SPECIAL REPORT

THE TOP 100

Generous vacations, staff discounts, on-site daycare and more. Here are the companies that put employees first.

RICHARD YEREMA October 15 2007
SPECIAL REPORT

THE TOP 100

Generous vacations, staff discounts, on-site daycare and more. Here are the companies that put employees first.

RICHARD YEREMA October 15 2007

THE TOP 100

SPECIAL REPORT

Generous vacations, staff discounts, on-site daycare and more. Here are the companies that put employees first.

RICHARD YEREMA

Every year the competition gets bigger and tougher, as the winners raise the bar on what Canadian workers can expect from their employers. These are the companies that understand what it takes to attract the best talent, and to boost the bottom line. (X) Indicates number of Canadian full-time employees

CONSUMER

SERVICES

ABEBOOKS INC.

Online network of booksellers, Victoria. Employer matches RSP contributions; share purchase plan for all workers. (94)

FAIRMONT HOTELS INC.

Luxury hotels & resorts, Toronto.

Discounted rates at the company's hotels and resorts for employees and their families and friends; website to review worldwide job postings. (8,811 )

IKEA CANADA LP

Home furnishings retailer, Burlington, Ont. On-site daycare at head office; flexible work programs available; career opportunities in over 35 countries. (1,401 )

L’ORÉAL CANADA INC.

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. (1,200)

PROCTER & GAMBLE INC.

Consumer products, Toronto.

Workers can increase vacation days by transferring unused credits from health benefits plan; flexible work options. (2,018)

INDUSTRIAL AND RESOURCES

ALBERTA-PACIFIC FOREST INDUSTRIES INC.

Pulp facility, Boyle, Alta. Property has a 16-hectare trout pond, walking trail and driving range; offers tuition subsidies. (455)

ALTAGAS INCOME TRUST

Energy company, Calgary.

Workers get long summer weekends and extra days off at Christmas; pay continues while doing apprenticeship training. (357)

BOEING CANADA TECHNOLOGY LTD.

Aerospace composite manufacturer, Winnipeg. The aircraft firm's Winnipeg division provides financial help for foreign-trained workers to complete educational equivalency programs; matches RSP contributions. (1,274)

CAE INC.

Flight simulation manufacturer, Montreal. Full tuition subsidies to outside institutions; profit sharing, year-end bonuses and sharepurchase plans; mat leave top-ups to 75% of salary for 18 weeks. (3,062)

MARS CANADA INC.

Foodmaker, Bolton, Ont. Canadian candy maker offers snacks at cost in its store; vacation purchase program; one-on-one on-site fitness training. (479)

CEMENTATION CANADA INC.

Mine contracting firm, North Bay, Ont. Weekly volleyball games for workers and spouses plus curling and golfing tournaments; at holiday party, a worker won a free trip to Cuba. (755)

ENBRIDGE INC.

Natural gas distribution, Calgary.

Vacation starts at three weeks, plus 12 more paid days off per year; four separate health benefit plans. (3,522)

EPCOR UTILITIES INC.

Electricity, water and gas supplier, Edmonton. Workers can take five personal days off each year in hourly increments. (2,582)

GENERAL DYNAMICS CANADA LTD.

Defence contractor, Ottawa.

Maintains outdoor rink for skating and afternoon shinny games; offers scholarships for employees' children; free Christmas turkeys.

(2,031)

GREAT LITTLE BOX CO. LTD.

Box manufacturer, Vancouver.

Books are open to employees; all employees go on free trips when profit goals reached; retiree health coverage. (170)

NEW FLYER INDUSTRIES LTD.

Transit bus maker, Winnipeg.

Full salaries for apprentices during their training; birthdays off with pay; wellness week. (1,288)

NORTH ATLANTIC REFINING LTD.

Fuel production, Come By Chance, Nfld. Employee discounts on gasoline and home heating fuel; uses employee firefighting and safety skills to train volunteer departments. (620)

PCL CONSTRUCTORS INC.

General contractor, Edmonton.

Employee-owned firm with a "promote from within" strategy; new $30-million training facility; huge hockey tournament. (1,678)

SHELL CANADA LTD.

Petroleum company, Calgary.

Discount on gas purchases; paid tuition for outside personal interest courses. (4,751)

SPRUCELAND MILLWORKS INC.

Lumber products, Acheson, Alta.

Recently all staff got a "prosperity bonus" of $1,000 for each year of service; workday ends when production target reached. (157)

SUNCOR ENERGY INC.

Energy company, Calgary. Up to

17 paid personal days on top of vacation; scholarships up to $1,800 for workers' kids; flexible health benefits. (5,483)

TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING CANADA INC.

