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Over half to ask for a pay rise in 2019, The Adecco Group reveals

Over half (57%) of Australian employees will ask for a pay rise in 2019, according to research by The Adecco Group. This shows a marked increase on last year, when just a fifth asked for a raise. Almost half (46%) of employees are currently unhappy with their salary.

The research, which accompanies The Adecco Group’s 2019 Australia Salary Guides, presents responses from 5,000 Australian employers and employees to shed light on their perspectives on pay. Almost half (45%) of employees expect an increase between 3% and 7%, and one quarter (26%) expect wage growth above 7%.

In line with these demands, Australian employers plan to raise salaries more than last year. While 69% increased salaries in 2018, 86% plan to do so in 2019. Similarly, a third (35%) offered raises over 3% last year, compared to around half (47%) in 2019. 

From an industry perspective, manufacturing (20%) and IT (15%) are the most likely sectors to increase pay beyond 7%. 

Rafael Moyano, CEO in Australia of The Adecco Group, commented, “Last year’s slow wage growth means employees are motivated to increase their salaries over the next twelve months. Luckily, most businesses are in a better position to deliver this year, enabling them to please staff and fuel growth.”

63% of men will ask for a pay rise in 2019, compared to half of women. This trend is also reflected in 2018 figures, where 23% of men and 17% of women requested a raise.

Employees aged between 31 and 45 are the most willing to ask for a salary increase, with over two-thirds (65%) confirming this intention. 18 to 30-year-olds are the second most likely at 58%, while the over-55s are the least likely, at just 41%. 

ACT based employees are the happiest with their salaries, indicated by agreement from 58% of the state’s respondents. Victoria and NSW employees were the second and third happiest, with 56% and 54% of residents agreeing respectively. Around two fifths (43%) of Tasmanian workers are happy with their pay, placing the island state bottom overall.

When employees were asked about their main reasons for leaving an organisation, the majority (44%) cited a lack of career opportunities, followed by salary concerns (25%). However, over a quarter of employers (26%) have no annual salary review process and one fifth (19%) for only some staff. Just over half (55%) offer annual pay reviews for all.

Most businesses (65%) now offer benefits outside of salaries — the three most common being study qualifications support (29\5), additional annual leave (19%) and car allowance (21%).

Two thirds of employees (66%) said they are upskilling to stay relevant, with 62% taking advantage of workplace learning opportunities.

Moyano added, “It’s important that all deserving employees benefit from raises, rather than just those that are most vocal. Our research shows that women and older workers are less likely to ask for increases, making it essential for companies to ensure that everyone is paid what they deserve.

“While salaries are important, employers must also offer professional development opportunities to keep staff engaged. Workplace training and investment in professional study can help, but this must be accompanied by regular performance reviews. The provision of clear goals means employees can track their own progress and feel empowered to move their careers forwards.”

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