The latest data from Brightmine, formerly known as XpertHR, reveals that the median basic pay award in the three months leading up to the end of May 2024 was 4.6 percent.

This marks a slight increase from the previous rolling quarter’s figure of 4.5 percent.

April, typically the busiest month for pay settlements, showed little fluctuation in awards for 2024.

For four consecutive rolling quarters, the median pay award has consistently remained below 5 percent, a trend expected to continue throughout the year.

In 2023, record-level pay settlements were largely influenced by high inflation. However, with April’s consumer price index at 2.3 percent, closer to the Bank of England’s 2 percent target, pay awards have also begun to decline.

A matched sample indicates that over half (53%) of employee groups received a pay settlement worth less than their 2023 increase.

Sheila Attwood, Brightmine’s Senior Content Manager for Data and HR Insights, commented on the findings: “As we head further into the year, we can see that settlement levels are sitting firmly below 5 percent, a level we now expect them to sit at through to the end of the year. Employers have reacted to lower inflation by bringing down the level of settlements compared with last year, but are keeping pay rises comfortably above inflation while employees continue to feel cost of living pressures.”

Key Findings from the Latest Rolling Quarter:

  • Pay Settlements Consistency: Analysis of 132 pay settlements effective between 1 March and 31 May 2024, covering 533,579 employees, revealed minimal variability. The middle 50 percent of pay awards ranged from 4 percent to 5.3 percent. This is a stark contrast to last year’s high variability in settlement values.
  • Sector Differences: The median pay award in the manufacturing and production sector dipped to 4.5 percent, below the 4.9 percent in the services sector. This deviates from the earlier quarters of 2024, where manufacturing and production consistently had higher awards than services.
  • National Living Wage Impact: Approximately 28 percent of employee groups saw an increase in pay settlements, largely reflecting rises aligned with the national living wage.

The data reflects Brightmine’s extensive product portfolio, which aids HR and Reward professionals in gaining continuous insights into pay practices crucial for attracting and retaining talent. More detailed information and insights can be accessed through Brightmine’s services.






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.