New data from an Institute of Directors Policy Voice survey of more than 1,300 UK company chiefs also found that 40% of executives had also reduced their bonuses.
These new figures are in sharp contrast with what is going on in the public sector, where the latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that average earnings, including bonuses, increased by 4.0% in June, compared with the previous year.
IoD Milton Keynes branch chairman Jonathan Bailey (pictured) has called for “a sense of proportion and realism” in public organisations.
He said: “There is a growing divide between the private and public sectors, with the public sector so far immune from the effects of the recession.
“Most IoD members run small and medium-sized businesses on moderate pay packages, while almost half have no occupational or employer-sponsored pension at all.
“This recession has had a big effect on businesses. The public sector cannot remain immune and the need to bring down the deficit means that a pay freeze across government should come into effect.”