Over 90% of Malaysian employers increased salaries in 2022: report

Many leaders granted bonuses to employees, with more to come in new year

Over 90% of Malaysian employers increased salaries in 2022: report

The majority of organisations across Malaysia increased salaries and granted bonuses in 2022, according to a new report from the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF). The newly released MEF Salary Surveys for Executives and Non-Executives revealed that 93% of over 250 employers raised wages this year. This is higher than in 2021, when 65.2% of employers hiked salaries of executives and 66.4% for non-executives.

MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, who led the launch of the report, said the average wage increase this year is 5.26% for executives and 5.35% for non-executives.

"Approximately 90% of the surveyed companies attributed employees' performance as the main criteria for determining executive and non-executive salary increases," Syed Husman said.

The findings also revealed the impact of the Minimum Wages Order 2022, which raised the monthly minimum wage rate in Malaysia to RM1,500 when it took effect this year. According to the report, 70.3% of the respondents were affected by the new legislation. To offset costs, employers said they reduced their operating expenses (59.7%) and increased the price of their products or services (48.8%).

"In terms of forecasted salary increase for 2023, the surveys indicated a 5.44% increase for executives and 5.43% for non-executives," Syed Husman said.

Bonuses

The report also revealed that more than 80% of companies gave employees bonuses in 2022, with higher ones anticipated for 2023.

"The forecast for bonuses in 2023 is 2.18 and 2.06 months for executives and non-executives, respectively, which was higher than the actual bonus in 2022 of 2.06 months and 1.77 months," Syed Husman said.

The findings come as Malaysia attempts to weather the effects of increasing prices of goods and services. The Ministry of Finance said in June that the total amount of subsidies is expected to reach a record-high RM80 billion this year, Bernama reported. Meanwhile, to protect the employment of nearly 3 million local workers, the government also invested over RM20 billion overall to more than 350,000 employers under the Wage Subsidy Programme.

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