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Salary survey 2012 high res

  1. 1. January 2012 health and safety at work Know-how 22 Pay survey 2011YOU might be forgiven for thinking that comparing pay and conditions with their peers would not be a pri- ority for many health and safety practition- ers in the present economic climate. Weak growth and rising unemployment, massive public sector budget cuts and the looming shadow of financial turmoil in Europe might be expected to make many people draw in their horns and sit tight, content simply to have a job. But against this backdrop, our annual survey of pay and conditions brought a surprising 41% increase in responses. As in previous years, the survey was carried out with recruiters Attwood Burton. The questionnaire was on the web between the second week in September and the third week of October 2011. It was advertised in HSW’s eNewsletter, on and on Attwood Burton’s website. The survey drew 1233 responses from UK practitioners, up from 720 in 2010 and 831 in 2009, our previous peak year. The headline findings of this year’s poll are: ■ the median annual salary for full-time health and safety managers is pitched in the range £37,500 to £39,999, lower than last year’s survey ■ The number suffering pay cuts has more than halved since last year but pay cuts or freezes still affected almost half the practitioners surveyed ■ managers are highest paid on average in the utilities and construction sector, and lowest in manufacturing ■ despite economic insecurity, three- quarters of practitioners felt secure in their current jobs ■ full-time female health and safety practi- tioners in our sample are paid 16% less than men ■ more than 70% of practitioners describemore than 70% of practitioners describe themselves as “happy” or “very happy”themselves as “happy” or “very happy” in their their jobs. Rate for the job We asked participants to place their basicWe asked participants to place their basic annual salaries in one of a set range ofannual salaries in one of a set range of pay bands, each spanning £2,500, frompay bands, each spanning £2,500, from £20,000 to £59,999, and then larger incre-£20,000 to £59,999, and then larger incre- mental steps from £60,000 up to £79,999.mental steps from £60,000 up to £79,999. Respondents were also able to indicateRespondents were also able to indicate whether they are paid less than £20,000,whether they are paid less than £20,000, or more than £80,000, a year.or more than £80,000, a year. Respondents ticked the job title near-Respondents ticked the job title near- est their own — regardless of any otherest their own — regardless of any other responsibilities such as environmental orresponsibilities such as environmental or quality management — from a list runningquality management — from a list running from health and safety administrator tofrom health and safety administrator to director. A total of 5.7% of all survey partici-A total of 5.7% of all survey partici- pants earn annual salaries under £20,000,pants earn annual salaries under £20,000, roughly evenly divided between the privateroughly evenly divided between the private and public sectors though around a thirdand public sectors though around a third of respondents in this category areof respondents in this category are employed on a freelance consultancyemployed on a freelance consultancy basis, or work-part-time.basis, or work-part-time. Among the full-timers in this year’sAmong the full-timers in this year’s sample, most at the bottom of the paysample, most at the bottom of the pay spectrum are administrators, advisers orspectrum are administrators, advisers or assistants. However, two full-time managersassistants. However, two full-time managers are paid less than £20,000 a year, one in con-are paid less than £20,000 a year, one in con- struction and the other in manufacturing.struction and the other in manufacturing. There is a smaller group (2.2%) ofThere is a smaller group (2.2%) of health and safety professionals paid ahealth and safety professionals paid a basic annual salary in excess of £79,999,basic annual salary in excess of £79,999, with most of these participants operating atwith most of these participants operating at either head of department or director level.either head of department or director level. As at the lower end, around a third of thisAs at the lower end, around a third of this cohort of high earners works on a freelancecohort of high earners works on a freelance or consultancy basis.or consultancy basis. Across the sample as a whole, andAcross the sample as a whole, and covering all job functions, the median (mid-covering all job functions, the median (mid- point) annual salary is pitched betweenpoint) annual salary is pitched between Our fifth annual survey of the pay of the profession finds pay cuts have halved but freezes are still common, says Adam Geldman
