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Perks at Work: Canadian Organizations Offer Wide Range of Perks to Attract Top Talent

Ottawa, April 11, 2018—Canadian employers are offering a variety of perks to their employees to supplement typical compensation and benefits packages, and to set themselves apart from competitors. At the top of the range in terms of value are perks such as perquisite and car allowances, while the most common perks include professional membership reimbursement, mobile phones, employee parking and education grants, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Perks at Work report.

“Offering a variety of perks adds both monetary and psychological value that may give an employer an advantage over their peers. Perks can be highly valuable to prospective employees and can play an important role in an organization’s attraction and recruitment efforts,” said Monica Haberl, Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada. “In particular, perks may be more attractive to younger employees who are looking for greater flexibility and work-life balance.”


  • Perks can help organizations gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.
  • The most common perks Canadian employers provide include professional membership reimbursement, mobile phones, and employee parking.
  • Perquisite allowances tend to be the highest-value perks, with an average annual value of more than $13,300 per eligible employee. Car allowances are another high-value perk, which averages more than $8,250 per employee annually.

Of the Canadian organizations surveyed, 90 per cent offered professional membership reimbursement and 86 per cent offered mobile phones. A majority of responding organizations also offered employee parking (76 per cent), employee education grants (60 per cent), and car allowances (56 per cent).

The financial value of perks varies substantially based on the type of offering and the employee position level. At the top of the range, the average annual value of a perquisite allowance is more than $13,300 per eligible employee. A car allowance is another high-value perk, which averages approximately $8,250 per employee on an annual basis. These perks tend to be offered only to executive-level positions.

The most common perks offered to all employees tend to be those available on location at an organization’s office, such as on-site fitness centres and on-site child care. Other common perks that tend to be universally offered include education grants for employees and their dependents, public transit passes, financial planning assistance and fitness reimbursements. These range in value from an average of approximately $475 per year for fitness reimbursements to just over $2,300 annually for employee education grants.

Perk offerings also vary across industry, sector, and organization size. Larger organizations are more likely to offer perks to their employees than smaller employers. Public sector organizations are more likely to provide on-site child care, on-site fitness centres, and transit passes to some of their employees. Meanwhile, private sector organizations are more likely to provide financial planning assistance, subsidized meals or cafeterias, and fitness reimbursements.

This report is based on a survey of 324 Canadian employers conducted by The Conference Board of Canada in June 2017.

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