Wage increases remain at 6% in the three months to the end of March, in line with the previous two quarters, research has showed.
While the median basic pay award for the quarter was 6%, the most common was 5% awarded by around one in six (16.7%), according to the latest findings from XpertHR.
The study suggests that, with UK inflation marginally dropping to 10.1%, real wages are still falling as living costs override any gain in take-home pay.
The data further highlights that more than three in four (78.4%) of pay settlements were higher than they were during the same period last year. While the median pay rise for March was 6%, this figure was 3.7% for the same month in 2022.
Sheila Attwood, XpertHR senior content manager, data and HR insights, said: “Although pay rises continue to reach record levels, UK employees will still feel the financial squeeze as inflation remains above expectations. With food and drink prices remaining stubbornly high, real term wages are set to shrink and employers can expect workers to maintain their push for raises to shield themselves from rising living costs.”
The research, which examined the outcomes of 272 public and private sector salary reviews covering 510,000 employees, also found that pay freezes are still low. Only 1.5% of survey respondents claimed that their pay had been frozen, compared to 2% who said the said the previous month.
Attwood added: “April is the most important month in the annual pay settlement calendar and tensions between employers and employees will be heightened, particularly in the public sector. Of course, inflation is expected to fall throughout the year, however, employers must maintain an open dialogue with their employees to factor in recent developments. Lack of transparency and a negative workplace culture will only compound issues further.”