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So they've offered a job to a guy paying 4k more than me...

(24 Posts)
trixymalixy Thu 19-May-11 12:51:41

He's got 3 years less PQE than me and the experience is has is less relevant than mine.

I'm fuming, my boss is aware of this and says he'll try to do something about it, but doesn't think HR will agree. There's really nothing I can do is there?

They know they've got me over a barrel as I was made redundant before I took this job. They know I took a pay cut to do it and the only other place to work in my field is a long commute away which they know I don't want to do because I have kids.

I guess my only option is to apply for other jobs and hope they don't call my bluff when I threaten to leave?

EldonAve Thu 19-May-11 13:02:32

Is he doing the same job as you?

Selks Thu 19-May-11 13:03:54

Are you in a Union? Could you speak to them?

StillSquiffy Thu 19-May-11 13:12:41

Even if the two of you were doing same job there is no requirement in the UK for you to receive the same salary so long as the reasons for the salary differential are not discriminatory. HR could well turn round to you and say that he is paid this amount solely because they had to match an existing job offer and there would be nothing you could do about it. You only have a case if the disparity continues for years despite you performing at demonstrably the same level.

BUT there is nothing to stop you putting in a request to HR asking them to explain to you the reasons why there is a wide disparity between your current salary and the market rate for your role, as evidenced by the hiring of X on the higher salary level.

Chances are they will come back and tell you these things get considered during the annual salary review or whatnot, but you will at least have put them on notice that they need to fix this difference.

Resigning will of course force them to come to the table but as you know you could end up leaving a job you like despite the pay difference.

StillSquiffy Thu 19-May-11 13:17:16

BTW it happens all the time in the professions, especially when you have high turnover and recruitment

MoreBeta Thu 19-May-11 13:27:17

You need to get as much as possible down in writing now and elicit as much info as posisble from them. You dont need to be accusatory but a simple statement of facts, what has happened, who said what to who and a simple request that you be paid the same given that you believe you are doing the same/equivalent job and are better qualified. Ask for a WRITTEN reply.

Its funny how stories and reasons change and people forget they said things 6 months down the line. Keep copies of all letters, emails and make handwritten notes at allmeetings even if your manager just drops by your desk.

By the way, if I were you I would fully expect a bad year end review as a way tojustify your lower salary. There is a market for this job and few other places you can work. That surely also applies to the new employee too.

Bottom line is threatening to leave gives you power. Being loyal leaves you weak and taken for granted. Firms are doing this all the time nowadays.

flowery Thu 19-May-11 13:41:51

DO NOT let your boss off the hook. "says he'll try to do something about it, but doesn't think HR will agree"

HR are not in charge. If your boss genuinely supports your claim he will push the right people and if the right people want you to get more money you will. If your boss is using the 'HR won't let me' line that's simply not right. HR work for the organisation not the other way around so although they might say to one manager 'ooh our salary structure doesn't allow that' or they might say 'you can get away without giving her an increase', they will not say to a senior director whose budget it is 'you are not allowed to spend your own budget that way'.

Push your boss more and don't allow him to fob you off to HR.

And do not threaten to resign unless you absolutely intend to follow it through. If they say no and you don't resign all credibility is lost.

trixymalixy Thu 19-May-11 18:36:25

If I threaten to resign then I absolutely would follow it through, despite it being cutting my nose off to spite my face. I'm the 3rd person they've had in in 3 years to do this project and it is now vital and I am getting on well with it where the others got nowhere so I think they would want to keep me.

The most galling thing is that my boss wasn't that pleased with the guy, they're taking him on out of desperation. They tried to get more CVs in after the first round of interviews, without success, as he didn't think they had found a star. He rated me top in the team and said he would give me an exceptional rating next year if I continued to produce the level of work I have so far.

trixymalixy Thu 19-May-11 18:42:37

I'm not in a union. My job is more senior as I manage people.

The work I do is very highly in demand, if I was prepared to commute to the next city. Salaries have rocketed and my companies salary structure has just not kept up. This was highlighted when it came to annual pay rises. I wasn't going to get one despite my good grade as according to their salary structure I am at 120% of Market value, until my boss intervened. They were starting to investigate when they sacked the HR lady looking at it.

My boss is totally behind me, it's his boss and the HR director who is in the US and a bit of a tyrant who will be the problem.

I like the idea of writing a letter asking them to explain the salary differential.

evieS Thu 19-May-11 20:00:45

From the information available it looks as if you have an equalities case to make: I would advise that you obtain information under section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to an equality of terms complaint, (which used to be called an equal pay complaint).Guidance re filling this form can be found on the government website:
Use the equality of terms questionaire.
Do this now - you have a real comparator so are in a good position.

LadyLapsang Thu 19-May-11 20:33:02

You could ask the firm to do an equal pay audit alongside pursuing your claim for equal (or better) pay.

Is there not a trades union or a professional organisation you could join.

I was looking at some interesting US research regarding business school graduates recently, it showed men routinely negotiated higher starting salaries which has the effect of keeping them ahead (with salary increases often based on % of previous income and new employers looking at the last salary and matching / increasing it) so women suffered a cumulative loss.

