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To be a bit shocked at how much more my colleague is paid?

(120 Posts)
Twittlebee Mon 20-Jan-20 13:52:27

My colleague left his open pay slip on his desk, in clear view of our other colleague. Of course this is awful, she shouldn't have had a peak but she did.

She then text me to say how much he is on as she knows how much more it means he is getting paid than us and we were recently discussing our hopes for asking for a payrise.

So we are on exact same level, same qualifications, same experience and same responsibilities etc. I've been at the company 8 months longer than him.

I earn £30k and he earns £45k. That is quite a difference isnt it? I'm struggling to work that out.

My directors have joked about how cheap I am and it's one of the reasons they agreed to hire me despite being pregnant.

I'm not sure what I'm aiming to get out of this post. Maybe an idea of how to ask for a payrise, what do I do with this information, can I expect a £15k jump up in pay?

GeePipe Mon 20-Jan-20 14:00:36

Thats disgusting but sadly not uncommon. Dp recently saw his co workers are in several grand more than him even though hes been there longer and has more work responsibility than them.

You need to set up a meeting with the boss and ask for a pay rise. Dont mention his pay but set out reasons why you deserve it.

Nofoolfornoone Mon 20-Jan-20 14:05:36

I don’t know this for definite but As this is very clearly discrimination from a protected characteristic and that’s illegal you should be entitled to the same pay plus compensation for all the years you have been unfairly paid. Are you in a union? I would Get some legal advice before you ask for a raise.

MegaClutterSlut Mon 20-Jan-20 14:07:57

I would be pissed off with £1,000 difference but £15 grand!? shock

Cohle Mon 20-Jan-20 14:09:58

Well first of all I'd make very clear of your facts. A friend's quick glance at a payslip isn't much to go on. Have you made sure to account for any deductions from your salary - things like student loans, pension contributions, childcare vouchers etc?

Then I'd try and get more data, from your employer and across the industry, to demonstrate that you're being underpaid. More importantly, be able to demonstrate the value you bring to your employer and the ways in which you are performing at a level above your current salary.

I'd consider the maternity/gender discrimination angle too. I probably wouldn't formally pursue it, but a shot over the bows that "you'd hate to think discrimination had any role to play in why your salary was so far below your contemporaries" during your discussion might not go amiss.

To be blunt, the easiest time to negotiate is when you're new to a role and I think you'll face a real struggle to get a 15k payrise. It would probably be easier to look for a new role and negotiate there.

LimpidPools Mon 20-Jan-20 14:11:08

Jesus. That's appalling. Probably not all that unusual, but still appalling.

One of those things that you must have felt better not knowing.

Advice re speaking to a union first off might not be misplaced here. You are not going to be able to simply negotiate a £15,000 payrise.

And this: My directors have joked about how cheap I am and it's one of the reasons they agreed to hire me despite being pregnant. is just another layer of disgusting.

JonSlow Mon 20-Jan-20 14:11:52

It’s not clear that this is discrimination. It could be.

It could also be that this person works out of hours on call, or has other additional responsibilities.

A people can be paid different rates for the same job. That is lawful. You have to prove that the reason for the discrepancy is due to gender

TheDailyCarbuncle Mon 20-Jan-20 14:14:07

I think the directors joking about how you were cheap and how they hired you even though you were pregnant is worse tbh. In this situation I'd probably quit, tbh, but if you're not willing to do that, I'd goad them into confirming those clearly inappropriate things, then bring up the payrise, making a strong reference to equal pay legislation. That'd soon get you what you want.

Bibidy Mon 20-Jan-20 14:14:08

I don't think there's any way you will get a 15k payrise, but there is no harm in letting your bosses know that you've recently become aware of a disparity in pay between you and your team mate and ask the reasons for this, and what you can do to increase your pay. You could potentially threaten taking it to HR since colleague is male and it could be seen as discrimination.

The problem is unless you're in a public sector role with official bandings I think companies are pretty much free to pay whatever they like, even if there is massive disparity within the same role. I have seen this in quite a few workplaces, they pay what they need to to secure you - in this case I'm guessing your colleague demanded more from the off and he got it.

Kazzyhoward Mon 20-Jan-20 14:14:12

Pretty common in small/private firms as wages are usually negotiated "per person" rather than pay scales etc.

Not necessarily discrimination - could be other reasons such as different experience or different abilities.

In one of my previous jobs, I "hacked" the payroll program password - not difficult, the tosser had locked it with "sesame"! I found I was the highest paid there, despite being a woman, younger, slightly less respected professional qualification.

The difference was my experience as I'd "been around the block" a lot in different firms, different departments, different experiences, etc., so brought a lot more to the table than the others at my level who had a much narrower range of previous job/work experiences. Despite, on paper, us being "equal", I got the harder and more diverse jobs to do.

But to the OP, if you are genuinely doing the same job, i.e. you can basically all do eachother's work to the same standard in the same time, etc., then it does sound like discrimination.

Crunchymum Mon 20-Jan-20 14:16:04

Well snooping isn't going to give you any leverage at all is it?

What you have to bare in mind is what he negotiated upon joining?

I had a similar situation years ago and what it boiled down to was my colleague (very similar role) had negotiated / had the bargaining power for a higher salary and more annual leave I came in as an office junior from Uni and they joined with a lot more experience etc

Do your research but if you are sure of the facts call a meeting with your manager and tell her you have become aware of the pay disparity and want it dealt with - be prepared to make a stand and leave if you have to though!

