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Union Gas Limited
Union Gas employee inspecting a weld on a natural gas pipe

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

Here are some of the reasons why Union Gas Limited was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2016) and Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2016):

  • Union Gas offers excellent financial benefits, including signing bonuses for some employees, year-end bonuses, a share purchase plan that is available to all -- also helps older employees prepare for life after work with retirement planning assistance, contributions to matching RSP, defined benefit and defined contribution plans (depending on the position) and health plan coverage that extends to retirees
  • As part of its workforce diversity strategy, Union Gas developed a 5-year business case outlining strategies and initiatives including outreach, recruitment, training and employee resources, and organized several Aboriginal recruitment workshops, in partnership with various local community agencies
  • Union Gas provides maternity leave top-up payments for its new moms, including adoptive moms, and is an industry leader in offering a generous subsidy for in vitro fertilization when needed (to $15,000) -- the company also supports employees with older kids through an academic scholarship program (to $5,000 per child)
Union Gas employees working at The Dawn Hub, one of the company's storage facilities for natural gas
Union Gas employees contributing ideas for the new office space in Toronto, Ontario
Union Gas employee attending a professional development day

Employer Background

Industry Natural Gas Distribution
Publicly traded yes
Parent company Spectra Energy Corporation
Parent company head office Chatham ON
Full-time employees in Canada 2,197
Part-time employees in Canada 102
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 1.4%
Average age of employees in Canada 45.7
Longest serving employee 48 years

Physical Workplace

Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program, free parking, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features head office is situated in a rural environment, along the Thames River and within minutes of Union Gas Park and the Thames Campus Arena, special parking for car pool, hybrid environmentally-friendly vehicles and expectant mothers, newly renovated conference centre, onsite business library, first-aid room, onsite fitness classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba, tennis and self defense, telecommuter workstations, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, outdoor patio, discounts at local restaurants
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, television
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus
Other nearby amenities St. Clair College Sports Plex, YMCA, fitness club, Union Gas Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, nearby walking path and picnic area with barbecues, nearby tennis courts and community gardens

Work Atmosphere & Communications

Employee social committee name Blue Flame Club (est. 1968)
Recent social events staff appreciation lunches and dinners, birthday breakfast with the President, holiday lunch with the President and executive team, retirement socials, annual "Second Quarter Club" dinners to recognize employees with 25 years of service or more
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, 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, defined-contribution (DC) pension, matching RSP
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Share purchase plan available to all employees
Year-end bonuses available to all employees
Referral bonuses new employee referral bonuses (up to $3,000) for some positions
Signing bonuses available for some positions

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 85% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Waiting period there is no waiting period for coverage
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 travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $15,000 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 8 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 100% of salary for 8 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, academic scholarships of up to $5,000 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting, earned days off program
Additional family-friendly information Flex Friday program that allows employees to take every other Friday off

Vacation & Personal Time-Off

Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 10 years of employment
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
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 6 personal days off each year, as needed
Company paid days off employees receive 1 personal day off, as determined by their employer
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months
Self-funded/deferred salary leave yes
Additional time-off information some employees receive two weeks of vacation to start

Employee Engagement & Performance

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months
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, on-the-spot rewards, long-service awards, tailored and unique rewards (i.e. travel), high performance merit award, summit awards for teams who make significant contribution
Outside survey period outside consultant surveys are held every 24 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, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Tuition subsidies (unrelated to job) yes
Financial bonuses for course completions yes
Unique training & development programs Engineer-in-Training (EIT) program, designated Chartered Professional Accountant Training Office, Leadership Development Network Mentoring Program

Community Involvement

Scope of charitable involvement local
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total employee volunteer hours (on company time) over 19,614 hours last year
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 450 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported United Way, Stratford Theatre, FIRST Robotics Canada
Charitable giving matches employee donations
Community highlight Union Gas' charitable focus includes community vitality, education and workforce development and employee support and volunteerism. Every year, employees and retirees take the lead in supporting community improvement projects across Ontario through the "Helping Hands in Action" program. Employees contribute to projects that improve, renovate or add tangible value to non-profit and charitable organizations in their communities, completing 296 projects in the past year.

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