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Best Practices (Canada)
What settings do we recommend for Canada businesses?
What settings do we recommend for Canada businesses?

The article below has recommendations for Canadian organizations when setting up and using Sage HR.

Julianna Markova avatar
Written by Julianna Markova
Updated over a week ago

The HR requirements in Canada are different from those in the US or in Europe. You will find below some recommendations for Canadian organizations.

  1. Create the following custom fields for Employees:

  • SIN

  • Legal name (if some employees have a legal name different from the one that they normally use)

  • Language preference (if required for your organization)

  • First Aid Attendance (if FAA's are required in your organization)

    📌TIP: For more information on how to set up these custom fields - Read more >

2. Create the employee jurisdictions required for your organization (Federal, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, etc.). Later, when adding employees, use these jurisdictions in the location field on employees' records.

📌TIP: For more information on how to set up locations - Read more >

3. Add or import public holidays. Create Public Holiday Groups that are required for your organization. (The same Public Holiday Group can be used for jurisdictions/locations that have the same public holidays.)

📌TIP: For more information on how to add or import public holidays - Read more >

4. Create Time Off policies to keep track of how much time off employees have taken and how much they have left to take.
By default, there are two predefined policies:

  • Vacation

  • Sick Days

If your organization has a Paid Time Off policy instead of Vacation and Sick Days, you can modify the Vacation policy or create a new Paid Time Off (PTO) policy.

You can also create other common leaves, such as:

  • Banked overtime hours

  • Family leave

  • Jury/Court duty

  • Maternity leave

  • Parental leave

  • Paternity leave (in some provinces)

  • Short-term disability (can also be used for Injury/WCB)

  • Long-term disability (can also be used for Injury/WCB)

  • Training time off

  • Time off for voting

  • Volunteer time off

  • Other leave (for any other type of leave)

If there is a policy for Banked Overtime - employers may want the conditions for Vacation of PTO to include the required that Banked Overtime be fully used before vacation can be requested.

📎NOTE: Banked Overtime hours, Vacation and PTO are typically treated similar to unpaid wages. The employer is often required to provide the time and pay to the employees within a specified period. The employer in turn may require that employees take the time, but if the employees do not use the time, the employer cannot just clear it. Employers should have vacation and banked overtime policies that outline what happens with the carryovers of vacation and banked overtime, the maximum carryover, or if any carryover is even allowed. The rules should be clear, and the employees aware of the rules. As well, if vacation can be taken prior to the employee earning it, the employer should have an agreement that allows the employer to reduce vacation owing by the amounts paid in advance.

To help managers ensure that employees take their vacation/PTO within the required periods, the Time Off Status Report can be created and even exported for additional filtering.

📌TIP: To learn more about policies and how to set them up, consult this article.

5. When adding employees, do the following:

  • Fill in the employee location, using the jurisdiction(s) created in step 2

  • Fill in the employee Occupation/Job Title as it is required in most jurisdictions

  • Fill in the employee date of birth as it is required in some jurisdictions

6. Add documents in Sage HR to provide your employees with manuals, policies, and authorizations, such as:

  • Employee Manual

  • Employee Conduct

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Vacation and Time-off

  • Violence and Harassment

  • Direct deposit authorizations (that allow for adjustments for errors)

  • Electronic Pay Statement authorizations

  • Electronic T4/Rl-1 authorizations

To know more about managing documents in Sage HR, consult this article.

7. Create custom reports to match your organization's HR requirements. To create custom reports, follow these steps:

  • On the main menu, click Reports

  • Click Employee data

  • Click Custom Reports

Here are a few examples of reports you can create:

  • Length of Service Report: For employers who want to review employees' performance before probation ends or before employment milestones.

Click on NEW

  1. Enter the report name, such as Length of Service

  2. Select the fields Full Name and Length of service

  3. Click on Save

  • Age and Length of Service Report: For employers who have young employees at minimum wages, certain jurisdictions will require wage increments at certain ages, or after some period of experience.

  1. Click on New

  2. Enter the report name, such as Age and Length of Service

  3. Select the fields Full Name, Length of service, and Date of birth

  4. Click on Save

  • First Aid Attendants List:

  1. Click on New

  2. Enter the report name, such as First Aid Attendants

  3. Select the fields Full Name and First Aid Attendants (a custom field created in Step 1)

  4. Click on Save

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