Benefits and Staff Types


This strategy was adjusted for Q2 2020. This overrides any prior messaging about these topics.

One of our core values is flexibility. We believe people should be able to work when, where, and how they wish. For that reason, we offer a wide array of employment arrangements to suit your specific lifestyle and needs.

We have two kinds of staff: Team Member and Consultant. Our definition of “staff” does not include external one-off vendors, or service providers (our accountant or lawyer).

The Consultant staff type can be used for a frequent freelance collaborator, or for a trial staffer on their way to becoming a full team member.

Team Member

Regular permanent staff. Benefits are often tiered based on hours per week.


  • Salary: W2 Salary (US) or Bi-monthly rate (Non-US)
  • Hourly: W2 Wage (US) or Hourly Rate (Non-US)


Tiered based on hours per week

  • ✅ Bonus eligibility
  • ✅ Parental Leave (varies by country)
  • ✅ Paid sick leave (including for hourly workers/varies by country)
  • ✅ Co-working Space/Home Internet Reimbursement
  • ✅ Travel or temporary workspace reimbursements
  • ✅ Cantilever Computer & Equipment
  • ✅ Contract security
  • ✅ Training, Conferences, and Education
  • ✅ Snacks
  • ✅ Cantilever shirt
  • ✅ Paid breaks (by state/country)
  • if over 20 hours per week, as of Q2 2020...
    • ✅ Health Reimbursements (QSHERA) (Dependent upon country)
  • If on a salary...
    • ✅ Paid Time Off (varies dependent upon country)


  • ✅ Cantilever email address
  • ✅ Included in Basecamp HQ
  • ✅ Always in team call
  • ✅ Has a manager


Flexible or project-specific staff. Some consultants may have a specific time horizon for their contract. Please be cognizant that tax law prohibits us from using a US-based contractor to fulfill the same kinds of roles as a full employee might.


Contractor rate, billed hourly, by day/week, or per-project.


  • 🚫 PTO
  • 🚫 Computer & Equipment
  • 🚫 Co-working space/Home Internet
  • 🚫 Internet
  • 🚫 Bonus-eligible
  • 🚫 Training, Conferences, and Education
  • 🚫 Contract Security. Working hours are arbitrary unless otherwise agreed.
  • 🚫 Snacks
  • ✅ Cantilever shirt
  • ✅ Thank you gift at end of year


  • ➖ Cantilever email address only if there is a specific reason
  • ➖ Not regularly invited to team call, but may be invited to specific calls by their internal contact
  • 🚫 Not Included in Basecamp HQ
  • ➖ Does not have a manager, but does have an internal Cantilever contact

Benefit Info (Team Members)

Health Reimbursements (20 hours and above)

We are providing as many employees as possible with medical benefits starting April 2020 through an ICHRA. This is a health reimbursement plan which you can use to pay for your insurance and other medical expenses tax-free.

To roll this out fairly (considering international team members who are not eligible) we implemented a one-time change to the compensation of eligible team members when the benefit became available. This was calibrated such that eligible team members gained slightly increased nominal income and also a significant tax break. Future staff will have their compensation determined with this in mind from the start.

Reimbursement is through the People Keep platform. Employees who are eligible will be added to that platform and able to submit receipts there.

Monthly Allowance rates are as follows:

  • Full Time W2 Employees (31+ hours each week): $400 per month
  • Part Time W2 Employees (20-30 hours each week): $300 per month

Health reimbursements will be considered if a European country doesn't have Universal Healthcare. Cantilever will do the necessary research to offer a benefit for health care costs that is equal to the US offering for any EU countries that don't cover full health costs.

PTO (Salaried Only)

As an international company we are never automatically off on any given holiday. You must take your own federal holidays.

We provide a typical 22 days off per year. This include Federal US holidays that we all observe, as well as your Vacation time.

(Pending Approval) We require team members to take time off for the following Federal Holidays:

  • New Years Day (Jan 1)
  • Independence Day (July 4th)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve (Dec 24)
  • Christmas Day (Dec 25)
  • New Years Eve (Dec 31)

It is encouraged but not required for team members to take the following federal holidays as well- however, if they prefer to take these days at another time of year this is also acceptable so long as you receive manager approval beforehand and enter your time into Gusto prior to taking time off:

  • MLK Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (Observed July 5th)
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day

PTO Hours are determined by the total hours you work in a week. Our fully time Salaried employees generally work between 35-40 hours a week.

