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Compensation Planning Outlook 2017

In response to widespread uncertainty about Canada’s economic climate and business conditions, Canadian employers are planning cautious salary increases for 2017. Our latest Compensation Planning Outlook projects that average base increases for non-unionized employees will be 2.2 per cent next year. The lowest increases will go to workers in Alberta and in the oil and gas industry after forest fires in Fort McMurray shutdown production in the oil patch. Workers in the high-technology sector are projected to receive the highest increases at 2.8 per cent.

Features

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Learning in the Digital Age

From a quality perspective, e-learning may be more engaging, less passive, and more customized to different learning styles than traditional lecture-based learning, but it only accounts for between 10 and 15 per cent of PSE learning. Our report found that its adoption in Canada is being held back by a number of factors, including a lack of institutional support and faculty skepticism. For the most part, e-learning is not being used as an alternative format for younger, full-time degree students because post-secondary institutions are focused on making full use of existing classroom infrastructure.

 
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Out of Office: Employers Increasingly Flexible With Employee Time Off

Today’s workforce is made up of a diverse group of Canadians from multiple generations and life stages. With this in mind, employers are offering a range of paid and unpaid leaves to acknowledge the varied priorities of today’s workers. Many organizations are choosing to top up parental leaves with additional time off or provide additional vacation and flex time in order to attract talent. Our report finds that employers who tailor their paid and unpaid leaves to employees’ needs will have a significant competitive advantage.

 
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Immigration Will Help Alleviate Canada’s Aging Population Challenges, But Not Solve Them

Canadians aged 65 and over currently comprise about 16 per cent of Canada’s total population. Over the next 20 years, this figure will rise to over 24 per cent. As baby boomers leave the workforce, Canada’s labour supply growth will be limited and economic growth will be constrained. Higher immigration levels can help soften the impact of an aging population on the Canadian economy. However, population growth alone will not completely offset the effects of aging demographics. Canada needs to consider other solutions to fully address the impact of an aging population.

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Managing Mobility: Canada Is Ill-Prepared to Keep an Aging Population Moving

Canada has not adequately addressed the changing transportation needs of seniors. A growing number of seniors face transportation challenges as fewer have the capacity or interest to drive, while alternate options are inadequate in communities built primarily for cars. Seniors who cannot meet their transportation needs are at risk of declining health and, with many reporting their primary mode of transportation as driving, finding alternatives is becoming increasingly important.

 
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Reducing Calories Consumed From Beverages by 2025 Will Require Effort

In 2014, Canadians consumed an average 142.5 calories a day from beverages such as bottled water, soft drinks, juice, and energy drinks. The Canadian Beverage Association set a goal to reduce Canadians’ liquid refreshment beverages daily calorie consumption by 20 per cent between 2015 and 2025. Our baseline report to track the Association’s progress finds that consumer trends alone will only accomplish a 10.5 per cent decline. Meeting the desired target will require greater effort from the industry to reduce the calories in refreshment beverages.

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Physical Activity Framework: Take Our Survey

At least 4 out of 5 Canadian adults do not meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, which has major implications for the general health of the population. In an effort to reverse this disturbing trend and encourage Canadians to increase their physical activity levels, Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments have asked the Conference Board to launch a consultation process that will help inform the direction, objectives, priorities, scope, and application of a pan-Canadian physical activity framework.


CBoC Highlights

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Now that the trade deal is signed, learn how Canadian businesses can prepare for and leverage the gains from CETA. More insights on the trade deal. Annette Verschuren discusses the importance of sustainability and officially launches the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Institute in our first Facebook Live event.
   
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Hiring more physician assistants and effectively integrating them into health care teams could save the Canadian health care system millions in efficiency gains. The Conference Board hosted an immigration meeting to discuss how to improve Canada’s immigration system. Among attendees were Canada’s and Ontario’s immigration ministers, John McCallum and Laura Albanese.

In This Issue

  • Compensation Planning Outlook 2017
  • Learning in the Digital Age
  • Out of Office: Employers Increasingly Flexible With Employee Time Off
  • Immigration Will Help Alleviate Canada’s Aging Population Challenges, But Not Solve Them
  • Managing Mobility: Canada Is Ill-Prepared to Keep an Aging Population Moving
  • Reducing Calories Consumed From Beverages by 2025 Will Require Effort
  • Physical Activity Framework: Take Our Survey

