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6 Tips for Selecting a PEO Company for Expanding Your Business into Canada

Posted by Stacey Jones


Aug 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

A growing business is a good problem for any American business owner to have. To sustain that growth, you’re going to eventually look at expanding into new markets. You may even be thinking about crossing borders.


Canada is often the first stop on the list for an American company with international aspirations. It makes perfect sense - Canadians and Americans share a border, a language, and even a similar culture.

However, his thought process unfortunately leaves many American companies open to making missteps during their Canadian expansion. If you’re thinking about expanding your business into Canada, then finding the right partners to help you handle payroll, employee management, and more is key. A professional employer organization (PEO) could be the right partner for your business.

So how do you pick the right PEO company to team up with? These six tips can help you narrow down the field.

1. Think about What PEO Company Services You Need

Before you research PEOs, take a step back and think about what you need the most help with. Are payroll and tax deductions keeping you up at night? Maybe compliance concerns have you treading lightly as you head over the border.

Most companies need assistance with a wide range of tasks as they expand into Canada. The right PEO will be able to offer you a suite of services to suit your needs.

2. Create Company Profiles

As you search for the right PEO company, there are a few key questions to ask.

The first is about geography. What areas does the PEO serve? You may be planning to expand into one province to start, but what will happen if you later decide to set up shop in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and BC?

You need a PEO that operates from coast to coast. Picking a company that serves everywhere in Canada now will save you the complexities of switching companies later on.

You’ll also want to ask about company history. How long has the PEO been around? An experienced PEO will have the knowledge and expertise to help you succeed in the Great White North.

3. Ask about the Claims Process

Most PEOs will handle unemployment and workers’ compensation claims, so ask a few questions about your potential Canadian PEO partner’s process.

Do they offer comprehensive insurance for your workers? Do they have an in-house team that handles these claims and can ensure your company is in lockstep with the law?

Compliance can vary by province, so make sure the PEO company you choose is well-versed in the areas you plan to operate. This will save your company the headaches of trying to navigate compliance on your own.

4. Think about Benefits

Navigating health insurance in Canada is much different than it is in the US, so find a PEO who can help you offer the right plan for your workers. In many cases, health savings accounts are a great way to offer Canadian employees the supplemental health insurance they want and need.

Retirement savings plans are also important to Canadian workers, and some PEOs will be able to assist you in offering RSPs without the hassle.

5. Look at Payroll Services

Payroll is one of the biggest concerns for any company, whether they’re expanding internationally or not. Administering payroll in one country can be difficult enough.

A PEO can help you administer Canadian payroll the right way. Be sure to ask what the provider includes in their payroll services. Some will go the extra mile to help you meet all of your commitments with ease.

6. Get a Hand with HR Services

The biggest difference between PEO companies is often the extent of the HR services they provide. Look for a company that offers comprehensive coverage. You want someone to help you manage your Canadian employees and employment policies every step of the way.

Start your research today and get in touch with the experts. Discover exactly what the right PEO company can do for your expanding business.



Topics: PEO, PEO Services, Canadian PEO

How an Employer of Record Can Help Your Company

Posted by Stacey Jones


Aug 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

As you look to take your business south of the border, you may have many questions. Canadian business owners sometimes feel a bit daunted by entering the US market, and for good reason. There are many different rules to be aware of, as well as things such as cultural architecture-buildings-city-861609differences.

One of the smartest decisions any Canadian business owner could make is to ask for help. You have plenty of choices when it comes to picking a partner, and all of them offer something a little bit different.

One option you may consider is an employer of record (EOR). It’s important to consider what an EOR does, and how they will help you grow your business. 

An Employer of Record Makes Compliance Simple

One of the most compelling reasons to work with an EOR is that they already know the US market. They’re aware of the different rules and regulations. You can call on their expertise to help you navigate these uncharted waters.

Compliance work is key to a business’s success, but it might be a tall task for even the most talented of HR teams. By working with the EOR, you could reduce the amount of time your team spends sorting out taxes codes and deciphering employment law.

EORs Save Businesses Time and Money

Since the EOR works to make your US operations comply with the letter of the law, they can help you avoid hefty fines and penalties. Taking a look at payroll showcases how the EOR helps and provides value.

