Salary Gap Widens In The GCC

Managers in the Gulf are earning seven times as much as their employees as demand for mid-level talent continues.

The salary gap between managers and lower-ranking staff in the GCC has widened in the last three years, with bosses now paid seven times more than junior employees.

Research by HR giant, Hay Group, revealed the gap has increased from 2009 when the average difference was just five times.

The increased gap can be attributed to a sustained demand for mid-level talent and a lack of employees at that level, according to the survey. Vijay Ghandi, director at Hay Group Middle East, denied the trend was uniform.

“In the GCC region the gap has widened by an average of 25 per cent over the last three years because organisations have focused their pay spend on middle management and above rather than junior roles.

“Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain are the countries where the gap has widened the most. In Qatar the gap has grown the least.”

In the last three years, middle management roles have received pay rises of 5.2 per cent more than increases in junior positions.

Ghandi said pay ratios in the Gulf sit between that of western and emerging markets.

In the UK and US, a manager can expect to earn four times that of their staff while in India or Egypt they can earn up to ten times as much.

“Another reason behind pay differentials between the western economies and emerging markets is cost of living,” said Ghandi.

“Middle managers tend to get paid according to international rates while junior staff are paid in line with the local cost of living. In higher cost of living countries we would see the pay differential being narrower.

“The data shows that organisations are willing to pay relatively more for scarce talent at the professional and middle management levels in the GCC, and are prepared to promote and reward those who seize the opportunities to progress,” Gandhi said.

Hay Group said the research showed there are visible increases in reward for promotion in the GCC.

In April this year Gulf Business reported that 63 per cent of UAE employees expect to receive a salary hike in the next 12 months.

The research, conducted by jobsite Bayt.com and research firm YouGov, also found that 60 per cent of the respondents had received a pay rise in the last year. However, 44 per cent said that were either unhappy or very unhappy with their increase.

“Six out of ten respondents in the UAE state that their current compensation is lower than that offered by other companies in the same industry,” Bayt said in a statement.