Monday, December 10, 2012

Pay increment, bonus for 2013 expected to dip: report

SINGAPORE: Global consulting firm Hay Group has predicted cautious pay rises for Singaporean workers as 2012 comes to a close.

In its latest report, the group said pay increases and bonuses for next year are expected to slide.

Hay Group said salary increases averaged 4.6 per cent this year - slightly higher than the 4.4 per cent in 2011. But pay increases for next year are expected to dip 0.2 percentage points back to 4.4 per cent.

The Singapore Human Resources Institute agreed, saying increments will hover around 4 per cent.

The Institute expects the manufacturing, construction and logistics sectors to face a tighter squeeze.

The Institute's executive director, David Ang, said: "For those company who are not doing well, and it's sort of breaking even.

"I think the important thing is to inform the workers on the prospect of their business and at the same time collectively bite the bullets to hope for better times to come."

As for bonuses, the actual average variable bonus this year is said to be 2.6 months. For next year, it is expected to dip slightly to 2.5 months.

The Hay Group said hiring seems to have picked up in Singapore, despite the continuing uncertainty in the global economy.

Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed said they are planning to increase staffing levels, compared to 50 per cent this time, last year.

But economist Dr Tan Khay Boon from SIM Global Education said this does not mean firms will splurge on hiring.

Dr Tan said: "The company want to meet the demand for the customers and therefore they need more workers to help them out in the operations. But, they are also very careful about the bottom-line.

"That's why they prefer to hire the worker at the same cost or better still, at the lower cost instead of expanding the cost to get the workers."

Leading the hiring outlook in the survey are the engineering (33 per cent), sales (29 per cent) and financial (21 per cent) sectors.

Turning to the region, the Hay group said high-growth Asian economies like China, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines can expect significant pay rises in 2013.

The survey, conducted in September, covered over 500 Singapore-based companies from both the private and public sectors.

They were polled on their business sentiments and salary and bonus projections for the next 12 months.

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