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State of Pay
Pay Update - January 2014
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Pay News Round-up

IT professionals see above national average salary increases of 4%

IT roles in big data analytics, ecommerce, mobile, and IT security will see a 4% salary rise this year, compared to the UK average of 2.5%, a survey from Robert Half Technology has found.

The Robert Half Technology 2014 Salary Guide found that between 2013 and 2014, salaries will increase by 4% for web designers, information security managers and officers, and database and business intelligence developers, while mobile applications developers will see a rise of 4.1%

Other roles to see an increase in salary include chief information officer (2.3%), chief technology officer (1.5%), chief information security officer (3.5%), chief architect (2.4%), IT director (2.2%) and IT manager/head of IT (1.9%).


2-3% pay rises most common among HR professionals

One-third (33%) of HR and benefits professionals received pay rises of between 2.1% and 3% in the last 12 months, according to research by Employee Benefits.

Pay rises in this percentage bracket were most common among the 238 respondents who received a pay rise in the last year. 

The Employee Benefits Salary survey 2014, which questioned 361 employees with responsibility for managing benefits and reward in UK organisations, also found that one in six (16%) received a slightly lower pay rise of between 1.1% and 2%, while 12% received a pay rise of between 3.1% and 4%.

Respondents are optimistic about pay increases in the coming year, with 41% expecting to receive a pay rise in the next 12 months, although 6% do not expect to receive one. 

Average gender pay gap among HR professionals hits £8,844

The Employee Benefits Salary survey 2014, which questioned 361 employees with responsibility for managing benefits and reward in UK organisations, found that male respondents earn an average basic annual salary of £61,624, compared with female respondents’ average basic annual salary of £52,780. 

The job title with the most pronounced gender pay gap is benefits/reward director or head, with a £17,461 difference in annual salaries.

Benefits and reward managers had the smallest gender pay gap, with men in these roles paid on average just £478 a year more than their female counterparts.

The only gender pay gap weighted towards female respondents was among benefits and reward officers. Men in this category earn an average basic salary of £29,501, which is £1,026 less than women, who earn an average basic salary of £30,527.

The gender pay gap reflects the gender gap in the survey response rates: more women (68%) responded to the research than men (32%).

The average annual salary across all respondents stands at £55,698.


Higher salaries paid to attract the best software developers, according to latest ECM Salary & Benefits Survey

Among other significant results, the survey found that for software roles there has been a noticeable broadening of the range of salaries offered; £35k is not uncommon now as a graduate starting salary, and similarly £40k for a fresh PhD. At the more experienced levels, salaries offered are noticeably increased relative to the previous year. It is not surprising now to see £60k offered for senior, hands-on engineering roles, for example.


XpertHR survey of pay prospects 2014: subdued settlement levels to continue

The long-running trend for pay settlements is for employers to award annual increases of between 3% and 3.5%. Since the start of the recession in late 2008, XpertHR's reported median pay rise has been firmly below this level, and employers in the private sector are predicting another year of the same, according to our research.


Brickies wages expected to rise by 50%

Bricklayers’ wages are expected to rise by 50% by next summer, says a leading contractor

Wages fell by 20% after the 2008 crisis and have remained at £100 to £110 a day ever since, but the recent surge in housebuilding – driven by the government’s Help To Buy sub to housebuilders – is expected to put upward pressure on wage prices.

There are currently 1.2m people employed directly in the construction industry, of which 518,000 are five years away from retirement age with no measures in place to replace them, a recent construction industry training board report revealed.


Pay survey: Who gets what in the farm industry

While most (69%) have received a pay rise in the past 12 months, 7% of farming workers have not had an increase for more than five years.

Results for pay reviews showed the farming workers fared less well than their counterparts in the allied industries. More than half (58%) of farming workers received a salary increase of about 1.5%.

This is in line with the UK national average workers’ increase across all industries (1.4%). In contrast, related businesses paid more than three-quarters of their staff a rise which on average was double the national rate at 2.8%.

Almost two-thirds (60%) of employees in the related businesses received a bonus of an average £2,884. Workers in animal nutrition received the highest financial boost to their pay packets at an average across their sector of about £4,338.

Overall the average annual salary for people who work on farms is £25,578 – close to the national UK figure of £26,500. More than 30% earned between £20,000 and £30,000, but more than one in 10 (13%) reported they earned less than £10,000, which suggests they were either part-time or working as family labour.


Pay rises and bonuses suggest better times ahead for UK designers

A survey of UK design and digital agencies by branding specialist Fairley & Associates, recruitment agency Gabriele Skelton and marketing firm On Pointe Marketing has revealed annual increases in salaries and bonuses that indicate a recovery from the financial crisis affecting the design industry, though unpaid internships and free pitches are still on the rise.

According to the survey, 42.4 percent of employees received a pay rise in 2013 compared to 21 percent the previous year, while 27.7 percent received a bonus compared to 10.7 percent the previous year.

Pay increases are rising at a higher rate than inflation, with 73 percent of respondents who received a raise stating that it was more than 3 percent of their salary and more than a tenth enjoying pay rises of over 10 percent.


Two thirds of buyers ‘expect a pay rise this year’

The Michael Page 2014 Procurement & Supply Chain Salary Survey showed 56 per cent think bonuses will be paid, but less than a third expected headcounts to increase this year.

Supply chain professionals are more optimistic, with 72 per cent predicting a salary increase, 63 per cent expecting a bonus, and 44 per cent predicting an increase in headcount.


Pay in Manufacturing and Finance

Manufacturing pay in the UK continues to decline while pay for city bankers soars.

In the brief Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) considers what levels of pay across different sectors tells us about the experience of economic rebalancing since the financial crisis. In an economy rebalanced towards manufacturing, and away from financial services, we would expect to see the pay gap between these two sectors beginning to close. However, the gap has increased rather than decreased. Furthermore, pay in real estate activities is catching up to pay in manufacturing, further undermining the role of manufacturing in boosting exports and technological dispersion.


Regional Pay News Round-up

Scottish recovery confirmed with highest wages outside south-east

Scotland remains the highest-paid region of the UK outside London and the South East, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

The ASHE figures show private-sector wages rebounding by 3.0% in Scotland, significantly higher than the UK's 1.9% rate.

As expected given Government-imposed pay policy both north and south of the Border - as well as the more damaging impact of the recession on company pay packets - the rebound in private-sector pay outstrips the 2012-13 growth in public-sector pay, which manages only 1.9% in Scotland and 1.6% in the rest of the UK.


Job opportunities drop in Northern Ireland, but salaries are up – Reed

Northern Ireland is the only sector in the UK to see a slide in the number of job opportunities in the last year, according to a survey by recruitment company Reed.

And the survey bodes well for salaries, with Northern Ireland the only UK region to see a rise in Reed's salary index over the last 12 months to 96 from 92.

All other regions saw the salary index fall or hold steady while the overall UK index climbed by two points to 100, parity with December 2009.


Portsmouth workers are hit hard by the recession

WORKERS in Portsmouth have seen huge drop in wages since the start of the recession.

Figures analysed by the GMB union show that between 2008 and November 2013, average wages in the city have fallen from £22,850 to £21,840 – a decrease of £1,010.

That is a drop of four per cent but taking into account the increased cost of living, it translates as a 22 per cent fall.

While the price of property, food, energy and fuel has risen with inflation since the economic crisis began, wages and their value have gone down.

The city is one of the hardest-hit areas in the country, with the UK average wage reduced by 13.8 per cent taking into account inflation (real terms), and 14.4 per cent in the south east.

In Hampshire, there has been a real terms cut of 11 per cent but wages went up from an average of £27,810 a year to £29,585.

In neighbouring West Sussex, wages were down by 8.6 per cent in real terms, but also up from £26,394 to £28,811 – an increase of £2,417 over the five-year period.


'Real' wages in North Wales down nearly 17%

Real wages across North Wales have plummeted since 2008 with residents in one county seeing earnings fall nearly 17% in real terms.

The recession has seen pay rises stall over the past five years with freezes in the public sector and wage packet cuts or below inflation rises in the private sector.

Flintshire has been one of the worst affected counties in Wales with a 16.7% fall in real incomes.

Office of National Statistics figures show wages have risen just 1.1% over that time in the county while inflation has soared, especially on essential items like petrol and heating costs.


Pay Update - December 2013

Gender pay gap continues to rise


The latest finding from the Annual Survey of Earnings and Hours shows a shock increase in the gender pay gap after years of a steady decline.  The latest annual pay statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that the full-time gender pay gap increased to 15.7 per cent in 2013 (up from 14.8 per cent the year before).


Additionally the gender pay gap across Europe has increased to 10%, up from 7% two years ago, according to research by global management consultancy The Hay Group.


Pay growth ‘subdued’ ONS figures reveal although pay is expected to perk up in 2014 as economy recovers


Total pay rose by just 0.9% from August to October 2013 compared to the same time last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) find.


However more British firms expect wages to rise in line with inflation next year than at any time since the 2008-2009 recession, a survey conducted by a leading organisation of employers showed.


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said 42 percent of firms believed salaries would grow in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI), the highest proportion since 2009.


Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said in November that wage increases in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) were likely to come between mid-2014 and the end of 2016.



2014 Forecast: Pay and Bonuses – Reward Guide


After a year of considerable changes in pay and bonuses, Reward looks at what’s on the horizon for 2014.  Over the next year, then, we can expect to see further debate about bonus payments, at every job level, and a scrutiny of whether or not pay for performance is a successful form of reward.


Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the CIPD commented on the prospects for 2014: “The CIPD’s most recent Labour Market Outlook survey indicates that pay rises will be moderate and that earnings will still lag behind inflation for most of 2014. The wage and executive pay will remain hot topics, as will how banks reward and recognise performance. Benefit spend will increase throughout 2014 on the back of automatic enrolment. And those employers that are able to plan ahead for auto-enrolment should find it an easier process.


“As ever, the challenge will be creating packages that meet the needs of a diverse and demanding workforce, which reward and recognise sustained organisational performance, and which ensure a workplace that exhibits appropriate culture, trust and authenticity and is affordable.”




What are the best-paid jobs in the UK?


According to AOL money the best paid jobs in the UK are;


1. CEO

Pay is an average of £84,453.

2. Aircraft pilots

Average annual pay is £78,356.

3. Marketing Directors

Average annual pay is £68,438.

4. Air Traffic Controllers

Average annual pay is £64,889.

5. Doctors

Average annual pay is £63,677.

6. Company lawyers

Average pay in the field is £63,484.

7. Public relations directors

Average pay is £60,486.

8. Senior police officers

Average pay is £57,664.

9. IT directors

Average pay is £55,426.

10. Senior officers in protective services

Average pay is £54,539.

Pay Update - November 2013

Living Wages Increases to £7.65


The UK living wage, the rate of pay an individual needs to cover the basic costs of living, rose yesterday by 20p to £7.65 an hour. In London, where the living wage is higher, it is now £8.80, a rise of 25p. 

One in five employers say that they have a commitment to pay the living wage, XpertHR survey shows. 20% of employers said that they had a commitment to pay the living wage which is a voluntary amount paid to low wage workers and is above the minimum wage according to a survey by XpertHR.


LGA Statistical Alert November 2013

Below is a summary of some of the statistics published by the Local Government Association.   

Average weekly earnings – Total pay*

 Weekly earnings (£)  3 month average **
   Aug  Jul  Jun  Aug  Jul  Jun
 Whole economy  474  475  475  0.7  1.2  2.2
 Private sector  473  472  472  1.1  1.5  2.8
 Public sector  484  486  483  -0.5  0.5  0.9
 Manufacturing  554  554  557  2.1  2.1  2.6
 Services  459  460  460  0.6  1.2  2.2

 * Including bonuses

**Average of seasonally adjusted series over latest three months

Earnings forecasts

 Whole economy  Range  Mean
 2013 (III)  0.3% - 2.4%  1.4%
 2013 (IV)

 1.2.% - 2.6%


Source: IRS

Pay settlements

 Xperthr  2.0%  (Whole economy median – three months to August  2013)
 IDS  2.5%  (Whole economy median – three months to September 2013)


 (Mean – three months to August 2013)
 LRD  2.5%  (Whole economy median  three months to August 2013)


Pay Trends 2013 and Looking Ahead to 2014


A series of reports from XpertHR on pay trends reveals that in 2013 pay settlements remained steady at 2% and pay freezes have declined in frequency.  Pay prospects for 2014 are likely to remain subdued as well with the majority of pay awards likely to remain the same and private sector employers predicting a median pay rise of 2% in the year to 31st August 2014.

XpertHR found the following pay settlements in Engineering, Charities and Publishing;



  • ·        Engineers’ salaries have risen ahead of inflation
  • ·        Charity worker salaries have lagged the market
  • ·        Publishers have kept pay rises below inflation in 2013



Also according to a survey of 600 practice managers by First Practice Management (FPM) and Towergate MIA insurance the average basic pay for practice managers has increased by 4% this year but bonuses have dropped by almost 20%.

Pay Update - August 2013

Local Government Association Statistical Alert – Latest Pay News

Pay settlements



 (Whole economy median – three months to June 2013)



 (Whole economy median – three months to July 2013)



 (Mean – three months to June 2013)



 (Whole economy median – three months to June 2013)

Earnings forecasts

 Whole economy



 2013 (III)

 0.3% - 2.4%


 2013 (IV)

 1.2.% - 2.6%


Source: IRS

Average weekly earnings – Total pay*

 Weekly earnings (£)

 3 month average **








 Whole economy







 Private sector







 Public sector





















* Including bonuses
**Average of seasonally adjusted series over latest three months


Gender Pay Gap

The latest data published annually by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR shows that the pay gap between men and women is widening due to a 50% gap in bonuses.

The National Management Salary Survey found that on average bonuses for men were £6,442 compared to £3,029 for women.

