Wage dissatisfaction in Taiwan hits 5-year high

Nine in 10 office workers in Taiwan unhappy about wages: report

Wage dissatisfaction in Taiwan hits 5-year high

Wage dissatisfaction among office workers in Taiwan is at its highest level in five years, according to a new survey, which found that majority of employees there didn't get a raise.

Taiwan News, citing a 1111 Job Bank poll, reported that nine in 10 office workers in Taiwan are not happy with their salary.

It comes as 75% of the survey's 1,084 respondents said they didn't get an increase in salary this year. Reasons for the lack of hike include:

  • Company does not have a regular salary adjustment system (61.8%)
  • Company's profits are poor (18.6%)
  • Boss did not agree to a raise (16.9%)
  • Not being favoured by the supervisor (13.5%)
  • Insufficient seniority (12.4%)

The report also found that respondents experienced on average a salary freeze period of up to three years and seven months. A quarter (25.5%) of the respondents even said they didn't get a salary increase for more than five years.

Meanwhile, only 25% of 1111 Job Bank's respondents said they got a salary increase this year. Reasons for the increase include:

  • Boosting employee morale (33.3%)
  • Having a fixed salary adjustment mechanism (30.1%)
  • Good individual performance (23.3%)
  • Good overall company profits (16.1%)
  • Promotion with a salary increase (13.8%)

Asking for an increase

The lack of wage increases among majority of employees isn't due to the lack of trying - as the report found 54.7% of the respondents would proactively seek a raise.

Others even threatened to leave their employer just so they could get an increase. In fact, the report found that approximately 20% of the office workers surveyed admitted that they asked for a salary increase after threatening to quit.

Among them, 9.3% received an increase and got retained, another 5.2% said they didn't get the hike but still stayed, while five per cent didn't get an increase and resigned.

Minimum wage hike

The findings come as the Labour Ministry last week announced that minimum monthly wages in Taiwan would be hiked by 4.05%.

This is a NT$1,070 increase monthly, or a NT$7 hourly hike, Focus Taiwan reported.

The hike remains pending in Cabinet, but it would be the eighth consecutive annual minimum wage increase if it gets the greenlight.

Majority of 1111 Job Bank's respondents (74.6%) agreed that raising the minimum wage can help protect vulnerable workers, according to the Taiwan News report.

However, they said that there are other urgent issues that need resolution such as:

  • Reluctance of companies to give raises (76.2%)
  • Raises given are too small (55.6%)
  • Domestic salaries are generally lower than in international job markets (53.4%)
  • Opacity in salary allocation process makes negotiations difficult (22.7%)
  • Excessive concentration of high-paying industries (19.8%)

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