Employee Customary Benefits in France, Canada, and the US

The first challenge that any firm can face when being introduced to the global market is recruiting and managing a competent workforce. Every nation has its own regulation on taxation, immigration, employment, and pension benefits. In some cases, rules applied to locals differ from those for expatriates. The author of this paper explores and compares employee customary benefits provided by companies in France, Canada, and the United States. A comparative analysis is a research method within the framework of this study. Both similarities and differences were found in employee customary benefits policies of companies in discussed countries. It can be concluded that Canada would be preferable for US-based organizations. Customary incentives that should be implemented in a branch office are mandatory training, health insurance covering dental health and vision impairment, flexible work arrangements, and employment termination payments.

The search for new markets is the critical driver of investment abroad. When an organization realizes there are new customers overseas, it is appropriate to exploit that gap due to the availability of no similar businesses or their products’ uniqueness. A company may also decide to invest abroad when the production costs, including labor, land, natural resources, and capital, are cheaper (Klonoski, 2016). Firms may decide to invest in foreign companies to build their strategic network of such product distribution channels.

Organizations putting money into foreign nations may be required to offer certain customary benefits to their employees, depending on their government labor regulation standards and competition level in that nation. The number and complexity of the services entirely depend on the condition of the country in question. The overall cost of issuing these payments to the labor force and its consequent impact on the firm’s revenue must be considered. However, the everyday customary standard payments to employees in most nations may include covering part of the transportation, health insurance, and housing costs, retirement benefits, paid vacations, sickness leave, spending reimbursement, paid leaves, vision insurance, improved wages, and others (Klonoski, 2016). In this project, two countries are being assessed for investment consideration: France and Canada. Investing in any of the states will boost the organization’s revenue base due to increased customers and reduced production costs. However, the profitability of the venture relies on government regulation, employee, and public relations.

Employee Customary Benefits in France

There are two categories of employee benefits, both of which are legal payments. Each worker is entitled to enjoy them and those advanced by individual organizations. It is a standard requirement that each employee works for a maximum of 35 hours a week (Clauwaert et al., 2016). Companies are expected to compensate them for any extra hours offered. They need to put plans to pay additional wages to workers for any duty beyond the standard work hours (Hunter, 2018). This legal requirement is similar to that of the United States.

France has several holidays during which the workers are expected to be off duty. There about eleven national holidays, and any work assigned on this day is considered extra (Clauwaert et al., 2016). The employee deserves to be paid for such additional responsibility done. Some of these days are Easter Monday, Pentecost Monday, The Circumcision Day, All Saints Day, Ascension Thursday, Labor Day, Armistice Day, and Christmas Day.

Employees that use public means to come to work are also entitled to a 50% commuter cost subsidy. An organization has to make plans to cover half of the transport cost to those workers who do not use company transport (Hunter, 2018). Such subsidies are common in major cities such as Paris to encourage carpooling by the public. It is useful in reducing carbon footprints and vehicular emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Workers are also entitled to food subsidies in which their employers pay 50% of the lunch packages. The employees are issued with restaurant vouchers to cater for meals. The total cost of the meal is shared halfway with the organization (Hunter, 2018). This scheme is not available in U.S. organizations. Any company planning to invest in France must make plans for it to ensure legal compliance. Employees also have the right to take tuition leaves to pursue further training to facilitate career growth and development or obtain promotion. As they work, the employees are awarded some points via their accounts based on performance or extra work that exclusively belongs to them (Hunter, 2018). The points do not expire, and they can be utilized to acquire certifications and paid training.

Moreover, French workers also enjoy a wide variety of other leaves. Women are eligible for sixteen weeks of paid maternity leave (Clauwaert et al., 2016). Even men can have eleven days of paid paternity to work off. When an employee gets married, he or she is given up to four days off. Besides, if one of the worker’s children is getting married, he or she is offered one day off duty (Clauwaert et al., 2016). When an employee is newly recruited, he or she is entitled to five weeks of paid vacation after working for a full year. This is rarely offered by American organizations.

There is also a range of optional benefits that are specific to individual organizations in France. Some companies pay their workers for the 13th month to help them defray tax costs, thereby maintaining the financial stability of employees (Hunter, 2018). During Christmas Day, employees are given gifts by their organization. It is done to cover the costs incurred by the employees for presents so that they do not waste personal savings.

Employee Customary Benefits in Canada

Canada is a federal state with over ten provinces, and each of them develops its labor laws and policies for companies within its boundaries. However, the central government has authority over employers engaged in interprovincial activities (Pearce, 2018). The federal and provincial laws and standards regulate the employer-employee relationship and protect each worker in Canada. There are several legislated employee benefits and other competitive incentives that are offered by organizations.

