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Half of UK workers plan to ask for a pay rise in next 12 months

Abigail Fenton
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Half of UK workers intend to ask their boss for a pay rise in the next 12 months, research suggests.

Data from Robert Half UK shows that record employment levels in 2019 have continued to support the emerging buyer’s market for professionals with in-demand skillsets, placing upward pressure on salaries, with highly skilled employees becoming increasingly impatient for a pay rise.

About 49% of UK workers intend to ask their boss for a pay rise in the next year, with the average worker asking for a 6% raise.This would equate to an increase in the average weekly wage from £585 to £620 for a full-time employee and an uptick from £197 to £209 for a part-time employee.

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Men are more likely than women to ask their boss for a salary hike, at 56% compared with 44%, while workers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to ask for a pay rise, at 58%.

Asking the boss

It takes about four months for employees to work up the courage to ask for a pay rise, while 14% of workers have been preparing to ask their boss to increase their salary for over six months, the data shows.

Over a third (34%) of workers delay asking their boss for a pay rise because they’re worried that they will say no, rising to two in five (38%) female workers.

Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) said that their workplace culture makes it difficult to ask for a pay rise.

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Almost half (46%) of all workers who have denied asking for a pay rise have done so because they were waiting for a performance review.

Meanwhile, a quarter (23%) simply don’t have enough confidence, while 18% are too embarrassed, 13% said the company can not afford it, and 12% can’t find the time.

Of those workers who are denied a pay rise, over half (55%) start looking for another job and one in five (18%) start their job search within a week of the initial rejection.

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Matt Weston at Robert Half UK said: “Record employment rates in 2019 have placed added pressure on employers. The war for talent shows no sign of slowing down and talented employees will be fielding multiple job offers.”