Coronavirus pandemic accused of freezing wages until 2021: investigation

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TORONTO – Winter is coming and this year the forecast includes more wage freezes due to COVID-19.

Human resources consulting firm Morneau Shepell says 13% of the 889 organizations it oversees plan to freeze salaries in 2021.

That’s far more than last year’s pre-COVID survey, which incorrectly predicted only 2% of organizations would freeze salaries this year.

Ultimately, Morneau Shepell later determined that 36% of organizations had actually frozen their salaries in 2020 due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

The company estimates that the weighted national average salary increase in 2020 will be around 1.6%, including freeze, compared to an average increase of 2.4% in 2019 and the first time since 2008 that the increase was less than 2.0%.

It says Alberta has been hit the hardest this year, with average base wages rising just 1.4% if the wage freeze is included, and the province is expected to still lag other regions. of the country in 2021.

Morneau Shepell says 16 percent of Alberta employers “expect more wage freezes, more than in any other province, largely due to dramatic drops in commodity prices.

Nationally, the projected salary increase for 2021, including the wage freeze, is 1.9% – the increase for Alberta is expected to be 1.7%.

“This year’s results are among the most concerning we have seen since the survey was created in 1982,” Morneau Shepell vice-president Anand Parsan said in a statement.

“With almost half (46 percent) of employers reporting uncertainty by 2021, it’s important that Canadians recognize the impact on their financial well-being as we anticipate another difficult year,” said Parsan said.

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