Has base pay changed within the last 12 months? “No” says Darnton. “Last year we reported small increases in some areas, but on the whole average pay remained static. 2017 was, and 2018 is likely to be, no different. The reality sounds harsh but architecture and design remains an undervalued industry, when compared to other jobs and sectors which require their employees to have a similar level of professional qualifications, and this won’t change any time soon.”
There is no doubt that businesses are doing their best to pay their employees as much as possible as highlighted by the fact that 60% of employees received a pay rise in the last 12 months, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year. “It’s encouraging to see employers addressing the pent up frustration of static pay in 2015 & 16” says Darnton. 75% of employees with 6-9 years’ experience received a pay rise, followed by 63% of employees with 3-5 years’ experience. However, in 2017 47% of junior employees and those with more than 10 years’ experience saw no increase in pay.
Bonuses were also on the move with 42% receiving one, up from 35% in 2016. Again those with 6-9 years’ experience received more bonuses than other experience categories, with 58% receiving a bonus followed by 42% of 3-5 years’ experience, 40% with more than 10 years’ experience and just 27% of those with less than 2 years’ experience. “These statistics tell us that employers are protecting their most valuable asset. Losing someone with 6-9 years’ experience is tough for a business to cope with and replacing them with someone else is typically very difficult to do, especially quickly. Companies are reacting to this fact by paying them more.” Although there is little sector wide structure to paying overtime, employees aren’t working as much of it. “Employers have become more aware of the negativity associated with employees working unpaid overtime and are addressing this” says Darnton. “Discretionary as well as formal Time Off In Lieu policies are increasingly common in 2017, some have made unpaid overtime more palatable through paying for a taxi home and an evening meal too.”