Three out of four recent pay deals are higher than a year ago, new research suggests.
A study of more than 270 settlements by XpertHR found that the median increase for March was 6%, compared with 3.7% 12 months ago.
The most common pay rise was 5%, although it was much lower in some sectors such as construction, said the report.
“With food and drink prices remaining stubbornly high, real term wages are set to shrink and employers can expect workers to maintain their push for raises to shield themselves from rising living costs.
“April is the most important month in the annual pay settlement calendar and tensions between employers and employees will be heightened, particularly in the public sector.
“Of course, inflation is expected to fall throughout the year, however, employers must maintain an open dialogue with their employees to factor in recent developments.
“Lack of transparency and a negative workplace culture will only compound issues further.”