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Pay types overview

A common question new employers have when hiring employees is about compensation. Should the employee be salaried, hourly, or commission? What other pay should be included in the employee's overall compensation?

Employee pay types


A salaried employee is hired based on a prearranged compensation for work performed, usually as an annual amount. Salaried employees are occasionally exempt from overtime pay and minimum wage requirements (depending on your province's labour laws) and often have managerial or professional responsibilities.


An hourly employee is paid for each hour worked and is generally a non-managerial, service, retail, or part-time employee. Most hourly employees are considered non-exempt from federal labour laws, which means they receive overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours a week.


Commission is a form of compensation that's typically based on an employee's sales performance or completion of a task. Commission can be paid in addition to a salary or instead of a salary. Hourly employees who also receive a commission must be paid at least the minimum wage for hourly workers.

You can add multiple types of commission pay and give each one a unique name. The custom pay types will then be available when you set up your other employees.


Typically, overtime is paid for any hour an employee works beyond an 8-hour workday or a 40-hour work week. Employers must pay hourly employees at least 1.5 times their regular pay rate for every overtime hour worked. These numbers might vary depending on different provincial labour laws or if an employee's regular workday with a company is over 8 hours.

For example, let’s say an employee works 48 hours during a work week. When you run payroll, just enter 40 hours in the regular hourly pay box and 8 hours in the overtime box. We do the math to make sure the overtime is calculated correctly on the employee’s pay cheque.

For more information about overtime laws, check the Hours of Work (Government of Canada Labour Program).

Double overtime

Double overtime is two times an employee's highest, hourly pay rate. Employees must be paid double overtime for:

  • Any hour worked beyond a 12-hour workday
  • All of the hours worked that go beyond 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a work week

Stat Holiday pay

Statutory Holiday pay is paid time off for religious, government, or statutory holidays when a business may be closed and the employee is allowed to take the time off from work.


A bonus is compensation over and above the amount of pay specified as a base salary or hourly rate.

You might want to give bonuses to thank employees or a team for reaching a significant goal, or to improve employee morale, motivation, and productivity. Bonuses can be distributed randomly as the company can afford to pay a bonus, or as specified by an employment contract.


An allowance is a taxable payment to an employee that's separate from regular wages.

It's typically paid with each payroll to cover job-related costs, such as uniforms or auto usage, but it's taxable because it's not dependent upon actual receipts. Allowance amounts are not included in the pay base for calculation of percentage-driven deductions such as RRSP amounts .


Reimbursements are nontaxable payments to an employee used to repay business-related expenses that the employee has paid out-of-pocket.

Don't include expenses that have tax implications, such as moving expenses. Typically this includes expenses incurred for limited or regular business travel.

Because these payments aren't taxable, they don't appear on payroll tax or other tax reports. They're also not included in the wage base used to calculate percentage-driven deductions.

You can add multiple reimbursement pay types and keep the default name we provide, or give them each a unique name. In addition to being available for this employee, the custom pay types will also be available when you add or edit your other employees.

Other Earnings

Other earnings are taxable payments to an employee that are separate from regular wages, such as retroactive pay increases and severance pay. The amounts are included in the wage base and used to calculate percentage-driven deductions.

For some general guidelines and advice on pay and other compensation, check out the Government of Canada Labour Program website for more information.

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