SINGAPORE - Don't hold your breath if you are expecting large salary increases in the next year.
According to the latest salary guide released recently by global recruiting firm Hays, three in four Singapore employers surveyed said that they are planning to keep salary increments to six per cent or less.
Close to half, or 47 per cent, of employers said that they are planning to offer salary increases of between three and six per cent in their next review period.
A further 28 per cent of employers are planning to increase salaries by up to three per cent, whereas seven per cent of firms do not plan to offer pay raises at all.
Only 18 per cent of Singapore employers surveyed said that they were planning to increase salaries by more than six per cent.
Compared to actual increases awarded in last year's reviews, Hays found that a significant 12 per cent of employers did not award any pay increments last year. About half (51%) increased salaries by between three and six per cent.
Hays' 2016 Asia Salary Guide highlights salary and recruiting trends from over 3,000 employers across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Across the region, employers in China appear to be the most positive in their outlooks. More than four in ten (44%) of employers surveyed there said they plan to offer salary increases of between six and ten per cent in the next year.
Meanwhile, the Guide also found that 63 per cent of employers in the five countries intend to award bonuses to their staff.
However, only 10 per cent said that bonuses were guaranteed by their organisations. The overwhelming majority of employers surveyed also identified company performance (95%) and individual performance (92%) as the most important factors influencing the awarding of bonuses.
More than eight in ten employers across the region also said that they provide other benefits to staff, aside from salaries and bonuses.
Of these, health or medical benefits are the most commonly offered by employers (78%).
Ms Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia, revealed that most employers are expected to tread carefully on salaries this year to help navigate business and economic conditions.
"Bonuses and benefits are additional ways employers can reward staff without inflating salary budgets," she said.
However, she pointed out that there could be upward pressure on salaries in certain areas as almost all firms are expecting to feel an impact from skill shortages in the coming year.