, Hong Kong

More than 40% of Singapore firms to freeze pay

Hays reported this is higher compared to the 36% recorded last year.

A total of 42% of employers in Singapore expect their workers’ salaries to stay the same in 2021 as businesses recover from revenue shortfalls, recruitment firm Hays has reported.

In its 2021 Asia Salary Guide Report, Hays noted 36% of firms did not increase worker’s pay in 2020. It added that for 2021, 4% of Singapore employers are expected to decrease salary, whilst 32% will see a modest increase of up to 3%.

“2021 is not the year for employees or candidates to seek substantial augmentation to their salaries, and they should instead aim to improve other areas of their career,” Kirsty Hulston, Regional Director at Hays Singapore, said.

The report surveyed employers and professionals in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Across Asia, 37% of employers will like keep salary at its current level, whilst 4% will cut pay and 29% will increase it up to 3%.

Meanwhile, 28% of employees in the five location sees their salary will be unchanged during the year, 4% sees it will decrease, whilst 19% expect a rise of up to 3%.

In Singapore, 32% of employees expect a salary freeze in 2021, 4% expect it to drop, whilst 25% believe it will increase modestly.

Hays also noted majority (or 58%) of candidates in Asia are seeking new employment for a better salary package. Other major reasons were in pursuit of new challenges and the lack of career progression.

“If salary is an employee’s sole prerequisite, they may consider seizing the opportunity by requesting a raise,” Hulston said, citing that 24% of Asia’s employees had asked for and were able to receive pay rises in 2020.

She recommended for employers to provide opportunities for career progression, or better apparatus for work-life balance to remain competitive, and in effect capture talents, whilst controlling cost.

“At a time when cost control is increasingly critical, they should look to offer more innovative enticements,” Hulston said.

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