Utilities sector awards staff above-average pay rises

The utilities sector has been awarding its workers above-average pay rises, according to a survey released by Incomes Data Services (IDS).

The highest pay deal so far recorded by IDS across all types of businesses for April is at power station Drax, where staff are set to receive a 7.1% salary increase and an additional£1,500 lump sum. Almost a quarter of the new pay deals recorded for IDS’ latest Pay Report published in March were in the utilities industry. The median for utilities in the year to January 2008 is well above those for the whole economy at 4.3%.

The report concludes that the increases are due to the strong profitability of utilities companies, as well as the recent rises in energy prices. It also highlights the fact that the sector is ‘ heavily unionised’, which helps it to secure the best pay deals.

Other pay deals due to come into effect in April include: the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body which will pay 2.6% on basic pay and allowances to NCOs and officers, the Prison Service Pay Review Body which will apply 3.2% on the pay bill and Severn Trent Water, which will pay 4.3% to manual workers and staff.