Bumper pub­lic sec­tor pay rises at odds with freeze for pri­vate staff

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Rus­sell Lynch and Michael Cog­ley

AL­MOST 100,000 pri­vate sec­tor work­ers have suf­fered a pan­demic pay freeze while pub­lic sec­tor staff en­joy in­fla­tion-bust­ing wage rises, fig­ures show.

Rishi Su­nak, the Chan­cel­lor, has gifted doc­tors, teach­ers and po­lice big pay rises in recog­ni­tion of their “vi­tal con­tri­bu­tion”, with teach­ers win­ning a 3.1pc deal de­spite the clo­sure of schools since early March.

But fig­ures from HR con­sul­tant XpertHR on 219 pay set­tle­ments at pri­vate com­pa­nies em­ploy­ing 520,000 work­ers in the quar­ter to June show far lower me­dian pay growth of just 2pc.

More than half of all pri­vate sec­tor awards are be­low last year, with 99,000 em­ploy­ees at 50 firms told they will get no – mean­ing they are worse off in real terms de­spite in­fla­tion of just 0.6pc.

Sheila Attwood, of XpertHR, said that about a quar­ter of pri­vate firms usu­ally cov­ered by its sur­vey had de­layed pay set­tle­ments due to the out­break. It means the present 2pc me­dian pay is likely to fall fur­ther as sup­port schemes such as the fur­lough are wound up.

“I sus­pect a lot of those com­pa­nies will come back and say they are freez­ing pay,” she said. “Given the out­look for the re­main­der of the year in the pri­vate sec­tor, I would be sur­prised if 2pc was the low point.”

Many com­pa­nies have frozen re­cruit­ment, as well as pay re­views, as belts tighten. LinkedIn, the pro­fes­sional net­work­ing site, said it would re­duce its head­count by about 960 due to dif­fi­cul­ties posed by the pan­demic.

The so­cial me­dia site, which is owned by Mi­crosoft, said it was “not im­mune” to the ef­fects of Covid-19 and that de­mand for its busi­ness con­tin­ued to be im­pacted as fewer com­pa­nies need to hire at the same vol­ume.

The Cal­i­for­nia-based firm of­fers a range of em­ploy­ment ser­vices but is largely known for be­ing the mod­ern­day ver­sion of an on­line CV.

In a note to em­ploy­ees, LinkedIn chief ex­ec­u­tive Ryan Roslan­sky out­lined the range of cuts be­ing made across the busi­ness.

He said he wanted ev­ery­one to have the “com­plete pic­ture” of the changes and in­sisted that the 960 roles were the “only lay­offs we are plan­ning”.

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