Employees of the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia at charity barbecue
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 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 WCB Nova Scotia
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- located in the heart of one of Canada's most liveable cities, employees can walk to shops, restaurants, trails and parkland as well as take advantage of a nearby farmer's market and free outdoor concerts in the summer months
- encourages ongoing employee development through tuition subsidies for courses related to their position, in-house and online training programs, mentoring, and career planning services
- starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation, moving to a maximum of six weeks for long serving employees
- helps employees balance their work and personal life with a variety of alternative work arrangements, including flexible hours, telecommuting, and a formal earned days-off program
- supports employees who are new mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents, with parental leave top-up payments (to 93% of salary for 17 weeks) and lets them extend their parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- helps older workers plan for retirement through retirement planning workshops along with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and a health benefits that extends into retirement, with no age limit
Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (WCB) promotes safe work practices and the provision of fair benefits to workers.
Established in 1917, the Board is funded entirely by Nova Scotia employers and provides workplace injury insurance for over 18,000 employers, representing nearly 300,000 employees across the province. As part of its mandate, the WCB also works in support of injured workers, with the ultimate goal of helping ensure a timely return to a safe and healthy workplace.
Industry: Administration of Human Resource Programs (except Education, Public Health, and Veterans' Affairs Programs).
Major Canadian hiring locations: Halifax NS, Sydney NS.
Revenues: $289 million.
Full-time employees in Canada: 382.
Part-time employees in Canada: 3.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: 4.4%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 673.
Average age of all employees: 43.
Longest serving employee: 34 years.
WCB Nova Scotia's physical workplace is rated as very good. The Board's head office is located in downtown Halifax, offering convenient access to great restaurants, shops, coffee shops, services and is only a short walk to the Halifax harbourfront and its many attractions. Inside, the head office features employee lounge (with comfortable seating); an "ergo team" who are responsible for assessing and ensuing each workspace is comfortable and ergonomically sound; a self-serve lunch room; secure bicycle parking; free parking; walking and running trails.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
WCB Nova Scotia's work atmosphere is rated as above-average. At work, employees enjoy business casual dress; casual dress Fridays; can listen to music while working; employee sports teams; organized social events. The WCB's social committee organizes a number of events for its employees and their families, including a family Christmas party, summer barbeques, family picnics and special offsite evening events to celebrate its longest serving employees. Company newsletter; corporate intranet site; email suggestion box.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
WCB Nova Scotia's financial benefits are rated as very good. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. Individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months. In addition to ensuring competitive compensation, employees also receive defined benefit pension with employer contributions (up to 8.4% of salary); life & disability insurance; subsidized home Internet access; retirement planning assistance.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
WCB Nova Scotia's health and family benefits are rated as above-average. The Board's health benefits plan is managed by Medavie Blue Cross. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 70% of the premiums. Employees who work 14 hours per week receive coverage. There is no waiting period before coverage begins. Retiree coverage is also available on the health plan, with no age limit. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; orthodontics; eyecare ($100 every 2 years); traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; employee assistance (EAP) plan; medical equipment and supplies; massage therapy; homecare; travel insurance. Health spending account (to $500 each year). WCB Nova Scotia's family friendly benefits including; maternity top-up payments (to 93% of salary for 17 weeks); parental leave top-up for new fathers (to 93% of salary for 17 weeks); parental leave top-up for adoptive parents (to 93% of salary for 17 weeks); extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year); flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); telecommuting; earned days off (EDO) program.
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
WCB Nova Scotia'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 6 weeks of vacation each year. Employees receive 30 paid sick days every year. Employees can schedule 4 personal days off each year, as needed. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence.
WCB Nova Scotia's employee engagement program is rated as very good. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. Performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work. The Board recognizes exceptional employee performance with simple "Gratitude Cards", monetary awards (from $10 to $50), and the "Inspire Awards" which includes recognition, luncheon with the CEO and their choice of a unique awards (valued up to $500). WCB Nova Scotia also recognizes its longest serving employees after their tenth anniversary and every five years thereafter. WCB Nova Scotia hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys. (These surveys are held every 12 months).
Training & Skills Development
WCB Nova Scotia's training and skills development program is rated as very good. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer covers up to 100% of tuition). In addition, the Board also supports ongoing employee development with subsidies for professional accreditations; formal mentoring program; career planning services; in-house training programs; online training programs; online employee skills inventory; new employee orientation program; formal management training program.
WCB Nova Scotia's community involvement program is rated as above-average. Each year, employees and the Board focus their support and energies towards an area of their expertise, supporting individuals and families who need assistance. Employees take part in the selection of charitable groups assisted each year. Every year, employees raise money and volunteer their time to support the "Threads of Life", which is an organization that supports individuals and families who have been negatively affected as a result of a workplace tragedy. Employees participate in the "Steps for Life" fundraising walk to raise money for to care for affected families. WCB Nova Scotia also sponsors and and participates in their annual "Family Forum", which brings together affected families from across Nova Scotia and Canada.
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