Medical

Employee Benefits and Compensations in the USA and Canada

Or should it allow for differences between the two?Although management may wish to mirror what is currently provided to employees of the parent company, variations in culture, tax law, employment standards and benefit regulations often make a cookie-cutter approach not feasible. One key disadvantage is that the company may end up with a compensation and benefits system that is totally out of line with local competitive practices. For example, establishing a medical plan in the U.S. based on the customary Canadian norm of a C$25 deductible, where Americans expect a US$100 deductible or more would be very generous and go against the U.S. trend of increasing cost-containment mechanisms.Certain legal barriers exist that make it difficult or impractical to have employees on the foreign payroll included in a pension or profit-sharing plan established under the laws of the home jurisdiction, and competing for labor with companies in other countries also requires an adjustment to local compensation and benefit practices. For these reasons, Canadian companies with employees in the U.S. usually decide to institute compensation and benefit plans designed specifically to meet local laws and customs.Social and cultural attitudes have a large influence on compensation and benefit practices in the U.S. and Canada. Because of the different historical development of the two countries and the stronger European influence in Canada, the contrast in cultural environments has been likened to a Canadian mosaic versus an American melting pot – that is, diversity versus assimilation. Survey findings show that Canadian and U.S. workers have some very different workplace attitudes concerning management-employee relations. These differences are expected to soften among employees of companies with operations on both sides of the border.

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