Money Pay rise is top priority for workers, but less likely than they think

08:10  16 may  2018
08:10  16 may  2018 Source:

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Many employees are banking on a pay rise this year© Fiona-Lee Quimby Many employees are banking on a pay rise this year

Employees and their employers are not on the same page when it comes to pay rises in the coming year but that's not going to stop workers asking for a bit more in their hip pockets, that's the key finding in a survey of more than 3000 workplaces around the country.

According to the annual Hays Salary Guide just under two-thirds of employers plan to give skilled employees a pay rise of less than three per cent and just over ten per cent will not increase salaries at all.

The Hays survey shows that 18 per cent of employers plan to give staff a pay rise of three to six per cent while a small proportion (6 per cent) will increase salaries by 6 per cent or more.

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But the 2.3 million employees who work in the organisations covered in the survey have a different expectation.  Of the surveyed, 17 per cent expected those increases of six per cent or more.

A further 19 per cent are hoping for an increase of between three to six per cent. A quarter said they do not expect any increase and 39 per cent were expecting an increase of less than three per cent.

And they're going to be asking for that raise.

The Hays survey found two-thirds (67 per cent) of employees said a salary increase was their number one career priority this year. Almost half would seek one if it was not offered.

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Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand said skill shortages and the future hiring intentions of employers were keeping salary increases restrained, despite strong growth in vacancies.

He said that after years of slow salary movements, a pay rise had become the number one career priority for skilled professionals this year.

"If their employer doesn’t offer a pay rise, they’re prepared to ask for one or start looking elsewhere," Mr Deligiannis said.

"Turnover has risen in 32 per cent of organisations and of the 46 per cent of professionals who intend to look for a new job in the next 12 months, 48 per cent cite an uncompetitive salary as a motivating factor.

Sluggish wage growth has been a concern for policymakers including the Reserve Bank with governor Phil Lowe recently exhorting workers  to ask for a raise.

Employees may not get the pay rises they are expecting this year© Jessica Shapiro Employees may not get the pay rises they are expecting this year The Hays Salary Guide also found that professional employees living in NSW and Western Australia were the most optimistic about getting a salary rise of six per cent or more, followed by Queensland, then Tasmania. Employees in Victoria and ACT were least optimistic.

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Women are also "more likely to be offered less when they start a job, which automatically puts them on a lower level", she says. Far better, they think , to sit tight and wait to be offered whatever it is – a promotion, pay rise , good project – rather than ask for it."

Advertising and media were rated as the most generous paying industries, with 13 per cent of employers planning to boost pay packets by six per cent or more in their next review. Professional services was second, with 11 per cent of employers prepared to grant pay rises above six per cent.

This was followed by construction, property and engineering (nine per cent), IT and telecommunications and hospitality (eight per cent), travel and entertainment (eight per cent). This was followed by financial services and mining, resources, energy and oil and gas, with seven per cent of employers saying they would grant a pay rise.

More than 20 per cent planned to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, while 11 per cent expected to decrease their use of this temporary and contract staff.

They survey also found that 16 per cent of Australians who asked for a pay rise in the last 12 months had that request rejected. A further 18 per cent who asked for a pay rise were successful.

Close to a third of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation over the last 12 months and 67 per cent of employers are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department. Of employees surveyed, 70 per cent said they had access to flexible work practices.

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