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in expecting people not to ask me how much money I earn

(35 Posts)
myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 16:57:57

I am currently in the process of job hunting and filling in application forms.

Nearly all of the application forms have a "how much do you currently earn" question. Why? What business is it of theirs how much money I earn.

I thought it was rude to ask people how much money they earn.

Am genuinely curious as to why they wish to know this.

Lizzylou Fri 27-Feb-09 16:59:48

So firms know not to interview you if they pay less than what you currently earn

itchyandscratchy Fri 27-Feb-09 17:01:24

They're not being nosey; it's so they can see what you're worth, is the short answer.

If this question was on the bottom's permission slip at school then yes YANBU, but you're apllying for jobs, so YABU. sorry!

itchyandscratchy Fri 27-Feb-09 17:02:02

whoops - missed out "bottom of your dc's"

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:03:11

But lots of the jobs are with local authorities where the salaries are set and non-negotiable anyway.

pointydog Fri 27-Feb-09 17:03:26

It helps them decide whether it's worth interviewing you or not and also to make a judgement as to what they will offer you, or which stage of the scale they would start you at. People can talk up their jobs a lot, so it also lets them see how the employer rates your job and not just how someone trumpets it.

pointydog Fri 27-Feb-09 17:04:20

public sector jobs are all on a scale of some sort so they can easily categorise the level of your job at a glance.

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:04:38

And what's to stop me lying anyway. I could say I earn £100k, does that mean they'll think "oh look, she earns £100k, lets pay her £120k instead of the £12k we would have paid someone else because she must be worth more.

rubyslippers Fri 27-Feb-09 17:04:41

totally usual question on a job application form

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:05:43

But could I lie?

PuddingChops Fri 27-Feb-09 17:06:15

I have never seen this question on an application form. I have seen 'expected salary' but never 'how much do you currently earn'? Mind - I haven't applied for a new job recently. Do they really ask this (quite intrusive) question on all forms now?

itchyandscratchy Fri 27-Feb-09 17:07:12

if you don't mind being found out if they phone your HR dept!

Why would you lie?

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:08:04

PuddingChops - I'm amazed at the cheek of it really, I was sitting opposite a man at an interview and he asked me how much I earned. I felt like asking him how much he earns.

Lizzylou Fri 27-Feb-09 17:09:40

Well, they'll find out the truth when they reference check you (have had offered retracted for candidates who lied about their salaries) so would be pointless to lie.
When I send out candidates I always put what their current salary is on my covering email to clients, so they know if candidate is too expensive for them or not.

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:09:52

I'm not (necessarily) saying that I would lie, but surely the HR department can't give details like that away.

MorrisZapp Fri 27-Feb-09 17:12:00

Can't say I've ever understood people's obsession with keeping their income private.

Why is it such a hot subject?

My friend refused to open a bank account with a bank who asked on a form what her salary was. I was like - eh? They're not asking to install a webcam in your bathroom, it's just numbers.

Think I may be unique in this!

pointydog Fri 27-Feb-09 17:12:05

if you lie and the new employer finds out, you've probably lost that job

pointydog Fri 27-Feb-09 17:13:11

you see, I'm already wondering why you are bein gso cagey, name

rubyslippers Fri 27-Feb-09 17:14:07

why is such a big deal?

altagloria Fri 27-Feb-09 17:30:15

YABU, what is the big deal here. Do you also think it's rude of them to ask for your address and phone number?

They want to know what you earn now so they know what your expectations are and what your current job's status is, and will use that to gauge what your own qualifications and experience are. If you put down £100k for a £12k job, even if it were true, you would not get an interview as you would clearly not be suitable.

And I take it you will be putting your current employers down as a referee, so if your HR dept refuses to release top-secret sensitive details like this you'll be a bit stuck grin

squirrel42 Fri 27-Feb-09 17:33:11

Jobs have such funny titles these days with "title inflation" that you probably can't tell what (for example) a Marketing and Promotions Assistant actually does, unless the person includes a thorough description of their role. If you ask what salary they're paid you may get a better approximate idea of whether they're the person who arranges nationwide marketing campaigns or if they're the person who delivers leaflets.

myfunnynametaken Fri 27-Feb-09 17:35:50

I guess what's really riled me about it is that I think they are using it as a way of paying the minimum amount they possibly can. Ie, if they see you earn £12k they'll offer £13 but if you say you earn £14, they'll offer you £15, FOR THE SAME JOB AND THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK

The job pays what the job pays, it makes no difference what people earned in their last job - the people applying for the job are obviously fine with the salary being offered otherwise they wouldn't apply.

Lizzylou Fri 27-Feb-09 17:37:30

I do see your point, and that does happen.
There is not much you can do about it though, unfortunately.

ClaraDeLaNoche Fri 27-Feb-09 17:38:28

<<gets on highest horse possible>>

This is one of the reasons why the equal pay gap will never be closed, because when they base your new pay on your old pay, and women tend to be paid less for doing the same job, it goes on and on.

You should be paid according to the value of the new job. I would leave this part blank.

Fingers crossed that OP is of the female persuasion...

LadyMuck Fri 27-Feb-09 17:44:09

Well, if you lie and get the job they will work it out from your P45.

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