The IRS reports the average small business pays $845 US per year in payroll fines. Late payments are the most common issue. By working with an EOR, you can avoid late payments and other US payroll missteps. That puts money back in your business’s pocket. You could probably think of a few better ways to spend nearly $850.

More than that, the EOR also saves you money by reducing the amount of time you spend on tasks like payroll and compliance. Since the employer of record’s team is made up of experts, they make quick work of almost any task you set out for them.

Boosting Employee Satisfaction

Canadian business owners should consider working with an EOR to increase employee satisfaction.

How does an EOR make your employees happier? The EOR’s expertise and skill in delivering HR services make it easier to manage your employees the right way. They can help you offer the right compensation package to your US workers, as well as handling payroll, worker’s compensation, and more.

Better yet, they could also advise on where your company policies might be improved to make your firm more attractive to prospective candidates. This makes it easier to hire the right talent and keep them onboard longer.

Navigating Cultural Difference

One thing Canadian business owners may not think of is just how different American work culture is from their own. American workers have very different expectations than Canadian ones. They even prefer different styles of communication and leadership.

Those elements might cause friction between your business and those who work for you. By working with an EOR, you can change the story and provide a better workplace environment. An experienced EOR could help you pinpoint problem spots, and advise you on how to narrow the gap between your Canadian company culture and what your US workers expect from you.

Increase the Success of Expansion Efforts

Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with an EOR is their ability to help you succeed in the US market. Many Canadian business owners make missteps when they go it alone, which may cause problems for the business.

By calling on the experience and expertise of the EOR, you can make expanding into the US much smoother sailing. If you’re curious about what an employer of record could do for you, get in touch with an expert team today.


Topics: EOR, Business Expansion, Employment of Record Services

What Are the Differences Between a PEO and a Staffing Agency?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Aug 1, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Any business owner or HR manager with a growing business knows that workforce expansion is necessary. This is especially true for international companies who are planning to enter new markets, as this will require a company to staff the new branch office in the new market or handle payroll and compliance for remote staff working out of country.

adult-businessman-contemporary-937481When it comes to employing people, you have a few different partnership options, which can make it difficult to know exactly which type of organization you should hire. Do you need the services of a staffing agency? Or do you require the services of a professional employer organization (PEO)?  

If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between a staffing agency and PEO, you’re not alone. Learn what sets these organizations apart and which could be right for your business.

What a Staffing Agency Does

Most people have heard of a staffing agency and they’ve been around a bit longer than PEOs. 

In the mid-20th century, agencies designed to help other companies with their staffing needs emerged in the United States. Most of the time, these agencies provided workers to a client work site on a temporary basis.

Today’s staffing agencies frequently offer additional services, and in many cases, can provide workers on a permanent basis. In fact, some staffing agencies specialize in finding and placing permanent employees, especially in certain industries where there is a high demand for specialized skill and talent.  However when you make a permanent hire through an agency, you assume responsibility for the employee and if you are not setup in that country as an employer you will not be able to compliantly payroll the worker and submit required taxes and burdens.. 

What a PEO Does

PEOs emerged in the 1980s in response to employers’ evolving needs. The 1980s and 1990s were an era marked by rapid global expansion, and many international companies found they needed more than what most temporary staffing agencies could provide.

The PEO was the solution. The PEO offers comprehensive HR services to the client employer. While some of these services overlap with some staffing agencies today, the PEO has traditionally offered payroll services, compliance monitoring, insurance, and more.  As they act as a co-employer it allows a company not set-up in country to hire staff out of country compliantly.  It also allows them to offer the worker similar offerings to their in country staff such as benefits and RRSP’s (401K). 

What’s the Difference?

While staffing agencies and PEOs do have a few services that overlap, there are at least two major differences between these two types of organization.

The first difference is key. Who will employ the workers

In the case of a temporary staffing agency, the agency supplies workers to client sites. These workers remain in the employ of the agency. The situation changes in the case of permanent employees. When you make a permanent hire through an agency, you assume responsibility for the employee and therefore would need to be set up in country to take on the employee onto your payroll.

The PEO, on the other hand, acts as a co-employer, which means they share responsibility for the employees. They’ll supply many of the HR services needed, but decisions about hiring, termination, and compensation are left up to the client employer.  If your employee is out of country the PEO will also assist with in country compliance, an important piece when hiring in a country where you are not aware of the employment laws and legislations. 

