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WWYD about being paid less than someone you manage?

(79 Posts)
Chewbecca Tue 20-Mar-18 19:37:19

I've recently been promoted and received what I thought was a good pay rise.

A guy in the team has been transferred to my team, is the grade below my new grade and I have learned that his pay is higher than my new pay, supposedly for the higher grade!

I can only see his performance rating for the past 2 years but mine was better for both years too.

FYI: There are no published pay ranges in my organisation (huge) and we are forbidden from discussing our pay and bonuses with colleagues.

I am not unhappy with my pay at all (stupidly?!). But am a little shocked to find that, despite promotion, an individual on a lower grade reporting to me is paid more than me. Goodness knows if his bonus has been higher too despite the difference in performance rating.

Would you do anything? Other than a cheeky comment to the boss. Or just think it bodes well for future rises and keep your head down?

Thistlebelle Tue 20-Mar-18 19:39:55

I wouldn’t make a cheeky comment.

I’d raise it formally in my next 1:1 meeting.

Justanotherzombie Tue 20-Mar-18 19:43:20

A cheeky comment would NOT reflect well on you. I'd be immediately arranging a meeting with my boss to sldiscuss. It's not acceptable to pay you less than your subordinate. I might mention 'equal pay' at some point in the discussion as this sounds like a classic case of discrimination because you are a woman, no?

IvorHughJarrs Tue 20-Mar-18 19:46:16

I had something similar a while back and raised it with my boss. He then insinuated I had found this out by devious means and was really unpleasant about it. With hindsight I think I maybe should have sat on the info till my next appraisal/review

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Tue 20-Mar-18 19:46:42

Do you have review meetings. You could say that it has come to your attention that your pay is considerably below 'market rates' despite your pay rise. Which surprises you because your performance rating has been good. Does your line manager feel that this is an oversight on the part of management.

In my experience though, you won't get anything from them if they think you are happy. I had a huge discussion about not being at market rates in my review once, and got nothing except a cost of living pay rise. So I got another job offer, and got a huge pay rise to persuade me to stay (I had the type of job that needed a lot of training, so it would have been costly for them to lose me).

Onceuponatime21 Tue 20-Mar-18 19:54:23

Personally I think you need to look at this slightly differently. The fact that they are paying someone more junior more than you means that you should feel confident to go in and ask for more - without needing to mention that you know someone else's salary.

So it's not, you're paying him x, therefore you should pay me x +1, but rather, just : I want a raise to x+1.

The difficulty is, they can obviously say no, which then means you either have to accept that they value you less or find a new job.

Are you in the sort of role that uses recruitment consultants? Maybe chat to a good one, get an idea of what your options are, then go back to current employers and give them an opportunity to match?

I just think that internal salaries are very sensitive. And unless you have a really great personal relationship with your line managers or good HR, then getting into the "they get more than me" argument never ends well....

Sprinklesinmyelbow Tue 20-Mar-18 19:56:21

I would raise it but I would also be prepared to quit. It does happen, and not always for nefarious reasons, but needs to be addressed

Chewbecca Tue 20-Mar-18 19:57:04

Pay review cycle has just been completed, I've only just got a pay rise and am not due to have another until 1 March 2019. Appraisal conversation won't formally happen until early 19 either. I can't sit on this info for that long without getting annoyed about it.

I definitely didn't find out through devious means - I had to agree via HR the salary at which he was being transferred to me.

I think (thought?) I am at market rate! Hard to say as not a typical job to find an external equivalent and, as I said, there is such secrecy around pay within the organisation. My performance ratings have been higher than his.

Thanks for stopping me making the cheeky remark.

If I raise in the 121, I don't see any point in just making bosses aware, I need to actually ask that they re-consider my pay. Which I had just said I was happy with, though without this knowledge.

Lobsterface Tue 20-Mar-18 20:00:00

I think you need to challenge it or it will fester. It’s clearly not ok but could there be other factors at play, like redundancy so preserved pay grade?

LexieLulu Tue 20-Mar-18 20:00:44

This article is interesting OP

whirlygirly Tue 20-Mar-18 20:02:08

What once says. I've been in this situation. I actually am in a similar situation now and you have to negotiate for yourself, not based on what a colleague earns. I'm in a position where I see a lot of earnings and although I try to make myself instantly forget what I see, there are some things I really find it tough to swallow.