Automobile manufacturer, Cambridge, Ont. Employees get $1,000 off vehicle purchase; great fitness facilities; huge prizes at Christmas party. (4,611 )

TRICAN WELL SERVICE LTD.

Oil and gas well equipment, Calgary. Parental top-ups to 100% of salary for 36 weeks; phased-in retirement leave program. (1,537)

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES & COMMUNICATIONS

BLAKE, CASSELS & GRAYDON LLP

Law firm, Toronto. Overseas career opportunities; $1 million student scholarship program; employee-directed short films and musical performances at the Christmas party. (815)

CERIDIAN CANADA LTD.

Human resources management, Winnipeg. Workers nominate an employee for firm-paid southern vacation; pet insurance subsidy; profit-sharing plans. (1,250)

DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP

Accounting, audit, tax, management services, Toronto.

International experience program allows employees to work for up to two years in foreign offices; achievement rewards include weekend trips and house-cleaning services. (7,474)

GOLDER ASSOCIATES LTD.

Engineering consultants, Burnaby, B.C. Global employee exchange program in 140 countries; parental and adoptive leave top-up payments. (2,028)

HALIFAX HERALD LTD.

Newspaper publisher, Halifax.

Generous tuition subsidies; paid birthdays off; flexible health plan including retiree benefits. (335)

HILL & KNOWLTON CANADA

Public relations firm, Toronto.

Employee lounge complete with bar and media room; weekly office beer cart; cash bonuses for course completions. (177)

I LOVE REWARDS INC.

Employee recognition developer, Toronto. Vacations start at four weeks increasing to five weeks after three years on the job; up to five paid days off for volunteering at local charities. (39)

JACQUES WHITFORD LTD.

Consulting engineering firm, Dartmouth, N.S. Parental leave top-ups to 75% of salary for 35 weeks for new dads and 52 weeks for moms. (1,104)

KPMG LLP

Audit, tax, corporate finance services, Toronto. Subsidized child and elder care; seven paid personal days off; benefits and grants for adoptions; paid volunteer time off. (5,165)

MARSH CANADA LTD.

Insurance broker, Toronto.

Discounted home and auto insurance; reduced summer hours; full tuition subsidies. (1,211)

MINTZ & PARTNERS LLP

Accounting firm, Toronto.

Emergency child care; up to three weeks paid study leave. (150)

PATIENT NEWS PUBLISHING INC.

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. (66)

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP

Accounting and professional services, Toronto. Donates $10,000 on behalf of the employee volunteer of the year; annual fitness allowance to $1,200; nine paid days off in addition to vacation. (5,616)

SASKTEL

Communications company, Regina. Massive online training system offers more than 680 courses; free fitness centre; matching RSP contributions in addition to a traditional pension plan; tuition subsidies. (3,476)

SWISS RE

Re-insurance company, Toronto.

International career opportunities; financial benefits range from year-end bonuses to low-interest home loans. (196)

URBAN SYSTEMS LTD.

Engineers, planners and landscape architects, Kamloops, B.C.

Hires disadvantaged young people for one-year work terms and offers support if they pursue a trade or more schooling; matching RSP contributions. (271)

WARDROP ENGINEERING INC.

Consulting engineering firm, Winnipeg. Subsidized home and auto insurance and low-interest home loans; cash bonuses of up to 50% for good job performance. (649)

YELLOW PAGES GROUP

Telephone directories, Verdun, Que. Alternative work options include telecommuting; flexible schedules and reduced summer hours. (1,330)

PUBLIC SECTOR AND NON-PROFIT

APPLEBY COLLEGE

Private school, Oakville, Ont.

Complimentary laptop computer; free comprehensive fitness facility that has rock-climbing walls and indoor pool. (172)

B.C. SAFETY AUTHORITY

Safety Standards Act administrator, New Westminster, B.C. Helps workers near retirement to finish their careers in their preferred retirement location plus contributes to moving expenses; offers telework. (213)

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA

Crown corporation for business, Montreal. Extra days off can be bought through the health benefits plan; referral bonuses of up to $2,000. (1,685)

CANADA POST CORP.

Postal firm, Ottawa. Phased-in retirement leave program; Aboriginal educational incentives; manages Santa Claus's letterwriting division. (61,856)

CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF TORONTO

Social support services, Toronto.

Extended maternity leave for up to three years; in-house training programs and a special education leave program. (598)

CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

Accountant representatives, Vancouver. Free on-site gym with yoga and Pilâtes classes; subsidized auto insurance; discounts for computer purchases. (131)

DURHAM REGIONAL POLICE SERVICE

Police service, Whitby, Ont.

