According to Smartree Workforce Index, an analysis conducted by Smartree, leader in Romania on the market for outsourcing HR processes, last year, amid the existing pandemic, private wages increased by only 3 percent compared to 2019, while the benefits granted employees fell by 16 percent.
The Smartree Workforce Index also shows that the total welfare of employees decreased last year by -17%, compared to 2019.
The study conducted by Smartree which takes into account over 250 partner companies from various industries (retail, pharma, medical services, automotive, construction, industrial production, oil & gas, agriculture, insurance & financial services, logistics) shows an increase of 5% in certain areas of activity for 2020 compared to 2019.
This is due to the fact that large employers in certain market segments such as food retail chains and online retail, FMCG area, courier and delivery services, companies in the field of software & technology, the number of employees has significantly increased. However, according to data published by the National Institute of Statistics, the national unemployment rate has risen, crossing the threshold of over 5% in the second and third quarters of last year compared to the average of 3.9% for 2019. The increased unemployment is due to the restriction of the activity in certain fields such as hospitality and tourism, industrial production, automotive, retail fashion.
The benefits offered by companies, decreased by 16% during 2020
These maintained in the first quarter of the year at the same level as the one registered in 2019 but in the following period (April-December) they decreased constantly, and in the 3rd quarter they reached even 30% below the level of 2019.
The value of the benefits offered decreased during this period on the one hand because the projects and investments for 2020 were put on hold or postponed, including the budgets provided to reward employees but also due to the fact that certain types of benefits were no longer applicable. in the context of work from home, such as the settlement of transport expenses, including the amounts provided for the car allowance, lunch or bonuses offered for relocation.
The study estimates a decrease in value for most of the type of benefits granted to employees in the past, except for meal vouchers, whose value increased by 9% compared to 2019 and medical subscriptions and life insurance, social or medical, which they also increased in value by almost 40%.
Despite the uncertainty and the unfavorable economic context, wages remained on a slightly upward trend, of + 3%, mainly due to the increase in the minimum gross wage per economy since the beginning of the year, by 7% for people with secondary education and 13 % for those with higher education. This slight increase in salaries reflects the general concern of companies in maintaining the salary level of employees at the values prior to the onset of the medical crisis, with salary cuts applied only occasionally and for a limited period of time, of course and depending on the impact felt in the activity and in financial results.