The sky’s the limit? Pay differentials

I’ve followed quite closely the furore around Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell and her recent resignation as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.  Like many, I thought her £465K basic salary was a bit of a shocker (although I wonder if there would have been quite so much kerfuffle if she had been a man).  According to their website, senior academics at the University of Bath are paid around £50-£55K a year, so Dame Glynis’ salary was theoretically worth 9 of them.  At the lower end of the spectrum, she was earning more than twenty times the salary of her junior staff.

Dame Glynis’s defenders claim she has put the University of Bath on the map.   Payment by results then??   Hmmmm.  According to the Academy Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the Uni of Bath ranked 203 in 2007.  In 2016, its ranking had fallen to 301-400.  Nuff said.

One of the folk I met today at the HR/L&D co-work get-together in Brighton works with universities.  He says there is a marked difference in the opulence of the offices of the top brass in universities, compared to those of the rank and file.  I wonder what effect this has on staff morale.

I remember being told that Japanese companies had much narrower pay differentials than European ones.  Is this still the case?

According to Pernille Rudlin, a UK-based specialist on Japanese business, the pay multiple at Sony and Panasonic is about 10#.  The biggest multiple in Japanese companies is around 16#.

With gender pay gap reporting becoming the norm, it looks as if we are heading for an era of greater transparency on pay.  My millennial son has twice worked for employers who tried using a pay rise as a retention tool.  This failed both times in his case.  He may not be typical, but I wonder if that generation will, in the future, passively accept massive pay differentials such as those at the Uni of Bath.  I suspect not.

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