Companies remain cautious on the issue of worker pay

Worker pay can be a difficult issue for companies to deal with and it is no surprise that many firms are outsourcing payroll tasks to specialist providers of payroll services. Meanwhile, as well as administering remuneration, businesses also have to decide the level at which they will reward workers for their efforts.

According to a recent survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Harvey Nash, enterprises remain cautious concerning the pay they are willing to award to their personnel.

A total of 319 organisations were surveyed and it was found that pay restrain remains the norm in these difficult economic conditions. Nearly half of the firms were planning below-inflation pay awards or targeted pay rises, while one in five respondents were implementing pay freezes in order to help them remain competitive.

Meanwhile, it was also found that 30 per cent of enterprises expected their workforces to grow over the next year, while 18 per cent predicted they would shrink. This resulted in a positive balance of 12 per cent.

Commenting on the findings, CBI Director General John Cridland said: “Businesses have been creating jobs where they can over the past few months, and it looks as though that steady trend of employment growth in the private sector is set to continue.

“But hiring plans are cautious, and pay awards in particular remain low as businesses look to make sure they stay competitive in tumultuous times.”

Regardless of the levels of remuneration they set, many firms may benefit from outsourcing payroll tasks to third-party payroll services providers to free up more of their time and help them focus on the other tasks they face.

Meanwhile, managers may also be interested to note that the Employment Trends Survey revealed 67 per cent of businesses perceive employment regulation to be the biggest threat to labour market competitiveness.

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