with couches in the employee lounge and a fireplace; scholarships for employees’ children; tuition subsidies to $5,000.

ASSOC. OF MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL CROWN EMPLOYEES OF ONTARIO (18) Union bargaining agents, Toronto. Up to $600 for fitness and wellness activities; mat leave top-up of 93 per cent of salary for a year; four weeks starting vacation.

BAYER CROPSCIENCE INC. (252) Crop protection, Calgary. Hard work rewards of up to $2,000 cash and free trips across North America; informal earned days-off program.

DIAGNOSTIC CHEMICALS LTD. (202) Pharmaceutical manufacturer, Charlottetown. Bonuses up to $5,000; tuition subsidies to $1,500 for course at outside institutions.

PFIZER CANADA INC. (1,457)

Pharmaceutical firm, Kirkland, Que. Mat leave top-up to 100 per cent for 18 weeks; on-site daycare; buy take-home dinners from subsidized cafeteria.

SYNGENTA CROP PROTECTION CANADA INC. (140)

Crop protection products, Guelph, Ont. Annual lifestyle subsidy to $600 for gym memberships and even personal hobbies; matching RRSP contributions; $2,000 scholarships for employees’ kids.

YANKE GROUP OF COS. (913) Trucking company, Saskatoon, Sask.

Rural employees with family farms get time off during planting and harvest seasons; drivers eligible for an annual $10,000 safety prize.

Patricia Treble