Some perks gone for good: Survey

Recessionary cutbacks could become new reality
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/10/2009

While there has been plenty of activity around HR cost containment, with staff levels diminished, benefits restrained, workweeks reduced and salaries frozen, talk of recovery is starting to emerge. Predictions about the end of the recession suggest sunnier times could emerge by the end of 2009 and the worst has already passed, at least in Canada.

While many of the cutbacks will be reversed as the economy improves, some compensation and benefits may not return to their original state. When it comes to changes made to training programs and restrictions to travel policy, about one-third (29 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively) of 92 Canadian organizations responding to a survey in June said they do not plan to bring those initiatives back. And while 50 per cent and 29 per cent said they would reinstate the changes to training and travel, respectively, 40 per cent of those reversing travel restrictions will keep some in place, found the Watson Wyatt survey.

“Companies are always looking for efficiencies and things that add value as opposed to not, so if there has been excessive cost allocated to travel in the past, they will certainly scrutinize it more today,” said Liz Wright, compensation practice leader for central Canada at Watson Wyatt Worldwide in Toronto.