Getting a pay rise is never easy. Extra evidence it's not getting any easier: a recent survey of business owners suggests that one-quarter of Australian business owners deferred pay rises last year because they're concerned about the economy.
Picture by Alpha
Sage's Business Sentiment Index for 2012 surveyed 503 Australian businesses about their expectations for the coming year. The dominant theme was concern over rising business costs, and a dominant reaction was to clamp down on any potential pay increases. Asked which business decisions they had deferred, 27 per cent nominated pay rises. Conversely, when asked to name their priorities if more funding was available, absolutely none nominated improving existing staff salaries.
Those figures arguably conceal an even nastier truth. We know that a quarter of businesses deferred the option to increase pay, but we don't know what proportion never intended to do that in the first place. Notably, 60 per cent of businesses said that finding skilled staff was a struggle, a figure consistent with the 2012 results. I suspect paying a decent wage might make that easier.