Perks as important as pay, say Brits earning under £30k

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Perks, such as flexibility and leniency when it comes to breaks, are just as important as pay for Brits who earn less than £30,000, according to a new report by Gumtree.

The report looks at the UK’s “hidden heroes”, workers earning on about £16,403 a year, to reveal workforce’s biggest drivers and challenges.

Despite making less than the average UK salary for those in full-time work, these hidden heroes are not necessarily motivated by money, and put a higher value on other aspects of working life, the report suggests.

Nearly half (45%) said they were happier in jobs where they were given learning and development opportunities. And over a third (36%) want more flexibility with their working hours, with over a quarter (26%) saying their working hours already aren’t the typical nine to five.

Take home pay

The report revealed the average annual salary of the hidden heroes workforce is £16,403 – well under the national average of £30,000 per annum.

Gender pay disparity is evident, too, with men earning about £18,336 and women just £14,927.

Surprisingly, older workers (65+) earn nearly £3,000 more than their generation Z counterparts, at £16,046 compared with £13,339. This is reflective of their overall job satisfaction and desire to stay in the workforce, the report claims.

Half of women earn less than £15,000, compared with just a quarter of men. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Half (47%) of these workers claim they value benefits alongside a pay rise.

Despite this, over a third (35%) are unsure or worried about being able to pay the bills, and almost three quarters (72%) would not be able to afford to pay a large unexpected bill.

Overall, more than half (54%) of workers surveyed feel underpaid.

And 46% of women earn less than £15,000, compared with just a quarter (26%) of their male counterparts.

Generational divide

Older people generally are happier at work than their younger counterparts.

Over half (54%) of people aged 65 and above are content with their working life, suggesting businesses need to refresh their policies to also address the needs of younger workers.

By contrast, only one in 10 (11%) of those aged 25 to 34 are happy with their job, and six in 10 (58%) want a pay rise as they feel they are not being compensated enough.

Sports, fitness and leisure workers are the happiest. Photo: Form/Unsplash

Millennials are the most likely to feel overqualified. Almost half (45%) of 25- to 34-year-olds think their talents were being wasted in their current role.

Half (49%) of hospitality and catering workers feel overqualified, the highest proportion of each industry.

Meanwhile, sports, fitness and leisure is the happiest industry. An overwhelming 85% of employees from this sector said they look forward to going to work every day.

On the other hand, just 61% of customer services workers enjoy their job.

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Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd said the report report “reflects how skills and training are vital to sustain our thriving employment rate”.

“We in government are committed to helping these working heroes through increased learning and development opportunities, as well as improving diversity and inclusivity and reducing gender disparity in the workplace,” she said.