Pay settlements remain static

UK
pay settlements have remained unchanged for the fifth consecutive month.

According
to the IRS (Industrial Relations Services) Pay Databank, the stability of pay
awards has been maintained into the second half of the year.

Bargaining
activity has fallen into its usual summer lull, following the conclusion of the
spring pay round. The IRS Pay Databank has monitored 42 basic deals with
effective dates between 1 May and 31 July 2003, covering 416,094 employees.

The
headline measure of settlements (the mid-point in the range of basic deals)
stands at 3 per cent for the three months to 31 July 2003. This is unchanged
for five successive rolling quarters.

IRS
Pay and Benefits Bulletin editor, David Carr said: “With inflation expected to
ease, profitability recovering only slowly and companies struggling to raise
their prices, there are no significant upward pay pressures in the pipeline.

"Despite
indications that the corner has finally been turned in the manufacturing
sector, jobs are still being lost and margins remain squeezed, leaving little
scope for this nascent upturn to translate into higher pay awards just yet.

"And,
while growth in the service sector has also gathered pace, revenues and
profitability are under pressure and settlements will remain constrained as a
result.

"The
IRS Pay Databank view therefore remains unchanged from July; basic awards in
the coming months will not stray far, if at all, from the 3 per cent level”.

By Quentin Reade

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