IRELAND, August 6, 2023 - Employers in Ireland are budgeting for an average employee pay increase of 4% in 2024, according to the latest Salary Budget Planning Report by WTW, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.
Inflationary pressure is still the main concern influencing salary budgets, cited by nearly three-quarters (71%) of employers surveyed in Ireland, followed by concerns over a tighter labour market (55%). Other factors impacting salary budgets include concerns around an anticipated recession or weaker financial results (25%), and employee expectations (23%).
April McDonnell, Director of Rewards Data Intelligence at WTW Ireland said: “The latest round of Salary Budget research shows that employers in Ireland are still predicting higher than normal employee pay increases into 2024, however they are expected to be slightly below those of 2023.
“At the start of this year, rising costs and employee retention were key issues and we can see that these concerns will persist into 2024 and impact salary budget planning. With broader societal pressures such as the cost-of-living crisis continuing, employers have a challenge to ensure that they can balance recruitment and retention in line with employee expectations and the broader market.”
While employers have several concerns regarding employee remuneration, the research found that business sentiment is positive among employers in Ireland. Just over half (54%) stated that business performance was in line with expectations and 35% felt they were currently ahead of where they forecasted.
April McDonnell added: “While employers have concerns, the Irish economy is buoyant and many businesses are preparing for growth, with the research showing that just under half have increased their headcount thus far in 2023 when compared to last year.
“Furthermore, we are seeing continued growth in traditionally strong skills areas, with 58% of employers focused on IT recruitment and 56% looking to fill engineering roles over the next twelve months. Overall, employers now need to consider how they balance employee cost increases with investment in continued business growth.”
The Salary Budget Planning Report is compiled by WTW’s Reward Data Intelligence practice. The survey was conducted in April and May 2023. Approximately 33,000 sets of responses were received from companies across 150 countries worldwide. In Ireland, 539 organisations responded.
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