|13 January, 2020

Revealed: Why most UAE workers got no salary increase in 2019

New survey also predicts most professionals will continue to see salaries unchanged this year

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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More than half of the workers in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council region (54 percent) didn’t get a salary increase in 2019, as employers became more selective with pay hikes, a new report has revealed.

The Hays 2020 GCC Salary and Employment Report said that about four out of ten people (41 percent) did get an increase of up to 5 percent, which is slightly lower than the 5 to 10 percent hike received in the previous year.

Those that got lucky were the finance and technology professionals because they received the most significant pay increases, approximately more than 15 percent.

Hays’ survey covered more than 6,800 companies and professionals across the Gulf region. The respondents were asked about their remuneration, experiences in 2019, as well as their expectations for 2020.

According to Chris Greaves, managing director of Hays in the Gulf region, salary trends in the UAE will remain similar this year, with 50 percent workers likely not going to get any increase and around 40 percent possibly getting a rise.

As to why salaries were stagnant last year, Greaves said, companies no longer grant across-the-board wage adjustments. Instead, employers opt to reward only the star performers or grant pay hikes based on performance.

Greaves said that since the oil slump in 2014, employers have resorted to a more cost-effective approach when it comes to compensation packages in order to be as cost-effective as possible.

“Company-wide pay increases are now relatively uncommon and instead employers award pay rises to individuals who bring real value to the organisation by way of niche skills and experience,” Greaves told Zawya.

The highest number of workers that didn’t get a pay rise last year were those who work in sales, with about six out of ten (56 percent) reporting unchanged salaries in 2019. Sales professionals received a minimum monthly salary of 10,000 to 18,000 UAE dirhams last year, according to Hays.

There was also an almost equal number of office support, construction, property and engineering workers, (55 percent) who didn’t see their incomes rise last year.

Office support professionals, particularly those who are employed as receptionists, took home a minimum of 5,000 to 15,000 UAE dirhams in 2019.

Those who work in construction and property had a minimum monthly pay of 5,000 to 12,000 UAE dirhams, while workers in the engineering sector took home an average of 4,000 to 11,000 UAE dirhams.

Employees in the procurement, logistics and supply chain industry (54 percent), who were earning a minimum of 8,000 to 15,000 UAE dirhams, as well as technology and digital professionals (54 percent), who received a minimum of 10,000 to 20,000, reported unchanged salaries.

Most professionals in marketing and digital marketing (52 percent), human resources (51 percent), as well as accountancy and finance (51 percent) did not receive any increase as well.

The minimum salary for marketing and digital marketing professionals, particularly those who work for agencies, ranged between 10,000 and 13,000 UAE dirhams, while accountancy and finance professionals received a minimum pay of 10,000 to 13,000 UAE dirhams.

Most human resources professionals (51 percent), who took home a minimum monthly pay of 8,000 to 12,000 UAE dirhams in 2019, also did not get a pay rise.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.Maceda@refinitiv.com 

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© ZAWYA 2020

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