Many businesses in Vietnam have increased wages and allowances to ease difficulties for their employees in the context of escalating prices and inflation.

A 2011 Vietnam remuneration survey by the US-based Mercer Company through its representative in Vietnam, TalentNet, shows that inflation has affected salary policies of 75 percent of 329 domestic and foreign enterprises interviewed in the survey.

This year’s average pay increase in multinational groups and wholly foreign invested companies is 13.3 percent, compared with 12.5 percent last year, while Vietnamese companies saw a 19 percent rise.

Several years ago, to attract qualified human resources, foreign businesses increased salaries in line with the inflation rate. However, this year’s average pay increase is 6.7 percent lower than the expected inflation rate, since businesses are directly suffering from difficulties in both domestic and world economies.

In addition to pay increases, enterprises have also provided their employees with some allowances such as expenses for lunch, travel and work clothing.

The survey also says that the pharmaceutical sector saw the highest pay increase of 14.1 percent this year. It was followed by the banking, oil and gas and high-tech sectors, with rises ranging from 12.5 percent to 14 percent.

Unskilled workers, who are the most vulnerable to inflation, enjoyed the highest pay rise of 14.1 percent.

Mercer is a major provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services./.