3

I have just come back after one month break from work (this is relevant) and am faced with a bit of a strange situation. This is in the UK.

Whilst I was away there was pay review meetings at work that supposed to take place but didn't. Instead it appears everyone at my grade level (at least in my team) got a fixed amount I know this for a fact. This has caused some concern with the business.

I however upon returning home yesterday and opening my payslip to my surprise have received more than I think anyone else at my team.

Of course this is good news for me but it does put me in an awkward place.

Due to the other concerns I know this is being brought up with the managers and other senior staff within the business, and has disappointed people as they did not get what they wanted.

I will probably be asked by the coworkers what is my thinking on the whole situation as soon as I return.

I see some options for the inevitable questions :

  1. I pretend I had the same increase as others.

I don't like this as it is a lie and I don't want to be dishonest.

  1. I say I had more pay increases but don't say how much.

This can cause speculation and possible resentment, and also me being an example such as "Xiao got xxxxxx so why don't I get this also?"

  1. I don't say anything.

This is also a bad option as I think if I don't say anything it will be obvious that I had more of an increase, as it will definitely be mentioned at meetings etc and people will be interested. If I don't seem annoyed (as the others) then it also be quite obvious that I did not get the same amount.

What is the most professional way to handle this?

8

Of course this is good news for me but it does put me in a awkward place.

Why? Is your pay not confidential? Does everyone know what everyone else makes?

Due to the other concern I know this is being brought up with the managers and other senior staff within the business and has disappointed people as they did not get what they wanted.

OK, but that's really an issue for them to deal with, it has nothing to do with you.

I will probably be asked by the coworkers what is my thinking on the whole situation as soon as I return.

You should tell them to speak with the management. You have nothing to do with the pay raise you got nor the one they got and so you cannot explain anything about it.

What you received as a raise and what other people received as a raise is a management issue. Why should you be concerned about how other people perceive the situation? If they're unhappy they should speak to management, not to you.

  • 3
    Absolutely right - "Ask management; I wasn't there". +1. Here in the UK we generally don't discuss salaries, except at very low paid jobs (i.e. sub £10/hr - I think that's still the case). Bonuses are often talked about though. – Justin May 31 at 8:36
8

How is the best professional way to handle this?

The professional way to handle this is to not discuss salary with your coworkers. If your coworkers ask what you think you respond with something like:

I'm the wrong person to discuss salary with. Management are the ones who make the salary decisions, you should reach out to them if you have any issues.

If they ask specifically you about your increase:

Sorry, I'd prefer not discuss your salary or mine.

Make it clear that you're not just trying to hide your salary, you need to let them know that you don't want to know about their salary either.

4

Your coworkers have nothing to do with your salary. Don't disclose it, nor disclose by how much it was increased.

If they insist, say you're against badmouthing your employer because it can backfire and that they should talk to the manager/RH/director/whatever.

3

I'd go with #3 "I don't say anything." regarding the team. I usually don't talk numbers with colleagues. However if it's unknown to you as to why the number is what it is, ask your manager openly.

I'd wanna know why I was rewarded if I was. If they wanna reinforce a positive behavior, you wanna know which one it was :)

however all sentences above start with "I'd" which means me. you need to make your own choice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.