Smartree: Bonuses in the private sector rose 68 pc in Q1, while wages declined by 13 pc

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The value of bonuses received by private sector employees increased by 68 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the first quarter of 2017, while wages declined by 13 percent over the same period last year, according to Smartree Workforce Index, an analysis conducted by Smartree Romania HR outsourcing consultancy firm.

“Both the increase of bonuses value and the wage decline in the first months of this year are due to the uncertainty created by legislative changes, namely the transfer of social contributions from the employer to the employee. Adopted through an Emergency Ordinance, this change has generated mistrust among employers, but also an expectation period in which no decisions have been made on changing employee income,” Smartree shows in a press release.

This March, however, with the mandatory submission to REVISAL (General Employee Registry) of any change in the gross basic salary, indemnities, bonuses and other salary calculations, the wages have stabilized, recording the same average level as in March 2017.

In the same context, to offset wage cuts due to the emergency ordinance, the companies awarded employees in the first quarter of this year bonuses and extra-wage benefits higher by 68 percent compared to the same period last year. It is by far the highest value recorded for this indicator at the beginning of the year, growth margins in previous years ranging between 6 percent and 23 percent.

“These values are the effects of the legislative changes that took place at the beginning of the year. More precisely, even if the gross minimum wage in the economy increased from RON 1,450 to RON 1,900, this increase did not lead to the increase of net incomes to the same extent, as was last year and as expected. On the contrary, the wages declined significantly in the first two months of the year, an unprecedented fall over the past 2-3 years,” Adrian Stanciu, General Manager of Smartree said.

In terms of employment, they continued the upward trend in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, with a growth rate of 11 percent. By industry, the highest increases in employment were recorded in construction, logistics, production, financial services, technology and IT infrastructure, or digital services.

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