Pay: The last workplace taboo?

In Why are we secretive over salaries? (BBC News: Magazine) Finlo Rohrer looks at why it would not be unusual to hear people talk of anything from sex to the details of the contents of a colleague's baby's nappy, yet at the same situation salary details are almost always off limits.

Later on it is stated that finance, construction and manufacturing are among the worst offenders, with employers desperate to conceal that inexperienced workers can be on more than experienced colleagues as vacancies have proved difficult to fill. Further, the issue of why employees may wish to prevent others from knowing their pay is mentioned.

However, the most important to question come from this is whether what people are paid is a private issue, or, in certain instances there is a deliberate attempt to exploit the many advantages that comes with being able to keep certain things secret.

In Britain it is clearly a combination of the two, but when some workers (most notably females) may be put at a significant disadvantage because of not being to make clear comparisons then there must be something wrong. After all, how can anyone make a claim that employment is based on the principles of free marketeering and meritocracy if most workers are starved of crucial information?

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