The latest data from XpertHR shows that the median basic pay increase in the three months to the end of April 2022 was worth 4%, the highest recorded level since September 1992.


Pay awards held at 3% over the previous three rolling quarters, but a combination of statutory pay increases at the start of April and continued pressure from rising inflation contributed to the one percentage point jump seen this month.


Despite this increase, pay awards still lag five percentage points behind the latest Consumer Price Index which stands at 9%, up from 7% in March.


Latest pay award findings:

Based on the outcome of 255 pay settlements with effective dates between 1 February 2022 and 30 April 2022, covering more than 830,000 employees, XpertHR also finds:


  • Interquartile range widens: The middle half of deals are worth between 2.6% and 5.5%. This compares with a range of 2.5% to 4.8% in the previous rolling quarter.
  • Most pay awards are higher than the previous year: Among a matched sample of pay awards, 80.4% are higher than the same group received the previous year. Just 7.3% are lower, and 12.3% are the same.
  • Pay freezes remain rare: Just 4.7% of the total sample saw their pay frozen in the three months to the end of April 2022.


Sheila Attwood, XpertHR pay and benefits editor, said:

“The jump in the median pay award to 4% is a welcome rise following three successive months of pay awards being held at 3%, but when compared against inflation, the increase is not enough. The deepening gulf between pay and inflation continues to pose financial challenges to UK employees struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“Where businesses cannot afford to track wage rises with inflation, employers should consider other support and incentives. From a business perspective this will help with the recruitment and retention of top talent, but more importantly, it ensures staff will receive the support they need to get them through this challenging period.”