45% of firms plan pay rise this year

The results of a joint private sector pay survey carried out by Industrial Relations News (IRN) and CIPD (the professional body for HR professionals) was presented at the IRN annual conference earlier this month.

The survey looked at wage bargaining trends throughout last year and assessed the immediate outlook for pay in the private sector. The survey revealed that around 45% of firms are planning a pay rise this year with the average increase for all firms expected to be around 2.8%. Last year, just 33% of firms surveyed planned to increase pay, but a higher figure of 45% of firms actually delivered a pay increase.

By this measure, assuming the pattern of growth remains, it’s likely that the 45% planning to increase pay in 2015 will be boosted to 57%, which is the projection made by the employers body, Ibec.

IRN’s Brian Sheehan says that all of this suggests a growing confidence in the economy, “albeit in some sectors more than others.” The survey showed there was a zero response rate when employers were asked about decreasing pay, and that firms of all sizes plan recruiting more people this year, at 44.5% compared to 40.5% last year. If the same trend emerges again, job creation figures should be higher than previously forecast.

Sheehan says that the survey “paints a picture of a growing economy although one still marked by a strong dose of realism.”

Larger increases are expected in communications services at 4.4%, and recruitment/HR services at 6.9%. More modest increases are expected in manufacturing at 2.2% and retail at 1.8%.

Speaking at the same conference, IMPACT general secretary Shay Cody said that the public service needs to keep in step with pay round developments emerging in the private sector.