Exercise of transparency of pay in a small business in london

An SME in london has put in place a pay policy that is completely transparent (Photo NIKLAS HALLE’N. AFP)

They set themselves their salaries and know how earn their colleagues: it’s not surprising that employees of the SMES in london Smarkets support the policy of transparency of pay of their company.

Here, “most people get what they ask for,” says Angeline Mulet-Marquis, engineer in computer science in this company specializing in the online betting.

“I think it works rather well, especially because we hire people who are very invested in the company (…) and who want to be well paid for,” she adds.

Young graduates earn approximately 45,000 pounds annual (51.330 euros), while the wages of the engineers and the most qualified reach six figures.

And increases of 10% to 30% are common. Angeline has received 12% more than what she wanted, as her colleagues were able to see on the intranet of the company.

Based on the principle that happy employees are more productive, the company puts at their disposal a table, foosball, video games, while chefs come each day prepare tasty little dishes.

This wage policy also allows the company to have advantages against its competitors to attract and retain talent, and is part of a broader debate in the United Kingdom on transparency and equal pay.

– Equity –

At Smarkets, Susana Pinto is responsible for overseeing the salary revisions semi-annual. To obtain an increase, an employee should ask five colleagues to provide references and a proposal of the wages he should earn.

The idea is not to pass the brush polishing by saying to his colleague that he is “awesome”, explains Susana. On the contrary, “it is a real investigation.”

The increase is decided after discussion and comparison with enterprises of the sector. If the employee is not satisfied, he can always fix himself his own salary.

This last hypothesis remains exceptional, however, because the employees are well aware that there will then be accountable to their colleagues who had proposed a salary different.

“What is with the transparency of pay, it is that, by default, it allows the equity in the company,” stressed Susana.

London, a world centre of business and incubator of startups, Smarkets is a quasi-exception is the quantity of businesses are not nearly as virtuous. Start with the BBC.

The venerable institution in the media from the united kingdom had been in 2017 compulsion to reveal the salaries of its officers and the featured presenters, leaving significant gaps in wages, and significant inequalities between men and women in equivalent position.

But is it possible to transpose the mode of operation of Smarkets, which has a hundred employees, in a company of larger size, or a different area?

Not obvious, meet several employees of Smarkets.

This type of organization can operate in sectors such as sales, where there are markers to clear performance, writes Jordi Blanes i Vidal, professor of management at the London School of Economics. But not necessarily in those where it is not as easy to justify differences in pay”, he adds.

– Other countries, other customs –

In other countries, the transparency of pay is more likely to be accepted. In Norway, for example, the tax authorities publish online information about taxpayers, their income and wealth.

There are similar approaches in Sweden and Finland, whereas in Ireland, employees have the right to request information on the wages for equivalent work.

According to a study by the european Commission, the “cultural sensitivity” remains the most common obstacle to the generalization of the transparency of pay. In the United Kingdom, what are the administrative costs that would be related to this new procedure which would pose a problem.

Despite these difficulties, Angeline Mulet-Marquis, do not too advise companies to follow the example of Smarkets, a model which runs on it by an effort of communication within the company.

“If your teams do not communicate well, this process will probably not work anyway. You have to build on something that is already healthy,” she said.

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