Robert Half finds pay rise is on the agenda for nearly half the workforce.

Pay rise, please.

Research from Robert Half suggests that half (49 per cent) of UK workers intend to ask their boss for a pay rise in the next 12 months. Record employment levels in 2019 have continued to support the emerging buyer’s market for professionals with in-demand skillsets, placing upward pressure on salaries, with highly skilled employees becoming increasingly impatient for a pay rise.

The average UK worker intends to ask their boss for a six per cent pay rise. This would equate to an increase in the average weekly wage from £585 to £620 for a full-time employee and an uptick from £197 to £209 for a part-time employee.

Men are more likely than women to ask their boss for a salary hike (56 per cent versus 44 per cent) while workers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to ask for a pay rise (58 per cent).

It takes an average of four months for employees to work up the courage to ask for a pay rise, while 14 per cent of workers have been preparing to ask their boss to increase their salary for over six months.Over a third (34 per cent) of workers delayed asking their boss for a pay rise because they’re worried that they would say no, rising to two in five (38 per cent) female workers. Meanwhile, a quarter (24 per cent) said that their workplace culture makes it difficult to ask for a pay rise.


Table 1: Reasons why workers have delayed asking for a pay rise

Waiting for performance review 46 per cent
Worried they’ll say no 34 per cent
Difficult to ask for one in my workplace culture (difficult to ask) 24 per cent
Not enough self-belief / confidence 23 per cent
Embarrassment 18 per cent
Company cannot financially support it 13 per cent
Difficult to the find the time 12 per cent
I have not been putting it off 10 per cent


Of those workers who were denied a pay rise, over half (55 per cent) started looking for another job and one in five (18 per cent) admitted to starting their job search within a week of the initial rejection.

Matt Weston, managing director, Robert Half UK commented: “Record employment rates in 2019 have placed added pressure on employers. The war for talent shows no sign of slowing down and talented employees will be fielding multiple job offers.

“Therefore, employers will need to consider their options when they’re retaining top talent,” continues Weston. “As our 2020 Salary Guide highlights a competitive remuneration package is the cornerstone to any offer, but employees are also receptive to other benefits. Flexible working, health and wellbeing perks and training opportunities are increasingly popular with employees and should be considered as part of any offer to retain a talented member of staff.”

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