Ontario Public Service / OPS
OPS employees collaborating

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

Here are some of the reasons why Ontario Public Service / OPS was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2016) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2016):

  • The OPS offers generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments to new moms and dads (including adoptive parents) -- employees also have priority placement for their children at the Queen's Park Child Care Centre along with a variety of alternative work options to help balance their professional and personal lives (dependent on their position)
  • Along with an incredible array of career possibilities at one the province's largest employers, the OPS manages a sponsored employee program, a unique volunteer opportunity for high potential employees to be seconded for up to 15 weeks to work for United Way (with regular pay)
  • The OPS helps employees plan securely for life after work with retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options when nearing retirement, a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit)
OPS employees
OPS employees at their holiday toy drive

Employer Background

Industry Provincial Government
Full-time employees in Canada 61,698
Part-time employees in Canada 1,783
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 13%
Average age of employees in Canada 45.3
Longest serving employee 52 years

Physical Workplace

Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features across the Ontario Public Service, employees work in a variety of settings, from small field offices in remote areas of Ontario to Queen's Park in the heart of downtown Toronto, the main Queen's Park location is comprised of a series of buildings around the Ontario Legislature, occupying close to two city blocks and providing almost 900,000 square feet of space, in 2005, the organization initiated a massive green-energy conversion project, which included a deep lake water cooling system that uses the waters of Lake Ontario to reduce cooling and heating costs, as well as improve the air quality of all buildings, the Queen's Park location features indoor and outdoor secure bicycle storage with shower facilities, a first aid and wellness resource centre, telecommuter workstations, nap room, religious observance room, outdoor patio
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, event space in the St. Lawrence Lounge
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus
Onsite fitness facility (employees only) stationary bikes, instructor-led classes (yoga, step, OPS personnel are volunteer instructors), weights, (fitness space is run by employees and funded by employees ($20 per month) with proceeds donated to charity)
Other nearby amenities YMCA, fitness club, Queen's Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, Art Gallery of Ontario, Gardiner Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, access to weekly farmer's markets at the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto Eaton Centre Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Work Atmosphere & Communications

Recent social events a variety of employee recognition celebrations, including the Amethyst Award, to recognize outstanding achievements, diversity celebrations, lunch and learn sessions, environmental awareness events
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress Fridays, music while working
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box

Financial Benefits & Compensation

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
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

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 14 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 60 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, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy), health care spending account of up to $750 for some employees, Healthy Workplace, Healthy Mind mental health awareness campaign
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 17 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 93% of salary for 15 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 93% of salary for 17 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 93% of salary for 17 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, daycare centre onsite
Alternative work options flexible work hours, compressed work week, telecommuting

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
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months
Self-funded/deferred salary leave maximum 12 months

Employee Engagement & Performance

Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
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 individual performance bonuses, peer-to-peer-recognition awards, long-service awards, "Amethyst Awards" to recognize outstanding employee achievement, local and ministry specific recognition and celebrations in various professional categories such as HR (HR Ontario Awards of Excellence), Communications (Spotlight Awards) and I&IT (IT Awards of Distinction), to name a few
Outside survey period outside consultant surveys are held every 36 months

Training & Skills Development

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Unique training & development programs accelerated leadership development, executive leadership development programs, diversity training and mentorship, internships for internationally trained individuals and engineers, internships for students and new grads in a variety of disciplines

Community Involvement

Scope of charitable involvement local, national
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 17 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Federated Health Charities Campaign (included support for 16 health-related initiatives last year) and the United Way (campaigns across the province)
Community highlight OPS' philanthropic efforts are primarily focused on supporting health and community building initiatives. As part of the organization's support for the annual Untied Way campaign, OPS employees can direct their support to a particular region in the province. The OPS also manages a sponsored employee program, a unique volunteer opportunity for high potential employees to be seconded for up to 15 weeks to work for United Way (with regular pay).

