Salary on Job Adverts

When an employer advertises a job there are certain legal requirements that must be adhered to. This sets the standard so employers do not discriminate against any individuals who identity as one (or more) of the nine ‘Protected Characteristics’.

So whilst there are legal guidelines to say what should not appear in a job advert, there isn’t much about what should appear. There are obvious things like job title and duties, location and hours. But then what about the all important factor – salary? It is illegal to advertise a job below the national minimum wage but it is perfectly legal to keep salaries hidden with descriptive terms like “competitive”, “depending on experience” and so on.

Why do employers hide salary?

Employers who hide salary often seem to do so because of defensive motivations. This includes avoiding resentment between existing and new staff (with the potential of increasing existing staff salary), giving them more leverage in any negotiations and preventing competitors enticing employees. Not one reason does a hidden salary benefit any candidate.

In fact, studies are showing that hiding salaries can negatively impact diversity. Much more needs to be done to increase diversity and close the gender pay gap.

As if that is not enough, job adverts with a stated salary outperform those with a no salary information by 27%, with 40% of candidates saying it is the most important factor when applying for a job.

Legal changes?

The UK Government is currently piloting a Pay Transparency scheme which makes is mandatory for salary to be listed and the EU has a similar proposal being discussed.

Some good work is also being done by organisations such as Show The Salary to push for change.


Instead of waiting for it to be compulsory to list your salary, why not lead from the front be transparent? Not only will this increase diversity, save time, enhance employer brand, build trust it will also increase the number of applicants. And in this candidate driven market, surely that’s worth it!?

We have committed to working on vacancies where salaries are clearly listed.

Bowen Eldridge Recruitment acts as a specialist agency for Accountancy PracticeFinance and Marketing recruitment.