Rise in pay awards reported


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Pay awards have started to increase after five years of low settlements, according to a study.

A survey of 70 recent deals shows that the first ones arranged in 2014 were worth a median of 2.5%, up from 2% at the end of 2013.

Pay specialists XpertHR said the range of settlements had increased compared with last year, with the middle half of agreements falling between 2% and 2.8%.

Median deals across the economy in 2013 were worth 2%, the fifth consecutive year of low pay awards, the report stated.

Unions have been pressing for bigger wage increases to keep up with inflation, currently 2.7% on the RPI measure and 2% for CPI.

XpertHR Pay and Benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: "Pay awards ended 2013 on a subdued note, but there are encouraging signs from the first of the 2014 pay deals that have been concluded.

"The 2.5% median pay award in January 2014 is the highest level for almost two years, but it is too early to say whether this pick-up in pay awards will strengthen further."

TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It's great that the longest real wage squeeze in over a century could finally end this year.

"But with working people thousands of pounds worse off than they were four years ago, it'll take several years of strong pay growth to make up the damage that's been done to their living standards.

"Working people have borne the brunt of recession and stagnation so government and employers have a duty to ensure that they receive a fair share of the benefits of recovery, through decent wages for all."

© 2014 Press Association