The median basic pay increase for the three months to the end of May 2022 was worth 4%, unchanged from the previous month and at its highest level since September 1992, according to research by XpertHR.
Its analysis found that the median pay award is higher than the 2% recorded a year ago and the 3.2% median recorded across the first quarter of the year.
The range of pay awards has also risen, with the middle half of deals worth between 3% and 5.8%. More than 80% of pay awards paid a higher increase to employees this year than last year, while 11% paid the same amount as in 2021, and 7% were worth less than a year ago.
Almost one-fifth (18%) of the pay deals recorded are worth exactly 3% and only 3.4% of pay reviews have frozen salaries, compared to 4.7% across the previous three months.
For the 12 months to the end of May 2022, the median pay award across the public sector stood at 1.4%, while pay awards over the past year for the private sector saw a 3% increase, which is double the figure recorded for the 12 months to the end of May 2021.
Sheila Attwood, pay and benefits editor at XpertHR, said: “Despite pay awards reaching record levels not seen for 30 years, any marginal increases we are seeing are outstripped by the sheer pace of inflation. There are no signs that pay award levels are going to fall, meaning wage rises are likely to remain steadfastly below the rate of inflation for the foreseeable future.
“With the threat of further inflationary pressure, [organisations] that are unable to match pay with inflation should consider where and how they can help employees. Other benefits and financial guidance will not only help retain top talent, but crucially will help staff weather the worst of the cost-of-living crisis.”