Another way to think of the difference is to think about what you’re outsourcing. Both organizations are focused on HR tasks around your workforce. With the staffing agency, you’re outsourcing your hiring process and the associated tasks, while with PEO, you’re outsourcing only the administrative tasks, payroll, and compliance associated with your workforce.


Finding the Services You Need

Global companies entering new markets face HR challenges from every direction. That can make it difficult to know who you should work with.

In some cases where you need assistance in finding the right candidate, it makes the most sense to work with a staffing agency. In other cases, where you already have your employee the PEO could be just what you need. There are even situations where it makes sense to call on both a permanent staffing agency and a PEO.

It ultimately comes down to knowing what services will best meet your business’s unique needs. 

Discover how the right partner can help you create a long and lasting relationship with those talented workers.

Topics: PEO Services, Outsourcing HR, Business Expansion

Should I Get a Professional Employer Organization in Canada?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 31, 2019 9:00:00 AM

torontoYou’ve been toying with the idea of expanding your business on a more global scale, and the Great White North is your next market to explore. It makes perfect sense for almost any American firm. The US and Canada have a good trading relationship, share the world’s longest unguarded land border, and have similar cultures.

The same factors that make Canada such a great choice might also contribute to mistakes American companies make as they come north of the border. How familiar are you with Canadian payroll or the tax system? Do you know how workers’ compensation is handled in the province you want to operate in? What about the varying employment labor laws?

These questions and the others that go along with them can feel overwhelming for a company exploring the Canadian market. The solution may be to look for a helping hand. A professional employer organization could be the partner you’re looking for.

What Is a Professional Employer Organization in Canada?

First things first: what is a professional employer organization anyway?

In the United States, professional employer organizations are distinct from employers of record. The EOR is solely responsible for the people working for your business. A PEO, on the other hand, is more like a co-employer.

The professional employer organization helps you manage your Canadian employees. The PEO will provide assistance with payroll, legal compliance, and workers’ compensation.

They also offer support for health and safety and human resources, among other services.

How a PEO Helps

Many American business leaders find themselves at a loss when entering the Canadian arena. Each province and region represents its own distinctive market. Complicating the situation more is the mix of federal and provincial rules. You’ll need to be familiar with provincial employment law and CRA rules about payroll, as well as federal and provincial taxes. 

Working with a PEO in Canada can instantly clarify the situation. They’re already established in Canada, and they’ll be able to provide the services you need quickly while guaranteeing  compliance with the rules.

Better yet, the PEO lifts some of the strain from your team. If your HR team is having a difficult time sorting out Canadian federal and provincial taxes, it’s not a problem. The PEO will take care of payroll for you and help with tax forms too.

The PEO essentially makes it easier for your business to manage Canadian workers the right way.

Avoiding Costly Missteps

Errors can be costly for businesses, especially small operations. Mistakes on your tax forms or non-compliance with employment law in your province could ground your Canadian aspirations before your business has a chance to take off.

Consider that the CRA penalizes employers for late payroll remittances. If your payment is even one day late, the CRA may charge you an additional three percent. The penalties only climb from there.

Having that money in your pocket is a better plan. When you work with a PEO, they’ll help you avoid making those mistakes in the first place, so you don’t need to worry about the risks.

Keep Your Workforce Happy

Teaming up with a professional employer organization is a smart move for American business leaders looking to crack the Canadian market. Working with a PEO can help you provide the right HR services to your Canadian team.


In turn, they’ll likely be more content and more inclined to stick with you for the long term. In a competitive market where your people can help you stand out, that’s an enormous advantage.

If you’re thinking about expanding to Canada, get in touch with the experts and discover what a professional employer organization could do for you.

Topics: PEO Services, Canadian PEO, Canadian Payroll Provider, business expansion into Canada

Can Professional Employer Organizations Increase Employee Satisfaction?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 25, 2019 11:00:00 AM


You may know some of the benefits of working with a professional employer organization (PEO) has for your company. For example, businesses that work with a PEO see improvements in their revenue growth, and even their longevity.

What impact do PEOs have on your employees? Some people might think working with an outside organization to deliver HR may reduce employee morale, but there’s evidence to the contrary. In fact, working with a PEO could improve employee satisfaction. Here’s how.

