Firms struggling to meet rising pay expectations as inflation bites



Around 60pc of companies are finding it difficult to meet increased salary expectations as the rising cost of living crunch feeds through to wage demands.

s inflation has skyrocketed in recent months, Irish companies have noted an increase in requests for higher wages as they battle to secure and retain talent, according to a recent survey by Grant Thornton.

The professional services firm also pointed to a growing number of companies who are also updating benefits packages in order to entice employees to join or stay in the organisation, such as electric vehicle charging or working from home.

However, while this was a significant pressure point for businesses in 2022, Grant Thornton does not expect this to continue into next year as employees note challenges emerging from the macroeconomic environment.

“There’s a sense there from people that job security may be more important than maybe pushing for a double-digit salary increment,” said People and Change lead Patrick Gallen, pointing to the tech sector.

“People are reflecting on things in that wider technology and digital sector because of quite high-profile redundancies in terms of Twitter and Meta.”

Grant Thornton chief economist Andrew Webb said that the introduction of government supports in the Budget this year has also eased consumer jitters and led to this slight slowdown in demand for an immediate pay rise.

“It’s making people think about ‘ok, I might have been going in to demand 10pc pay increase but maybe I don’t need to be as aggressive now and take the job security for now’”, he said.

A further factor influencing the move towards job security is the softening of vacancies in recent months, according to jobs site Indeed.

Grant Thornton’s Irish Business Voice report, which included insights from 78 companies across a number of key Irish industries, focused on the key themes impacting current operations.

The professional services firm pointed a decline in the number of respondents from last year, with the findings not representative of the business community as a whole due to the small sample size used in the report.

According to Grant Thornton, a further “core issue” flagged by the respondents to the survey included the unavoidable inflationary pressures, with 21pc introducing price rises this year to mitigate the impact.

However, for some organisations, it was business as usual, with over half yet to introduce any measures to ease pressures.



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