  2. 2. health and safety at work January 2012health and safety at work January 2012health and safety at work Know-how 23 £32,500 and £34,999. Exactly one-third of the poll sample earn salaries between £30,000 and £40,000. The upper quartile (the point at or above which the top 25% of salaries are ranged) falls in the £40,000 to £42,499 band. The point at or below which the bot- tom 25% of salaries can be found is known as the lower quartile. This falls between £25,000 and £27,499. Figure 1 shows the salaries for com- mon health and safety job titles in both the private and public sectors, where there were enough respondents to derive a median for that job with confidence. This year’s survey sample only partly overlaps with last year’s so any comparisons between the two must be treated with cau- tion. Nevertheless, it is notable that in a time of salary freezes and cuts, median salaries for most jobs in public and private industries are the same as those in last year’s survey, but where they vary, they are lower. This is true for health and safety managers in both parts of the economy. Utilities in front Figure 2 shows how salaries for the benchmark job of health and safety manager vary by industry, sometimes considerably. For example our analysis reveals that managers in utilities can expect a me- dian annual salary in the range £42,500 to £44,999. However, at the midpoint, health and safety managers working in manufacturing are paid appreciably less: between £32,500 and £34,999. Alistair Attwood, director at Attwood Burton, says the elevated median salaries for managers in higher risk industries: utili- ties and construction are no surprise. “They just reflect the fact those or- ganisations are fishing in a smaller pool of professionals with the necessary experi- ence,” he says. Attwood’s fellow director Mark Burton notes that though general services comes next in the sector ranking, this catch-all category for private sector services includes some of the highest sala- ries in the profession, paid to managers in the finance sector. Regional variations As in previous years, there are some noticeable regional differences in the basic pay offered to health and safety practitioners. Across the whole sample, the highest average salary was in the south east of Eng- land, followed by Scotland and the South West, with Wales at the bottom, all in line with national earnings patterns. A region-by-region breakdown of the median salaries for full-time health and safety managers is as follows: ■ South East — £40,000 to £42,499 ■ Scotland — £37,500 to £39,999 ■ South West — £37,500 to £39,999 ■ East Midlands — £37,500 to £39,999 ■ West Midlands — £35,000 to £37,499 ■ North East — £32,500 to £34,999 ■ North West — £32,500 to £34,999. The Welsh sample of 24 managers was too small to produce a meaningful median rate. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 £000s Fig 2. Median salary band by industry —Fig 2. Median salary band by industry — health and safety managers*health and safety managers* Utilities Construction Generalservices Publicsector Retailandwholesale Transportandlogisitics Manufacturing 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 n=1065 Fig 1. Median salary by job title £25,000–£27,499 £27,500–£29,999 £32,500–£34,999 £30,000–£32,499 £35,000–£37,499–£37,499– N/A £37,500–£39,999 £37,500–£39,999 £50,000–£52,499 N/A HealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficerHealthandsafetyofficer HealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviserHealthandsafetyadviser HealthandsafetyconsultantHealthandsafetyconsultantHealthandsafetyconsultantHealthandsafetyconsultantHealthandsafetyconsultantHealthandsafetyconsultant HealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanagerHealthandsafetymanager HeadofhealthandsafetyHeadofhealthandsafetyHeadofhealthandsafetyHeadofhealthandsafetyHeadofhealthandsafetyHeadofhealthandsafety n=672n=672 £000s £42,500–£44,999£42,500–£44,999£42,500–£44,999£42,500–£44,999£42,500–£44,999 £40,000–£42,499£40,000–£42,499£40,000–£42,499£40,000–£42,499£40,000–£42,499£40,000–£42,499 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £32,500–£34,999 £000s *For full-time employees*For full-time employeesPublic sectorPrivate sector
  3. 3. January 2012 health and safety at work Know-how 24 A woman’s work Health and safety management has the im- age of being a male dominated profession. To see how far this applied to our annual survey sample, we included a question about the respondents’ gender in the ques- tionnaire for the first time this year. Of 1226 respondents who answered the question, 78% are men (959) and 22% women (267). For comparison, a recent survey of environmental professionals published in HSW’s sister magazine, the Environmentalist, drew responses from 1293 men and 800 women, a 61%/39% split. Having established a baseline for the male/female split we will continue to moni- tor the proportions in coming years. Narrowing the gap between average pay rates for women and men has been a priority for trade unions and women’s groups in the past 40 years and the latest figures from the Office for National Sta- tistics (ONS) show the gender pay gap in average earnings, excluding overtime pay, narrowed from 16.3% to 10.2% between 2000 and 2010. But that 10.2% gap across all profes- sions conceals massive variations for individual jobs, ranging from pay equality for male and female physiotherapists up to a 46% premium for male metal-making and process-treating operatives over women in the same roles. The ONS data for the category “oc- cupational hygienists and safety officers” shows a 20% gap between the average male salary of £33,956 and the average female wage of £27,156. Analysing our own data for full-time health and safety professionals, we find a median salary for men of £35,000 to £37,500 and for women of £30,000 to £32,500, a gap of 16% between the middle of the