Indian cos shrug off COVID blues, 87 per cent to give pay hikes in 2021

Average salary increase of 7.3% can expected next year against 6.1% this year, says Aon salary survey

Indian companies are set to give salary hikes in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Representational image: iStock

In what comes as good news amid the coronavirus pandemic, Indian companies are planning to roll out salary hikes for their employees in 2021, a survey said on Wednesday (November 4).

As per the Aon Salary Increase Survey 2020 by leading global professional firm Aon plc, Indian companies gave an average salary increase of 6.1% this year, the lowest in more than a decade, amid the pandemic-induced economic slowdown, but are expected to give a pay hike of 7.3% in 2021.

Organisations in the country have shown tremendous resilience despite the COVID-19 challenges and are betting on recovery. As many as 87% companies plan to give salary increases in 2021 compared to 71% in 2020, it added.


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The industries looking to provide the highest salary increases are high technology (Hi Tech), information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITeS), life sciences, E-commerce, chemicals and professional services.

According to the survey, companies in India gave an average pay increase of 6.1% in 2020, the lowest since 2009 when the average was 6.3%.

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As per the findings based on an analysis of data across 1,050 companies from more than 20 industries, as of September-October 2020, 87% of surveyed companies said they intend to give salary increases in 2021 and 61% plan to offer increases between 5% and 10%.

“This is a special year – business leaders are putting investments in their employees and clients ahead of shareholder return. Despite the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and its deep impact on the economy, organisations in India have shown tremendous resilience and a mature view on talent,” said Nitin Sethi, a partner at Aon and CEO of the firm’s performance and rewards solutions practice in India.

The survey also said that two-third of the companies either aim to provide similar or higher increments in 2021 compared to the increments offered in 2020.

Further, Sethi said “business and HR leaders made hard decisions in second and third quarters of 2020 and are now betting on the green shoots of improving consumer demand. They see the need to invest in talent as a critical part of their recovery and growth prospects”.

(With inputs from PTI)

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