HR · 27 September 2017

Retail staff among the most unhappy workers in Britain

Retail workers were within the five unhappiest workforces in Britain
Retail workers were within the five unhappiest workforces in Britain

Employees in Britain’s retail sector are some of the most unhappy workers in the country, according to new findings, with salary politics creating uncertainty within the workforce.

In a survey of 1,000 workers across Britain, conducted by jobs site Adzuna, pay rates, stress levels and a lack of managerial support were considered to assess which sectors had the least satisfied workforce.

Overall, two in five respondents believed they were paid less than colleagues at for similar roles. In contrast, just six per cent thought they were earning more than their co-workers.

Read more: What to do if staff believe you’re paying men and women different amounts

Despite the evidence suggesting many workers felt underpaid, just 13.6 per cent of all respondents had successfully lobbied their employer for a pay increase.

Meanwhile, over half said they had “no idea” how much their boss truly valued them, nor would discuss salaries with colleagues.

Britain’s five unhappiest workforces

  • Retail
  • Teacher
  • Charity
  • Social work
  • Property

Commenting on the findings, Doug Monro, Adzuna co-founder, said British workplaces were “rife” with uncertainty over pay.

“An ingrained lack of transparency over earnings and salary bandings has created a culture of conviction that others must be paid more than us,” Monro added.

“Combined with a lack of knowledge of what our own skills are worth to employers in today’s job market, this spells a recipe for disaster for ambitious career builders.”

In contrast to unhappy workers in retail, employees most satisfied with their pay appeared to be working in areas such as construction and human resources.

Britain’s five happiest workforces

  • HR
  • Consultancy
  • Trade and construction
  • PR and marketing
  • Energy, oil and gas

Retail’s gender pay gap

General dissatisfaction with levels of pay arrive alongside further research confirming the gender imbalance in retail salaries.

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the average salary for a female retail manager stands at £17,937 – £4,315 less than the £22,252 average registered by male retail managers.

However, the gender pay gap in retail was found to be considerably lower than the national average, where male managers expect to earn 26.8 per cent more than female counterparts for the same role, CMI claimed.

What do gender pay gap reporting rules mean for small businesses?

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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