Workers at more than half of companies are set to get a pay rise in 2015 – the first widespread increases since the economic crisis.
IBEC, the group that represents Irish businesses, has published a study covering hundreds of companies, which suggests the average pay increase will be 2pc. Larger employers are more likely to improve basic pay, with three out of five businesses with more than 50 staff expected to increase wages. IBEC Chief Executive Danny McCoy said it is vital that pay demands are “moderate” but following years of tax hikes, pay freezes and some cuts, unions have already begun winning wage increases worth many multiples of the near zero rate of inflation.
“Pay will increase for most in 2015, but not all. The economy is recovering strongly, but we have a long way to go,” said Mr. McCoy. The private sector was worst hit initially. However, in recent times the public sector workers have carried the higher burden, while the private sector has stabilised and some workers have already benefited from increases. “The economy in money terms is still about 6pc below its pre-crisis peak and overall price levels are below where they were in summer 2008. This needs to be reflected in pay expectations,” said Mr. McCoy. “Many companies remain in survival mode and simply cannot afford pay rises. It is vital that pay demands are moderate, so we don’t lose the hard-fought competitive gains of recent years.” According to IBEC, increases are most likely to occur in high-tech sectors such as medical devices (91pc increasing pay), pharma-chemical (89pc), electronic services/telecom (81pc) and electronics manufacturing (87pc). The Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union told the Irish Independent its strategy for the new year will be to lodge claims for 5pc increases over 12 months, 50 times the current 0.1pc rate of inflation.
In its new pay survey, IBEC found that 49pc of companies gave some form of pay increase last year but as many as 57pc will do so this year.
The data was collected by IBEC in November and involved reaction from 462 companies.
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