First quarter pay rises down at 2.6%

The average basic pay rise has dropped to 2.6% in the three months up to the end of February 2009, according to figures released today by Personnel Today’s sister organisation Industrial Relations Services (IRS).

Its research found that almost six out of 10 deals (59%) are lower than they were 12 months ago, while one-third (31%) of awards are higher. The remaining 10% are set at the same level as a year ago.

Pay freezes are becoming more commonplace, with 28% of pay deals during the three months to the end of February falling into this category.

Sheila Attwood, editor of IRS Pay and Benefits, said the situation should now remain steady for a short period. “The most common pay award so far this year is nil. However, the majority of organisations are still making pay awards, albeit at lower levels than a year ago. We expect the median pay award to hover around its current position of 2.6% over the next few months,” she said.

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