BP has become the latest major private sector firm to freeze pay.
The petrol giant has admitted it is freezing the salaries of virtually all senior and middle managers in the UK. However, they are still expected to receive bonuses for 2008.
The news comes as research by Personnel Today's sister organisation, pay specialists Industrial Relations Services (IRS), found there had been a sharp rise in the number of pay freezes and the deferral of pay rises. One in four pay awards effective in January 2009 has resulted in a 12-month pay freeze, the study published last week showed.
A BP spokesman said the changes in pay would vary both by country and department, and that no business-wide initiative had been enacted.
"Given that the price of oil has dropped by over $100 a barrel in the last six months it's not surprising that measures had to be taken to make cost-savings," he told Personnel Today.
Last week RBS announced it was slashing bonuses, while Toyota froze pay in line with levels from 2008.