Halwell Mutual and The Commonwell named as best insurance workplaces in Canada

1 November 2022


ICMIF members Halwell Mutual and The Commonwell Mutual were recently certified among the best workplaces in the Canadian insurance and financial service industry by Great Place to Work®, a global authority on workplace culture.

The 2022 list of Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services and Insurance is based on direct feedback from employees of the hundreds of organisations that were surveyed by Great Place to Work®. To be eligible for this list, organisations must be certified by Great Place to Work™ and have exceptionally high scores from employees on its Trust Index survey.

Halwell Mutual is a policyholder-owned, financially secure, community-based P&C insurer. The mutual insurer has been insuring the property assets of rural and urban policyholders in Guelph, Ontario, and surrounding area through a dedicated network of independent brokers for more than 160 years.

In its 2022 list of Canada’s Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance, Great Place to Work® noted some of the perks and programmes that Halwell Mutual offered its employees:

  • Fabulous benefits and pension package and wellness programming

Halwell Mutual offers an excellent extended health and dental benefits package for all staff that includes individual and family coverage for all the standard healthcare and medical expenses, a CAD 750 Health Spending Account and EFAP. Its pension plan for new staff is a Defined Contribution plan that the company contributes 7.5% to. Participation is voluntary.

On top of this, Halwell offers wellness programming throughout the year, including but not limited to: virtual meditation, hybrid yoga classes, fitness challenges, wellness webinar/seminars on topics of interest like stress and sleep, healthy snacks and massages. Its group benefits plan is paid for almost entirely by the company and is available to all full-time, eligible part-time and contract staff of 12 months or longer.

  • Paid Time Off galore including unlimited sick days

Halwell Mutual offers generous paid time off to all permanent staff including three weeks of vacation to start, five personal needs days and unlimited sick days so staff can ensure they are getting the time off they need to look after themselves and their loved ones. It also provides one day off per year to volunteer and all staff get their birthday off. Its bereavement policy is also non-prescriptive to allow staff to take off the time they need to grieve the loss of a loved one. Contract staff of 12 months or longer are given two weeks of paid vacation time and 10 unpaid personal needs days.

  • Staff have the reigns when it comes to flexibility and where they want to work in order to create their optimal work/life balance

Halwell Mutual is embracing a future of work that is fully hybrid, with staff transitioning seamlessly between working remotely from home and out of its office at their discretion. It wants to empower staff with options to work when and how they work best so they can create their optimal work/life balance.

The company’s Hybrid Principles lay out the minimum expectations for reporting to the office, about once per month. It has been able to make work arrangements more flexible without compromising on the service we provide to our partners and policyholders and it believes strongly that this approach benefits the company through improved business continuity and benefits staff through optimised work/life integration. All work from home arrangements and flex-time schedules are made at the request of the employee, and are not considered a requirement of the job as mandated by the company.

The vast majority of Halwell’s staff are eligible to work primarily from home if they so choose. Flexible work arrangement are made on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on individual and departmental needs. The company works hard to be accommodating to individual’s unique situations such as care responsibilities or personal circumstances.

The Commonwell Mutual Insuranc Group was established in 2014 through the merger of three mutual insurance companies built on 125 years of hands-on commitment to local communities in Ontario. Since its founding, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group operates on the same historical premise of its three legacy companies – maintaining a focus on local presence and service that builds strong long-term relationships for the benefit of the greater community. It offers a range of farm, home, commercial, seasonal property, auto and watercraft insurance.

The Commonwell was named a Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance in 2022 for the third year in a row. It was also named ranked as number 35 in the 2021 list of Best Workplaces™ in Canada with 100-999 employees.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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