More workers face pay freeze

PAY deals averaged 2 per cent in the past year, lower than the previous 12 months and lagging well behind the rate of inflation, according to a study today.

One in six settlements involved a wage freeze, with many workers suffering a second successive year with no pay rise, said the Labour Research Department (LRD).

Freezes affected one in four workers in the past year, more than in the previous 12 months.

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Only a minority of deals kept pace with RPI inflation, which peaked at 5.3 per cent in April, and these mainly involved long-term agreements with a built-in inflation link.

Some deals in private firms were worth at least 5 per cent, but public sector workers faced pay freezes and moves to "undermine" wage bargaining in sectors including agriculture, schools and health, said the report.