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3 in 5 who asked for a pay rise got one

Posted on 21 May 2019
3 in 5 who asked for a pay rise got one

Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)

Time for your next pay rise?

It's important to get paid what you're worth, for your self-esteem and your bank balance too. Find out what's going on with wages and jobs in Australia and whether you should ask for a raise.

Be in it to win it

In spite of all these new jobs promised and delivered, sluggish wage growth seems to be sticking around and could certainly make it pretty tough to convince your boss you've got a strong case for a pay rise. On the other hand, if you don't ask you don't get as a March 2018 report by comparison site Finder shows. In their survey of 2085 people, 3 in 5 who asked for a pay rise got one, receiving an average increase of 5.43%. That's well over double the current WPI figure of 2.1%.

However, the survey also shows alarming results for how successful men are compared with women in the salary increase stakes. Men achieved a higher average increase of $3919 compared with women ($3697). This goes some way to helping us understand why the gender pay gap in Australia is as high as it is, with men earning 15.3% more on average for doing the same jobs as women. As well as being less successful in their negotiations, part of the reason could also be because women aren't as likely to come forward and ask. According to the same survey, almost twice as many men as women asked for a pay rise 32.2% compared with 18.5%.

All fair and above board

Knowing what others are paid can be important when it comes to deciding how much to ask for yourself. When salaries are cloaked in secrecy you can feel like you're selling yourself short if you ask for a modest raise or being greedy when you expect a lot more.

A number of countries are certainly putting pay transparency high on their policy agenda, in a bid to eliminate the gender pay gap. In the UK, mandatory gender pay gap reportingwas introduced in April 2017. The new measure requires all UK organisations with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay gap figures by April 2018 and take action to close any reported gap. Iceland have taken it a step further by making it illegal to pay women less than men. From 1 January 2018, all companies in Iceland with more than 25 employees will need a government certificate to prove pay equality for their remuneration or face fines. This bold move should come as no surprise from a country that has been ranked best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine consecutive years.

Should I be asking for more?

Regardless of whether you're a man or a woman, if you have a sneaky feeling you should be asking for a raise, here are 5 excellent reasons to have a conversation with your boss or HR manager about your salary:

  1. Your job description hasn't been checked against comparable roles in other organisations for years. Benchmarking rewards within your sector is a reasonable way to settle on a fair rate of remuneration.
  2. You always reach assigned goals or often exceed them and go the extra mile to help your team.
  3. You have no timeframe or progress measure for when you can expect your next pay rise and no knowledge of what the amount of your pay rise is linked to.
  4. You see your company spending money on other things but keeping salaries much the same.
  5. You've raised the issue of a raise in the past and your boss knocked you back, saying 'you're lucky to have a job at all.'

Make sure you take a look at some tips for negotiating for a pay increase to help you prepare. And if tackling the issue of pay in a clear and reasonable way doesn't get you anywhere, have a good long think about whether you're really valued by your employer and what the future might hold if you stay in your current role.

Thinking about asking for a pay rise soon? Get tips for negotiating for a pay increase and give some thought to the real cost of shifting the work/life balance before you decide to take on more responsibility.


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