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Several weeks ago I signed for a petition and a person asked me to consider to become a candidate for one of the districts of the city I live in.

Digging a little about what this involves, I found out that such a position requires full disclosure of important financial information (salary and other sources of income for the person and close relatives, account balances over a certain threshold, brief information about the house, car etc.).

However, several persons (managers and some HR people) emphasized the importance of keeping the salary confidential (i.e. not to discuss about it with any colleague). This is not an exception, as all other employers made the same request before.

The reasons behind such a request are not fully clear to me, but a recent survey revealed the salary is the most important factor in choosing a job (it becomes secondary only after 35, when work-life balance seems to matter more). So, I guess the employer is afraid of losing employers over such disclosure. Anyway, this is not the topic of this question.

As I have a very good relation with my employer (manager, colleagues, work-life balance), I am interested in a proper way to proceed if I am to consider the public position proposal.

Question: How to harmonize employer's request to keep the salary confidential with a law requiring its disclosure?

More context: developing country in Eastern Europe, within EU. This is just a personal perception, but most colleagues (current and from other companies I have worked for) seem to be highly sensitive about finding out that one is making more money than they do and they perceive them as "working less".

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    If the position requires full disclosure of salary information, how come the managers and HR there ask you to keep it confidential? Are they not aware of the law? – Masked Man May 1 '18 at 10:05
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    @MaskedMan - The public position and the position I hold in a private company are completely separate. The public position (district council member) requires only some 10-15h of work per month and can be performed regardless of having an actual job. It is not a very important position, but the law requires full disclosure of income. – Alexei May 1 '18 at 10:08
  • Is it the salaries of specific people that are being disclosed, or a general salary range for a given role in the company? – Kozaky May 1 '18 at 10:09
  • @MaskedMan - My feeling is that HR people are generally unaware of this kind of issues. – Alexei May 1 '18 at 10:10
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    Then such a request should be ignored. They are just using your willingness to be amicable against you and your colleagues. Disclose your salary. It's none of their business how you handle your personal information. – Glen Pierce May 1 '18 at 14:29
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I can speak from a UK perspective only.


The employers that I have worked with have asked that applications for second jobs, volunteer roles, board positions and political activity be disclosed to them. This is so that the employer may make a judgement on conflict of interest.

You need to have that conversation with your manager and be prepared for the request to be declined, regardless of salary being disclosed. For example, I'm a civil servant, so I wouldn't be allowed to run for a political appointment, no matter what.


When you have that conversation with your manager, I would advise:

  • Doing so in your 121
  • DON'T try to 'sell' the benefit of running for political office to your employer. If you were requesting to learn new skills through volunteering, then that would be fine, but doing so here would expose you
  • Do keep the tone neutral
  • Do say that the application process would require financial disclosure
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    Oh, I have never thought of the other way around (informing the employer to prevent a conflict of interest). Thanks for pointing this out as well. Also, I think that most pieces of advice are applicable for my case (regardless of country specifics). – Alexei May 1 '18 at 10:53

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