The Different Kinds of Employment in Canada

Are you new to the Canadian job market and unsure about the different types of employment available? Maybe you’re seeking better work-life balance following extended maternity leave, or feel you’d be happier in a part-time job, so you can launch your own business. Whatever your situation, there’s an increasing number of ways to work in Canada that go beyond the traditional 9-to-5. If you want to understand the different types of employment available and discover which one is right for you, keep reading!


A permanent or full-time job is the way of working we tend to be most familiar with. In Canada, it generally means working 30+ hours a week for a single employer and fulfilling your contractual duties.  In this type of arrangement, you’ll often be entitled to a base salary, regular pay period, vacation time and pay, and all other statutory benefits. Depending on the company, you might receive additional benefits such as company stock option plans, bonuses and personal incentives. For each pay period, expect payroll deductions to pay for Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Income Tax, and, if applicable, Union Dues.


Any work that is less than 30 hours a week in Canada is considered to be part-time. These jobs tend to be weekend, evening, partial day, or daily part-time roles in the hospitality, retail, food stores and service industries. Accepting part-time work is an attractive proposition if you’re seeking a foot in the door, work-life balance or the flexibility to pursue other projects and activities. In the province of Ontario, new “equal pay for equal work” rules mean that part-time, casual and seasonal employees must now be paid the same rate as their full-time colleagues if they perform the same job.


If you thrive on trying different things and working in new environments, contract employment might be for you. Contract employment is work that has a predetermined end date, such as the completion of a specific project or a fixed-term. This type of temporary work includes casual, seasonal, freelance, short-term, or any work with a fixed end date. Once the project is finished, the employment relationship ends, and the hunt for a new one begins. While contract employees are not required to make any deductions for employment insurance or the Canada Pension Plan, it might be a good idea to set aside some funds, so you can remit your taxes to the government on your own at the end of each tax year.


If you’re looking to expand your skills, network with industry contacts, try out a new industry, build up your resume references, or make some extra money for school or the holidays, then temporary work could be just right for you.

Companies who need help catching up on backlogs, or those that have a special project come in, or are ramping up for their busy season, or who are looking to hire someone after a trial period, are all likely to need some temporary help. In a temporary work arrangement, you would sign up with a staffing firm who will connect you to jobs in your chosen industry or field, and which have the kind of hours or project duration that you can commit to. They can usually give you an idea of how long the position is for, but they cannot usually guarantee the exact end date.

You’ll interview once with the staffing agency team, complete basic testing, and skills evaluation, and then wait to hear about the next available job match that suits your needs! In this arrangement, the staffing agency would be the employer and would remit all required payroll deductions such as Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and income taxes to the government on your behalf.

Should you require a Record of Employment, you would request that directly with the staffing firm that you worked through. A legitimate temporary staffing firm should NOT be charging the job seeker a fee for their services, but rather, the temporary agency would charge the worksite companies a fee for their advertising, recruiting, payrolling, and administrative services.


Volunteering is a great way to rack up experience, especially if you’re new to Canada, a recent graduate, or switching careers. If you have the financial resources and can dedicate a few hours a week to volunteer with a not-for-profit organization in Canada, it will show your future employer not only your ability to be proactive but your ability to show concern for the well-being of others.


Get in touch with the recruitment team at ABL Employment if you’re looking for permanent or temporary work. We can help you find part-time or full-time work across Ontario and New Westminster, B.C.

ABL is a staffing agency specializing in filling general labour temporary jobs, including packaging jobs and warehouse jobs.

Contact us today to find the right staff for your needs!

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