In focus: Payments for making unsocial hours

Pay for working unsocial hours is in the news, as a key issue in the junior doctors’ dispute with the Government, and as one of the terms some lower-paying employers are reducing to offset the new ‘National Living Wage’ for employees aged 25 and over. These examples create the impression that the pressures on unsocial hours pay are mostly downward. However, this is not universally the case, with premiums being maintained in other important sectors like call centres and engineering. Continue reading In focus: Payments for making unsocial hours

Lawyers enjoy higher pay rises

A recent survey of pay for in-house lawyers by IDR found that median salary increases ranged from 2.35% for qualified solicitors to 2.75% for deputy general counsels. We found higher pay increases in the private sector than across the public and not-for-profit sectors. Recruitment and retention issues appear to be muted. Few employers reported difficulties recruiting lawyers, with any such problems typically occurring at more junior levels. Meanwhile just a fifth of employers are experiencing problems retaining lawyers (generally at senior legal adviser level and below). Our analysis shows significant variations in salary levels by sector, as well as variations by region, company size, company turnover and PQE. Continue reading Lawyers enjoy higher pay rises

Labour market remains in mostly good shape

The ongoing recovery in the UK labour market looks to have continued in the first quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. Employment continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate than during 2015, and unemployment also fell marginally, though it still remains above the important milestone of 5%. Continue reading Labour market remains in mostly good shape

Graduate labour market recovers

The market for graduate jobs has become more buoyant over the last two years, driven by a recovery in private sector recruitment. This is one of the key findings of our survey of graduate salaries. The survey found that the number of graduate recruits rose by 11% in 2015 and is projected to rise by a further 17% in 2016. Meanwhile applications for graduate vacancies have risen at a faster rate, ensuring that competition for each placement remains stiff. Continue reading Graduate labour market recovers

Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Government policy on pay usually has little direct influence over the private sector. But the current official limit of 1% on public sector pay awards, which has been in place since 2010, has arguably played a part – alongside reductions in public spending – in damping down pay pressures in the wider economy. The policy has of course been made easier to maintain by the fact that inflation has been relatively low over most of the period. Continue reading Viewpoint: Is the Government flexible on pay?

Update on the National Living Wage

Since our last special report on the National Living Wage (NLW), in February, we have been continuing to monitor the effects of the new statutory minimum rate of £7.20 an hour for employees aged 25 and over. Our main finding is that, despite the age limit, many employers have been applying the new minimum to staff aged between 21 and 24 as well, and in many cases to all staff. This is particularly the case in retail, though other companies are looking to alter the age profiles of their workforces, possibly to make future use of the age distinctions contained in the minimum wage structure. Continue reading Update on the National Living Wage

Whole economy median pay settlement of 2% masks sectoral variation

The median pay settlement across the whole economy has remained steady at 2% in the three months to April 2016, according to the latest monitoring figures from IDR’s Pay Climate. The median award has been constant for four consecutive rolling periods, since the three months to January. However, this figure is not necessarily representative of awards across the different parts of the economy where pay outcomes have varied. In this key period for pay setting, higher awards have been reached in the private services sector where the median is 2.5%. Meanwhile, lower awards have been paid in the not-for-profit sector as well as in the public sector, most of which is still formally subject to the Government’s 1% pay cap policy, though variations have begun to appear. Continue reading Whole economy median pay settlement of 2% masks sectoral variation

Pace of change set to pick up in local government

There are significant differences between local authorities that have opted out of national local bargaining and those that follow the national agreement in terms of basic pay increases, pay progression and other terms and conditions. This is the overall finding from the Survey of Pay and Conditions in Local Government 2015/16 conducted by Incomes Data Research.

Basic pay increases ranged from zero to over 5% at opted-out councils, this compares with the 1% nationally-negotiated increase in 2015. Continue reading Pace of change set to pick up in local government

Earnings grow at 2% but wide sectoral differences remain

Average weekly earnings continue to grow at around 2% across the economy, down from the 3% level seen last summer, but there are wide variations between the different sectors. In the latest figures released by the ONS on 18 May, strong earnings growth has continued in construction, while in the lower-paying sector of retail and hospitality, earnings growth has dropped sharply, to 1% in March. Continue reading Earnings grow at 2% but wide sectoral differences remain

Settlements in brief: April pay awards show rise in proportion of higher-end increases

Our next detailed analysis of pay settlements will appear in our regular Pay Climate e-bulletin at the end of the month. However, ahead of this we took a look at the figures to see what they might indicate. The figures for the three months to March, based on some 70 awards, show a median of 2%, and a fairly narrow interquartile range between 1% and 2.5%. The average is the same as the median, at 2%. Continue reading Settlements in brief: April pay awards show rise in proportion of higher-end increases