Sixty-four per cent of New Zealand law firms will increase salaries above CPI at the end of the financial year, up significantly from 48% in 2015, a survey released by ALPMA last week revealed.
Ninety-nine per cent of firms indicated a pay increase of CPI or above.
Lawyers at large firms (75 employees and over) are most likely to receive a pay rise this July, with 83% of firms in that category indicating they would be increasing salaries above CPI.
Of the medium sized firms (25-75 employees), 74% indicated a salary increase above CPI for employees.
Lawyers at small firms (1-24 employees) are least likely to receive an increase, with 59% indicating a salary increase would be above CPI.
ALPMA NZ Chair, Sheryll Carey said the salary increases are due to a number of factors, notably a shortage in candidates this year.
“The employment market is getting tighter this year with noticeable candidate shortages so I would anticipate more increases above CPI,” she told NZ Lawyer.
“The early 2010’s were slower years in the property market with a real drop after the GFC and so the property work contracted a lot but we’ve seen that market correct back in the past few years.”
She did note that CPI is low so salary increases may not equate to large increase overall.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents indicated that they think that there is a gender pay gap issue in the industry, but most (97%) didn’t think there was a gap at their particular firm. Carey said she doesn’t believe the pay gap to be a large problem in New Zealand, compared to Australia.
“I think more of an issue is the representation of women in law, there are a lot of women graduates but they aren’t staying through the traditional career track to partnership,” she said.