No Pay Rise for Many Employees

No Pay Rise for Many Employees

More than half of UK employees are not expecting a pay rise this year, research from YouGov has found.

The poll of 4,235 adults found that 57% — which equates to 16 million people — believed they were unlikely to get a pay rise from their employer during 2010. A further nine million expected a below-inflation increase.

The survey also revealed that a third of consumers expect to be worse off this year. More than one in ten (11%) admitted they were living beyond their means and were forced to rely on credit cards and overdrafts.

Ann Robinson, director of policy at uSwitch, which commissioned the poll, said that one reason for the high levels of consumer debt was that average salaries were failing to keep up with the cost of living.

“For many people the situation could get worse before it gets better. High inflation, a lack of access to credit and zero pay increases will make things tough.”

HR Consulting director, Ed Millie, said that employers needed to be sympathetic to staff who might be struggling financially.

“Small firms that are going to find it hard to offer a pay review this year should try to be as open as possible with employees. Give people the reasons and share the reality of the business, because if you’re furtive about it, people start to worry that you’re hiding something.”

“When finances are tight, offering practical support measures to staff, such as changing payroll dates, can also help boost morale. Most people tend to pay their mortgage or rent around the first of the month, so making sure your payroll date fits around this can make a vast difference to people’s lives. Or consider offering loans to cover big expenses like season tickets, which can then be repaid monthly.”

A Forum of Private Business spokesman said a “significant number” of its members were intending to negotiate pay cuts this year, as an alternative to making redundancies.

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