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Towards an increase in salaries in SMEs and VSEs in 2022


While the workforce is lacking, small bosses fear that they will not be able to hire or retain their best people when the economic machine picks up again.

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One in three VSE or SME bosses is considering a general increase in wages in his company at the start of next year. This is what emerges from a survey carried out by CPME, the Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. A questionnaire was sent to some thousand members between mid and end of November. The figures are therefore very fresh and reflect the anguish of small bosses who are far from having the kidneys as solid as the large groups: 34% of the companies questioned are considering wage increases. Another third is not planning anything. The rest haven’t made up their minds yet.

Small bosses are afraid of not finding the workforce when the economic machine picks up again. Labor is lacking as companies need to rehire. You have to attract potential future employees or retain the best people. The bosses of VSEs and SMEs questioned particularly fear that a competing company will come and poach their employees by offering them better. Regardless of planned wage increases, these stressed companies have already taken steps to avoid departures. In half of the cases, it is a question of improving working conditions, by adjusting schedules, for example, not to mention teleworking. Other tools are put in place, such as profit sharing or employee savings plans.

Do the companies have the means? This is the other lesson of this CPME survey: in small companies, pay increases will be – in six out of ten cases – by cutting back on the company’s profit margins, or even by increasing the selling price. some products. But this risks damaging the treasuries of already weakened companies and, above all, complicating the repayment of PGEs (loans guaranteed by the State).

Double conclusion: who would have imagined one day that a major economic crisis like the one we are going through would push employers to increase wages in order to be able to continue to produce? and for the employee, it is a great opportunity to play the competition, to highlight his skills to see his salary increase. Quite simply: to earn a better living.



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