Public sector pay freezes rise

The proportion of public sector staff reporting pay freezes has jumped from 30% to 51% over the last three months according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Its quarterly Employee Outlook survey Summer 2010 edition, which surveyed 2,000 employees, showed that 51% of of public sector respondents said pay in their organisation had been frozen and 7% that it had been cut. This compared with 38% and 7%, respectively, in the private sector.

In terms of work-life balance, 60% of respondents from both the public and private sector agree or strongly agree they achieve the right balance between their work and home lives. This is a slight increase from last quarter’s figure of 57%.

In addition, more than a third (37%) of respondents said their organisation provides support to help them manage their work-life balance, a slight increase from last quarter’s figure of 34%.

The findings come as the Office for National Statistics published its estimate of GDP for the second quarter of this year, which showed an encouraging 1.1% growth, significantly more than expected.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the CIPD, said: “One of the difficulties facing senior public sector managers in the current environment, in which major spending cuts have been announced but few details have been released, is that they too may also be in the dark and may not yet know how many jobs will have to go.

“However it is important that, if this is the case, they communicate the situation to staff and continue to have an open dialogue with employees as more information comes through. People are more likely to accept tough decisions if they are kept informed and given the right information at the right time.”

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