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Survey snippet 5: Operator benefits slipping?

Sept. 20, 2018 - Employee benefits can be an important factor in recruiting and retaining the next generation of loggers, but not all companies are able to offer these benefits – and fewer do today than two years ago.

September 20, 2018  By  Maria Church

The 2018 CFI Contractor Survey found 66 per cent of companies offer some benefits to employees, the majority providing medical and dental insurance (61%). Forty per cent of contractors offer life insurance; 15 per cent give paid vacation beyond the legal minimum; 12 per cent match pension plans; seven per cent provide paid sick or personal days; five per cent offer profit sharing; and eight per cent offer other benefits.

When asked the same question in our 2016 Contractor Survey, 70 per cent of contractors offered benefits to employees. A slight increase in profit sharing aside, fewer companies are offering benefits beyond medical and dental in 2018. See how the numbers compare in the chart below.

Operator benefits are commonplace in B.C., with 85 per cent of coastal and 96 per cent of interior contractors offering some form of employee benefits. These benefits are in addition to the highest wages in Canada for machine operators.

A strong majority of contractors in Alberta and Ontario also offer benefits, 79 and 83 per cent respectively. Notably, both regions recorded the highest percentage of profit sharing: 21 and 17 per cent respectively.


Fewer than half of contractors in Quebec (45%) and Atlantic Canada (37%) provide benefits. Those that do are most likely to offer medical and dental, or life insurance plans.

Missed last week’s survey snippet? Find a collection of reports published to date here. Look for more news from the CFI 2018 Contractor Survey in our enews over the coming weeks, with a final digital report in December and a summary in the November/December print issue. Be sure to subscribe to our free enews to get all the latest industry news. 

The survey was conducted in June 2018 by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 275 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 40 per cent in Western Canada, 25 per cent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within B.C. responses were split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins and Tigercat.

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