An average employee of a small firm earns around €30,000, works between 37 and a half to 39 hours a week and has 21 days holiday a year.

This is according to the Small Firms Association's annual survey on pay.

1,345 small companies from manufacturing, distribution, retail and services took part in the survey. The total number of employees was 31,760.

The main findings reveal just 9% of employees earn more than €45,000 and on the bottom end of the scale, 22% earn up to €25,000. 

The highest percentage of responses (38%) earn between €25,000 to €35,000.

When it comes to non-pay benefits, 71% of employers contribute to health insurance and 43% of small business have health insurance schemes. However, only 18% have PRSA schemes.

The average rates of basic pay varied from €428.56 per week for a care assistant to €767.14 per week for an electrician.

Many firms are not planning pay increases for its employees.

"The survey indicates that the proportion of small domestic firms planning pay increases remains small. The concerns regarding labour costs and business activity will continue for small firms in the domestic economy as they struggle to maintain employment levels," said Avine McNally, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association.