Despite a slow down in the economy, companies in the UAE are spending more on allowance and benefits packages according to a new survey.

The GCC Allowances and Benefits Survey conducted by Aon Hewitt says that while overall allocations in 2016 are up 5 per cent year on year, growth is less than in previous years as market corrections are made.

The survey states that companies are still eager to attract and retain talent from around the world but are generally spending more selectively in line with the overall tone of the macroeconomic environment.

The 2016 increase in allowances is in part explained by a few organisations doing a market correction rather than an overall increase across the board. There is also a heightened focus on training employees for greater productivity.

One of the key concerns for organisations today is the most appropriate placement of the workforce, as well as driving achievement-based reward schemes in the workplace.

The survey is based on an analysis of more than 100 multinational companies and locally-owned conglomerates across different sectors.

The report’s findings:

Education assistance allowance has registered an increase of 5 per cent, and in UAE now ranges between Dhs25,000 for eligible junior professionals to Dhs58,000 for senior managers and executives per child across job roles.

Housing allowances in the GCC have increased an average of 4 per cent across all job roles, ranging from Dhs43,000 for junior professionals to Dhs225,000 for executives in the UAE specifically.

Robert Richter, compensation survey manager at Aon Hewitt Middle East, said: “Overall allowance and benefits allocations are a reflection of the economic times, and in 2016 that remains to be the case.

“Such investments are still an incredibly important consideration for companies looking to stay competitive with increased investments seen across the board.

“At the same time, companies have continued to rethink their allowance and benefits strategy in terms of eligibility, volume and overall salary fluctuations, with more conservative spending this year.”


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