Articles From the Team

When is it OK to ask for a pay rise?

Recently, I got into a debate with a friend of mine: was being loyal to a particular employer worthy of a pay rise?

While my friend's argument for a pay rise request was based on some additional factors, a primary reason was that she'd never looked for a job elsewhere; she should be rewarded for this. During our debate, another friend of ours agreed: her colleague was paid £10,000 more per annum for the same role and believed this was down to tenure. 

This got me thinking: I strongly disagree: your length of service shouldn't be reflected in your pay.

I have a commercial mindest: reward employees who work hard to make the business better! Not those who are 'part of the furniture'!

Do you 'deserve' a pay rise?

Your pay should be reflective of:

  • Performance;
  • abilities;
  • responsibilities;
  • level of experience; and,
  • inline with what the market dictates as reasonable.

At each yearly pay review, I urge you to focus on how your role has changed, whether you have over-performed against expectations, and what you have tangibly brought to the business (implementation or involvement). I discourage you from asking for a pay rise because you’ve been "kind enough to not look for another job!" If your contribution doesn't translate into pounds and pence then you'll struggle to prove your worth.

What not to do if your pay rise request is refused...

If you're refused a requested pay rise, don't hold your boss over a barrel by threatening to leave. You might view this as a great idea/tactic at the time because you're principally 'calling their bluff', but what you're actually doing is making your employer question your commitment to your role. In the short-term, you might get a raise, but long term, any smart boss will start to make a contingency plan (knowing you're looking for an exit).

For information contact BCL Legal or call 0845 241 0933.

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