Toronto least risky city for employers: Survey

Canadian cities fare well on global risk index due to equal opportunity laws and quality training facilities
||Last Updated: 10/06/2010

Toronto is the city with the lowest risk in the world to recruit, employ and relocate employees, according to a new report.

Aon Consulting's People Risk Index analyzed demographics, education, employment practices and government regulations in 90 cities worldwide.

The five cities with the lowest risk for employers are Toronto, New York, Singapore, London and Montreal, according to the index. Vancouver was rate 13th overall.

The least desirable cities are: Dhaka, Bangladesh; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Lagos, Nigeria; Karachi, Pakistan; and Tehran, Iran.

"The ratings can help companies systematically and consistently assess the relative risks they face when hiring, employing and moving staff," said Rick Payne, chief research officer at Aon Consulting's global research center in Singapore.

Montreal and Toronto are among the five lowest risk cities primarily due to Canada's low level of corruption, strict enforcement of equal opportunity laws, health and retirement benefits and high quality and availability of training facilities. Toronto's larger population and higher quality and availability of training resources put the Ontario city ahead of Montreal.

New York and London's favorable ratings are due to world-class educational institutions and training facilities, and a large pool of qualified and experienced talent. While Singapore's low-risk rating is due to strict laws on discrimination and occupational health and safety, flexibility on personnel costs, lack of corruption and a willingness of the government to work with the private sector on human resources related issues.

"Cities with low risk typically have a government that is transparent, non-confrontational, and deal with employment issues fairly. Employers in these cities are less likely to be surprised by changes in government policies on employment, health care, and retirement," said Payne.

A closer look at Canadian cities

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver had particularly low risk ratings due to:

• consistent inflow of new talent;

• relatively high productivity per person

• low levels of discrimination, providing an opportunity to use the entire local talent pool

• strong occupational health and safety practices

• a highly literate, well educated workforce supplemented by considerable local opportunity for education and training development

• availability of multilingual managers and professionals with excellent opportunities for management education and development

• low levels of business corruption and hiring and promotion practices largely based on merit.

Two key opportunities for improvement include:

• creating a better labour relations environment

• reducing the health-care expense burden employers face.

Lowest risk cities

1. Toronto

2. New York

3. Singapore

4. London

5. Montreal

6. Zurich

7. Stockholm

8. Copenhagen

9. Amsterdam

10. Los Angeles

Highest risk cities

90. Dhaka

89. Phnom Penh

88. Lagos

87. Karachi

86. Tehran

85. Nairobi

84. Hanoi

83. Colombo

82. Cairo

81. Lima and St. Petersburg (tie)

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