Sheila Attwood

About Sheila Attwood

As XpertHR's Pay and Benefits Editor, my role includes responsibility for the pay and reward content of XpertHR as well as overseeing the fortnightly email newsletter. XpertHR's core content includes the pay settlement tracking service, complemented by surveys, case studies and practical guidance on all aspects of day-to-day reward management.

In the 15 years that I have been collecting and analysing pay deals, I have seen pay settlements vary from years stuck at 3%, to a pay freeze being the norm. When monitoring pay settlement trends I am particularly interested in the wider economic influence, and impact, on pay award levels. The processes that managers employ to set pay increases, what motivates staff on the pay and benefits front, and how to develop the ideal reward package also keep my attention.

XpertHR's pay settlement data is frequently quoted in the media, and I have been interviewed about our findings on such outlets as BBC News 24, Sky News and 5 live.

Prior to focussing solely on pay and benefits I worked as a researcher on IRS Employment Review. I developed an interest in industrial relations which has transferred to the role that industrial relations plays in the pay-setting environment.


Author archive | Sheila Attwood

Autumn Statement 2013 – NI relief for young people, and increase in SAYE limits

The Chancellor, George Osborne’s autumn statement 2013 delivered some tough news on the state of the economy and the extent of the recession, but contained the Government’s positive predictions for economic recovery over the next few years.
The Office for… continue

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Pay rises in 2013 – how did yours compare?

Pay awards have frequently been in the news over the past year, but for all the wrong reasons. Employees have been suffering from below-inflation pay awards for the best part of four years now, and our detailed review of pay… continue

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Where does the pay settlement data on XpertHR come from?

XpertHR has been collecting information on pay settlements since the early 1970s, and is one of only a handful of independent UK organisations that compile data on pay settlement levels. The data is of particular use to those involved in… continue

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Implementing a pay freeze

In 2009 and 2010, around one-third of all pay awards resulted in a pay freeze for at least some employees. This is considerably higher than the long-term average, which stands at around 5% of all pay reviews resulting in a… continue

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Overtime – costs versus flexibility

Overtime working is a useful way of meeting business needs without the need to recruit and train additional staff. Employees often welcome the chance to boost their earnings, but this can become an invisible addition to staff costs if overtime… continue

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What pay award will your organisation offer in 2014?

Research by XpertHR has shown that the autumn months are when organisations start planning the budget for pay awards to be paid in 2014. With that in mind, XpertHR is currently undertaking a research project on pay forecasts for the… continue

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How to introduce a flexible benefits scheme

Employers often cite the level of administration as a barrier to implementing flexible benefits, but with careful planning during the design phase and the selection of suitable software to support the scheme, this need not be the case.
A flexible… continue

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Six steps to setting up a salary-sacrifice scheme

Offering employees the opportunity to swap some of their salary for non-cash benefits can bring financial benefits to both the employer and the employee. Recent research by XpertHR revealed that around seven organisations in 10 offer benefits via a salary-sacrifice… continue

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What are the top employer-provided benefits?

From health benefits to pensions and long-service awards, there is probably no such thing as a typical benefits package, with employers having a host of different benefits to choose from and a number of options of how to deliver them… continue

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How should MPs be rewarded?

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has published its recommendations on MPs’ pay and reward.
The recommendations follow a consultation at the end of 2012, which sought to gather views on the principles for determining MPs’ pay. The new arrangements… continue

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