Retention bonuses help during time of crisis: Experts

Scandal-plagued SNC-Lavalin gave them out in 2012
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2013

SNC-Lavalin has been prolific in the news over the last year or so, plagued by RCMP investigations and allegations of fraud and bribery, along with the arrests of former senior executives, including its CEO.

But in its March 11, 2013, proxy management circular, the 34,000-employee engineering and construction firm revealed that “in light of all the changes that took place in 2012,” it handed out awards as retention measures to certain members of management and key employees.

The theory is that an employer needs to keep a team in place through a critical period, said Christopher Chen, national director of executive compensation at Hay Group in Toronto, who recalls an executive group in 2008-09 that wasn’t supposed to receive any payouts from their share award programs, but the board decided to give bonuses anyway.