Salary increases to rise slightly in 2019: survey

Canadian employees can expect very slightly higher salary increases in 2019, compared to 2018, according to Aon’s 2018/19 salary planning report.

The survey, based on responses from 365 Canadian companies, projected base pay will rise by 2.8 per cent in 2019, compared to the 2018 actual average total salary increase of 2.7 per cent, including salary freezes and pay cutes. Only 0.3 per cent of organizations said they expect to impose a salary freeze next year, compared to two per cent that reported a freeze in 2018.

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“While salary increase expectations for next year remain flat, it’s not all bad news for Canadian employees,” said Suzanne Thomson, senior consultant for talent, rewards and performance at Aon. “The salary upside might be limited, but so is the downside, since fewer organizations expect freezes next year. Performance remains the key driver of pay decisions among Canadian companies, suggesting that top employees will continue to be compensated above and beyond general salary increase rates.”

The survey also found organizations awarded an average of 27.6 per cent of their variable pay awards budget to top executives and senior management in 2018, and expect to award 31.3 per cent in 2019.

The sectors in which workers can expect higher-than-average increases in 2019 include media and non-bank financial services (3.3 per cent), medical devices (3.2 per cent), mining and construction/engineering (3.1 per cent). Lower-than-average increases are expected in the banking, telecom and transport/logistics sectors (all at 2.4 per cent).

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