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Over 70% expect business improvement this year

Over 70% expect business improvement this year:
national wage and salary survey released

Of the 789 business and other organisations which participated in the Employers 1999 National Annual Wage and Salary Survey, 71 per cent expect business conditions to improve over the coming year. The most optimistic group were manufacturers, with 82.2 per cent of them expecting an improvement. Manufacturers made up a third of the survey’s participants.

The report from the survey has just been released to participants. It invited detailed responses in July this year from organisations who, in return, are provided with wage and salary details of positions they nominate.

The survey covered 20 principle industry categories identifying the employment benefits accruing to 42,528 positions in 210 different types of occupation in the 789 organisations, from greenkeepers to construction project managers, from check out operators to computer analysts.

“Over the coming year 81.8 per cent of retailers and 60.2 per cent of manufacturers said they would be increasing staff,” said the Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive, Alasdair Thompson.

“Just 37 per cent of contracting/construction firms said they expected to take on more staff, with 45.5 per cent of health/community care organisations expecting to. Overall 62.2 per cent of all organisations indicated they expected to employ more people, with 18.9 per cent downsizing and the balance expecting to stay the same, or retrench through staff attrition.

Most people in the survey, 58 per cent, are on individual employment contracts or predominantly individual contracts; 16 per cent of staff are on collective contracts or predominantly collective contracts. The balance are employed under other combinations of individual and collective arrangements.

“More general employees have achieved pay rises in the current financial year than middle or senior managers: 73 per cent of them earned between two and five per cent more this year; 68 per cent of middle managers/supervisors and 59 per cent of senior managers got pay rises of between two and five per cent.

“About 27 per cent of senior managers earned an additional one per cent or less this year, whereas 20 per cent of middle managers, and 16 per cent of other employees made an extra one per cent or less in wages and salary.

“57 per cent of organisations offer reward or bonus schemes for employees.

“66 per cent have redundancy provisions in their contracts; 298 respondents provided the formula for how this calculated. The most common recognition (40%) is to pay four weeks for the first year of service plus two weeks for every year thereafter. The second most popular method is to pay six weeks plus two for subsequent years (31%).

“Overtime rates are most often paid at time and a half though higher rates of overtime usually kick in after a prescribed number of hours. Penalty rates are usual for working shifts or on 7 days a week operations.

“The survey gives average shift allowances for working weekends, and for 8, 10 and 12 hour days. This information applies mostly to manufacturing companies, and health and community care organisations. Daytime average weekend allowances for manufacturing are $8.45 and for health care work $30.94.

“The survey also provides detail of motor vehicle policies, medical insurance and typical annual leave provisions. For example, the large majority of employers give additional annual leave after people have served with them for several years.”

“Our National Wage and Remuneration Survey is one of our most comprehensive and reliable reference services, and a hugely valuable resource,” Mr Thompson said.


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