Pay freezes remain commonplace, with most recent deals lower than workers received a year ago, new research suggests.
Pay awards in the first quarter of 2021 were less than half the value of those concluded in the same period a year ago, according to analysts XpertHR.
Increases are settling into a 1% median, unchanged for the fourth consecutive rolling quarter, but the study indicated there are signs of growth to come.
A third of the 217 settlements studied resulted in a pay freeze, said the report.
Three out of four awards in the latest three-month period were lower than the same group of employees received a year ago.
Differences in settlements have emerged, with pay rises for some of the larger, essential retailers, while wage freezes are widespread among those who have been forced to close their stores for large parts of the past year, said the report.
Tourism-related sectors, including airports and airlines, are more likely than logistics providers to have recorded a pay freeze.
XpertHR pay and benefits editor Sheila Attwood said: “Early results from April pay awards suggest some upward movement in the headline measure, as the median for this month alone currently stands at 2%.
“However, pay freezes remain commonplace, and the majority of deals are lower than the same employees received last April.”