Your PTO hours will reflect the average hours you would work in a full week. For example, if you work 35 hours each week you would receive PTO hours for 7 hour days. If you work 40 hours per week you would receive PTO for 8 hour days.

When you are on-boarded you will be signed up for the correct PTO policy that applies to your total number of working hours each week. The hours are earned at the beginning of the year or calibrated upon hiring date relative to the time left in the year.

We encourage all salaried employees to use their full PTO every year. If you do not use the full PTO time given to you in a calendar year your time will roll over into the new year with 1.25x maximum hours the following year.

So for example if you worked 5 days per year and have 160 hours PTO and you don't take any time off, you can only roll over 40 hours into the next year for a maximum of 200 hours. Every year from there on out you wouldn't be able to roll over any hours until you used some of your PTO.

PTO is tracked in Gusto. Make sure to enter all PTO you take there.

For Cantilever Europe employees our Holiday pay will look a little different based on the laws in their respective country. Currently we have the following Countries:

Denmark (Holiday year runs from September 1-August 30th)

An employee's entitlement to holiday pay is currently accumulated in the calendar year prior to the holiday year (2.08 days per month). If the employee has only worked part of the calendar year, the entitlement to paid holidays with the current employer will be apportioned. If the employee has not accumulated any holiday entitlement in the calendar year prior to the holiday year, the employee will, unless paid holiday is contractually agreed upon between the employer and the employee, only be entitled to unpaid time off for holidays. This arrangement means that an employee may have to work for 16 months before being entitled to take paid leave. All Holiday time will be paid upon the cessation of the employment relationship.

  • Salaried: (who have accumulated full holiday pay entitlement by working a full holiday year) are entitled to be paid their usual salary during annual leave plus a lump sum of 1 per cent of the gross annual salary; a so-called Holiday Allowance (ferietillæg) subject to certain deductions. The annual Holiday Allowance is normally paid in April or May. As an alternative to paid annual leave and Holiday Allowance, salaried employees may prior to the commencement of the holiday year elect to receive Holiday Pay (feriepenge) of 12 percent of their gross annual salary.
  • Hourly: (who have accumulated full holiday pay entitlement by working a full holiday year) 12.5 per cent of the gross annual salary (the Holiday Pay) subject to certain deductions is normally paid into a statutory holiday account ("Feriekonto"). In good time before the non-salaried employee is due to take his or her annual leave, s/he files an electronic application for Holiday Pay to the administrator via a public digital portal NemID. Applicants who do not have a NemID account can apply manually by filing a hard copy holiday form with the administrator of the scheme.
PTO for Elections

Cantilever believes that each person should have the ability to exercise their right to vote. As an international company you will need to coordinate with your manager in order to have time off to vote in your respective country elections.

Cantilever will provide 2 hours of free PTO if an employee is voting in person at a polling location. To receive the voting leave, you will need to let your manager know 2 days prior to election day.

This benefit applies to both salaried and hourly employees.

Bonus Eligibility

When the company does well, you should do well. Non-equity-holding Team Members are eligible for sales commissions and referral bonuses. These are what we can currently afford and are subject to change (ideally, upward change). For all bonuses, one year of retainer fees is considered a “Project”. So if you sell a retainer, you receive a bonus on the first year of fees. These fees would be paid out quarterly as we invoice our clients.

Referral Bonus

If you bring a new client to Cantilever (you are the initial contact, not Cantilever), and we do a project, anything invoiced to the client within a year of the first scope we get with them will be paid 2.5% bonus to the referee. You would also receive the second year of fees 1.25% for their second project with us. No min/no max.

Sales Bonus

If you bring in & sell a project (You meet with the client, create and send the proposal, and connect with the Cantilever team for project paperwork), you receive 2.5% of the project fees for that specific project. There is no min/no max.

Retainer Bonus

If you sell a retainer (You meet with the client and they agree to do a retainer) you receive 2.5% of the first year of fees (Any amounts invoiced for within 365 days of contract being signed). No min/no max.

Sale and Referral Bonus details

Bonuses are paid each payroll based on payments which have come through from the client since the last payroll. Most clients are invoiced quarterly so expecting a quarterly payout is likely. You can earn both the referral and sales bonuses together.

