Merit pay the norm for staff technicians and engineers


Merit pay the norm for staff technicians and engineers

A survey by Incomes Data Services found that three-quarters of engineering companies operate some form of performance pay for their technical and professional engineering staff.

Of these around three-quarters had adopted individual performance-based systems but "competencies and skills also feature strongly," says IDS. Among the major electronics companies, the adoption of individual performance pay for salaried staff is almost universal. This is particularly the case among those companies with US parents, but the picture is more mixed among the Japanese-owned companies where skills and service are more likely to play a part.

What you will find in this IDS report

This 225-page report provides benchmark information on pay, benefits and employment trends across engineering and beyond. It includes the findings of a recent IDS survey of pay and conditions for manual workers, technical staff and professional engineering roles.

In addition, there are examples of pay rates and employment practices at many leading engineering employers. The report draws on information from some 140 companies, together employing around 300,000 people.

There are chapters looking in detail at current trends in pay and progression, recruitment, skills and training, working time, pensions, bonus schemes, family-friendly benefits, and absence rates and policies.

Chapter 1: Review and prospects

  • pay settlements in engineering
  • long-term pay agreements
  • inflation forecasts
  • average earnings in engineering.

Chapter 2: Pay for manuals, craft workers and team leaders

  • multi-skilled rates rise more rapidly than those for lower-level jobs


  • basic semi-skilled workers’ pay rates
  • advanced semi-skilled workers’ pay rates
  • basic skilled workers’ pay rates
  • advanced skilled workers’ pay rates
  • multi-skilled craft workers’ pay rates
  • team leaders’ basic pay rates.

Chapter 3: Pay for staff technicians and engineers

  • contrasting moves to control costs as unions move to curb performance pay


  • staff technicians’ salaries
  • junior engineers’ salaries (graduate entry)
  • engineers’ salaries (minimum two years’ experience)
  • senior engineers’ salaries (five years or more experience)
  • project leaders’ salaries
  • first line managers’ salaries
  • service engineers’ salaries
  • sales engineers’ salaries.

Chapter 4: Case studies

  • Self-directed teams at Rolls-Royce
  • RO Defence moves to market-based pay
  • Job families and market salaries at QinetiQ
  • New reward framework at BT.

Chapter 5: Working time

  • further moves towards flexibility while hours cuts remain on the agenda
  • basic hours and holidays at leading engineering companies
  • working time arrangements in the automotive industry
  • holiday entitlement
  • shift and overtime premiums
  • debates over working time in Germany and France
  • examples of shift premiums in named engineering companies.

Chapter 6: Pension provision

  • employers turn to personal pensions in the workplace.

Chapter 7: Absence rates and policies

  • engineering companies continue to target absence
  • examples of absence management procedures at engineering companies.

Chapter 8: Bonus schemes

  • variable pay arrangements maintain their popularity
  • details of bonus schemes at engineering firms.

Chapter 9: Family-friendly benefits

  • companies fare better on paternity than maternity provision
  • family-friendly provisions at engineering companies
  • case study: Ford’ s maternity policy.

Directory of pay and conditions

  • examples of pay rates for key jobs in named companies, plus full pay structures and terms and conditions at around 60 manufacturers.

Want to know more?

Title: Pay and conditions in engineering 2004/05, Incomes Data Services.

Availability: To order your copy contact customer services at Incomes Data Services in London, tel: 020 7324 2599.

IDS is a leading UK information and research service on employment issues, providing a range of publications for employers, unions, government departments and other agencies. To find out more visit

Posted 19 November 2004