Who will benefit from the pay rises expected in France in 2022?

A new study has found that companies are planning to increase worker salaries by an average of 2.4% in 2022

18 November 2021

A study has found that wages could rise by an average of 2.4% in 2022 Pic: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

By Emma Morgan

Worker salaries in France are set to rise by an average of 2.4% in 2022, according to a study carried out by pay policy consultancy, People Base CBM.

People Base asked 569 businesses from a sample representative of France’s economic and industrial make-up whether they planned to offer their employees pay rises next year. 

More than 42% were going to put up the wages of all of their staff, 11% more than in 2021 and 9% more than in 2018.

Only 0.35% of respondents said they had decided to freeze staff salaries, compared to 19% in 2021. The 2.4% average increase – which takes both general and individual pay rises into account – was also up on this year’s 1.3% figure. 

However, it is only 0.2% above the inflation rate predicted for the Euro Zone next year. 

It is expected that sectors that have been particularly affected by difficulties in recruiting staff after the Covid lockdowns – including transport, cleaning, catering and hospitality – will be the most likely to offer higher salaries to employees. 

The Union des métiers des industries de l’hôtellerie has, for example, suggested possible pay rises of 6-9%. 

Transport unions are demanding an increase of 10%, while employers have proposed just 3.5-4.5%.

Read more: Transport delays as rail and airport workers strike in several regions

“There are, I think, many companies who will increase salaries because, first of all, wages hardly rose at all in 2020 and 2021, [but also] because of inflation and because they are struggling to recruit,” Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, president of the employer federation Mouvement des Entreprises de France, told RTL this week. 

“It is not the state’s role to decide in the place of businesses. Each company will look at the situation at the beginning of next year,” and the positive results of 2021 will push many to boost workers’ pay, he added. 

“There will be significant salary increases in the restaurant industry, I think, because there is a negotiation in progress [already]. The problem that exists behind this is that prices will also have to go up.”

Mr Roux de Bézieux also said that there will be many financial aids and bonuses paid this year, adding that these one-off salary boosts impact real wage growth. 

“Each time you put up salaries [...] employees receive less financial assistance. It is a good solution in the short term because it allows people to maintain their buying power but it is a bad solution in the long run.”

People Base’s survey also found that, while the proportion of businesses offering pay rises to all staff members had fallen slightly from 43% in 2020 to 41.6% this year, individual salary increases are set to be more generous. 

While general pay rises are predicted to be 1.2% on average, and will only be handed out by 42% of businesses, individual salary boosts are set to reach 2.3% and 99.8% of companies plan to give them.

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