Pay rise expectations are soaring as the cost of living crisis starts to bite

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director for ANZ at ADP

Workers have high expectations of getting a pay rise and are ready to push employers to get it, reveals the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View.

In Australia, 61% of employees surveyed are prepared to request a raise in the near future, while half (49%) expect one within the next year. More than three quarters of workers globally (76%) say they are likely to ask for a pay rise if they feel they deserve one.

What is the motive behind pay rise demand?

The research findings come at a time when the cost of living is rising rapidly in Australia and many parts of the world amid high global inflation which is expected to remain elevated for some time, and following two years of pandemic-related disruption to jobs.

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director, ANZ, ADP, said: “The pandemic has seen employees working harder and longer than ever. Add to this a rise in inflation, causing a sharp increase in the cost of living, it is no wonder that many workers are willing to speak up and request a pay rise.”

“We are seeing first hand the impact that pay is having when it comes to recruiting talent and retaining existing staff. Employers will need to seriously consider workers’ expectations  for higher wages, in addition to their other needs such as workplace flexibility and other benefits.”

Globally, women are just as inclined to request a pay rise as men (both at 76%). But there is a disparity between genders in Australia: 79% of men say they are prepared to request a raise compared to 49% of women. Those who classify themselves as essential workers are more likely to do so than non-essential workers in Australia (64% compared to 55%).

Why do workers feel they deserve pay rise?

61% of global workers expect to get a pay rise in the next 12 months and 43% expect to be given a promotion. This is despite only a third (34%) expecting to be given any increased responsibility, and just one in seven (15%) who think they will have a formal review.

Workers say pay is the most important factor to them in a job, with almost two-thirds (63%) saying it is a priority, followed by job security (54%), flexibility over their hours (33%) and enjoyment of their work (32%). The report explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.

One reason that workers feel they deserve a pay rise is the extra hours of unpaid work many of them are doing, for example by starting early, staying late or working over breaks. On average, workers are working an additional 8.5 hours of unpaid overtime each week.

This is less than in 2021 (when the global average was 9.2 hours), but it is still higher than before the pandemic in 2020, when workers did an average of 7.3 extra unpaid hours per week. However, at the same time, 65% say they would like more hours for more pay.

Mrs Baullo says, “Workers are already under so much pressure, putting in additional hours on a regular basis with little to no compensation. This is unsustainable and employers must rectify this issue for the betterment of their workers and long-term viability of their business.”