Salary banded job - can I negotiate?

(44 Posts)
nownever Tue 30-Apr-19 08:03:16

I have been offered a government position which was advertised at a certain band, i.e. a scale with a lower figure and a higher one. I understand that most external candidates will start on the lower figure which I am fine with, but is it acceptable to ask if there is any room for negotiation or is that an absolute faux pas?

I very much will be taking the position, but obviously don't want to leave money on the table if there is any sort of wiggle room. The job is one which I believe would require quite niche skills (which I understand sometimes qualifies for entry above the lowest point), but I can't be 100% certain.

If deemed acceptable to query, advice as to how I can phrase this politely would be welcomed.

OP’s posts: |
Mintypea5 Tue 30-Apr-19 08:04:58

Unlikely in a banded job. Some government departments have "freedoms"
To up the pay point if certain skills are available etc but most are constrained by the rules

Cloudtree Tue 30-Apr-19 08:06:41

Highly unlikely. Its probably been the subject of job evaluation and they probably have a pay policy which states that you will start on the bottom of the band unless there is a need to apply a market supplement (ie they can't recruit to the post without applying a (potentially temporary) supplement)

chocolatebuttonsandcheese Tue 30-Apr-19 08:08:15

Very very unlikely- payrises aren't really a thing in these jobs unless you go up your band so I would steer away from asking.

titchy Tue 30-Apr-19 08:09:30

Unlike the above I think it's worth a go. You won't get the next band but you might get a spine point above the bottom of the scale within that band.

ProfYaffle Tue 30-Apr-19 08:13:22

I work in public sector hr, yes its worth asking. Helps if you can show you're exceptionally qualified and experienced. There are no guarantees though

CrumpetyTea Tue 30-Apr-19 08:16:32

Negotiate - I was told this (or rather not that I had to be at the bottom of the band but that I couldn't be at the top)- I found out later that someone who joined after me in same role/level had negotiated pay outside the band

BloodyWorried Tue 30-Apr-19 08:20:14

I wish I’d asked, years ago I didn’t and took pay cut to take the job. Turns out one of the people who started at the same time asked to match to the nearest band to their current salary and they did that. Takes nothing to ask, the worst they can do is say no.

Lavellan Tue 30-Apr-19 08:21:12

I think you may be able to get higher within the band. But it entirely depends how much pull the person you are being hired by has.

bluejelly Tue 30-Apr-19 08:21:29

Agree. Ask politely and see what happens.

Em6826 Tue 30-Apr-19 08:22:08

I second the last poster - it’s absolutely worth asking - the worst they can say is no. I used to work in government and external candidates in the dept I worked in would regularly ask for (and get) more than the minimum. This is pretty much the one and only chance you get to negotiate - once you’re in pay increases become agreed percentages only.

It does depend on the department / job owner / HR team, what they are used to and their appetite for paperwork. But still worth the ask.

nownever Tue 30-Apr-19 08:44:49

Thank you to all for the responses. Is there any advised wording anyone could share?

I'm thinking something like, "I'm aware that external candidates typically start at the bottom of the band, but as this is quite a unique position, I was wondering if there was any flexibility?"

I also want to negotiate flexible working which was advertised as possible within the advert, so I'll ask and secure that first before querying any possible pay.

OP’s posts: |
Asiama Tue 30-Apr-19 08:53:28

You have nothing to lose by asking and I think the way you have worded it sounds fine. However I would combine your flexible working request and salary into the same query. Otherwise it will come across like every time they agree to something you come back wanting more from them.

Isleepinahedgefund Tue 30-Apr-19 09:16:12

There's no harm in asking. I think it's best to decide what salary you want and then state that, rather than asking if there's any room for negotiation and letting them

Bear in mind there is no pay progression in govt anymore (most departments bought out the increments years ago) and so your only pay rises will be the 1% (or close - we got 1.5 last yr) for years to come and you'll only get a decent pay rise on promotion.

