Pay awards in 2013 are confirmed at just 2%, according to the latest data from pay specialists XpertHR.

The median basic pay award over 2013 to date, at just 2%, is below the current increase in prices.

The Retail prices index (RPI) inflation (still the most common inflation measure used in pay setting) stands at 2.6% in November.

This means that many employees have again seen a real terms fall in wages over the past year.

The fall is real terms wages is set to continue for another year for many employees. XpertHR's survey of pay forecasts for the year to the end of August 2014 revealed that the majority of private sector pay awards are expected to fall between 2% and 3%, with very few awards forecast to be worth more than 3%. RPI is predicted to sit at around 3% during 2014.

Key findings for pay awards in the three months to the end of November 2013 include:

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• The median pay award stood at 2%.

• The middle half of deals fell between 1% and 2.4%.

• More than one pay award in every 10 (12.5%) was a pay freeze.

• Pay awards in the private sector were worth 2.0% at the median, compared with 1% in the public sector.

XpertHR Pay and Benefits editor Sheila Attwood said:

"The 2% benchmark pay award during 2013 is lower than employers had predicted, but reflects the fragile economic recovery. Employees will be hoping that they receive the predicted 2.5% pay award for the coming year."

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