Pay awards rise to 4.9% but remain under median basic rate over previous 12 months

Brightmine resources graphic
  • The latest Brightmine data reveals the median basic pay award in the three months to the end of April 2024 was 4.9%, up from the revised figure of 4.6% recorded in the previous rolling quarter
  • Over the 12 months to the end of April 2024, the median basic pay settlement stands at 5%, the lowest figure in over a year

The latest data from Brightmine (formerly XpertHR) shows the median basic pay award in the three months to the end of April 2024 was 4.9% – 0.3 percentage points higher than the previous rolling quarter.

With April being the busiest month of the year for pay reviews, this latest dataset provides an indication of what the pay landscape might look like for the remainder of 2024.

The latest rolling quarter figure falls slightly below the median basic pay settlement for the 12 months to the end of April 2024 (5%) suggesting deals in the last few months have remained consistently lower than 2023 awards. However, with measures of inflation continuing to decline, we have entered a period in which the median pay award over the past year stands 1.8 percentage points higher than March’s consumer prices index (3.2%).

Sheila Attwood, Brightmine senior content manager, data and HR insights, comments: “We have seen a noticeable drop in the level of pay awards since last year – from 6% in 2023 to just under 5% in the first quarter of 2024. However, we are now noticing some stability, as the first April settlements are also centred on this level.

“We are continuing to see a minority of organisations offering different awards to different groups of employees, typically based on salary, indicating that measures to help the lowest paid with the cost of living have not completely disappeared.”

Latest rolling quarter findings

Based on 102 pay settlements that came into effect in the three months between 1 February and 30 April 2024, covering 355,064 employees, Brightmine found:

  • Interquartile range narrows. The middle 50% of basic pay deals stand close together, falling between 4% and 5.1%. This is the narrowest range seen since 2021, indicating there has been little variation in basic awards given across the whole economy.
  • One in 20 deals are pay freezes. Pay freezes made up around one in 20 (4.9%) of pay awards reported so far for the three months to the end of April 2024. Due to the low number of pay freezes in general, it is important to interpret this statistic with caution.
  • Half of deals lower than 2023. Based on a matched sample analysis, 52% of deals were worth less than the award given to the same employee group in 2023.

Pay review pattern – whole economy, April 2023 to April 2024

graph showing rolling analysis of basic pay for april 2023 to may 2024