Professional Employer Organizations Do Payroll Right

Many employers team up with a PEO in order to deliver payroll. This is especially true of global companies that operate in multiple international markets. Payroll rules might differ vastly from country to country, and state to state. Rules are almost always in flux, which can make it difficult to keep up.

If a company is new to the market or struggling to keep up, this could mean delays in employee payments or mistakes in payroll. Working with a PEO resolves many of these issues, since they have the expertise to make sure payroll is done correctly and on time.

A PEO Can Improve HR Delivery

Professional employer organizations specialize in HR services. That goes beyond payroll, and may include services like compliance monitoring, employee development, and more.

Across all of these HR services, the PEO works to improve delivery. That could mean they expand employee development programs by offering your team access to more training opportunities, or it could simply mean that HR’s response time decreases.

Across the board, though, PEOs can help employers improve HR delivery, especially for their international employees.

PEOs Reduce Turnover

More clear evidence that PEOs improve employee satisfaction is that companies that work with a PEO see a 10 to 14 percent reduction in their turnover rate.

Turnover rates are a good indication of employee satisfaction. If employees are dissatisfied, they’re more likely to leave the company. The more satisfied an employee, the longer they’ll stick around, often because they have a positive experience when coming to work.

How do PEOs decrease turnover rates? There are a few ways. First, working with the PEO improves compliance. Their advice may help you find employees who are truly a great fit for your company. They might also make recommendations about benefits packages or policies that can make a workplace more attractive to employees.

They can improve communication with employees as well. They’re able to deal with HR issues in a timely manner, which improves employee satisfaction.

Finally, the PEO could offer employees more opportunity for development. Clearer policies, better support, a better compensation package, and a solid development program are all key to employee satisfaction.

Easing Cultural Differences

Another key point global business leaders must consider is culture. Whenever you enter a new international market, you should be prepared for employees to have different cultural expectations.

These expectations may be subtle, such as Canadians preferring consensus-building, while American employees prefer more top-down direction. Even these seemingly minor differences, though, may lead to culture clash and decrease employee satisfaction.

Working with a PEO can help both sides smooth over any cultural wrinkles in the relationship. The PEO might be able to bridge communication styles. Their advice could help you understand employees who live and work in another country, so you can offer them the right supports and benefits.

Is It Time to Hire a PEO?

If you’re moving into a new market, then it may be time to consider partnering with a PEO. Working with them from the start to design your employee programs, policies, and management style can help you ensure employees stay satisfied for the duration of their tenure with you.

Topics: PEO, Employee Relations, PEO Services, Canadian PEO

Should I Get an Employer of Record or a PEO?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 23, 2019 11:00:00 AM

If you’re hoping to expand into a new market, chances are you’ll be hiring some workers on as part of your team. Employment management is a challenging task in almost any company, even when you’re only managing workers in your home country.

When you move to a new market, you may find compliance, insurance, and even payroll present new challenges. You know you will need a partner with the expertise to help you manage everything, but should you hire an employer of record or a professional employer organization (PEO)?

Determine Your Needs

The first question you should ask yourself is what you need help with the most. If you need help hiring people for your business, an employer of record might be the right choice.

If, on the other hand, you find you need more help with maintaining compliance or administering payroll, then a professional employer organization (PEO) could be the right fit for your business.

When you work with a PEO, you retain control over hiring and termination. The PEO becomes more like a co-employer.

An employer of record, on the other hand, assumes full responsibility for hiring and termination. Some employers like this arrangement, since it reassures them that HR tasks are being handled by the experts. Others feel it gives them too little control over who is working for them.

Thinking Long-Term vs Short-Term

Another way to think about the employer of record vs PEO question is to ask if your concerns are short-term or long-term.

If you’re looking at short-term hires or temporary employment, then working with an EOR may make the most sense.

If you’re thinking about hiring permanent employees to work for your business, then a PEO partnership could serve you well. The PEO can help you manage compliance, look after insurance, and administer payroll. If you know employees are only going to be with you for the short-term, you may not want to sign up for payroll services on an ongoing basis.

What Is Your Expertise?

If your team is full of hiring and recruitment experts, you may not need much help with this task. Additionally, you might want to retain control over the hiring process to make sure you’re finding people who are a good fit for your company.

