A new survey by Glassdoor, a jobs and careers community, reveals that 39 percent of UK employees1 will look for a new job if they don’t get a pay rise in the next 12 months. This means that potentially 12 million people2 could be changing jobs this year, which could have a huge impact on retention and recruitment costs for UK businesses. Recent research shows3, each vacancy costs the average employer £30,000, primarily in lost productivity. If all 12 million employees moved jobs, this would be a total potential cost of £360 billion in recruitment and loss of productivity for UK employers.

Almost half of employees (48%) who are confident of a pay rise are expecting an increase of 2 percent or less. However, this is four times the UK’s current rate of inflation at 0.5 percent4.

The  Glassdoor UK Employment Confidence Survey5, conducted online by Harris Interactive among UK employees, monitors four key indicators of employee confidence: job security, salary expectations, job market optimism/re-hire probability and business outlook optimism.

Expectations of a salary increase have held steady for a year now, with 35 percent of employees confident of getting a bump in pay. As for how UK employees feel about how their company’s business will perform in the next six months, most employees appear to be cautiously optimistic. More than half of employees (55%) believe their company’s business outlook will stay the same, down four percentage points since last quarter. One in three (34%) employees (including those self-employed) believe their company’s business outlook will improve in the next six months, which is up from 32 percent last quarter. Only one in ten (11%) believe it will get worse.

“With around half of employees not expecting a pay rise and a third saying they’ll be looking for new jobs if they don’t get one, it seems like many employees are prepared to move on,” said Jon Ingham, Glassdoor career and workplace expert. “If these 12 million workers are on the look out for better opportunities, expect this to spark a flurry of job moves, which is good for recruiters, but bad for employers’ bottom line.”

For employees whose company had made negative changes in the workplace over the past quarter, 36 percent said that their employer had reduced pay or bonuses, up from 27 percent in Q3. Interestingly, for employees whose company had made positive changes in the workplace over the past quarter, 49 percent said that employers had awarded new company benefits, such as remote or flexible working.

Redundancy fears amongst the UK workforce have fluctuated significantly over the past year, with 35 percent of employees concerned about redundancies in the next six months. This compares to 19 percent for Q314 and 29 percent for Q214. However, there is no evidence to suggest that more employers have communicated redundancy plans or initiated hiring freezes – in fact these figures have dropped.

Thirty percent of employees and those self-employed say they would be able to find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels in the next six months, broadly consistent with the previous three quarters.


1 For the purposes of this study “employees” were defined as GB adults 16+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.

http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/january-2015/sty-labour-market-statistics–january-2015.html 39% of 30.8m people = 12,012,000



The Q4 2014 survey of 2,042 people was conducted online within Great Britain by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor from 7-12 January, 2015. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr@glassdoor.com.