Previous Issues

Latest Blogs

Cyber and Hybrid Threats to Canada and Its Allies

by
  • Brent Dowdall
| May 06, 2019
<table class="blogAuthor"> <tbody> <tr> <td class="baImg"><img src="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/bios/retrieveImages.aspx?id=83526" alt="Brent Dowdall"></td> <td> </td> <td class="baText"><strong><a rel="author">Brent Dowdall</a><br> </strong>Senior Manager, Research and Business Development</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Cyber security threats are now considered a global security concern on par with traditional conventional military threats. Our interconnected world means that cyber threats and hybrid warfare incorporate a complex mix of hostile actors and a wide range of tactics. The rapid evolution of technology, combined with the ability of attackers to quickly adopt new offensive tools and techniques, further exacerbates the threat. Open liberal democracies have an interest in overcoming the risks of cyber attacks—to protect the critical infrastructure we rely on, personal privacy and business continuity, and even democratic institutions themselves.</p> <p>The Government of Canada is developing cyber capabilities to protect the country from virtual threats and to work within defence alliances. Among its key partners should be European countries, working both within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and with the European Union (EU) itself.</p> <p>With Europe on the front lines of hostile state and non-state actors, the EU has taken a more assertive role in organizing its own cyber security defences and those of its member states. The EU’s <a href="https://pesco.europa.eu/">Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)</a> initiative has put cyber security at the top of the priority list for greater collaboration and cooperation among member states.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pesco.europa.eu/project/cyber-rapid-response-teams-and-mutual-assistance-in-cyber-security/">Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRT) and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security</a> project is among the most advanced of the projects under the PESCO initiative. CRRT will allow member states to help each other to ensure higher level of cyber resilience and to collectively respond to cyber incidents. Lithuania leads the EU cooperation project in cyber defence, with eight more EU member states—Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, France, Romania, and Finland—participating in the project (Belgium, Greece, Slovenia, and Germany are observers of the project).</p> <p>The aim of this project is to integrate the expertise among member states in the field of cyber defence. The rapid response teams are able to assist with training, diagnostics, and attribution forensics, and to provide assistance in operations.</p> <p>At the <a href="https://www.eucanada.eu/">5th&nbsp;European Union Security and Defence Symposium</a>, held in Ottawa on March&nbsp;20, 2019, the panel session PESCO in Action: Confronting Hybrid/Cyber Threats will outline the progress being made on the CRRT and how Canada and the EU can work together to strengthen our shared responsibilities in the field of cyber threats. The Conference Board of Canada is a partner in developing the program for the event. Participants include senior EU officials, Canadian governments officials, and experts from both sides of the Atlantic.</p> <p>Canada is far from exempt from the potential consequences of cyber threats. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s most recent threat assessment says that 2019 could be a particularly harrowing year for Canadian individuals, businesses, and institutions.<span class="sup"><a href="#ftn1-ref" name="ftn1" id="ftn1">1</a></span></p> <p>Given the high and rising threat of cyber attacks, it is also important to promote the concept of cyber resilience. Unlike cyber security, which is usually very focused on prevention and protection, cyber resilience recognizes that successful cyber attacks may be inevitable. Therefore, cyber resilience promotes the need to ensure organizations can maintain critical functions and quickly return to normal in the wake of an attack. Improving organizational cyber resilience will be the focus of the Conference Board’s <a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/cyber-security/deafult.aspx">Cyber Security 2019: Building and Testing Cyber Resilience</a> conference.</p> <p>As governments and businesses alike face new threats, decision-makers and organizational leaders need to stay up to date on the latest cyber-security trends. Ongoing research and dialogue—by sharing the successes, weaknesses, and learnings—is perhaps the most effective defensive weapon we can collectively wield against these threats.</p> <hr> <h3>Related Conference</h3> <p><a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/conf/cyber-security/deafult.aspx">Cyber Security 2019: Building and Testing Cyber Resilience</a><br> May 27, 2019, Toronto</p> <br><br> <p class="footnote" style="padding-top: 1.25em;"><a id="ftn1-ref" name="ftn1-ref" href="#ftn1">1</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Cindy Baker, <a href="https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/canada-is-a-prime-target-for-cybersecurity-attacks-in-2019/414201">“Canada Is a Prime Target for Cybersecurity Attacks in 2019.”</a> <em>IT World Canada</em>, January&nbsp;16, 2019.</p>

