Quebec employers expect to award wage increases similar to what they were in 2013, according to a report published by the Quebec Employers Council (QEC).
The average wage increase employers expect is 2.8 per cent, while salary structures are expected to rise on average by 1.9 per cent, the report says.
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 emerging in the Special Report on 2014 Salary Forecasts, the annual QEC publication prepared by human resources consulting firms Aon Hewitt, Mercer, Morneau Shepell and Towers Watson.
From a regional and sectoral standpoint, the expected wage increases in Alberta and Saskatchewan, along with the anticipated salary hikes in the oil and gas sector, remain the highest. However, the comparative gap is not overly significant, according to the QEC.
The report also indicates that there will not be any significant discrepancies in wage increases awarded in the various employment categories, such as technical and administrative staff, operational and production personnel, professionals, managers and senior executives.
Payroll taxes to increase
For Quebec employers, the expected salary increases for 2014 will represent an additional average yearly cost of $175 per employee in payroll taxes, according to the report. This increase takes into account the various contribution rates announced for 2014, including contributions to the Occupational Health and Safety Fund, Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), employment insurance (EI), Québec Health Fund, etc.
Despite this increase, Quebec employers will also have reductions to their payroll contributions. This is due to the fact that in 2014 the average contribution rate to the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) will be reduced by three per cent, or $2.02 per $100 of payroll. At the same time, the contribution rates to EI and QPIP will be respectively maintained at $2.13 per $100 of payroll and 0.782 per cent.
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