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Half of workers think their bosses can afford a pay rise

Half the workforce (50 per cent) think that their employer can afford better pay rises than those they have given to staff, with only 16 per cent disagreeing, according to a new YouGov poll commissioned by the TUC to mark the start of Congress 2014 yesterday (Sunday). This figure rises to 56 per cent who agree and decreases to 13 per cent who disagree among private sector workers.

The poll shows that of the just under one in three (31 per cent) workers who say that their employer does not pay the living wage to all staff, 79 per cent say their employer could afford to pay it while 21 per cent say they could not afford to do so.

The majority also say that their pay has failed to keep up with inflation over the last few years (58 per cent disagree that their pay has kept up with the cost of living over the past few years, compared to 20 per cent who agree).

Nearly half ( 47 per cent) agree that the pay for those lower down in the organisation has not gone up as much as pay for those at the top of their organisation in recent years (47 per cent agree, compared to 17 per cent who disagree). Almost three fifths agree that the pay gap is too big (57 per cent agree, compared to 12 per cent who disagree).

Those earning over £50,000 show the smallest majorities for these positions, but they are still held by workers in every pay band.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the workforce agree that all staff should have a say in the pay of those at the top of their organisations, with 20 per cent disagreeing.

There is a three to two ratio (28 per cent disagree compares to 19 per cent agree) against thinking that their performance-related pay system is operated fairly.

Public sector workers are much more likely (73 per cent) to say their pay has failed to keep up with inflation over the last few years than private sector staff (51 per cent). This finding follows many years of pay freezes and a one per cent pay cap in the public sector, says the TUC.

Public sector workers are also more likely to agree that the pay gap is too big (65 per cent) and pay for those lower down has not gone up as much for those at the top over the last few years (53 per cent).

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is no surprise that people think their pay has failed to keep up with inflation, but a clear majority now think that their bosses could do better.

“There may have been a time when people thought a cut in their living standards was an unfortunate economic necessity. But that is not the case today. That is why the clear message from this poll is not just that Britain needs a pay rise, but that it can afford it too.”

The full tables for the poll are available at https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/paytables.pdf

NOTES TO EDITORS:

-All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4,555 adults, of which, 2,355 were employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5-7 August 2014.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

- Extracts from the tables are below. These tables simplify the full tables by adding together the “strongly” and the “tend to” for agrees and disagrees, and leaving out the “don’t knows/does not apply” and the “neither agree nor disagree”. They are available in the full tables.

 

Total

Gender

Sector

 

All

Male

Female

private sector

public sector

third sector

Unweighted base

2355

1130

1225

1241

912

156

Base: All GB Adults who are employees

2415

1174

1241

1306

898

144

My pay has kept up with (i.e. increased in line with) the cost of living over the last few years

           

agree

20%

23%

17%

25%

11%

29%

disagree

58%

56%

61%

51%

73%

52%

net agree

-38%

-33%

-43%

-26%

-62%

-24%

I get good benefits on top of my pay (e.g. pension, access to flexible working etc.)

           

agree

40%

43%

36%

38%

44%

30%

disagree

34%

32%

35%

38%

29%

36%

net agree

6%

11%

1%

0%

15%

-5%

I think that the gap in pay between those at the top of my organisation and those lower down is too great (i.e. shouldn't be as large)

           

Agree

57%

58%

57%

55%

65%

46%

disagree

12%

13%

11%

14%

10%

21%

net agree

45%

44%

46%

41%

55%

25%

Pay for those lower down in the organisation has not gone up as much as pay for those at the top over the last few years

           

agree

47%

47%

47%

45%

53%

39%

disagree

17%

19%

16%

16%

18%

23%

net agree

30%

28%

31%

28%

36%

16%

All staff should have a say in the pay of those at the top of organisations

           

agree

48%

49%

48%

44%

55%

56%

disagree

20%

23%

17%

23%

16%

19%

net agree

28%

26%

30%

21%

38%

36%

My employer can afford to give better pay rises than those given to staff

           

agree

50%

53%

47%

56%

44%

41%

disagree

16%

15%

18%

13%

21%

25%

net agree

34%

38%

29%

44%

23%

16%

A performance related pay system at my workplace is fairly operated

           

agree

19%

18%

20%

20%

17%

13%

disagree

28%

31%

26%

29%

30%

23%

net agree

-10%

-13%

-6%

-9%

-13%

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