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Hungarian Employers Planning Avg Wage Raise of 12%

Analysis

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Compared to the January plans, many more companies have finally increased the wages of their employees this year, and the increase exceeded the original plans. The primary reason for this was to retain staff and to compensate for inflation, but in the end, the raises fell short of the level of inflation. The wage increase projections for 2024 are more modest than this year, but fringe benefits remain a popular option.

While 58% of firms planned a pay rise in 2023 last year, more than 72% of firms have actually done so, according to research by job search portal Profession.hu. The rate of increase has also been higher than planned, with an average of 14%, but in many cases, pay rises were higher than 15%.
 
At the beginning of 2023, firms that planned to increase wages (62%) were expecting to do so primarily to retain employees. In September this year, some 53% of companies planned to improve wages in 2024, with an average 12% pay rise, according to the survey.

Level of Fringe Benefits

The use of fringe benefits is also a common solution, which have also been increased in many cases over the year: according to a Profession.hu survey in January, the primary reason for the change was an increase in the cost of living for employees (77%).
 
According to Profession.hu's HR Survey this year, almost one in two companies have a cafeteria system. This form of benefit is more available than average in companies with annual revenues of at least HUF 1 billion and in the manufacturing sector, while it is less available in the retail and hospitality sectors.

The most commonly distributed fringe benefits are between HUF 16,000 and 20,000 per month, and amounts of more than HUF 50,000, each available in 18% of companies; small benefit packages, of less than HUF 10,000, are available in 10% of firms.

Mobile Phones Provided in Most Cases

The most common form of fringe benefits is the provision of a mobile phone, available at nearly half of the companies, followed by reimbursement of travel expenses to work (44%), a laptop/notebook (42%) and Szép card benefits (40%). Company cars are provided at nearly a third of responding companies, one in ten offer discounted or free company products and a similar proportion offer extra holidays to their employees.

Employer Calculations for 2024

For next year, 45% of firms in the survey expect an improvement in their financial results, with a third forecasting a similar situation to this year. A worsening is expected by a higher proportion of respondents in the construction, food, and education sectors, as well as by firms with an annual turnover of HUF 10 mln, while an improvement is expected by respondents in the administrative sector.
 
At the same time, the proportion of firms planning to provide fringe benefits has fallen: three out of ten employers do not plan to provide such benefits in 2024. However, among those who do take up this option, mobile phones, laptops, bonuses, reimbursement of commuting expenses (company car, private car, parking, local transport), and Szép cards remain popular, Profession.hu points out.

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