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Salary secrecy clauses

(23 Posts)
Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:04:40

Perhaps I'm naive but I've only just found out about secrecy clauses relating to salary discussions; the sector that I've always worked in is transparent about salaries which relate directly to experience within the company.

If you have to sign a secrecy clause, how do you know that you're being paid a fair amount compared to your colleagues? Is this the norm in many industries?

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 13:09:06

People don't normally discuss salaries in the private sector

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:14:03

So how do you know whether you're at the same pay point as your colleagues?

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:14:21

Isn't this open to abuse?

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 13:16:47

You don't!

slightlysoupstained Mon 08-Apr-13 13:22:01

And it is open to abuse. I thought (hopefully someone better informed will be along in a moment) that salary secrecy clauses were now unenforceable in the UK?

Googling brings up this http://www.quantrills.com/employers/hrlegalnews/news/view_news_article.aspx?ID=107 - which suggests it's a bit of a grey area. How has this worked out in practice since 2010?

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:28:04

Also, how do you know whether it's worth applying for a promotion if you don't know how much you'll earn? It must make it hard to plan.

trice Mon 08-Apr-13 13:34:00

It is so they can get away with paying men more in my experience.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 13:56:18

Promotions will be advertised with a salary range e.g £60-75k.

You can compare that with current Salary to see if worth pursuing. I don't know about secrecy clauses but most companies, although they have a pay structure, don't tell everyone what eachother earns.

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:56:38

Do you have to negotiate each pay rise?

I'm feeling lucky that it's done for me!

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 13:59:02

X-posted. That's good that you at least get a ball-park figure.

I can also see that the flip-side of negotiating your own pay rise could be a lovely big salary boost if you happen to be a tough negotiator!

ChasingSquirrels Mon 08-Apr-13 14:02:44

negotiating a pay rise - hahaha.
We had 2% last year, following a 3-year pay freeze.

I negotiated a significant pay rise a number of years ago (same employer, but pre recentish-merger) by setting out how much I was worth to them.

I suspect that the same tactic now would be met with a "no one is indispensable" line.

EuroShaggleton Mon 08-Apr-13 14:07:27

The lack of transparency definitely works in favour of the employer (and in my personal experience, in favour of male employees).

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 14:09:45

ChasingSquirrels We had 2% last year So do you and your colleagues get the same percentage increase as each other then? (From different starting salaries.) You don't have to 'negotiate' your individual pay-rise (or lack of redundancy....). Or is it performance-based. Sorry for all the questions but I've never considered all of this before.

givemeaclue, That range is still pretty broad though. Someone with the same level of responsibility and skill-set could be earning 25% more purely because they've negotiated harder or the boss likes them for some un-meritocratic (is that actually a word!) reason.

TumbleWeeds Mon 08-Apr-13 14:13:36

Softy some companies I have worked for didn't even apply the same increase in % to all the salaries.
Pay rise were done on an ad hoc basis, different from one person to the other. Result: on a group of 7 people doing exactly the same job, there was a VAST variation of wages.

It was all done behind back, some of sort of review of performance where you never got any feedback from and that was it....

Transparency? there was none of it.

And yes it was also a 'big' multinational company....

ChasingSquirrels Mon 08-Apr-13 14:16:08

Well I am pretty sure the vast majority got 2% - although obviously we don't discuss it (haha).
(this is professional services)

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 14:16:54

Correct op.

In my sector there are no annual pay reviews

ChasingSquirrels Mon 08-Apr-13 14:18:51

oh - and yes from different starting salaries, although graduates start on a set level and have set pay increases per professional exam passed.
I was on more than colleagues at my level because i) I came in from another firm as a qualified and you alway have to pay more to get someone in, and ii) I negotiated the pay rise I mentioned above.

About 3 years ago I was paid about the same for my 20 hours as a colleague who was working 30 hours.

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 14:28:41

graduates start on a set level and have set pay increases per professional exam passed Leaving aside the non-graduates and post-graduates for a moment, at least the playing field's level for graduates starting out.

Do you think this approach encourages ambitious employees to work harder and more effectively towards the company's aims? Or does it make colleagues more competitive against each other?

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 14:44:24

EuroShaggleton, What was your experience, as far as you can say here?

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 08-Apr-13 16:46:13

The only direct comparison is someone who started on the same day as you with the same qualifications and experience who has developed at exactly the same rate and has exactly the same role as you.

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 16:53:36

The only direct comparison is someone who started on the same day as you with the same qualifications and experience who has developed at exactly the same rate and has exactly the same role as you.

Possible with my role but I take your point that for most careers it's difficult to draw an exact comparison.

Softywife Mon 08-Apr-13 21:24:55

Anyway, thanks all of you for opening my eyes to the 'real' world sad (honestly not meant to be sarcastic).

Perhaps I need to be a little more cynical in my outlook in future although I'm still hoping there're other industries out there without all the political manouevring.

<Collects meritocratic ideals in a bag and shuffles off for some wine >

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