Basic pay rises expected for employees of over half of all Irish SMEs

5th January 2015 | News

More than half (57 per cent) of Irish small firms are planning to increase basic pay for staff in 2015, with median pay increases expected to be two per cent.

That’s according to a new pay survey from IBEC which monitored responses from 462 companies in November 2014.

The survey also suggested that the total pay bill – including basic pay changes and changes in the total number of employees on payroll – will increase in over half (55 per cent) of SMEs in the next 12 months.

The high-tech sector is the most likely to see an increase in basic pay and total pay bills in 2015, such as medical devices (91 per cent increasing basic pay, pharma-chemical (89 per cent), electronic services/telecoms (81 per cent) and electronics manufacturing (87 per cent).

Larger companies were more likely to be increasing basic pay in the next 12 months with three-in-five bigger firms boasting more than 50 employees anticipating raising basic pay, compared with just over half (51 per cent) of businesses with less than 50 staff.

Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC, believes the current state of the Irish economy must be reflected in pay trends.

“The economy in money terms is still about six per cent below its pre-crisis peak and overall price levels are below where they were in summer 2008,” said McCoy.

“This needs to be reflected in pay expectations. It is vital that pay demands are moderate, so we don’t lose the hard-fought competitive gains of recent years. The focus must be on job creation.

“This year we have the chance to further cut unemployment and attract back migrants that left during the crisis, but we must not repeat past mistakes.

“If costs spiral and we lose our competitive edge, we will pay for it in jobs.”