SHRI/RDS July 2012 Salary Survey on Business Prospects/ Wage Increase/ Bonus/ Recruitment & NWC Guidelines for Low Wage Workers

SHRI/RDS July 2012 Salary Survey

Business Prospects/ Wage Increase/ Bonus/ Recruitment & NWC Guidelines for Low Wage Workers


Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) in collaboration with RDS surveyed 167 companies in June 2012 to find out about their business prospects, wage, bonus and recruitment plans. Companies were also asked for their views on NWC Guidelines for low wage workers and how top management can increase the employees’ productivity.

Summary of Key Findings

Still optimistic but somewhat cautious!

  1. The first half of this year has turned out to be better than expected.
  2. With optimism, probably, spilling over from the last six months, companies are slightly more optimistic for the next six months. However, due to the sluggish US recovery, the continuing euro crisis and China’s slowing growth, most companies are, not surprisingly, cautious about next year’s wage increases, bonuses and recruitment.
  3. The basic wage increase in 2012 will average 4.1% for the full year, similar to that for last year. For next year 2013, the basic wage increase is expected to remain at 4.1%.
  4. Variable bonuses (excluding AWS) are expected to average 1.6 to 2.0 months this year, lower than the 2.2 months in 2011. For 2013, they are expected to drop further to 1.6 to 1.9 months.
  5. The wage increase and lower bonus this year means a total wage increase of only 1.5% and with the consumer price index expected to increase by 4.2% there will be a drop in real wages of around 2.7%.
  6. For 2013, the total wage increase is expected to be 3.1% and with inflation expected to be around 3.0%, real wages are likely to increase by only 0.1%.
  7. On recruitment, 83% of companies hired or planned to hire staff this year (higher than the 77% in 2011), and for 2013, only 58% are expected to hire.
  8. This year, 8% of companies retrenched or plan to retrench staff (more than the 3% in 2011) and for 2013, the good news is that only 1% expect to retrench.
  9. Staff turnover declined slightly this year to 4% to 6% and is expected to continue to drop further in 2013 to 3% to 6% next year.
  10. Most entry-level salaries increased by 1.9% to 9.1% compared to six months ago; those for PSC (Secretarial), Diploma (Engineering) and Degree (non Engineering) remained unchanged.
  11. On NWC Guidelines for low wage workers, most companies (78.4%) are in agreement with 64% of them expecting little or no impact on their overall wage costs.
  12. However, companies feel that top management can do more to help low wage workers increase productivity by re-designing jobs to enrich job quality/career ladders (68%) and providing special soft skills/learning training (57%).
  13. As to whether NWC needs a makeover, 73% think that more representation & guidelines for different sectors should be included (73%) and more feedback from industry associations and focus groups should be solicited more proactively (66%). Only 9% feel that the current format should be retained.