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Wage cuts and freezes in the pipeline

Over half of employers are intending to freeze wages this year, and 12 per cent are planning to introduce wage cuts, according to a new survey.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that a poll of 400 firms across the UK has revealed that 58 per cent of respondents will be holding wages at their present level, while one in eight will be cutting earnings amongst their workforces.

The moves are in response to the recent fall in inflation and the squeeze on profit margins.

A half of the firms surveyed also said that they were looking at making redundancies over the next six months, while 20 per cent of employers believed that staff hours would need to be reduced in the second and third quarters of the year.

David Frost, the BCC’s director general, said: “The government must realise that the private sector cannot bear all of the pain. There was some support in the budget, but more is needed to help Britain’s embattled businesses so they can drive our economy out of recession, creating jobs and wealth in the process.”