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Mark Fielding

Majority of SMEs say no to wage increases

The majority of Irish small and medium companies will not be changing wage rates in the next 12 months, according to the results of a new survey.

The survey results show that this is the position of 71% of member of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME).

The Association has cautioned against unrealistic pay expectations being touted by some politicians and as a result of a big business/semi-state survey.

Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, said, “Fortunately we are starting to see signs of stability and possible growth in the domestic economy. However, the situation for SMEs remains precarious. They have been struggling to stay afloat and owner-managers in particular have borne the brunt of the pain by taking huge pay cuts, and in some cases no salary at all, in an effort to keep their businesses afloat. The survey findings indicate that the majority of SMEs will not be in a position to increase wages during 2015 and in a small percentage of cases further reductions will be necessary.”

The survey was conducted in mid-December, with 952 SME respondents. 58% of the respondents employ less than 10, while a further 38% employ between 11 and 50 and the remaining 4% employ between 51 and 250.

The main findings of the survey are:

* 71% of SMEs do not expect to change wage rates during 2015.

* Of the 26% who anticipate wage increases the rise averages at just above one percent.
* 2% of SMEs will be forced to reduce wage rates marginally.

* 70% of SME owner-managers do not expect to change their own wage rate, while 15%
believe they will have to further decrease their salaries in the coming year.

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