La Presse is reducing all of its employees’ salaries by 10 per cent and temporarily lowering the employer’s contribution to the defined contribution pension plan.

In a press release, the Quebec-based digital newspaper said this translates to an average 14 per cent pay cut for all employees, including its unionized workforce.

“This extraordinary situation is forcing us to take exceptional measures to ensure La Presse’s continuity,” said Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, the company’s president. “Our strategy remains the same, but the recent upheavals require that we act quickly to get through this one-time crisis, which could last several months, and to maintain our mission of producing quality news and information that is accessible free of charge to the entire population.”

Read: Employer responsibilities around benefits, pension provision during coronavirus

Meanwhile, Quebecor Inc. is was laying off 10 per cent of its staff due to the Quebec government’s order to close non-essential businesses. However, for employees who have an annual salary under $54,200, the company will top-up employment insurance to cover 95 per cent of their salary. For employees earning $54,200 to a cap of $80,000, the company will also top-up government assistance to cover up to 80 per cent of their salary.

Quebecor is maintaining its benefits and its DC pension plan, and will continue to make if employees also continue to do so.

Read: Considerations around employee safety, privacy, leave during the coronavirus crisis

“At this time, our priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, while continuing to provide Quebecers with essential telecommunications and news services,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, Quebecor president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “In a spirit of loyalty and gratitude to the employees affected by these temporary layoffs, we have moved quickly to put in place a series of financial assistance and support measures to minimize as much as possible the impact of this period of uncertainty.”

The measures will come into effect on March 30 and continue until May 31, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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