Most UK Employers Lack an Employee Pay Strategy

February 23, 2011 — Scottsdale, Ariz. ¬ Only one in three employers in the United Kingdom has a clearly defined written pay strategy as part of its long-term business plan, according to a new survey by HR Magazine (UK) and WorldatWork, the global association of total rewards professionals. This is a startling finding given that at least 50% of an organization’s revenue is spent on employees’ salaries.

“The existence of a written reward strategy has been shown to positively affect employees’ understanding of the organization’s compensation plans or schemes,” said Kerry Chou, CCP, senior practice leader for WorldatWork. “This is one reason a majority (61%) of U.S. employers have a written pay strategy.”
The “HR Pay Practices Survey 2010 UK” survey results were published in HR Magazine,, in its January 2011 edition. The article reprint is available here.

Among the survey’s key findings:
• Bonuses are the most popular form of incentive: 73% of U.K. employers have a bonus scheme in place and 53% paid some form of bonus to staff in the past financial year.
• Even though most U.K. employers don’t have formal pay structures, most still use cash as an employee incentive, with overtime (37%), long-service bonuses (29%) and performance-related pay (26%) the most popular pay schemes.
• The most prevalent methods for increasing employee engagement are flexible working (62%) and remote working (43%).
• In 2010, the most commonly used cost-reduction strategies in the U.K. were pay freeze (54%), hiring freeze (50%), mandatory redundancies (35%), and limiting or eliminating overtime (32%).

About the Survey:
HR Magazine and WorldatWork partnered on this survey conducted by HR Magazine in an online poll between September and November 2010. Survey respondents included 313 business people with HR responsibilities from various sectors of the economy, including local government (10%), professional services (10%), charity or voluntary sector (8%), business services (6%) and education (6%).

About WorldatWork®:
The Total Rewards Association

WorldatWork ( is a not-for-profit organization providing education, conferences and research focused on global human resources issues including compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork has nearly 30,000 members in more than 100 countries. Its affiliate organization, WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals®, is the certifying body for the prestigious Certified Compensation Professional® (CCP®), Certified Benefits Professional® (CBP), Global Remuneration Professional (GRP®), Work-Life Certified Professional™ (WLCP®), Certified Sales Compensation Professional™ (CSCP™), and Certified Executive Compensation Professional™ (CECP™). WorldatWork has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.

The WorldatWork group of registered marks includes: Alliance for Work-Life Progress® or AWLP®, workspan®, WorldatWork ® Journal, and Compensation Conundrum®.

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