17 Nov 2021

Managers more likely to think pay is fair - study

10:52 am on 17 November 2021

Managers are more likely to feel they are fairly paid compared to non-managers, a study has found.

Euro Pay slip and calculator, close up for payroll or salary background, french mention Net to pay

File image. Photo: 123RF

Auckland University of Technology's 'Wellbeing @ Work' study showed 73 percent of managers thought their pay was fair compared with 59 percent for employees.

About three-quarters of managers felt their organisation was transparent, much higher than the 51 percent of employees who felt the same.

Professor Jarrod Haar

AUT professor Jarrod Haar. Photo: supplied

AUT human resource management professor Jarrod Haar, who conducted the study, said the finding was significant.

"One thing transparency and fairness does is, it makes workers go: 'Yeah I like my job and I think I'm getting paid fairly and this place treats people equally, I'm going to stay'," Prof Haar said.

"Versus - 'I don't think I'm being paid fairly here, nothing is transparent, and actually now I hate my job and I will jump'."

Private sector firms were seen as more transparent than their public sector counterparts, Prof Haar said.

Prof Haar said he was not suggesting organisations should reveal exactly how much money everybody was earning, but explain which pay bands people were in.

Those perceiving greater pay fairness and organisational transparency also had lower job stress, the study found.

The findings should encourage organisations to openly report pay gaps, Prof Haar said.

"The traditional divide between managers and non-managers, in terms of how much information about the broader organisation they have access to, feels increasingly anachronistic.

"Workers might be paid fairly, but the lack of transparency - or just as crucially, the perception of it - undermines this outcome."