Sunday, January 26, 2020
Suited Secrecy

#payslipbansa defines unfair recruiters and employers as Suited Tsotis conducting monkey business!

Predatory employers and recruiters use pay secrecy and abuse power to reduce job seekers economic right to pursue better or alternative wage opportunity.

As labour market gatekeepers, employers and recruiters discourage informed applicants to exploit the desperate, ignorant and unemployed.

They use wage discrimination to obstruct candidates ability to fairly negotiate their compensation package. When a recruitment process adopts an unfair information advantage in their job advert, it increases the odds that they continue to use information asymmetry in their favor.

When pay is secret in a job advert and applicants are screened according to wage expectations and salary history, it allows a power position where the employer has the option to perpetuate race and gender based wage discrimination.

Firms claim they don’t want to waste job applicants time interviewing for a salary range they won’t accept. Yet these firms begin their recruitment process in a way that increases the cost of applying. Most applicants would find little compensation information about firms who oppress wage information when researching and preparing for an interview.

Applicants thus waste time and their resources when applying to job adverts adopting pay secrecy – this casts doubt on the inherent ethical nature of a process enforcing information gaps that disadvantage job seekers..

We want job advertising to be responsible and ethical. No reason to hide pay in adverts can trump the Constitution.

 Moral, Control and Discrimination

Recruiters find and attract job applicants available in the labour market. 

Sometimes recruiters are outsourced and sometimes they are part of a company’s HR function.

Regardless of who is hired to perform the function, recruitment is an economic activity  shaped by vested interests and impacting on individual job applicant economic rights.

Vested interests refer to an employers desire to hire talent for as little as possible. Monopsony power refers to an employers unfair ability to control worker wages.

Recruitment is specifically conducted in the interests of the employer, they hire someone to recruit and they determine the terms and conditions for the recruitment process in accordance with their quality management system. In this, the prospecting employer controls recruitment, and without fear of reprisal, can abuse their power as the job seeking market is too vulnerable to unemployment to refuse to submit.

Employers have immense, unquestioned power.

They have no fear of reprisal as the job seeking market is vulnerable

If employers and recruiters made moral judgments, doing ‘what’s right’ – perhaps we wouldn’t have inequality

Advertisements containing company benefits, list salary description and advertise more than one position received a larger applicant pool than advertisements lacking these contents.

Kaplan, Aamodt and Wilk : 1991

Call for secrecy banning in the UK

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said secrecy must be banned:

“We have to break the cycle that traps women in low pay.

Women often start work on a lower salary than men, move to a new job and are paid based on their previous wage, as opposed to what they or the role are worth – so they continue to be paid less.

Ending this practice is crucial to ending the gender pay gap.
“Our research shows that women are more likely to disregard jobs if they feel their skills don’t match up to them, compared to men who often apply anyway.
Including salary details in job adverts would help women to see that jobs are in fact at their level and give them an idea of where they should be negotiating from to progress their pay.”

  • The market is always right and the role of governments should be minimised;

Myth Bust: an unequal society requires greater protections in order to prevent inequality. South Africa’s over-supply (surplus) of low-skilled workers creates a hungry ground for income inequality. Firms drive wages down even though and unless government intervenes. The term ‘skilled’ includes the ability to negotiate the best contracts and offers.

  • Companies need to maximise profits and returns to shareholders at all costs;

Myth Bust: the rights of ordinary citizens cannot be held ransom for stakeholder profits as this implies that labour is viewed as an entitlement for those who own production.

  • Extreme individual wealth is not a problem, it’s a sign of success and inequality is not relevant;

Myth Bust: In SA, the richest 1% of the population has 42% of the total wealth. The number of citizens living in extreme poverty has increased to 14 million.

Inequality results in economic and social exclusion that permits those with wealth to assume power over them. Poverty disempowers members of society and debilitates progress. Poverty makes is easier for exploitation to thrive.


Employers and recruiters are often on the wrong side of inequality.

When, like Truworths and training organisation Get Smarter; they place job adverts vague about pay, their justifications for leaving a gap for inequality are wishy washy at most.

These organisations know there are no penalties (yet) for unfair recruitment. They proudly assert an unfair opinion they have been unable to back up with legal argument.

They omit pay ranges from job adverts in order to maintain negotiating power. By excluding pay information in adverts and asking applicants their pay expectations, recruiters can drive applicants wage expectations down.

Recruiters claim they would never exploit applicants yet workforce inequality and poverty exists. This is why the public takes a massive risk when trusting recruiters.

Truworths, paying among the lowest rates in retail, fiercely defend the right to be secretive about pay in adverts and tell us to believe they are ethical when they adopt positions of power and dominance during negotiation, as their email shows:

Truworths chooses to not disclose salaries with advertisements for employment opportunities so as not to inadvertently and prematurely exclude good candidates from positions based purely on their salary expectations.

Truworths offers market-related salaries and remunerate fairly based on the requirements of a role, the candidate’s qualifications, skills and experience. Furthermore candidates are welcome to discuss their salary expectations during the interview process.

Get Smarter, a training organisation, uses similar Truworths tactics, describing pay as ‘negotiable’ in adverts:

Due to the “open” nature of the requirements, we feel it better for a candidate to indicate what they are looking for, and we can then have open and honest conversations with them through the process.


Oxfam’s Inequality Report: An economy for the 99% Oxfam exposes the following myths

  • GDP growth should be the primary goal of policy making;

GDP growth is about people, not firms. It’s harder to develop the institutions, norms and conventions required for economic growth in unequal societies. Education, health, crime are only a few factors impacting overall economic growth and which require stringent policy environments.

Stats SA poverty trend report demonstrates the value of education in escaping poverty:  8.4% of people with tertiary qualifications are considered to be poor, compared to 35% with just a matric and 79% with no education at all.

  • The economic model is gender neutral;

Income inequality data consistently proves women still get paid less.

  • The planet’s resources are limitless.

Ummm….We know this isn’t true.

Help us create the awareness and process for change to close the inequality gap in South Africa.

Constitutional fairness S23.1

Pay Slip Ban SA champions the cause of fairness during recruitment and wage negotiation.

We believe it’s in the public interest to take up this up and lobby for a Really Fair labour market.

Screenshot unfair recruitment adverts & forward emails to

It takes less than 10 seconds, click HERE and add your name! 

All sources are protected and information treated with the utmost sensitivity.

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