The Canadian system provides a range of universal health coverages to workers, supplemented by the employers. Dental and vision problems are not covered by the government and remain a responsibility of the employers (Pearce, 2018). However, in the United States, the government offers universal health coverage, including vision impairments. In both countries, an employee suffering from a job-related disease or injury is entitled to the company’s compensation by law provided proof of illness.

The Canadian government also offers employment insurance to the citizens, which is used to compensate workers who lost their job through involuntary means, including maternity leave, sick leave, and others. These payments are made using money contributed by both the employer and their employees; however, these funds are taxable just as regular incomes (Jean et al., 2017). Some organizations supplement these benefits by issuing compensation to their staff to cover medical bills, vacations, and sick leaves. Besides, the government has a universal pension scheme that is funded by the workers and their employers. The law mandates that every firm must contribute a standard percentage of wages and salaries towards this plan. However, the organizations also make private arrangement for employees’ retirement funds that guarantees them of specific monthly benefit after retirement.

Areas Where Countries Need To Improve

Benefits such as sponsored education and training for the workers are optional, and organizations may only provide them on discretion. Health insurance, vision coverage, medical, disability, and accident benefits are not legal obligations of the employers; however, the organization offers them a competitive advantage in the labor market (Jean et al., 2017). This is contrary to the variety of payment schemes that French workers enjoy. Some of Canada’s optional customary programs are mandatory in the United States for companies to avail to their workers.

Moreover, every business thrives in a friendly and secure environment. France has a stable and peaceful investment opportunity. Workers are highly protected from exploitation and live a comfortable life. Some receive tax waivers from companies that pay even the 13th-month salary. Most of these benefits are mandatory, and the organizations have no choice but to pay (Clauwaert et al., 2016). Therefore, these workers’ compensation programs are very costly for employers—their expensive way of life is a burden to most companies and reduces profit margins. On the other hand, the U.S. has a strong economy with a high-quality labor force. The expertise levels make the workforce expensive to some organizations; however, the number of customary benefits is lower than in France.

On the contrary, the Canadian system offers limited customary benefits to workers, which acts as a relief to organizations. This allows companies to have high returns at the expense of the workers’ welfare. Most of the social payments are shared by both the employer and the employees, and still, they are optional (Pearce, 2018). Besides offering social security, life insurance, employee assistance programs, and saving plans, the U.S. government provides child and dependent care programs to workers to cater to their families and other dependents, including aged parents.


Canada has few legal obligations to employees, which encourages the establishment of many starting businesses instead of France, where employers carry a financial burden in the economy. Therefore, Canada has a great investment opportunity to open branches and product outlet for any American organization. Consequently, the organization is considering opening an office in either country; however, Canada is more promising in returns than France.

Customary benefit programs are quality ways to attract talented personnel and maintain a healthy and productive workforce. Somehow, choosing the right plan for an organization can prove challenging, considering that they are expensive (Pearce, 2018). For the organization to stay competitive in the labor market, it needs to employ unique customary benefits to the employees. The following are some recommended familiar payment programs that should be implemented by the organization.

Education and training programs are available to workers in America. It is a crucial benefit program that needs to be advanced to the Canadian workforce. It will ensure the development of new skills and improvement of employee motivation. The organization also needs to introduce health insurance packages that cover work-related accidents, sicknesses, and compensation for those who suffer permanent disabilities in the line of duty to supplement the government universal health coverage schemes. Other optional benefits that can be considered for the company’s workers include offering dental health and vision impairment coverages and flexible work arrangements. Suppose a worker is employed on a contract basis, it is recommended that the organization needs to give out some payments for the lost job in case of termination.


This paper explores and compares the customary benefits organizations provide to employees in France, Canada, and the United States. Categories as health insurance, wages, paid vacations, and others were compared. The author of this study also provided recommendations and discussed what could be improved. It was found that Canada is a country with a more favorable business climate. Recommendations include mandatory training, health insurance covering dental health and vision impairment, flexible working hours, and employment termination payments for the Canadian workforce.


Clauwaert, S., Schömann, I., & Rasnača, Z. (2016). The crisis and national labour law reforms: A mapping exercise [PDF document].

Hunter, A. (2018). Retirement home? Aging migrant workers in France and the question of return [PDF document].

Jean, K. N., Ngui, T. K., & Robert, A. (2017). Effect of compensation strategies on employee performance: A case study of Mombasa cement limited. International Journal of Innovative Social Sciences & Humanities Research, 5(3), 25−42.

Klonoski, R. (2016). Defining employee benefits: A managerial perspective. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 6(2), 52−72.

Pearce, J. A., & Silva, J. P. (2018). The future of independent contractors and their status as non-employees: Moving on from a common law standard. Hasting Business Law Journal, 14(1), 1.

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LawBirdie. "Employee Customary Benefits in France, Canada, and the US." March 23, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/employee-customary-benefits-in-france-canada-and-the-us/.