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    Notice of release: Analysis of short-term variable pay plans

    Québec, March 29, 2021. – The Institut de la statistique du Québec released today an analysis of variable pay plans in Québec businesses with 200 or more employees and municipalities with populations of 25,000 or more in 2018.

    This publication presents detailed results on the presence and cost of short-term variable pay by sector (private and public), unionization, type of plan, and skill level required for the job.

    Variable pay includes all types of compensation other than a basic rate or salary for which the amounts paid vary according to certain qualitative or quantitative criteria, generally associated with an individual, group or organizational performance. The amount paid is non-recurring and is paid in one or more installments following a reference period. The reference period for short-term plans is generally one year or less.


    • In 2018, 69% of Québec businesses with 200 or more employees offered short-term variable pay plans.
    • About a quarter of full-time permanent employees received a variable pay amount.
    • Employers paid the equivalent of 9.1% of these employees’ salaries in variable pay.
    • In Québec as a whole, 57% of managers received variable pay, compared to 25% of all employees.

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