EMPLOYERS representative group IBEC said that pay in Ireland remains 20pc higher than its main trading partners and business should not entertain requests for pay increases.
It is anticipated that pay freezes will remain the norm for 2011 and some firms are still reducing wages.
IBEC director of industrial relations Brendan McGinty (above) said there have been few pay claims so far in 2011.
"At least one-in-four firms reduced nominal wage rates over the course of the recession and the vast majority of firms had wage freezes in 2009 and 2010," he said. "Nominal wage levels have fallen by about 5pc since mid-2008."