Tag: Salary

In the last year, HMRC assisted more than 155,000 workers across the UK recover more than £16m in wages owed to them. They also issued more than £14m in fines to businesses who did not comply with minimum wage requirements.

Whilst most employers do pay their staff the National Minimum Wage,  HMRC has revealed some of the most ridiculous excuses for businesses not paying the legal minimum:

1. “She does not deserve the National Minimum Wage because she only makes the teas and sweeps the floors.”

2. “The employee was not a good worker, so I did not think they deserved to be paid the National Minimum Wage.”
3. “My accountant and I speak a different language – he does not understand me, and that is why he does not pay my workers the correct wages.”
4. “My employee is still learning so they are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.”
5. “It is part of UK culture not to pay young workers for the first three months as they have to prove their ‘worth’ first.”
6. “The National Minimum Wage does not apply to my business.”
7. “I have got an agreement with my workers that I will not pay them the National Minimum Wage; they understand, and they even signed a contract to this effect.”
8. “I thought it was okay to pay young workers below the National Minimum Wage as they are not British and therefore do not have the right to be paid it.”
9. “My workers like to think of themselves as being self-employed and the National Minimum Wage does not apply to people who work for themselves.”
10. “My workers are often just on standby when there are no customers in the shop; I only pay them for when they are actually serving someone.”
Steve Timewell, Director Individuals and Small Business Compliance, HMRC, said: “This list shows some of the excuses provided to our enforcement officers by less scrupulous businesses. Being underpaid is no joke for workers, so we always apply the law and take action. Workers cannot be asked or told to sign-away their rights. We are making sure that workers are being paid what they are entitled to and, as the economy reopens, reminding employers of the rules and the help that is available to them.”
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Unemployment has decreased since the ending of COVID-19 restrictions but may rise again as furlough scheme ends

The latest labour market overview from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for August reports that the number of payroll employees rose by 182,000 in July 2021, although this remains 201,000 below pre-pandemic levels.

Commenting on the survey, Bev White, CEO of tech recruiter Harvey Nash Group, said: “The ONS data shows the jobs market has well and truly bounced back. However, we’re also seeing persistent skills shortages holding businesses back. Two thirds of IT leaders say skills shortages are hampering them. The most acute shortages are in cyber security, Big Data/Analytics and – worryingly for the first time in the top three – DevOps, which is crucial to the fast development of systems and software.”

The REC’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker reported that there were a total of 1.65 million active job adverts in the UK in the first week of August – the second highest weekly figure since December 2020. There were around 204,000 new job adverts posted in the same week, the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of the pandemic.

The massive uptick in job adverts since the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions means that employment has increased while unemployment has decreased since the end of 2020. With an approximate 953,000 job vacancies listed from May to July 2021, a record high, vacancy estimates are set to continue to rise. However, as the end of the furlough scheme looms, it remains to be seen whether the decline in unemployment, as reported by ONS, will continue.

Commenting on the ONS figures, Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk said: “Our data has shown a jobs boom since the initial lockdown restrictions were lifted in April and this continued into July with over 326,000 new jobs posts added – a 179% year-on-year increase. The key challenge for employers now is finding the staff to fill the roles. Increased wages – as witnessed by the ONS data – will go a long way, but people across the country may still be hesitant about changing careers.”

Inflated salaries

The ONS survey highlighted a marked increase in the average total pay (including bonuses) of 8.8% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) increased by 7.4% during April to June 2021. However, it must be noted that the annual growth of the average employee pay is being affected by temporary factors that have inflated headline growth – for example, where there has been a drop in the number of lower-earning employee jobs therefore increasing average earnings during the pandemic.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director of global recruitment firm Robert Half, said: “The rise in pay rolled employment sits hand in hand with a sharp drop in those using the furlough scheme, indicating continued recovery in the UK jobs market. The increase in median monthly pay also falls in line with the shift towards a talent-driven recruitment market, where candidates have greater influence when agreeing terms with a new employer.”

Harvey Nash CEO Bev White added: “We’ve been seeing a significant uptick in salaries for key IT roles and this looks set to continue. Candidates and targets with the right experience have strong bargaining power, which they’re leveraging. We’ve seen especially pronounced rises for front-end developers and anyone working with data. This isn’t just confined to London and the South East – it’s happening across the country with London-style salaries being offered much more widely, along with flexible and remote working options. Tech talent is essential to an ever-wider number of businesses, but it’s costing them ever more too.”

