Pay awards stand at 4.6% following the busiest period of the year for pay settlements

A photo of an office with an overlay of the title, Pay Trends, 2024 showing the monthly June 2024 pay trends data from Brightmine which reveals insight into salary benchmarking.

Published: 20 June 2024 | by Brightmine

The latest data from Brightmine, (formerly XpertHR) leading provider of people data, analytics and insights, shows the median basic pay award in the three months to the end of May 2024 was 4.6%, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the revised figure from the previous rolling quarter.

Despite April being the busiest month for pay settlements, there has been little fluctuation in awards reported in 2024. The median pay award has remained below 5% for four consecutive rolling quarters, and pay settlements are expected to remain below 5% for the remainder of the year.

The record-level pay settlements recorded by Brightmine in 2023 were driven by high inflation levels, but with April’s consumer prices index at 2.3%, closer to the Bank of England’s 2% target, pay awards are also showing a downward trend. In a matched sample, over half (53%) of employee groups received a pay settlement that was worth less than the percentage increase they received for 2023.

Sheila Attwood, Brightmine senior content manager, data and HR insights, comments:
“As we head further into the year, we can see that settlement levels are sitting firmly below 5%, 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.”

Latest rolling quarter findings

Based on 132 pay settlements that came into effect in the three months between 1 March and 31 May 2024, covering 533,579 employees, Brightmine found:

  • Little variability in basic pay settlements. The middle 50% of pay awards are close in value, at 4% for the lower quartile and 5.3% for the upper quartile. In contrast, when Brightmine recorded the highest pay awards for 30 years last year, it was common to see a range of around three percentage points, indicating the variability in the settlement values.
  • Manufacturing sector pay awards dip below services sector. For the three months to the end of May 2024, the median manufacturing-and-production sector award stands at 4.5%, compared with 4.9% for the services sector. This deviates from the first three consecutive rolling quarters of 2024, where the manufacturing and production sector stood close to one percentage point higher than the services sector.
  • Over a quarter of employee groups see an increase. For aa little over a quarter (28%) of employee groups, the pay settlement increased in value; however, these tended to be for those who saw increases in line with the rise in the national living wage.

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

A chart from Brightmine showing info for June 2024 on pay trends and salary benchmarking.

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About the data

Brightmine’s latest analysis of pay settlements represents pay awards that came into effect between 1 March and 31 May 2024. A total of 132 pay settlements have been recorded so far for this period, representing 533,579 employees.

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