Pay rises remain elusive for two thirds of UAE employees

Two fifths (40%) of employees across the UAE haven’t had a salary increase for two years, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment, a leading recruiter for business support staff in the UAE. Furthermore, nearly three quarters (71%) of workers haven’t had a bonus in the last 12 months and almost a third (29%) believe that their employer isn’t transparent about how pay rises and pay levels are set

The study, which questioned workers across the region, suggests that the pay rises predicted at the end of 2018 have still not materialised for many, with only a third of workers (33%) 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 indicate 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%), job security (42%) and work-life balance (40%) 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,” commented 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.”

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