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UK pay awards hold steady again at 2% - XpertHR

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FILE PHOTO: People walk during the morning rush hour in Canary Wharf, London, Britain, October 15, 2020

LONDON (Reuters) - Pay award increases for British workers held steady at an annual 2% in three months to July, a survey by human resources data provider XpertHR showed on Thursday.

The figure was in line with the increases seen in the three months to April, May and June after a slump last year caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"2020 marked the worst year for pay awards since 2010, so it is welcoming to have seen pay deals rising and now stabilising," Sheila Attwood, XpertHR pay and benefits editor, said.

"It is likely that awards will remain at this level as employers are still regrouping and looking to strike the balance between recruitment and wider reward package costs."

The Bank of England is watching closely for any signs that a recent jump in inflation is pushing up pay, something that could require it to speed up its plan to tighten monetary policy modestly over the next three years.

Official data published on Tuesday showed average weekly earnings for British employees, a broader measure than XpertHR's measure of annual pay awards, rose by 8.8% in the three months to June, the highest reading since records started 20 years ago.

But the increase was distorted by the effects of the pandemic which cost the jobs of more people on low wages than of people who are better paid.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Andy Bruce)

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