You might find that you need more help with other HR tasks, such as compliance or payroll. As mentioned, working with a PEO could be the answer. The PEO provides an expert team to help you with everything from insurance to compliance to advice on benefits and procedures.

If you’re unsure your HR team is equipped for hiring or terminating employees in the new market, then working with an employer of record should be an option you explore.

Looking at the Bottom Line

One question that comes up when business leaders try to decide whether they need employer of record services or the help of a PEO is the price point. Will one service be more affordable than another?

In many cases, it comes down to what the business requires. The price of either EOR or PEO services will change with what you need.

For some businesses, the PEO will be the right fit. You retain more control, which can be important when it comes to hiring the right people for your business. Their expert advice assists in maintaining compliance in different markets, but it also gives you the opportunity to synchronize your policies and procedures.

With an employer of record, on the other hand, you can rest assured that hiring tasks are being taken care of by an expert team. You also know that your compliance will be top-notch thanks to the EOR’s expertise.

Finding the right services for your business just takes some evaluation of your business needs. Still unsure? Talk to the experts today.

Topics: Business Expansion, Employment of Record Services, American Companies Paying Workers in Canada, payroll outsourcing

Do You Need a US Bank Account to Hire US Workers?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 17, 2019 5:00:00 AM

Opening a US bank account can be a difficult process. There are many reasons a company chooses to do so, but there are also times when it may not be the right solution.

Many global companies worry that they won’t be able to hire American workers if they don’t have a US bank account to draw from. Is it absolutely necessary to have a US bank account before you hire an American worker?

Identify the Type of Worker

Do you need a US bank account to hire US workers? The answer is, “it depends.” The first step is to take a look at the type of worker you’re entering into an agreement with.

If you’re hiring an independent contractor, you don’t need a US bank account. You and the contractor will negotiate the terms of payment, which will include currency and method of payment. If you pay large sums, it may help you to have a US bank account and maintain a balance in it.

Does the situation change when it comes to hiring employees for your business? While it’s not strictly necessary to have a US bank account, opening one can make it much easier to administer US payroll for employees.

How a US Bank Account Helps

Foreign employers may be required to withhold payroll taxes and remit them to the IRS. To do so, the employer will need to register with and receive an employer identification number from the IRS.

Once you have an EIN, it becomes easier to open a US bank account, although you’re not out of the woods yet.

Not every foreign company will want to register. You might be testing out the US market before committing to opening a branch office there, for example. If you plan to hire American employees, however, you’ll need an EIN.

Without the EIN, you can’t administer payroll taxes for your US employee. You don’t necessarily have to open a US bank account to pay these taxes, but there are some complex rules if you want to pay through a foreign institution.

First, all funds sent to the IRS must be in US dollars. If you send your payments from a foreign bank, they must be affiliated with a US bank. Smaller banks may not be able to provide this requirement.

Having a US bank account simplifies the process. It also helps you avoid fluctuating exchange rates and additional fees, such as wire transfer fees.

No Bank Account? No Problem

Suppose you’re setting up in New York, and you want to hire an employee to help. You’ll need an EIN, but the process of getting one can be difficult for international companies.

You could choose to wait and maybe miss out on hiring the brightest talent for your new office. Or you could partner with a professional employer organization.

The PEO is already established where you want to do business, and they’ll act as a co-employer when you want to hire an employee. They already have an EIN, which may speed the process along.

They can also assist you by providing access to a US bank account, which they already have set up. Better yet, they could help you navigate US payroll taxes and regulations. It’s the easiest solution to what can otherwise be a convoluted and slow process.

Start Hiring Employees Today

The world of business won’t wait, so work with a PEO to cut through the red tape around hiring American workers for your business.

You don’t need to have your own US bank account, although it can simplify your payroll. What you really need is a partner with the expertise and resources to help you get started today.


Topics: Pay International Employees, international business, Workers Overseas

5 Reasons to Outsource Employer Services

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 12, 2019 11:00:00 AM

As an employer, you’re well aware of the responsibilities that come with hiring people to work for you. You must stay up to date on employment legislation, as well as confirm you have the right insurance, among other tasks. Payroll, employment contracts, and even employee benefits all have to be considered. 

