Canadian companies may have spent the past year laying off staff and dealing with temporary closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but that isn’t stopping many from rewarding workers this holiday season.
Several, including the country’s top banks, say they are planning to thank their staff for a year of hard work with year-end bonuses — and some are even topping up the amount.
An online survey of 600 senior managers from companies with 20 or more employees in Canada revealed 48 per cent plan to offer year-end bonuses this year.
The survey conducted by consulting firm Robert Half and research company Dynata between Nov. 20 and Dec. 7 also showed that 27 per cent plan to increase bonuses this year, 59 per cent will keep them the same as previous years and 14 per cent will reduce them.
David King, Robert Half’s Canadian senior district president, said so many companies are paying a bonus and even upping them because the pandemic is making continuity and high performance more important.
“Companies still need to prioritize the retention of top-performing employees, particularly at a time when many are taking on heavier workloads, working remotely and balancing home or family commitments,” he said in an email.
Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s second most valuable company on the TSX, said it will offer bonuses to recognize everything its staff have done to support each other, their clients and their communities in a tough year.
The Toronto-based bank decided to give bonuses after “considering the external environment and the long-term interests of shareholders and employees,” said spokesperson Andre Roberts.
“This year, RBC’s overall performance was impacted by the unprecedented challenges brought on by the global pandemic and while year-end results were down year-over-year, our performance demonstrated the strength, stability and operational resilience of our franchise,” he said.
Fellow banks — TD Bank Group, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal — also said they will be paying bonuses. Bank of Nova Scotia declined to provide any details about whether it will offer bonuses.
Meanwhile, engineering firm Siemens Canada announced it will split $3.4 million between all employees that aren’t senior managers.
Each staff member will wind up getting $1,550, said Siemens President Faisal Kazi said in a release announcing the bonus.
Photo credit: Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS
News source: The Canadian Press