• How to talk about pay at work

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    With the BBC releasing the salaries of its highest-paid stars, the hot topic of the moment is whether people should feel free to discuss their pay with their colleagues. A recent Twitter poll revealed 53% of PA Life readers think remuneration should be kept private, but those who thought it was acceptable feel quite strongly. If you decide to have this conversation with your co-workers, here are a few tips from The Muse’s Michelle Seitzer on how to proceed professionally.

    Assess the situation – Think about the ins and outs of the conversation – who’s asking you what you get paid, why would they be enquiring, and where is it happening? If your new work friend asks you over a drink at the pub, it’s probably not a good time to discuss your salary, but if your predecessor pulls you aside in the office and is curious to know if you’re getting equal pay for equal work it might be worth opening up.

    Know the rules – UK law doesn’t prohibit you from discussing your salary, but your company may have rules that restrict the circumstances for doing so. Check your firm’s policy before divulging any information to your colleagues.

    Weigh the pros and cons – Before you start the pay discussion with a colleague, consider why you’re making that decision. Is it pure curiosity, or will you use the information to make a case for a pay rise? Will it affect your relationship if you know your work friend is making more than you? Think about the outcomes rather than just the here and now.

    Don’t beat around the bush – Once you make the decision to ask a colleague about their salary, be direct and clear about what you intend to do with that information. If you’re after a pay rise, ask one or two co-workers on a similar level to you and estimate whether your recent achievements warrant being on par with them.

    Consider the location – Asking people about their salary at the office could make them very uncomfortable. Consider saving your questions for a work social activity, especially if you’re just curious. You could also set up a group made up of employees from different departments so you can all meet and discuss pay-related issues.

    Read the original article at muse.cm/2uAxyJS

  • AUTHOR

    Molly Dyson

    Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson