In a period where the cost of living has increased monumentally, workers' wages haven’t followed the same trajectory. In fact, workers' wages have increased at record low levels over the past 5 years.
That is not to say a sizeable pay rise is unrealistic nor unattainable. Instead, it means workers ought to think harder about how they will request one and why it is rightfully deserved. This involves planning and preparation. It is important to put yourself in the shoes of your employer and in doing so, consider that barging into your boss’s office is almost definitely not the optimal approach.
How to prove you deserve a pay rise
It will be difficult to convince your employer you deserve a raise unless you have concrete evidence and arguments to support. Consider your job description: if you can show you have taken on extra responsibilities this is likely to impress. It’s a good idea to document those added responsibilities and highlight the tangible benefits that have resulted to support you in your negotiations.
In the modern world, it is always beneficial to quantify your achievements. If you are able to show your employer you have exceeded targets by X amount or attracted X number of new clients, then this provides a clearer breakdown of your contributions. If your input doesn’t easily translate to figures, consider how you have aided the smooth operations of the department or the introduction of new, innovative practices.
Other factors to consider
When the evidence is clear, it is important to consider the timing of your request. Seeking a hefty raise at a time where the company is announcing a bundle of job cuts is unlikely to be warmly received. Where profits are through the roof however, your employer is far more likely to seriously contemplate your request. Ultimately, if you don’t ask, you very rarely get. Managers are often busy working on their own matters to recognize your true worth, so be your own best advocate and communicate your value.
If your employment is covered by the modern award system you should also be mindful to ensure that you are receiving the correct rate of pay under that instrument. This includes being classified (and paid) according to the classification structure in the award. If you are taking on extra responsibilities this may mean you are entitled to pay at a higher classification or to receive an acting up allowance.
If you are being denied workers benefits such as a pay rise based on discriminatory reasons, Shine Lawyers Employment Law team may be able to assist you. If you are mistreated because of attributes such as age, sex, sexual orientation, race, disability or pregnancy, that can amount to discrimination. The laws surrounding workplace discrimination vary from state to state and strict limitations often apply. It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: October 16, 2019.