Nearly half (46%) of private sector and 13% of public sector employers reported pay freezes last year.
The Personnel Rewards Survey by Croner Reward, which polled 400 organisations and 250 personnel professionals, also revealed that, of those that did see an increase, the average award was 2%. For the coming year, employers are reporting an average forecast of 2.5%.
The survey also found the public sector pays 14% above the survey average while the private sector receives 2% below the survey average.
Pay for different roles within the HR function also varies, with compensation and benefits specialists receiving 13% more than the average senior manager, and health and safety specialists receiving 3.5% less.
The survey also revealed 42% of employees do not feel their contributions to the organisation are recognised in a good or excellent way, and that almost one in five (18%) feel they have a poor or bad work-life balance.
Viv Copeland, head of client services at Croner Reward, said: “It is crucial employers keep up-to-date with the facts on market pay, otherwise they risk losing key professionals who feel underpaid and undervalued.
“However, for the many organisations under pressure to cut budgets, it is important to remember simple pay rises are not the only way to show the importance of staff and keep them feeling motivated.
“Employers must do everything they can to ensure staff are well-managed, engaged in interesting and stimulating work and have a good work-life balance.”
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