Pay freezes gain popularity in manufacturing

Nearly
a quarter of all engineering and manufacturing companies that reported pay
settlements in the three months to the end of December 2003 implemented pay
freezes.

According
to the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, which collected the figures, this represents
the highest level of pay freezes that has been reported since February 2002.

However,
in sharp contrast to the high level of pay freezes during this period, the
number of companies reporting that they had deferred their pay settlement
during the last quarter of 2003 has fallen to just under 3 per cent, the lowest
figure for more than two years.

Over
the same period, the average level of pay settlements reported by engineering
and manufacturing companies was 2.3 per cent.

Commenting
on the figures, David Yeandle, EEF deputy director of employment policy, said:

“The
high level of pay freezes, together with the continuing low level of pay
settlements, reinforces our view that inflationary pressures [on wages] remain
benign and should not be of concern to members of the monetary policy committee
when they next review the level of interest rates”.

By Quentin Reade

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