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| 1 minute read

The big debate: is salary transparency a good idea?

Now here is a hot potato! Should you, as a leader of a company, be forced to give salary information when placing job advertisements? 

Firstly let me say, I understand some of the arguments for. There is still a significant gender pay gap, where women are paid less than men for the same work/job. This is unacceptable and quite shameful that this is still the case, decades after legislation. But is legislating on salary bands on job ads the right answer? I expect that those creating these policy ideas have never had a job in the private sector, unless maybe at a Corporate. 

In the Public Sector, or in a large corporate, where many people do the same or very similar job, then it has merit. My understanding is that in the Public Sector pay grades (ranges) for types of role are public knowledge. Maybe for companies where there are a number of people doing the same job you want parity and should make that parity clear to all. But given that the vast majority of people in the UK are employed by SMEs (small & medium sized enterprises), and that at such companies it's probably quite rare that many people do the same job for comparison to others.

I think we have to find a better way to ensure gender/diversity pay parity. Why should someone 20% better at their job not be paid 20% more than others? And as the quote below suggests, in a war for talent, a company should have the right to pay what is required to hire the talent they need. Of course there are some ‘bad actors’ that will try to ‘screw’ employees and new hires and underpay them. Many I'm sure will do that based on a gender or other bias. Shame on them, but should we legislate for all based on a minority of ‘bad actors’? 

Equal pay across gender (and ethnicity, age and disability) are very important. We should ensure that people doing the same job, to the same standard, are paid equally. But what about where the standard is not equal, or where the work is not the same? I'd genuinely love to hear thoughts, it's a complex and important topic, and I'm not sure this is an answer.

We're always happy to share hiring good practice and help cleantech companies with their challenges, as a client or otherwise.

However, there are other reasons for a business to choose not to post a salary range on a job ad. Sometimes, a company is eager to stay open on salary because they simply want to secure the right person and want to avoid being too prescriptive – instead, they’d like to see who applies and go from there.


equality, diversity, gender, candidates, careers, culture, high performance, hiring, interviews, leadership, retention, talent, teams, cleantech, climate tech