That said, unless you have a lot of recent and directly relevant experience in the field, I doubt they would appoint you at the top of the scale or anywhere near - same as in any job. I wouldn't think transferable skills would be enough, we all have them after all.

Flexible working is separate, you'd negotiate that with your line manager whereas the pay things would most likely be with HR. I'd be direct about it - ask HR who to direct each query to. They won't hold it against you!

FinallyGotAnIPhone Tue 30-Apr-19 09:21:14

I don’t know much about government banding but generally subscribe to the “if you don’t ask you don’t get”. If you do ask you might be surprised. What’s the worst that can happen anyway - they can say no.

Starrynights86 Tue 30-Apr-19 09:26:50

Of course you should negotiate in the band. At my work bands go 80-120%, a new starter is generally appointed within 80-100% of the band depending on experience.

Taswama Tue 30-Apr-19 09:27:12

My role only has two pay points -starting at 90% and 100% after a year assuming doing ok. I negotiated to start straight at 100% based on experience. I also agreed to reduce my hours so only doing 90% (pay obviously pro-Tara). I would definitely agree this before you accept the job so expectations are very clear from the start.

GeorgeTheFirst Tue 30-Apr-19 09:32:47

I work for HMCTS and I would say negotiate now - there is no progression whatsoever once you are in. If they think you won't take the post otherwise that may prompt them to do the necessary paperwork to recruit other than at the bottom of the band. If you don't you will be at the bottom of this band for however long you stay in the job.

nownever Tue 30-Apr-19 09:44:33

@isleepinahedgefund @starrynights86 The full band is a little over 8k, so I would be delighted if I could get another 3k up from the bottom.

I don't know what the spinal points are though, so potentially that is pushing too far as some people earlier up said one or two points is the norm, and I'm guessing this is definitely more than one... Where I work spinal points are on average 1.5k increments so maybe that would be OK?

I would be confident that I could justify my skills to ask for the additional.

OP’s posts: |
nownever Tue 30-Apr-19 09:48:44

Also, I have already started the process re. pre-employment checks, but I have not had any formal conversation with my LM to clarify/confirm anything as there were a number of delays which pushed back the chat which (I presume) was meant to take place on the day I received the offer.

I feel I can word this positively though in terms of how keen I am etc etc. I have not received any sort of contract or formal paperwork detailing either pay or working patterns so hopefully that's alright?

OP’s posts: |
Asiama Tue 30-Apr-19 09:57:00

Did you verbally accept the offer?

bilbodog Tue 30-Apr-19 10:01:47

Yes definately. Only time i worked in a position like this I had only applied based on the higher salary mentioned - had never worked in a banded role before, and was already earning that higher amount. I did mention something about the salary at interview and was told it wouldnt be a problem but when the offer letter came through they were offering the lower salary. Telephone call and it was all sorted.

MayView Tue 30-Apr-19 10:02:57

Hi all! I'm in a very similar position to OP. I was perhaps a little naive and jumped at accepting the gvt job. The advertised pay band between starting and top has a £10k gap.
Now, I knew by moving to CS I'd take a pay cut, and that's something I'm more than happy to accept, but do you think it would be reasonable to ask for a figure a little closer to my current salary? ...Which is still a good few £K short of the top of the band!
I'm in the vetting process at the moment and have had brief contact with my LM-to-be - as others who have gone through the process know, this could take a while! (I've also never negotiated my salary before and don't want to come across like I'm only in it for the money)

Itstartedinbarcelona Tue 30-Apr-19 10:03:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nownever Tue 30-Apr-19 10:10:15

@Asiama I was offered the job provisionally some weeks back, but to date there has been no confirmation of exact salary or any working patterns. I understand that a formal offer does not transpire until pre-employment checks complete successfully, hence why I wanted to start these straight away. I am due to have a conversation with my LM this week at which I plan to discuss the issues re. salary and flexibility.

@itstartedinbarcelona but would you say it would hurt to even ask? Interested to hear about the spinal points...if all of this is gone, then why even advertise the job with a range? For internal movers?

OP’s posts: |

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