Why you should ask for a raise


Australian workers should take advantage of the tight labour market and to ask for a wage rise for 2024 if they haven't already had one this year, to avoid their real wage being eroded by rising prices.

Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal the inflation rate rose 5.4% in the September 2023 quarter after hovering around 7% for much of the year.

New housing costs and rents were the main contributors to inflation, along with higher electricity and petrol prices, according to the ABS.

how to ask for a pay rise

Wage growth not keeping up with inflation

The data underscore the fact that living costs have been rising quickly in Australia this year along with mortgage rates, posing a significant threat to the real wages and living standards of Australians.

This reinforces the need for workers to seek wage rises to counterbalance the corrosive effects of rising prices.

The sad fact is that the wages of many Australian workers have a long way before they catch up to inflation.  Even worse, many Australians have yet to have a wage rise this year despite soaring living costs.

Averaged across all sectors, wages growth is sitting at just 3.6% in Australia, well below the current inflation rate.

Why you should be asking for more money

With a national skills shortage still evident in the economy, and the unemployment rate at a very low 3.6%, it is important for all employees to be assertive with their employers and ask for a pay rise if they are scoring goals at work.

So, if you have earned a wage rise through your good work, then ask for it.

Many employers will be willing to renegotiate salary packages for 2024 to avoid the headache of having to replace workers in the tightest labour market in nearly 50 years.

Now is the time to be assertive. So be prepared to sit down with your boss and argue your case, with the essential facts ready.

How to ask for a pay rise

When you ask for a pay rise, have examples of your contributions and productivity ready to back your request.  Employees need to show their bosses that they are adding value to the organisation.

Include any improvements in sales or profit to which you have contributed. The more you can prove your value to the organisation, the greater the chance that your request for a pay rise will be granted.

You should also research comparable salaries being paid for similar roles in the jobs market as an independent measure of your worth.

Many employers will be very willing to renegotiate salary packages in the current tight jobs market.

Unemployment is sitting at its lowest levels since 1974 and a lot of organisations are having great difficulties still filling job vacancies as the labour pool remains under pressure.

Older workers, or 'baby boomers' are leaving the job market and there simply aren't enough workers to replace them. So, you have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain from asking for a pay increase.

If you are prepared to walk to greener pastures, then tell your employer exactly that. That may strike fear into their hearts because they know they may not be able to easily replace you.

Consider asking for extra perks

You could also ask for other perks such as flexibility when hours are worked, assistance with further education, gym memberships free stuff lunches can all lead to happier employees if more money isn't possible.

If your employer says no now, then ask again in a few months' time as 2023 rolls into 2024.

With a new calendar year, many employers are setting new payroll budgets, and they might be ready to reevaluate your request early in 2024. In the meantime, arm yourself with evidence of your value to the organisation so you are well prepared for any backfire.

A quick rebuttal might get you what you're asking for.

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Kris Grant is CEO of ASPL Group, a management consultancy, training and recruitment firm. She has a passion for inclusion in the workplace. Kris holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT.