Cost Advantages

The 2016 Competitive Alternatives study by KPMG shows that the costs of doing business for a non-sector-specific manufacturing company are lower in the Windsor-Essex Region than for several larger nearby communities, based on a 10-year average of annual location-sensitive costs.

10-Year Average Annual Location-Sensitive Costs for - Manufacturing Industry 2016

Manufacturing Industry Average ($000s USD)

Community Labour Transportation Utilities Interest/
Taxes Total
Operating Costs
Total Annual Location
Sensitive Costs
Overall Rank
Windsor-Essex 6,134 1,771 390 2,671 1,698 8,417 21,081 1
Toronto 6,385 1,605 364 2,691 1,617 8,534 21,195 2
Chicago 8,940 1,769 290 2,902 1,572 11,152 26,626 3
Detroit 8,667 2,148 293 2,846 1,418 11,339 26,711 4

Source: KPMG 2016 Competitive Alternatives

Note: All figures are expressed in USD (Exchange rate per USD$ - C$1.3200). The 12 Manufacturing Operation Average consists of the following: Aerospace, Agri-food, Automotive, Chemicals, Electronics, Green Energy, Medical Devices, Metal Components, Pharmaceuticals, Plastics, Precision Manufacturing, and Telecommunications


Basic Costs for Ontario Employers

A Guide to Employer Benefit Costs
Fringe Benefits Mandatory Paid by Employer Common Practice (of Employers)

Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
*To maximum premium of Cdn $2,049.30/year (2008)

4.95% 4.95%
Employment Insurance Commission
*To maximum premium of Cdn $994.62**/year (2008)
**Unless a reduced premium rate applies
2.242%* 2.42%*
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
*Varies (depends on industry and # of employees)
Rate for Motor Vehicle Assembly Operations (2008)
2.86% 2.86%
Employer's Health Tax (EHT)
Applied to eligible payroll over Cdn $400,000
1.95% 1.95%
Vacation 4.00% (2 weeks) 6.00% (3 weeks)
Paid Public Holidays 3.20% (8 days) 4.40% (11 days)
Pension Contribution N/A 5-6%
Group Insurance
*Life, Health, Sickness, Dental, Vision, Physical/Mental Fitness
N/A 4-7%
TOTAL 19.4% 31.6-35.6%

Source: Canada Revenue Agency; Workplace Safety and Insurance Board; Employment Standards Branch, Ministry of Labour; Ministry of Finance; Statistics Canada; AON Consulting (6/2008)

NOTES: Common Practice of Employers for group insurance varies by industry sector.


Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

  • The calculation of contributions is based upon earnings.
  • An employer is required to withhold and remit an amount on the employee's behalf based upon a percentage of the employee's contributory earnings up to an annual maximum.
    Maximum annual contributory earnings for 2008: Cdn $44,900.00.
    Source: Canada Revenue Agency (5/2008) URL:


Employment Insurance

  • The calculation of contributions is based upon a percentage of insurable earnings.
  • An employer is required to withhold and remit an amount on the employee's behalf based upon a percentage of the employee's insurable earnings up to an annual maximum.
  • Maximum annual insurable earnings for 2008: Cdn $41,100.00.

NOTE: Additional information on both the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance can be obtained by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency


Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

  • The calculation of the amount the employer must contribute is based upon the employer's industry and the amount of payroll.
  • Based upon the industry that an employer is in, an employer will be assigned a certain premium rate, which is the dollar value that must be contributed per $100.00 of payroll.
  • The 2008 average premium rate is Cdn $2.26 for every Cdn $100.00 of insurable earnings.

Source: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (6/2008)

NOTE: For industry specific premium rates please visit WSIB Ontario


Employer Health Tax

  • The amount of tax payable by an employer for the year is equal to the "taxable total Ontario remuneration" paid by the employer, multiplied by a particular rate based on the total annual Ontario remuneration.
  • The "taxable total Ontario remuneration" is the amount by which the total Ontario remuneration paid by the employer during the year exceeds the employer's exemption amount for the year. For the year 2008 the exemption amount is Cdn $400,000.00.

NOTE: For more information, please visit the Ministry of Finance


Vacation Pay

  • When employees are on annual vacation, the employer pays them at least 4% of the wages they earned during the 12 months the vacation was earned.
  • Vacation pay is calculated only on an employee's earned wages during those 12 months unless you have a better vacation plan than the minimum standard in the Act.
  • If a worker's employment ends before they take their vacation, you must pay them all of their vacation pay no later than seven (7) days after their employment ends.

Source: Ministry of Labour (6/2008)

NOTE: For more information contact the Ontario Ministry of Labour


Public Holidays

The purpose of a public holiday is to provide employees with a paid day off.

Ontario has nine paid public holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day (December 26th)

If you have employees who qualify for paid public holidays, they are entitled to these days off and you are required to pay them for the day.

Common Practice (12 days) assumes the industry allows the following as Public Holidays, however these are not required under the Employment Standards Act:

  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • First Monday in August
  • Remembrance Day (not typically included)

Source: Ministry of Labour (6/2008)