At the same time average basic salaries were found to be almost 25% higher for men at £38,169 compared with £29,667 for women.

This coincides with another recently published research report showing that the UK gender pay gap is among the highest internationally.  The report by Warwick Business School, the University of Cambridge and Lakehead University in Canada, The Dimensions of occupational gender segregation in industrialised countries, compared the gap between pay of men and women working in different industries.


Low Pay Awards Here to Stay

Pay rises in the remainder of 2013 are likely to be no more than 2% on average, according to the latest analysis from pay specialists XpertHR.

The latest findings from XpertHR reveal that the median pay rise remains at 2% for the fourth consecutive rolling quarter. The analysis covers pay awards effective in the three months to the end of July 2013.

The research also reveals a divergence of pay deals across different sectors of the economy. In the public sector, deals continue to focus on the Government’s policy of a 1% average pay award. However in the private sector there is a much wider spread of between a 10% pay cut and 3.5% pay rise, showing that while some employers are able to pay higher awards, others are still awarding very low or no increases. Pay awards in the manufacturing sector – at 2.6% – are higher than in the services sector (2%).

Pay Update - July 2013

CIPD Reward Management Report 2013


The CIPD’s annual Reward Management survey report 2013 published in May is a very useful information and benchmarking resource that provide readers with current and emerging practice in UK reward management.


The key points are summarised below; however, four areas stood out for us:


1.       The fall in popularity of flexible and voluntary benefits.  This is an area that has been growing strongly for a number of years, and so it would be interesting if this really is on the way (rather than a statistical blip).  It’s particularly noteworthy given that under another question respondents stated that they wanted to increase the proportion of benefits in the overall total reward mix.

2.       A reduction in the numbers of respondents operating performance-related pay structures.  Although still popular (and increasing in popularity in the not-for-profit sector), this is a perennial area of difficulty for companies.

3.       An increase in Employee Assistance Programmes – is this in response to the current economic situation?

4.        Finally, auto-enrolment is obviously high the agenda.  There is a useful table (figure 12) on p45 showing statutory roll out dates.  There is, as the reports states, a direct association between whether or not an organisation auto-enrols into a pension scheme and the membership levels.  We would predict, therefore, that an increasing proportion of pay budgets will be taken up by pension costs.  Elsewhere in the survey, respondents believed that they would be spending more on their pay budgets next year, largely as a result of higher pay rises; however, it will be interesting to see how much financial resources are consumed by increasing pension costs as auto-enrolment takes affect.


The following is a summary of the key findings from the report:


Base and Variable Pay Policies

·        Individual base pay arrangements are the most commonly (49%) used base pay structure, followed by narrow-graded (37.2%), pay spines/service-related (31.5%), job family (30.4%) and broad-banded (29.3%).

·        Market rates (using JE) and ability is to pay are the most favoured ways to determine base pay with 42.5% and 39.5% respectively. Market rates (not using JE) was used by 21.9% and collective bargaining by 16.4%.

·        Individual performance was the most common method of pay progression.  Competencies, market rates, skills and employee potential/value/retention all however were used by over half of the relevant respondents.   Length of service was the least common overall however within the public services sector it is the most used method.

·        Ability to pay (78.8%), the going rate (45.9%) and movement in market rates were the top three factors determining the size of the 2012 pay review. However this is closely followed by inflation (42.4%) and recruitment/retention issues (40.0%).

·        Pay reviews for 2013 will be determined by largely similar factors to 2012.

·        Over half of the respondents operate one or more performance-related reward, incentive or recognition scheme, although this is much reduced from last year’s survey. This could be due to sampling differences, the economic downturn or PRP effectiveness as perceived by respondents.

·        Individual bonuses remain the most common form of individual PRP scheme, followed by merit pay rises and combination schemes.

·        Total spend on fixed and variable pay is most commonly split at 90% fixed/ 10% variable.  Although in general respondents would like to see a lower proportion of total spend on fixed pay and more on variable pay.  This show that ‘employers want to shift the pay/benefit split towards greater use of benefits, not less.  So, on the one hand, employers want to increase the variable element of total pay and, on the other hand, they want to reduce the pay element of total reward and increase the emphasis on benefits.’

·        Base and variable pay predictions for 2013 show that just over half of respondents predict that their organisations total spend on base and variable pay will increase, 34.9% predict it will remain the same and 12.2% predict it will decrease.  Where an increase is predicted the most common drivers are pay rises and employing more staff.  Where a decrease is predicted the most common drivers are employing fewer staff and pay cuts.


Employee Share Schemes and Long-term Incentive Plans

·         Executive share options and company share option plans are the most common employee share schemes and long term incentive plans. The majority of organisations who offer a share/LTI scheme predict that their total spend will remain the same in 2013.


Employee Benefits

·        82.9% of respondents offer career development benefits to all employees.

·        The most extensive financial benefit provided to all employees is a pension and over half of organisations offer debt advice/counselling/guidance.

·        Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS) are growing in popularity compared to last year’s survey.  Although the three most common health and well being benefits are death in service/life assurance, tea/coffee/cold drinks – free and eyecare vouchers.

·        Flexible/homeworking remains a common feature of benefits provision, use of which has increased this year.  Family-friendly policies such as provision of childcare vouchers and enhance maternity/paternity are also widespread.

·        Benefits that are popular to employees are; pension schemes, healthcare/medical insurance, flexible working, enhanced leave and childcare vouchers.

·        15% of organisations issue a total reward statement.

·        Flexible benefit and voluntary/affinity benefit schemes have decreased significantly in the past couple of years.

·        The most common composition of total reward spend split is 90% pay / 10% benefits (43.1%), followed by 80% pay / 20% benefits (26.0%).  However more would like to see as an ideal proportion an 80%/20% or 70%/30% split.

·        55.4% predict their organisations total spend on employee benefits will remain the same, 30.9% an increase and 13.7% a decrease.  The three most common reasons for an increase are; increase in the costs of benefits, employing more staff and the introduction of auto-enrolment.  The three most common for a decrease are; reductions in the money available for the benefits budget, reductions in the cost of benefits and other.



·        90.5% of organisations offer to contribute to an employee pension scheme.

·        Defined Contribution is the most common with the remaining organisations offering defined benefit or contributions to personal pensions.

·        The average (mean) contribution rates to open DC pensions are 7.9% employer contribution and 5% employee contribution.

·         The majority of DB Schemes are already closed or winding up with only 45% still open to new members, although there is a huge variation across sectors with manufacturing and production, private sector services and the not-for-profit sectors with more schemes closed than open whereas the public sector have 81.3% open to new members.

·        Changes to or the introduction of pensions are intended, or required, in 48% of the organisations with complying with auto-enrolment requirements dominating the list with 90%.


The full report can be found here.


CIPD Labour Market Outlook and Employee Outlook


Just looking at the pay section of the Labour Market Outlook the expected mean basic pay settlement in the 12 months to November 2013 is 1.8%.  Broken down by sector, the public sector has increased from 0.6% to 0.8%, and the voluntary sector increased from 1.4% to 1.5% however expectations in the private sector have dropped from 2.6% to 2.2%.

The report does also point out though that there is a higher proportion of employers expecting to increase pay rates than they reported three months ago, and this predicted pay rise, which excludes those planning a pay freeze, is averaged to 2.5%.  In the public sector it is 2.9% and within the private sector, service firms expect a 3% average, and manufacturing and production firms expect 2.9%.

The full report can be read here.

The Employee Outlook report can be read.  Again homing into sections on pay the survey shows that 41% of all the respondents work for employers who have frozen pay, and 7% whose organisation has cut pay.



Consultation paper on the introduction of mandatory equal pay audits


The Government Equalities Office (GEO) has published a consultation paper on the introduction of mandatory equal pay audits.  Further reading can be done here.


Median pay settlement of 2.5% in the three months to April


The latest pay settlement release from shows the median pay award for the whole economy has held steady at 2.5 per cent in the three months to April.  The press release can be read here.


FTSE 100 executive remuneration survey

Directors’ packages this year have seen widespread salary freezes and lower bonus payouts according to research by Fit Remuneration Consultants.  A pay freeze has been the most common approach to base salaries while where an increase was given the median was around 2.5%.  The articles can be read here, Remuneration committees show restraint on directors’ packages,  here, FTSE100 execs to see pay freezes, and here, Salary freezes and lower bonuses predicted for FTSE100 executives, in response to ‘shareholder spring’.  At the same time Research by Morgan McKinley Financial Services has shown a decline in the number of employees receiving a bonus.The article can be read here.


IT Pay & Compensation Survey 2012/2013

A survey by Robert Walters shows that just over half of the IT professionals that responded received a pay rise and a similar number are expecting one at their next review.  The most common pay rise awarded was 3%.  The survey can be downloaded here.

Pay Update - 15th January 2013


1.    2012 ends with low pay growth
According to the survey released by XpertHR at the end of 2012, pay awards have failed to show sustained growth in the last months of the year. The survey, based on 1,600 pay settlements until the end of November 2012, indicates that the median pay increase stood at 2% in the three months to the end of November, unchanged from the previous month. XpertHR’s data also showed that in the same period almost a quarter (23%) of pay awards resulted in a pay freeze.

For more information click here.

2.    Executive pay steadily increasing, but needs to be linked to non-financial measures
Three reports were published about executive remuneration at the start of the new year. Two of these, published by Towers Watson, demonstrate that executive pay rises have started to align with levels for other employees. Data from the Executive pay pulse survey and 2012 UK top executive survey shows that pay increase for executives will be around 3% this year, similar to the last few years.

The third survey aims to draw attention to the failure of British firms to link key areas of non-financial performance that improve long term success to chief executive’s pay. Paid to perform?  was published by the High Pay Commission, and it points out that the key to long-term sustainability is developing great products and brands, while also putting emphasis on customer satisfaction. The report calls for the linking of at least half of chief executives’ performance-related pay to non-financial benchmarks and for employee representatives on company boards to challenge short-termism in financial decisions.

For more detail click here and here.

3.    Internal communications more important than pay
Research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that internal communication is valued over pay and benefits when it comes to engaging employees. More than a quarter (29.5%) of surveyed staff believes that poor internal communications are the most detrimental to employee engagement, followed by low pay and poor benefit packages.

For more detail click here.

4.    More opportunities, less pay
According to the Reed Job Index the employment market is 10% stronger than it was this time last year, with opportunities for jobseekers reaching a three-year high. However, they also report that the salary for new jobs has declined by 1% over the year.

For more information click here.

Pay Update- 6th December

Government Plans & Other Political Proposals

1.    Autumn Statement: employment is growing
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered the Autumn Statement on the state of the economy yesterday.  He insisted that the British economy is healing; however, he also warned that austerity measures will be necessary until 2017-2018, as the economy is weaker than expected. When it comes to employment, the Chancellor pointed out that it has grown more strongly than forecasts predicted and it will continue to grow.  He claimed that 1.2 million jobs have been created in the private sector since the Coalition government was elected in 2010. When it comes to the public sector Osborne predicted a 1% pay rise for those who have seen their basic pay frozen. Furthermore, the idea of centrally determined local pay rates or zones in the public sector was rejected, opting for a continuation of national pay arrangements in the NHS, the Prison Service and in the civil service as well. 
The statement also outlined consultations by the government on the proposal for schools to have the freedom to set pay in line with performance.  This will be based on the recommendations of the School Teachers’ Review Body that would like to see a pay framework that raises the status of the profession and reward individuals in line with their contribution.

For reviews of the Autumn Statement click here and here.
For more detail on recommendations regarding pay in schools click here.

2.    Brighton & Hove Council signs up to living wage
The council in Brighton & Hove has approved proposals to meet the new Living Wage rate of £7.45 / hour for their lowest paid staff, and seek national accreditation as a Living Wage employer. This comes after the council increased the hourly wage of its lowest paid staff to £7.19 in September. The new living wage rate was recommended by the national Living Wage Foundation in October this year.

For more detail click here.


1.    Pay growth slows
According to the latest research by XpertHR the median basic pay increase was only 1.8% in the three months to the end of October. This has led to the gap between RPI inflation (rising to 3.2% over the same period) and pay awards growing for the first time since April 2012. The fall in the level of pay settlement comes as some companies continue to freeze pay, while others are cautious with their increases. The private sector median pay increase was slightly higher, at 2%, but still lower than last year. Forecasts for the next year show improvement, as Xpert HR’s survey of private sector employees predicts a 2.5% increase over the year to the end of August 2013.

For more detail click here.

2.    Private services pay awards continue to lag behind the manufacturing sector
 According to data from the Incomes Data Service the gap between pay awards in private sector services and manufacturing and utilities has widened over the three months to the end of October.  Private services pay awards are down to 2% (from 2.2%) due to lower pay settlements in retail and fast food and care services, while the median for the manufacturing sector has increased to 3% (from 2.7%). When it comes to the whole economy, the overall median pay award has fallen to 2% (from 2.5%).

For more detail click here.

3.    3% pay rise predicted for 2013
Salary Movement Snapshot, a report with research by Mercer, shows that employers at UK companies anticipate an employee pay rise of 3% in 2013. This rate is higher than the rate of inflation predicted by the Bank of England for the same year, which is a positive outlook for households across the country. Mercer’s survey provides information on median base pay increase across all employee groups up to management and Senior Executive level.

For more detail click here.

4.    Chief Executive pay boom over the past decade
According to the High Pay Centre chief executive pay has increased by 12% in the last financial year and almost trebled over the past ten years. The Centre pointed out that shareholders are finding it difficult to reduce excessive payments, despite action promised by the government on the issue.

For more detail click here.

5.    Gender pay gap falls
The Office of National Statistics has published its annual survey of hours and earnings, which contains figures that show that the pay gap between men and women has shrunk to 9.6% (down from 10.5%). The ONS data also demonstrates an increase of 1.4% (to £26,500) in the average annual earnings of full time workers in the year to April 2012.

