Executive pay races ahead of inflation

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EXECUTIVE PAY awards have fallen to their lowest level for a decade but they are continuing to race ahead of both inflation and the general rate of settlements for private sector employees, according to a survey published today, writes Michael Harrison.

The survey by Sedgwick Noble Lowndes shows that settlements fell to 4.6 per cent in the second half of last year, compared with 5 per cent in the previous six months and 6.1 per cent in the same period a year earlier.

However, this is still double the level of settlements for private sector staff and nearly two and a half times the rate of inflation.

The survey also suggests that executive pay deals will start to rise in the first half of this year as the recovery takes hold and retail prices increase.

The proportion of executives being forced to accept pay freezes is also on the decline - falling from 2.4 per cent three months ago to 2.1 per cent. The survey says that this figure is expected to continue falling.

A fifth of executives in the survey received pay increases of 3 per cent in the last six months while the highest awards were given to sales and marketing executives, where the average increase was 6.1 per cent.