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Expecting a salary bump this year? You may be disappointed

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If you’re expecting a salary bump in the UAE this year, we may have some bad news for you. According to the 2017 GCC Salary & Employment Report from Hays, regional salaries are largely expected to stay flat compared to last year.

Indeed, the survey of over 2,700 working professionals in the region said that 82% of employers expect salaries to either remain the same this year, or increase at less than 5% over the next 12 months.

This has been something of a trend over the last year or so. According to the report, 9% of employees experienced a pay cut in 2016, and 52% saw no change to their salaries. What’s more, standard annual pay increases are now largely a thing of the past, with just 7% of workers getting a raise as a result of standard increases.

“We have certainly noticed companies adopting a more strategic and cost-conscious approach to spending on employee remuneration and the hiring of additional headcount,” says Chris Greaves, Managing Director of Hays, Gulf Region.

However, Greaves said that, for standout employees, there was still a chance of a raise in 2017.

“Workforce salaries are one of the single biggest costs for employers and, given the challenging economic climate of the past twelve months, it is simply not viable to offer company-wide pay rises. Instead, we have seen added focus to be on individual performance related pay, which typically amounts to a lower spend for employers than company-wide pay increases,” he explained.

What’s more, if you haven’t got a job at all, things may be looking up in 2017. The report found that 2017 will be a busier year for hiring in the GCC, with 72% of employers planning on recruiting additional staff this year.

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