Housing association staff pay continues to rise

Basic pay for housing association employees increased by a median of 3.8% in the 12 months to July 2009, according to research by salary survey specialist Celre.

The Housing Association Salary Survey 2009-10, published exclusively on the website XpertHR JobPricing, showed that this figure is down from an increase of 5.4% in 2008. However, this year’s figure still represented a healthy increase in basic pay for many workers at a time when the economic slowdown was turning into a full-blown recession.

However, employer predictions indicate there are even tougher times ahead for employees. While participating employers said their most recent salary reviews resulted in an average increase of 2.5%, the next pay bill and salary review are both forecast to come in at a median of just 1.2%.

There are also gloomy indications that staff are finding it increasingly difficult to move on to other jobs during the recession. While redundancies in the housing sector remained low – falling from 1.7% in 2008 to just 0.8% in 2009 – resignations dropped from 9.4% to 4.1%.

Mark Crail, head of salary surveys and data benchmarking at XpertHR, said: “As publicly funded bodies, housing associations were partially protected from the early impact of the recession, but it is clear from the figures that they are far from immune to what is happening in the wider economy.

“Forecasts for the coming year show that housing associations expect pay settlements in 2010 to be around half the level they were in 2009, and for many people, that could mean a pay freeze.”

Other key findings from the survey of 29 UK housing associations – covering 6,461 employees, from CEO to administrative assistant – included:

  • Basic pay plus bonuses increased by a median of 3.9%, compared with 5.4% the previous year
  • Total labour turnover for all reasons stood at 6.5%, down from 13.4% the year before
  • The average basic salary for a chief executive stood at £113,006; £45,971 for a function head; £37,471 for a department or section manager; £19,052 for a junior professional; and £15,404 for a trainee professional.

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