Buried in the national accounts data released on September 6 was the rather frightening statistic that “wages and other employee contributions” increased 2% in the June quarter. This was significantly more than other wages indices. This supports the view that employers are using tools other than wages (i.e. the “other employee contributions” component of the national accounts figures) to attract and retain staff.
Our guess is that one of these inducements that will continue to grow prominently is employee deferred shares and other forms of equity. While expensed, they do not use cash, are tax effective, and are strong attraction and retention tools. This is also anecdotally supported by the growth in work we have been requested by our clients to do in this area.