Top Employers 2017

Posted on January 04, 2017 | Atlantic Business Magazine | 0 Comments

According to Mediacorp Canada Inc., the organization that manages the Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers competition, achieving this elite status requires exceptional human resources programs and forward-thinking workplace policies. “To secure a place on the list, an employer has to do everything well,” says managing editor Richard Yerema. That means they have to offer benefits appropriate for every stage of their employees’ career: advancement opportunities, professional development, family-friendly policies and retirement planning assistance.

Competition organizers reported an increase in the number of employers from Atlantic Canada to apply for this year’s competition. “We were surprised by the significant increase in interest,” says Anthony Meehan, publisher of Canada’s Top 100 Employers (candidates for the national program are automatically entered in the regional competition). “New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in particular saw notable increases in the number of employers asking us to look at their HR programs and initiatives, both from the private and public sectors.”

Ultimately, 30 employers throughout the region were successful in being named to this year’s list. On behalf of everyone here at Atlantic Business Magazine, congratulations on your remarkable accomplishment — thank you for setting the bar so high.

Applicants are graded on eight criteria: physical workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and, community involvement. For information about applying for next year’s competition, visit:

Aditya Birla Group (Nackawic, N.B.)
Manages two dissolving-pulp manufacturing mills
FT employees in Canada: 1,033
Noteworthy: offers opportunities for the next generation to gain career-level experience through summer student roles, paid internships and co-op opportunities. They also participate in the New Brunswick Teen Apprentice program, a partnership between private and public sector employers to support skilled trades career development for youth.

Admiral Insurance Services (Halifax, N.S.)
Provides automobile insurance products and services
FT employees in Canada: 456
Noteworthy: in addition to supporting a number of local, national and international charitable organizations, Admiral Insurance encourages employees to give back to their local communities with matching employee donations.

CBCL Limited (Halifax, N.S.)
Employee-owned consulting engineering firm
FT employees in Canada: 260
Noteworthy: provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 80% of salary for 17 weeks) and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

Clearwater Seafoods LP (Bedford, N.S.)
Harvests, processes, and distributes shellfish and groundfish
FT employees in Canada: 1,083
Noteworthy:encourages ongoing employee education with tuition subsidies for job-related courses and even rewards some course completion with financial bonuses.

Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (New Glasgow, N.S.)
Commercial real estate owner and developer
FT employees in Canada: 263
Noteworthy: offers a number of financial benefits including a profit-sharing plan, available to all employees, signing bonuses for some and year-end bonuses for all.

Dalhousie University (Halifax, N.S.)
Post-secondary institutions with 18,500 students and 6,000 faculty and staff
FT employees in Canada: 3,565
Noteworthy: recently launched “Dal Thrive”, a university-wide mental wellness initiative for faculty, staff and students aimed to reduce stigma around mental health and to promote available resources, support and services.

DeltaWare Systems Inc (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
Provides information technology consulting and software development services, specializing in e-health and e-business applications
FT employees in Canada: 100
Noteworthy: starts new employees with three weeks of paid vacation allowance and helps employees schedule additional time off through a formal earned days-off program. Employees can also balance personal and professional responsibilities through flexible work hours and a telecommuting option.

Health Association Nova Scotia (Bedford, N.S.)
Association of health and community services organizations
FT employees in Canada: 87
Noteworthy: in addition to three weeks of starting vacation allowance, Health Association Nova Scotia offers up to five paid personal days off, which can be scheduled at the employees’ discretion.

High Liner Foods Incorporated (Lunenburg, N.S.)
Processes and markets value-added frozen seafood products
FT employees in Canada: 393
Noteworthy: helps employees prepare for the longer term with retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options and contributions to a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan (depending on employee group).

Irving Oil (Saint John, N.B.)
Oil and gas company that provides products to the wholesale, commercial, and retail industries
FT employees in Canada: 2,474
Noteworthy: offers academic scholarships to children of employees interested in pursuing post-secondary studies (up to $2,000 per child). Irving Oil also encourages employees to be active in their community, providing up to five paid days off to volunteer.

Jazz Aviation LP (Dartmouth, N.S.)
Regional airline serving 80+ destinations across Canada and in the United States
FT employees in Canada: 4,266
Noteworthy: supports the “Jazz After Hours Club”, which organizes a variety of social activities throughout the year, including golf tournaments, movie nights, comedy club evenings and Christmas parties for both employees and children of employees. The company also hosts fundraising events such as barbecues and contests in support of the United Way.

Killam Apartment REIT (Halifax, N.S.)
Owns and operates multi-family residential properties and manufactured home communities
FT employees in Canada: 431
Noteworthy: employees are encouraged to stay in shape with free memberships to an onsite fitness facility that features treadmills, stationary bikes, stair masters, rowing machines, weights and instructor-led classes, including interval training and spinning classes.

Maritime Travel Inc. (Halifax, N.S.)
Travel agency based in Atlantic Canada, with 96 locations nationwide
FT employees in Canada: 378
Noteworthy: employees have the opportunity to enjoy subsidized travel to many of the exotic locations around the world as part of a program to familiarize themselves with many of the places their clients travel.

Medavie Blue Cross (Moncton, N.B.)
Provides individual and group insurance products to customers across Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario
FT employees in Canada: 1,896
Noteworthy: supports employees who are new parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 90% of salary for up to six weeks) and offers an option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence. Employees can also take advantage of a variety of alternative work arrangements to help them transition to their new role as parents.

New Brunswick Community College (Fredericton, N.B.)
Post-secondary institution that offers approximately 90 diploma and certificate programs
FT employees in Canada: 779
Noteworthy: supports ongoing employee development with in-house and online training programs and tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position, to a lifetime maximum of $10,000.

Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Ltd. (St. John’s, N.L.)
Provides a complete range of financial products and services to customers throughout Atlantic Canada
FT employees in Canada: 124
Noteworthy: helps employees prepare for the future with retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options for employees nearing retirement as well as matching contributions to RSP plans, up to eight per cent of salary.

North Atlantic (St. John’s, N.L.)
Operates downstream operations of Harvest Energy Trust (a 115,000 bpd petroleum refinery, a marketing and distribution business, marine business and ships’ agency)
FT employees in Canada: 140
Noteworthy: new employees start with three weeks of paid vacation and move to a maximum of six weeks over the course of their careers. Employees can also apply to take an unpaid leave of absence if required.

Northwood Group of Companies (Halifax, N.S.)
A long term care, independent living and community outreach organization
FT employees in Canada: 1,041
Noteworthy: employees working at the organization’s main location can take advantage of a variety of onsite amenities, including an employee lounge, a quiet room for meditation and relaxation, and a fitness facility with exercise equipment and shower facilities.

Noseworthy Chapman Chartered Professional Accountants (St. John’s, N.L.)
Provides a full range of professional accounting, auditing, taxation and management consulting services
FT employees in Canada: 55
Noteworthy: offers employees a busy social calendar during the year, including Christmas parties for both employees and employees’ children, a summer barbeque, a two-day fall retreat, monthly social events, and an annual after-tax season dinner.

Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (Halifax, N.S.)
Generates funding and public support for the health research enterprise in Nova Scotia
FT employees in Canada: 16
Noteworthy: helps employees balance their work and personal lives with flexible work options and a 35-hour work week. It also supports its new moms with generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 90 per cent of salary for 52 weeks) as well as offering new fathers and adoptive parents a parental leave top-up payment (to 90 per cent of salary for 35 weeks).

NTT Data Canada, Inc. (Halifax, N.S.)
Information technology firm that provides application, infrastructure and business process outsourcing services
FT employees in Canada: 994
Noteworthy: offers an in vitro fertilization subsidy (to $2,400) if needed. The company also offers a variety of alternative work options to help employees balance their busy personal and work lives.

Opportunities New Brunswick (Fredericton, N.B.)
Provides services to companies interested in exploring business location and expansion opportunities within New Brunswick
FT employees in Canada: 98
Noteworthy: encourages head office employees to lead healthy active lives with employee sports teams and offers free memberships to a shared-use onsite fitness facility.

ResMed Halifax Inc. (Halifax, N.S.)
Develops health monitoring software with a focus on sleep-disordered breathing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic diseases
FT employees in Canada: 97
Noteworthy: offers a share purchase plan to employees and encourages them to save for the longer term with matching RSP contributions. Employees can also receive new employee referral bonuses when they successfully recruit a new candidate (up to $5K).

Sekisui Diagnostics PEI Ltd. (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
Develops and manufactures medical diagnostic products
FT employees in Canada: 122
Noteworthy: company subsidized events and celebrations organized throughout the year including an annual Sekisui golf tournament, paintball events with local companies, barbecues and an annual Employee Appreciation Day.

Serco Canada Inc. (Goose Bay, N.L.)
International provider of management services to the government and various industries
FT employees in Canada: 655
Noteworthy: encourages employees to keep skills up-to-date through a variety of in-house training options as well as offering generous tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position, up to $5,250 annually.

St. Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, N.S.)
A post-secondary institution that is primarily focused on undergraduate education
FT employees in Canada: 737
Noteworthy: supports its new moms with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 95 per cent for 27 weeks) as well as offering it new dads and adoptive parents a generous parental leave (to 95 per cent for 10 weeks). Employees can take advantage of onsite daycare when they are ready to return to work.

University of New Brunswick (Fredericton, N.B.)
One of Canada’s oldest English-language universities and one of the first public universities established in North America
FT employees in Canada: 1,762
Noteworthy: employees receive full tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position. Employees working at UNB’s main campus can take advantage of a variety of onsite amenities, including a cafeteria, a quiet room for meditation and reflection, and subsidized memberships to UNB’s fitness facility, which features an indoor swimming pool, soccer and winter golf dome, baseball diamonds, an ice rink and various instructor-led classes.

Verafin Inc. (St. John’s, N.L.)
Provides fraud detection and AML software for the financial industry
FT employees in Canada: 205
Noteworthy: flexible “no limit” vacation policies, letting employees decide how much time they need in any given year. Verafin also offers employees an open concept work environment that features small fitness stations throughout, including yoga mats, weights, exercise balls, chin-up bars and skipping ropes, employee-led yoga and aerobics classes and even a Friday afternoon beer cart.

Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia (Halifax, N.S.)
Promotes safe work practices and the provision of fair benefits to workers
FT employees in Canada: 386
Noteworthy: retirement planning assistance and a defined benefit pension plan. The employee health benefits plan also extends into retirement (to the age of 65).

Xplornet Communications Inc. (Woodstock, N.B.)
A high-speed internet service provider that utilizes fixed wireless and satellite platforms to reach customers in suburban, rural and remote areas
FT employees in Canada: 698
Noteworthy: variety of in-house and online training programs as well as tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions. The company also helps cultivate high potential employees with career planning services and leadership training.

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