Feeling the pressure is one way to describe how employees were feeling, this due to three in five receiving pay freezes in their take-home pay in 2011.

According to research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which also found that 6% of employees have had their pay cut since January.

Although the CIPD’s Employee Outlook Survey found that one worker in four (28%) was awarded a pay rise this year, Charles Cotton, the CIPD’s performance and reward adviser, said that these employees would still have experienced a squeeze on their budgets.

“Even those who are lucky enough to get an increase in their pay will find it below the current cost of living, compounding consumer belt-tightening,” Cotton explained. “Inflation figures later this month will highlight growing pricing pressures, which is likely to continue for some time.”

The research also found that, within the private sector, the employees who were most likely to have been given a pay rise worked in manufacturing (48%) and finance (46%) and those who were least likely to have had a salary increase had jobs in hotels and restaurants (19%) and construction (25%).

Not surprisingly, 77% of workers in the public sector had their pay frozen, while 13% of workers received a pay increase.
Cotton added:

“We will see some increase in the number of private sector workers receiving a pay award in the second half of 2011, especially in the retail, catering and hotel sectors, as the increase to the national minimum wage comes into effect in October. However, given that the busiest time for pay awards in the private sector is between January and May, most of these workers who have not received a pay rise so far will probably not get one at all.”