Pay rises propped up by public sector

2003

The overall level of pay rises in the UK is being buoyed up by increases in the public sector, according to analysts Incomes Data Services (IDS).

The average increase in pay deals during the three month period to September was 3.3 per cent, but deals in the public sector were worth an average of 3.5 per cent compared to just 3 per cent in private companies.

The results, based on more than 700 pay reviews so far in 2003, showed that one in four deals awarded increases of 4 per cent or higher. Most deals were valued between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, while one of the largest increases (5 per cent) was granted to workers in the demolition industry in a bid to push up minimum rates.

The report showed relatively high awards were agreed in parts of the construction, food, drink and tobacco processing industries. But In many part of manufacturing industry, increases were considerably lower, failing to reach even 3 per cent.

Only seven settlements were worth less than 2.5 per cent and one was below 2 per cent.

Another trend noted by IDS in recent pay reviews in the finance sector is that more emphasis is being placed on using bonuses rather than salary rises to reward individual or group performance.