Occupational pay comparisons: Easier said than done?

Findlay, J. , Findlay, P. and Stewart, R. (2014) Occupational pay comparisons: Easier said than done? Employee Relations, 36(1), pp. 2-16. (doi: 10.1108/ER-05-2013-0056)

85559.pdf - Accepted Version



Purpose - The article aims to analyse the challenges in undertaking occupational pay comparisons and why this matters for evidence-based reward management, union bargaining strategies and perceptions of pay equity. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on the extant literature on pay and undertakes detailed quantitative analysis of teachers pay in Scotland relative to teachers elsewhere in the UK, graduates and other professional occupations in the private and public sectors. Findings - The key finding of this article is that alternative ways of analysing pay comparability produce significantly different outcomes – occupational pay comparisons require the identification of an appropriate comparator and appropriate measures of pay and hours, yet this is not straightforward. Different approaches to comparability may lead to key stakeholders holding widely differing views about pay equity, with employment relations implications. Research limitations/implications - Quantitative analyses of pay using large scale survey data are crucial to understanding relative occupational pay. However, quantitative analyses cannot provide in-depth and nuanced understanding of the nature of particular occupations. Moreover, the paper focuses at the occupational level and does not assess individual employee characteristics that may influence pay. Practical implications - These findings should inform employers (especially HR managers), employees and unions on pay policy, pay settlements and bargaining strategies. Originality/value - There is relatively little contemporary literature on the importance of, and challenges in undertaking, occupational pay comparisons.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Findlay, Professor Jeanette
Authors: Findlay, J., Findlay, P., and Stewart, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Employee Relations
ISSN (Online):0142-5455
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
First Published:First published in Employee Relations 36(1):2-16
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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