Top guns not the only ones making gains

People might think top executives are grabbing the lion's share of pay increases, but PA Consulting's latest annual salary survey has found greater proportions of general staff are receiving increases. PA Consulting Group surveyed more than 550 organisations employing 153,536 staff. The survey found that more than 84% of general staff received base salary increases - compared to 77.6% of top executives for the year ending September 1 1997.

People might think top executives are grabbing the lion’s share of pay increases, but PA Consulting’s latest annual salary survey has found greater proportions of general staff are receiving increases.

PA Consulting Group surveyed more than 550 organisations employing 153,536 staff.

The survey found that more than 84% of general staff received base salary increases — compared to 77.6% of top executives for the year ending September 1 1997.

Says PA Consulting’s human resources team leader Kevin McBride: “This year’s results support what has now become a long-term trend seen in previous surveys, where, contrary to public perception that it is top executives only who are receiving all the increases in remuneration, greater proportions of general staff have actually received increases.”

He says New Zealand’s inflation rate appears to be contributing to the stability of pay rate increases. For top executives and general staff, base salary movements for this year are very similar to March 1997 and September 1996. The movements in base salary and total remuneration are greater than the inflation rate.

For the first time this year the survey asked about overtime, on-call allowances and working from home. McBride says under the Employment Contracts Act there has been greater capacity for organisations to provide flexibility in policies in these areas. The results show there is a move toward more organisations paying fewer penal rates (time outside traditional five-day nine-to-five), with many paying all overtime (in excess of normal hours) at ordinary rates.

“Overall, the overtime regime does not appear to have changed a great deal. Organisations do not appear to be targeting overtime payments as a cost saving.”

McBride says there is evidence of organisations supporting people working from home rather than in the office, supported by electronic communication systems.

Meanwhile, the use of shares as a reward for performance is low. Fewer than 1% of top executives and less than half a per cent of general staff received shares in the past 12 months as part of their overall remuneration package.

“Of those people receiving bonuses, operating staff can expect to receive an average of 5% as a bonus. The figure for middle managers is 5% to 10% and 10% to 12% for senior managers and top executives.”

The average bonus available to 49% of top executives was $16,810, while 50.1% were paid bonuses averaging $13,941. For general staff, 28.2% were eligible for bonuses with an average value of $4724, and 31.3% were paid bonuses with an average value of $2963.

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