TORONTO – Winter is coming and this year’s forecast will freeze higher pay due to COVID-19.
Human resources consulting firm Mornia Schepel said 13 percent of the 889 companies it oversees plan to freeze salaries by 2021.
This is much higher than last year’s pre-Kovid survey, which erroneously predicted that only two per cent of companies would freeze salaries this year.
Morne Sheppell later confirmed that 36 percent of companies would freeze their salaries by 2020 due to the financial impact of the epidemic.
The company estimates that the 2020 national average wage increase, including freezes, will be 1.6 percent – down from an average increase of 2.4 percent in 2019 and less than 2.0 percent for the first time since 2008.
Alberta has been hit hard this year, with average base wages rising only 1.4 percent if salary freezes are included, and by 2021 the province is expected to lag behind other parts of the country again.
In Alberta, 16 per cent of employers “expect more pay freezes than in any other province, largely driven by a significant drop in commodity prices,” Morne Schepel said.
Nationally, the 2021 salary increase, including the salary freeze, is projected to be 1.9 percent – Alberta growth 1.7 percent.
“This year’s results are very much what we’ve seen since the survey began in 1982,” Morne Schepel Vice President Anand Parson said in a statement.
“With nearly half (46 percent) employers reporting uncertainty by 2021, it is important for Canadians to recognize the impact on their financial well-being, and we look forward to another challenging year,” Parson said.