Less than a quarter of full-time employees in Belgium have asked for a raise in pay over the past year, according to a new poll conducted by the PanelWizard consultancy firm for the Indeed job site. Women are particularly reticent to request pay increases, with 16.5% not daring to do so, as against 8.5% of men, according to the study, released on Wednesday, and conducted among 1,015 workers.
The reasons for the reticence are many. More than 30% of respondents said they had not asked for pay increases because they felt their work had remained the same. Just over a quarter said they were satisfied with their earnings and 21.7% justified their silence by the fact that their colleagues’ salaries had also not been increased.
However, 7.9% admitted that they had not requested more pay since they feared they might be replaced by someone willing to work for less and 2.1% also felt technology might cost them their jobs.
The study showed further that Belgians preferred extra vacation days (39.6% of respondents) and more flexible working hours (29.5%) to higher salaries.
Another key finding was that remuneration levels became more important with age. “For example, 41.5% and 45.6% of employees above the ages of 50 and 60 years, respectively, consider salary as the main criteria for remaining with their current employer, while only a quarter (25.6%) of wage earners under the age of 30 feel this way,” the study showed.
The Brussels Times