SINGAPORE (Mar 5): Companies in Singapore are predicting conservative salary increases in the year ahead after a stagnant 2018, finds a recent research report by recruitment specialist Hays.

Based on the findings of the Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019, 17% or almost one in five employees surveyed said they experienced no increase in their salaries over 2018 – higher than the city state’s historical norms – while employers reported conservative increments averaging at up to just 3%.

In a press release last Friday, Hays highlights salaries as the primary consideration for employees in Singapore, with only 4% claiming to be ‘very satisfied’ with their current pay levels.

Notably, three in five (60%) of professionals cited compensation packages as the key reason for seeking out new roles, with the same factor being the second-most common reason for staying with a current employer.

Despite this, the report indicated a declining percentage of guaranteed bonuses to 63% for 2019 from 17% in 2018, with slightly more employers tying them to factors individual, company and team performance.

14% of companies in Singapore are expecting to pay out no bonuses at all.

Elsewhere, organisations in Malaysia (48%), Hong Kong (45%) and Mainland China (44%) are expecting salaries to increase by 3-6%.

Companies in Japan (58%) are found to be the most likely to award their employees bonuses of at least 50% of their salaries in 2019.

“With positive sentiments surrounding the growth of the economy, business activity and hiring levels, employees [in Singapore] may begin to wonder why this improvement is not being passed on to them in terms of compensation packages, perhaps leading them to rival organisations that could meet their salary expectations,” says Grant Torrents, regional director at Hays Singapore.

See: Singapore among few Asian countries forecast to enjoy real wage growth this year