UAE employees 'gearing up for pay hike'
Dubai, April 3, 2012
Majority of the employees in the UAE believe they will be getting a salary increase in the next 12 months amid a major rise in the cost of living, according to a new survey.
About 44 per cent of employees are unhappy with their last pay rise amid mounting inflation, while more than half believe salaries in the UAE are increasing, revealed the latest Mena Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, a leading jobsite in the region, and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation.
According to 85 per cent of survey respondents, the cost of living in the UAE has increased in the last 12 months (between December 2010 – December 2011), of these 43 per cent believe that it has increased by 15 per cent or more.
Food and beverage is believed to have increased the most, according to four out of ten respondents, followed by rent (29 per cent).
Interestingly, the survey said a majority 74 per cent believed that the cost of living would continue to rise in the coming year.
On average, respondents claim that they received a 6.63 per cent raise in the past year – while stating that their cost of living increased by an average of 19.46 per cent.
According to the survey, just over a third of respondents (37 per cent) are able to save more than 15 per cent of their monthly salary, though a further quarter have been unable to save anything at all.
Four out of ten (37 per cent) manage to repatriate more than 15 per cent of their salary, it added.
A third of survey respondents (31 per cent) in the UAE said they have spent 4-6 years in their current industry, while a further third (32 per cent) said they have been working for their current employer for 4-7 years.
Four out of ten have between one and five people reporting directly to them, with a collective 71 per cent stating that they are midway in terms of seniority (37 per cent), or at a fairly senior level, but not yet at the top (34 per cent).
Over the past five years, four out of ten respondents have held two jobs; 24 per cent have held one job, while the remainder have held three (20 per cent) or more (14 per cent). On average, most people will stay in a job for 2 to 3 years (39 per cent), or six or more years (22 per cent).
The preferred pay structure in the UAE is entirely fixed-pay according to 62 per cent, with popular incentives including those that are performance-based (59 per cent), and professional training and development courses (35 per cent), the report added.
In the UAE, majority of salary packages (65 per cent) consist of basic salary plus benefits, and 57 per cent of respondents are currently moderately satisfied with their salary.
The most popular UAE salary benefits include personal medical insurance (49 per cent), personal air ticket (48 per cent), and bonuses (35 per cent).
On the salary comparison, six out of ten respondents in the UAE said their current compensation was lower than that offered by other companies in the same industry, the survey revealed.
Four in ten claim not to have received a raise in the last 12 months, while those who did receive a raise are predominantly unhappy with what they received; collectively, 44 per cent claim to have been ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’.
Two thirds of respondents (63 per cent) expect to receive a raise in the coming year, 25 per cent of which are looking at an additional 15 per cent or more.
“The survey’s results suggest that companies are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn, as they are generally not fully catering to the financial expectations of their employees or to their employees’ perceptions of the rising cost of living across the region,” remarked Suhail Masri, vice president of sales, Bayt.com.
“Bayt.com’s in-depth surveys provide invaluable information about the MENA employment market, giving employers and job-seekers alike a realistic insight into the issues faced by their peers locally and elsewhere in the region,” he added.
According to majority of respondents, salaries in the UAE are increasing either ‘marginally’ (25 per cent of respondents) or ‘moderately’ (26 per cent of respondents).
The most popular reason for this is perceived to be inflation and the rising cost of living (52 per cent), followed by the local growth in opportunities and economic growth (32 per cent).
Respondents meanwhile blame the poor economy (34 per cent) and poor corporate performance and profitability (20 per cent) as being the top reasons for salaries not increasing.
When asked about likely reasons for pay hike, about 27 per cent said loyalty to employers was directly linked to salary package.
However, a larger group of 34 per cent base their loyalty on opportunities for long-term career progression. Line managers, colleagues and working environment, company brand and reputation also factor highly, the survey said.
When comparing themselves to other people of a similar generation within the UAE, 38 per cent said their quality of life was about average, while 29 per cent believe that they are somewhat better off.
The survey pointed out that to improve their situation, six out of ten will look for a better job in the same industry, while a further third will look to a different industry altogether.
“The respondents' belief that there is a hike, however small, in salaries is a positive sign for the future. However, the fact that they also consider there to be an excess of talent suggests that unemployment levels are currently relatively high, and that competition for existing jobs is fierce,” said SundipChahal, CEO, YouGov.-TradeArabia News Service