For the 11 per cent facing a pay freeze, this may be the second consecutive year of constrained pay. Combined with rising living costs, employers recognise their role in delivering value through reward schemes and support employees given the extraordinary circumstances they have worked through. Out of cycle pay awards continue to skew the ‘official’ pay figures given by organisations. One third anticipate that they will award out of cycle pay increases that will account for up to one per cent of their annual pay bill, many using them to bridge the gap between constrained pay and economic pressures.
Respondent employers report that the number of employees receiving a bonus and the size of bonuses will remain consistent. 75 per cent of employers operate bonus schemes, which is consistent with 76 per cent of employers reporting this in autumn 2020. Half of respondent employers predict that the number of employees receiving payments will stay the same. One in three predict the size of bonuses will stay the same in 2021.
5. A top C-Suite agenda item: diversity, equality and inclusion
The government suspended gender pay gap reporting for 2019/20 given the fast-changing pressures companies faced during the COVID-19 crisis. However, this was importantly reinstated for 2021 in light of the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women’s progress; the deadline has been extended to October. 61 per cent of respondents measured the gap in 2020, despite not being required to report it, which demonstrates the weight and analysis companies dedicate to this governance requirement and holding themselves to account. 43 per cent are conducting further analysis of their figures, which is up from 39 per cent in spring 2020.
Organisations are increasingly examining their wider record on equality. 85 per cent of respondents have diversity and inclusion initiatives in place. The majority also have plans to analyse their employee demographic data in greater detail. 78 per cent have or plan to examine their ethnicity pay gap data; 57 per cent have or intend to investigate employee data based on age; and 60 per cent have or will analyse how they support disabled employees. Other respondents reported investigating other aspects of their employees’ lives to understand their employee diversity, from sexuality to socio-economic analysis and whether they are championing social mobility.
Want to know more?
We want to say thank you to all those who participated in the survey – the comprehensive anonymised report has been circulated to all respondents. If we can help shape your approach to any of the pressing HR agenda items identified in our spring survey, get in touch with us. Register now to contribute your views in our autumn 2021 survey.