Despite the recession, 53% of HR directors polled by Infogroup had given salary increases to the same level as the previous year and 5% reported handing out a greater level of rises.
Employee engagement consultants ORC International, an Infogroup company, conducted the survey, HR Reflections.
It canvassed the opinions of over 200 senior HR, employee engagement and internal communications managers from private- and public-sector organisations across the UK.
Those in the public sector were more likely to give pay rises in 2009 than those in the private sector, with 75% having done so, compared with 43% in the private sector. Of those surveyed, 39% froze pay in 2009; however, this was more prevalent within the private sector (54% in contrast with 17% of the public sector). Finally, 4% of all those surveyed said they asked employees to take a pay cut in 2009.
Matt Roddan, associate director of employee research at Infogroup/ORC International, said: "Many public-sector pay increases are secured by long-term pay deals and clearly private-sector employees do not benefit from this security. It will be interesting to see if these rises can be sustained and, if not, what effect that will have on staff recruitment and retention."