Pay rise 'a target for many UK workers in 2016'

stack of coins
By Stef Scott, CA Today

8 January 2016

Many UK employees will ask for a pay rise this year, according to research.

New research reveals that more than half of UK employees (54%) plan to ask their boss for a salary increase in 2016.

Looking at the trends across Europe, the research by recruiters Robert Half finds that UK employees are the most likely to look for a new job if their request for  a pay rise is turned down. While a quarter (24%) of employees in the UK would seek alternative employment if their boss said no to a higher salary, only 11% of employees in Germany and Belgium, 10% of employees in the Netherlands and 5% of employees in France would start the search for another position.

Waiting it out

In terms of when they would ask for a pay rise, it seems that employees in the UK are more determined than their European counterparts, as only 36% said they would wait for their next performance review to ask for a salary increase. In France, 62% of employees said they would await their next performance review, with 52% in Germany, 43% in the Netherlands 43% and 40% in Belgium adopting a similar position.

Robert Half said that if you are planning to ask for a pay rise, it's important to think about what you will do if your request is turned down by your employer. Rather than leaving your organisation altogether, you may still be able to turn things to your advantage.

One strategy that employees can use to secure a result even when a higher salary is refused is to request something else, such as a different role, for example a secondment or 'acting up' into a role with more responsibility. You could also request more company perks or share options. However, it is worth bearing in mind that employees in the UK are only slightly more likely to ask for alternative rewards (27%) than they are to look for another role (24%).

Economic cycle

Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK, said: “There can be many factors behind an employer’s decision not to award a pay rise, including the economic cycle of the business or the need to do a complete performance review of all employees rather than one individual."

He added: "It is worth considering the other aspects of your remuneration package, whether that’s more flexible hours, additional annual leave days or a sideways move into a role that will gain you more experience as these options could be just as rewarding."

“From an employer’s point of view, it’s important to keep a regular eye on salary and other remuneration trends to ensure that your top performers are being rewarded in line with industry benchmarks. Reviewing your employee’s remuneration package alongside their career development and potential progression within the business will support retention efforts."


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