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To create the Top Family-Friendly Employer list for 2011, Mediacorp, which oversees the competition, examined the most progressive and forward-thinking workplace benefits valued by families. These included maternity and parental leave top-up payments, generous vacation and personal days off, flexible work options, emergency daycare support, and childcare costs for employees attending events or business trips.

"Many of these benefits are not big ticket expenses but rather represent an ongoing evolution in how we want to work and an enlightened approach for employers looking to attract and retain their work forces," says Richard Yerema, managing editor of Canada's Top 100 Employers, including the Family-Friendly competition.

"Less than five years ago, we considered maternity and parental leave top-up over 20 weeks to be quite generous," he says. "It still is, but we now see more than a few with much more generous top-up, ranging up to 95 per cent for the full year of one's leave."

The companies in this list are not ranked. They appear in alphabetical order.

Agriculture Financial Services Corp., Lacombe, Alta.: Non-depository credit intermediation; 491 employees. Manages a scholarship program (to $1,000) for employees' children.

BC Public Service, Victoria: General government support; 25,581 employees. On-site daycare centres at some locations.

British Columbia Lottery Corp., Kamloops, B.C.: Gambling industries; 779 employees. Offers fertility drug treatments through its health benefits plan.

British Columbia Safety Authority, New Westminster, B.C.: Regulation, licensing and inspection of commercial sectors; 248 employees. Parental leave top-up for new mothers (to 85 per cent for 52 weeks).

Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto, Toronto:Children and youth services; 590 employees. Option of extending maternity leave time for an additional two years.

Edmonton Regional Airport Authority, Edmonton: Airport operations; 276 employees. Parental leave top-up benefits (to 93 per cent of salary for 15 weeks).

George Brown College, Toronto: Post-secondary education; 1,300 employees. Extends its tuition subsidy program to employees' family members.

HP Advanced Solutions, Victoria: Computer services; 377 employees. Maternity leave top-up payments (to 85 per cent of salary for 15 weeks), followed by parental top-up payments (to 75 per cent of salary for 35 weeks).

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Gatineau, Que.: General government support; 26,024 employees. On-site daycare centre for returning parents.

Industry Canada, Ottawa: Administration of economic programs; 5,849 employees. Health benefits continue during maternity and parental leave.

ISM Canada, Regina: Computer services; 496 employees. Offers fertility drug treatments through its health benefits plan

Johnson Corp., St. John's, Nfld.: Insurance; 1,109 employees. Manages a post-secondary scholarship program (to $1,500)

L'Oréal Canada Inc., Montreal: Toiletry product manufacturing; 1,200 employees. Offers early Friday closings in winter and summer.

McGill University, Montreal: Post-secondary education; 5,746 employees. Multiple on-site day-care options for employees (and students) with young children.

Monsanto Canada Inc., Winnipeg: Chemical manufacturing; 270 employees. Offers alternative work options, from telecommuting to informal summer hours.

National Energy Board, Calgary: Administration of economic programs; 335 employees. Maternity and parental leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 93 per cent of salary for 52 weeks) and for new fathers or adoptive parents (to 93 per cent of salary for 37 weeks).

NB Power Holding Corp., Fredericton: Power generation; 2,546 employees. Flexible health benefits that employees can customize.

Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Ottawa: General government support; 698 employees. Gives three weeks of vacation after one year, and offers unpaid leaves of absence for up to one full year.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance, Regina: Insurance; 1,710 employees. Offers post-secondary scholarships to children of employees (to $2,500).

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.: Post-secondary education; 4,303 employees. Additional daycare and an elementary school are being developed for the future.

Statistics Canada, Ottawa: General government support; 5,550 employees. On-site daycare centre and emergency short-term daycare services.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto: Hospital; 4,825 employees. Parental leave top-up payments (to 93 per cent of salary for 10 weeks).

Toronto Community Housing Corp., Toronto: Residential property managers; 1,412 employees. Compassionate care leave top-up benefits (to 93 per cent of salary for eight weeks).

Toronto Hydro Corp., Toronto: Electric power distribution; 1,519 employees. Organizes a family Christmas party for more than 1,800 guests.

Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Vancouver: Credit unions; 1,744 employees. Alternative work arrangements including flexible hours, telecommuting, compressed workweek.