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HR staff expect 2010 salary increases to be lower than last year


HR professionals in the public and voluntary sectors expect to see a dip in salary increases next year, while private-sector professionals are more optimistic about their pay prospects.

According to the Personnel Reward Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Croner Reward, part of Wolters Kluwer, in the public sector HR predict a 2% increase for next year, compared with a rise of 2.5% in 2009. Private- sector HR employees by contrast are expecting an improvement, with a 3% rise in 2010 compared with the 2% they received in 2009.

The survey of over 5,000 personnel professionals reveals of all sectors HR pay prospects in the voluntary sector are the gloomiest, with a prediction of a 2% increase in pay next year, compared with 3% last year.

One in four HR staff report having no salary increase at all in 2009. In the public sector, almost one in 10 (8%) did not receive a pay rise, and this jumps to nearly four in 10 (38%) in the private sector.

The past year has also seen HR and personnel professionals working longer hours - more than two-thirds (68%) work beyond their contracted hours and 71% in the private sector now work between 40 and 50 hours a week.

Despite working more hours without much opportunity for financial reward - combined with only 42% of respondents stating that their organisation recognises their contribution in an excellent or good way - over half (52%) of HR professionals still rate their job satisfaction as good or excellent. A similar number (55%) feel that they have good or excellent job security and a good or excellent work-life balance.

Of variations in pay among the different HR specialisms, the highest paid remain compensation and benefits specialists who receive as much as 9% above the average salary for a senior manager (£ 50,000 compared with £45,900). Also above average by 2% are project manager/internal consultants.

Senior personnel professionals with overseas responsibility earn a premium of up to 27% above the average. This premium has significantly increased compared with last year's 20% and 13% in 2007.

And bonus payouts in HR last year averaged 8.3% of base pay and the percentage ranged from 5%-21% across job levels. The size of bonuses varied considerably across sectors but the private-sector bonuses were generally higher than those in the public sector. An average head of function working a private-sector organisation received around £10,000 compared to £6,000 in the public sector.

Charles Cotton, reward adviser, CIPD says: "As you would expect, most HR professionals have - along with their colleagues - suffered pay freezes or reduced increases this year, especially in the private sector. Predictions for next year seem to be aligned with wider economic forecasts, with HR in both the public and voluntary sectors bracing themselves for even tougher times ahead. HR in the private sector has really felt the pinch this year, but many are hoping the upturn will make things a little easier for 2010."