By Maximilian Clarke

Half of the UK’s HR professionals report an improvement in their company’s oulook over the past 12 months, as 1 in 6 business prepare for pay increases, a survey suggests.

As a broader indication of change, compared to January, nearly one fifth more respondents are looking to pay staff bonuses at the same level as previous years, ORC International’s HR Reflections survey suggests.

There are also optimistic gains on the job security front. Fewer UK employers are now planning to reduce staff levels in the next 12 months. While this is an improvement (down to 30% from 37% in January), this figure is still well above the global norm of 12%.

Drilling down further, UK intentions to increase staff are also slightly lower than last year. But balancing this out, 44% of respondents are planning to maintain staff levels in the next year. This is a 10% increase from January’s HR Reflections survey and a positive sign for the job market.

“While money is not everything, this trend does seem to suggest that things may be looking up in the private sector,” said Kate Pritchard, Director of ORC International’s Employee Research. “To give more money to employees, organisations must have more funds to spend, which points to the possibilities of continued growth and optimism going forward on a global level.”

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