Four Employee Trends Disrupting Traditional Benefits Plans

by
  • The Conference Board of Canada
| May 01, 2019
<p>As workplaces become more generationally diverse, the needs of employees have become more complex. More than ever, HR professionals are looking for ways to respond to these varied needs.</p> <p>Employers have their work cut out for them when it comes to remaining cost-effective while providing today’s workforce with the most valuable health benefits.</p> <p>Based on the <a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/web/benchmarking/index.html" title="" class="" target="">2019 Benefits Benchmarking</a> report, here are the <strong>top four employee trends disrupting traditional benefits plans:</strong></p> <h2>Cannabis in the Workplace</h2> <p>Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, and the number of authorized users has grown dramatically. By mid-2018, 342,000 Canadians were registered to use legally.</p> <p>Due to the recent legalization of recreational cannabis, medical cannabis is expected to be more common. Employees are increasingly turning to their employers with questions about coverage. Yet, only a handful of the Canadian organizations we surveyed offer coverage for medical cannabis.</p> <p>Employers should consider creating strategies that are mindful of this new frontier.</p> <h2>Aging Workforce </h2> <p>The needs of Canadian employees have become increasingly complex as Canada’s largest generation continues to work past the typical retirement age. This has put pressure on the health care system. Employers find themselves challenged to address the needs of this generation head-on.</p> <p>Organizations are aware of this trend, and they are looking for technology to better manage health care needs.</p> <h2>Increase Use of Biologic Drugs </h2> <p>There has been an increase in the use of biologic drugs and a greater focus on paramedical services. This has made it difficult for organizations to decide where to invest resources.</p> <p>Given this growing trend, having a drug cost management strategy is becoming increasingly important for the long-term sustainability of benefits plans.</p> <h2>Virtual Health Care and Wellness </h2> <p>Organizations are seeking more cost-effective, creative, and proactive ways to maintain and improve employee health. Canadian organizations are increasingly turning to new technologies that focus on prevention, such as virtual wellness technologies to manage health and fitness and pharmacogenetic testing.</p> <p>Different industries align their benefits strategies with virtual wellness technologies in varying ways. Their focuses may include physical wellness, improving financial wellness, reducing stress, absenteeism, or productivity.</p> <p><strong>Get ahead of these disruptors by leveraging data from 217 Canadian organizations in the 2019 Benefits Benchmarking report.</strong> <a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/web/benchmarking/index.html" title="" class="" target="">Read on</a>.</p>

Five Trends That Will Change the Way Your Company Structures Benefits

by
  • The Conference Board of Canada
| Mar 20, 2019
<p>Employee expectations are changing, and nowhere is this more evident than in benefit offerings. </p> <p> Canadian employers are being challenged to appeal to a multi-generational workforce. Varied employee needs have given rise to an evolved style of benefit offerings: one that is flexible, but keeps an eye on cost. </p> <p> How can you stay ahead of the curve? We surveyed 217 organizations for our new <a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/web/benchmarking/index.html">Benefits Benchmarking&nbsp;2019</a> report, collecting data that reflect the experiences of 1.2&nbsp;million employees. </p> <p><strong>Here are five trends in employee benefits that will give your organization an edge:</strong></p> <h2>More Flexible Benefits</h2> <p>Flexibility is the name of the game in 2019. Increasingly, employers are managing costs by letting employees decide what supports are best for them and their families. In our survey, we found that a record-breaking <strong>two-thirds of Canadian employers are now offering more innovative health care spending accounts (HCSAs) to employees at all levels</strong>.</p> <h2>Wellness Apps Supporting Employee Well-Being</h2> <p>Wellness apps are proving to be a win-win. Employees who use these apps are reaping the rewards of being proactive about their physical and mental health. Meanwhile, employers benefit from happier, healthier employees.</p> <h2>Medical Marijuana Offered as an Employee Benefit</h2> <p>The green wave has arrived in Canada. It’s no surprise that medical cannabis is starting to find its way into employee benefit offerings. While only 6&nbsp;per cent of organizations currently cover medical cannabis, <strong>close to half (48&nbsp;per cent) of respondents report they are considering doing so in the future</strong>.</p> <h2>Outsourcing Benefits Administration</h2> <p>With the emergence of new HR technologies, outsourcing your benefits administration can significantly impact your bottom line while meeting employees’ wellness needs.</p> <h2>Offering Mental Health Support to Employees</h2> <p>Conversations around mental health in the workplace have hit critical mass, bolstered by the gigantic #BellLetsTalk movement. Approximately two-thirds of all responding organizations report enhancing or introducing strategies to support employees’ mental health and wellness. </p> <p><strong>How does your organization stack up? Optimize your employee benefits with data from 217&nbsp;organizations. </strong><a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/web/benchmarking/index.html"><strong>Get the Benefits Benchmarking 2019 report.</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.conferenceboard.ca/web/benchmarking/index.html"><img src="/images/default-source/cboc-images-public/22685_benefits_552x147_final.jpg?sfvrsn=b9274e13_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="Benefits_552x147" title="Benefits_552x147"></a></p>

Webinars

Labour Relations Outlook Webinar: Where Are We Headed in 2020?
Jan 28 at 2:00 PM

What Works for ERM and What Does Not
Feb 04 at 3:30 PM

How to Manage Workplace Romances: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Mar 11 at 2:00 PM