Ever applied for a job that didn’t advertise the salary, only to be disappointed when you discover it’s paying £10k below what you’re looking for?
Salary transparency is when an employer tells you the salary upfront, and luckily, it’s an emerging trend with laws and guidance rolling out across the EU and America. Will the UK follow suit? We hope so, as it’s hugely beneficial to employees and jobseekers.
Here’s the “state of pay” in other countries and why we may see more roles advertising a salary in the near future.
Are there salary transparency laws in the UK?
No. The closest we have in the UK is the Equality Act. Under the 2010 Equality Act, employees in the UK performing equal work must receive equal pay, regardless of gender. There are cases where a difference in pay can be justified such as length of service, experience, and geography. So for example, if you’re a female working remotely in the countryside the law does not prevent a man working in London doing the same job from earning more.
Employers following best practice should:
- Have an equal pay policy
- Create transparent job descriptions and job titles
- Have grading structures and systems
- Undertake job evaluation schemes such as performance reviews.
There’s also no law against telling colleagues or prospective applicants your salary. Even if your employer has made you sign something like a pay secrecy agreement.
Of course, the best companies are proactively disclosing salaries within their job ads and advocating for full pay transparency.
Why should you care about salary transparency?
Pay transparency evens the playing field. Employees and applicants can make sure they’re fairly paid. That could mean receiving the same pay as other candidates with a similar set of skills and experience.
For those who are newly graduated, transitioning between industries, or upskilling into a more senior role, without an “in” it’s nearly impossible to know the going rates. Salary transparency means everyone has the same information up-front, including salary and benefits. It can also help prevent or reduce the amount of bias when it comes to pay, as some employees are more likely to advocate for themselves.
There’s a benefit for businesses too. If all employers release salaries, businesses will be able to work out where they sit and if they’re being competitive enough to entice the best staff. This is especially important considering the huge skills shortages that employers are experiencing across the UK, with employees leaving roles for better pay.
By knowing what their competitors are paying, employers can ensure that they’re continuing to get the best applicants by offering better or equal pay and benefits.
Taking a transparent stance also shows jobseekers that a company cares about creating an equitable workforce and getting rid of pay gaps. That’s very appealing to jobseekers looking for employers with values that match their own.
By putting salary transparency laws into place, jobseekers know where they stand, and so do employers.