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Is it time we were really open about salary? 

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author: Handle Recruitment
Is it time we were really open about salary? 

In last week's newsletter, we shared a fantastic podcastfrom FT's Working It series around salary transparency, and it’s been a hot topic on our desk ever since. 

With the cost of living skyrocketing across the UK (and worldwide), it seems like we're finally starting to have more open conversations about what we actually earn. 

In the UK, it goes against our very nature to be open about salaries; but with unprecedented economic struggles - not to mention a gender pay gap of 15%, we need to evaluate who silence actually serves. 

Any level of salary transparency is new territory for most companies - but there are examples of it working. US company Buffer famously publishes every single salary publicly, with positive results (including a doubling of job applications overnight from when it was first published), Whereby created a compensation calculator to demystify the salary process, and Sky Betting and Gaming now provides salary banding informationon all of their adverts. 

An example of large-scale salary transparency is in Iceland, where companies with over 25 people have to prove they pay equally for equal work, and if they don't, they incur a daily fine. 

But there can be downsides, CEO salary level has been pushed up and up over the years, the ratio of CEO-to-typical workerwas 20-1, by 2018 it was 221-1. The podcast points out this is in part by CEOs knowing what others earn, and demanding more from their own boards. 

It's a conversation worth having, and something that progressive People teams will have on their agenda if they want to attract and retain top talent in uncertain, and unequal times.

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