TORONTO, March 21, 2018 /CNW/ - Recent changes to Canada's standard 12-month parental leave have renewed public interest in family-friendly benefits, as new parents now have the option to stretch their parental leave to 18 months. For a select group of progressive employers, however, generous parental leave is just part of a comprehensive effort to help employees balance their family commitments outside work.  The leaders in this field were recognized today, as Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2018 were announced.

Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers 2018 (CNW Group/Mediacorp Canada Inc.)

"Family-friendly benefits are important to all working Canadians," says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, which organizes the competition. "Employees' needs change over time, beginning with maternity and parental leave top-up and daycare assistance, then moving on to flexible and alternative working arrangements to help with childcare and caring for older family members. The employers selected for this year's list offer support for employees at every stage of life."

Now in its 17th consecutive year, Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers is one of the longest-running competitions within the Canada's Top 100 Employers project. This special designation recognizes the employers across the country that offer progressive and forward-thinking programs to help employees balance work and family commitments.

The competition reviews a range of employment practices and policies, including: maternity, parental and compassionate leave; daycare assistance; reproductive assistance, including fertility drugs and IVF; adoption assistance; paid personal- and earned-days-off (EDO) programs; flexible work arrangements; and even academic bursaries for employees' children.

Some notable initiatives the editors singled out this year:

  • In addition to providing generous maternity and parental leave, Simon Fraser University is part of a unique urbanist development project ("UniverCity") in Burnaby, British Columbia, designed to encourage sustainable lifestyles and improve the quality of life for employees and students who live in the development.

  • Bank of Canada provides "flex dollars" as part of its health benefits plan, which can be used to: enhance standard health benefits; taken as taxable income; or used to purchase (or sell) up to five extra vacation days per year.

  • KPMG LLP offers generous adoption assistance (to $20,000 per child) and maintains an employee network ("Working Parents") to help make the return to work easier. Additionally, the firm maintains a virtual employee network for parents of children with special physical, emotional or behavioural needs.

  • Vancity / Vancouver City Savings Credit Union offers flexible working arrangements as well as a care-time policy that can be used for personal illness, severe illness of an immediate family member, emergency childcare and eldercare arrangements.

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, the largest Canadian job search engine, which includes editorial reviews from the Canada's Top 100 Employers project and is now used by almost 7 million users in Canada each year. Together with Willis Towers Watson, Mediacorp hosts the Top Employer Summit, Canada's largest conference for senior-level HR professionals.

The full list of Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2018 is attached. Detailed reasons for selection, with additional stories and photos, were released this morning and are accessible via the competition homepage.

Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers
2018 Winners

Bank of Canada (Ottawa ON)
BASF Canada Inc. (Mississauga ON)
BC Public Service (Victoria BC)
Canadian Heritage (Gatineau QC)
Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto (Toronto ON)
Desjardins Group / Mouvement des caisses Desjardins (Lévis QC)
ESIT Advanced Solutions Inc. (Victoria BC)
Fidelity Canada (Toronto ON)
Hospital for Sick Children, The (Toronto ON)
ISM Canada (Regina SK)
KPMG LLP (Toronto ON)
National Energy Board (Calgary AB)
Shaw Communications Inc. (Calgary AB)
Simon Fraser University (Burnaby BC)
Stryker Canada Inc. (Hamilton ON)
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. / TMMC (Cambridge ON)
University of Toronto (Toronto ON)
Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancouver BC)
Verafin Inc. (St. John's NL)
Yukon, Government of (Whitehorse YT)

SOURCE Mediacorp Canada Inc.

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