The University of Toronto has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers for the tenth consecutive year.
This special designation, issued as part of Mediacorp and The Globe and Mail’s Canada’s Top 100 Employers Project, acknowledges employers that do the most to help their employees balance work and family obligations.
The competition looks at a wide range of HR practices, such as: maternity and parental leave; daycare assistance; paid personal- and earned-days-off (EDO) programs; flexible work arrangements; compassionate leave and elder care assistance; adoption assistance; reproductive assistance, including fertility drugs and IVF; and even academic bursaries for employees’ children. In addition, the editors look at other programs each employer may have to address specific work-life balance issues unique to their industry.
Francesca Dobbin, Director, Family Programs & Service noted that the Family Care Office has nimbly adapted its service delivery to meet community needs during the pandemic.
“Last year, U of T’s Family Care Office (FCO) met with over 260 students, staff, and faculty, and provided information on managing pandemic-related caregiving challenges. During these conversations, we reviewed all possible options to address individuals’ current concerns, including childcare and caregiving choices.”
The FCO also offered a wide range of expert-led programming to support members of the tri-campus community with caregiving responsibilities. These virtual sessions addressed mental health for new parents, parenting BIPOC children in today’s climate, coping with burnout, and communication for partners, among other topics.
The competition editors pointed to U of T’s broad range of family care benefits and resources available to its employees, as well as the university’s pension plan and health benefits coverage as their reasons for selection:
“U of T supports families with generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments (available to mothers, fathers and adoptive parents) and provides workshops, discussion groups and access to a wide range of resources through a dedicated Family Care Office — additionally, the organization has multiple child care options on campus and all three campuses offer a variety of family-friendly spaces, including designated areas for breastfeeding and pumping, baby change stations and a new family study room at Robarts Library. U of T encourages employees to save for the future with generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and offers health benefits coverage that extend to retirees (with no age limit and 75 per cent premium coverage) — additionally, the organization maintains a Senior College Centre to provide retired academics and librarians with space to meet and discuss topics of shared interest.”
Overall, the University was given an ‘A’ rating in the category of Health & Family-Friendly Benefits.
U of T was recently also recognized on the Forbes list of Canada’s Best Employers for 2022.