Are UK workers paid less than they are worth?

A new survey suggests that most people don’t believe they’re being paid what they think ‘they are worth’ to do their current jobs. And the longer it’s been since they last received a pay rise, the more inclined they are to feel this way.


The findings revealed that 41% of workers consider their salary to adequately reflect their job role, responsibilities and experience. 44% responded that they think they’re being paid less than they should be, and 15% couldn’t decide one way or the other.


People that have waited over a year for a salary increase are more likely to be dissatisfied with their earnings. While the majority of those who received a pay rise within the last six months think the opposite.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those occupying senior management positions, such as owners, CEOs, CFOs and C-level executives, are more likely to feel adequately rewarded for their efforts, with the majority being 64% in agreement that they were paid ‘what they are worth’. Two-fifths (40%) of them report getting a pay rise in the last six months.


Not so for non-management staff, however, who make up around 64% of survey respondents. They are among the most likely (48%) to think they’re underpaid and the least likely (33%) to have had a pay rise within the last six months.


While an employee’s perception of what they earn can be shaped by numerous different factors, such as job title, organisational role, and experience, for example, it can only really be quantified in monetary terms. Around £45,000 seems to be the sweet spot for most, which is significantly higher than the national average (according to the Office for National Statistics, the median annual pay for full-time employees in the UK is £31,461). Nearly half (48%) of people earning an income of over £45,000 think they are being paid ‘what they are worth’. On the flipside, 46% of those earning less than £45,000 don’t think they are being paid ‘what they are worth’.


121 HR Solutions are experienced in conducting salary benchmarking exercises for clients, contact us today to discuss how we can do this for your company.

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