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Tech workers ‘get £500 payments to help with cost of living’, says recruitment specialist


The team at Enso Recruitment with managing director Phil Vernon, second from right

The team at Enso Recruitment with managing director Phil Vernon, second from right

Carrie Davenport

The team at Enso Recruitment with managing director Phil Vernon, second from right

High-paid tech workers are getting one-off payments of as much as £500 from their employer to help with the rising cost of living, a recruitment specialist has said.

This week Belfast-based tech company FinTrU said its staff would be receiving a £2,000 pay increase, or 5% rise on their basic salary, depending on which amounted to the bigger sum.

The business said the rise was “in light of the current rapid rise of the cost of living”.

But Phil Vernon, managing director of Enso Recruitment, said that in the industry as a whole, employers are working hard to attract and retain staff.

Pay packets in the sector are already on the up due to competition for skills, with senior software developers earning up to £60,000.

He said a client in the FinTech sector had offered a £500 one-off payment to employees to help them manage the sharp rise in costs, including food and energy.

Staff at the company, which he did not name, can alternatively choose to take a £1,000 increase in their annual salary.

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Mr Vernon added: “I think in relation to FinTrU, it is fantastic a local tech company is responding to the cost-of-living crisis in such a positive way.

“It is fantastic to see someone take this positive step and look after their employees and it’s hoped many more do the same.”

Industry insiders said other companies have offered one-off payments while others are reviewing salaries and bonuses.

Mr Vernon added: “You would hope that obviously government support will be there for the poorest, but any sector that can step up and help their people I hope they will do so.”

He said that in the last few years, average salaries in the tech sector have increased by between 10% and 20%.

Mid-level software developers with three or four years’ experience can expect to earn between £35,000 and £45,000, with those more senior earning up to £60,000.

Paul McElvaney, executive chair of Learning Pool, the Derry-headquartered e-training firm, said his company is not offering a one-off bonus but that it’s reviewing salaries closely.

“My own sense is that focusing on long-term incentives continues to be the best approach for companies in technology,” said Mr McElvaney.

“Feedback from our staff is consistently that non-financial incentives rank better for the team over time, although cost rises now are hard for everyone.”

Other company executives, who did not want to be named, said it is an “employee’s market” so management has to be constantly reviewing salaries and benefits.

Mr Vernon said some companies were also offering signing bonuses, and other benefits such as pension, healthcare and bonuses, along with good holidays, further training, share options and hybrid working.

Top salary increases in 2021 were reported here in technology, engineering and supply chain roles, according to Hays, the recruitment firm. According to its most recent survey, supply chain managers saw an increase of 18.2%, followed by data analysts at 16.7%. Other roles which experienced above average increases included heads of legal (15.6%), technology product owners (15%) and process engineers (14.3%). 

The £2,000 pay increase at FinTrU will be applied as $2,000 or €2,000 depending on location.

The business specialises in regulatory solutions for investment banks. It has more than 1,000 staff in Belfast, Londonderry, Maastricht, London, Dublin and New York.