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Many UK managers are still below pre-recession pay levels

01 July, 2014

Despite the upswing in the economy, pay levels for a fifth of senior managers in the UK manufacturing sector still haven’t returned to pre-recession levels.

The finding comes from new research by Close Brothers Asset Finance which also found that 42% of senior managers in manufacturing firms across the UK were forced to take a pay cut during the economic decline, with more than half of them seeing their salaries drop by 5–10%.

“It’s somewhat surprising to find that pay scales are still reduced for so many senior managers across the industry,” remarks Steve Gee, MD of Close Brothers' manufacturing division. “The recession increased stress levels, both at work and at home, with many worrying about issues like reduced income and financial security. Now, even though the economy is recovering, it seems that many may still be feeling the negative effects of the downturn.

“While official reports show we are out of recession,” he adds, “we may still have some way to go to get back to where we were. Our figures suggest that many firms are still deeply concerned about their finances, with over a fifth of those we surveyed claiming that cash flow worries keep them awake at night, while a further 16% said that difficulty accessing appropriate finance prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep.”

Gee: many still feeling the effects of the downturn

However, Close Brothers’ quarterly Business Barometer – which surveys opinions of SME owners and senior management across the UK – also found that 35% of UK manufacturers believe that they are benefitting from the current trading conditions.

“It’s heartening that businesses are beginning to prosper in the current climate,” Gee comments. “We are working with businesses from all sectors to ensure that they have the information and funding that they need for continued growth, which is vital if we are to achieve a solid and sustained recovery.”

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