Skip To Content

A year of upheavals and dashed expectations: Executive compensation developments in 2020

Author(s): Andrew MacDougall, Lynne Lacoursière, Kelly O’Ferrall

Dec 8, 2020

Executive compensation plans were upended in 2020 as a result of the dramatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business plans and the extraordinary measures taken by governments, domestic and foreign, to contain the virus. In addition, employee-friendly Canadian court decisions were handed down in 2020 that are forcing employers to revisit standard compensation practices.

Finalizing compensation decisions for 2020

Most Canadian corporations had set their 2020 short-term incentive performance targets and made their annual long-term incentive grants for the year before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Within weeks of that determination, lockdown measures in many parts of the world shattered business plans, broke supply chains, plummeted the world into a recession and resulted in a sudden and dramatic drop in stock prices. As a result...