Singapore

One in four companies plan to freeze salaries next year: Survey

About a quarter of organisations in Singapore plan to introduce or continue with salary freezes in 2021, a tad fewer than the 30 per cent that paused wage increments this year.

As for pay cuts, about 3 per cent of employers said they intend to implement them next year, compared with the 29 per cent who made salary reductions this year.

However, most employers are taking a wait-and-see approach, as they continue to tread with caution on salary increments while navigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

These are according to findings released yesterday from Mercer's annual Total Remuneration Survey, which polled 992 companies across 16 industries in Singapore this year.

The overall salary increase projected for 2021 in Singapore will soften slightly to 3.5 per cent, compared with 3.6 per cent this year, the study found.

"Businesses remain cautiously optimistic about the future and are considering more holistic talent strategies to energise their employees in the new shape of work," Mercer chief executive officer for Singapore Peta Latimer said, adding that some are rolling out additional incentives, for instance.

"Leaders are also looking ahead to attract and retain talent required to accelerate business digitalisation," she noted.

Salaries for the banking and finance sector as well as the high-tech sector are expected to increase at a stable rate in the year ahead.

The logistics and consumer goods industries will likely see slightly bigger increments of 3.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively, compared with the increases of 3.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent this year.

This "correlates with a shift in consumer purchasing behaviours to online", said Mercer career products leader for Singapore, Kulapalee Tobing.

In contrast, wage growth is expected to slow in the life sciences, real estate, chemicals and lifestyle retail sectors next year. - THE BUSINESS TIMES

Employment