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

Here are some of the reasons why Ontario Public Service / OPS was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):

  • OPS established the OPS Learn and Work initiative, a co-operative education program that provides employment opportunities for high school students from selected priority communities -- the 22-week program consists of two paid co-op terms at the organization or related agencies in a number of divisions including administrative and support services, education and training, justice and law enforcement, and science and engineering
  • In partnership with Confederation College and industry partners, the OPS administers a 2-year First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program for Aboriginal youth between the ages of 16 to 18 -- through the program, participants can work on forestry projects, receive workplace training and take personal development workshops
  • OPS maintains the Premier's Council on Youth Opportunities, an advisory body comprised of youth (ages 16 to 25), young professionals, front-line workers and other leaders which work to improve outcomes for youth, especially youth at-risk or those not routinely engaged by government
  • OPS created the Northern Internship Program Pilot for recent grads in Northern Ontario -- organized by Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, the program currently offers 4 internship placements which range from 12- to 18-months in length
OPS employees

Highlights

Industry Provincial Government
Full-time employees in Canada 61,698
Student opportunities summer jobs, co-op opportunities, paid internships
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Career development in-house training, online training, in-house career planning services, mentoring, leadership training, online employee skills inventory
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Unique initiatives Tomorrow's Ontario Public Service (TOPS), network with over 4,700 members, provides young employees with networking, mentoring and learning opportunities, 4-year Transportation Engineering Development Program for recent civil or geotechnical university graduates, 10-month Ontario Legislature Internship Program, Strategic Professionals Association, Refined Knowledge Stewards (SPARKS) for OPS interns and intern alumni, 12- to 14-month placements for Master's students interested in policy

Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Ontario Public Service / OPS was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):

  • The OPS created an Administrative Internship Pilot Program, a career development initiative to provide black, female administrative staff with on-the-job experience in communications, finance, policy and procurement for a 1-year period
  • The OPS is the first organization in Ontario to comply with accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and created "Accessibility@Source", a campaign to provide employees with practical information on how to consider accessibility at the beginning of their projects, processes and policies
  • Additionally, the OPS maintains the Accessibility Centre of Excellence, a source of accessibility information across OPS as it relates to information and technology, an Accessible Procurement Program to consider the needs of persons with disabilities at all stages of procurement process, and the Accessibility Leads Forum, to support and coordinate accessibility and compliance activities -- ministries have assigned Accessibility Leads who meet with the Diversity Office for this forum to discuss practical solutions to compliance issues and share best practices
OPS employee using an accessible entrance in the Trenton Service Centre
OPS employees

Highlights

Industry Provincial Government
Full-time employees in Canada 61,698
Workforce representation female employees (55 %), female managers (55 %), visible minority employees (17 %), visible minority managers (14 %), Aboriginal employees (2 %), Aboriginal managers (2 %)
Diversity programs for disabilities, women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, LGBT, Francophones
Employee resource groups Women in Government, Women in Corrections network, Black Ontario Public Service Employees Network, East Asian Network Group, South Asian Network, Nation to Nation (Aboriginal peoples), OPS Pride Network (1,200 members and champions), FrancoGO (francophone employees)
Formal commitment diversity office, Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer, diversity council, accessibility strategy, inclusive culture change strategy, disability advisory council, Inclusion Now! strategic plan, Healthy Workplace, Healthy Minds initiative (build awareness of mental health in the workplace)
Unique diversity initiatives reciprocal mentorship program (connects senior leaders with staff from traditionally underrepresented groups), Positive Space Program and champions (for employees of all gender identities and sexual orientations, 900 trained champions in 68 cities across Ontario), OPS Internship Program for Internationally Trained Individuals (6-month paid placements), recruitment programs for Aboriginal youth such as Aboriginal Youth Exchange Program and Aboriginal Law Summer Program, OPS International Internship Program for Engineers (12- to 15-month placements for internationally educated engineers)
Diversity community partnerships Ability Edge (6-month paid internships for recent grads with disabilities), Career Edge (paid internships for internationally trained individuals), Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, Feathers of Hope Youth Forum, Native Women's Resource Centre

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Ontario Public Service / OPS was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):

  • To support the organization's action plan, OPS established an in-house "Green Office" in 2008 to oversee efforts to reduce its environmental footprint -- the office is led by an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Ministry of Government Services and is responsible for implementing a multi-year "Green Transformation Strategy" to guide and demonstrate the provincial government's commitment to sustainable operations
  • OPS maintains a unique reuse and redeployment program for everything from furniture to computers to paper to heavy machinery and laboratory equipment, ensuring that reusable items are saved, cataloged and shipped to other locations as needed -- in addition, the organization recently launched "OPS Green Exchange", an online program to help nearby offices exchange supplies
  • As a result of OPS' ongoing "Green Print Strategy", the organization has removed over half of its printers from operation and reduced paper consumption by approximately 35 millions sheets of paper each year, or enough to save 2,100 trees -- the Service continues to work towards a goal of a 50 percent reduction in paper usage
  • As part of its overall "Green Transformation Strategy", the OPS has set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to 19 percent below its 2006 baseline level -- to help reach this target the OPS has adopted the LEED Silver Certification standard as a minimum for all new government-owned office buildings and major renovations, and has updated its auto fleet procurement policies as well as installing over 60 electric vehicle charging stations -- the Service has over 1,440 hybrids and 87 electric vehicles on the road (compared to just over 100 hybrids in 2006)
OPS employees from the Ministry of Energy taking part in a Clean Air Commute
OPS employees providing information about the organization's green initiatives on Earth Day

Highlights

Full-time employees in Canada 61,698
Employee green team OPS Green Teams (there are over 100 green teams supported by the Green Office across all ministries)
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Assistant Deputy Minister, Centre for Leadership and Learning (oversees the Green Office)
Formal strategy/policy name Green Transformation Strategy; OPS Green Office; Ontario Climate Change Action Plan (est. 2007) to set province wide emission reductions
Unique green initiatives Clean Air Commute, Green Government Task Force, Think Green Intranet and the Think Green Speaker Series, Green Move Guide (to highlight green consideration when relocating) Annual Think Green Art Show (July and August), Green Workplace Guide, OPS Green Fleet Strategy, Meet Smart + Travel Smart (to increase the use of video conference technology and reduce unnecessary travel), online travel and print calculators (to create employee awareness about the impacts of unnecessary printing and travel)
In-house waste reduction and recycling battery collection program (over 3,700kg of batteries collected last year), e-waste, organics (at some locations)
Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
In-house environmental audit yes
External environmental audit yes
Publishes sustainability report yes
Green community initiatives Earth Day, World Wildlife Fund (Earth Hour and National Sweater Day), Smart Commute, World Water Day, Clean Air Commute Campaign (OPS initiative in partnership with Pollution Probe)
Head office LEED Platinum
Other location LEED Gold
Building footprint includes other building accreditation (BOMA etc.)

The Career Directory

Ontario Public Service / OPS has been selected for The Career Directory, our guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.
OPS employees from the Ontario Parks office taking part in National Sweater Day

Highlights for New Grads

Industry Provincial Government
Full-time employees in Canada 61,698
Part-time employees in Canada 1,783
Student opportunities paid internships, summer jobs, co-op opportunities
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Training subsidies for professional accreditation, orientation program, online training, in-house training, mentoring, in-house career planning services, leadership training
Other info for new grads Offers the Ontario Internship Program, a 2-year paid position in a wide range of ministries and agencies across the organization.
Typical new grad positions Administrative and Support Services, Communications and Marketing, Consulting and Planning, Corrections and Enforcement, Customer and Client Services, Education and Training, Finance and Economics, Health and Social Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Inspections and Investigations, Lands and Resources, Legal Services, Policy and Analysis, Maintenance and Trades, Management, Science, Engineering
Starting salary $40K to $45K
Work perks health benefits for new employees, flexible work hours, telecommuting
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

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