January 20, 2021

Canadian companies pay bonuses – and increase them between COVID-19

TORONTO – Canadian companies may have spent more on layoffs last year and dealing with temporary closures arising from the Govt-19 epidemic, but that has not stopped workers from being rewarded on multiple holidays.

Many, including the country’s top banks, say they plan to thank their employees for a year of hard work with a year-end bonus – and some even put this amount in the first place.

An online survey of 600 senior managers from companies with 20 or more employees in Canada revealed a 48 percent plan to offer the final bonus this year.

A study by consulting firm Robert Hoff and research firm Dinata from November 20 to December 7 revealed that the 27 per cent plan to increase bonuses this year would hold 59 per cent the same as previous years and reduce it by 14 per cent. they.

Robert King, senior Canadian district president, said many companies pay a bonus and increase them because the epidemic makes continuity and high performance so important.

“Companies should prioritize retaining more efficient employees, especially as many take on more workload, work longer distances and balance home or family responsibilities,” he said in an email.

Royal Bank of Canada, the second most valuable company in the country at DSX, said it would offer bonuses to recognize each other and all its employees have done to support their customers and their communities during a difficult year.

The Toronto-based bank “decided to give the bonus considering the external environment and the long-term interests of shareholders and employees,” spokesman Andre Roberts said.

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“This year, the overall performance of the RBC was affected by unprecedented challenges from the global epidemic, and although the year-end results were declining year on year, our performance proved the strength, stability and functional regression of our ownership,” he said. .

Fellow banks DT Bank Group, Imperial Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal also said they would pay bonuses. Bank of Nova Scotia has refused to provide any details on whether the bonus will be paid.

Meanwhile, engineering firm Siemens Canada announced a division of 4 3.4 million among all employees other than senior managers.

Siemens chairman Faisal Kasi said in a statement announcing the bonus that each employee will receive $ 1,550.

Claudine Mangan, a professor at Concordia University who researched corporate exposure, was not surprised to hear that companies reward employees despite economic uncertainty.

He said many businesses, especially e-commerce like Delivery or Amazon, performed better during epidemics, so there was no point in withholding bonuses if their future was bright.

Shaffify Inc., an e-commerce company. RPC was eclipsed as the most valuable company in DSX during the epidemics and announced huge profits as it helped small businesses switch to online sales.

The Ottawa-based company did not respond to a request for comment on what it was doing with the bonus.

But not every company is lucky with Shaffy. Many more had to lay off workers, or reduce wages, or find a way to promote new businesses.

While Mangan expects those companies to suspend or reduce year-end bonuses, there may be a case for some to stick with them, he said.

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“If you were a company, you had to fundamentally change its business model … and you see some employees really growing in this new environment, of course you don’t want them to be hired by someone else,” he said.

It also encourages companies to toy with non-cash compensation such as bonuses or childcare costs or offset parental compensation, Mangan said.

Others will be more arbitrary with bonuses or pay different amounts to employees in different parts of the company, depending on how some departments are affected by COVID-19, he said.

The top DSX companies Brookfield Asset Management, Monolife Financial Corporation and CN Rail have all declined to share any information on how the bonus is handled.

Air Canada has also made redundancies to reduce interest in travel between COVID-19.

Enbridge spokeswoman Tracy Kenyan said her company’s fiscal year is not over yet, so it’s too early to discuss the 2020 bonus.

This report of the Canadian edition was first published on January 3 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX: RY, TSX: BNS, TSX: BMO, TSX: TD, TSX: CM, TSX: SHOP, TSX: BAM, TSX: CNR, TSX: AC, TSX: MFC, TSX: ENB)

Tara Deshchamps, The Canadian Press