A new study has found many bosses are expecting a second consecutive pay freezeA new study carried out by financial services firm Deloitte has found that some of Britain's most prominent executives may be on the receiving end of a two-year post-recession pay freeze.

Directors at more than half of companies trading on the FTSE 350 index said they were not expecting a pay hike this year and two-thirds revealed they had not received an increase in their annual salary in 2009.

"Companies are now recognising that increases for executives must be considered fair and reasonable in the context of current business circumstances and the pay and conditions for employees," said Deloitte partner Steven Cahill.

He added that the years of executive wage hikes over and above rates of inflation look to be "well and truly over" – at least until the economy picks up again.

Earlier this month, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Equality and Human Rights Commission published guidelines aimed at helping small businesses conform to equal pay legislation.

Posted by Colette Paxton