Leadership & Productivity

UK employees happier to change jobs for small pay rise than European counterparts

3 min read

01 November 2017

Former special projects journalist

UK employees were willing to leave their roles for a ten per cent pay rise, compared to a European average of 12 per cent.

Employees in the UK are happier to switch jobs for a noticeably smaller pay rise than employees across the rest of Europe, so employers must do all they can to create a sense of staff loyalty if they wish to reduce staff turnover.

This is according to a recent study by ADP Research Institute, which surveyed over 8,500 employees and employers across 13 countries. UK employees were willing to leave their roles for a ten per cent pay rise, compared to a European average of 12 per cent.

However, UK employers were found to overestimate how much of a salary rise employees would need to consider moving jobs, putting the figure at more than 11 per cent. As a result, many employers are surprised when a member of the team is leaving.

“Salary stagnation is a real issue in the UK,” said Annabel Jones, HR director at ADP UK. “With a record number of job vacancies now available in today’s market, employers need to ensure their employees have regular opportunities to progress in their careers whether this is through regular pay reviews, appraisals or training and development.

“Inflation has risen rapidly since the Brexit vote last June. This means that UK consumers are suffering a sustained fall in living standards as the real wage falls further. This may well be why UK employees need a smaller salary increase to motivate them to change jobs.”

At the same time, UK employees were found to be most likely to believe in job security (38 per cent) compared to European employees, which makes them more likely to take risks in their careers.

In addition to taking risks with regard to pay, UK employees are also willing to take risks in the types of jobs they look for – one out of three employees are open to roles outside of their industry, compared to just one in five French employees.

Despite this however, UK workers said they felt it was harder to move industries or job functions compared with the rest of Europe (67 per cent versus 64 per cent).

According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, comparing the three months to August 2017 with the same period the year before shows that real average weekly earnings fell by 0.3 per cent. Pay continues to lag behind inflation, despite falling unemployment.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.