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Working in Canada: Numbers that You Must Remember

After going through the first steps in settling down in a new country, finding a job will probably be the very next step that a newly arrived immigrants will do.

For sure most people you know who are residents of Canada are giving you various advice or tips about working in Canada. But aside from the information that you’ve run from the people that you have talked to here are some numbers that you must remember which will help you get familiar with the Canadian workplace.

But before any other numbers, let me just remind you that the most important number that you should have is your 9-digit Social Insurance Number (SIN). Whether you are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or a temporary resident, your employer will require for your SIN before you can start working, to apply for a SIN, you must personally visit a Service Canada Centre with your proof of identity documents. SINs that begin with a “9” are issued to temporary workers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents. These SINs are temporary and valid only until the expiry date indicated on the immigration document authorizing them to work in Canada.

Once you have secured your SIN, here are the other numbers that you must be very familiar with:

  • $10.70. Under the Canadian Constitution, the 10 provinces and the 3 territories of Canada is responsible for enacting and enforcing the labour laws, which includes the minimum wage. At present, Manitoba’s minimum wage is $10.70 per hour. Effective October 1, 2015, minimum wage will increase to $11.00 per hour.
  • $955.37As of April 2015, Statistics Canada indicates that the average weekly earning in Canada is $955.37. If you are working in mining and quarrying or in the oil and gas industry, you are in the top earning industry by making $2,030.11 weekly, while employees from accommodation and food service only makes $367.83.
  • 8 and 40If you are employed as full time, the standard hours of work is 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. You are entitled to your regular wage rate for work rendered within this number of hours, however, if you work more than the standard time, you must be paid at the overtime wage rate.
  • 30 Minutes The Employment Standards Code requires employers provide their employees with a 30-minute work break after every five consecutive hours of work. Yes, 30 minutes only, no more, no less.
  • 2 Paydays – Employees must be paid at least 2 times in a month. However, there are some employers who do not follow an exact date of payday, instead they pay their employees biweekly, which means they would pay their employees every 2 weeks (which is the schedule that I got used to with all the companies I worked for), if this is your pay schedule, there are months that you get paid 3 times in a month.
  • 5 Public HolidaysCanada has 5 public holidays also known as “statutory holidays” which includes – New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Good Friday (Friday before Easter), Canada Day (July 1), Labour Day (1st Monday of September) and Christmas Day (Dec 25). Statutory holidays are observed nationwide as they are legislated at the federal, provincial and territorial levels. Aside from these 5 public holidays that are paid days off for employees, each Canadian province and territory has their own holidays.
  • 2 WeeksWhen it comes to paid vacation, there are notable differences across Canada with regards to entitlement and eligibility. However, employees in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are entitled to 2 weeks of paid vacation after completing one year of service with an employer.
  • 2 Weeks In Canada, employees cannot be forced to continue working for an employer, however, in terminating an employment relationship, an employee has the responsibility to provide a notice of their intention to resign. For some reason, if a notice of obligation is not set out in an employment contract, two weeks notice has been a norm in most cases.
  • 4.95% – To be eligible to Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) pensions and benefits, an individual who work in Canada must contribute to the CPP. Since 2003, the rate used to calculate the amount of CPP contributions to deduct from an employees’ remuneration is 4.95% while the employer must contribute an amount equal to the employees’ contribution.
  • 1.8% – Since 2013 the rate provided by Service Revenue Canada to calculate the amount of Employment Insurance (EI) premium to deduct from employees is 1.8% of his insurable earnings. While the employers are required to pay 1.4% times the amount of the employee’s premiums
  • 55% – Canadian residents who have lost their job through no fault of their own (shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) or those who are sick, pregnant, or caring for a newborn or adopted child, as well as those who must care for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or who must provide care or support to their critically ill or injured child may receive temporary financial assistance from EI. The basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. As of January 1, 2015, the maximum insurable earnings amount is $49,500. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $524 per week.

Whether you are still finding or you have found a full time or a part time job, these numbers will for sure be very useful for you in understanding some pay-related matters and employment regulations in Canada…


Workers Rights in Canada. Retrieved July 20, 2015.

CPP contribution rates, maximums and exemptions. Retrieved July 20, 2015.

Earnings, average weekly, by industry, monthly

(Canada) Retrived July 22, 2015.

Social Insurance Number. Retrieved July 22, 2015.

Minimum Wage Rates Across Canada. Retrieved July 22, 2015.

Employment insurance (EI). Retrieved July 22, 2015. 

EI premium rate and maximum. Retrieved July 22, 2015.



Momsiecle is short for Momsie's Circle. I started my first blog on a free blogging platform in 2006 as a just for fun blog. When my family and I moved to Winnipeg in 2009, I started to write about my challenges and discoveries about living in Canada as an immigrant. In 2012, I decided to make a place to come for aspiring Canadian immigrants and for people who are embracing life in the “new world” that they are in.

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Cup of Tyh

Thanks for stopping by, as I make this space to be my superwoman wannabe diary, I want to share my life experiences as a mom, an immigrant, a financial advisor, a mortgage specialist and my life in general.

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