Poll: Almost half of staff wages cut or frozen as pandemic bites

Poll: Almost half of staff wages cut or frozen as pandemic bites

Employee Benefits poll: A fifth of UK employers have cut staff wages as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, with another 25% implementing pay freezes.

According to the latest Employee Benefits straw poll, 20% of organisations have reduced their employees’ salaries in direct response to the impact of Coronavirus.

At the same time, 25% of companies have rolled out pay freezes, indicating lean times ahead for employees as the pandemic’s effects continue to reverberate throughout the business world.

The depth of the wage cuts vary, with 10% of employers introducing reductions of more than 10%. However, of these only half implemented them for all staff.

Another tenth of respondents said they had slashed some employees’ pay by less than 10%, according to the poll.

The findings also revealed that 20% of firms have avoided cutting wages by reducing staff costs through other means, such as the furlough scheme. Another 35% reported that they had not had to make any wage or cost reductions during the pandemic.

Recent research by SunLife revealed the over-50s have suffered significant wage cuts since the pandemic began, with 30% seeing their hours or salaries reduced and 25% furloughed. However, some companies have rowed back on pay reductions as their businesses stabilise.

In November last year, publishing house Bloomsbury decided to reimburse employees for pandemic-related salary cuts after seeing profits leap 60% last year.

Law firm Osborne Clarke has taken the same route, after reporting better than expected half-year results in October 2020.