Emma Delli-Bovi
Emma Delli-Bovi
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

How to ask for a pay rise

I recently got into a debate with a friend of mine over whether she should get a pay rise because she had been loyal to that particular company for another year. Her main argument, in a nutshell being, that your loyalty should be reflected in your salary…..

Whilst her argument and request for said pay rise was based upon some additional factors one of the key points upon which she was asking for more money was because she hadn’t looked elsewhere for a job and that she should effectively be rewarded for not doing so.

During this discussion, interestingly and to my disbelief, another friend of mine remarked that she agreed! Another member of staff where she worked was paid nearly £10,000 more than her per annum for doing, what she said was, the same job; she believed this to be the case because this person had worked at the company for much longer than she and whilst she was somewhat annoyed, explained to me that she understood this mind-set!

This got me thinking. I quite strongly (and vocally during this discussion!) disagree with this thought process. I do not understand the idea that your length of service to a company should be reflected in your pay.

Now I appreciate I am wired slightly differently to a large percentage of the population, and granted I am but a mere recruitment consultant, not a multi-millionaire business tycoon with numerous employees of my own. However, commercially, I would think that as said business owner you would award those individuals within your business who are working to make the business better! Not just the ones who have become part of the furniture…

Your pay should be a reflection of your performance, abilities, responsibilities and level of experience and should be more or less in line with what market dictates is reasonable. At each yearly pay review, if you want a rise I would urge you to focus on how your role has changed, whether you have over performed against the expectation, what you have bought to the business or tangible changes you have implemented or been a part of – I would strongly discourage you from asking for the pay rise because you’ve been kind enough to not look for another job! This makes no sense whatsoever. The commerciality of pay rises is that if your contribution to the business does not translate into pounds and pence then you might struggle to prove your worth, so think outside the box!

This sits in line in with my views on threatening to go elsewhere just because you are refused said pay rise. Do not hold your boss over a barrel by threatening to leave because you don’t get what you want. Firstly, you are not a child! And secondly, you might think this is a great idea at the time because you are principally “calling their bluff”, but actually what you are doing is making your employer question your commitment to the role. In the short term you might get a pay rise, but in the long term any smart boss will start making a contingency plan knowing you are looking for the exit.

It’s a circle. Employees being paid well should feel appreciated and by default are likely to be loyal and want to work hard. Working hard means they are entitled to pay rises, ergo they continue to feel appreciated and remain loyal. Simples! If you are unhappy with your pay, get in touch for a confidential discussion on the next steps – emmadelli-bovi@bcllegal.com or 0121 230 1020 .

For information contact Emma Delli-Bovi at BCL Legal

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