For more detail click here.

6.    Experience pays off
According to a report by Towers Watson, pay in entry level and clerical roles stagnates in 2012, while experienced workers s saw pay rises.  The Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report shows that experienced professionals enjoyed average pay rises of 6%, while the pay rises of those in entry level and clerical roles averaged almost 1% and zero respectively.

For more detail click here.

CIPD releases Labour Market Outlook for Autumn 2012

The latest Labour Market Outlook survey, released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows improving pay prospects across the economy. According to the survey, basic pay award expectations for the next 12 months have edged up from 1.6% to 1.7%.  Public sector’s pay award expectations have increased from 0.2% to 0.6%, partly due to the imminent ending of the two-year pay freeze in the sector.  Private sector firms participating in the survey predict a 2.6% average pay increase for their sector, which is also higher than expectations in the previous report. Within the private sector, service firms predict an average 3.2% rise, while the manufacturing sector forecasts a 2.5% average. The number of organisations predicting a pay freeze in the private sector has also fallen from 11% to 7%. However, 59% of private sector employers are unable to predict how their average pay will change.

To read the whole survey click here.

Pay Update- 16th November

Government Plans & Other Political Proposals

1.     Living wage proposals on both sides
Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, has revealed that if Labour wins the next election, they will try and give millions of people a “living wage” of at least £7.45. He explained that one way they plan to give incentive to companies to increase the “living wage” is through tax breaks. Boris Johnson, Conservative mayor of London, has also expressed his views on the issue, announcing that the living wage rate for workers in London will increase by 25p (to £8.55) because of the higher cost of living in the city. He pointed out that companies should recognize the benefits of paying employees the living wage.

For more details click here.


1.    Fifth of UK workers earn less than ‘living wage’
New research from accountancy firm KPMG has revealed that one in five workers in the UK are paid less than the ‘living wage’. The survey shows that the greatest number of people receiving less than the living wage lived in London and the north-west (570,000 each), and the south-east (530,000). The positions that are more likely to pay below the living wage are bar staff, followed by waiters and waitresses.

For more details click here.

2.    Employers predict 2.5% pay increase for 2013
According to a recent survey by XpertHR, private sector workers are expected to receive a 2.5% median pay rise next year. Seven pay awards out of ten are likely to be between 2 and 3%. Pay freezes will account for less than 10% of all pay awards. The survey also shows that salary increases were influenced primarily by company performance and their ability to pay (92.5%), followed by inflation levels (79.5%). XpertHR’s data also demonstrates that the gap between private sector pay awards and inflation has fallen to 0.3, which, they claim, may be as close as it gets.

For more details click here.

3.    Gender pay gap continues
A report by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), based on data provided by XpertHR, shows that average salaries for female executives were £10,600 less than those of their male counterparts. Furthermore, women received less than half of what men get in bonuses. The report concludes that an average female executive will earn £400,000 less over her career lifetime, than a man would. When it comes to the regional level, this pay gap is the widest in London and the smallest in Northern Ireland.

For more details click here.

4.    Executive pay and bonus growth comes to a halt
Basic pay and bonus growth for FTSE-100 directors has come to a halt, with bonuses down on the previous year. This was revealed by the latest report by the Incomes Data Service, published in the beginning of November. It also showed, however, that due to the significant rise in the value of vested long term incentive plans (LTIPs) awards, median total earnings have still increased markedly (up 10%). The median total earnings of FTSE-100 CEOs was £3.2 million, while the average was £4 million.
Another study, titled London, city and regional prospects (carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research), also talks about the fall in bonuses, pointing out that bonuses for City employees over the Christmas period will be down to £1.6 billion, which is less than the estimate made six months ago (£2.3 billion).

For more details click here and here.

Pay Update- 25th October

Government plans and measures

1.    Liberal Democrats say no to regional pay
The annual conference of the Liberal Democrats, held in Brighton, has voted against the introduction of regional pay in the public sector. Concerns over its disproportionately adverse effect on areas with low average incomes and the risk of a future “brain drain” (skilled workers moving to higher salary regions) have led to the rejection of the idea. This might put the smaller party of the coalition government on a potential collision course with the Conservatives.

For more details click here.

2.    Pay  freeze for some non-medical NHS staff is to continue
The NHS Employers organisation has announced in its evidence to the Pay Review Body, released on 23 October, that no across-the-board pay rise can be expected for more than one million non-medical NHS staff in 2013/2014. However, more than 60% of nurses, midwifes, administrators and other ancillary professions covered by the PRB will receive a wage increase, because of their entitlement to climb the pay scale by an incremental point.

For more details click here.


1.    Income squeeze more intense than in previous recessions
The effect of the recent recession on workers’ real term wages in the UK has been worse than in previous economic downturns. According to the Office for National Statistics the net national income per person across the country in the second quarter of 2012 was 13.2% below the level before the recession, in the first quarter of 2008. High inflation has also impacted on households’ finances in the last few years, peaking at 5.2% in September 2011, whereas the rise in household income per person only reached 1.9% at that time.

For more details click here.

2.    Engagement and motivation are now the top priorities for reward professionals
According to the latest Reward risk survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), attraction and retention are no longer high on the agenda of reward professionals. The leading concern in the top 10 list of concerns is now the failure of employees to appreciate the total reward offered, followed by the problem that staff is no longer engaged by reward. Other important reward risks include incentives not motivating staff and performance and behaviour requirements being inadequately communicated or understood.

For more details click here.

3.    Graduate salaries fall, but internships can help
Graduates who started a job this summer received an average salary that was 13.2% less than last year. A study by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies shows the average salary for graduates to be £22,800. However, university leavers who would like to earn more are advised to do a three month internship. Research from Inspiring Interns has suggested that graduates who undertake a three month long internship could earn £1500 more in their first year of employment, than those graduates who have no work experience.

For more details click here and here.

4.    Unrealistic salary expectations in the finance sector
According to a report by independent City recruitment firm BRUIN Financial surveying 2000 employees and 100 financial services employers in London 67% of employees expect a pay rise in the next 12 months, while only 23% of employers are planning to give them. The report, titled City Horizon, also shows how employers fail to understand the priorities of their staff. 62% of bosses think that job security is the most important factor for them. In reality, only 20% of employees listed job security as the key motivation.
Another survey, carried out by eFinancialCarees, indicates similar response from finance sector workers regarding pay. Their research shows that more than 80% of UK bankers expect a bonus for 2012, with nearly 50% saying that their bonus will be higher than last year. The number of people who do not expect a bonus this year has increased to 18% (from last year’s 11%).

For more details click here and here.

5.    Salary increases at FTSE 250 companies remain flat
Business advisory firm, Deloitte, published its 2012 report on directors’ remuneration in FTSE 250 companies on October 16th. It shows that almost half of FTSE 100 chief executives and more than a third of directors did not get a pay rise last year. The median pay increase for 2012 remained flat at 3%, with around 30% of companies not giving an increase. Bonuses have also declined, from being at 86% of the maximum that may be paid last year to 75%.

For more details click here.

Pay Update- 27th September

Government Plans & Measures

1.     Employment Law Changes
On 1 October 2012, the main rate of the national minimum wage increased to £6.19 (from £6.08). The youth rate and the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 will not change this year. Changes to laws regarding pensions and retirement age will also take effect this month.

For more details click here.

2.    Public sector salaries rise despite freeze
Despite the two-year pay freeze on public sector salaries imposed by George Osborne in June 2010, many public sector workers have still received a pay rise. This was due to the fact that public servants are still entitled to incremental pay rises within their grade’s wage band, even when pay scales have been frozen.

For more details click here.

3.    Employment Tribunal Statistics published
A consultation on plans to reduce the cap on unfair dismissal payouts was launched by the government earlier this month. However, Employment Tribunal Service statistics, released last week, show that the existing cap of £72,300 was only approached by a tiny proportion of unfair dismissal claims in 2011/12.
Figures also seem to indicate that unfair dismissal awards may be decreasing in value, as do several other types of discrimination awards, which have no cap. Discrimination cases that are experiencing a rise in tribunal awards include sexual orientation discrimination, disability discrimination and sex discrimination.

For more details click here.


1.    Pay settlements edging closer to inflation
Falling inflation levels are decreasing the gap between pay settlements and inflation. XpertHR’s survey shows that while the median basic pay increase in the private sector remained unchanged on the figure for the three months to July (2.5%), the retail prices index inflation has fallen to 2.9% in August. The median for the whole economy is at 2.4%, which is slightly lower than the public sector figure due to continuing pay freezes in the public sector. IDS reports the median pay settlement to be at 2.5%.

For more details click here and here.

2.    Pay growth slows for directors
According to the latest research by IDS, published on 20th August, FTSE-100 chief executives’ earnings growth has slowed down to 8.5% at the median, although an average rise of 14% indicates that a minority continues to get substantial increases.  The report explains the slowdown with a drop in bonus payments which fell by 2% last year.

For more details click here.

3.    Private companies gain competitive edge on executive pay
A recent report published by a consulting firm, Mercer, asserts that inconsistent government policy on executive pay is giving private companies a competitive edge. The report is titled Fair Pay – A desirable and feasible goal and it points out that using shareholders to oversee executive pay is compromised by the failure to apply these changes to all types of organisations.     It recommends that company remuneration policies, institutional investor effectiveness and Remuneration committee effectiveness need attention to make lasting changes.

For more details click here.

4.    Ethnic pay gap grows
According to a study by two researchers, Malcolm Brynin and Ayse Güveli, from the University of Essex, the ethnic pay gap in Britain widened over the last two decades in favour of white workers. They point out, however, that this is probably due to the result of occupational differences rather than direct pay discrimination. The research was based on the examination of the data from the Labour Force Survey from 1993 to 2008 and it suggests that by ensuring a more diverse workforce, recruiters could play a vital role in addressing the country’s ethnic pay gap.

For more details click here.

5.    Transition to localised pay is key
A report published by Policy Exchange, a conservative-minded research group, proposes that all public sector employers should adopt pay systems that reflect local labour markets. The document also lays out the details of what a local pay system might look like for the first time. According to the think tank the current system of national rates damages public services because of the difficulty of the public sector to find and keep the right staff in high cost areas. Anticipating criticism from trade unions, they added that national rates are unfair to public sector workers because their pay does not deliver the same living standards for the same job across the country.

To read the report click here.
For the article click here.

6.    Low job satisfaction levels in the UK
According to the British Social Attitudes Report, published for the 29th time this year by independent UK social research agency, NatCen, job satisfaction and work-life satisfaction are lower in the UK than in most European countries. The study shows that 22% of workers have taken a pay cut in the past three years, with men more likely to be affected by cuts than women. More than half of all employees surveyed say that their workplace experienced “a great deal of financial difficulty”.

For more details click here.
Pay Update- 17th August


1.      Pay data
IDS have released pay settlement data for the second quarter of 2012. The private sector median stood at 3%, while the public and non-profit sector continued to struggle with a median settlement at 0%. The median for the whole economy was measured at 2.5%. Pay freezes are still very common: 1 in 5 pay settlements are pay freezes and they predominantly occur in the public sector.

For more details click here.

2.      Gap between pay and inflation tightening
According to data from XpertHR, the gap between pay awards and the retail price index (RPI) is at its narrowest levels for four years due to continued fall in RPI inflation. RPI has been falling for nine consecutive months to reach 2.8%, while the median pay award (according to XpertHR) stood at 2% during the last quarter.

For more details click here.

3.      Labour Market Outlook
According to the new Labour Market Outlook survey released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in August 2012, pay settlements have remained stable during the last year. The expected mean basic pay settlement among employers planning a review in the 12 months to May 2013 is 1.6%. Public sector organisations continue to predict pay awards of 0.2% that lag far behind those of private sector organisations (2.5%). This quarter has seen a sharp increase in the proportion of public sector organisations predicting that their average basic pay will increase in the 12 months to May 2013. The proportion of public sector organisations forecasting that pay will increase has increased from 16% to 26% during the past three months. It appears that there is more clarity around pay decisions in the public sector, with a much lower proportion of public sector organisations reporting that it is hard to tell or they don’t know what their average pay decision will be (13% in this quarter compared with 38% in spring 2012).

For more details click here.
For the survey click here.

4.       Employee Outlook
CIPD released another survey this month, which focuses on employee’s finances, the effect of pay cuts and on financial education. According to this survey, the Employee Outlook survey, the majority of organisations (73%) fail to provide financial advice or education to their workers. The failure to provide this help is detrimental, when we consider that 59% of respondents experience some degree of worry about their personal finances. The most common form of giving support, among the few that do, is employee assistance programmes.
The survey also talks about pay cuts, and not surprisingly demonstrates that it has affected the public sector the most. It shows that while only 13% of those working in the public sector enjoyed a pay rise since the start of 2012, 29% of private sector employees received a raise.  As to job grades, senior managerial roles were the most likely to see their pay cut (15%) and less likely to get a pay rise (18%) than the workforce as a whole.

For article click here.
For the survey click here.

5.       Executive reward too high
According to a study by the Hay Group, The Trouble With Executive Pay, almost three quarters of non-executive directors think that executive reward is too high. This survey is the first to examine in detail the views of this stakeholder group and it shows that they tend to agree with the majority viewpoint that executive reward needs to change and that the connection between reward and performance is insufficient (87%).

For more details click here.

6.       Under 30s hit by pay cuts
Research from the Resolution Foundation presents a worrying situation for young people. It shows that earnings for people aged 16-29 years fell by 6.4% from 2003 to 2010, representing the biggest pay contraction across the UK workforce. Furthermore, if we factor in the difficult economic conditions of the last year, the decline for young people can be as much as 10% (between 2003 – 2011).

For more details click here.

7.       Temporary salaries rising
According to Office Angels, advertised temporary salaries have risen in June by an average 0.02%. All temporary roles saw an increase in salary on May figures throughout the country, which indicates that salaries are staying stable. The case of permanent salaries is more varied across regions and types of roles.

