Canada offers its citizens a single payer health care system, which means that all Canadians are covered for basic health services. Knowing this, an American might be forgiven for thinking that employer-sponsored health insurance benefits would be redundant.
But the operative word for Canada’s public health insurance is “basic.” The state-run system guarantees primary care services and physician and hospital visits, but other important services—including dental care, prescriptions, and vision care—simply are not covered. Canadians generally bridge those coverage gaps by purchasing private insurance or through the health insurances benefits packages offered by their employers.
And that is why it can be as difficult to find a part-time position offering good benefits in the Great White North as it is in the USA (Also see Best US Part-Time Jobs with Benefits). But difficult does not mean impossible. The following five employers offer some type of health benefit to their part-time employees:
1. 7-Eleven—This may be an American company, but it pays for Canucks to work part-time in their local 7-Eleven.
Benefits for part-timers include eligibility to purchase dental coverage after one year of employment, basic term life insurance available at no cost as of the date of hire, and short-term disability insurance for all employees after three months of employment.
In addition, after one year of employment, all employees, no matter their hours, are eligible for enrollment in the Retirement Savings Plan/Deferred Profit Sharing Plan and for a 90% educational reimbursement for tuition and books for pre-approved courses. Learn more at 7-Eleven Benefits.
2. Canadian Tire Corp.—This is Canada’s largest retailer, with 90% of all Canadians living within a 15-minute drive of a Canadian Tire store. The retail giant offers what’s known as the CT Flex program to all employees, including part-timers working a minimum of 15 hours per week. Eligible employees receive flex dollars which they can use in combination with their own money (through payroll deduction) to purchase varying levels of coverage for health care, dental care, disability insurance, life insurance, healthcare spending accounts, and others. You can read more about Canadian Tire’s CT Flex Program here.
3. Costco—This is another American company, but it extends its generous benefits package to part-time employees up north. These benefits include health and dental insurance, as well as prescription and vision benefits if you use the in-house pharmacy and optical center. Visit Costco Canada’s website for more information.
4. Telus—This Canadian telecommunications uses the slogan “The Future is Friendly,” and it attempts to live up to that motto in its dealings with part-time employees. Health benefits are available to all permanent employees, whether they work full- or part-time, and in 2013 96% of their team members participated in their extended health and dental plans. In particular, Telus is committed to keeping drug costs low for their employees. Learn more on the Telus career page.
5. Tim Horton’s—Everybody loves their donuts and their Roll Up the Rim to Win contest, but it turns out Tim Horton’s is also a great place to work. The company as a whole is committed to its employees’ well being through health and dental benefits and wellness programs.
Specific franchise owners also provide varying levels health insurance coverage. In particular, J.E. Agnew Food Services Ltd, which owns 18 Tim Horton’s restaurants and employs upwards of 500 workers, offers subsidized medical and dental benefits to any part-time employees working at least 20 hours per week after six months of continuous employment. The company picks up a larger and larger share of your medical and dental benefit the longer you work for them—which means that five years of continuous part-time work for an Agnew Tim Horton’s could earn you free medical and dental benefits.
What other Canadian employers offer benefits to their part-time workers?