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HR news briefing News and analysis what February means for you Average UK worker thinks 9% pay rise is fair for 2023

UK employees on average consider a 9% rise to be a fair pay award for 2023, according to research from New Possible.

Despite being much higher than historic levels, that figure is still below December’s inflation rate, which stood at around 10.7% (Consumer Price Index). The average varied depending on sector. In healthcare and hospitality, workers were looking for 10% and 11% respectively.

Nate Harwood, founder and CEO of insight platform New Possible said while a minority (10%) of employees believed they deserved a raise of more than 15%, most employees were resigned to taking a real terms decrease in their living standards.

He said: “Employees are generally sensitive to the cost pressures their organisations are under and appreciate an inflation-busting pay rise might not always be realistic.

“In these cases, employees are o en willing to prioritise other benefits, with greater flexibility and work/life balance frequently top [of their priorities].”

Harwood suggested part of the reason workers in hospitality and healthcare wanted a higher pay increase is due to a lack of work/life balance. He added: “Low relative pay, as well as very heavy workload, in particular fuelled by staff shortages, are o en drivers behind the pay expectations in those sectors.”

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Working parents warned to prepare for teachers’ strike

After an overwhelming vote for strike action by teachers, schools in England and Wales will close for seven days in February and March meaning working parents will have to arrange alternative childcare. The vote, held on 16 January by the National Education Union (NEU), will affect individual schools for four days each in the initial action, with dates determined by region.

Strike days may close schools or force them to restrict attendance depending on the level of staff they have available, according to government guidance for parents.

In England, 53% of teachers voted in the ballot, with 90% in favour; in Wales, a 58% turnout voted 92% in favour of striking.

Scottish teachers in the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) union announced in early January that they would add 22 days of strikes to their initial 16day strike action.

Shakil Butt, founder of consultancy HR Hero for Hire, said that while many parents will have experience of ad-hoc childcare arrangements from the pandemic, many parents with younger children will be presented with a fresh challenge.

January/February 2023 HR 7 J

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