Half of firms to freeze pay

HALF OF employers in the UK are planning to freeze pay completely in 2010, a survey will reveal today.<br /><br />The latest employment trends research from the industry body CBI and recruitment firm Harvey Nash will show that firms remain &ldquo;ultra-cautious&rdquo; about increasing pay, with only four per cent planning rises above the level of inflation.<br /><br />&ldquo;Market conditions continue to be very tough and growth in 2010 will be feeble, so pay is going to be squeezed for some time to come,&rdquo; said CBI deputy director general John Cridland. Harvey Nash chief executive Albert Ellis urged&nbsp; firms to show restraint on executive remuneration, as well as employee pay.<br /><br />The survey also shows that 49 per cent of firms think that the UK is a less attractive place to do business than it was five years ago, increasing the risk of businesses choosing to create jobs elsewhere.<br /><br />However, the CBI will also say that recruitment freezes are beginning to thaw &ndash; with nearly half the number of companies operating headcount freeze than earlier this year &ndash; and that fewer employers see the need for some of the more extreme cost-cutting measures that have been adopted this year, such as extended shut-downs and cuts in overtime.