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Covid outbreaks seem to be deterring jobseekers from applying for new roles, with new data showing employers are having to offer higher salaries to attract applicants in areas where cases of the Delta variant are rising sharply.

According to job board CV-Library, there is a “clear pattern” of pay increases in areas where infection levels are high, such as the North West and the Midlands.

Liverpool topped the table for increases in the average pay offered in June compared with the same period last month, with salaries up 10.3%. Wolverhampton, Derby, Coventry and Nottingham also featured in the top 10, with increases of 4.7%, 4.7%, 4.6% and 2.6%, respectively.

Portsmouth, where Delta variant cases increased sevenfold between June 2 and June 9, recorded the second highest salary increase at 7.5%.

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library, said: “Businesses are fighting harder than ever to make it to the end of lockdown restrictions. Recruitment is the cornerstone of both survival and longevity and it’s clear to see that, in the most competitive areas, businesses are rising to the challenge and stepping up their efforts.

“With news that restrictions will continue for an additional four weeks, offering enhanced salaries and the most competitive packages will do much to entice the many jobseekers that remain hesitant in these uncertain times and give businesses the chance to hit the ground running on 19th July.”

Other factors at play
However, it’s clear that while Covid is one issue leading employers to have to work harder to attract new talent, it’s not the only one.

According to Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at job boards network Broadbean Technology, there are a number of factors at play.

“We’re experiencing a talent drought at the moment that is being impacted by multiple issues. An ongoing reluctance to leave the security of current roles is certainly one factor that’s hitting application numbers, but for industries like retail where job losses were reported during the height of the pandemic, the reality is many people have left for other, more secure, sectors.

“What we’re also seeing is the impact of Brexit really playing out across those industries that have historically relied on international talent. The decline in applications for logistics, for example, will no doubt have been exacerbated by the UK’s exit from the Bloc.”

Broadbean reported a further fall in application numbers in May, despite an increase in job vacancies during the same month. The retail and logistics sectors were especially impacted by  mismatches between supply and demand.

According to the Broadbean data, vacancies across retail increased by 55% in the three months to May, but over the same period the number of applications per vacancy fell by 52%.

The number of openings across logistics, distribution and supply chain were up 79% in May compared to pre-pandemic levels in January 2020, but the number of people applying for these roles fell 76% over the same time frame.

Broadbean said that this reflected a consistent trend seen in 2021 so far, with vacancy numbers more than doubling (up 133%) since January this year, but the number of applicants falling further each month since then.

Young the key to filling ‘vacancies vacuum’?
One solution offered up to alleviate the skills shortages in industries such as logistics and also hospitality – where the dearth of workers has been widely reported in recent months – is to bring more young people into the workforce.

That was the suggestion of West Midlands-based recruitment specialist Pertemps last week, which called on the government to take action to encourage young people into the jobs market.

Carmen Watson, Chair at Pertemps, said there had been a rise in both permanent and contingent vacancies, especially in sectors such as hospitality, food manufacturing and logistics.

However, she added there had been a “sea change in candidates’ career choices as a result of the pandemic” and that a change in strategy was needed.

“An ongoing concern is the economic inactivity rate of young people and we would urge employers to consider greater use of apprenticeships and traineeships to grow our future talent. This will undoubtedly need support from central government if we are going to fill this vacancies vacuum.”

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Finance, farming and transport hit hardest by pay cuts, according to Randstad research

Randstad’s latest analysis of the salaries of over 9,000 UK and Ireland workers, and data from 700 placed jobs, highlights the roles, industries, and demographics with the highest salaries or biggest drops over the last year.

The losers

According to the 2021 Randstad salary guide, Irish finance professionals were hit hardest, with part qualified group accountant seeing salary decline of -8%, followed by finance manager (-6%) and part qualified management accountant (-6%). In terms of sector, those working in agriculture and transportation saw the largest decreases in salary for new roles – reduced by 44% and 43% respectively. The East of England saw the biggest fall in remuneration as a region, with 28% changing jobs with a pay cut compared to just 14% in London.

The older demographic saw the biggest decline, with nearly half (48%) of 55-64-year-olds surveyed reported a decrease in their salary.

The winners

Demand for developers and specialist tech roles pushed their salaries up by 9%, according to Randstad’s Employer Brand Research (REBR), with the East Midlands the best region to find qualified tech workers. Despite the tech boom in the East Midlands, the West saw higher than average vacancies (up 11% overall) while the East fell to 2% below average.

HR assistant salaries rose by 6% in the North East and by an average of 4.5% across the North West, with salaries for other HR-related roles rising by nearly 3% on average across the country. London saw the biggest rise, with 15% of Londoners, across all sectors, received a pay increase of between £2,000 and £5,000 – and a further 15% reporting a pay rise of over £30,000 when switching jobs.

The three highest ranked roles by salary rise were: Software Developer (9%) followed by Marketing Assistant (7%) and HR Manager (5%).

Rise of the marketing assistants

With firms focused on competition, differentiation and positioning themselves for the upturn, marketing is in higher demand. Pay rises for marketing assistant roles now vary from a 1.5% increase to 13% in Yorkshire, to over 18% for newly qualified marketers based in the North-West of England. All marketing function roles in the UK have seen an average 5% increase on 2020 figures.

“With organisations over the past 18 months seeing a long list of changes — from new privacy policies, the accelerated digitalisation of brands, altered consumer behaviour due to the pandemic — marketers are working harder than ever, essentially, being asked to do more and with less,” said Adrian Smith, Senior Director of Operations, Randstad. “Acknowledging the importance of the central marketing function and the role it plays in supporting business objectives, the more junior marketers are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Not all about salaries

A new study by borofree highlights The importance of company benefits to attract and retain talent during a major talent shortage across all sectors has been highlighted in a new study from Borofree, a UK salary advance start-up that helps people avoid debt by providing free access to a proportion of their next pay cheque in advance.

The online survey of 2009 employed adults, conducted by Censuswide between 28th May – 2nd June 2021, found that 68% believe company benefits and perks have an important role in driving staff recruitment and retention. However, one in five of UK employees have had their packages reduced or cut completely in the last 12 months – including 28% of 16-24 year olds and 29% of those aged 25-34 years. As a result, 15% of 16-24 year old’s have considered leaving their job.

The study claims that employers are too focused on the short term and not enough on long term perks, with 25% of employees stating that they don’t think the perks being offered are relevant or tailored to them – such as fertility treatments or sailing trips – and 15% revealing they have never received any perks from the company they currently work for.

Benefits packages that provide financial wellbeing support are in highest demand, with pensions the most popular for a third of respondents but 18% want the option of being paid weekly and 14% want an interest free loan. “Too many companies approach company benefits as a PR exercise, failing to consider what’s going to make a real difference to their employees workplace wellbeing and happiness,” said Minck Hermans, CEO and Co-founder at borofree. “Evidently, the fads and outrageous corporate packages are no longer ticking the boxes for staff, who are looking for perks that are both relevant and useful for them.”

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Black professionals are twice as likely to be turned down when asking for a pay rise than their white counterparts, according to a new study.

The findings were included in an in-depth white paper published by Robert Walters, which surveyed more than 7,500 workers year-on-year between 2019 and 2021.

The poll found that 42% of black professionals were refused a pay increase after negotiation, compared with 21% of white professionals. For black women, the situation was even worse – 63% were turned down when asking for more pay.

Further, even when they were successful in negotiating a pay rise, black professionals were less likely to get 75-100% of what they asked for, achieving this just 21% of the time, against 35% for white employees.

Black workers were also more likely to be deterred from even asking for more money, with 37% saying they hadn’t even tried, against 23% for their white peers.

Habiba Khatoon, Director at Robert Walters, said: “This report is one of the most significant pieces of research into diversity and inclusion in the workplace in the past two years, and specifically highlights the failures that come from a lack of effective inclusion – where company structure, culture, and/or policies negatively impact underrepresented groups.

“Whilst D&I has rightly been a prime concern for leadership teams, who now understand how critical an active D&I policy is for their organisation’s success, it remains the case that almost no protected characteristic – be it gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability or age – can be said to be properly represented in the workplace.”

The recruitment firm noted that the temporary hold on the government’s decision on whether or not to enforce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting was making it difficult to assess the exact state of play.

While ONS figures showed that in 2019 the gender pay gap between all minorities and white British workers had shrunk to just 2.3%, it noted that, “this simple comparison between white and ethnic minority groups does, however, mask a wide variety of experiences among different ethnic minorities”.

In fact, the Robert Walters report found that the top five ethnic groups most dissatisfied with their pay were all minorities.

Needs not being met

Pay wasn’t the only issue noted, however. Some 41% of black professionals also felt there were a lack of opportunities available to them, with 34% stating that no relevant training courses were on offer.

Three times the number of black, and two times the number of Asian professionals stated that lack of representation was holding them back, compared with their white peers. One-third of black professionals said their career expectations were not being met by their employer.

Meera Raikundalia, Co-Founder of the Black Young Professionals (BYP) Network, which contributed to the Robert Walters report, said: “The UK has an abundance of black and ethnic minority talent, however, it appears that they remain hugely under-represented in the workplace. When asked to name business leaders from an ethnic minority background, just 34% of respondents could recall even one role model, in comparison to 75% of white respondents.

“It is clear that you can’t become what you can’t see, and it is therefore key for organisations to consciously attract and showcase minority talent at the top of their organisation to show there is a clear path to success for minority candidates.”

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Do you want the fastest route to a six-figure salary? Then pursue a career in finance or public relations.

Financial managers and PR directors are the two career paths likely to reach a salary of £100,000 or more the quickest – at 18 years – according to a fascinating new study which reveals the most lucrative career paths when training and education costs as well as salaries are considered.

Analysis of ONS and recruitment industry data by Standout CV reveals which roles earn workers the most in the first 20 years of service. Key findings include:

  • Over 20 years, pilots earn the most of any career in the UK (£1,132,500), when accounting for debt and salaries.
  • CEOs have the second highest average salary (£85,239), but accumulate less in 20 years than pilots, financial managers, PR directors, and senior police officers.
  • Whilst senior police officers are the 10th highest paid in the ONS analysis, with an average salary of £56,665, they earn the most in the first 10 years of their career due to a lack of training debt.
  • If you were to start a new career, you’d make and exceed the UK average full-time salary (£31,461) the quickest as a police officer or pilot, within five years of starting out.

Ten highest paying roles in the UK

The 10 highest paying roles in the UK earn an average of £71,000 per year, with pilots reporting an average salary of £92,330 and CEOs £85,239.

Over the course of 20 years, pilots were found to accumulate the most earnings of the top-paying roles, cashing a total of £1.13 million. However, within the first five years of their career, the average pilot makes a net loss of £70,000 due to the cost of qualifications and other fees.

The second highest earning role over 20 years is financial manager, earning as much as £1.1 million; with a net gain of £99,000 within the first five years. This is because job-seekers do not necessarily need a degree to start their career, with many top firms moving away from degree requirements and instead offering vocational training.

Rounding off the top five earning careers, Standout CV’s analysis found that PR directors amass £939,722 of earnings over 20 years, senior police officers will earn £916,279, and CEOs £807,722.

It might seem surprising to see CEOs earning less than senior police officers and other top-paying careers. However, the study found most CEOs start their career within graduate sales positions, with varying degrees of student debt and volatility of earnings through their career paths.

For medical professionals, the choice can be whether to work in a community setting or a hospital environment. According to the study, those who become GPs will earn more over 20 years than those who work in a hospital, with GPs earning an average of £636,615 whilst hospital doctors earn £592,105 across the same period. However, this disparity between the GPs and hospital doctors reverses by the 24th year, with those working in hospitals earning more than their GP counterparts.

Both GPs and hospital doctors have an average qualification cost of £80,556.

“As our study shows, many of the top-paying roles in the UK require high fees to be paid to get a foot in the door, which for many could be both a deterrent and worry for those from less privileged backgrounds,” said Andrew Fennell, Director at Standout CV. “It’s positive to see that such a key service like the police force provides free training and a salary that competes with other high-paid careers like CEOs and financial managers.”

Find out more here.

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