Pay rises were worth a median of 2.5% in the first quarter of the year, the highest for a decade, according to a new study.
The figure matches the latest CPI inflation rate, and there is evidence that higher pay awards are here to stay, said wage analysts XpertHR.
The most common pay rise is now 2.5%, having been "stuck" at 2% for many years, said the report.
Almost two thirds of the 227 agreements studied were worth more than was paid to the same employees a year ago.
Increases in the manufacturing and production sectors have remained at 2.6% in the latest period, keeping them at the highest level in six years.
XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: "We are now seeing a definite upturn in the level of pay awards made by employers.
"Early indications from some April pay awards - the busiest month in the pay setting calendar - are that 2.5% will become the benchmark pay award for 2018."