UK employees can expect to receive a 1.1% real salary increase in 2020, compared to the 1.2% increase seen in 2019, according to research found by XpertHR. 
The median basic pay award edged up to 2.8% at the end of the quarter, 0.3 percentage points higher than the average seen in every other rolling quarter in 2019. However, XpertHR warned that the increase should be viewed with caution as its analysis looked at pay settlements awarded between 1 August and 31 October, traditionally a period where few pay reviews are concluded, the underlying picture is of organisations increasing pay by 2.5% across 2019 as a whole. 
Employers are in the dark about the rates they would need to pay their employees on the national minimum wage and national living wage from April 2020, as the general election has delayed the national minimum wage announcement usually scheduled for this time of year. 
The Low Pay Commission’s latest estimate, from May this year, suggested that the national living wage will rise from £8.21 to £8.67 per hour. 
The sample of pay deals analysed covered around one million employees. XpertHR found that: 
• The middle half of pay awards were worth between 2% and 3.4% – a handful of higher-level pay settlements have inflated the median; 
• Almost half (46.2%) of pay awards were higher than the same group of employees received the previous year, while 38.5% were lower and 15.4% were at the same level; 
• In the 12 months to the end of October, the median pay award in both the private and public sectors was 2.5% 
Sheila Attwood from XpertHR has this to say on the matter; 
“ Pay is the main building block of employee reward packages, and organisations will need to take the time to set salaries at the right level for their business. Guidance on appropriate salaries for job roles is likely to come from salary surveys, which provide information on market pay rates for similar roles and organisations. 
The majority of organisations conduct a pay review each year, whether or not it results in a pay increase for employees. Organisations can ensure that they are keeping up with the market by reviewing the value of annual pay awards in other organisations, using pay settlement analyses. When reviewing pay levels, you should bear in mind the level of the national minimum wage, which increases in April each year. Employers may also wish to conduct an equal pay review to ensure that their pay structures and rates comply with equal pay legislation”. 
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