Your responsibilities increase with each new market you decide to enter. As your business expands globally, so too does your workforce and your obligations to those workers.

You might wonder if it makes sense to outsource employer services. As it turns out, there are a number of reasons you should consider partnering with an expert team to deliver your HR activities.

1. Outsourcing Employer Services Improves Compliance

Complying with employment legislation is a challenge for companies that operate in just one marketplace. Laws are always changing, and you need to ensure your team is in step with the requirements. You may also have to keep records, which could pose its own challenge.

As soon as you expand your business to another marketplace, you take on additional compliance responsibilities. Your team now must learn additional sets of employment laws. Your policies and procedures will have to be reviewed and revised for each new country or state.

Outsourcing employer services can help. By bringing an expert team onboard, you’ll get the knowledge and advice you need to make sure every move you make is in line with the law.

2. Offer More with Expanded HR

Sending employer services out of house is a smart move for many small and mid-sized businesses, because it allows them to offer more to their employees.

You might be concerned with payroll, but working with the right team can also give you access to the insurance and banking services you need in an international marketplace. You may even be able to offer more training opportunities or employee benefits that you couldn’t offer on your own.

3. Working with the Experts Saves Time

One of the reasons you can offer more with outsourced employer services is that you’ll have access to the experts. Their knowledge lets them work more efficiently, which means it’s easier to get more done in a day.

This time-saving effect translates into efficient operations, which also affect your bottom line. With both more time and more money in hand, you could ask the team to carry out another task or fund another training and development workshop.

4. The Advice You Need, When You Need It

Did you know that companies who work with a professional employer organization are 50 percent less likely to close their doors?

There’s an easy explanation for this. When a business expands to a new country, there’s a steep learning curve. You may not be familiar with the laws, but you may also lack the information you need to make informed business decisions.

A PEO can help with more than the administration of payroll. They can offer insights into tax efficiency or the job market in your area. Since the PEO’s already been operating there for some time, they have the knowledge you might otherwise spend years gathering.

5. Get Back to What You Do Best

Perhaps the best reason to outsource employer services is to free up your time. If you’re a small business owner, your time might be better spent on interviewing job candidates or even working on the new marketing campaign.

Outsourcing employer services can also free up your HR staff’s time. Instead of leaving them to wrestle with payroll on a weekly basis, let someone else handle it. Your team can then turn their attention to the tasks that truly need their expertise.

If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing employer services, don’t hesitate to talk to the experts. They could help you assess your business needs and determine if outsourcing is the best move to help your business grow.


Topics: Outsourced HR Management, HR Management, Outsourcing Payroll, Outsourcing HR

What's the Difference Between PEO vs. Employer of Record?

Posted by Stacey Jones


Jul 11, 2019 10:54:16 AM

Did you know businesses that partner with a professional employer organization can expect to grow up to 9 percent faster than those who don’t?

These statistics may have you wondering if a PEO (professional employer organization) partnership is right for your business. Within HR circles, though, you might have heard the term “employer of record.” Some people use these two terms interchangeably, but they’re actually two very different entities.

What can you expect working with a PEO vs employer of record? The differences might surprise you.

PEO vs Employer of Record Relationships

The most fundamental difference between a PEO and an employer of record is how either organization relates to your business and your workers.

An employer of record assumes all legal responsibility for the people who work for you. They are, in effect, the employer. They’ll handle almost every task related to hiring, termination, and everything in between. Your workers will answer to the employer of record.

A PEO, on the other hand, becomes your co-employer. Together, you’ll handle HR tasks related to employment.

Who’s Driving?

Another way to think through the differences between a PEO vs employer of record is to consider the subject of control.

With an employer of record, you have relatively little say. The EOR assumes responsibility for hiring and employment contracts, as well as benefits, insurance, and even business registration. This can be a good option for employers who want to enter a new state or country, but don’t necessarily want to set up shop there.

When you work with a PEO, you’ll have much more control over HR processes. The PEO offers valuable advice, but you generally have full control over hiring and employment contracts. The PEO may offer you access to insurance or benefits plans as well.

Think about Your Needs

The best way to settle the PEO vs employer of record debate in your business is to ask what you need.

If you plan to open a new branch office or establish a subsidiary, a PEO might be the right partner for you.