For more details click here.

Pay Update- 20th July
Government Plans & Measures

1.    Low Pay Commission
The Low Pay Commission has launched its 2013 consultation, looking for views on the national minimal wage and the level at which it should be set from October 2013. The government has also asked the commission to focus on youth unemployment, with special attention to apprenticeships.

For original article, click here
For more info, click here.

2.    Pay report regulations
Following Vince Cable’s announcement of the government’s new rules on executive pay in June, draft regulations regarding reports on directors’ pay were published this month.  With the new regulations reports will have to focus on making the link between pay and performance clear and announce a single figure for directors’ total pay for the year.  The regulations also demand that shareholder engagement is sustained over the long term.

For original article, click here.


1.    Pay data
Pay settlement figures for the three months to the end of May 2012 have been released by IDS. The median pay settlement for the private sector remains unchanged from last month’s figure at 3%. The median for the whole economy has slipped back from 2.8% to 2.5%, mostly due to the continuing high number of pay freezes in the public and voluntary sectors (still at 20%).  Regarding the private sector, pay in manufacturing is still higher than pay in the private services.  The median in manufacturing remained the same at 3%, while the median settlement for private services has increased from last month’s 2.5% to 2.6%.

For press release: click here .

2.    Graduate pay survey
According to the summer edition of the bi-annual survey by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, graduate starting salaries are rising higher than expected.  While the winter survey pointed to a 4% expected increase (to £26,500), the current survey points to a 6% increase instead. Furthermore, the survey also highlighted that the number of applications per graduate vacancy is down to 73 from last year’s 83. 

For original article, click here.

3.    Pay transparency link with employee relations
A new analysis of the CIPD/Benefax Reward Management survey shows that a link exists between employee relations climate and transparency. The survey shows that being more open about reward decisions can improve the quality of employee relations.

For original article, click here.

4.    HR salaries on the rise in London
According to the Robert Walters 2012 salary survey permanent HR salary levels are on the rise in London and in the South East. HR salary levels in London grew 2.6% in 2011, while only 0.3% in Birmingham and 0% in Manchester.

For original article, click here.

5.    Low expectations regarding pay increases
Finally, the 2012 Global Pay Optimism Index, presenting research from NorthgateArinso, deserves a mention as well. It presents pay outlook across several countries, including the UK.  The survey found the lowest expectations for wage increases in the Eurozone, while UK employees are even less optimistic with 70% not anticipating an above inflation rise.

For original article, click here.
Pay Update- 26th June
The most recent pay settlement figures have been released by IDS and by XpertHR. According to IDS the median pay award in the private sector in the three months to the end of April 2012 stood at 3%, while XpertHR reported it to be at 2.5%. Both reports show the public sector median to be a pay freeze. In the economy as a whole, IDS reports that the proportion of settlements resulting in pay freezes increased from the previous month’s 8% to 20%, and that two thirds of these were in the public and voluntary sector. This large number of public sector pay freezes has had a significant impact on the median pay settlement for the whole economy, which has fallen back to 2.8%.

Public sector cutbacks are also having a significant impact on recruitment, according to the CIPD and Hays’ annual survey, Resourcing and Talent Planning. Of the 500 public sector organisations involved in the survey, 82% struggled to fill some positions over the last few months, up from 66% this time last year. More than 4 out of 10 employers attributed this shortage to pay freezes and perceived cuts in benefits resulting from pension reforms. 40% of public sector respondents also reported problems retaining management and professional staff. At the same time, however, the high level of unemployment may be seen in the fact that 71% of recruiters reported a rise in applications from unsuitable candidates.

Slightly more positive news for the economy comes from an Office Angels survey, which suggests that advertised salaries have shown signs of improvement in the second quarter of 2012. According to the survey, advertised salaries in April increased +0.2% compared to the previous year. Temporary roles on the other hand seem to have been barely affected by the fluctuating economy, with a year on year increase of +0.2 and growing by less than 0.1% month on month.

Meanwhile, the government has announced its new rules on executive pay, which are intended to give greater power to shareholders and to promote greater transparency. One of the new rules will be to introduce a three-yearly binding vote on pay by shareholders. This has led to accusations of watering-down, since the original proposal was for annual shareholder votes. The shadow business secretary has predicted that companies will find ways to get round the new rules by adopting broad and ill-defined policies. Another new rule will require firms to provide details of how company performance compares with the amount their executives are paid.

Despite the nationwide attention on executive pay, however, it would seem that remuneration for high level jobs continues to rise.  According to IDS, financial directors of FTSE-100 companies saw total cash increases averaging 9.5% in the last financial year, with the median income reaching over £1 million. These increases have been driven by large bonuses rather than a rise in basic salaries.

The Government has also unveiled its response to its consultation on the introduction of compulsory pay audits for companies that have been found to have breached equal pay legislation by an employment tribunal. Micro-businesses would initially be exempt from these pay audits. Further consultations will follow later this year regarding how the audits will operate and what publication requirements will apply.

CIPD releases Labour Market Outlook
According to the new Labour Market Outlook survey released in May 2012 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) pay prospects fail to show improvement.

Wage settlements are set to stay weak across all sectors. The expected basic pay settlement among those employers who are planning a pay review in the 12 months to March 2013 has fallen from 1.7% (reported in the winter 2011-2012) to 1.5% among LMO employers. This results from 0.3% pay settlement in the public sector, 2.2% in the private and 1.7% in the voluntary sectors.

The survey also discusses the key determinants of pay settlements and the most important reason is shown to be organisation’s ability to pay (60%), followed by inflation (52%) and productivity and performance (42%) also being key.

Pay Update- 21st May

According to pay settlement figures released by Incomes Data Services the median pay settlement recorded in the three months to the end of March 2012 was 3%, with more than one in five settlements recorded at exactly that level. When it comes to pay freezes, IDS found that 8% of pay reviews resulted in pay freezes, primarily in the manufacturing, construction and non-profit sectors. IDS also take an early look at April’s deals, which show a provisional private sector median award of 2.9%, and public sector median of zero. This is, however, only based on a small sample.

However, these pay increases are not always filtering through to higher advertised pay. Another survey by Office Angels that looked at permanent salaries advertised in the UK found a slight decrease in advertised pay levels with a drop of 0.14% on the previous month. The pressure on salaries comes from a combination of relatively high unemployment and continuing economic uncertainty. Customer service roles have suffered the most, with an average salary decrease of -7.1%.

Executive pay continues to be under scrutiny, as the TUC claims that making shareholders’ votes on boardroom pay and bonuses binding is not enough. They advocate the presence of staff on remuneration committees as a more effective way to curb what they see as extortionate pay and bonuses for executives.

Pressure on executive pay is also being felt in the public sector. Research by IDS found a median pay rise of zero percent for NHS senior executives over the past year, with the median total at £157,500. This reverses a long term trend of high pay growth for chief executives. 

Relative restraint is also expected in the city. According to a research by Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), total bonus payouts in the City for 2012/2013 are expected to fall from a final figure of £4.4 billion to £2.3 billion.

Pay Update- 16th April
IDS published its latest analysis of basic pay settlements, which shows that the median pay settlement is consolidated at 3%, as it has been the most common award in the three months to the end of February 2012. The interquartile range has narrowed, which can be explained by falling inflation reducing pressure on employers to pay higher awards. 7% of settlements resulted in pay freezes in the three months to February 2012 (which is 1% less than this time last year).

The Office for National Statistics also published a survey about pay, reporting about the gap increasing between public and private sector pay in 2011. It shows that public sector workers earned 8.2% more than their private sector counterparts. The gap between the top 5% of earners and the bottom 5% earners is higher in the private sector. The gap is 5.7 times in the private and 4.5 times in the public sector. ONS also published data about the gender pay gap, which surprisingly shows that the median hourly earnings of women who work part-time was 4.8% higher in 2011 than for men who are employed part-time (within the 22-39 age range).

Projections about graduate starting salaries don’t give much cause for optimism. According to a report by IDS the starting salary for graduates will be unchanged from 2011 this year (at £25,000). This means a 2% pay cut, when adjusted to account for inflation. Furthermore, 90% of employees asked are planning to freeze the starting salary rates for graduates. The survey also shows that the highest paying graduate jobs are projected to be offered at legal firms this year, and the not-for-profit/public sector has the lowest paid opportunities for graduates.

Executive pay remains on the agenda, with a new report by the High Pay Commission that discusses the phenomenon of how executives are driving up each other’s pay by sitting on pay committees of other companies. The report shows that 46% of people in pay committees are or have been company executives, with 33% of FTSE100 companies having a current chief executive or executive chairman on their pay committees.

Pay Update- 16th March
Latest research on pay settlements has shown improvement in levels of pay awards. Both IDS and XpertHR’s report that the most common basic pay award in the three months to the end of January 2012 was 3%, with IDS’ figure for the median pay rise being 3% and XpertHR’s at 2.5%. XpertHR’s research also shows that nearly third of the awards are at or above 4%. Furthermore, pay awards in the private services have risen to match the level of awards recorded in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, the government has launched consultation on executive pay, titled ‘Executive pay: consultation on enhanced shareholder voting rights’. It is available on the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and it puts forward measures, such as an annual binding vote on future remuneration policy and an advisory vote on how pay policy was implemented in the previous year.

Finance professionals in the city have already been affected by the impact of the axe falling on extortionate pay. According to the eFinnancialCareers 2011 Bonus survey, more than a third of finance professionals working in the City have experienced a decrease in bonuses, with 47% of the respondents of the survey being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their bonuses, compared to 34% in 2010.

Pay growth for chief executives at local authorities has come to a halt as well. As IDS’ report into local government pay shows, the median pay changes for these positions have stayed at 0%, with the average salary increase reaching only 0.8%.

On the other end of the pay spectrum, lowest paid workers in the NHS, prison officers and armed forces employees (earning up to £21,000 a year) are going to receive a £250 pay rise after a government review of public sector pay for 2012-13. Those earning more than £21,000 a year will have their pay frozen.

Prospects in the job market are slowly improving, even though unemployment has risen further by 0.1% to 8.4%. Recruitment levels and online job opportunities are looking positive both according to a report from Manpower and a study from Monster. According to Monster’s latest Employment Index, the number of online job opportunities has increased by 4% since last year. Their survey also shows that IT and engineering are the best sectors for creating job opportunities, with a 23% and 16% rise respectively. The worst industries in this respect were legal and healthcare and social work.

Pay Update- 24th February
Two surveys came out this month about pay predictions. One is Hay Group’s report Reward in 2012, and the other is CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook survey. Both emphasise the current uncertainty around pay. CIPD’s survey is more optimistic about pay rises, projecting an expected mean basic pay settlement of 1.7%, which is 0.2% higher than in the last quarter and 0.4% higher than this time last year. In the private sector 35% of employers predict a pay rise, with the highest rises forecasted in the manufacturing and production firms. The Hay Group report on the other hand points out that even though the majority of organisations plan to increase pay in 2012, almost half of them feel pressure to decrease pay to control company costs. The report also draws attention to the decreasing employee morale and engagement due to uncertainties regarding pay. 

Local government staff will have to accept a certainty regarding their pay: pay freeze for another year. The Local Government Association announced the bad news on 23rd February, and argued that this measure is necessary to prevent more job losses and cuts to services needed by people.

Non-executive directors (NEDs) of FTSE100 companies did not have to worry about pay cuts in 2011. According to IDS’ latest annual review, NEDs received rises averaging 10% last year.

Unemployment has increased again, up by 48000 in the three months to December to 2.67 million. The number of people out of work between the ages 16-24 has also risen by 22,000. This comes as the government’s back-to-work scheme is turning into a big public scandal. In this scheme people on Job Seeker’s Allowance take part in ‘work experience’ for free at companies like Tesco, with no guaranteed job after the completed period.  As a result of pressure coming from social media and from protests, some companies (like Waterstone’s) have since then withdrawn from the scheme.

Pay Update- 3rd February
Business secretary Vince Cable announced the government’s proposals on executive pay last week. The measures proposed by Cable focus on four key areas: greater transparency; increased shareholder power; more diverse boards and remuneration committees; and best practice led by the business and investor community. The statement was received by some as a genuine commitment by the government to achieving change, others; however, have questioned whether these measures will have an actual impact on pay levels and suggest that they will instead lead to greater engagement between corporates and shareholders behind the scenes.

Predictions about pay in 2012 definitely provide cause for optimism. According to the new IDS press release, private sector pay settlements look to be higher than the median recorded during most of 2011. The reason given for this increase is the higher awards in the manufacturing sector, especially in general engineering and car component manufacturing.  So far this year almost two-thirds of pay awards recorded are at 3% or above.

Prospects for employed graduates are also promising. According to the latest survey of the Association of Graduate Recruiters pay for university leavers are expected to increase by 4% to £26,000. This is the first time a rise is predicted in the last three years.

Even though future prospects for pay are improving, presently many employees are still dissatisfied with their salaries and their prospects, as a survey by ETS shows. According to their research carried out among 400,000 people working in the private sector, half of these employees feel that their pay is unfair, up 2% from last year. 55% also complain about their companies’ bonus scheme.  Almost half of the surveyed employees are unhappy with their career progression prospects.

Pay Update- 20th January
Inflation has dropped sharply in December, with both CPI and RPI declining significantly. CPI dropped from 4.8% to 4.2%, while RPI (Retail Prices Index), which is commonly used in pay negotiations, fell from 5.2% to 4.8%. This was caused by retailers discounting to boost pre-Christmas sales and by a drop in fuel costs, and comes as a relief to employers setting pay.  Unemployment, on the other hand, has continued to rise, reaching 8.4% after increasing again by 118,000.

