The pay gap between entry-level jobs, managers widens in UAE

The pay gap between graduate entry-level jobs and senior manager levels has been on the rise over the last 10 years in the UAE and other Gulf countries. The basic underlying reason for this is supply and demand in the labor market. A majority of firms face challenges in sourcing senior-level employees with the right skills than junior-level workers.

Senior manager salaries are aligned with international market standards but junior pays are decided based on the local cost of living factors.

For lower-level jobs, there is little upward pressure on pay, mostly because there is not an acute shortage of workers for lower-level jobs. At more senior levels, there is an acute shortage of people with the necessary people and leadership skills to be successful which means that pay is rising for people at these levels. This means there is a limited pay growth at the bottom end, but significant growth at more senior levels, leading to a widening gap.

The majority of businesses, 58 percent – face major challenges in sourcing employees with relevant skills for senior positions, with only 32 percent stating the same for junior roles.

This can be due to the type of skills that are usually required for senior-level roles. Apart from job-specific skills and experience, skills such as emotional intelligence, logical and creative thinking, and entrepreneurial skills are deemed to be more critical for senior-level roles.

Firms cannot pay an entrant the same salary as someone who has been working for 15 years. Generally, companies have a bracket for workers as we as based on performance.

For example, if a salesman meets his target and brings the business of half-a-million dirhams to the company, only then he can ask for any kind of cheque.

Overall, GCC countries are in the middle compared to others worldwide when it comes to paying gap.