beqom Study Reveals UK Workers Demand Greater Salary Transparency to Improve Pay Equity
UK workers are leading the charge for greater salary transparency amid a growing willingness to publicly disclose their salaries to boost pay equity and level the playing field, according to new research carried out by beqom, a cloud-based provider of total compensation and continuous performance management solutions.
“Employers should consider implementing more transparent compensation processes, utilising data and technology to help reduce potential biases and alleviate pay discrepancies”
beqom’s research reveals that nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK employees would be willing to publicly share their salary to benefit others’ knowledge of compensation in their industry. Millennials (70%) are the most likely to be willing to publicly share their salary to benefit others’ knowledge of compensation in the industry, compared to Gen Zers (59%), Gen Xers (58%) and Baby Boomers (51%).
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Sharing salaries has long been considered taboo and frowned upon in the workplace. Due to a renewed emphasis on pay equity in the workplace, including closing gender and racial wage gaps, ideas about what we should know about our colleagues’ salaries are changing in ways that could benefit employees and employers alike. Although gender inequality in the workforce has persisted for decades, it appears to have been exacerbated in the last few years by inflation and the pandemic. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the gender pay gap among full-time employees in the UK increased to 8.3% in 2022 compared to 7.7% in 2021. The study also found that:
- More than two in five (42%) UK employees think their workplace has a problem with gender pay gaps (up 83% since 2019) – with men (46%) more likely than women (38%) to believe their place of work has a problem with gender pay gaps.
- Nearly a third (33%) of employees surveyed think the gender pay gap has increased at their place of work over the last two years (up 14% since 2019).
- Nearly two thirds (63%) of employees think inflation has made them more likely to discuss pay with their colleagues.
- More than half (56%) of employees do not think they’re paid fairly.
These findings are part of beqom’s Leveling the Paying Field Report, which analyses how pay gaps and pay transparency are impacting today’s labour market.
Concerns around pay gaps amongst UK workers appear commonplace. beqom’s survey also revealed that more than one in five (22%) employees feel as though their employer is not taking the necessary steps or actions to close or prevent gender pay gaps. Meanwhile, nearly half of employees (47%) think their workplace has a problem with age-based pay gaps and more than a third (36%) think their workplace has a problem with racial pay gaps.
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beqom’s research also suggests that employers are taking few actions to close pay gaps, leaving employees feeling they are not doing enough. Nearly half (47%) of employees think their employer/manager takes closing the gender pay gap seriously (down 8% since 2019), with men (51%) more likely than women (44%) to think their employer/manager takes closing the pay gap seriously. This may be because their employers aren’t taking many steps to close or prevent gaps. Just a third (31%) have put more women in leadership roles, while less than a quarter have announced a commitment to solve the pay gap (24%), changed recruiting practices (21%), adjusted salaries for female employees (19%), created an internal mentoring/training programme for employees (19%), or disclosed current pay gap measurement (18%).
“Employers should consider implementing more transparent compensation processes, utilising data and technology to help reduce potential biases and alleviate pay discrepancies,” said Tanya Jansen, co-founder of beqom. “As the cost of living crisis shows no signs of slowing down and workers feel the pressure of making ends meet, it’s vital that companies focus on pay transparency within their organisations as transparency plays a pivotal role in pay equity.”
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