Pay progression practice in the private sector

IES jointly undertook a project with Incomes Data Services (IDS) on behalf of the Office of Manpower Economics (OME) to examine practice on pay progression and quantify the extent to which progression takes place in the private sector.

Pay progression (defined as the mechanism by which an individual moves up their pay range/broad band or spot levels) in the public sector was under reform and the OME required further research and evidence on progression practice in the private sector in order to support the work of the seven Pay Review Bodies in being able to put forward recommendations for progression arrangements covering key public sector groups.

IES research used a survey and case study approach to help contribute to a detailed picture on how progression operates in the private sector, covering a range of different pay progression systems, and attempt to understand:

  • the reasons employers operate different progression systems
  • how particular progression systems operate
  • recent developments/changes in pay systems and progression arrangements
  • benefits and pitfalls of particular progression schemes
  • employer and employee views on the scheme, its effectiveness and value for money
  • plans for future developments, addressing any areas of weakness in the systems.