Voluntary sector pay growth comes to a sudden halt


The latest XpertHR salary survey for the voluntary sector shows how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected employee reward over the past 12 months. The 2019 edition of the XpertHR Voluntary Sector Salary Survey painted a positive picture of employee wage growth. Roll forward 12 months and the 2020 edition shows a very different outcome.

Pay growth in the not-for-profit sector has come to a sudden halt for most employees. On a matched sample basis the median rate of increase in basic salary over the past 12 months was nil. The average rate of pay growth is slightly healthier at 1.9% but this is still worlds away from last year's increase of 3.7%.

The coronavirus pandemic is driving this sudden reversal. Large numbers of pay reviews were frozen, postponed or scaled back in the first half of this year. As the table below shows, the vast majority of pay reviews in the voluntary sector were scheduled for after the pandemic fully hit the UK in March 2020.

Pay review month % of voluntary sector employers implementing pay review in this month
January 16.0
February 1.0
March 1.0
April 51.0
May 0.0
June 2.0
July 12.0
August 1.0
September 4.0
October 8.0
November 2.0
December 2.0

n = 100.
Source: XpertHR.

However, the pandemic was not the only event of early 2020. Increases to the national minimum wage rates came into force on 1 April 2020 and had a marked effect on pay rates at lower levels of seniority. This year's salary survey provides breakdowns of 12-month reward growth by each of the 13 job levels available and some clear patterns emerge.

More information about XpertHR salary surveys.