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Annie Hayes



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Tight-lipped Brits keep salary details private


Workers in the UK are the most reticent of all Europeans when it comes to divulging salary details.

Stepstone recruitment firm claim that 42% of British workers would never discuss their earnings with colleagues. A mere 17% feel comfortable doing so.

Attitudes in Germany are similar to those in the UK, with 43% preferring to keep quiet about their salary, and only 21% prepared to be completely open.

John Spiers, chief marketing officer at the recruitment outfit said:

“It comes as no surprise to see cultural differences in how we discuss money socially, but it’s interesting to see the stereotype of the buttoned-up Brit proved true.”

The French on the other hand don’t treat it is a taboo issue. Two thirds of French respondents said they are happy to discuss their salary openly, only 22% would prefer to keep wage particulars private.

Norwegians came out as the most relaxed with 39% claiming to be happy about openly divulging their salary, followed by the Dutch (37%), the Italians (35%) and the French (33%).

“Today, employees have many ways of checking and comparing their worth by looking at jobs posted on company career sites and job boards without having to take the risk of chatting to their colleagues,” added Spiers.

When it comes to spilling the beans with friends, the British appear to be more relaxed, however. Two out of five British employees would divulge their salary to colleagues with whom they are very close, compared to almost half of the Swedes (48%).

The survey was conducted online and covered almost 4,000 respondents in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes