Ibec publishes latest HR Update survey

October 22, 2020

In advance of Ibec’s HR Leadership Summit today, this year taking place virtually, Ibec has published its annual HR Update 2020, including the results of a comprehensive new pay and HR trends survey. 
The Ibec HR Update 2020 survey clearly demonstrates the complex impact of COVID-19 responses across multiple sectors.  The survey found that 67% of respondent organisations identified the economic unpredictability posed by the external headwinds of Covid and Brexit will be a major challenge for the next 12 months for their operations. Remote working as a long-term challenge emerged for 32% of respondents. Despite these challenges, 28% of organisations plan to increase employee numbers in 2021.  
The pattern of pay movements witnessed to date in 2020, and those forecast for 2021, demonstrates the sharp divide in the sectoral impact arising from COVID-19 and to some extent the anticipation of Brexit impacts, with a almost half of businesses not forecasting any review of basic pay in 2021. 
Speaking ahead of the event, Ibec Director of Employer Relations, Maeve McElwee said: “Businesses have managed through extraordinary times in 2020. From the sudden lockdown of the economy in March, resulting in office workers moving to remote working, essential services adapting to meet new and necessary protocols, and for some, to the difficult challenge of having to lay-off or reduce the hours of their employees it has been a testing time.”  
“As the economy strives to function against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the approaching Brexit outcome, businesses are experiencing both positive and negative impacts on their trading performance across different sectors. This is very evident in the results of this year’s Ibec HR Update.” 
Amongst the key findings from this year’s survey include: 
•       49% of firms forecasting pay increases in 2021 
•       49% of firms plan to freeze pay in 2021 
•       28% of organisations plan to increase employee numbers in 2021 
•       Business Continuity Planning /Crisis management is the Number 1 HR Priority for 2021 
•       Economic Unpredictability – Major challenge in 67% of respondent organisations for the next 12 months 
•       Preserving organisational culture – Major challenge in 35% of respondent organisations for the next 12 months  
•       Remote working – long term change arising from COVID-19 in 32% of respondent organisations