There is no sign of a sustained increase in the level of pay awards as organisations continue to increase pay at a rate below inflation, or to not increase it at all.
Data released today by XpertHR shows that 2% has emerged as the benchmark pay award over the autumn months. In the three months to the end of November 2012, the median basic pay increase, which excludes performance-related pay, bonuses and progression payments, stands at 2%, the same as the previous three-month period.
Almost a quarter (23.7%) of pay awards in the period analysed resulted in a pay freeze and, over the year to the end of August 2013, 8.7% of employee groups are expected not to receive a pay rise.
The figures come just ahead of the busy January wage bargaining period, when around a quarter of all pay settlements take effect. XpertHR said that January is key for pay awards in the manufacturing and production sectors - employers in these industries predict a 3% median pay award during 2013.
XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: "Pay awards have ended the year on a low note, with the 2% median increase well below trend, and below inflation. Even with the best intentions, employers will be bound by what they can afford to pay over the next year. Private-sector employers are predicting pay increases in the region of 2.5% over the coming year, and we expect a continuation of pay freezes for some and few awards worth more than 3%."