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University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo employee and a student in discussion near the campus' living wall   (Photo credit: James Brittain)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)

Here are some of the reasons why University of Waterloo was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Waterloo Area's Top Employers (2017):

  • University of Waterloo encourages employees to prepare for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan, retirement planning assistance and health benefits that extend to retirees (with no age limit)
  • Employees who are new to University of Waterloo receive three weeks of starting vacation allowance, moving to four weeks after only four years of employment
  • University of Waterloo's campus offers a number of onsite amenities including a quiet room for meditation and religious observance, a cafeteria with healthy and special diet menus and a fully-equipped fitness facility, featuring squash courts, a golf simulator, a swimming pool, a hockey rink and a bouldering wall
University of Waterloo faculty and employees welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a campus visit

Employer Background

Industry Post Secondary Schools, University
Major Canadian hiring locations Waterloo ON, Cambridge ON, Kitchener ON, Stratford ON
Full-time employees in Canada 4,990
Part-time employees in Canada 505
Full-time employees worldwide 4,992
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 27%
Average age of employees in Canada 42
Longest serving employee 47 years

Physical Workplace A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online car-pool sign-up, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features spread over 400 hectares of former farmland, University of Waterloo's campus is comprised of buildings varying in age, from a historic farmhouse to the first LEED Platinum certified building on an Ontario campus, the main campus features an Earth Sciences Museum (with mining tunnel, dinosaur and ice-age mammal exhibits), seasonal farmer's market, the Peter Russell Rock Garden (featuring over 70 large rock and mineral specimens located at the heart of campus), a centrally-located Bike Centre (which has offered repair, maintenance and training since 1995), telecommuter workstations, nap room, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, outdoor patio, discounts at local restaurants
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, fireplace
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus, special diet menus, subsidized meals
Onsite fitness facility shared use facility, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (Zumba, yoga), rowing machines, weights, basketball court, sauna, shower facilities, squash courts, golf simulator, turf field, swimming pool, hockey rink, bouldering wall, indoor turf
Other nearby amenities YMCA, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre, fitness club, Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Columbia Lake, Waterloo Park, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, St. Jacob's Farmers Market, golf courses

Work Atmosphere & Communications B+

Employee social committee name UW Recreation Committee (est. 2004)
Recent social events summer picnic, service recognition events, annual staff conference, President's holiday reception, Canada Day celebrations
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, casual dress Fridays, music while working
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter

Financial Benefits & Compensation A

Financial benefits note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
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
Additional financial benefits subsidized home internet for those working from home offices

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits A

Health plan note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 12 hours per week
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)
Family-friendly benefits note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $3,000 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 6 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 95% of salary for 17 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave, daycare centre onsite, emergency short-term daycare, academic scholarships of up to $500 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, 35-hour work week (with full pay), shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting, earned days off program

Vacation & Personal Time-Off B+

Vacation note University of Waterloo has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 4 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 3 days off
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 maximum 12 months
Additional time-off information short-term disability varies depending on employee group (from 90 to 180 days), faculty employees start with 4 weeks paid vacation

Employee Engagement & Performance B+

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 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 long-service awards, teaching awards

Training & Skills Development A

Career planning in-house career planning services
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, subsidies for professional accreditation
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
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 7-part workshop on inclusivity, Centre for Teaching Excellence to foster exceptional teaching and learning opportunities for employees, annual staff conferences, the Staff International Experience Fund (to support international experiential opportunities), the Staff Enhancement Grant (to help cover costs associated with personal development not directly related to job duties), the Staff Excellence Fund, which allocates $250,000 annually to fund speakers, service recognition events, engagement and leadership development programs and health workplace initiatives

Community Involvement B

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 100 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Habitat for Humanity, Teens in Motion, Out of the Cold, House of Friendship, KidSport
Community highlight University of Waterloo's charitable program focuses on arts, culture and diversity, economic development, health and well-being, sustainability and youth engagement.

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