two bands. The smaller number of female respond- ents in most of the job groups meant the sub-samples were too small to calculate reliable medians at job level, bar two: ■ health and safety advisers had me- dian salary bands at the same rate of £30,000 to £32,500 ■ but stepping up to health and safety manager level the divide begins to show with a median of £35,000 to £37,499 for women and £37,500 to 39,999 for men. Qualifications matter We asked participants to identify the most advanced health and safety qualification they have achieved, and matched the results with the salaries they earn. The results are set out in Figure 3. As the chart shows, the general picture is that the higher the qualification, the greater the salary. One exception is the figure for the 127 respondents with health and safety degrees, who are paid at the median below their counterparts with the National Examination Board in Occupa- tional Safety and Health’s (NEBOSH) National Diploma and equal with those with National Vocational Qualification or Scottish National Vocational Qualification level 4. One explanation for the disparity may be that since the degree route has been open for a shorter time than the other roughly equivalent qualifications, those who have opted for it are likely to be at an earlier stage of their careers. This is sup- ported by the fact that though there are 18 director or heads of function among our degree holders, they are heavily out- weighed by the 35 officers and assistants similarly qualified. Only 34 respondents, under 3% of the sample, have no health and safety quali- fications at all. Mark Burton notes that while the re- quirement for a NEBOSH Diploma, degree or equivalent has become an increasingly common requirement in health and safety recruitment “in 14 years I’ve never seen an ad asking for a postgraduate quali- fication”. Nevertheless, he adds, these higher quaifications is probably one of the things that helps employers decide when choosing between candidates for the most senior jobs. Professional affiliations Survey participants were asked to identify any membership of a professional body. Of the 1156 health and safety practitioners responding to the question: ■ 70% are Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) members, though only a third of those have char- tered member status. ■ 24% of respondents are either affili- ates, members or fellows of the Inter- national Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). ■ 12% are members of the Institute of Environmental Management and As- sessment (IEMA), in most cases at associate level. A further 247 respondents are not members of any professional health and safety body. This group represents 21% of respondents. This is a higher figure than in last year’s sample when the institutional outsiders — and those who have not yet achieved the minimum membership criteria — made up only 15% of the sample. There was a voice of disquiet among the respondents about the rigour of the professional bodies. A health and safety adviser in the construction industry says: “there are a significant number of profes- sionals who do not have a sufficient knowl- edge of safety, or know how to implement it in their businesses. It can be too easy to become a chartered professional.” 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 23.9%23.9%23.9%23.9%23.9% 23.2%23.2%23.2%23.2%23.2%23.2% 23.9%23.9%23.9%23.9%23.9% 17.6%17.6%17.6%17.6%17.6%17.6% 32.3%32.3%32.3%32.3%32.3%32.3% 27.3%27.3%27.3%27.3%27.3%27.3% 10.2% Fig 4. Employee benefits Pay cut Pay freeze (nil) 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6%-10% 11%+ Fig 5. Pay movements September 2010 to September 2011 n=1137 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 £000s Fig 3. Median salary band by highest health and safety qualification NEBOSHcertificate NEBOSHconstruction certificate NEBOSHdiploma BSCdiploma NVQlevel4 Degree Postgraduatediploma MSc n=1138 £27,500–£29,999 £30,000–£32,499£30,000–£32,499£30,000–£32,499£30,000–£32,499£30,000–£32,499£30,000–£32,499 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499 £35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499£35,000–£37,499 £37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999£37,500–£39,999 £45,000–£47,499£45,000–£47,499£45,000–£47,499£45,000–£47,499£45,000–£47,499£45,000–£47,499 We find a median salary for men of £35,000 to £37,500 and for women of £30,000 to £32,500 Companycar Carallowance Finalsalarypension Moneypurchase pension Annualbonus Privatemedical Share scheme
  4. 4. Most health and safety professionals continue to experience a real-terms cut in their standard of living January 2012 health and safety at work Know-how 26 Fig 7. How secure is your job? n=302 Private sector Added extras There was a time when the only extra- salary benefit most professionals asked about when moving jobs was a company car. More recently, a growing realisation of the fact that what were once called “fringe” benefits can be worth as much as a third of an individual’s overall remuneration pack- age has led many workers to take these add-ons into account when considering whether to remain with their existing em- ployer, or move on to pastures new. Figure 4 (on previous page) shows the most common benefits received by the range of pay rises, stands at 1% over the 12 months to the end of August 2011. The comparable figure last year was 0%, that