Remuneration Trends for 2019

An employee’s remuneration package was once carved in stone, consisting of their pay and some standard benefits, like medical aid and pension. However, things are quite different these days, with employers hoping to offer better rewards that entice top talent to join their organisations and stay longer. Here, we share our views on what workers can expect in 2019.

Designer packages

Flexible benefits will continue to gain popularity with employers this year. This remuneration model allows employees to decide for themselves how much of their income gets allocated to individual benefits and how much they take home. At any time, provided it falls within limits set by the company, they can rearrange this structure to suit their current lifestyle needs. So freeing up cash for a sudden emergency, increasing pension contributions as they near retirement or any other desired change can be made on demand. It’s easy to see why employees love it and why it will soon become the norm.   

Goodbye, outsourcing

With labour laws being amended around the world to give greater protection to contract workers, companies will find it easier to hire full-time staff to perform previously outsourced work inhouse. This means contract workers may need to settle into permanent positions. However, they will now enjoy the same benefits and protection as other employees whether they remain on contract or not. 

Creative EVP

Employee value proposition (EVP) is the complete set of offerings a company gives an employee in return for their qualifications, skills and experience. Expect employers to get creative as they try to design the richest mix of benefits and rewards possible. In addition to the usual benefits, these can include a wellness programme, a say in the organisation’s growth strategy, ergonomic working conditions, baby care, and many others. Some companies even offer paid compassionate leave when a pet dies. However, many benefits will have a tax implication for the employer and the worker. So both parties should carefully consider the impact with the help of their tax advisor.

Lifestyle becomes workstyle

With 24/7 mobile Internet connectivity, the division between work and life will become even more blurred the higher up the corporate ladder one climbs. Executives, managers and even key personnel, like IT staff, are already expected to be available when required. The more work invades their private time, the more they will expect to be compensated for their sacrifice, so employers will have to find attractive rewards to cover this.

A new benefit

The Employee Bursary Scheme is a new kind of benefit. It provides funding for the educational expenses of a worker’s immediate family. As with a medical aid, the company contributes a portion that appears on their payslip as tax free. Although this falls under EVP, it’s something we’ve seen gaining traction and an excellent example of finding ways to help employees retain some of the value they’ve worked so hard for.

Embracing the trends

The importance of these trends is that they signify the employer’s desire to make workers feel more valued, secure and in control. This is especially true of flexible benefits, and we believe that employers who fail to offer this option will quickly see talent drain from their business in the near future.

As these and other new trends develop, it’s important that employers remain abreast of them or engage the services of a reward specialist who does. Doing so will give them a competitive advantage when attracting and retaining the level of talent required to achieve their business goals.


Darren Britz
Senior Tax Attorney

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