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What to do if you haven't had a payrise in a very long time

(13 Posts)
Ameliaranne Wed 21-Oct-15 15:23:57

I have worked for a very large technology company for the last 8 years. During this time I have never received a pay-rise. I have discussed it with my line manager during my annual review for the last 2 years and nothing so far has happened as a result. I'm starting to feel very demotivated by this - is there anything I can do? I was informally offered redundancy back in March and I'm now beginning to feel like I should have taken it. Any advice would be much appreciated as I feel quite unable to think clearly about the situation.

DolphinsPlayground Wed 21-Oct-15 15:33:18

What was their response when you asked about it last time?

Ameliaranne Wed 21-Oct-15 16:05:21

Last year when I asked about it, the subject was quickly dismissed - however when I asked this year I was told that I was definitely in the frame for a payrise. This was back in July and nothing has happened since. I've asked a few times for an update since July and have been told there is no news. I guess having been told that I will get a payrise, but it not happening is my key concern.

worldgonecrazy Wed 21-Oct-15 16:23:02

If I hadn't had a payrise for 8 years I'd be looking for a new job. Not having a payrise is the equivalent of having a pay cut every year. According to the inflation calculator on the "thisismoney" website, £10,000 8 years ago is now worth just short of £13,000. In other words, for every £10,000 of your salary then, you should be earning £3K more just to keep pace with inflation. The Bank of England calculator has it nearer £2K but it's still quite a lot of money.

I know that most of us haven't had pay rises which have kept pace with inflation, but you should at least have had something over those 8 years. Even a 1% pay increase average would have got you just over an £800 increase over the years.

If you are raising it, and are not getting the answer you want or need, then your employer is stalling. There probably isn't a lot you can do, other than vote with your feet. Do you belong to a union?

originalmavis Wed 21-Oct-15 16:24:21

Any bonuses? I'd be looking for a new job. They are either deep in the financial poo or don't give aonkeys for staff morale.

merrymouse Wed 21-Oct-15 16:26:42

I think you need to work out how much pay rise you feel you are due taking into account inflation and whether, separately, you deserve a pay rise because of changes to your job - e.g. increase in responsibility/workload/increased skills/market rate etc.

Ameliaranne Wed 21-Oct-15 16:37:58

Thanks for the responses. I've taken 2 maternity leaves of 1 year each within this 8 year period, but I have now been back at work solidly for 5 years, hence my pushing a payrise for the last 2 years. I work 4 days a week and I am able to work from home. I am in a very challenging situation where looking for another role in a different company isn't going to offer me the flexibility I currently have. Yet I am a solid performer, I am taking on new responsibilities regularly and have had a grade increase without payrise during this period.
The company doesn't really care about the staff, and it hurts angry

AnyoneButAndre Wed 21-Oct-15 16:41:39

A) brush up your cv and put it out there
B) ask someone you can trust in confidence roughly what their pay rise situation has been over the period
C) read up on sex discrimination law
D) brace yourself for a tough conversation with your manager and/or ask whether that redundancy deal is still on offer

EBearhug Thu 22-Oct-15 00:51:46

I agree - get your CV out there. The jobs market for IT seems to be fairly buoyant at the moment. If you'd been public sector, I'd have said, that seems to be the way it is at the moment, but IT is mostly doing okay (though it does depend a bit on particular skill sets and roles - I'm a unix sys admin.) There are flexible roles in other companies.

Find out what the going market rate is for your skills/location/experience - use a site like

It might also be worth looking at - however, going by my own employer, you definitely need to take some of it with a pinch of salt, and it's also quite dependent on department. But it may give you an overview and also a view on salaries.

As AnyoneButAndre says, if you can find someone confidential to talk about salaries, i.e. if they've had recent payrises, then that would be very helpful, but take care with how you handle this - IME, managers rarely take kindly to becoming aware people have discussed salaries.

Do you know how your pay cycle and so on works? Ours are usually done annually, announced around the end of January, so now is definitely the time to start the conversation, because with us, it's when they're doing next year's budgets. In theory, it's based on performance review, although there's still only a limited pool per department, so if everyone is working well (as high-performing teams will do, as they will boost each other's performance), then you can't give them all the maximum possible amount. But in summary, we get something like 1% if people are performing, and 2% if they're exceeding expectations, and I think under performers just get an improvement plan (don't actually know.) Those aren't the exact figures, but it gives the general idea. If you know what the average payrises have been over the past few years, then work out what your pay could be now - e.g. 1% every year, or 2% every year (it's probably been more varied than that.) Where would you be now, if you'd had those rises each year?

