Most UAE professionals 'unhappy with pay'
Dubai, May 26, 2013
More than 67 per cent of UAE professionals feel their current salary is lower than that of other companies in their industry, with only 3 per cent stating a high level of satisfaction with their current remuneration, according to a survey.
The 'salary survey,' conducted by leading job site Bayt.com and YouGov, a research and consulting organisation, also revealed that 21 per cent of the respondents in the UAE are expecting a raise of more than 15 per cent this year.
The overwhelming sentiment in the UAE is that the salaries received by respondents in their current companies are lower than other companies in their industry (according to 67 per cent), with 44 per cent claiming that they did not receive a raise in 2012.
The majority of those who did receive a pay increment were given 1-5 per cent (21 per cent), but 48 per cent are unhappy with the amount received. Eight in 10 believe that the cost of living will continue to increase, said the survey.
A quarter of the survey’s UAE respondents (25 per cent) have been in their current career path for up to three years. Almost a third (29 per cent) have spent up to one year with their current employer, while 30 per cent have been with them for four-seven years.
Four in 10 (38 per cent) have one-five people currently reporting to them, and 37 per cent oversee six or more employees. The majority of survey respondents are either midway (39 per cent) or fairly senior (31 per cent) in their position.
Most UAE respondents have held either one (26 per cent) or two (38 per cent) jobs in the past five years. The majority claim that they spend on average between one-three years in a job, though 23 per cent held a position for at least six years.
The preferred pay structure in the UAE is 100 per cent fixed-pay, according to 63 per cent, with the more preferable incentives being those that are performance-based (62 per cent), or professional training and development courses (41 per cent). Commission for business or revenue generated (25 per cent) and holiday allowances or foreign trips (25 per cent) are also popular, it stated.
In terms of their current salary, a fifth of UAE respondents (20 per cent) receive their basic salary only, while 65 per cent receive their basic salary plus benefits.
A third (33 per cent) stated that 51-75 per cent of their salary package is their basic monthly salary. Additional benefits received from UAE companies include personal medical insurance (50 per cent), personal annual air ticket (46 per cent), and gratuity (33 per cent).
The majority (50 per cent) of UAE professionals state medium satisfaction with their current salary, with only 3 per cent claiming high satisfaction, the survey pointed out.
In 2013, the UAE respondents are torn with regards to receiving a raise with 27 per cent expecting up to 15 per cent hike, while 21 per cent eyeing over 15 per cent. However, 28 per cent said they do not expect anything.
On the cost of living and savings, more than half (53 per cent) of UAE respondents stated that their cost of living had increased by more than 15 per cent in 2012.
They pointed out that this was mostly due to increased rents (80 per cent), rising food and beverage costs (69 per cent), and education fees (38 per cent). Eight out of 10 (78 per cent) believe that the cost of living will continue to rise in 2013, said the survey.
Four in 10 (37 per cent) UAE respondents save up to 15 per cent of their monthly personal income; a third (32 per cent) repatriate 15 per cent or more.
"The results of the 2013 Bayt.com Mena Salary Survey suggest that salaries are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living in the UAE," said SuhailMasri, the VP of sales at Bayt.com.
"This is a general trend across the Middle East that companies must begin to address; in doing so, they will be able to contribute to building employee loyalty and satisfaction, and will have the opportunity to reduce the number of employees looking to change jobs within the next year," he stated.
“The survey is an annual study that reveals the levels of satisfaction and factors effecting as much across the Mena region. This information is vital for employers and job seekers in the region, in order to gauge individual country situations and make informed, empowered career and life decisions.”
Sundip Chahal, the CEO of YouGov said the drivers of loyalty in particular are areas that employers in the region should consider, in order to slow what would seem to be a very transient workforce.
"Employees across the region seem overall dissatisfied with their current packages and the rising cost of living; if the two do not draw closer, then there could be potential economic difficulties in the coming years," he added.
When asked whether salaries are increasing or decreasing in their countries of residence, 28 per cent of UAE respondents said that they are ‘increasing marginally’, with an additional 28 per cent stating they are ‘increasing moderately’, and 19 per cent state that they are staying the same.
Factors causing salaries in the UAE to increase are considered to be inflation and the rising cost of living (54 per cent), growth in opportunities and economic growth (39 per cent), and good corporate performance (17 per cent).
Reasons for salaries not increasing are seen to be the poor economy (29 per cent), poor corporate performance and profitability (23 per cent), and more top talent than available jobs (23 per cent), said the survey.
UAE respondents believe that they enjoy a standard of life that is mostly either on par with or above the standard of other residents in the same generation; 39 per cent state that their standard of living is ‘about average’, 27 per cent claim to be ‘somewhat better off’, and 17 per cent are ‘much better off’.
"Six in 10 (60 per cent) respondents intend to look for a better job in the same industry in the next 12 months, while 42 per cent will look for a better job in a different industry and a fifth (18 per cent) will look to other Middle Eastern countries for better jobs. This is likely because 31 per cent believe that there is an excess supply of talent in the UAE," the survey stated.
On the loyalty part, UAE professionals said it depends mostly on the salary they receive. About 47 per cent believe that their loyalty is 70-100 per cent linked to their remuneration.
Other variables that strongly drive loyalty in the UAE are opportunities for long-term career progression (35 per cent), the respondents’ line manager (32 per cent), and colleagues and work environment (32 per cent), the survey added.-TradeArabia News Service