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No increment for 40% staff in UAE for two years, study shows

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on December 17, 2019 | Last updated on December 17, 2019 at 03.26 pm
salary increment, salary hike, pay hike


When was the last time you got a pay hike?

Forty per cent of employees across the UAE haven't had a salary increment for two years, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment. (Looking for a new job with higher salary? Check here)

Furthermore, nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of workers haven't had a bonus in the last 12 months and almost a third (29 per cent) believe that their employer isn't transparent about how pay rises and pay levels are set.

The study, which questioned workers across the region, suggested that the pay rises predicted at the end of 2018 have still not materialised for many, with only a third of the workers (33 per cent) saying they have had a pay rise in the last 12 months. With the cost of living remaining high across the region, Tiger Recruitment says this could be impacting employee motivation and engagement, as well as companies' ability to retain staff.

However, on a more positive note for employers, the findings indicated that salaries aren't necessarily the top priority of many candidates when looking for a new role, with wider benefits and other perks valued just as highly. When asked what factors most attracted them to their current role, candidates said that work environment (46 per cent), job security (42 per cent) and work-life balance (40 per cent) were more important than what they would be paid.

"Economic uncertainty has meant that many employers have been reluctant to grant employee pay rises in recent years, and this could be having a serious impact on retention and motivation levels," said Zahra Clark, head of MENA at Tiger Recruitment.

"Salary increases are an important factor in employee engagement, and a failure to grant them for a significant length of time can be particularly problematic if employees feel that there is a lack of transparency about the reasoning behind the decision. I would therefore encourage employers to review how they approach salaries and benefits in 2020, so that employees feel valued, rewarded and fairly treated. As our findings show, even if budgets are still tight, a focus on softer benefits can help to ensure staff remain loyal and continue to perform at their best," he added.

The research was undertaken by Tiger Recruitment in August and September 2019. Total sample size was 149 working adults in the UAE. The survey was carried out online.

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