The latest data from XpertHR shows that the median basic pay award in the three months to the end of April 2023 was 6%, unchanged for the third consecutive rolling quarter.
With the turn of the financial year at the beginning of the month, April is always the busiest time of the year for pay reviews. At 6%, pay awards stand two percentage points higher than the 4% recorded during the same period last year.
However, this will come as little comfort to employees who continue to experience marked real terms pay cuts when their salary increases are set against inflation.
Latest rolling quarter findings
Based on the outcome of 197 pay awards with effective dates between 1 February and 30 April 2023 covering nearly half a million employees, XpertHR also found:
- Largest proportion of deals at 5%. The most common pay award was at 5%, made in 23.2% of the deals recorded.
- Interquartile range widens. While the lower quartile remains at 5% for the second rolling quarter in a row, the upper quartile has risen by 0.1 percentage points to 8.1%.
- Proportion of higher deals falls. 72.3% of deals received a higher increase than last year, down from the 78.4% recorded in the three months to the end of March 2023. A similar proportion of the latest deals were either worth less (14.9%) or the same (12.8%) as last year.
- A handful of pay freezes. Just six employee groups, representing 3% of sampled deals, resulted in a pay freeze for employees.
Sheila Attwood, XpertHR senior content manager, data and HR insights, said, “This latest dataset is significant because it includes the first wage reviews from April, which is the most important month in the annual pay settlement calendar. However, pay awards have remained the same, holding at 6% as we enter the second quarter of 2023.
“While inflation is forecast to fall through the second half of this year, our research suggests pay awards may well hold at their current levels. During a recent webinar, we asked employers how they expected 2024 pay awards to compare to current levels – nearly half (44%) believe they will remain the same, compared to 41% who think it will be lower. Just 14% believe it will be higher.”