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Reduce salary when job was advertised

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Hi guys


Bit of a dilemma.....I would appreciate any help/support or reference to case law/employment law.


I have been employed in a role for the last year at £50k per annum


I have found out through management accounts my predassessor was on £65k before he left


Job role and associated responsibilities are the same (if not more now!)


Organisational procedure insists that the org will pay median rate as a starting point for all benchmarked role


Challenged HR to explain why the £15k anomaly. Requested to see evidence of re-benchmarked salary and also requested confirmation as to whether I am on the media anchor point.


HR response was that' they could not find benchmarking data (albeit I said could this be because you never did one?)


HR also unable to confirm whether i am I the media rate.


My suspicions are that the salary reduced for nk good reason and the revised salary was plucked out air.


Where can I go with this? What can I do if I have been underpaid for so long?


Thanks in anticipation



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In short I don't believe that you have many options.


Presumably the job was advertised at £50k, and you applied and were appointed on that basis?


You use the word 'underpaid', but compared to what? Unless you are being paid less than what was agreed then it is difficult to complain. If you applied for a role that was paying £15k less than would be commonplace for the role that you do then you knowingly applied for a position that was underpaying.


There may have been a multitude of reasons why the previous incumbent was on a higher salary - it may even have been the case that it was felt that he/she was being overpaid for the role so the decision was made to reduce the salary when it was readvertised - most organisations will either pay the 'going rate' for a particular industry, or what they can 'get away with paying' if there is no industry standard.


I don't feel that there can be many grounds for complaint unless you were misled about the salary at the outset, or unless phased increases were promised subject to conditions which have been met. You might have an argument if others with the same knowledge, length of service and experience, and doing substantially the same job as you are being paid more, but not when comparing to what somebody else was being paid.


Might be worth an informal chat to discuss with your line manager what might be expected in terms of benchmarking your role and discussing future salary expectations, but personally I wouldn't go all guns blazing.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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I agree with SWs advice above.


Ultimately, your contract was formed on the basis of their offer of £50,000, which you then accepted. Just because a predecessor was paid more, it doesn't give you any legal right to retrospectively attempt to vary that agreement.


Unfortunately it's very common - employers will usually pay the minimum they can get away with!

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