Team Shout Out Bonus

Each week our team receives a recurring question asking which team members are doing a good job/going above and beyond. The person with the most shout outs from the team for that quarter will receive a $100 gift card to a place of their choosing!

Quarterly Bonuses


These will begin in Q1 2020. 2019’s yearly bonus structure remains in place until the end of 2019.

Many businesses provide bonuses based on how well they are doing, but don't necessarily have a formal structure. Based on our core value of radical transparency, we share profitability information with the whole team and structure bonuses based on net income.

Bonus amounts are calculated based on how the company did relative to our baseline net income goal, which we set and share at the beginning of the quarter. The amount you get is based on your total compensation for that quarter. Since the bonuses grow as salaries grow, the tiers will be adjusted quarterly based on projected total compensation and the team members involved.

You earn bonuses based on your normal manner of payment (W2 wage or contact pay), and bonuses are paid out via that same manner of payment.

Bonus Tiers

Net income above goal% of Quarterly Wages paid as Bonus
$0 (We met the goal)


Let’s say...

  • You make $15,000 in a given quarter
  • Cantilever’s net income goal in that quarter is $30,000
  • Cantilever actually brings in net income of $50,000 ($20,000 above expectations)
  • You would earn 4% of your quarterly wages at the end of the quarter, or $600.

Bonus Log

What we have paid historically under this policy...

  • Q1 2020 was 2%
  • Q2 2020 was 2%

Parental Leave
United States

A core part of Cantilever’s mission is to help working parents find a place in the tech industry. In previous years it would have been impossible financially for us to offer a formal leave program, but this year we feel it is time to start small. We are now offering two weeks of paid parental leave per birth or adoption. For salaried team members this is based on your salary. For hourly team members this is based on your average weekly pay over the past six months. You must have worked for the company for at least six months, but we can certainly make exceptions to that. Please provide at least 30 days notice before you take your leave.

You can take unlimited unpaid time off, of course. We guarantee your job will be waiting for you for six months after your leave begins, but most likely it will be there whenever you are ready. We encourage parents to come back to work as they are able and will make any accommodation possible to establish a schedule and hours expectations which are feasible for them.


Both parents are entitled to leave when a child is born or adopted. A pregnant employee is entitled to 4 weeks leave prior to the expected due date, and 2 weeks mandatory leave afterwards. They are entitled to 12 weeks after the mandatory 2 weeks. After the first 14 weeks she is entitled to at least another 32 weeks' additional leave and is further entitled to extend the parental leave up to a maximum of 46 weeks.

The father is entitled to 2 consecutive weeks' paternity leave within the first 14 weeks after delivery as well as up to 32 weeks' parental leave which may be shared with the mother and may be taken during the first 14 weeks after the birth and either separately or at the same time as the mother). The father may further extend his leave up to a maximum of 46 weeks following the date of delivery.

When adopting a child from abroad both parents are entitled to 4 (and in some cases 8) weeks leave (with full salary) in connection with the picking up of the child whereas such entitlement is just 1 (sometimes 2) week(s) when adopting a child in Denmark. Specific cases of adoption will be discussed with your manager and compliance will be met with whatever situation the employee finds themself in.

Paid Sick Leave

If you have a health condition which will likely require you to need more sick time off, just speak to your manager about restructuring your compensation to allow for more sick days.

You may use your sick leave for the following:

  • For any medically related appointments, treatments, preventative care for yourself or a family member.
  • This covers any existing health conditions, new health conditions, and preventative care.
  • This also covers anytime an employee isa victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and is receiving any form of relief (such as a restraining order, injunctive relief, safety, welfare, services from a shelter/program/crisis center, counseling, and safety planning).
  • Sick pay also covers any mental health services that the employee may need to employ.

For our international team members, we have decided to increase their wages 3% in comparison to the US based team members to account for the inability for our payroll system, Gusto, to track their sick pay. This means that they will be able to take time off for being sick and are assured that they will have approximately the same pay benefits as someone who is in the US.

United States

We have opted for a generous sick pay policy, with each employee earning 1 hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked. This is tracked in our payroll platform, Gusto, where you can check your sick pay balances and request time off. Sick pay rolls over from year to year, with a total of 48 hours of sick pay.


Salaried employees receive payment during sickness for up to 30 days of sickness.

