54% of working adults feel that they are not paid enough and half of these know other companies in their industry pay more – but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be asking for a pay rise.
It seems that we Brits are uncomfortable talking about money. Some people they don’t ask because they don’t want to appear ungrateful and others say they don’t want to spoil the relationship they have with their boss.
About 1 in 5 say they would be worried about losing their job if they asked for more and another 1 in 5 said they were too nervous to ask.
Even though 1 in 3 knew their colleagues were paid more for doing the same job only 1 in 3 of this group felt confident enough to ask for more money.
The data comes from a survey by Slater & Gordon, an employment law company, which asked 2,000 working Brits about how fairly they thought their employers treated them.
Not very fairly overall it would seem!
The newly appointed “wellbeing Czar“, Lord O’Donnell, said that saying “thank you” and giving staff more autonomy could make them happier than giving them a pay rise.
Which is probably true but it doesn’t pay the rent for employees who have suffered from static pay since the start of the recession in 2008.
And it’s not only employees in the UK. One in six Germans is at risk of poverty because they earn so little. And this in the powerhouse of the EU. Although unemployment is among the lowest in the EU the economy is run by part-time workers in “Mini jobs” created by the previous chancellor.
About 13 million Germans earn less than €12,000, 60% of the national average. The chairman of Germany’s Welfare Equality Association blames the “Americanisation” of jobs i.e. low-paid and often temporary.
In the UK the voluntary “living wage” has just been increased to £7.85 an hour (£9.15 in London). This is the amount considered necessary to meet basic living costs and is supported by about 1,000 employers.
Even so about a quarter of the working population still earn less than the living wage and organisations like the IoD and the FSB aren’t particularly positive about the idea of helping people earn a decent income.
NB The current statutory minimum wage is £6.50 an hour for adults.