Good luck

tiggersreturn Fri 20-May-11 12:53:16

Good luck. I assume you're a solicitor by the PQE ref. I had this issue in the past but resolved it by politely having a word with the partner I worked for querying the situation on the basis of info found on roll on friday (and then confirmed with one of the relevant people) that those a year less qualified than me were being paid 5k more. It was sorted out within 2 months and I got a half yearly pay rise of 5k.

I was able to do it politely as had already ranted to my room mate who suggested this method.

I don't know much about the intricacies of equal pay claims but it may be worth looking into. Equally though if they're just paying him that because it was necessary to get him then you may have difficulties and it would not be discrimination on the grounds you are female.

Regarding the threat to resign it's always a difficult one as on the one hand it signals disloyalty yet on the other you need to find a way to get the message across that you're not being valued.

Would it be worth having a in/formal meeting with your boss and trying to convey the following message?

1. You are happy with your job and get confirmation that he believes you are doing a good job.

2. Mention the issue of this new less qualified person being paid more. Point out the issue isn't so much about the money but about the perception of how the company values you.

3. Given that you were previously told you couldn't have a raise because you are at 120% of market value, on what basis are they able to pay this guy more than you when he has less experience and therefore on same criteria must be at about 180-200% of market value?

And see what he says.

If there's any rubbish about well we have to see what HR says, the simple answer to that (sorry Flowery and anyone else who may be offended by this but it's true of everywhere I've worked) that HR is a function of the business and the ultimate decision relating to how and where money is spent lies with the business as that is where the money comes from.

If it's going nowhere you will know it's time to move. You haven't made it entirely clear but I assume based on my experience that the issue is not primarily the higher salary (although it's always nicer to have more cash after HMRC have taken their cut) but how you feel you are regarded in the organisation as a result. Nice words are easy to give but they hardly equate to the same committments as hard cash.

Maybe consider looking at some other options to move into. I don't know what your area is and if you're in private practice or in-house but there are a lot of opportunities out there which you might not automatically perceive. Even the most specialised areas can be branched out in some ways. I'm happy for you to cat me if you're interested. (Not a recruiter just someone who left private practice for in-house)

flowery Fri 20-May-11 12:57:26

"If there's any rubbish about well we have to see what HR says, the simple answer to that (sorry Flowery and anyone else who may be offended by this but it's true of everywhere I've worked) that HR is a function of the business and the ultimate decision relating to how and where money is spent lies with the business as that is where the money comes from."

Not remotely offended, smile I completely agree with you and said the same thing in my post earlier. Saying 'HR won't let me' is a load of rubbish used by managers who don't want to agree something or push for something to be agreed and want to fob someone off.

tiggersreturn Fri 20-May-11 13:37:42

Glad I didn't offend, flowery. I value your advice enormously on this forum and always enjoy reading your posts

flowery Fri 20-May-11 13:41:22


trixymalixy Sat 21-May-11 08:58:41

I'm an actuary tigger. So a very specialised profession.

Trying to cry discrimination would lose me all credibility with my boss, because it isn't discriminatory. It could equally have been a woman.

It's all irrelevant for the moment as he has turned down the job as his current employer offered him more money <<weeps>>.

There is still a vacancy and as it clearly commands a higher salary than my more responsible role, I was thinking of applying for it grin.

They turned down most other applicants as they were too expensive, so if they really plan on recruiting someone then they will have to revise the salary structure.

MoreBeta Sat 21-May-11 10:28:45

trixy - if your salary is that low compared to new entrants with less experience then surely you are also being grossly underpaid compared to people already in your firm and on your experience level as well?

trixymalixy Sat 21-May-11 11:16:59

There only are two actuaries in my firm, myself and my boss and there are a couple of actuarial students. So no-one else at my level until now. I suspect my boss is also underpaid too which is why he is behind an overhaul of the salary structure.

I took a pay cut to do this job, which I was fine with as it was my choice, until they decided to take on someone more junior at a higher salary.

trixymalixy Tue 27-Sep-11 17:55:49

Just to update. HR conducted a salary review based on a database bought from an external consultancy and they gave me a £10k payrise. Woo hoo!!!!!!!!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 27-Sep-11 17:58:45

Wow, that's amazing!

midnightexpress Tue 27-Sep-11 18:03:33

Woo hoo indeed - fantastic news!

<when's the party? wink>

VivaLeBeaver Tue 27-Sep-11 18:16:28

I'm now dreaming of the holiday I'd book and the clothes I'd buy if this happened to me. So Trixy - what you treating yourself to?

trixymalixy Tue 27-Sep-11 19:19:56

Well in reality it has turned out to be less a payrise and more not a drop in salary as I had just negotiated going part time. So in effect I'm spending my payrise on time with my children grin.

trixymalixy Tue 27-Sep-11 19:54:08

But I did have a look at some bags at lunchtime.....

And will probably tell our friends we can go skiing next year after all.

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