Hourly employees are not entitled to sick pay, but we feel that it is only appropriate to give the same as our US employees. Hourly employees will earn 1 hour for each 30 hours worked for a maximum amount of 48 hours.

Co-working Space or Home Internet

We will pay for a Co-working space near you, chosen at our discretion. We will pay for time to cover at least the hours you do work for us (but not necessarily more). If you want to work at home instead, we will give you a stipend for Home internet, scaled to your hourly involvement. The stipend will be based on average internet costs in your area. If you want to work at a Co-working space sometimes and at home at other times, we are happy to pro-rate each benefit and combine them.

Travel or temporary workspace reimbursements

We reimburse the standard IRS amount of 58 cents per mile driven for any travel related to Cantilever work. If you drive to a meeting, please do the math and send to finance to ensure that they can reimburse you properly on your next pay period.

We will allow team members to work from coffee shops if they do not want to get a full co-working space for the month. We would expect that when a team member works from a coffee shop they purchase something so they are not taking advantage of the business. We do limit the total monthly amount you may spend at the coffee shop to $120 dollars before needing permission for any more funds. This allows Cantilever to give you the opportunity to work outside the home with still being cheaper than a co-working space. This also applies while you are traveling as well.

All reimbursements should be submitted through your Xero account.

Cantilever Computer and Equipment

We provide a work computer/equipment to use for Cantilever work that must be returned when you leave. If you want to use your own stuff instead you can. Please ask your manager if you want to use your Cantilever computer for other purposes (Generally this is OK in small doses).

Contract Security

In the sad and unlikely event that we need to terminate your employment without cause or significantly lower your working hours, we will give you at least three weeks notice. For Salaried employees we will maintain your salary for the duration. For hourly team members, we promise to give you enough work to maintain your normal workload, defined as your average weekly working hours over the past six months.

Training, Conferences, and Education

We want to ensure that you are receiving the training and development you need to succeed at Cantilever. With so many different types of roles in the company, it's easy to get a little lost knowing what is approved and fits when looking for further training. Always get your managers approval before incurring a cost in this arena. We will provide $100 per quarter for each team member to complete some sort of professional development if they so wish to do so outside of company time. If there is something that goes beyond that amount within a given quarter check with your manager for approval.


  • Any training that is linked to a platform that we use. A few examples:
    • Hubspot Training
    • Google Analytics
    • Photoshop
  • Any training that is linked to your role in particular. For example:
    • A design workshop
    • A sales networking meet up


  • All conferences should in some way be linked to either your role in particular or be a place where we can network to drum up new clients.
  • Some conferences others have joined in the past:
    • Laracon
    • Peers Conference
    • Craft CMS meetups

What is not Covered

Cantilever will not cover training, education or conferences for anything that does not relate to Cantilever or your role. For example, attending a conference on knitting (although knitters do have websites from time to time) would not directly benefit Cantilever through you becoming a more developed knitter.


All training and conference costs must be approved by a manager and may be rejected based on our cash position or judgment of the value of the exercise.


We provide a box of snacks delivered to your home or workplace each month. Whether you are salaried or full-time, if you work over 21 hours per week, you get a full box. If you work under 21 hours per week, you get a half box.

The current stipend is:

  • $40/month for full-time employees
  • $20/month for part-timers.

Team members receive an automatic message “🎉 How's your snack stash?” the first Monday of each month to verify snack preferences and mailing addresses. Team members have until Thursday, EOD of that week to place their orders or make any address changes. Snack orders are made at the end of the week (Friday) unless otherwise arranged with Rebecca.

Snack orders are currently ordered through the company's Amazon account, owned by Rebecca.

Important Notes:

  1. All snack communication should be logged in the comments provided under “🎉 How's your snack stash?” unless it is private information.
  2. It is the team member's responsibility to update HR of any address or mailing changes to ensure delivery of snacks.

Boarding the Snack Train

Team members being added to the snack rotation should list their initial preferences in the comment thread provided under the automatic question “🎉 How's your snack stash?” Feel free to turn off the notification for "Notify me when someone answers" to cut down on clutter in your inbox. ...unless you're really curious about one another's snacking habits. 😉

Paid Breaks (Currently US-only)

There are several states that require 15 minutes paid breaks. You can review if you are in one of these states here: You must add your break in Harvest under "Hourly Breaks".