Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University welcomes Elder Margaret George of the Skawahlook First Nation for the organization's 50th anniversary event   (Photo credit: Greg Ehlers)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2021), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2021) and BC's Top Employers (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why Simon Fraser University was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021), Top Employers for Canadians Over 40 (2021), Canada's Top Family-Friendly Employers (2021) and BC's Top Employers (2021):

  • During the past year, Simon Fraser University encouraged employees to stay healthy while working from home by migrating SFU Recreation programming online, offering six weeks of free fitness, home workouts, meditation and stretching classes
  • Simon Fraser University provides generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers, fathers or adoptive parents (to 100 per cent of salary for 35 weeks) and manages onsite child care which employees can take advantage of upon their return
  • Simon Fraser University helps employees prepare for life after work with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and health benefits that extend to retirees (with 50 premium coverage and no age limit) -- additionally, the university offers retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options to help employees transition
  • Simon Fraser University offers a number of resources to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion, including training on intercultural foundations, gender identity and gender expression, unconscious bias and creating accessible opportunities for diverse students
Employees conducting research at Simon Fraser University   (Photo credit: Greg Ehlers)

Employer Background

Industry Post secondary schools, university
Established in Canada 1965
Major Canadian hiring locations Burnaby BC, Vancouver BC, Surrey BC
Full-time employees in Canada 3,265
Part-time employees in Canada 4,787
Workforce engaged on a contract basis .41%
Average age of employees in Canada 38.28 years
Longest serving employee 47 years


Pandemic response extended paid sick leave policies for employee groups without such policies in place, suspended paid parking on-campus for essential employees, fitness centre offered free online fitness, home workouts, meditation and stretching classes to encourage employees to keep fit and healthy

Physical Workplace Rating: A+

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, online carpool sign-up, electric vehicle charging stations, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features the original award-winning campus building was designed by Arthur Erickson, SFU is central to one of Canada's most unique urbanist development projects called UniverCity, atop Burnaby Mountain (SFU also has campus locations in downtown Vancouver and Surrey), the Burnaby campus features a new student union building (with lounges, community kitchen, online gaming lounge and live performance stage, and private wellness room), new athletic stadium, onsite health and physiotherapy clinic, telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor patio, and an on-campus farmer's market during the summer months (featuring organic produce)
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, board games, table tennis, internet access and charging stations
Other food options at main location several cafeterias, restaurants and food vendors across campus, newly opened pub and restaurant, fully operational dining room and conference centre
Onsite fitness facility shared-use facility, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (yoga, boot camp), elliptical trainers, rowing machines, weights, basketball court, shower facilities, swimming pool, racquet ball courts, indoor soccer court, badminton courts, climbing wall, women only hours, free fitness consultations
Other nearby amenities Lorne Davies Complex, Burnaby Mountain Regional Park, Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: B+

Past social events annual President's appreciation barbecue, annual President's Winter Warm-Up, departmental Christmas celebrations, annual retirement celebrations, participation in various sports events from the Terry Fox Run to attending SFU Clan football games
Cultural aspects business-casual dress daily, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, casual dress Fridays, music while working, can bring pets to work when needed, organized social activities for retirees
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: A

Financial benefits note Simon Fraser University 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, defined-contribution (DC) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Additional financial benefits discounted home insurance, faculty participate in a defined contribution pension plan

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: A+

Health plan note Simon Fraser University 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 14 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 30 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage with no age limit yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Paid sick days employees receive 5 days off each year
Health plan includes traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs), semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, podiatrist, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. acupuncture, naturopathy)
Mental health practitioner benefit up to $1,000 each year
Additional health plan information the university has separate health plans for its faculty, administrative staff and professionals, and unionized employees
Wellness initiatives dedicated wellness and recovery department
Family-friendly benefits note Simon Fraser University has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 15 weeks
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 20 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 100% of salary for 35 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 100% of salary for 35 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits child care onsite, emergency short-term child care
Flexible 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 faculty receive maternity and parental leave top-up payments to 95% of salary for 35 weeks (for mothers, fathers and adoptive parents)

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: A+

Vacation note Simon Fraser University has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 4 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 8 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
Unpaid leave maximum 12 months

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: C+

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 long-service awards, annual staff achievement awards and dinner to recognize outstanding accomplishments within the university or community (categories include Athletic, Artistic, Humanitarian, Lifetime Achievement, Work Performance, Innovation, Team Leadership and Student Service), annual 25-year staff service awards luncheon
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 24 months

Training & Skills Development Rating: A+

In-house training initiatives in-house training, online training, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Unrelated tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year for courses unrelated to current position
Unique training & development programs professional development leaves of absence, Indigenous cultural safety training, 10-month leadership training program

Community Involvement Rating: B

Scope of charitable involvement local
Employee charitable involvement employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 2 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported United Way, Terry Fox Foundation
Community highlight Paid time off to volunteer is available based on approvals. SFU, its employees and students support the annual United Way campaign to raise funds for local agencies and programs that provide support to children and seniors living in poverty, as well as programs to help prevent bullying among children.

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