Before signing an employment contract

There are a great many things to consider when taking up employment in Canada. It’s a big decision that will likely affect your entire family, so think carefully about your job offerWorking In Job Tools before making the final decision to accept it.

Before signing an employment contract, enquire about:

Salary and wages

Is the salary offered suited to the living costs for the city in which you’ll live? Will it rise with inflation? How often will it be reviewed?

Are there any bonuses, commissions or overtime payments? A lower hourly rate/ annual salary may be offset by bonuses and commissions.

If the hiring company is from outside Canada, they may be assessing wages based on the cost of living in another country or even another province. This may be acceptable when the place where you live has a lower cost of living, but in the reverse situation it can make it very difficult for you to meet basic necessities.


Will there be any relocation assistance available? What are the minimum and maximum benefit allowances for this, and will it be adequate if you need to move? Are you required to pay the fees yourself with reimbursement later? Relocation can be quite costly so be sure to discuss this matter upfront.


Is accommodation included in your employment? Some employers will include benefits or lodging when you first move to a new location while you seek more permanent accommodation. Make sure you find out if there are additional costs for this.

Working hours

How many hours a week are you expected to work, and will those hours be on shifts or rotations? Will you work the same days and hours each week, or will they change? What are your earliest possible starting and finishing times, and are you required to use a time card or computer clock-in?

Part-time or seasonal

Are part-time hours available? Are your working hours flexible in case you need to accommodate other things in your life? And can you take extended periods of leave, such as an entire semester for school, without losing your seniority or salary?

There are many other things to take into consideration when seeking employment. One of the best things you can do is to make a list of all possible questions you have and take it with you to the interview so you don’t forget anything. Signing an employment contract in Canada should be taken just as seriously as it would be in your home country. Ask any questions you have ahead of signing, so there is no confusion after your move.


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