- Junior and intermediate members were more likely to report highest pay rises in 2023 – but also expected more.
- New Zealand members more likely to receive additional benefits; Australian members higher bonuses and performance pay.
- Gender pay gap continues to close, particularly in Australia, but remains stubbornly high.
2023 CA ANZ Remuneration Survey ReportRead now
The latest Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) Remuneration Survey Report shows that early-career members are more likely to receive the highest percentage pay increase compared to their more experienced colleagues – and that they expected more.
The survey of 5,905 members of CA ANZ revealed that 60 per cent of members received a pay increase during the calendar year.
Of members who reported a pay rise, 45 per cent of those with five years or less experience received an increase of 7.6 per cent or above; the most of any experience cohort. In comparison, only 15 per cent of those with 30 years' experience received a lift of 7.6 per cent or more.
Similarly, only 23 per cent of those with 21-25 years and 17 per cent of those with 26-30 years reported a pay rise of more than 7.6 per cent.
“There’s huge competition for young talent and this latest survey shows that the profession is willing to compete on pay for top young talent, which is a great sign for those starting out,”
Full-time respondents with 0-5 years’ experience reported median remuneration of AUD$91,400 in Australia and NZD$81,310 in New Zealand, while respondents with 21 years or more experience reported median remuneration of $207,627 in Australia and $164,800 in New Zealand.
Across all survey respondents, median remuneration growth for full time employees slowed to three per cent in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, compared to 11 per cent in 2022.
The slow-down in overall remuneration comes during a cost-of-living crisis in both Australia and New Zealand, with significant increases in both inflation and interest rates alongside a drop in consumer confidence.
“After a big increase in 2022, remuneration growth across Australia and New Zealand has slowed. However, continued low unemployment and competition for talent is reflected in strong pay increases for junior and intermediate entrants to the profession – pay rises that also help assist them through the cost-of-living crisis,” said Ms van Onselen.
Early-career accountants know their worth
The survey also revealed that of those who received a pay increase, early-career respondents were more likely to expect a larger pay increase than they received. Forty-one per cent of those with 0-5 years' experience expected more, compared to 20 per cent of those with over 30 years' experience.
“The survey results suggest that early-career respondents are aware of the tight job market and are expecting larger pay rises. That presents a challenge for employers. The survey’s insights into additional benefits will be valuable for employers looking at recruitment strategies beyond simply increasing base salary,” continued Ms van Onselen.
Additional benefits vary across countries
Nineteen percent of Australian respondents reported additional paid annual leave, compared to 33 per cent of New Zealanders. Similarly, only 4 per cent of Australians reported free or subsidised private health insurance, compared to 29 per cent of New Zealanders.
In contrast, 41 per cent of Australian members working full-time reported bonus/risk components, compared to 31 per cent of New Zealanders working full-time.
“Interestingly, New Zealand leads across almost every area of additional benefit, such as extra annual leave, education, company phones, vehicles and health insurance. However, Australia leads in terms of bonuses and risk components.
“Base pay is important, but it isn’t the be all end all in terms of recruiting and retaining. The survey provides insights into measures employers might consider when developing an attractive total remuneration package,” continued Ms van Onselen.
Gender pay gap continues to close, but slow in New Zealand
The survey shows a gradual reduction in the gender pay gap for the second year in a row, as more practices and firms continue to focus their efforts to address it. However, a substantial median remuneration gap still exists between women and men.
The gender pay gap is the difference in median earnings of men and women across all roles in a workforce, expressed as a percentage of men’s pay. When calculated using median hourly pay, compared to 2022, the gap in Australia closed by six percentage points to 13 per cent, but by only one percentage point in New Zealand to 22 per cent.
This means for every hour worked, overall women are likely to receive 13 per cent or 22 per cent less pay than their colleagues who are men in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
“The gap appears to be closing in Australia, which may be for a number of reasons, including the passing of the Closing the Gender Pay Gap Bill, which was introduced in March 2023,” said Ms van Onselen.
“The pressure to close this gap will intensify in 2024 when private sector employers with 100 or more workers in Australia will be required to publish their gender pay gaps.
“Good data is the sunlight that drives change, so we are encouraging New Zealand’s parliament to continue moving towards mandatory pay gap reporting.”
While a relatively smaller gender pay gap is evident amongst younger members, it increases substantially at the 30-39 year age range, coinciding with the statistically typical age of women at the birth of their first child.
“The gender pay gap is an expression of the lack of pathways into and through the profession into more senior, higher paid roles, as well as the societal impact of women traditionally caring for children. It’s no surprise that childbirth is having an impact at that 30-39 age bracket, but we can also see significant gaps at both much younger and older ages, when having children isn’t so common,” continued Ms van Onselen.
New data explores gender pay gap contributors
Concerningly, belief in the existence of a gender pay gap has fallen from 49 per cent to 45 per cent, and as seen in previous surveys, members who are women are more likely (67 per cent) than men (28 per cent) to believe the gender pay gap exists.
For the first time, respondents were asked a range of questions about whether their organisation measures the gender pay gap and has practices in place to address it – vital data to help focus attention on narrowing the gap.
Policies that provide both men and women flexible working and time away to care for children are key to this.
However, the survey continues to show vast differences in the career break experiences of men and women. Of the 49 per cent of women who took a career break, 80 per cent of them took it for parental leave. Comparatively, only 18 per cent of men took a career break, 48 per cent of whom took it to travel.
Women respondents are also six times more likely than men to work part-time, and of those who work part-time, women are almost twice as likely to have taken a career break, than men.
“There’s an opportunity for employers to encourage higher workforce participation from women, with the right strategies and flexibility, and in turn help address their talent shortages, and create opportunities for more women to succeed,” concluded Ms van Onselen.
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Gender Equity Charter & Playbook
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