You’ve hired your first employee – here’s what to do next

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Hiring an employee is an important part of growing your business. Below is a list of government requirements and documents that can protect your business and ensure a successful transition.

Letter of Offer/Employment Contract 

You can establish a strong foundation of employment with a letter of offer. Outlining the terms of employment in writing protects both you and your employee, and ensures expectations are clear from the start of the employment relationship. Have the new employee sign it to confirm they understand and accept what your company is offering. 

CFIB’s sample letter of offer can save you time developing an employment agreement. Login to the Member Portal and browse the Resource Library to find it as well as other templates you may need. 

Job Description

Providing a job description to your employee sets the job expectations right from the start and can help with performance management. Describe, in plain language, the responsibilities and requirements of the job while giving yourself flexibility to change and update when necessary.

More information on job descriptions can be found in our article How to create strong job advertisements.


You will need to open an account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the payroll deductions you must make from your employee’s pay cheque (income tax, EI, CPP). To open an account, contact the CRA at 1-800-959-5525 or register your business online.

You will need to have your employee complete a TD-1 and also a provincial form (TP-1015.3 for Quebec) so you know how much income tax to deduct. Do not send the TD-1 forms to the CRA, they are for your records only. 

Employment Insurance (EI) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) have employer portions that must be deducted as well as the employee portion. 

The CRA has an online payroll deductions calculator to help you determine the employee’s deductions and an Employer’s Guide to Payroll Deductions and Remittances which you may find useful. You can also type 'payroll' in the filter on CRA's Business Video Gallery to access details about payroll obligations.

To set your new employee up on payroll you will need their Social Insurance Number – as an employer it is your responsibility to request this within three days of the employee starting work. The employee must present a SIN card, a Confirmation of SIN letter, or other documentation showing the SIN. 

SINs beginning with “9” are issued to temporary foreign workers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents. These SINs are valid only as long as the foreign worker is authorized to work in Canada. If an employee has a SIN starting with “9” you must request to see a copy of their immigration document authorizing them to work in Canada. If the document has expired, you must ask the employee to contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to obtain a valid document before hiring the employee.

Workers’ Compensation

Depending on your province, business structure, and industry, you may be required to register for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation protects employees from the financial hardships associated with workplace injuries and illness and is funded through employer-paid premiums. 

For more information, please visit your provincial/territorial workers’ compensation page:

Employment Standards

Employment Standards, also known as Labour Standards, are the provincial rules governing an employee’s employment with you. These rules are the minimum standards for vacation pay, regular hours, overtime, breaks, statutory holidays, leave, and more. 

Visit your provincial page for more information on Employment/Labour Standards:

Occupational Health and Safety

Regardless of your business size, once you have employees you have requirements to meet under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations. As an employer, you have a duty to ensure that the workplace is a safe environment and that employees have the knowledge and training they need to work safely.

Select your province or territory below to learn more about OHS regulations in your jurisdiction:

For more information, visit CFIB’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Compliance page.


Along with your on-the-job training,  our Savings Program Partner, Vubiz, offers a variety of free courses such as, “Customer First” about communications, active listening, handling difficult people and “Workplace and Personal Skills” about team meetings, delegating, dealing with conflict, managing stress, etc.

Four certificate courses are also available for $69 per person per course. These options provide 20 to 30 hours of training on small business management, health and safety, sales and marketing, and human resources.

CFIB's Business Advisors are also available to help CFIB members with staff planning and complying with government requirements. Call 1-833-568-2342 or