Two thirds of UK workers feel they are underpaid


Almost two thirds of British workers feel that they are not paid enough for the job that they do, according to a new study. Nearly half of these respondents said they were currently in the process of looking for a new job as a result of feeling undervalued.


The study by Lottoland polled only adults in full-time employment who worked in a wide range of sectors and represented all areas of the UK. They were first asked how they felt about their salary, with 64% saying they were ‘not satisfied’ with their pay and that they felt they deserved more for doing their job. Some 24% said they were happy or satisfied with the amount they received and just over one in ten (12%) admitted that they were overpaid by their employers.


The top reasons given for employees feeling underpaid were not having had a pay rise or review for a long time (28%), being paid less than co-workers who did the same job (19%), working unpaid overtime that was not credited (16%), being aware that higher pay was available for the same job at a different company (13%) and struggling to make ends meet and pay monthly outgoings (9%).


Of those that felt underpaid, 48% said they were actively looking for another job as a direct result and just over a fifth of these (21%) had already been on at least one interview for a higher paying position, either at a rival within the same sector or in a different field.


This could be bad news for employers in several different ways. Companies operating on tight margins, who could even be in danger of facing business insolvency, might struggle to provide higher reward packages. At the same time, a workforce that believes it is undervalued can undermine staff morale and have a major impact on productivity.


A high staff turnover rate can also be expensive as retention is generally more cost-effective than recruiting and training new employees. There is also perceived to be an ongoing skills shortage in the UK and if skilled staff move on they can be difficult to replace.


By Phil Smith


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