WAGE TRANSPARENCY AND INFORMATION ACCESS
Do you know for a fact that your pay is fair?
When you negotiated your wages,
did you know how much your employer was willing to pay before you said what you were willing to work for?
Did you show them your payslip?
In South Africa, information on wages and compensation is becoming increasingly asymmetric, or difficult to find. Employees often don’t know how their pay compares to comparable workers, either within or outside their firm, and a view that employees and applicants questioning pay are greedy, appears to be perpetuated. While employees and job seekers may be reluctant or not compelled to seek pay information for various reasons, many employers use compensation surveys to know precisely where their workers fall in the distribution of wages.
In markets characterized by asymmetric information, the entity with more complete information maintains a distinct advantage. In the labour market, information asymmetry can occur at three points of the recruitment value chain:
- Lack of pay information in job adverts, the market signal required to attract and compete for talent
- Those advertisers who are not transparent about pay, contact applicants and request their pay history and current pay expectations without disclosing the employer’s compensation policy of salary range for the position advertised; and thirdly when
- Recruiters require payslips and comprehensive current cost to company information