I received a job offer on 12th May. While I was pretty much 100% ready to accept, I decided to reply with a counteroffer as the offered salary was actually in the lower range for the position and there is only medical cover (no other benefits) and annual leave will be 10 days less than my current job. I was polite and respectful in my counteroffer and persuaded that I worth more and asked for the higher range salary. I think I was asking quite high but I stated that we can come to a mutual agreement.

I've never negotiated salary before, so this was very stressful for me. I was offered 56k and I countered with 66k and extra 3 days AL, expecting them to come back with a much lower number, which I'd almost definitely be fine with. On 18th May, the HR asked me to provide them the current salary with payment proof. On 19th May, I replied that salary is confidential due to Data Privacy. Since then, there is no reply. I am terrified that they'd simply revoke the offer instead of negotiating.

Of course, I understand that HR needs time, which has calmed me somewhat, but the fact that it's now 23rd May (three working days since I counteroffered) and I've still heard no response is freaking me out. I really want that job and would accept even if they are firm with the initial offer.

Should I e-mail back and what to say in the email? Should I restate my flexibility on the number? Should I say I would accept the initial offer? Should I give it one more day? (There is no deadline written.)

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    Whenever you negotiate something be ready to lose the original offer. If everyone would be able to just get higher or same salary after negotiation, everyone would have negotiated. May 23, 2016 at 8:02
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    Data Privacy?? What are you talking about? if you want to disclose your salary then go ahead. May 23, 2016 at 8:33
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    "the HR asked me to provide them the current salary with payment proof" - When you were negotiating did you use your "current salary" as a means to negotiate the higher number?
    – Brandin
    May 23, 2016 at 11:02
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    Data privacy? Is that even a thing in your jurisdiction? Where are you located? Would you have given them that number even after you had signed a contract with them? Or would that "data privacy" even extend after that point? May 23, 2016 at 11:53
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5 Answers 5


In general, keeping salary data private helps the employer avoid tricky conversations about imbalances. While I'm not sure what "Data Privacy" is, it's curious that this particular employer would be so cavalier to ask you to prove your current salary. I wonder if they would mind if you got the job and published your new salary.

Now then, on to the matter at hand. This company can either afford you, or they can't. They either want you, or they don't. (They already made an offer, so they seem to want you.) Your current salary at this point would mostly be a tool for them to judge how low they can go.

My advice to you is to stop worrying and let them take their time. If they take your offer, great. If not, particularly on the (alleged) basis that you wouldn't prove your current salary, something's fishy. In the meantime, you're free to continue interviewing elsewhere. You may find a bigger fish.


It's a negotiation you can only wait for their response without weakening your position. At the moment there is nothing to worry about, they will be reviewing their information and making up their minds whether to counter offer or not. It was a big jump you were asking for more than 20% more, and that would probably need approval just to consider you as a reasonable candidate.

I have advertised jobs and found people who I think are worth X amount, but the job itself is only worth Y amount to me... so if they're not happy with Y, then too bad. I don't care what the pay grade is normally, I only care with what works for me.

Nothing positive will come out of trying to work out what they're doing with no information to go on. Keep job hunting and keep patient and don't sell yourself short.


If you really wanted the Job you should've taken the Initial offer.

What you can do is:

  • Wait a full work week and ask for the Status (add a Response data).
  • Prepare an answer on why the data is confidential.
  • Start looking for other Jobs.

Don't take the Initial offer unless they state it is not of the table.
Also start adding expected Response Dates, this not only gives you an early excuse to ask for a Status.

I would also like to stress that we can only give you Options to take.
What you do with that is and will be your choice.

  • Even for a job you like on the paper, feeling underpaid is not a good situation. I totally disagree with your first sentence
    – goto
    May 24, 2016 at 7:34
  • @goto the op wants the Job and as kilisi mentioned he isnt just asking for a small Change 20% is a lot, but the op literly said he was willing to take it but decided to demand better pay. I doubt Feeling underpaid is the Problem here. May 24, 2016 at 7:56

You made your bed, and now you have to sleep in it. You said you replied this on May 19th. The time in between that and today was a weekend, so HR is probably slow on the uptake.

What you can do:

  • Wait a week and then send an email asking for a status update. They may reply and require you to prove that the salary data is confidential. Have the proof for this ready.

  • Wait a week and then accept this opportunity as lost, and move on.

  • Start looking for new jobs now and don't wait.

Essentially, this is one of the risks that can happen when you ask for a higher salary then they initially offer. They might decide to drop the offer alltogether. Wether or not thats the case will take some time to find out, I'd say a week is fair to wait for them to respond.


Perhaps reply back with a range that your salary is in? (You have the option to choose this...)

It shows you are still interested but I think you should stick to your guns on this one.

If HR are just slow, perhaps get in touch with the Hiring Manager/interviewer? Explain the predicament but stick to your data privacy guns.

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