Is your payroll software ready for changes in salary?

There aren't many things that everyone can agree on, although it's hard to imagine anyone who would turn down a pay rise if they were offered one. 

While we would all like a boost to our salary or wages, are we likely to get it? And are employers prepared to shell out more to retain their top talent?

Recent research has revealed a number of firms across the country are prepared to offer pay rises and, while some of them are only minor, it could be the best on offer for a while. Businesses looking to give their employees a bonus should be considering an upgrade to their payroll software as well, ensuring staff are remunerated correctly. 

What are the current trends for salaries?

According to recruitment provider Hays, more than half (56 per cent) of businesses across the country gave their staff a pay rise of up to 3 per cent last year. Just over a fifth (22 per cent) were more generous, granting their employees a salary increase of between 3 and 6 per cent. 

This trend is set to expand over the next 12 months, with nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) planning to increase salaries by no more than 3 per cent. Hays said this is due to an increase in business confidence with 68 per cent of respondents expecting their company to be more active in the coming year. 

Is there a growth trend?

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) recently conducted research into trends surrounding employee wages, finding that there has been a decline in growth. Despite the Hays figures surrounding employer intentions, there has been little growth in the country's wages over time. 

The RBA believes this has implications for both parties, as remuneration is the main source of income for households and one of the biggest influences on business expenditure. While this sounds like a negative trend, it isn't all bad news. Wage spending is still increasing, just at a lower rate. 

According to the RBA, the rate of wage growth has slowed to roughly match the pace of inflation, generally remaining within the 2-3 per cent range. 

These trends were confirmed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in May. While the wage growth rate overall was recorded as 2.3 per cent over the previous year, this was the lowest rate since 1998 when the rate was first measured. 

Although this holds true for most industries, there is one outlier, with the education and training sector experiencing wage growth of only 1 per cent in the first sector of this year.

Despite these trends, it is likely that employers will have to consider increasing salaries to keep up with the competition. 

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