LOGIN or JOIN
information for global expats



Work Culture and Labour Market for Expats in Canada

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: December 2014

Work Culture

Generally, your Canadian work colleagues are likely to be reserved towards you at first, but they should soon open up as they get to know you. They are less vocal and more tactful than their southern neighbours.

There are slight but important differences in work practices between French- and English-speaking Canadians. The Québécois and those in other French-speaking areas are generally more formal in the workplace, normally addressing each other by title and surname. Their meetings tend to be more hierarchical; seniors workers have the most input and make most of the decisions. Naturally, if your company has dealings with French speakers, your business card should either be in French or bilingual.

Workplaces are less formal in the anglophone parts of the country, with employees usually on first-name terms. Business meetings are more relaxed and informal, and there is less deference to superiors – everyone’s contribution is appreciated. However, meetings also tend to be less structured.

It is important to be polite at work, especially in an office environment. The dress code is business casual for general work, and more formal for important meetings.  It is important to be punctual as lateness is considered a discourtesy and a waste of people’s time. Informal conversation is kept to a minimum during meetings.

Labour Market

Thanks mostly to the government’s sound fiscal policies, the Canadian economy has emerged from the global recession well and quickly returned to good shape. Canada’s GDP has grown in all but one quarter since 2009; growth in the last quarter was 0.7%. The unemployment rate in December 2014 was at 6.6%, which is some way below the world average and the lowest it has been since 2009. Unemployment is lowest, at around 4-5%, in the booming Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. People do have a harder time finding work in peripheral regions such as Nunavut and Newfoundland & Labrador, where unemployment is around 13%, though few expats move to these regions.

These economic indicators suggest that it is worthwhile considering a move to Canada for work. The sectors with the most jobs available are finance, ICT and other technology-related areas. Despite what the prime minister and others have claimed recently, there is not a serious labour shortage in Canada. Nevertheless, there are positions available, and finding work – especially in the Prairie Provinces as indicated above – should not be too difficult. One of the reasons why labour shortages have not been as acute as they might have been since 2008 are that many expats have been taken on, using the Temporary Foreign Workers scheme.

For more information on immigration procedures and working conditions in Canada, see Working for Expats.

 

 

Contribute

We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.

 

Moving to Canada

If you are considering moving to Canada or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Canadian section including; details of immigration and visas, Canadian forums, Canadian event listings and service providers in Canada.

picture1 Read More

Living in Canada

From your safety to shoppingliving in Canada can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Canada with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in Canada

Working in Canada can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Canada, and general Canadian culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More


 
 
 
 

Information

About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.