Pay growth was down in both private and public sectors. The Office for National Statistics’ publication Labour market statistics: January 2012 reported that annual growth rate for the private sector fell from 2.1% to 2%, while public sector growth rate also dropped from 2.1% to 1.9%, the lowest since 2001. In addition, average weekly pay for the private sector was lower than the public sector in November. The difference between the two sectors is the biggest in Wales, where women working in the public sector earn 18.5% more than their private sector counterparts.

However, private sector workers are compensated as their pay bargaining was successful in January. Xpert HR’s latest pay trends demonstrate that pay rises hit their highest level in three years with median average pay awards standing at 2.8%, the highest since December 2008.

Executive pay remains in focus in the New Year with Prime Minister David Cameron signalling the government’s intent to further legislate on executive pay in the near future.

Meanwhile, according to the Financial services London 2012 survey, 35% of financial sector workers expect a pay rise of up to 20%, and about half expect salaries to remain the same. The Accounting, finance and support UK 2012 survey shows that two-third of employees working in accountancy, finance and support in the UK expect a pay rise.

Pay Update- 6th January
CIPD’s Employee Attitudes to Pay survey about worker’s satisfaction with remuneration in 2011has been published. It shows that employees are readjusting their pay expectations in line with the economic climate and also that communication with employers is key to keeping motivation up during subdued pay awards. The survey finds that 53% of employees received pay freezes or pay cuts last year, most of them working in the public sector. 45% received a pay rise (51% of them working in the private sector), however, only 19% of those who did felt that it reflected how hard they worked. 33% percent of employees did not get any explanation from their employers regarding the decision to raise their pay. CIPD rewards adviser, Charles Cotton, warns companies about the need to improve communication with workers about positive news, so that they feel they are valued.

When it comes to those looking for jobs, Office Angels is advising job seekers to consider other aspects of advertised jobs, not only salaries, as unemployment continues to be very high. They point out that people should also take into consideration commissions, bonuses and future prospects when applying to a job. As Ernst & Young’s survey shows, the younger jobseekers already do. The graduate recruiter suggests that 41% of graduates value training and development ahead of salaries when applying for jobs.

As a response to rising levels of concern over executive pay, David Cameron has announced a plan to crack down on extortionate pay. As part of this crackdown companies might be forced to publish pay ratios between those at the top and those at the bottom. The results of the consultation on the issue will be published later in January.

Pay Update- 6th December

Real wages still falling...

Chancellor George Osborne delivered the Autumn Statement last week, promising further difficult years for the public sector. Not only did he announce that there will be higher job losses than previously forecast in the sector, but he also admitted that the government cannot afford the 2% rise in pay awards, so when the two years of pay freeze end in 2013, public sector workers can expect 1% pay award for each of the following two years. This announcement comes as the latest IDS survey has shown that the median pay increase in the three months to October is down to 2.3% (from the previous three months’ 2.4%).  This can be attributed to lower awards in the private service sector. On the other hand, awards are rising in the manufacturing sector, with almost two-thirds of awards being at 3% or above. This means that pay awards remain significantly below inflation (currently RPI-5.0% and CPI-5.4%) and wages continue to fall in real terms.

But Executive pay still rising
The significant exception to this trend is at the Executive level. Two surveys were released this week highlighting the widening pay gap in British society.  One was a report by OECD and the other one by the High Pay Commission. Both reports show that pay at the top has spiralled to sky-high levels, with wealth flowing to the top 0.1%, away from average workers. In response to these findings, the High Pay Commission has set out a 12 point plan to halt spiralling high pay that is creating inequality. Among these points are plans to radically simplify executive pay; to put employees on remuneration committees; to publish the top ten executive pay packages outside the boardroom. Deputy prime-minister Nick Clegg has also proposed to curb executive pay. Furthermore, CBI has called for more transparency regarding executive remuneration and for action to boost the link between pay and performance at the top. 

Good news For women’s pay
While the pay gap between higher and lower level jobs has widened, gender pay gap is falling. According to data published by the Office for National Statistics in November the gap between men’s and women’s median full-time hourly earnings was down to 9.1% in April 2011, reaching a level below 10% for the first time. This is a result of women's earnings growing faster than men's.

City bonuses set to fall
Finally, it seems that bonuses in the financial sector may fall because Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England has urged banks to limit bonuses as part of protective measures against the eurozone debt crisis.

Pay Update- 18th November
Three leading pay research organisations have released forecasts for pay rises in 2012.  Each is based on a survey of employer expectations.  Croner Reward predicts 2.5%, Mercer 3% and CIPD anticipate 1.48% increases. These forecasts mean that employers expect pay rises to be largely the same running at the same level as 2011.  The implication of this is that employers feel no pressure to increase pay rises to match inflation.  On the other hand, it appears that no return to widespread pay rises in forecast: the CIPD also found that 77% of employers are planning a pay review by next August.

The CIPD released Reward Risks Survey, which looked at reward professionals assessment of risk associated with reward and identified ten top risks. These included the risk of employee dissatisfaction with the value of total reward offered and the lack of understanding of reward by line managers.  

Finally a picture emerged from two surveys of a real mismatch between pay and jobs on offer by employers, and candidates’ skills and expectations.  Firstly, a Hays survey found that jobseekers preferred larger organisations to SMEs, believing that pay and benefits were not sufficiently competitive at smaller organisations.  This choosiness by candidates was despite the background of further increases in the unemployment rate, which, at 2.62 million, has reached its highest level for 17 years.

Secondly, the CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook found that employers believe that many applicants lack the necessary skills to fill the jobs on offer.  This is particularly the case amongst the one million unemployed young people.  The survey also identified a range of roles for which there was high demand: business development staff, accounting and finance staff, administrative staff and sales and marketing staff.

Pay Update- 4th November
Executive pay remains in the spotlight, as a survey by IDS draws attention to the rapid rise of pay for FTSE 100 company directors. According to the report their total earnings rose by 49% last year, thus further accentuating the gap between boardroom and shop floor wages. Average bonus payment for FTSE 100 directors stood at £906,044, which means a rise of 23% on last year.

High pay rises are not confined to the FTSE 100: pay for chief executives of SmallCap companies has also increased fast. According to IDS, directors of SmallCap listed companies have seen their median total earnings rise by 12.5%, which is four times higher than that of average private sector wage increase.  

Meanwhile, the gap between private and public sector pay settlements continues to grow. The latest IDS data shows that the median settlement level for the private sector has increased from 2.5% to 2.6% in the three months to August, while the public sector median remains at zero. The study also shows that just over half of the pay freezes that have been recorded are in the public sector. Predictions for the future for the private sector are bleak too: XpertHR found that pay awards for the sector will average just 2.5% over the coming year, which is below the predicted retail prices index inflation (3.6%).

The prospects of those looking for jobs are even gloomier. According to Office Angels and average advertised salaries have faltered in September, recording a marginal month-on-month fall mostly across lower level jobs. The report explains that employers are taking advantage of the high number of unemployed people keen to get back into or start employment and ready to negotiate on salaries.

Pay Update-14th October
Workers’ take home pay has fallen again, from a growth of 2.7% (for the quarter to August) to a 2.2% increase in the three months to September. However, the public sector managed to achieve the highest growth rate this year (2%).  Public sector salaries are rising faster than private sector pay, as shown by Hay group research. The group’s Salary Tracker has shown that public sector pay at the operative level (meaning front line and support roles) has increased by 50% over the past 10 years, while private sector pay at the same level has only risen by 37%. However, higher level jobs continue to pay better in the private sector than in the public.

The main focus of employment news this week has been unemployment.  According to the latest data published by the Office for National Statistics on 12 October 2011, adult unemployment reached its highest level in 17 years: it rose by 114,000 to reach 2.57 million, which is 8.1% of the population. Youth unemployment has also reached an unprecedentedly high level since records began in 1992. This is affects people who are employed as well. According to Aviva’s Health of the Workplace Report, 6 in 10 employees regularly work overtime which is the result of worries over redundancy.

On the other side of the spectrum, executives are looking to keep their bonuses. 89% of city workers are confident that they will get a bonus, although almost half of the people asked predict a fall in bonuses over the next three years. According to a report by InterExec, headhunters believe that senior executives could further increase their pay by up to 80% if they had 3 or more years work experience in the Far East.

New Surveys Reviewed
Two new surveys have been published by XpertHR, looking at pay in Housing Associations and in the wider third sector. The surveys show that both sectors are suffering from funding cuts, which led to these two sectors having the two lowest pay awards of all sectors. Those in the not-for-profit sector saw their median basic pay fall from 1% to a pay freeze in the period between 1st September 2010 and 31st August 2011. This is a worse outcome than expected: XpertHR’s previous voluntary sector salary survey had predicted a 2% median pay rise from July 2010.

Not only the incidence of pay freezes has increased in the charity sector (to 44.9%), but the interquartile range of pay awards has narrowed and is now between 0-1.8%. Predictions for the future of the sector are also bleak. According to campaign group False Economy, charities will see net funding reductions of more than £110 million in 2011. Furthermore, significant funding cuts planned for the next years and the plan of charity bosses to reduce staff numbers will probably put further downward pressure on pay awards in the future.

The housing sector has fared slightly better than the wider not-for-profit sector. The median pay award is up 1.5% from last year’s median pay freeze. As to overall pay awards, they fall within the range nil to 3.2%, with half of pay awards worth between nil and 2%. Nevertheless, one-third of pay awards in the sector still result in a pay freeze (less than last year’s 60%), and 55% of chief executives surveyed had a pay freeze in the past year. Pay rises in housing associations working in the supporting people sector have been lower than at those with general housing stock.

Pay Update- 6th October
Changes to employment law planned by the government, came into force on 1st October 2011. Only one of the changes is directly related to pay: the increase of the national minimum wage from £5.93 to £6.08 per hour, which affects 890,000 people.

Low pay has also been in the news this week as a result of investigations about employers paying minimal wage, which revealed that 150,000 social care workers are paid less than the legal minimal wage. Furthermore, unpaid internships are also coming under increased scrutiny, because of companies employing unpaid interns to save money.

The other change taking effect on 1st October is the abolition of the default retirement age, which means that if an employer wishes to operate a compulsory retirement age, it will need to justify it. Although this doesn’t have a direct link to pay, it is possible that there might be paybill costs associated with higher levels of employment of longer serving (more costly) staff.

Other than the increase in the minimum wage, jobs and pay do not promise a lot of hope. A 9% month-on-month drop on job vacancy levels in August and the fact that around a quarter of FTSE 100 companies have frozen salaries both suggest failing confidence in the global economy. Pay awards still compare poorly with inflation. According to XpertHR the median pay award is at 2.2%, while the retail prices index inflation is at 5.2%. However, there are some positive signs for the future: according to a survey by IDS of HR professionals in leading UK firms, almost a third indicated that they will pay higher awards in 2012, with less than 13% reporting that they will pay a lower award than in 2011.

This week not only saw a focus on low-earners’ pay, but also that of highly paid executives. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) published clear guidelines on executive pay, which try to help organisations in understanding the role of company boards in rewarding performance and the dangerous consequences of excessive remuneration. It also contains guidelines on benchmarking.

Other interesting articles:

-Alternative proposals for public sector pension reforms set out
-Employees will pay to bring unfair dismissal claims, government proposes
-Minimum wage 'hitting job creation'

Pay Update - 20th September

Pay data looks set to be more transparent in the future as the government has published a consultation on executive reward that proposes to simplify the reporting requirements for organisations, and Business Secretary Vince Cable has proposed a shakeup in executive pay. According to the latest IDS figures, pay settlements have remained stable with a median of 2.5% from January to July 2011. Aon Hewittresearch has predicted that salary increases will rise in 2012 but still remain below inflation. Research by XpertHR also suggests that performance-related pay awards are too small to motivate staff. In the third sector it has been revealed that pay is up to 18% less than for equivalent jobs in the private sector, according to Croner.

There have been moves to clamp down on the controversial issue of unpaid internships. Graduate advice site Graduate Fog has begun a naming and shaming campaign to expose companies that don’t pay their interns. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has also recommended that interns are paid the National Minimum Wage. However, CIPD chief economist John Philpott cautioned that there has been an over-emphasis on youth unemployment at the expense of other vulnerable groups.

Pay Update - 23rd August

Currently pay is a rather bleak topic for most, with pay awards remaining below inflation and take home pay £1,212 lower on average than two years ago. A recent tribunal has also found that it is reasonable for an employer to ask for a pay cut. Starting salaries have even fallen in financial services. Even bleaker, a forthcoming study due to appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has identified that nice male employees are paid 18% less than their nastier counterparts. However, The Telegraph has found that council chief executives have been enjoying pay rises despite the harsh climate.

In benefits, a YouGov survey has found that employers should be tailoring their benefits packages to the age profile of their workforce. Listening to and looking after your employees can have significant financial benefits too, as Leeds Metropolitan University has found after the success of its wellbeing programme. This may become more common, since the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has recommended that employers take more financial responsibility for employee healthcare in the future to take some of the burden off the state.  

CIPD releases Labour Market Outlook
The CIPD has released its summer edition of the Labour Market Outlook, outlining the employment prospects in the public and private sectors for the next few months.

Zigbert has provided some highlights, or CIPD members can download the full report here.
Pay Update - 2nd August

Base pay is proving to be particularly important for employees at the moment, with new research from the CIPD showing that more than half of employees cite salary increase as their main reason for changing jobs. Economic uncertainty and rising living costs are also putting pressure on graduates to aim for jobs with big salaries, rather than more idealistic aims. Data from Incomes Data Services (IDS) has also shown that there is a widening gap between pay awards in the private and public sectors.

has found that employers have adopted a "generous approach" to holiday allowances, with the average entitlement six days above the statutory minimum. However, according to research by YouGov, UK workers are forgoing their holidays due to money and work worries. This looks set to change next year 2012; ACAS has warned that organisations need to start planning for next year's Olympic Games in London to reduce the risk of unauthorised absence.

