Fewer small companies with less than 50 employees have decided on pay increases (35%) but the average increase is likely to be higher, at 3.2%. The survey found that, for 90% of respondents, these pay increases were not automatic but were contingent on performance, profit or achieving change.

However, the plans by 50% of companies to increase staff numbers, and the high level of skills shortages that employers have experienced in the last 12 months are compounding the pay agenda. In 2016, a third of employers made a counter-offer when an employee stated their intention to resign, and 38% agreed there was a likelihood for additional pay increases for specific groups/individuals. Bonus payments above basic salary and benefits are planned in 80% of private sector companies, with 41% making them available to all employees.

This is according to unique data collected from 536 respondents from private sector organisations via a pay survey by CIPD Ireland and IRN. The research also highlights the impact of unionisation on private sector companies, as 66% unionised companies reported an intention to increase pay, in contrast to 43% of non-unionised organisations.

Mary Connaughton, Director of CIPD Ireland, says: 'With the growing challenge employers are facing to attract the right skills, it is important that pay does not become the only currency for attracting and retaining talent. While pay increases are anticipated this year, capacity to pay and performance are central to a sustainable pay model. With pay and variable pay increases being used by companies, it is imperative that pay equity is central to decision making. The extent to which the private sector pay trends will influence public sector pay negotiations has yet to be determined.'

You can download the survey results below.


Our research provides insight into workplace issues and practices affecting people professionals in Ireland

Read more