Pay will continue to cause tensions in the workplace in 2013, an industrial relations expert has warned.
John Taylor, chief executive of the conciliation service Acas, said the struggling economy, coupled with continuing austerity measures, will continue to influence industry.
Commenting on likely trends in the coming year, Mr Taylor said pressure on employers to keep wage costs under control could clash with demands from workers to catch up with the cost of living.
“If inflation and interest rates rise then this will increase wage demands,” he said.
“If the private sector meets these demands through increases in the level of pay settlements then the public sector could see pressure for their pay to catch up after periods of restraint.
“Motivating and engaging staff by other ways rather than pay will therefore be a challenge and may require employers to be more inventive. One way of engaging with staff may be to offer more flexible working arrangements.”
Acas will publish a new code on flexible working in the new year after the Government announced it would be extending the right to request the measure to all workers, not just parents and carers.
Outsourcing of work will also continue next year, leaving employers further down the subcontracting chain having less control over the terms and conditions of staff, added Mr Taylor.