Pensions are still a hot topic, with the government recently specifying how much extra teachers, civil servants and NHS workers will have to pay towards their pensions from next April. Labour has claimed that the new pension reforms will negatively affect agricultural workers, but private sector pensions have also come under fire. The Workplace Retirement Income Commission (WRIC) review has said that private sector pensions need urgent reform to fix the current “risky and complex” system and avoid sentencing millions of workers to poverty in old age.

Pay Update - 22nd July

There is a lot of news about pensions this week, with the progression of public sector pension reforms. Formal consultations on increasing public service pension contributions in 2012-13 are due to start by the end of this month, with concessions for those earning under £21,000. MPs are now set to lose control of their own pensions, with the responsibility being transferred to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Things are looking up for pensions in the not-for-profit sector though, because Pitmans Trustees has announced plans to launch a new specialist unit that will focus exclusively on charity pension schemes.

In pay, XpertHR has found that employers are not following inflation when deciding pay awards due to financial pressures. Bankers could also start to see reductions when a new EU directive clears the way for UK regulators to set “vigorous” guidance on bonus levels. Things are much better for London PA’s though; Office Angels has found that PAs in the city earn fifty per cent more than their regional counterparts. Many employees, however, are less concerned with pay and more with wellbeing. According to Simplyhealth, one in three employees does not feel valued by their employer, raising concerns companies are failing to communicate they care about the health and wellbeing of staff, to the detriment of engagement and productivity.

IPPR investigates pay divide
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank recently published an interesting report about the widening pay gap between UK’s highest and lowest earners, with a strong focus on the apparent disparity between reward and merit.

We have provided a summary of some of the interesting findings, and you can read the report in full on the IPPR website.
Pay Update - 11th July

It seems that small businesses are likely to be cutting down on employee benefits in the near future as a cost-saving measure. Research by insurance firm MetLife suggests that 27% of small businesses believe that current levels of holiday offered to staff are too generous, with employers wanting to reduce this by an average of four days per year; and several reports have indicated that employers are beginning to consider removing health benefits for employees. The British Chambers of Commerce has also called for new businesses to be exempt from the upcoming pension reforms, which would have forced them to auto-enrol all employees onto a pension scheme, because nearly one-third (32%) of business owners identified pension reforms as the top obstacle to taking on staff. There is not even likely to be much flexible working around the 2012 Olympics, with just 10% of employers considering allowing flexible working at this time.

Public sector employers aren’t faring much better. Shropshire council has sent dismissal letters to all 6500 of its employees in a move to force through a pay cut of 5.4 per cent, and Southampton City Council has had to refute trade union claims that it will shed more than a quarter of its workforce over the next three years. In the third sector, nearly half of all workers think their pay is not competitive, according to research byBirdsong Charity Consulting.

In other news, there are fears over green job creation due to a lack of skills in the UK, and there are now more age discrimination tribunal cases than race discrimination tribunal cases, even before scrapping of the Default Retirement Age.

IDS publishes new pay settlement figures
Incomes Data Services has sent out new pay settlement figures for the 3 months to May 2011. For a clear summary of their findings, go to the Features section of our blog.

IDS is a UK information and research service on employment issues, providing a range of publications for employers, trade unions, government departments and other agencies. For more information go to

Pay Update - 28th June

Pensions are a rather bleak topic at the moment, with public sector workers being told to work longer and pay more for their pensions. Chief treasury secretary Danny Alexander is set to announce that Public pensions are ‘to be linked to the state retirement age’. This has caused a rebellion in parliament, and trade unions have threatened industrial action that may continue into the autumn.  Many firefighters have even decided to opt out of their occupational pension scheme in response to the contribution increases.  However, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has found that the government proposal to scrap the state second pension and implement a single payment would redistribute money from higher-earning pensioners to lower earners, benefitting women (who may have taken time out of their careers to raise children) and carers. In the private sector, research by Aon Hewitt has found that UK employers are unprepared for auto-enrolment in 2012.


Research by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has shown that nearly half (47%) of those aged between 18 and 34 would save more for retirement if they knew how much state pension they would get. These are the lucky ones who have found jobs, but many graduates are turning to entrepreneurship because of a lack of employment opportunities. Those who try to find jobs through internships or work experience may struggle because almost half of employers admit that they do not pay students and graduates who join them for work experience placements or internships, potentially breaching minimum wage legislation.


There is at least cause for some cautious optimism in the world of pay, with just over a third (37%) of delegates at the Employee Benefits Summit 2011 offering staff decent pay increases, although these are not as high as pre-recession levels. Research at XpertHR has also shown a median pay increase of 3% in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, Vince Cable has expressed outrage that pay for FTSE 100 chief executives is now 120 times that of the average employee, compared to a multiple of 45 in 1998, and has announced a new consultation on executive pay.

New CIPD Reward Management Survey Report
The CIPD has published the results of its annual Reward Management Survey. If you want a quick and easy summary of the main points of the report, go to our features page for our list of key points.

This survey is a useful benchmarking and information resource for anyone interested in reward, and can be accessed if you sign up for a free account on their website.

Pay Update - 14th June

The three months to May 2011 saw an increase in overall take home pay but it still trails behind the rising cost of living, according to the VocaLink FTSE 350 Take Home Pay Index. There is a marked difference between public and private sector pay, with the private sector seeing a 3% pay rise while public pay was frozen. However, the CIPD reports that one employer in four (26%) has already frozen or will freeze pay this year and just under one in 10 (9%) has decided to delay pay reviews.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has also called for private companies to publish pay ratios showing their executives’ earnings as a multiple of their lowest-paid workers, and the Low Pay Commission (LPC) has been tasked by the government to review internships and evaluate whether such work experience placements should be paid. On a brighter note, researchers at the University of Leicester discovered that people are happier when their jobs have variety and autonomy and that performance-related pay, including bonuses, make no difference to employee satisfaction or stress.

In terms of reward, XpertHR has found that benefits and allowance schemes are still a popular recruitment and retention tool for employers, with some planning to increase their use in the coming year. One such scheme is Zenith Provecta’s bikes-for-work scheme, provided by Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op.

Pay Update - May 31st

As austerity measures begin to kick in and inflation reaches its highest level since 2008 the subject of pay settlements is seeing increased attention throughout the national media. IDS has reported March pay settlements remain at 2.5%  though this disguises the increasing divide in reward between the public and private sector. It is expected their April report will see an increase in pay settlements. However CIPD has released its annual reward survey, which presents a bleaker picture. Key headlines include a quarter of organisations implementing pay freezes and settlements ranging from 2% to 2.4%. Much of the national press has focused on the pay of Chief Executives and Directors, including reports of a 32% increase for FTSE bosses and large pensions for NHS directors .

As unemployment slowly falls an HSBC economist has suggested that job growth will stall following overrecruitment by organisations and slow GDP growth. Inside Housing has suggested social networking and media may help the unemployed find work. The debate over employment regulation continues with the recent CIPD statement that lobbying against employment regulation "flies in the face of economic evidence". This was responded to by the Institute of Directors accusing HR of being the “biggest vested interest of all”

Zigbert Looks at HR

Today we're releasing our report on reward with Human Resources.

We have looked at over 5,000 HR jobs advertised in recent recruitment advertisements and found that the median HR Manager salary was £40,000 compared to a median salary of £50,000 for the same level role in Talent Management, and £55,000 for a role specialising in Change Management.  
Traditional HR disciplines, such as Generalist, Employee Relations and Learning & Development are paid less than roles using ‘newer’ skills, such as Talent Management and Change Management, according to research by reward experts Zigbert.

To download the full release head to our Zigbert Looks At page
Pay Update - May 17th


The city received a shock with the release of national inflation rates. CPI rates of 4.5% were above expectations of around 4.2%. This was blamed mainly on a late Easter increasing transport costs. However IDS reports that pay settlements remain at 2.5%,whilst the High Pay Commission has reported on tremendous increases within the top 0.1% of UK earners in the last decade.  The Recruitment and Employment Confederationhas also reported on the increasing pay gap between the public and private sector.

Within the public sector NHS Directors have been subject to scrutiny with pay awards averaging 4.5% rather than the government recommended 1.5%. The government has announced it plans to review existing Tupe legislation in order to reduce red tape and bureaucracy. The initiative has been met with warm responses from employers organisations though Unite has called the plans “an onslaught to working people”. Prudentialhas announced the retirement gender pay gap has reduced though men still receive 50% higher pensions than women


Pay Update - April 20th
The biggest issues facing pay this week have been the surprise drops in inflation and the continuing effects of austerity measures on the public and voluntary sector. Many have been looking into unemployment and the possible consequences for reward. The CIPD has called for an audit of public sector job cuts, bringing further uncertainty to the OBR’s forecast of 310,000 job losses. The extent of job losses is likely to affect pay reward for the foreseeable future. Public sector unions have been in the limelight. The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) are rejecting a 5 year pay offer linked to inflation. Following Unite’s rejection of an extra day of annual leave for work during the April 29th Bank Holiday it has reported around a quarter of NHS Trusts will not be awarding overtime-pay for work on the day.

The voluntary sector has also been attracting attention, with worries about funding prompting research into performance and pay.  HR Magazine have also published research into the value behind presenteeism, with over 5 million in the UK putting in extra work worth £27 billion. 


Pay Update - April 11th

The gap between the UK’s high inflation rises and modest pay rises has seen increasing attention from national media, including a feature on Panorama. Recent reports from the Centre for Economics & Business and the BBC suggest a real time wage loss between £910 and £1088 compared to two years ago. In addition when pay rises will begin to match inflation has become more uncertain.XPertHRhas released a report suggesting pay rises will orbit 2% for the rest of the year whilst IDShave reported median pay increases of 2.5%. The manufacturing industry seems to be faring well with the Engineering Employers Federation announcing 2.4% increases. Unfortunately doom and gloom appear to be de rigueur for the public sector with substantial job losses and HR departments often expected to pull the trigger. Many sourcesare predictingincreased industrial action this year.  Even the financial sector is predicting greater focus on performance based bonuses.

Additionally the government has approved of the proposal to increase the National Minimum Wage by 15p to £6.08 an hour.  The most has seen criticism from the British Chambers of Commerce, being called “the wrong increase, at the wrong time”.

The ONS has recently compared average wages of graduates and non-graduates showing, after beginning careers at similar wages, graduate pay increases are more substantial year on year. The survey also shows male graduates are paid more than female graduates.


Pay Update - 25th March
The Times Higher Education has published its annual survey of pay within the educational sector. Their conclusion, which corresponds with a recent Sutton Trust Survey, is that Vice-Chancellor pay has decreased over the year. In addition to this THE have looked into the backgrounds of Vice-Chancellors themselves, finding that most do not come from private education or Oxbridge backgrounds . 17.2% of vice chancellors are women.

According to XpertHR pay settlements have continued to increase. They report the median basic pay reward is now at 2.3%, an increase of 1.3% from the year before. Although a substantial increase this falls below the most recent inflation rate of 5.5% RPI

This falls alongside the most recent unemployment rate of 8.0%, the highest since 1992. Particularly worrying is the substantial increase in youth unemployment to 20.6%. The government has pledged to address this with the creation of 50,000 new apprenticeships

Aside from the well publicised suggestions on pensions in Hutton's report on fair public sector pay has made a number of recommendations. The suggested 20:1 pay cap on public organisations has been disregarded, though the report finds pay multiples should be published for all organisations.  More performance related pay and further transparency to the public is suggested. 

Pay Update - 1st March

Posted: Tue Mar 1 2011
Lord Davies recommends a voluntary target of 25% female board members by 2015. This has been received warmly by most businesses though the report has attracted skepticism for it's lack of enforcement.

Recent migrant law affects recruitment of skilled workers

HR professionals see an increase in bonus reward

Number of graduate positions increasing

Government adopts 'name and shame'approach to organisations violating minimum wage laws

Government statistics reveal youth unemployment on rise

Minority of managers know the legality of unpaid internships:

Pay settlements remain at 2%

Default retirement age abolished:

Pay Update - 2nd Feb 2011

Posted: Wed Feb 2 2011

Commission launches inquiry into pensions failings
An independent commission has been launched to investigate why the pensions system is failing so many working people in the UK.

PWC research: Asset management compensation rises
Compensation in asset management firms has risen as fund performance shows signs of improvement, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

Improve standards in defined contribution pension provision to encourage saving, says regulator
The Pensions Regulator is inviting employers to comment on how standards in defined contribution provision can be raised and greater confidence in pension saving achieved.

Paternity leave regulations explained
The Additional Paternity Leave Regulations apply to parents of children due, or matched for adoption, on or after 3 April 2011.

Real-term 2011 pay decrease will hit public sector hardest, says consultancy
Although pay will increase at a faster rate this year than in 2010, inflation will grow even more rapidly, according to consultants Hay Group. There is a risk of the public sector being priced out of the talent market, creating a brain drain from the public to the private sector, Hay added.

Blackpool council staff agree to pay cuts
Staff at Blackpool Council have agreed to a voluntary pay cut to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies the council will have to make.

Employees not saving enough on pensions, warns CIPD
Employers face a “huge challenge” to inform staff about the impact of looming pensions reforms set for 2012, CIPD research has revealed.

Pay processes
Reward and HR professionals looking to review or better understand their pay review processes should be helped by a new CIPD guide.

Bank break-up looms as Clegg backs reform
The break-up of Britain’s biggest banks is looking more likely after the deputy prime minster backed large scale reform in the sector.

Shareholder group calls for shake-up of remuneration committees
Widening the membership of remuneration committees would help to curb excessive executive pay, according to an advisory body representing institutional shareholders.

Salary freeze for directors
 Chairmen and non-executive directors are expecting another year of frozen pay, despite an increase in workload and responsibility.

