How to ask for a pay rise and what to do if it’s declined

Do you feel as though you deserve a pay rise? Perhaps you’ve gone above and beyond for the past year or have taken on more responsibility? If that’s the case, it’s time to bite the bullet and ask for a pay rise.

Talking about money is something us Brits tend to avoid. Whether it’s with our partners, parents, or employers, our finances can still be a very taboo subject. As much as it’s important to stick to a budget to ensure we can afford everything, sometimes that little bit more can help. Especially if you’re thinking about exploring alternative funding to pay for home renovations or a new car, for example.

Ultimately you get paid relative to the work that you do, and if you feel as though you’ve outgrown your salary for one of the reasons above, you have the right to ask to be compensated for it.

How do I ask for a pay rise?

First things first, know your worth. Do your research and find out on average what people with your job are getting paid. There are a wealth of resources and surveys online, which will ensure you know what kind of raise you ought to ask for.

Also, instead of writing a lengthy email or letter to your employer, request a face-to-face meeting. Yes, it can often be difficult to talk highly of yourself in person, discuss how amazing you are and why you deserve more money, but it’s much more personal if you have a proper conversation.

It’s also crucial to time these things right. Does your business have a set period each year when annual pay is reviewed? Perhaps the end or beginning of the new financial year is the best time? Either way, find out when raises are usually given as the business is likely to have money in the pot.

What do I do if my pay rise is declined?

Try not to feel disheartened or panic. Just because your employer has said no on this occasion, it doesn’t mean it’ll be a no forever. It’s important to find out why. Ask for some in-depth reasons. Could it be there is no money available to grant your request? Or, perhaps they need you to provide more evidence to support what you’re asking for?

If your company doesn’t have the budget then consider negotiating something else. Why not try for some additional holiday allowance within your package, a company car or maybe even more flexible working hours? There are many other benefits that could help level up your remuneration in different ways.

However, if you’re really pushing for a monetary increase that will help you and your family each month, ask your manager what you can do to get there. It may only be a few small tweaks and you’ll be in business!

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