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Pay rises 'are getting smaller'

Pay rises ended 2014 at 2%, lower than at the start of the year, according to a new study.

Median rises in the final quarter of the year fell back from the 2.4% recorded in the first three months of 2014, said pay analysts XpertHR.

The slowdown reflects the "subdued" nature of pay bargaining within businesses across the UK, said the report.

Wage freezes were recorded in 6% of 69 settlements in the final quarter of last year.

Pay rises in the public sector were worth a median 1.5% last year compared with 2% in private firms.

Data from the Office for National Statistics this week showed average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to November, outstripping the current CPI inflation rate of 0.5%.

Sheila Attwood of XpertHR said: " The fact that pay awards are worth more than inflation is good news for employees, but this is due to falling inflation rather than an increase in the level of pay rises, which remain at just 2%.

"Details of the first pay awards for 2015 suggests that this trend for subdued pay awards is going to prevail."

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "The level of pay awards remains low and it is concerning that it shows little sign of upward movement. Employers must not use low inflation to hold back pay offers. Workers have suffered years of poor settlements and decent real wage increases are long overdue."

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