Quebec Employers Council 2014 salary forecasts: Employers expect to award pay raises similar to those in 2013

MONTREAL, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The 2.8% average wage increases that Quebec employers expect to award next year will, in general, be similar to what they were in 2013. Salaries structures, for their part, are expected to rise on average by 1.9%. The global economic uncertainty has led managers to be cautious from a remuneration standpoint, but the need to be able to rely on a quality, available labour force remains an issue as employers struggle to attract and hold on to employees with specific key competencies in certain activity sectors.

This is the main trend that emerges in the Special Report on 2014 Salary Forecasts, an eagerly awaited annual Quebec Employers Council publication prepared by Quebec's leading human resources consulting firms (Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Morneau Shepell, Towers Watson). The report was released today in Montréal at a breakfast attended by more than 120 human resources managers and professionals.

From a regional and sectoral standpoint, the expected wage increases in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the anticipated salary hikes in the oil and gas sector, remain the highest, although the comparative gap is not overly significant. Nor are there expected to be any significant discrepancies in wage increases awarded in the various employment categories (technical and administrative staff, operational and production personnel, professionals, managers, senior executives, etc.).

"In a competitive global market context, where access to an available, quality labour force at a competitive cost is a priority, employers have to be able to benefit from the best possible conditions (particularly in terms of payroll taxes) to create wealth and provide competitive wages to their employees," stated Norma Kozhaya, the Director of Research and Chief Economist of the Quebec Employers Council.

Payroll taxes to increase by $175 per employee

In this regard, it is interesting to note that for Quebec employers the expected salary increases for 2014 will represent an additional average yearly cost of $175 per employee in payroll taxes. This increase takes into account the various contribution rates announced for 2014 (contributions to the Occupational Health and Safety Fund, the Québec Parental Insurance Plan, Quebec Pension Plan, Employment Insurance Plan, Québec Health Fund, etc.).

Despite this increase, and thanks to the consistent and persistent representations made by the Employers Council, among others, to government decision-makers over the last few years, Quebec employers will get a bit of a break on the hike in their payroll contributions. This is due to the fact, in 2014, the average Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) contribution rate will be reduced by 3%, going to $2.02 per $100 of payroll, while the contribution rates to the Employment Insurance and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan will be respectively maintained at $2.13 per $100 of payroll and 0.782%.

In the fourth edition of its Report Card on Québec Prosperity, released last week, the Employers Council issued a reminder about the province's lack of competiveness in this category, with Québec receiving a mark of "C-" in terms of manpower costs. Québec employers pay about 30% more a year in payroll taxes than their Ontario counterparts and 45% more than the Canadian average.

The Quebec Employers Council annual special report on salary forecasts is available in French and English on our website. (www.cpq.qc.ca).

The Quebec Employers Council brings together many of Québec's largest companies and the vast majority of sector-based employers' groups, making it Québec's sole employer federation.

SOURCE: Conseil du patronat du Québec

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Patrick Lemieux
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