Workers’ pay increases ‘remain low’

Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Pay rises remain low even though employers are starting to give workers above inflation increases, according to a new study.

Median rises in the three months to January were 2%, but pay was frozen in 10% of cases, said analysts XpertHR.

A study of around 100 settlements found that awards in the public sector were worth 1.5% in the year to January, compared with 2% in private firms.

Sheila Attwood of XpertHR said: “Employers have told us that recruitment and retention issues are putting pressure on paybill budgets, but this is currently limited to specific job roles and has not led to an across the board need to raise pay levels.

“Employees, meanwhile, are most likely to be seeking higher salaries this year, rather than increases in other areas of reward such as benefits or bonus payments.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This shows that wages have yet to return to serious growth. Most workers are still not getting a fair share from the recovery.

“Pay settlements remain at historic lows and should not be given a positive spin by comparing them to the current very low rate of inflation. This is not a stable route to restoring lost living standards.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics this week showed that average pay rises, including bonuses, have been running ahead of inflation for the past few months.

A Treasury spokesman said: “The Government’s long-term economic plan is working, with the highest employment rate on record, more job vacancies than ever before and pay packets growing four times faster than prices.

“But in an uncertain world economy all of this progress will be at risk unless we carry on working through our economic plan which is delivering economic stability and rising living standards.”

Published: Friday 20th February 2015 by The News Editor

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