Majority of small firms expect pay to remain unchanged
ALMOST TWO-THIRDS of small Irish companies expect rates of pay to remain unchanged this year, according to the Small Firms Association.
SFA assistant director Avine McNally said costs remained tight among small firms, putting pressure on non-pay benefits such as pensions, health insurance and top-up leave entitlements.
“The concerns regarding labour costs and business activity will continue for small firms in the domestic economy as they struggle to maintain employment levels,” she said.
The survey of pay and conditions of employment in 1,345 small companies found that 22 per cent of employees earned up to €25,000, while 38 per cent earned between this sum and €35,000, and 31 per cent received €35,000 to €45,000. Just 9 per cent earned more than €45,000.
The companies were drawn from the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services sectors and each had fewer than 50 employees.
The average rates of basic pay varied from €428.56 a week for a care assistant to €767.14 a week for an electrician.
For salaried employees, the range ran from €23,185 per annum for a payroll clerk to €54,933 per annum for a senior engineer.
Some 17 per cent of the small companies surveyed had income continuance and long-term disability schemes in place, a quarter had maternity benefit in place above social welfare rates, and almost half had formal flexible working arrangements in place, including part-time working, home-working, flexitime and job sharing.
Ms McNally said job creation must remain a priority for the Government. “We need the Government to introduce firm policies to restore consumer confidence and to reduce the cost of employment.”