is, a pay freeze. Analysis of the 85 practitioners who received increases of 5% or above re- veals no pattern of seniority, geography or industry sector. By way of a comparison, the median pay award for the whole economy, as measured by the remuneration analysts XpertHR, over the year to the end of August 2011 is 2.2%. Headline inflation, as given by the percentage change in the all-items Retail Prices Index, stood at 5.2% over the 12 months to August 2011. This indicates that, as was the case last year, most health and safety professionals continue to experience a real-terms cut in their standard of living. How do you feel? Health and safety practitioners were asked to rate how they felt about their salary levels. The responses are shown in Figure 8. It is perhaps unsurprising that only a handful of participants (0.5%) feel they are overpaid. There is, however, a widespread perception among health and safety pro- fessionals that they are underpaid, with three-fifths (60.2%) of the sample saying they are paid less than they are worth. This sense of being underpaid and undervalued was the most common theme of respond- ents’ comments in the survey. “It is becoming more evident that busi- nesses want safety professionals in a high level management [role]. Unfortunately they do not want to pay anywhere near the other more commercial focused roles,” said one consultant in a north west con- struction company. “Safety professionals need to demand better.” “My salary demonstrates a total lack of respect for health and safety,” commented a manager working in the retail sector. Another manager in transport and logistics said that though he is highly qualified and has many years of experi- ence, he is only paid around £31,000, a rate he describes as “disgusting”. On a similar theme, an engineer working on a freelance basis says that the pay of health and safety professionals working in posi- tions of responsibility is “pathetic”. An assistant working in general serv- ices stated that “my salary is substantially below others in [the] same organisation with [the] same job title but I am signifi- cantly more experienced and qualified than most of them.” The remaining two-fifths of respondents (39.3%) reported that, all things considered, their salaries are just about right. Fewer private sector respondents say they are underpaid (51.6%) than in the public sector (60%). health and safety professionals. It shows that almost one-third (32%) of all those surveyed are eligible for some form of cash bonus on top of their salaries. Just under a quarter (24%) are provided with a company car, with an almost identical percentage (23%) in receipt of an allow- ance to compensate them for using their own vehicle for work purposes. Pension provision has been subject to much media coverage in recent months. There has been a decades-long attrition in the private sector of so-called final- salary or defined benefit schemes — which accrue retirement benefits at a fixed percentage of salary for each year of an employee’s service. Such schemes have been widely re- placed with defined contribution schemes where employers’ and employees’ contri- butions are invested directly in the financial markets and the final fund is unpredictable. In the public sector, unions are fighting government plans to reduce the benefits of their final salary schemes. Our analysis finds that a total 41.5% of the entire sample of 1233 enjoy mem- bership of an employer-provided scheme, though this may be something of an un- derestimate. Of this cohort, almost one quarter (23.9%) are members of final sal- ary schemes. A further 17.6% have joined a money purchase scheme. Some participants say their benefits are being squeezed. A head of safety in the public sector told HSW that, in addition to a two-year pay freeze, “anything remotely considered as a perk: sick pay, car allow- ances and even long-service awards, are under threat, as are pensions. It’s not a good place to work at the moment. I’ll be leaving as soon as possible”. Similarly, a consultant in the con- struction industry commented that the “recession has been used as an excuse to remove or dilute benefits”. Cuts ease This time last year, 10% of health and safe- ty practitioners reported they had suffered a pay cut in the previous 12 months, and a further 50% or so had seen their salaries frozen. This time round, it appears that the percentage of employees (excluding free- lancers and consultants) subject to a wage reduction has fallen to just 3.8%. However, there has been a far less dramatic fall in the percentage of respondents who have had their pay frozen (43.8%). Figure 5 on page 24 shows the distri- bution of pay review outcomes over the survey period. One participant said he has not had a salary increase for three years, while another found his pay reduced when he moved from the private to the public sector. Our headline measure of wage re- views, as given by the median increase in Better Same Worse n=868 Public sector Fig 6. Private sector trading conditions n=1137 Next 12 months n=1137 Not at all Not very Quite Very Past 12 months Not at all Not very Quite Very
