Many firms introduced pay rises last yearIn spite of the economy spending much of the year in recession, over half of UK organisations ensure their staff received a pay rise in 2009, it has been revealed.

According to ORC International, 58 per cent of firms continued to offer pay rises last year.

Meanwhile, if the HR professionals surveyed, 53 per cent had offered staff salary increases equivalent to the same rise in 2008, while five per cent offered more than during the previous year.

It was also revealed public sector companies were more likely to award pay rises last year than those in the private sector.

Indeed, 75 per cent of public organisations offered pay increases, compared to 43 per cent of private groups.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent of the companies polled made the decision to freeze pay last year, while four per cent admitted they had asked workers to accept a pay cut.

Matt Roddan, associate director of employee research at Infogroup ORC International, said: “It will be interesting to see if these rises can be sustained and, if not, what affect that will have on staff recruitment and retention.”

A report this week from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG revealed recruitment agencies have reported permanent staff placements increased for the sixth month running during January.