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Should Putting Salaries on Job Adverts Be a Legal Requirement?

Updated: May 30, 2023

Should Putting Salaries on Job Adverts Be a Legal Requirement

As a job seeker and an HR professional, one of the things I find the most frustrating is employers not putting salary ranges on their job adverts. As a job applicant, you're expected to jump through multiple hoops, covering letters, questionnaires answering various questions and in some instances, you can be putting in a lot of work with no idea how much the job is actually paying. I hate seeing the phrase 'competitive salary' on job adverts, if your salary is so competitive, stop wasting everyone's time and tell us what it is! Salary information is a key piece of information that job seekers will be looking for and it says a lot about your future employer if they're not prepared to share it.

Interestingly, according to People Management (2023) New York based employers are now required to include a 'good faith' salary range within their job adverts. The new law applies to businesses that employ four or more people and aims to close the wage gap by enabling employees to negotiate on a more even footing.

In the UK there are no laws stating that salaries have to be on job adverts. It's a longstanding debate as to whether employers should be legally obligated to disclose salary information. Some argue that transparency in salary listings promotes fairness, reduces the gender pay gap, and empowers job seekers to make informed decisions. In this blog, we explore why employers should add salaries to job adverts.

Not wasting your applicants' time

In my opinion, where employers are expecting candidates to put time into applications at the very least they should have a good idea of what they're applying for. Putting the salary range on adverts means you'll only have people applying who are looking for that salary range and won't have people unknowingly apply who are out of your price range.

Not wasting your time as an employer

Simply put, if people don't know what salary you're paying you're likely to have people apply who aren't within your price range or have people not apply at all. This means you could spend a lot of time weeding out applicants that you just can't afford which quite frankly is a bit of a waste of time. or you perhaps won't get people apply at all.

Transparency in the hiring process

As mentioned above, it says a lot about your future employer if they're not prepared to share a fairly critical piece of information. Including salary information in job adverts promotes transparency in the hiring process. People appreciate knowing what to expect in terms of remuneration upfront, allowing them to assess whether the position aligns with their financial needs and expectations. Transparency eliminates guesswork, and no one wants to be guessing when they're applying for a job!

Enhancing your employer brand

Transparent communication about salary in job adverts contributes to a positive employer brand. Your employer brand is essentially how you show up to candidates online. Candidates appreciate employers who value transparency and provide comprehensive information upfront, as it demonstrates respect for their time and interests. By being open about compensation, employers build trust and enhance their reputation which in turn should attract awesome candidates.

Internal Discrepancies

Some would argue that there are often internal discrepancies with salaries which means that it's then hard to advertise salaries. In this instance, I would also advise clients to deal with any internal discrepancies so there isn't an issue, not just because they're advertising but because it's the right thing to do by your people all round.

What do you think, should putting salaries on job adverts be a legal requirement?

We'd love to hear your thoughts feel free to leave a comment in the comments section of this blog.

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  • All information within the post is provided for guidance only; always seek your own legal advice.

  • The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, March 2023 but may be subject to change.


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