A PEO is also the better choice when you want to stay in the driver’s seat, but expand your HR capabilities. The PEO is there to help you maintain compliance with local employment laws and enhance your HR capabilities.

For this reason, a PEO is a better long-term solution than an EOR. If you just want to get people hired on quickly, an EOR might be the right move for your business.

An employer of record also reduces your liabilities when you enter a new market. Since they assume the employment relationship, the EOR alone is responsible for compliance, insurance, and employment contracts.

Expanding Your HR Operations

Perhaps the biggest advantage of working with a PEO is that it could help expand your HR team almost instantly. Many small and medium-sized businesses can offer much more to their employees when they work with a PEO than they could otherwise.

The employer can also find a balance between managing their responsibilities on their own or giving up control.

A great example is payroll. A PEO will administer payroll for your employees in compliance with all the local laws. Your HR team doesn’t need to get bogged down in the details of learning Canadian payroll, but they can rest assured it will be done correctly every time.

Which Is Better?

Many HR experts ask this question, and the answer is always “it depends.” Choosing to work with either a PEO or an employer of record means carefully examining your business needs.

If you haven’t determined which is the best choice for you, get in touch with the experts. They can help you assess what your business needs and goals are, then help you decide which solution is the right fit.


Topics: PEO, Professional Employer Organizations, Pay International Employees, Employment of Record Services

The Complexities of Workers’ Compensation in Canada

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Jul 3, 2019 9:06:00 AM

Compensation-ComplexitiesAmerican companies and international employers that have US operations often see Canada as a logical next market. One of the challenges they face when expanding to Canada, though, is navigating the differences of Canadian employment law.

There are numerous examples, but one of the standouts is how workers’ compensation functions north of the 49th parallel. For many employers, a lack of experience can lead to hefty noncompliance fines. If you’re planning to expand to Canada and employ Canadian workers, here’s what you need to know.

Workers’ Compensation Is Government-Run

In the US, workers’ compensation programs vary from state to state. In a handful of states, workers’ compensation insurance can only be purchased from a state-run program. In other states, the government-funded program operates alongside plans offered by private insurers. These funds may be an option for high-risk employers who can’t be insured by private companies, or they might be used to cover companies that fail to purchase insurance.

In Canada, the situation is quite different. Each province in Canada has its own insurance program, which every employer must use. There are no private options for workers’ comp insurance in Canada.

Where to Register

As mentioned, each province in Canada operates its own program, with its own rules, to compensate injured workers. As a result, an employer must open an account in each province they plan to operate in.

For example, an employer in Ontario must register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Their account will provide insurance for their employees in Ontario.

If this employer then opens a branch in Alberta and hires employees there, their WSIB insurance doesn’t cover them. The employer has to register with Alberta’s Worker Compensation Board to provide insurance for their Albertan employees.

When to Register

To make matters more complicated, not only do you need separate accounts for each province you operate in, each province has different rules about when and how to register.

In Ontario, you can’t apply for an account with WSIB until you have an employee start date. In Alberta, you can pre-register for an account and hire employees later on. In Nova Scotia, you could delay opening an account until you have three employees.

It’s important to check the rules about when you’ll need to register. In Ontario, you must register once your first employee starts. If you waited until you had hired three people, you could face hefty fines. Alberta’s pre-registration provides even less leeway for employers. You may open an account when you begin hiring employees, but you have no reason to delay.

Who Needs It

Workers’ compensation insurance protects both businesses and employees. Employees can receive compensation if they’re injured or become ill on the job. Business owners avoid costly lawsuits.

That said, which companies need to register for workers’ compensation insurance does vary from province to province. In most provinces, sole proprietors with no employees don’t need to register for an account.

The rules are a little different in the Northwest Territories, where every business must register within the first 10 days of starting operations. In British Columbia, almost every employer has to register, including people who are building their own homes.

In Nova Scotia, a few businesses are exceptions to the three-or-more employees rule. If you work in the fishing industry, for example, insurance is mandatory. The same is true in the restaurant business.

A Guide Through the Labyrinth

As you can see, the situation around workers’ compensation is quite complex in Canada. If you’re working in two or more provinces, or you’re feeling unsure, get a helping hand by working with an experienced employer of record. They can help you navigate the compliance maze, avoid penalties, and ensure you have the right insurance for your business


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