Canadian Security Intelligence Service / CSIS
CSIS' headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Canadian Security Intelligence Service / CSIS was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and National Capital Region's Top Employers (2016):

  • CSIS provides excellent maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 93% of salary for 52 weeks) as well as parental leave top-up payments for new fathers and adoptive parents (to 93% of salary for 37 weeks) -- and also helps employees balance work and their personal lives with flexible hours, shortened and compressed work week options and paid personal days off that can be scheduled throughout the year
  • CSIS employees can apply for an unpaid leave of absence for a number of unique reasons, including continuing their education (up to three years), military service, spousal relocation, acceptance of political appointments or even to mount a campaign for elected office
  • CSIS helps its employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning workshops, contributions to a defined benefit pension plan as well as health benefit coverage that extends to retirement (with no age limit) -- the agency even established a unique "Intergenerational Working Group" on attraction and retention of employees to better understand expectations and needs across all generations in the workplace

Employer Background

Industry Federal Government, National Security
Parent company Public Safety Canada
Parent company head office Ottawa ON
Full-time employees in Canada 3,299
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 2.9%
Average age of employees in Canada 42.9
Longest serving employee 30 years

Physical Workplace

Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program
Workplace features CSIS' distinctive new headquarters is comprised of two triangles joined by an atrium that is spanned by two open air bridges (the newest addition to the headquarters meets LEED Silver certification standards and incorporated employee feedback on amenities and final design), outdoor volleyball court, conference centre, onsite training facilities, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, outdoor patio
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, also available for employee events, from luncheons to retirement celebrations
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus, marché style with world fare and vegetarian meal stations every day, as well as a food to go café
Onsite fitness facility (employees only) subsidized membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (Yoga, Super Spin, Circuit Fit, Mind and Body Series, Body Blast, Bun's 'n Guns), rowing machines, weights, shower facilities, low membership fees ($22 per month), personal training, nutrition and information workshops
Other nearby amenities fitness club, National Capital Commission Land, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, Pineview Golf Club, St-Laurent Shopping Centre

Work Atmosphere & Communications

Employee social committee name NHQ Comité Social Committee
Recent social events summer golf and softball tournaments, winter hockey tournament (with time off for players and fans) to raise money for the United Way, annual spy BBQ, summer parties across the organization, long service awards celebrations and a special Christmas party for employees' children
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress Fridays, music while working
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter

Financial Benefits & Compensation

Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Additional financial benefits relocation support services, from a guaranteed home sale program to language training for spouses

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Waiting period for coverage 30 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage with no age limit yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Additional coverage employee assistance (EAP) plan, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy), deployment support program (for employees, and their family members, embarking on international assignments)
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 15 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 37 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 93% of salary for 37 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 93% of salary for 37 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week

Vacation & Personal Time-Off

Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation over their career
Previous experience considers previous work experience when setting annual vacation for new employees
Unpaid leave maximum 60 months
Self-funded/deferred salary leave maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information some employees start at four or five weeks of paid vacation allowance; employees can apply for additional leaves to continue their education (up to three years), for military service, to accompany a spouse who has been relocated (up to five years), and even to cover political appointments as well as to mount a campaign for elected office

Employee Engagement & Performance

Managers receive performance review training yes
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition on-the-spot rewards, long-service awards, merit award program that includes cash awards of up to $5,000
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 36 months

Training & Skills Development

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation, tuition subsidies related to job
Tuition subsidy coverage employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Tuition subsidies (unrelated to job) yes
Unrelated tuition subsidy coverage employer covers up to 100% of non-related tuition per year
Unique training & development programs onsite training centre, conference facility, lecture theatre, an "Information Centre" with designated reading areas, co-op program (up to 75 students annually), tuition subsidies are for a maximum of two courses annually

Community Involvement

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer, (up to 1 paid day)
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 288 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Crohn's Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Ottawa Humane Society, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Ottawa Foodbank & Snowsuit Fund Drive
Charitable giving yes
Community highlight CSIS manages a "casual Friday" charitable giving program, which occurs bi-weekly throughout the year and raises funds for both the Government of Canada's Workplace Charitable Giving Campaign and charitable organizations nominated by an employees.

Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Canadian Security Intelligence Service / CSIS was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):

  • CSIS hires up to 75 co-op students each year in a variety of fields of study, such as engineering, finance, computer sciences, human resources and information management, and have a number of opportunities to interact with senior managers, including a "meet and greet" with the CSIS Director and speed networking sessions with other senior managers
  • On an annual basis, CSIS hosts a professional development day to provide employees with opportunities to explore various careers within the organization, learn about the functions of other branches and regions and attend presentations on leadership and career development -- additionally, employees can win one of two mentoring sessions with the Executive Committee member of their choice
  • CSIS offers employees opportunities to pitch technology themed proposals to a panel of senior executives who may offer funds and resources to implement winning ideas


Industry Federal Government, National Security
Full-time employees in Canada 3,299
Student opportunities co-op opportunites, tuition subsidies related to job
Career development in-house training, online training, in-house career planning services, mentoring, online employee skills inventory, apprenticeship/skilled trades programs
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

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