Employment

Employers are increasingly leaving salaries off job adverts despite pay transparency campaign

Employers are increasingly leaving salaries off of job adverts, and campaigners say its preventing women from gaining pay parity

Image: Sebastian Herrmann

Fewer companies and recruiters are listing salaries on job adverts than six years ago despite an ongoing campaign for pay transparency.

Just six in 10 job adverts analysed by jobs board Adzuna stated the salary on offer, despite widespread evidence that pay transparency has a significant impact in tackling pay inequality. 

Job adverts that do not list a salary or salary range often rely on asking candidates their salary history when negotiating pay, with research conducted by The Fawcett Society finding 58 per cent of women felt they had received a lower salary offer after having to disclose their previous earnings.

Adzuna analysed 80 million UK jobs advertised between 2016 and September 2022, finding that the proportion of listings without a salary has risen to a six-year high. 

“With the cost of living spiralling, being paid what you’re worth has become even more top of mind for workers,” said Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at job search engine Adzuna. “But the cold hard stats show that the UK has been moving in the opposite direction.

“There’s plenty of evidence to suggest a lack of pay transparency can worsen pay gaps as well as being stressful and wasting time for jobseekers. We believe it’s time for change and that’s why we’re campaigning for the government to make it a legal requirement for every job posting to disclose a salary,” he continued. 

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Northern Ireland is the worst when it comes to listing salaries, with just 28 per cent of job ads doing so. London and Scotland were next. The region of Yorkshire and Humber, on the other hand, was found to be the most straight-talking in the UK, with 63.3 per cent of job ads including salary information.

Campaigners say a lack of pay transparency around jobs contributes to the gender and ethnicity gaps by enabling employers to offer lower pay to candidates who identify as female or are from ethnic minority candidates for the same job.

”Employers must be more transparent about pay,” said Jemima Olchawski, chief executive of the Fawcett Society. “Not only should they publish salaries in job ads but they must also stop asking potential employeees about their past salaries.”   

“Asking about salary history can mean past pay discrimination follows women, people of colour, and people with disabilities throughout their career. It also means new employers replicate pay gaps from other organisations,” she continued.

The government launched a two-year pay transparency pilot on International Women’s Day in March this year, in which it planned to ask participating employers to list salary details on job adverts and stop asking candidates their salary history during recruitment.

“We believe that increased pay transparency will build on positive evidence of the role information can play when it comes to empowering women in the workplace. It is essential that we keep women at the forefront of the levelling up agenda as we recover from the pandemic and rebuild together,” said the former minister for women, Baroness Stedman-Scott.

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