Pandemic driven down wages for UK full-time workers

1 September 2021

Over a quarter of Britons have seen their wages decrease since the onset of the pandemic, new research from NerdWallet has revealed.

The financial comparison website surveyed 939 UK adults in full-time employment. It found that 27% have seen their salary decrease since the beginning of the pandemic.

Further, 38% say their employer has paused pay rises because of the Covid-19 crisis, while 24% have had their employee benefits and perks cut by their employer since March 2020.

The research found that 32% of full-time workers in the UK are currently spending less and saving more due to concerns about being made redundant.

NerdWallet’s study also revealed that inflation is weighing on the minds of Britons, with 51% concerned about how it will impact their finances. Almost a third (31%) say they will start to look for a new job within the next six months if their wages do not increase in line with inflation.

Richard Eagling, senior personal finance editor at NerdWallet, said it was understandable that businesses have had to make “difficult decisions regarding wages, furloughing and redundancies during the pandemic”. These decisions, he added, “have impacted millions of people’s finances – and with rising inflation adding further pressure, many will find their usual budgets stretched to breaking point.

“Positively, there are support mechanisms in place for those struggling financially because of the pandemic. For example, banks have pledged to help those who find themselves in financial difficulty due to Covid-19, although this help varies from company to company. Likewise, some organisations such as UK Finance have promised to offer free support to those in need.

“In reality, financial challenges will continue to present themselves as the UK emerges from the pandemic. As such, it is vital that people take stock of their finances and, if problems are identified, seek assistance as and where it is available.”

Professional Paraplanner