Build a case based on market value, what you bring to the department - "I haven't had a raise in years" probably isn't enough, unfortunately. How are your performance reviews? It sounds like they should be okay, and the grade rise with no payrise should certainly be highlighted. Plus you wouldn't get a grade rise if you weren't performing well. Have you done anything that has saved the company money/made more money for the company/improved efficiencies (and therefore had an indirect financial effect)? That sort of thing is always useful to show how you're worth money to them.

As a woman in IT, there's a strong chance you're in a minority, and there could be an equality issue. If they don't just agree you've got a great case and cough up, then you will need to consider going down the official route. There have been quite a few changes to workers' rights with the last government, mostly around the processes involved in going for tribunals and so on - reduced timescales, more costs for the person involved, and so on. It's also changed some of the equal pay stuff - you go through an equal pay checklist rather than an equal pay questionnaire, and while I assume it covers similar stuff, I don't know the details - you need someone who knows.

Look at the 2010 Equalities Act and the 1970 Equal Pay Act in particular. The ACAS and CAB websites will probably have relevant information, too. If you're in a union, talk to them. (If you're not in one, join one, even if it's not recognised in your workplace - they will have the knowledge for cases like this.) Does your company have any other sort of employee reps, or workers' reps, or employee groups like a women's organisation?

It can be worth pushing for - a while back, over two or three years, I had 6 monthly above-average rises to level me up to my colleagues. And in a previous job, they did a pay audit on the department, and I got a 26% rise (having previously been told that discussing pay was a sackable offence, end of discussion, when I'd raised it. Gits.)

Be prepared to negotiate - know what your lowest acceptable rise is, and start higher, so that you can accept a lower offer than you started with. From what you've said they've been like, I would have every expectation that they'll try to fob you off with more promises of doing something which never comes to pass. Ask about redundancy, start looking for other jobs, alongside pushing for the payrise and inequality.

Finally - most big IT companies have policies around diversity and equality and go on about wanting to increase the numbers of women in STEM careers. If your employer does this, then do point out that not giving women payrises is one reason women end up leaving IT. (And all the crap low-level every day sexism, not to mention the overt less low-level sexism etc.) If they say they're in favour of encouraging women, call them on it.

elfofftheshelf Thu 22-Oct-15 09:26:56

As you work for a large IT company I would suggest you speak to someone in your HR team. Assuming it's a private sector company, it is highly unlikely that they've had a zero pay budget for the last 5+ years, so the fact that you as a solid performer are receiving zero increases is odd, and this should have stood out when management / HR are conducting reviews. (the process of looking down a spreadsheet at all the "meets expectations" and seeing year on year zero increases would raise a red flag to me). See if you can have a chat about their processes. Do it in an open way (non-confrontational) and take things from there once you have more knowledge on how they handle pay increments.

Ameliaranne Thu 22-Oct-15 09:29:39

Thanks everyone for the tips, some really constructive advice and I feel like I can now put a plan together to help me take a positive control of the situation. And of course I think you are definitely right with regards to my CV - it certainly won't harm. Thank you!

Eve Thu 22-Oct-15 09:38:59

as you mention 'solid performer' I assume the company you are in adopts a 'high performance' culture and therefore you are not meeting the criteria to merit a pay award.

Is pay based on annual appraisal? How is the appraisal process done? You say you are taking on more responsibility.. are you evidencing that, making sure your manager is aware. Singing your praises?

curiousc88t Fri 23-Oct-15 22:18:36

If you ask around you will probably find that pay rises are very small or non existent

I would suggest weighing up any extra benefits you get at work v a new job

However I would get your CV out there & contacts on Linked IN

Most employers want their staff to increase their work load each year & take on more responsibilities

An old boss of mine once said - people only ever moan about their pay when they are unhappy. When they are happy they will come in early, do extra work & leave late

If you are unhappy look at why & make some changes

Working 4 days a week & working from home seems a good idea to me - no time or money spent commuting to work !

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