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Do you talk openly about your salary with others?

108 replies

toodlethenoodle · 13/12/2019 19:48

I was offered my dream role within my current company after I gave in my notice after working in a different part of the business. The CEO then got hold of my CV and I negotiated hard and secured myself a 59% pay rise.
In my new office there is a lot of open chat about salaries, bonus' and benefits. A lot of my co workers are unhappy with their salary. I was approached during the week by my co workers and asked outright what my salary was as many people in the office have suspicions that they're being paid half as much as me especially since I was asked personally by the CEO to stay.

I have explained that I have never and will never speak about my salary with anyone as its information that is personal to me. I seem to be a 1 person department so I don't know enough about anyone elses roles and responsibilities to know whether they could negotiate for more.

Is this way of thinking strange? Am I being unreasonable not giving this information to give others the chance to renegotiate?

OP posts:
DragonontheWagon · 13/12/2019 21:28

No I don't because salary is down to appraisals. My boss is a woman and very fair and pays your worth to the business. I get paid more than males in similar roles because some men can't be quiet

moostermum · 13/12/2019 21:30

No, I once told colleagues I got a bonus and 2 days later it was taken off me & I had to pay it back (monthly instalments). Never discuss money.

squee123 · 13/12/2019 21:31

I never discuss it with friends and family as I'm a very high earner and don't want to make things awkward. Obviously they must know I'm well paid, but I imagine they think it is half of what it actually is. I do discuss it with colleagues though as that helps us all to get paid what we deserve

PegasusReturns · 13/12/2019 21:31

I try to be quite transparent when appropriate. I don't shout about what I earn because, frankly I earn a lot and some humility goes a long way.

But with women, particularly those that I mentor, I try to give an indication of what might be open to them in terms of comp and bens.

About ten years ago I was told of the concept of sign on bonuses. As a 20 something I had no idea these were even a possibility. Since knowing I haven't moved jobs without one Smile

crystal423 · 13/12/2019 22:17

I work the for the NHS so everyone I work with knows my band/salary but don't disclose this outside of work, mainly because I'm embarrassed it's so low.

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland · 13/12/2019 22:24

I've always happily discussed my salary. Companies discourage it because pay secrecy only benefits employers.

Openness around salary tends to lead to better pay for everyone (knowledge of pay leads the worst paid to renegotiate,which leads those who differentiate themselves with better performance to negotiate corresponding adjustments etc etc).

Employers love to give individuals the sense that by being secretive they give themselves an advantage. This is because it helps them suppress pay. It is always better to share information on pay, unless you own the business!

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland · 13/12/2019 22:26

Moostermum... was it taken off you because you told others? Is that even legal? I think I would have had a chat to an employment lawyer about that.

Waterandlemonjuice · 13/12/2019 22:27

It’s no-ones business but your own

NoIDontWatchLoveIsland · 13/12/2019 22:29


That is not legal in the UK under current law. Employers cannot legally discipline anyone for discussing their work pay, and employers cannot legally have any clauses in company contracts that stop workers from talking about their salaries.

Cautionsharpblade · 13/12/2019 22:39

Sackable offence in my old job to discuss bonus - it often formed the bulk of the pay package so the room for discrepancy was huge

theemmadilemma · 13/12/2019 22:56

No, never have. These days I don't work closely enough with anyone with the same title, and beside even then size of teams and roles are differing.

I know how much the salaries differ within the team I manage.

I also know what the OP says isn't out of the realms of possibility. One member of my team has had over 40% over the last 2 increases due to making himself a thoroughly key dependency (technical) we can't afford to lose.

toodlethenoodle · 13/12/2019 23:23

@mistycloud If any of this % chat is confusing you I can dig out my daughters (age 9) homework and explain it too you simply. Just let me know.

OP posts:
StripeyDeckchair · 13/12/2019 23:50

My boss, my husband & the HR know what I earn.
No one else.

Its private.

steff13 · 14/12/2019 00:12

I work for the government; my salary is a matter of public record. Anyone who wants to know it can look it up.

Osirus · 14/12/2019 00:17

My husband was sacked once for discussing his salary. It’s actually a disciplinary offence at my workplace to discuss salaries. I have seen firsthand the stress, anger and feeling of injustice that it causes when colleagues find out what they are all being paid. Best to keep it to yourself!

MistyCloud · 14/12/2019 01:12


Hey mistycloud, if any of this % chat is confusing you I can dig out my daughters (age 9) homework and explain it too you simply. Just let me know.

Whoops yes, I did make a fuck up there. Thinking for a minute that a 59% payrise was over double the original pay. Rookie error. Not like me at all.

I wasn't going to say anything at all, when you pointed it out earlier. However, seeing as how you are goading me, (by messaging me AGAIN, because I didn't bite last time,) I will now go and get my niece's (age 7) ENGLISH homework for you, to show you how to figure out the difference between TO and TOO.

Very shoddy grammar and spelling dear, VERY shoddy. Does this new employer who gave you SUCH a massive pay rise, as you are SO sought-after, know how poor your grammar and spelling is? Grin

People in glass houses darling! People in glass houses. Wink

Time to take that smug look off your face, because you've made yourself look terribly silly now.

Now you have a nice weekend, and let me know if you want any tips on grammar and spelling, and I can explain it to you simply. That's 'TO you simply,' not 'TOO you simply...' Wink

Oh and FYI, you should have put an apostrophe before the S in 'my daughters homework' So it should have read 'my daughter's homework.'

This is an apostrophe


PM me if you want any private grammar and spelling coaching.

All the best dear. Grin

katy1213 · 14/12/2019 01:19

That's how companies manage to pay women less than men.

Blibbyblobby · 14/12/2019 01:20

I don’t share numbers at work because it’s a disciplinary thing, but I am currently working my notice and I’ve told colleagues the % increase and that I get a sign-on bonus.

Outside work I will share numbers if asked.

As pps have said, secrecy only really benefits employers. Price transparency is a good thing.

motherheroic · 14/12/2019 07:49

I do and it has helped me negotiate a higher salary. People who came in with less experience were getting a few grand more than me, even though I was the one who had to teach them how the system and software worked and where everything in stock was located.

I've since left because the boss was a giant turd but that's another story.

Camomila · 14/12/2019 07:58

At work I'd keep it private unless it was somewhere with set payscales.

I'd happily discuss it with close friends, my mum friends and I have had lots of discussions about maternity leave/pay/child care choices.

PooWillyBumBum · 14/12/2019 08:10

I have discussed it with friends at work, particularly one who started on the same salary as me 2.5 years ago and is still on the same salary whereas I’ve negotiated a 40% raise. I think it can be helpful.

Generally, I don’t though. We are in a private company and if I wanted to benchmark I’d look for comparable job ads and go from there. My husband works in IT in financial services and none of them discuss it at his current bank ever, it’s quite taboo.

showgirl · 14/12/2019 08:11

I work for the NHS our payscales are published!


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youwereagoodcakeclyde · 14/12/2019 09:35

No I don’t speak about it to friends, colleagues or family. Only DH knows what I earn.

Mammylamb · 14/12/2019 09:38

Some people aren’t coming over very nicely in this thread.

Mammylamb · 14/12/2019 09:39

I don’t discuss it with colleagues, but I suspect some of them know.

When I started I negotiated a higher salary than I was offered. It turns out a colleague at the same lever

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