I've tried being relentlessly cheerful and positive about everything, working ridiculously hard and now I'm going down the "be direct but be prepared to walk" route. It's not easy.

Chewbecca Tue 20-Mar-18 20:03:55

See, I really don't think they value me less, they've given me the promotion and higher performance ratings. The message is clear.

It isn't just knowing anyone else's salary, it is someone who now works for me, that's where I am uncomfortable. I have worked fir the organisation much longer than he has, which is most likely the reason for the gap, we tend to pay new hires more, though that doesn't align with our published policy to pay market rate to all.

Thanks for the 'you might want to leave' comments, that is good for thought. I am not up for leaving, I like my job, just promoted, not looking. So I need to not back myself into that corner.

Recruitment consultant would be a great idea, haven't worked with one for a while but if I wanted more facts, that would be a good source.

Thanks for all your comments, I needed to sound off and process this info a bit.

RoryHatesCoffee Tue 20-Mar-18 20:05:03

If you don't raise this with your manager/HR they're going to know you're aware that he is paid more than you and apparently don't have an issue with it.
I think that suggests you're a pushover and/or have little confidence in your abilities.

I'd immediately raise it, ask for detailed explanations and push until you're paid a significant amount more than him. If they refuse, either they don't value you at all but can't get rid of you... or there's blatant sexism at play.

Chewbecca Tue 20-Mar-18 20:05:10

whirly, interesting. I do kind of wish I didn't know!

Onceuponatime21 Tue 20-Mar-18 20:05:12

Still, you need a back up plan. Because if you raise it that you are unhappy, but they say some excuse along lines of "ah well, yes he was recruited onto a higher salary when he joined because that was what was required to get him to join the firm, and he has had standard incremental pay rises since then, so it's just a quirk but the company can't afford to rise everyone's salary, times are hard and all that... " and other such rubbish, then you are either going to have to accept it or not. And the best way to get them to think seriously is to have another job in mind....

And, if you had another job in mind anyway, and knew the salary that you could get , then you would be having that conversation with your employer anyway, without having to mention the whole , he gets more than me.

I just think keep that card in your back pocket, and only use it if you really have to.

HunterHearstHelmsley Tue 20-Mar-18 20:06:46

It happens a lot in my organisation. There's a lot of TUPE in the sector so it's just the way it is really. I used to manage someone on more than me and it could be incredibly frustrating at times.

DairyisClosed Tue 20-Mar-18 20:06:59

I would ask to discuss your salary.

DameSylvieKrin Tue 20-Mar-18 20:07:30

Contract clauses that forbid you from discussing your pay with colleagues are unenforceable in the UK.
The only way that it might be appropriate for a subordinate to be paid more than their manager is if they have a highly specialised skill, e.g. programming, and the manager is project managing their work but not able to carry out the same tasks themselves. But you will know if that is the case.

Chewbecca Tue 20-Mar-18 20:08:23

lexie interesting article about the pros and cons around sharing. I think it is a US article so am not sure about the validity of the legal comments.

TittyGolightly Tue 20-Mar-18 20:09:48

I might mention 'equal pay' at some point in the discussion as this sounds like a classic case of discrimination because you are a woman, no?

No. They aren't doing the same job. There’s no law says a manager has to earn more than their staff.

OCSockOrphanage Tue 20-Mar-18 20:10:23

A million years ago, this happened to me. I got around it by taking recent adverts from the New York Times (when jobs were in the paper) for similar positions, and saying "Arnie, am I worth keeping, because this is now the going rate?" Arnie, being a decent bloke, coughed up a 25% increase.

ForgivenessIsDivine Tue 20-Mar-18 20:10:45

Do you have anyone within the organisation that you could ask to have a career / mentoring discussion with? Or perhaps someone outside of the organisation.. depending on your sector / management level, there may well exist something of this sort.

I would struggle to let this go... I understand how this might have happened but it does on the face of it, look like pay discrimination based on sex.

OCSockOrphanage Tue 20-Mar-18 20:12:25

I should say, I asked for 50% more!

QuiteLikely5 Tue 20-Mar-18 20:12:35

How much more Does he get op? Is it significant?

TittyGolightly Tue 20-Mar-18 20:12:54

Someone I manage is a grade lower but on the same salary as me. She’s at the top of her scale which is the middle of mine. She’s been there 20 years and I’ve been there 6 months. We have no issue working together.

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