Competitive total rewards programs are a critical component of Canadian organizations’ human resources and corporate strategy, according to a new survey by WorldatWork.

The survey, which polled 150 Canadian employers in February, found 96 per cent offer drug, dental, life insurance/accidental death and dismemberment, long-term disability and employee assistance programs. Additionally, 93 per cent of survey respondents offer vision benefits and 92 per cent offer short-term disability.

While the survey found only five per cent of organizations offered unlimited paid-time-off programs, it’s likely this is because of government-mandated paid-time-off regulations, noted the survey. The law differs in each jurisdiction, but Canadian employees are generally entitled to sick and personal leave. And sick and personal leave beyond what’s required by law is the most popular paid-time-off policy, with 87 per cent of companies offering paid sick and personal leave pay.

Read: A refresher on Canada’s leave policies as coronavirus escalates

Performance-based merit systems are very common in Canada, as 90 per cent of companies have one in place. Additionally, 75 per cent of survey respondents said they offer individual performance-based incentives (cash bonuses). Only 10 per cent offer cash profit-sharing and only about half of companies offer long-term incentives with 40 per cent offering restricted stock and 22 per cent offering stock options.

“Competitive total rewards offerings above and beyond government-mandated programs are critical for employers of choice in Canada,” said Steve Boddy, content director at WorldatWork, in a press release. “Even in today’s difficult employment environment, having differentiators in the areas of health, welfare, well-being and paid time off could be considered even more important than they were just a few short months ago.”

The survey also found that the most popular wellness program offerings among Canadian employers are discounted fitness memberships, smoking cessation, stress reduction and nutritional counselling.

Read: What are the ingredients of a successful wellness program?

Other workplace well-being initiatives, such as corporate social responsibility/green initiatives, diversity and inclusion and flexible working schedules are popular, with about 70 per cent of companies offering them. Some 60 per cent said they offer personal financial planning services.

In addition, 33 per cent offer elder-care resources, 26 per cent offer fertility benefits and 12 per cent offer onsite or near-site childcare services.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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