Majority of employers in Malaysia to keep salary increases to between 3-6% this year


Most employers in Malaysia (46 per cent) plan to provide salary increases of three to six per cent in their next review period while 11 per cent plan increases of up to three per cent, according to recruiting experts Hays.

The 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide highlights salary and recruiting trends from more than 3,000 employers across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore representing six million employees. The Guide also provides salary levels for more than 1,200 roles.

This year’s Guide found 29 per cent of Malaysian employers plan to increase salaries by six to 10 per cent and 10 per cent by more than 10 per cent. Only four per cent of employers do not plan to award any increases this year.

Looking at the actual increases awarded during last year’s reviews, Hays found 50 per cent of employers in Malaysia increased salaries by three to six per cent; 24 per cent by six to 10 per cent, 12 per cent by up to three per cent and eight per cent by more than 10 per cent. A further six per cent of employers did not provide any salary increases last year.

China is the most generous employer surveyed for this year’s annual guide, with the majority 50% of employers there awarding between six and 10 per cent. Japan is the least generous in terms of salary increases with most, 63% of employers, awarding up to three per cent.

Looking across all five countries in the coming year, 63 per cent of employers intend awarding staff bonuses but only 10 per cent told Hays their organisation guarantees bonuses.

When asked to nominate the one or more factors influencing bonuses, 95 per cent of employers cited company performance, 92 per cent nominated individual performance and 37 per cent said team performance.

In terms of the value of bonuses, 33 per cent of employers intend awarding up to 10 per cent of staff salary as a bonus, 44 per cent plan to award 11 to 50 per cent of salary as a bonus and 13 per cent from 51 to 99 per cent of salary as a bonus. A further 10 per cent plan to award 100 per cent of staff salary as a bonus.

Across all countries, 84 per cent of employers provide staff benefits in addition to salary and bonuses. Health/medical is the most commonly offered benefit (78 per cent of employers) followed by life assurance (offered by 42 per cent of employers), a car/car allowance and a pension (both offered by 33 per cent of the employers).

“We expect most employers to tread carefully on salary this year to help navigate business and economic conditions so bonuses and benefits are additional ways they can reward staff without inflating salary budgets,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

“In saying that, nearly all employers are expecting to feel an impact from skill shortages this year, which could put upward pressure on salaries in some areas. About a third of employers told us they don’t have the right talent needed to meet current business objectives.”

Get your copy of the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2016 iPhone app from iTunes.

Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

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For further information please contact Kerryn Celine, Senior Marketing Executive - South East Asia at Hays, on +61 2 8226 9844 or


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