Statutory annual leave
International employees are entitled to the legal minimum amount of paid statutory annual leave. Part-time international employees are entitled to a pro-rated amount of leave. The number of days for statutory annual leave varies by country, as each has its own legal jurisdiction. Some companies have unlimited or flexible PTO policies, which can be included in most employment contracts. Annual leave should not be replaced by a cash payment, except where there is accrued but unused holiday at the end of employment, in which case the international employee is entitled to be paid out.
An international employee's entitlement to annual leave starts to accumulate from the day they start work, based on the number of ordinary hours they work. If an international employee stops working before they have used up their annual leave, the employer must pay out any unused but accrued leave as part of the international employee’s final pay when their employment ends.
A leave year is a specific period in which international employees receive their paid leave quota. Some countries have their annual leave year from April 1 to March 31, while others have theirs from January 1 to December 31. Each international employee gets a specific number of paid leaves in a leave year that can be utilized as per the policy.
Many companies have internal policies stating that annual leave carryover should be taken within the first three months of the next leave year. If you would like to allow leave carryover, please contact [email protected] to verify if it is an option in the country where your international employee works.
An international employee based in a country outside Canada can request leave in BambooHR under ‘Time Off’. There is a feature to book time off in Pilot, which can be activated upon your request.
For an international employee for whom time-tracking in Pilot is unavailable, we ask the international employee to use your own time-off tracking system (if applicable) and seek internal approval before adding the leave to BambooHR for compliance tracking.
We encourage international employees to take their Public holiday off as required by law, if an international employee is required to work on a Public Holiday, please contact [email protected] as we will need to verify if they are legally entitled to a different day off in lieu of the Public Holiday they are working. Please note that in some countries, international employees might be entitled to 1.5 or 2x pay for working on public holidays.
Maternity leave is usually defined as the time a mother takes off work for the birth or adoption of a child.
Paternity Leave is the time a father can take off work after the birth or adoption of a child.
Parental leave provides job-protected leave from employment to care for a child following its birth or adoption. It is usually available to both mothers and fathers. Parental leave entitlements vary around the world.
Sick leave is a type of leave international employees can take when they feel unwell or sick. It’s typically separate from paid vacation time and is a mandatory entitlement in most countries worldwide. It may also be called ‘medical leave,’ ‘sickness absence,’ or simply ‘sick days.’
Residents may be entitled to access the public healthcare system in their country of work.
You can decide if they want to offer and contribute to the supplemental healthcare (if available). Please visit here to see supplemental options in the countries you’re hiring. We offer Bupa Global plans for most countries around the world, but some limitations may exist. Our provider in Canada is Canada Life.
Life insurance and short-term & long-term disability
Supplemental life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance are available in most countries. Life insurance is mandatory in some countries.
Employer and international employee taxes contribute to local pension funds.
In some countries, employers must provide a specific type of workplace pension scheme.
International Employee assistance program (EAP)
EAP is available in the following countries and can be offered to international employees at 11 USD per person/month:
Trinidad & Tobago
Stipends are subject to tax. Please note that if you include them in the employment contract, the international employee needs to pay taxes on them. As an alternative, stipends can be handled as reimbursements. You can learn more about reimbursements and how to request them here.
Can we add unlimited paid time off (PTO) to the employment contract?
Yes, it is possible to add unlimited PTO to the employment contract in most countries. Please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Pilot when setting up a new international employee. You can make a note under ‘Decide on additional incentives.’ We recommend you add the same PTO policy to keep it consistent for current and future hires.
Can I set up my own rules for carryover leave?
Some jurisdictions have rules for carryover leave. If you would like to set up a specific scheme, please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Pilot when setting up a new international employee. You can make a note under ‘Decide on additional incentives’.
How does my international employee request leave, and where? How do I get notified about it?
An international employee based in a country outside Canada can request leave in BambooHR under ‘Time Off’. Leave requests for an international employee based in Canada are different, as they don’t use BambooHR. There is a feature to book time off in Pilot, which can be activated upon your request. For an employee for whom time-tracking in Pilot is not available, we ask an international employee to use your own time-off tracking system (if applicable) and seek internal approval before adding the leave to BambooHR for compliance tracking. In both cases, an email notification is triggered to inform you about the request.
Do I need to give my international employees days off during Public Holidays?
We recommend giving your international employees days off during statutory Public Holidays, so they can take time off for recreation and celebrate holidays with their families. However, it is up to you how to handle flexibility around time off. Please note some jurisdictions will require the international employee is paid an additional day’s pay and overtime if the international employee works on a public holiday.
How does my international employee request maternity/paternity/parental leave?
If an international employee wants to request any special leave (e.g., maternity, paternity, parental leave), please email [email protected] as soon as possible, stating detailed information about the request. Pilot will review and approve the request and notify the international employee about the approval. Upon approval, the international employee will enter their leave in BambooHR or Pilot.
Where do I find information for supplemental health care? Can I choose the cost share I want to contribute to the health plan? Can I cover international employees’ dependents?
If you would like to offer supplemental health care, please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Pilot when setting up a new international employee. You can review health offerings for different countries here. Under 'Review supplemental health benefits', please choose ‘yes’ and specify the health care plan, cost-share, and if the international employee's dependents should also be covered. The cost-share is the percentage of premiums that you, as the employer, will cover for your international employees. For example, you can opt for a 75% cost share, this means international employees pay 25% of the monthly premium (you pay the remaining 75%).
How should I handle stipends?
If you would like to add stipends to the employment contract, please follow these instructions.
If you choose to handle them as reimbursements, please let your international employee know to request them as outlined here.