* for clarity did you come back from ML full time? I have found since being PT I tend to get the minimum pay increase / bonus etc...

QuizzlyBear Mon 20-Jan-20 14:16:26

I was an award-winning marketing manager for 9 years at a not for profit - worked my way up and was fully qualified. I had to recruit, train and mentor a new marketing manager. I selected a younger (lovely) man with less experience and qualifications than me but a great attitude.

I found out six months later that they'd started him off on my salary plus 25%.

The only rationale is because he was a man. Otherwise I easily outranked him. I took voluntary redundancy as they weren't going to increase my salary in line with his. Bastards!

Bibidy Mon 20-Jan-20 14:16:35

It also depends on who's getting market rate - is he getting paid market rate and you and your other teammate are vastly underpaid? If so, look for other opportunities/tell your bosses you're become aware of the pay gap and so will be looking at your options unless something is done to make things more equal.

It may be that they paid him well over the market rate to secure him, in which case there might be little you can do.

You just need to have a look and see what other places are offering.

Figgygal Mon 20-Jan-20 14:16:36

Yes agreed it could be discrimination but there are allsorts of reasons as to why people are paid what they’re paid it might not be fair that someone is a better negotiator than someone else or they’ve had to pay him more to join from another company that had higher wages it’s not to say the disparity is solely down to his gender

However I would be highlighting it after I have identified what the going rate is in the market also to understand if you are underpaid generally

puds11 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:17:06

Holy fuck! That’s an insane difference! I hate these situations because now you’re stuck knowing and unable to say anything if it’s anything like my place. It’s in our contract that we can’t discuss salary with colleagues.

Cohle Mon 20-Jan-20 14:19:58

It’s in our contract that we can’t discuss salary with colleagues.

For what it's worth, that's illegal and unenforceable. All your employer can stop you doing is discussing your pay on work time.

Evalina Mon 20-Jan-20 14:21:46

Probably a good idea to give ACAS a call before doing anything, as they have a free helpline. There's some information on Equal Pay here -

TroysMammy Mon 20-Jan-20 14:22:24

And there's me complaining that I was originally earning 43p per hour more than minimum wage. Then minimum wage increased and I'm now earning 5p an hour more than minimum wage. I mentioned it to my boss and nothing has been said since so I take that as no pay rise.

BeyondMyWits Mon 20-Jan-20 14:25:26

I was on £7k more than my closest colleague in my last job. I am a good negotiator. (and negotiation was part of our jobs too!), don't push, don't get.

Sounds like you sold yourself short or just accepted what was offered when you started. That may well - of course - have been EXACTLY the right thing to do at the time - i.e. it sounds like they wanted someone cheap - at that time .

If you have added value to the business, then negotiate higher and push it a bit.

If you have just done the job, negotiate, but be prepared to back off.

If you cannot show how having you as an employee makes the firm better as a whole, then you can give it a go, but ...

Collect evidence that you are a kick ass employee who deserves say £6k more, negotiate...

D1lemma2020 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:26:47

He may not receive an annual payrise

I believe he may pay 40 percent tax

Your employer, may say they paid ' the market rate' for a male with his qualifications & experience

You perhaps under negotiated your salary

I've worked in places where people are paid widely different salaries

If you don't like your salary, the best suggestion is to move to another company & negotiate a better deal

teenagetantrums Mon 20-Jan-20 14:27:32

You can ask for a payrise if you think you being paid less thank market value for your job and worth more.
But don't mention your name colleagues salary. You need to be able to prove you are worth what you asking for.
Maybe your colleague came in on a much higher salary than you as that was what he asked for in interview.

Dividingthementalload Mon 20-Jan-20 14:30:23

It’s an equal pay claim in the making. Look at the Recent bbc cases for evidence of good employers having endemically sexist pay schemes.

Write to your employer saying you know your colleague is on 15k more than you are. You understand he does like work to you (if the job is the same) and you’d like to know whether there is a non discriminatory reason for paying him more. Don’t put any emotion in it, just facts, like that. Await response. Bring claim if response is evasive or unjustified or absent.

If you’re in a union, talk to them about it. If you’re not, firms like pattinson & brewer, slater and Gordon and Irwin Mitchell will help you with your case. Go hard or go home, don’t go to a local firm, go to the hard hitters who have form in running these cases which are complex.

Firms are able to continue the trend of underpaying women (and that is what it is) by relying on Opaque pay systems, men protecting themselves by not talking about their higher pay, and the very British belief that talking about money is bad manners. The bbc presenters are talking about it, it’s a very topical issue and the perfect time to call out your employer on this issue.

I have run thousands of these cases. I’d eat my hat if they have a non discriminatory reason for paying your male colleague 15 grand more than you. Their comments about hiring you cheaply as a pregnant woman speaks volumes about their stance on equality. Don’t stand for it.

EBearhug Mon 20-Jan-20 14:31:06

I recommend, which has links to the Equality Act, the Equal Pay Statutory Code of Practice and so on.

Biker47 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:31:14

People are selling their time and expertise to companies, it's not a one way street where the companies are just paying for work, it work's both ways with negotiations, so consequently if they needed another employee 8 months after you started then the market has dictated that was the salary required to attract the candidate that they required/wanted. I'm paid anything from £3-8k less than some of the other people I work with, just because.

Biker47 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:32:52

When you got the job did you accept the pay that was presented in front of you at time of signing your contract or did you actually negotiate for it?

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