Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) in collaboration with Remuneration Data Specialists (RDS) surveyed 147 companies in June 2013 to find out about their business prospects, wage, bonus and recruitment plans. Companies were also asked for their views on the tightening of foreign labour policies use of the wage credit scheme, solution to the low fertility problem and overcoming productivity barriers.
Summary of Key Findings
Companies generally still optimistic despite lingering worries.
1. Most companies are cautiously optimistic. This is reflected in moderate wage increases, bonuses and recruitment plans that are broadly similar to those of the second half of last year.
2. This year’s basic wage increase will average 4.1% slightly higher than last year’s 4.0%. For next year 2014, it is expected to be slightly lower at 4%.
3. This year’s variable bonus (excluding AWS) will average 1.7 to 2.0 months. For 2014, they are expected to be 1.8 to 2.0 months
4. Total wage increase for this year is expected to be 4.2%, and with the Consumer Price Index expected to be 2 to 3%; there will be 1.2 to 2.2% increase in real wages. For next year, the total wage increase is expected to be 4.1%, and with inflation expected to be around 3.1%, real wages are expected to increase by 1.0%
5. On recruitment, 75% of companies hired or planned to hire staff this year, slightly lower than the 78% last year.
6. Compared to last year, fewer companies retrenched or planned to retrench this year. For next year, many companies are not able to make any projection on retrenchment although 1% of companies, so far, expect to retrench.
7. This year, staff turnover is reported at 5 to 7%, very similar to the 5 to 8% last year. For next year, staff turnover is expected to be 4 to 7%.
8. Entry level salaries for GCE ‘O’, GCE ‘A’, PSC (Secretary), Nitec and MBA qualifications increased by 0.9% to 7.1% compared to last year; while those for GCE ‘N’, Higher Nitec, Diploma and Degree remained unchanged.
9. On the issues of tightening foreign worker policies, the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), reduced fertility and productivity barriers, almost all of the companies surveyed weighed in with their views.
These views are very interesting and wide-ranging – they range from insightful
to the somewhat expected and surprising.
9.1 On the impact of tightened foreign worker policies, most companies (57%) think it will result in higher wages for lower-skilled workers – what is surprising is that only 19% think this will dampen economic growth.
9.2 On the use of the WSC, one-third of companies will increase wage increment while most of the rest will use it to increase either welfare benefit or bonus.
9.3 To solve the reduced fertility problem, many companies feel that living and child-upbringing costs need to be reduced together with more flexi-work – what is surprising is that only 18% think more leisure time for younger workers is needed.
9.4 On overcoming productivity barriers, not surprisingly, streamlining of work processes and use of appropriate technology top the list. Somewhat surprisingly, the emphasis of group rather than individual productivity and the promotion of collaborative work-culture are also
highly called for. More effective top management incentives ranks very lowly with only 15% citing their importance.
For more insights, read about the SHRI/ RDS 2013 Fax Survey here: