The vast majority of British workers (78%) never discuss their salary with colleagues, according to a survey by totaljobs.com and StepStone. A further 30% of the 3,000 people polled believe their salary details should be completely private, keeping it even from family members and close friends, while only 22% would openly talk about how much they earn.
John Salt, director, totaljobs.com says: “Salary is an emotive and controversial topic in the workplace and, therefore, is something most people would rather avoid discussing. Pay structures and bonuses are often shrouded in mystery which can cause resentment among colleagues. Companies should be more open about pay and benefits to remove this ambiguity and to motivate employees as they will know exactly what the rewards are for their hard work.”
By contrast, other countries around Europe are less inhibited when it comes to discussing salary. The French, for example, are the most likely to talk about what they earn with 28% discussing it openly, even at work, while only 18% of Swiss workers prefer to keep salary details private.