According to a new study, almost half of Australian employers are paying remote workers less than those living in metro areas. Robert Half, a specialized recruitment agency, surveyed 300 hiring managers, including 100 CFOs and 100 CIOs across Australia, finding that many have two-tiered pay systems to take into account the cost of living in regional areas versus metropolitan locations.
From those surveyed, 43% of employers stated they are currently paying their remote workers less, while under 20% plan to introduce a two-tiered system. The research suggested that larger companies are more likely to pay their remote workers less compared to their SMEs.
As mentioned by Nicole Gorton, Robert Half´s director,
Larger companies typically have the infrastructure to support remote working compared to smaller businesses and may be using the method to cast a wider net when recruiting. But regardless of size, employers need to be aware of the potential pros and cons of a two-tier pay system for remote staff.
According to Gorton, a two-tier pay system could create tension within a company leading to remote workers looking for jobs elsewhere. CFOs particularly favor paying remote staff less, with 37% currently doing this and 25% planning to do it.
Employers based in New South Wales are most likely to have a two-tier pay system, with Sydney being the most expensive city in Australia. The least state for this to happen is Victoria.