Parental top-up to 75% of salary for 35 weeks for new dads and 52 weeks for new moms. (1,233)

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CANADA

Crown export agency, Ottawa.

Employee language instruction in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese; generous parental leave plan. (1,056)

FARM CREDIT CANADA

Crown farmers' agency, Regina.

Mat leave top-up payments to 95% of salary for 50 weeks; six personal days annually. (1,193)

HAMILTON HEALTH SCIENCES CORP.

Health care service provider, Hamilton. On-site daycare has emergency care space; tuition subsidies up to $5,000. (5,682)

MANITOBA LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION

Provincial alcohol agency, Winnipeg. Maternity top-up to 93% of salary for 15 weeks; five paid personal days off every year; tuition subsidies. (341)

McGILL UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTRE

Teaching hospital, Montreal.

Variety of flexible work options including reduced summer hours; on-site daycare; most employees get four weeks vacation after the first year. (5,467)

NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE

Cultural showcase, Ottawa.

Maternity leave top-ups to 95% of salary; tuition subsidies; four paid personal days off. (362)

N.B. POWER HOLDING CORP.

Electric utility, Fredericton.

"Earned time-off" program allows for extended paid leaves up to two months; head office on-site daycare. (2,415)

OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF CANADA

Federal government auditor, Ottawa. Variety of alternative

work arrangements and unpaid leaves—one worker recently spent a year sailing. (644)

ONTARIO POWER GENERATION INC.

Electricity utility, Toronto.

Extensive support for ongoing education; traditional pension plan; health benefits for retirees; on-site fitness centre. (11,434)

ROYAL B.C. MUSEUM CORP.

Provincial museum, Victoria.

Generous pension plan contributions; extended health coverage for retirees. (113)

ROYAL CANADIAN MINT

Coinage maker, Ottawa.

Parental leave top-ups to 93% of salary for a year; generous pension contributions. (793)

SASKATCHEWAN GAMING CORP.

Provincial controlled gaming agency, Regina. Historic headquarters with on-site gym; mat-leave payment up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks. (429)

SASKATCHEWAN GOVERNMENT INSURANCE

Insurance provider, Regina.

Interest-free loans up to $5,000 for computer purchases; tuition subsidies. (1,587)

SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

University, Burnaby, B.C. Summer day-camp programs for employee children; on-site daycare; free fitness facilities. (4,503)

TORONTO HYDRO CORP.

Electrical utility, Toronto.

Retiree health benefits; adoptive top-up payments to 95% of salary for a year; employees control the charitable foundation.

(1,527)

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL INC.

Film festival organizer, Toronto.

Access to film screenings and lectures plus staff pass for the festival; tuition subsidies. (117)

UNIVERSITY HEALTH NETWORK

Academic health sciences centre, Toronto. On-site 24-hour daycare; two on-site wellness centres. (8,000)

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Canada's largest university, Toronto. Free tuition; Christmas shutdown; subsidized fitness facilities; "quality of life" adviser to help with work-life balance. (7,985)

RESORT MUNICIPALITY OF WHISTLER

Municipal government, Whistler, B.C. Free family memberships to a nearby fitness centre; free yoga classes; self-funded leave proqram.

REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF YORK

Municipal government, Newmarket, Ont. Leaves of absence for personal reasons; public transit subsidies; parental leave top-ups. (2,096)

FINANCIAL

SERVICES

ASSINIBOINE CREDIT UNION LTD.

Financial services, Winnipeg.

Active diversity and equity hiring with women making up half of senior management; up to $1,400 yearly for workers' health care spending accounts. (393)

FIDELITY CANADA

Mutual fund company, Toronto.

Fitness subsidies; parental leave top-ups; matching R5P contributions; tuition subsidies. (1,394)

HSBC BANK CANADA

Financial services, Vancouver.

Adoptive parents get $4,000; scholarships for kids; last year's highest bonus was $131,000; low-interest home loans. (6,200)

MBNA CANADA BANK

Affinity credit card programs, Ottawa. Four weeks of vacation for new employees; newlyweds get additional week of paid vacation, $500 and free limo service. (1,657)

OPSEU PENSION TRUST

Pension manager, Toronto.

On-site yoga and exercise classes; generous parental leaves; five paid personal days off. (156)

RUSSELL INVESTMENTS CANADA LTD.

Investment management services, Toronto. Tuition subsidy recently doubled to $8,000; eight-week paid sabbatical every 10 years; early closings on long summer weekends. (120)

TORONTO-DOMINION BANK

International bank, Toronto.

Low-interest home loans, training programs for employees with foreign credentials. (31,473)

VANCOUVER CITY SAVINGS CREDIT UNION

Financial services, Vancouver.

Purchase extra vacation days by changing benefit plan coverage; reduced loan rates for hybrid vehicles. (1,469)

TECHNOLOGY

ARCIS CORP.

Seismic data processing centre, Calgary. In-house chef prepares free healthy breakfasts and lunches; recent Christmas celebration at Banff with accommodation paid by the employer. (95)

BIOWARE CORP.

Video game developer, Edmonton. Free healthy snacks; an extra week off after the release of a new product; families and friends can enjoy movie nights at on-site theatre. (315)

BITHEADS INC.

Systems development, Ottawa.

The office in a former cinema has a movie theatre that employees can use to play Wii and Xbox games, plus a 12-m bar complete with beer taps. (49)

CHRISTIE DIGITAL SYSTEMS CANADA INC.

Video projection systems, Kitchener, Ont. On-site personal trainer at fitness centre; in-house training courses; up to $5,000 in referral bonuses. (361)

EMERGIS INC.

Information technology, Longueuil, Que. Flexible work options include compressed work weeks and telecommuting; unused health credits can be transferred into pension plan. (911)

HEWLETT-PACKARD (CANADA) CO.

Computer products, Mississauga, Ont. Workers and their families can use the firm's lakeside lodge north of Kingston, Ont.; discounts on newest equipment, including flatscreen TVs. (3,871 )

KEANE CANADA INC.

Software development and consulting, Halifax. Office with views of Citadel Hill; tuition subsidies; share-purchase plan; matching R5P contributions. (628)

LAURENTIDE CONTROLS LTD.

Process automation products, Kirkland, Que. All employees and partners given a paid Caribbean-

cruise weekend for good work; vacation goes to four weeks after five years on the job. (122)

MICROSOFT CANADA CO.

Computer software products, Mississauga, Ont. Afternoon travelling snack cart; charity volunteers get five paid days off. (942)

activities; parental leave top-ups to 93% of salary for a year; four weeks starting vacation. (22)

BAYER INC.

Chemical and polymer research, Toronto. New employee lounge with games area and quiet room; free fully equipped gym. (963)

NEXT LEVEL GAMES INC.

Video game developer, Vancouver. Full benefits for part-time staff; profit sharing and share-purchase plans; workers' pets welcome at work. (105)

PROGRESSIVE SOLUTIONS INC.

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 leave; paid Christmas shutdown. (78)

RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD.

Wireless communications devices, Waterloo, Ont. Free BlackBerry for all employees; on-site massage treatments; share options. (5,244)

SAS INSTITUTE (CANADA) INC.

Data warehousing and business software, Toronto. New "green" head office with on-site gym; allowance for home fitness equipment purchases; in-house band plays company functions. (207)

SAPIENT CANADA INC.

Data warehousing, Toronto.

Discounts on home Internet access and computer equipment; four weeks vacation after three years.

(154)

SIERRA SYSTEMS GROUP INC.

Technology consulting service, Vancouver. Monthly profit-sharing plan open to everyone; auto-lease discount rates; bicycle commuters get secure lock-up and shower facilities. (729)

SYBASE ¡ANYWHERE SOLUTIONS INC.

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 coop students hired full-time. (208)

VEER INC.

Visual image seller, Calgary.

Bring kids to work in a daycare emergency; maintains a fleet of bicycles for workers' use. (107)

VIVENDI GAMES CANADA LTD.

Interactive video games, Vancouver. Known as Radical Entertainment, the firm has an indoor log cabin, rooftop patio and fully equipped fitness centre; travelling afternoon coffee cart; six paid personal days off. (219)

OTHER

ASSOC. OF MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL CROWN EMPLOYEES OF ONTARIO

Union bargaining agent, Toronto.

$600 for fitness and wellness

DIAGNOSTIC CHEMICALS LTD.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer, Charlottetown. Tuition subsidies to $1,500 for courses at outside institutions; academic scholarships.

(205)

MONSANTO CANADA INC.

Agricultural research firm, Winnipeg. Parental and adoptive top-up benefits to 90% of salary for 26 weeks; share purchase plan; generous tuition subsidies. (262)

NYCOMED CANADA INC.

Pharmaceutical company, Oakville, Ont. Scholarships for employees' children; tuition subsidies to $5,000, employee lounge has fireplace. (249)

SYNGENTA CROP PROTECTION CANADA INC.

Crop protection products, Guelph, Ont. Annual lifestyle subsidy to $600 for gym memberships and even personal hobbies; matching RSP contributions; scholarships up to $2,000 for employees' kids. (143)

compiled by Patricia Treble