Although fewer employees are likely to be subject to pay freezes next year, six out of 10 are worried that they will not be able to make ends meet financially.
According to a study entitled ‘Employee Attitudes to Pay’ published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), even though the economy has remained out of recession this year, public confidence in terms of renumeration is on the wane.
While some 58% of workers expected to receive a pay rise over the next 12 months, the figure was down from 67% last year. Moreover, a third of staff anticipated being subject to pay freezes, up from a quarter last year.
Public sector employees were more pessimistic about the future than their private sector colleagues, however. Some 49% of public servants predicted that they would experience pay freezes, with only 44% believing they would obtain a wage increase compared with 29% and 61% respectively in the private sector.
But Charles Cotton, the CIPD’s performance and reward advisor, said that 2011 may not be as bleak as many workers feared. “While the proportion of employees who have seen their pay frozen has increased in 2010, we predict that this will fall next year as more private sector employees enjoy a pay rise and fewer of them receive a pay freeze on the back of the improving economy,” he said.
But even many public sector staff earning less than £21,000 per annum would still see their wages increase as would those receiving increments due to length of service or performance, he added.
“It may be that workers are being very cautious in their pay outlook for 2011, after being disappointed by what happened to them in 2010,” Cotton said.
Of those employees expecting their salaries to increase, private sector staff forecast a median rise of 3%, while their public sector colleagues put the figure at more like 2%. The main reason for unhappiness over pay freezes related to rising levels of inflation the cost of living (53%), however.
But a study undertaken by charity the Samaritans revealed that 57% of people were worried about facing a financial shortfall over the year ahead, while 37%, regardless of socio-economic group, were anxious about losing their jobs. Some 38% of people in the C2DE category were afraid of being made redundant, only slightly more than the 36% in the ABC1 grouping.
Moreover, some 56% were concerned that coalition government budget cuts to public services would affect them directly during 2011, while nearly a quarter of respondents with children feared that they would lose their homes.