Retail workers are among the least likely groups of staff to negotiate on their salaries, according to a new study.

A report has found that nearly half of Brits don’t feel comfortable asking for a pay rise, with 50% of both retail and manufacturing staff shying away from salary negotiations.

Furthermore, the survey of 1,200 British professionals reveals that almost two-thirds (61.3%) of Brits haven’t received a pay rise in the last 12-18 months.


The report, by job site CV-Library, warns that this could be bad news for businesses who may not realise staff are dissatisfied with their rate of pay. In the current candidate-driven job market, employers need to invest time in finding out what their employees are after.

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, remarks: While it may be music to cost-conscious employers’ ears that Brits are reluctant to negotiate pay, we can’t ignore the fact that this is a huge influencing factor in people’s decisions to join a company and stay with them. With Brexit causing many Brits to defer any plans they might have had to change up their careers, employers need to consider how a competitive salary will help them to attract home-grown talent.

“Indeed, these top sectors where professionals are least likely to negotiate on pay with an employer are also some of those most likely to be affected by Brexit. For businesses to engage and retain the best candidates, they need to not only offer a fair salary, but also put in place annual pay reviews to ensure that wages rise in line with inflation and performance.”

The survey also found Brits are scared to discuss working hours and flexible working with new and present employees.

Biggins advises retail staff: “If you do feel nervous about discussing your pay with your boss, I’d advise doing your research before approaching them. Find out what other employers are offering for similar positions, or even what your own employer’s range is for new hires. Determining your worth is the first step towards knowing how to ask for a pay rise.”