77% of companies plan to increase basic pay in 2020

October 24, 2019

In advance of Ibec’s HR Leadership Summit in Croke Park today, Ibec published its annual HR Update 2019 including the results of a comprehensive new pay and HR trends survey.

The Ibec HR Update 2019 survey found that 77% of companies plan to increase basic pay in 2020, with a projected median pay increase of 2.5%, similar to the findings of last year’s survey. Over two thirds said that their total pay bill would increase next year. 

A total of 42% of companies are planning to hire more workers next year, which is marginally down on this year and consistent with our forecast of a slowdown in new hires into the end of 2019 and 2020.   

As part of Ibec’s Smarter World, Smarter Work campaign, companies were also surveyed on the key trends for 2020. Recognising the increasing pace of change and disruption in organisations, almost 60% of companies are prioritising organisational and job role redesign, with 43% prioritising increased automation and the introduction of AI. HR people priorities mirror this trend with the top priority being attracting the ‘right’ employees (24%) together with a strong focus on lifelong learning (49%) and career transitions (38%). 

Transferable, soft-skills, and employability skills are identified as the top training investments for 2020.  Leadership / people management is identified as a priority by 82%, followed by technical skills (63%) and coaching/mentoring (57%). 

Speaking in advance of the Ibec HR Leadership Summit 2019, Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee, said: “Plans by employers to increase basic pay in 2020 reflects the fact that the Irish economy is continuing to grow through a period of great uncertainty due to Brexit and international trade tensions. The economy is now close to full employment, with moderate inflation and the strongest increases in real living standards since the early 2000’s. For business, we need to be careful that our cost base does not undermine our competitiveness which is already being impacted elsewhere by other factors, most notably infrastructure shortages. 

“Looking further out, it is evident from the survey that companies and senior HR leaders are continuing to scope out and plan for a changing workplace. This is to be welcomed and encouraged as the future of work will bring about many changes, some of which will be profound.”

Ibec’s HR Update Survey 2019, now in its 11th year, highlights key employment trends and insights into the changing Irish labour market. The survey had 420 respondent companies, reflecting the views of senior HR leaders across Ireland. 

Overview of the Ibec HR Update Survey: 

· 77% of employers expect to increase basic pay in 2019, with 22% keeping level the same, 1% to reduce.
· Projected median pay increase of 2.5%. 
· Pay increases by sector – 91% of high tech, 80% other manufacturing, 78% distribution. 
· Pay increases by company size – 87% of 500 plus workers, 67% of less than 50 employees.
· Total pay bill in 2019 – 69% to rise, 28% to remain the same, 3% to reduce. 
· 42% of companies to increase employee numbers, 49% to remain the same, 9% to decrease.
· Top 6 investment areas in skills – leadership (82%), technical skills (63%), coaching & mentoring (57%), interpersonal skills (44%), change management (36%), wellbeing (36%). 
· 20% of companies are preparing for gender pay gap reporting. 
· 80% of companies have a retirement age of 65 years. 
· 19% intend to top up ‘Parents Leave’.


Ibec HR Update 2019 Key Pay and Trends pdf | 1417.4 kb