Dalhousie University employees exercising in a pool
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, Top Employers for Canadians Over 40, Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers, Atlantic Canada's Top Employers and Nova Scotia's Top Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why Dalhousie
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- offers a great financial benefit, along with encouraging ongoing development, for free tuition for employees (up to two credits each year) and generous tuition subsidies for employees' immediate family members
- encourages employees and retirees (along with their spouses) to stay healthy with subsidized memberships to the Dalplex fitness centre, which includes a fully-equipped gymnasium, swimming, racquetball and squash and instructor-led fitness classes
- for employees nearing retirement, the University offers phased-in retirement work options along with the stability of a defined benefit pension plan
- also supports retiring employees through a health benefits plan that extends into their retirement years
- helps new mothers and fathers (including adoptive parents) with maternity and parental leave top-up payments, with the amount dependent upon employee group and length of service
- offers a great work location in one of the country's leading university campuses, situated on 79 acres of landscaped grounds located within walking distance to the Northwest Arm, historic downtown Halifax and a wide selection of restaurants and shops
- an important member of the Halifax community, employees receive time off to volunteer and manage the university's annual United Way campaign as well as other fundraising initiatives during the year -- the university is also a strong supporter of the Halifax Pride Parade
Dalhousie University is a leading post-secondary academic institution serving over 16,500 full- and part-time students.
Established in 1818, the university is recognized as one of Canada's leading academic institutions offering over 180 degree programs through 11 faculties. Dalhousie is also one of the countries leading research universities, receiving over $132 million in research grants and awards as well as attracting students and faculty from around the world.
Industry: Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Halifax NS.
Full-time at this location: 3,308.
Full-time employees in Canada: 3,328.
New jobs created in Canada last year: 50.
Part-time employees in Canada: 1,022.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: .97%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 8,577.
Average age of all employees: 46.3.
Longest serving employee: 48.7 years.
Dalhousie's physical workplace is rated as exceptional. Located in historic Halifax, Dalhousie is woven into the fabric of Canada's largest city in Atlantic Canada. The university is comprised three downtown campuses that are all withing walking distance to downtown, offering great ocean views, acres of landscaped grounds, historic buildings and easy access to shops and restaurant in one the country's most liveable cities. At work employees can take advantage onsite fitness facility (with subsidized membership to the 100,000 square-foot Dalplex fitness centre that features a fully-equipped gym, raquetball and squash courts, two climbing walls, a 50 metre swimming pool, dry saunas and even a "Fun Zone" play area for children); employee lounge (with comfortable seating and television); student union building with games, pool tables, televisions and computers; an art gallery; theatre; several food outlets (with healthy and special diet menu items, outdoor eating areas; secure bicycle parking.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
Dalhousie's work atmosphere is rated as average. On the job (and depending on their position), university employees may enjoy business casual dress; casual dress daily; casual dress Fridays; can listen to music while working; employee sports teams. Throughout the university and across the various departments, employees host a variety of fun events, from Christmas holiday parties to summer barbeques. Throughout the year, Dalhousie keeps employees up-to-date and solicits feedback through a company newsletter; email suggestion box.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
Dalhousie's financial benefits are rated as above-average. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. Individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months. Along with ensuring employees receive competitive compensation, employees also recieve year-end bonuses for some employees; defined benefit pension with employer contributions (up to 12% of salary); life & disability insurance; subsidized home Internet access; retirement planning assistance; phased-in retirement work options; subsidized home and auto insurance; low-interest home loans (for some employees); discounts (to 10%) on purchases at the university bookstore.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
Dalhousie's health and family benefits are rated as above-average. The university's health plan is administered by Medavie Blue Cross and is open to full- and part-time employees. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 60% of the premiums. There is no waiting period before coverage begins. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; orthodontics; eyecare ($125 every 2 years); traditional medicine coverage; fertility treatment medications; employee assistance (EAP) plan; medical equipment and supplies; physiotherapy; homecare; travel insurance. Dalhousie's family friendly benefits include generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary) for new parents, with the duration of maternity and parental leave top-ups ranging from 27 to 31 weeks for new mothers, parental leave for new fathers ranging from 10 to 31 weeks, and adoptive parent leave ranging from 10 to 31 weeks, depending on employee group and length of employment. Health benefits during maternity and parental leave; extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year); onsite daycare centre; subsidized onsite daycare; with 108 spaces; 15 childcare workers; and a 24 month waiting list for available spaces; offsite daycare subsidy to $2,600 per child. Additional family friendly benefits include; flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay); compressed work week; telecommuting; reduced summer hours program; earned days off (EDO) program; and 50 percent tuition subsidies for children of employees (and spouses).
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
Dalhousie's vacation and personal time-off are rated as average. New employees receive 3 weeks of vacation allowance after their first year. Vacation increases after 10 years on the job. Long-serving employees receive a maximum of 5 weeks of vacation each year. During the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 3 days off. Employees receive 5 paid sick days every year. Employees receive 6 personal days off, as scheduled by their employer. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence. Depending on the employee group some employees start at 4 and 5 weeks of paid vacation.
Dalhousie's employee engagement program is rated as very good. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. As part of the review process employees can provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance. Exit interviews are provided for departing employees. Across the university, performance excellence is recognized through special recognition awards that are specific to each unit, department and faculty group. Dalhousie hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys. (These surveys are held every 24 months).
Training & Skills Development
Dalhousie's training and skills development program is rated as exceptional. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer pays up to $2,484 in subsidies). Employees may also receive tuition subsidies for courses unrelated to their current position. For general interest courses or those not directly related to an employee's position, Dalhousie offers employees up to two credits each year as well as 50% tuition subsidy for their children and significant other. In addition to tuition waivers, employees also receive subsidies for professional accreditations; in-house apprenticeship and skilled trades programs; formal mentoring program; career planning services; in-house training programs.
Dalhousie's community involvement program is rated as above-average. The university and its employees focus their charitable support towards a variety of local and international charitable initiatives. Employees receive time-off to volunteer and manage the annual United Way campaign. Every year, employees volunteer and actively raise money for a number of initiatives, including the United Way, the annual Cancer Society Daffodil Day (to also welcome spring), the Day of Caring, the Halifax Pride Parade, and Doctors Without Borders. 1.69.
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