The median basic pay award remains at 6% for the fifth consecutive quarter, new figures have revealed.
According to findings from XpertHR, 5% is the most common settlement, with this percentage increase being agreed in almost a quarter (24.5%) of deals.
The data, which covered 378,779 employees, was based on 228 salary reviews from 1 March to 31 May 2023. It included awards given during April, usually the busiest time of the year for reviews.
While settlements were unchanged, high inflation rates mean workers are seeing a reduction in their real-time wages.
Sheila Attwood, XpertHR senior content manager, data and HR insights, said: “This month’s data includes pay awards from April, the busiest month of the year for pay reviews however awards remain the same, holding at 6%. Although inflation is beginning to fall as we enter the second half of this year, it still lies far ahead of pay rises, meaning employees will remain grappling with the effects of a real-terms pay cut.”
The figures further showed that only seven deals, equating to just 3.1% overall, were reported as pay freezes. Additionally, around 7% of settlements were aligned to meet national or real living wage rates.
When comparing this year’s deals to the same period in 2022, an analysis found that the proportion of higher settlements had increased. More than three-quarters (77.2%) of deals were greater than the percentage awarded last year for the three months to the end of May.
Attwood added: “Despite some signs of the labour market easing, employers continue to report skills shortages and retention challenges. Pay and benefits are often used to help ease the pressures, and this is likely to be behind some of the increases we are seeing. We don’t expect to see any further upward movement in pay awards, although the slower rate of decline in inflation that is playing out may well leave pay awards higher than organisations had originally anticipated at this point in the year.”