Pay Update - 24th January 2011

Posted: Mon Jan 24 2011

Pay settlements rise as employers reward staff loyalty
Pay awards concluded in January 2011 are worth more than those for the same period in 2010, according to research published today.


KPMG to pay school leavers’ tuition fees in job scheme

School leavers will be given the chance to study accountancy at university without paying tuition fees, in a new scheme offered by professional services firm KPMG.


Employers who flout minimum wage law to be named and shamed

Employers who deliberately flout the national minimum wage law will be named and shamed in press notices, as well as being prosecuted.


Government confirms abolition of Default Retirement Age

The Government has confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) will be phased out from April this year, despite calls from business groups to delay the process.


Private sector staff to receive higher bonuses

The private sector employees will receive higher bonus payments this year, according to research by Incomes Data Services (IDS).


Hay Group research: Pay increases will be higher in 2011

Private sector pay increases in 2011 will be higher than in 2010, at a median 2.5%, while public sector employees will see a rise of only 0.4%, according to Hay Group’s Reward in 2011 report.


Johnson resignation sees Liam Byrne move to shadow work and pensions role

Former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne (pictured) has been made shadow secretary of state for work and pensions as part of a shadow cabinet reshuffle following the resignation of shadow chancellor Alan Johnson.


It pays to be nice to staff, says boss

Lara Morgan, CEO of hotel toiletry products supplier Pacific Direct, said yesterday that being kind to staff helps ensure they make a greater contribution to their company.


Ignore benefits and pay at your peril

As some companies report an upturn and others only just start to feel the pain, no organisation should neglect the effect of reward on talent.


MPs asked to vote against own pay rise

The government has asked MPs to vote against their recommended 1 per cent pay rise, in a move that has already caused unrest in the House of Commons.

Further inflation rise sparks pay worries

Both rates of inflation rose again last month, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

Pay Update - 10th January 2011

Posted: Mon Jan 10 2011

Two-thirds of small firms do not offer pension schemes
Two-thirds of small employers do not offer pension schemes, while others have failed to keep up with the cost of providing sufficient contributions.

The Pensions Trust implements new investment service
The Pensions Trust has implemented a new investment service across all its schemes to allow for the generation of better risk-adjusted returns relative to liabilities.

CIPD calls on government to improve employment practice
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the government to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, raise awareness among employees of the 2012 pension reforms, and introduce a £2.50 an hour training wage for internships lasting three months or longer.

Private sector pay increases but lags behind inflation
The median pay award rose slightly to 2.2% over the latest three-month period to the end of 2010, according to the latest pay data from Incomes Data Services (IDS).

Phasing out default retirement ages: the challenge to employers
The Coalition Government's response to the consultation exercise on phasing out of the default retirement age was scheduled to be published at the end of last year, but publication has been delayed, however.

Management loses out on bonuses and profit shares
Bonuses and profit shares for senior and middle managers have fallen more than for other employees over the last two years.

Employers must act now over changes to taxation of post-termination payments
From the 6 April, organisations will need to withhold income tax rates of up to 50% when making post-termination payments to employees.

Bank bonus regulations take effect as confident City begins 2011
As the City returns to work after the New Year Bank Holiday, European regulations over bonuses for bank employees have taken effect.

Council chief executives resist pay cuts
Reducing the pay of council chief executives should be considered but it is not the panacea to public-sector spending problems, local authority HR directors have warned.

Compensation and benefits to take a hit in 2011
Almost half (46%) of British SMEs do not provide benefits to any of their employees, claims a recent survey from market research agency BDRC Continental.

The full story behind the increase in part-time workers
This year, the number of those in part-time work has reached its highest level since the Office of National Statistics began its employment series records in 1992.

Pay Update - 4th January 2011

Posted: Tue Jan 4 2011

National minimum wage amendment in place from January 1
The Government has finalised the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2010, which amend the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and come into force on 1 January 2011.

The Pensions Regulator launches new guidance
The Pensions Regulator has published new guidance and consultation reports covering the three areas of multi-employer schemes and employer departures; monitoring employer support, and incentive exercises.

Mental health in the workplace
The economic climate has been a major contributor to high stress levels and 'recession depression.' Stress has been cited as the biggest cause of long-term sickness absence and the British way of dealing with it is said to run a serious risk of psychological problems. So why aren't we acknowledging mental illnesses in the workplace?

Hutton pension review: NAPF recommends average salary method
Public sector pensions should be based on a worker's average salary over the course of his or her working life rather than their salary upon retirement, according to an industry body.

The employment law aspects of the royal wedding
Employment law seems to engage with most areas of life these days. Even the announcement that the royal wedding will be marked by a bank holiday could present employers with challenges.

Career average pensions the answer for public sector, says NAPF
The public sector should move from final salary to career average pensions, to help reduce its pension costs and protect lower paid workers, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) have argued.

Westminster Council publishes salary data
Westminster Council has published salary details for all staff earning more than £60,000 a year, as part of efforts to promote transparency.

Employers unprepared for pension reforms
Nearly a quarter (23%) of UK businesses have not considered the implications of auto-enrolment on their pension schemes, according to the Aon Consulting Employee Benefits and Trends Report 2010 by Aon Hewitt.

Nest to offer a socially responsible fund option
Trustee members of the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) Corporation have agreed to offer a fund focussed on investing in a socially responsible manner (SRI).

Revising the remuneration code - prepare to meet the new FSA regulations
Ruth Thomas supplies a guide to the new FSA regulations and how they may affect remuneration.

Pay Update -21st Dec. 2010

Posted: Tue Dec 21 2010

Pay awards remain settled, despite public sector freeze
Pay awards remain settled at 2%, despite Government-imposed pay freezes in the public sector, according to the latest pay data from XpertHR.

ONS: Workers' pay is on the increase

Employees' pay is increasing, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Local government pension deficit could total £100 billion
The Local Government Pension Scheme in England could now total £100 billion, according to new research from an independent pension consultant.

Increase in maximum compensation for unfair dismissals
The maximum compensation that the Employment Tribunal can award employees for unfair dismissal, and the basis upon which statutory redundancy payments are calculated, will increase from 1 February 2011 through the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2010.

Finance Bill increases flexibility over use of pensions savings
Rules over the use of pensions savings will be relaxed under newly drafted legislation.

One in 4 employees fake expense claims, says new report
A quarter of UK workers have lied on expense paperwork in order to increase the size of their claim, according to a new report.

One in four UK workers would not claim for serious work injury
A quarter of UK workers would not make a negligence claim if they experienced a serious injury at work as the result of faulty or unsuitable equipment, a survey has suggested.

FSA code gives UK ‘world’s toughest rules’ on bonuses
The UK now has the world’s toughest rules on bank bonuses, experts have said, following the publication of the Financial Services Authority’s Remuneration Code on Friday.

Banks face showdown meeting on bonuses
Britain’s most senior bankers will be under renewed pressure to act to curb bonuses today (Monday) when they face a crunch meeting with the Chancellor and the Business Secretary.

Renewed calls to scrap bonuses for senior police
A chief constable has reignited calls to scrap bonuses for senior police officers as he plans to refuse the payment for the third year in a row.

Arguments over RBS’ £1bn bonuses
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has said that it intends to go ahead with its billion-pound bonus scheme despite the Coalition’s warnings.

Third of employees predict a pay freeze in 2011
Fewer employees expect a pay rise next year despite the economy emerging from the recession and the spiralling rate of inflation, a CIPD study has revealed.

Weekly Pay Update -15th Dec. 2010

Posted: Wed Dec 15 2010

Government backtracks on pension inflation changes

Private sector pension schemes will not be forced to use the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation rather than the retail prices index (RPI) to uprate pensions.


Government scraps gender pay audits

The Government has announced that gender pay audits will not be compulsory under the Equality Act 2010


Government calls for evidence on early access to pension savings

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban MP has called for evidence on whether early access to pensions savings could encourage people to make higher pension contributions.


Cebs publishes guidelines on bankers’ pay

The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (Cebs) has published its final guidelines on bankers’ pay and bonuses.


Government launches consultation on public sector pension contributions

The Treasury has launched a consultation on the discount rate used to set unfunded public sector pension contributions.


Insurance regulation causes massive hike in salaries for IT workers

Impending regulation has induced salary increases of up to 50% for IT workers in the insurance sector.


New rise in inflation sparks pay concerns

Both key measures of inflation increased again in November as food and clothing prices soar, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown.


Finance bill to clamp down on ‘disguised remuneration’

Employers who pay staff through trusts and other arrangements in order to pay less tax are to face scrutiny under a government clampdown on ‘disguised remuneration’.


Managers prefer bonus to promotion as Christmas present from boss

Nearly half of the 3,300 managers asked said that a financial payment would be more the most welcome benefit at this time of the year, with just 10% preferring a promotion.


Employers 'ill-prepared' for Incapacity Benefit review

Employers have not prepared sufficiently for the Government's review of Incapacity Benefit, according to research released this week.


CBI urges rethink on removal of default retirement age

The Confederation of British Business (CBI) has urged the government to clarify its position on the rules around the default retirement age (DRA) and respond to businesses' concerns over its removal.
Employee Benefits Roundup of the Finance Bill 2011

Posted: Fri Dec 10 2010
With the coverage of the tuition fees debate and the student protests, you could be forgiven for thinking that there wasn't much else going on in parliament yesterday. However, draft legislation for potential inclusion in Finance Bill 2011 was unveiled yesterday.

Finance Bill 2011: Government increases personal allowance and reduces basic tax rate

Finance Bill 2011: Change to qualifying conditions for childcare vouchers

Finance Bill 2011: Pensions annual allowance will be reduced

Finance Bill 2011: Income tax to be payable on EFRBS

Finance Bill 2011: Government confirms restriction on tax relief on childcare vouchers for higher-earners

Finance Bill 2011: Tax charge linked to Nest costs to be removed

Pay Update -9th Dec.

Posted: Thu Dec 9 2010

Half of managers would prefer Christmas bonus to promotion

Nearly half of managers would prefer to receive a bonus as a Christmas present from their employer, compared with just one in 10 who ranked promotion as the perfect gift.


Employers advised not to dock pay during snow crisis

Employers are being advised against docking the pay of workers who fail to make it into the office due to the snow, even though they are entitled to.


Hutton calls for fairness in public sector pay

The salaries of top executives in the public sector must be reined in and a link established between the highest- and lowest-paid employees if pay inequality in the public sector is to be reduced, an employment expert has warned.


Depression not good enough reason for time off, say half of employers

UK employers are leaving themselves wide open to disability discrimination claims because they are failing to take depression and stress in the workplace seriously, new research reveals.


Gender pay gap narrows at its fastest ever rate

The pay gap between men and women is closing at its fastest rate since measurement began, according to the latest round of official figures published today (8 November).


Finance Bill 2011: Government confirms restriction on tax relief on childcare vouchers for higher-earners

 The government has confirmed it will introduce a restriction on the level of tax relief available to higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers who receive childcare vouchers or directly-contracted childcare.


Finance Bill 2011: Tax charge linked to Nest costs to be removed

Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2011 that will remove the tax charge on borrowing linked to the cost of setting up, managing or administering the national employment savings trust (Nest), subject to conditions.


Wages increase at half the rate during 2010

Figures released today have suggested that average pay has increased at half the rate in 2010 compared to 2009 in both public and private sectors.


Government backs down over CPI pension switch

The government has watered down proposals to change the way payouts under private-sector pension schemes are calculated, after concerns about the fairness of the move.


Mandatory equal pay reporting shelved

Businesses will not be required to publish the pay gap between male and female employees, despite the clause in the Equality Act which makes this possible, the government has said.


Inside Housing salary survey published

Inside Housing’s exclusive salary survey reveals that housing employees are getting a rough ride as the economic storm continues to rage. Caroline Thorpe reports on an unsettling climate of pay freezes, reduced benefits and job insecurity

Pay Update -1st Dec.

Posted: Wed Dec 1 2010

Making staff work royal bank holiday will generate 'huge resentment'

Employers that force staff to work on April 2011's extra bank holiday will create "huge resentment" among their workforce, the TUC has warned.


HMRC releases new advisory fuel rates for company cars

Most of the rates have risen slightly or remain unchanged but, for larger engines, the advised costs of diesel and LPG have fallen.


Pension schemes able to communicate with members electronically from 1st December

A draft regulation from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that allows pensions schemes to communicate with members electronically comes into effect on 1 December 2010.


Payroll-giving donations fall

The proportion of employees donating to a payroll-giving scheme has seen a 12% decline, according to a report from Equiniti ICS.


Lawyers' salaries fall in 2010

The average salary for lawyers fell in 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 2010 law firms survey.


Risk reduction a priority for final salary pension schemes

Almost three quarters of employers with defined benefit (DB) pension plans expect to focus on reducing unrewarded investment risk in their pension plans during the next five years.


It's snow problem: using technology to overcome the weather

With severe snowfall hitting parts of the UK, organisations are being encouraged to use technology to minimise disruption.


 Overworking staff increases turnover at law firms, says PwC

There is a "strong correlation" between staff turnover and chargeable hours at law firms, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.


More partners of employees invited to Christmas work parties this festive season

One in six events booked through Elysium Global Events in London is allowing partners this year, compared to one in 13 in 2009.


Ireland’s minimum wage to be cut by 12 per cent

Ireland’s national minimum wage is to be reduced by €1 per hour – or 12 per cent - to €7.65 in a bid to "remove barriers to employment creation", according to the government’s four-year national recovery plan released this week.


Small firms believe pensions auto-enrolment necessary

Many small employers believe that auto-enrolment into pensions is a necessary step, and in fact would be more comfortable if nobody was able to opt out, PM has learnt.
Pay Update - 24th November 2010

Posted: Wed Nov 24 2010

CIPD defends chief executive Jackie Orme's pay

The CIPD has defended the remuneration package awarded to its chief executive Jackie Orme for 2009/10, following criticism of her increased bonus and overall size of the package.


