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Saskatchewan’s Top Employers lauded for progressive HR policies

February 18, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

The top employers in Saskatchewan all have a similar recipe for success. A blend of work-life balance, corporate social responsibility and a commitment to the learning and development of employees, according to the publishers of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2020.

“We continue to see a deep reservoir of outstanding workplace practices in Saskatchewan,” said Richard Yerema, managing editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “In good economic times and otherwise, Saskatchewan employers are a source of progressive human resource policies that the rest of Canada would do well to study.”

This year, the editorial team at Mediacorp Canada — the company behind the awards program and other competitions across the country — paid particular attention to initiatives that aren’t costly or expensive to implement, but make a meaningful difference in employees’ lives, he siad.

“These kinds of programs raise the bar, as other employers can easily emulate and improve upon them,” said Yerema.


30 employers make the list

This year’s list of winners comprises 30 employers from across the province, with representation from across Saskatchewan’s economy.

These employers lead their peers when it comes to programs such as: helping employees balance work with family commitments; engaging employees to make a difference in the community; developing employees’ skills and training so they are ready for tomorrow’s economy; improving employee health and wellness, particularly mental health; and helping staff prepare for the second half of their careers and life after work.

“These are challenging times as the economy regains strength in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada,” said Kristina Leung, senior editor at Mediacorp. “But after 15 years, we can say with confidence that the province’s best employers take the long view, paying attention to the needs and aspirations of their employees.  Saskatchewan is the place where many of the values that define Canada were formed – when it comes to progressive workplaces and forward-thinking employers, it’s no different.  The province is still a quiet leader, with some of the best employers in the nation.”

Some of the initiatives noted by the editors include:

  • Along with generous vacation allowance, Saskatchewan Research Council helps employees recharge, with up to 18 additional paid ‘flex days’ per year – a portion of which must be scheduled during winter holidays and up to 10 unused days may be paid out in cash at the end of the year.

  • Yorkton-based Cornerstone Credit Union provides tuition subsidies for employees who enrol in outside institutions and academic scholarships for employees’ children pursuing post-secondary studies (to $1,000).

  • Potash manufacturer Nutrien supported over 2,500 charities and community groups in the past year, focusing efforts on food solutions, youth and education, health and safety, and community building – the company encourages employees to invest their time as well, providing one paid day each year to volunteer.

  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic provides maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers, new fathers and adoptive parents (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks) – and the option for employees to extend paid leave into an unpaid leave of absence.

  • Regina-based property manager and developer Harvard Developments offers an IVF subsidy (to $12,000) and provides maternity leave top-up for new mothers (to 100 per cent of salary for 17 weeks).

  • Information Services Corp. / ISC, based in Regina, helps employees plan for the future with retirement planning assistance and a defined contribution pension plan – employees nearing retirement can also take advantage of phased-in work options.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Saskatchewan’s Top Employers competition, a special designation that recognizes employers in the province that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private- or public-sector.

And the winners are…

  • 3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan
  • Access Communications Co-operative Ltd.
  • Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group Limited
  • Creative Options Regina, Inc.
  • Flaman Sales Ltd.
  • Fries Tallman Lumber Ltd.
  • Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc.
  • Harvard Developments Inc.
  • Information Services Corporation / ISC
  • ISM Canada
  • K+S Potash Canada GP
  • Mosaic Company, The
  • Nutrien
  • Pattison Agriculture Ltd.
  • Ranch Ehrlo Society
  • Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission
  • Saskatchewan Blue Cross
  • Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation / SCIC
  • Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority / SIGA
  • Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority / SLGA
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Saskatchewan Research Council
  • Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
  • Saskatoon, City of
  • Saskatoon Police Service
  • SaskPower
  • SaskTel
  • Southeast College
  • Synergy Credit Union Ltd.
  • Vaderstad Industries Inc.


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