  5. 5. health and safety at work January 2012health and safety at work January 2012health and safety at work Know-how 27 The happiness index With economic uncertainty, and large-scale public spending cuts, you could be forgiven for thinking that health and safety profes- sionals would be fairly dissatisfied with their lot. Yet this appears not to be the case. Almost one fifth (17.3%) of those re- sponding to the question say they are cur- rently “very happy”, with more than a half (54.1%) reporting that they are “happy”. Just over a fifth (22.5%) are “unhappy”, with the remaining 6.1% “very unhappy”. Some in the latter categories are very despondent. A health and safety manager in the construction industry complained that “bin men earn more than safety profession- als, and they don’t have to study for years.” “I only stay in this post because it pays the mortgage. If I was able to move to another job I would jump at the chance. The current climate and my age prevent this,” says an adviser working in general services. Another survey participant described his employer as a “bunch of gits who do not believe in the concept of heath and safety.” He went on, not surprisingly, to characterise his mood as “unhappy”. The weakness of the domestic economy — Figure 6 shows only a quarter of private sector respondents expect business to pick up in the next 12 months — does not appear to affect the overall sentiment of health and safety professionals regarding their own employment prospects. Perhaps counter-intuitively, a combined total of 75.4% of practitioners surveyed either feel “very” or “quite” secure in their current roles (Figure 7 opposite). Only a minority (24.5%) of those re- sponding to the question are either “not very” or “not at all” secure. Though the proportion of those with at least some confidence in their security is slighly lower for public sector practitioners than for the whole sample (at 68%), that’s still a high proportion. Mark Burton sug- gests that perhaps many feel that since the 111,000 public sector jobs shed in 2010 did not include theirs, they have been spared. If so, recent announcements that public services job losses will top 700,000 mean unfortunately they won’t all be right. Any other business Finally, we gave our survey respondents the opportunity to make any other comments about their current situation. Their observa- tions are illuminating. One individual in the construction sector stated that as trading conditions worsened his employer’s commitment to health and safety had diminished. Another, in manu- facturing, noted that the financial crisis had made health and safety less of a priority at the workplace. A counterpart working in the public sector reported that health and safety enforcement officer numbers has been cut by half in the past 12 months. In fact, the current situation in the public sector was pithily summarised by a health and safety adviser as being “grim”. One participant says that the profession is becoming less attractive due to “the public’s perception of what we do for a living”. Another said“themessagefromthegovernmentisthat health and safety does not matter and it is just ‘red tape’ to be done away with. Companies therefore feel it is a function that is superfluous and can be cut back to save money.” But it’s not all doom and gloom: a health and safety professional working in general services said that he works “for a company that considers health and safety a priority”. ■ The survey was carried out in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h At t w o o d Burton, the leading health, safety and environment recruitment specialist. It helps organisations in every industrial sector recruit the best professionals, The 2011 survey sample Our analysis is based on the responses to an online questionnaire received from 1233 UK-based heath and safety professionals. As in previous polls the private sector is most heavily represented in the sample, accounting for 70.6% (856) of the 1211 who specified a broad sector, consistent with last year. A quarter (25.5% or 309 respondents) are in public-sector organisations and the remaining 3.9% (43) work for charitable or third-sector organisations. The distribution of respondents by industrial sector is as follows: Industry Number of respondents % Construction 266 22.0 Public sector (including armed forces) 262 21.6 Manufacturing 260 21.5 General services 153 12.6 Transport and logistics 83 6.8 Utilities (electricity, gas and water) 81 6.7 Retail and wholesale 43 3.6 Hotels and catering 31 2.5 Finance 14 1.2 Mining and quarrying 13 1.1 Agriculture and fisheries 5 0.4 n = 1211 The south east of England and East Anglia is the base for 28.6% of the respondents (353), while the Midlands contributed another 25% (309) followed by the north west with 12.6% (155) and the north east with 10% (123). Just over 9% of practition- ers polled (113) are in the south west of England, while 7.1% (88) are in Scotland — slightly higher than last year’s 5% — and 6.1% (75) are in Wales. Northern Ireland provided just 17 responses; 1.4% of the total. Almost two-fifths of participants (461) work in organisations the government would class as small or medium-sized enterprises, because they have fewer than 250 employ- ees. At the far end, around a third (34.1% or 421) work for employers with workforces of 1000 or more. Fig 8. Salary satisfaction Are you paid enough? Is the profession paid enough? Too much 0.5% Not enough 39% Enough 60.2% Too much 0.2% Not enough 48% Enough 51.8% n=1137 Perhaps many public sector practitioners feel that since the 111,000 public sector jobs shed in 2010 did not include theirs, they have been spared