Pay awards reach 22-month high

Pay awards have increased to their highest level in almost two years and there are signs the upward trend will continue, according to research published today by XpertHR.


Millions of workers have left it too late to take 2010 holiday entitlement

British workers have an average of 4.7 holiday days left to take this year, with one in 10 (12 %) still having 11 or more days left, according to research by travel price comparison site


Pensions must be better targeted at the i-phone generation if they are to save more for retirement, says bank

Employee pension schemes must appeal to "the i-phone generation", according to provider HSBC.


'As an employer, I am not interested in the number of hours someone puts in'

How can we organise working time in such a way that we achieve maximum productivity while promoting human happiness? Of all the various aspects of work-life balance, this is one of the trickiest and most interesting.


Government skills strategy may result in legal disputes

A leading employment lawyer has warned that the Government's skills strategy has the "potential for legal problems" over the compulsion of larger businesses to pay for training.


Using rehabilitation services to manage long-term absence

Absence from work cost Britain's employers £17bn in 2009, as the average employee took six days off sick, according to a recent survey of absence and workplace health by the CBI and Pfizer.


No extra pay for Christmas Day, care staff told

Employees at a firm of care homes in Devon have been told they will not be paid overtime on Christmas day as paying extra would discriminate against other religions.


UK workers would sacrifice pay for bigger pension contribution from employer

Pensions top the list of benefits for which employees would sacrifice their hard-earned wages today in order to provide for a more financially-secure retirement.

Pay Update - 17th Nov.

Posted: Wed Nov 17 2010

Recovery in bonuses boosts HR pay growth

HR pay growth has been boosted by a recovery in bonuses, with the combined rate rising by 3.6%, according to an XpertHR survey.


Employers offering lower graduate salaries

Starting salaries offered to graduate recruits are 6% lower than in 2009 and are not keeping up with pay rises across the economy.


FSA opens consultation on new pay transparency rules

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) opened a consultation on the implementation of forthcoming new rules governing the disclosure of pay and bonuses in the finance sector.


Lorica adds roadside assistance to flexible benefits

Lorica is adding a roadside assistance and recovery service to its flexible benefits package.


Employees see pensions as the best retirement saving tool

Staff increasingly see pensions as the best way to save for retirement and as the most important employee benefit employers can offer, but they have become less confident their pension will deliver.


NHS launches tool to improve staff health and wellbeing

 ‘NHS well-being at work’, was developed by NHS Employers and is designed to support organisations working in the NHS in reducing staff sickness and absence.


Pensions salary sacrifice tops list of valued benefits for UK staff

Over half (56%) of UK employees would sacrifice pay for a higher pension contribution by their employer, according to Aon Hewitt.


FTSE 100 companies are much more likely to offer flexible working arrangements than SMEs

Only 16% of British SMEs are prepared to offer flexible working, compared to 69% of the FTSE 100.


Pre-Christmas job surge to offset public cuts

Private-sector job creation will more than offset public-sector job cuts in the final quarter of 2010, the CIPD’s autumn Labour Market Outlook(LMO) survey has predicted.


Banks ‘in talks over reducing bonuses’

Bankers’ New Year bonuses could be slashed in a co-ordinated move by the country’s biggest banks, it has been reported.


Tube drivers in strike vote over Christmas pay

London Underground (LU) drivers are to vote on industrial action in a row over Boxing Day pay.  Aslef, the train drivers’ union, said LU had insisted that 26 December was a “normal working day”, but the union said its members should receive additional pay.

Weekly Pay Update - 10th November 2010

Posted: Wed Nov 10 2010

Pay trend research highlights contrasts across 12 sectors

Pay trends for the past year varied widely by sector, with manufacturing seeing median pay rises above that for the private sector and the voluntary sector at the bottom of the pay rise league table.


Pensions auto-enrolment and abolishing DRA a 'double blow' to small firms

The Government's decisions to remove the default retirement age (DRA) and oblige firms to auto-enrol all employees into a pension scheme will "deal a double blow to smaller employers", according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB).


Equal pay progress 'grinding to a halt'

Progress in addressing the issue of equal pay for men and women appears to be "grinding to a halt", despite improving for the past 30 years, according to a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.


Payroll professionals unprepared for 2012 pensions reforms

Over two thirds (67%) of payroll professionals said they are not ready for the 2012 pensions reforms, according to a new survey from the Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP).


Majority of UK employees believe they are underpaid

More than nine out of 10 UK employees think they are underpaid although 61% of them wrongly overestimate their worth, research reveals.


Majority of employees are stressed but the young are more stressed than their older colleagues

Research to mark Stress Awareness Day today finds 84% of employees are stressed at work, with one in seven (14%) admitting to being very or extremely stressed.


The occupational system is broken and must be fixed

The occupational pensions system is broken, says National Association of Pension Funds chief executive Joanne Segars. It must be fixed.


Equal pay audits ‘give competitive edge’ on talent, City firms told

HR professionals in the financial sector whose firms conduct gender pay audits should publicise the fact as it gives them a competitive edge in attracting talent, delegates at the City HR conference were told.

Executive pay at most firms remains static, says IoD

Directors in most private businesses have had their pay frozen or have taken a sub-inflation pay rise this year, according to a survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD).


Pay awards stay below inflation

Pay awards for the majority of UK employees remain below inflation at between 2 and 3 per cent, despite a recovery of private-sector profits, the latest IDS Pay Report has revealed.

Weekly Pay Update - 3rd November 2010

FTSE directors' pay rise figures called into doubt

A report suggesting that FTSE 100 executive directors saw their pay packets rise by more than 50% over the year to June 2010 has been described as a "significant misrepresentation of the facts".


National minimum wage should rise to £6.14, says TUC

The TUC will tell the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to recommend raising the adult national minimum wage next year by 21p to £6.14 an hour when the two organisations meet on 1 November.


BBC staff to strike as NUJ members reject final offer on pensions

The BBC will be hit by strike action next month after National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members voted to reject the corporation management's revised pension proposals.

Equality Act must be fully implemented to tackle equal pay, say campaigners

The Government has been urged to fully implement the Equality Act 2010 and force big businesses to measure and publish pay gaps, in a report by equality groups and unions.


Employers believe staff are responsible for own financial education

The majority of employers (83%) believe it is the individual’s responsibility to educate themselves about financial matters, according to a new report from the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and Standard Life.


Majority of directors have experienced a pay cut

The majority of private sector directors received a pay cut in real terms in 2010, according to a survey by the Institute of Directors (IOD).


Working fathers would like to take share parental leave with their partners

Nearly half of fathers would take advantage of the new, shared parental leave, which comes into force in April 2011.


Employers are still dragging their feet on pensions auto-enrolment

More than a third of UK employers have still not considered the impact of pensions auto-enrolment on their business.


State second pension could be scrapped in shake-up

The government has announced it is to overhaul the state pension, in an effort to cut costs and encourage people to save more money for retirement.


Stress-related absence rises, Financial Times

Staff absence levels remain higher in the public sector than in the private sector, with stress levels likely to grow as the government’s spending cuts bite, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Weekly Pay Update - 27th October 2010

Corporate governance review must look beyond pay comparisons, warns PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Speaking at the CBI conference on 25 October, business secretary Vince Cable launched a review into UK corporate governance, which will include an investigation into executive pay.


Early retirement for civil servants is cost effective, says Cabinet Office

Under planned changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, an estimated 80,000 Whitehall staff, as well as thousands more in police forces, the NHS and councils, will be given the opportunity to retire at the age of 50 on full pensions.


Comprehensive Spending Review: Industry welcomes pension changes

Industry groups have backed the changes to the UK's pensions system announced by Chancellor George Osborne last week.


Aon Hewitt research: UK salaries set to grow by less than inflation

The Aon Hewitt 2010/2011 European Salary Increase Survey found that the average UK salary is expected to rise from 2.5% in 2010 to 2.7% in 2011.


Organisational change is a top stress factor for public sector

CIPD Absence Survey found nearly half (56%) of public sector employers cited organisational change/restructuring as a key cause of work-related stress, compared to 34% in the private sector.


Government to launch consultation on state pension reforms

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), said: “We will be bringing forward proposals for reform later this year. Our aim will be a simple, decent state pension for future pensioners, which is easy to understand, efficient to deliver and affordable."


BP to link health and safety to reward following Macondo 'incident'

BP is to create a new safety division and has put plans in place to link staff safety to reward, in response to the Gulf of Mexico disaster.


EU proposes 20-week full maternity pay for new mothers

The proposals, which must now go for approval by the EU countries, include 20 weeks full maternity pay and rules employers will be banned from dismissing pregnant workers until six months after the end of their maternity leave.


Comprehensive Spending Review: Child benefit cuts could act as work disincentives

Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families said: “A single earner on the minimum wage working 16 hours a week will see their family’s income reduced to less than the amount they’d get from claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance as a couple– a real disincentive to work.”


Half of public sector workers are 'prepared to strike' over pay cuts, Telegraph

Some 49% of state workers surveyed by the CIPD said they were willing to strike to protect jobs.

Weekly Pay Update - 19th October 2010

Bonuses for hospital doctors too 'costly and unwieldy'

The BBC discovered a loophole which means that large pay bonuses cannot be taken away from doctors, even if their performance deteriorates.


Public sector facing cuts to staff benefits and pay over next year

Public sector employees can look forward to job losses and pay and benefit reductions, after the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.


Most industrial disputes relate to pay and benefits

47% of employers surveyed by DLA Piper said that their most recent industrial dispute related to pay and benefits.


Young women are not prepared for retirement

More than half of women under 50 admit they are not preparing adequately for retirement, according to research from Scottish Widows.


Few public sector managers prepared to compromise on pay

Only 15% of public sector managers would accept a pay cut in the run-up to the government's Comprehensive Spending Review, according to research by the Institute of Leadership and Management.


Flexible working comes before high pay for majority of workers around the world

Many workers would choose jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility.


The flu will cost UK employers 7.6 million working days this year, according to experts.

It accounted for the most number of days lost (1,141) among short-term illnesses.  


Confusion exists over chancellor's proposal to link pension income rises to Consumer Price Index

Payments from public sector pensions, the State Second Pension and some private-sector defined-benefit pensions will rise by 3.1% instead of 4.6% next year, according to Towers Watson.


50,000 stay-at-home mothers are forced back to work in the past 12 months, Mail online

 The statistics highlight the financial nightmare facing women who are being crippled by a combination of super-size mortgages and rising household bills.


Bosses expect unrest as pensions and jobs take hits, The Times

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals that about half of public sector workers are prepared to strike to save their jobs and rights, even it if causes disruption.

Weekly Pay Update - 11th October 2010

Minimal pay rises for housing association staff

Pay rises for housing association staff have been halted due to uncertainty about future social housing projects.

Child benefit cut could prompt 'flurry' of employee benefit reviews

Employers may increase the number of salary exchange or flexible benefit schemes.

HR urged to do more to provide clarity on pensions

Too many people are "sleepwalking into a job" with no idea about its pension provision and HR professionals are not doing enough to help them

Dragons' Den star Bannatyne 'just wrong' about Equality Act

A Twitter war broke out between Duncan Bannatyne and an XpertHR contributor over the Equality Act.

Changes to exercise and diet are top staff wellbeing objectives

Employees cite changes to their exercise routines and their diet as their top wellbeing objectives, according to a survey from wellbeing consultancy Tonic.

Hutton promises a "transparent and simple" pensions system for the public sector

Hutton’s considerations include career-average or capped defined-benefit schemes, but he also made noises about looking at international schemes such as the defined-benefit arrangements available in Sweden.

Facebook and Twitter are valuable tools for promoting pensions to Generation Y

Employers should be using 21st century tools to communicate with their employees.

Civil service redundancy pay deal provisionally agreed

The government has upped its offer on redundancy pay for civil servants, although the new proposal has met resistance from the largest union involved in the prolonged talks.

Workingmums has announced the winners of its inaugural annual Top Employer Awards, giving the top accolade to Accenture.

Accenture voted best employer for work-life balance.

Employees need to be incentivised to save for retirement

Employers should engage employees in making pension choices.


Weekly Pay Update - 6th October 2010
Most wealthy workers want to work beyond retirement

60 % of wealthy workers in the UK want to carry on working as long as they are able, sinceretirement in its current form has become unsustainable due to rising life expectancy.

Company car schemes are key to recruitment and retention, says survey

GE Capital says more than two-fifths of managers value company cars as an important part of employee recruitment and retention

Vince Cable attacks bonus culture at banks

Vince Cable wants to take money from greedy bankers and lend it to small businesses.

9,000 public sector employees are paid more than the Prime Minister

Many higher level BBC employees are on huge salaries, and 1000 public servants are earning more than £200k.

National minimum wage rules and rates change on Friday 1st October

Small businesses and charities are not happy.

Ed Miliband risks alienating business groups over minimum wage hike

New Labour leader says he believes in a “living wage”; business leaders not happy.

Gender-equality quotas move a step closer

Europe considering legislation to get women into senior positions.

Many employees want to work from home but their employers won't let them

The benefits of working from home, for employers and employees.

The average 30 year-old's projected annual pension has just dropped by £544

But according to Aon Consulting, a 60 year-old and a 65 year-old witnessed a modest increase of £52 and £61 respectively in their projected annual retirement income.

Reducing top pay ‘would worsen public services’

HR experts warn that if the public sector is forced to shrink salaries, talented individuals will be put off applying for senior posts.

Research shows that happiness increases with earnings – up to a point

Those who earn over £50k show no increase in happiness over those who earn £50k.

British Workers skim a billion off the top via fraudulent expenses claims

MPs aren’t the only ones who exploit their expenses system.

Sexism and the City!

Wealthy women in the City earn an average of 37% less than their high earning male counterparts.
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