Malaysia’s Labour Scene: Employers Raise Salaries of Workers
The salaries for a good majority of Malaysians increased last year. A recent Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) survey found that the average executive salary had increased by 5.26%. The average for non-executive was 5.35%. According to the Salary Surveys for Executives and Non-Executives 2022, 93% of employers gave their workers a raise in 2022. There is a stark and noticeable difference in the raise percentage in 2021 – only a meagre increase in the workers’ salaries in that year
In 2021, 65.2% of employers raised the salary for executives; non-executives got even lesser, with only 66.4% of employers raising salaries. MEF president, Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, said that about 90% of the companies that joined the survey gave their employees a raise due to their performance at work. 80% of these respondents also gave their employees bonuses for the year.
Bonuses Too Will Be Increasing With Salaries
MEF predicts that employees’ salaries and additional bonuses in 2023 will continue to take a hike. This year’s forecasted executive bonus is 2.18 months and 2.06 months for non-executives. Again, these figures are much higher than previous bonuses, where executives’ actual bonuses were 2.06 months, and non-executives actual bonuses were 1.77 months.
Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, MEF’s executive director, stated that the salaries would come down to other important factors, such as the company’s financial stability, apart from the workers’ performance. He said that employers use the appraisal for employment increment nowadays. The survey participants were from 252 companies, ranging from manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries for executives. On the other hand, as for non-executives, the participants were from 250 companies.
Minimum Wages Are Starting to Affect (Certain) Employers
It also discovered that the updated minimum wage affected 70% of the respondent companies. The other 29.7%, however, were not affected, as it was already in place in May of last year. He said that those employers who gave their workers more than RM1500 from the 1st of May were not affected by the minimum wage. He mentioned that only those who were giving less than RM1500 for a minimum wage were struggling.
The survey revealed companies were finding ways to cope with the minimum wage. Hence, the survey unveiled that 59.7% of companies were cutting down on operational expenses. 43.8% were focused on cost-cutting measures. 36% were upgrading to technology-based productions from labour-intensive productions.
More Studies Conducted to Understand the Local Labour Market Better
MEF released MEF Fringe Benefits Survey 2022 and the Analysis of Collective Agreements and Awards on Terms and Conditions of Employment 2021. MEF Fringe Benefits Survey 2022 is a guide and provides information on fringe benefits. This includes allowances, medical, retrenchment and retirement benefits. It also has a brief on the benefits of the company’s sponsorship roles for employees’ well-being, such as education, car parking and insurance.
200 companies participated in this survey, which studied flexible work arrangements – such as working from (WFH), working hours and staggered work. As for the analysis, it covers 153 collective agreements (CA) by the Industrial Court. The analysis report gauged the salaries and employment terms for 34 unions, 24 industries and 9 locations.