Thursday 18 January 2018

Employment and wages up after five years of cuts

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton wants to control wage inflation expectations.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton wants to control wage inflation expectations.

Martin Frawley

EMPLOYMENT and wages are "tentatively" on the way back up after more than five years of cuts and stagnation, a new pay and jobs study has found.

One-third of private sector companies surveyed said they expected to increase wages by 2.5pc this year, according to the joint survey by Industrial Relations News (IRN) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which represents more than 6,000 human resource managers.

Over 40pc of employers said they would keep wages as they were, 24pc said they had yet to make up their mind, while just 2pc said they planned to cut wages, according to the survey.

Of the 665 companies surveyed, over 40pc said they planned to recruit extra employees this year while 35pc said they will maintain employment at current levels. Just 13.5pc said they intended to cut jobs.

Presenting the survey at the IRN conference – Turning the Corner – in Dublin yesterday, managing director of the CIPD, Mike McDonald said the survey showed there were "tentative signs of recovery".

But Mr McDonald noted that there was a fear among employers who were still struggling, of the damage that could be done to competitiveness if the flood gates were opened on pay claims and workers seek to restore the losses of the last five years, he said.

Mr McDonald added that employers did not want to see a return to social partnership.

Addressing the same conference, Jobs and Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton dismissed reports last weekend that the Government was involved in talks with the unions and employers on a national pay deal.

Also speaking at the IRN conference, Oonagh Buckley, a senior civil servant in the Department of Expenditure and Reform, noted that public servant had had no pay rise for a number of years now.

Irish Independent

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