Now Available: 2019 National Pay and Benefits Survey

Posted on 14 Nov 2019

The 2019 National Pay and Benefits Survey for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations, the fourth in the series, was published today by The Community Foundation for Ireland, who commissioned the research in association with The Wheel and Dóchas.

The survey was conducted by Quality Matters, a research charity, and Geraldine Anderson, an independent HR specialist. The report details everything from rates of pay across the sector to conditions of employment including pension schemes, paid leave and other employment benefits.

The National Pay and Benefits Survey includes details of 346 organisations and 14,463 employees who are working in a community and voluntary organisation. Of these organisations, 27% had between one and five employees and 28% had 20 or more employees.

Just under half of organisations surveyed (48%) had an annual income of less than €500,000 for 2018, while 30% had an annual income of €1 million or more. For all organisations surveyed, Government funding constituted 63.3% of their annual income, 14.6% of funding came from donations, 3.2% from membership and 9.1% from fees. 

Rates of pay and pay related issues

Detailed in the report are more than 2,000 rates of pay for more than 60 categories of employee. For most categories of employee, average rates of pay increased with the size of the organisation and with income levels. Over one in ten (12%) of the basic annual salaries in the survey are over €70,000, 3.4% are over €90,000 and 1.5% over €100,000.

41% of organisations surveyed gave a pay increase to at least some employees in the last 12 months, which is an increase from 34% in 2017. However this is a contrast to the 2019 IBEC report where approximately 77% of companies in the private sector stated they planned to increase basic pay in 2019. Almost a third of organisations in the community and voluntary sector (32%) said they did not plan to give any pay increase in the coming year.

Conditions of employment

Conditions of employment within the survey include pension schemes, overtime, annual leave, health insurance, educational opportunities, maternal and parental leave, flexible working arrangements, bonus schemes and canteen facilities.

In the community and voluntary sector, 49% of organisations do not make contribution to a pension scheme, up from 47% in 2017. 21% of organisations reported contributing to a pension scheme for all employees, which is down from 27% reported in 2017.

87% of organisations did not pay for overtime; however a time in lieu policy was used in most organisations. The average basic annual leave entitlement is 23.2 days for the majority of organisations, which is a slight improvement from the average of 22.3 days reported in 2017.

In this year’s report only 3% of organisations contributed to a health insurance scheme for employees, which is a 5% drop from the 2017 report. 39% of organisations pay their employees over and above the statutory entitlement when they are on maternity leave, , and 21% pay over and above the statutory entitlement for paternity leave.

6% of organisations also operate a bonus scheme for all employees and 11% have a scheme for some employees.

The average expenditure on training as a percentage of payroll was 2.3%. However, 57% of organisations spent 1% or less on training.

Pay and benefits for community, voluntary and charitable organisations

Commenting on the launch of the report Tina Roche, Chief Executive, The Community Foundation for  Ireland said: “Now that we are in the fourth National Pay and Benefits Survey Report we are able to track trends over time to get a clearer picture of the pay and benefits for those working in the community and voluntary sector. While it is encouraging to see an increase in the number of organisations giving pay increases to their employees, we are a far cry from the increases seen in the private sector, this puts a real strain on employers in this sector in terms of hiring and retaining staff.

We will continue to fund this survey as long as we see that it is of valuable use to the community and voluntary sector. It is important to highlight the challenges faced by both employers and employees within this sector, equally it is important to encourage transparency within the sector. 

It is extremely important for the public and especially the donors we work with that the community and voluntary sector is open and honest and adheres to the highest standard of governance. Trust in the sector has taken a hit in recent years and it is only through open and transparent reports like this that we can begin to build upon that trust once again.” 

Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel commented on the results: “Recruiting and retaining suitably qualified staff are among of the biggest challenges for community and voluntary organisations in the current labour market.  This survey provides valuable data that informs remuneration policy and practice, and wider HR strategies, for the sector. Charities rely on this research to ensure the right people are attracted to the right roles, and this is crucial for the effective development of the sector.”

Download the full 2019 National Pay and Benefits survey.

Access previous Pay and Benefits reports in the series