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LOWEST SEEN IN BAHRAIN

Pay rise next year? Likely 5pc says survey

MANAMA, September 15, 2015

Salary increases in the Gulf countries will average 5 per cent in 2016, down from 5.1 per cent in 2015, according to a major region-wide survey.

Among the participating GCC organizations, companies based in Bahrain predicted the lowest increases in the Gulf region at 4.7 per cent, which is slightly higher than last year’s predictions of 4.5 per cent. In 2015, Bahrain-based firms reported actual salary increases at 4.7 per cent.

A GCC Salary Increase Survey of 600 multinational companies and locally-owned conglomerates - the largest study of its kind in the Gulf region - was conducted by Aon Hewitt, a global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon.

GCC states have seen GDP levels drop due to weak global oil prices, with less foreign direct investment being recorded amidst security concerns in the region and struggles amongst large economies such as Russia and China. The situation, however, has clearly had a somewhat limited effect on firms, with most by leading employers still planning to increase the salaries of their employees by a good amount next year, the survey said.   
 
Clearly, the impact of lower oil prices can be felt across the region, with governments cutting back on subsidies, reducing spending on larger projects and thinking about introducing some form of taxation. All these factors will have a direct or indirect effect on industry sectors, and will continue to put pressure on profit margins and operating costs for organisations. Despite this, the GCC is faring much better than other oil producing countries in the Middle East and predicted increases in compensation will also help to ease inflationary pressures on employees while markets rebound, it said.
 
Meanwhile, Kuwait-based companies gave the highest salary increase projection for 2016 at 5.2 per cent. This is a slight decrease on 2015’s 5.3 per cent predicted raise. Kuwait’s actual salary increase figure for 2015 stands at 4.7 per cent.
Qatari and Omani firms, on the other hand, estimated 5 per cent salary growth for 2016, lower than 2015 predictions which stood at 5.2 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively. Actual salary increase figures for 2015 stand at 4.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively.
 
UAE companies also projected 5 per cent growth for 2016, up from the 4.8 per cent projection made for 2015, while firms in Saudi Arabia forecasted a 5.1 per cent for 2016 -- down by 0.3 per cent on this year’s 5.4 per cent projection. In terms of actual increases for 2015, however, the UAE stands at 4.8 per cent while Saudi Arabia recorded the highest level of actual pay rises at 5.2 per cent for this year.

Robert Richter, GCC compensation survey manager, Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “Salary increases typically take into consideration a number of other factors which go beyond the general economic climate. These include company performance, the need to reflect promotions and the need to ensure that employees at the same grade remain within a single pay band. Overall the outlook for 2016 may not be as positive as recent years, but the news that employers are predicting salary increases in the 5 per cent range next year should come as a comfort to employees, suggesting that there is still optimism in the market.”

Aon Hewitt has been conducting a global salary increase survey on an annual basis across the globe for 29 years and launched it in the Middle East for the first time in 2012. The full report is free to participating organisations and available at a price of $1000 to others.  - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | GCC | Pay rise | Aon Hewitt |

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