MLAs are due to receive a pay increase this April. As well as sparking a public backlash, it could prompt your employees to ask for one too.
So, if that does happen, what can you do?
What if an employee requests a pay increase?
Employees requesting a pay rise might be something you handle quite often. Or, you may never have had to deal with this sometimes awkward situation before. On a whole, it’s a common request and it’s important to know where you stand.
What should I say?
Even if your first reaction is that you cannot accommodate an employee’s request for a pay rise, it’s important to take your time responding. The first step would be to acknowledge the request that they have made and explain that you will get back to them with a decision.
A useful tactic when coming to your decision is to ask the employee why they feel they should receive a pay rise. This will give you additional information into the rationale behind the employee’s request, such as they may be struggling financially or feel that they could get paid more elsewhere. They could even wish to take on extra responsibility within the business, a move that might justify a pay increase.
What about other employees?
Once you have gathered this information, consider reviewing all of your employees’ pay rates. It’s important to review your pay system regularly to ensure there are no issues such as gender pay gaps or a failure to comply with the National Minimum Wage. At this point you should also review your employees contracts to see if they mention any contractual rights to pay increases, for example when they reach a particular level of service.
If there are no clear issues with your current pay system, it may still be beneficial to consider the employee’s request. If for instance, they are in fact struggling with money, you could assist them in other ways, such as by providing a company loan.
Pay increase alternatives also exist that you can consider. Included are providing any further training they would like to receive or extra days off throughout the year. By improving other conditions of employment for your employees, they may not be in as much need of a pay rise.
The most important part of handling employee requests for a pay rise is to ensure that you communicate your final decision to them. This should be done formally and if you’re refusing the request you should state your reasons for doing so. By being open with the employee, they will be more understanding of the reasons why their request is refused.
Need our help?
If you would like further complimentary advice on pay increases from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.