Salary Increase for Most Industries across Thailand Set to Stabilise in 2017

December 2, 20168:13 am2273 views

Salary increases for employees in most industries across Thailand is expected to stabilize in 2017 compared to this year, according to the “2016 General Industry Total Compensation Survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

The survey covers the latest human resources and compensation trends in Thailand. Riding on the steady economic growth, the overall salary increase for general industry in Thailand is 5.5 percent for 2016 and is projected to stabilize in 2017.

With all sectors experiencing similar trends, Electronic Manufacturing had the lowest salary increase at 5.3 percent in 2016 but is expected to slightly increase next year to meet the average increase of 5.5 percent. The year-on-year evolution percentage is equal or slightly positive in all categories.

The highest paying industries for fresh graduates are Engineering and Information Technology (THB 20,583), followed by Accounting and Finance (THB 20,000) and Legal (THB 18,000). Master’s degree graduates in Technical fields (Engineering, Science, etc.) can command starting salaries of THB 27,000, which is considered the highest of all sectors.

Anotai Sornwattana, Global Data Services Manager at Willis Towers Watson Thailand explained: “Despite stable pay rises across most employee levels, we anticipate some movements next year in blue-collar compensation rates as the government is going to increase the minimum wage by 1-3% in 69 provinces, effective from January 2017.”

Variable bonuses in 2016 would differ by sector, ranging from 1.8 to three months of base salary. Banking and financial services would offer the highest bonus pay-outs with an average of three months of base salary, while General Insurance and Electronics Manufacturing will give the lowest variable pay at 1.8 months of base salary.

In 2016, industries experiencing the highest turnover were Transportation and Logistics as well as Electronics Manufacturing at 16 percent. The lowest turnover was in Life Insurance, General Insurance and High Tech at 10 percent.

See: 95.1% Employers in Thailand Make Pay-Related Decisions Based on Employee Performance

“The overall attrition rate was 12 percent, lower than last year by two percentage points. The high attrition in transportation and logistics could be attributable to it being a growing sector, having considered Thailand as ASEAN’s emerging regional supply chain management hub. Also industries with the highest turnover in 2015, like Life Insurance and High Tech had the lowest turnover this year. This may be a result of increased stability in these industries and effective retention tools and initiatives introduced by employers,” Anotai added.

In terms of benefits prevalence, paid vacations were granted by all participating companies to their employees, followed by health care (94 percent), life insurance (88 percent), pension and provident fund (87 percent), wellness (83 percent), meals (18 percent) and other flexible benefits (7 percent).

Ms Pichpajee Saichuae, Managing Director of Willis Towers Watson Thailand, also shared the top priorities for HR in 2017. “To guarantee business success, HR executives should be able to tackle the following areas: Technology, Flexibility, Diversification, Communication and Analytics. As we know that agility is the new corporate trend, organizations need to proactively anticipate or adapt to both internal and external changes.”

Figure: HR Priorities in 2017 to Guarantee Business Success

Figure: HR Priorities in 2017 to Guarantee Business Success

“HR professionals need a forward-looking approach to policy making, where trends and historical data are used as a base to make forecasts in accordance to the overall market dynamics. In addition, to effectively supporting their business objectives, HR departments need to develop these skills to handle more complex information as well as to be able to manage and interpret trends to shape future policy and stay competitive.”

Also read: Increasing Unemployment in Thailand Owing to Lack of New Investments in the Country

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