UK charity workers are paid as much as 32 per cent below other sectors nationally and up to 50 per cent below other sectors in London according to an annual salary survey carried out by Croner and NCVO.

The 28th edition of the Charity Rewards survey of pay and benefits in the charity sector, surveyed over 250 UK charities and over 40,000 employees.

Other key findings from the survey found that on average executive pay is 30 per cent below other sectors and the cheapest places to employ charity staff are in the West Midlands and Scotland, all of which pay between 10 per cent to 12 per cent below the national median.

Although in the 12 months from April 2016 to April 2017, the average increase in basic salary was substantially better than in the public sector, charity workers in support roles were among those who received the lowest increase: just 0.1 per cent.

According to Croner Reward benchmarking expert Clare Parkinson, the biggest disparity is in salaries pay.

Clare Parkinson said:

“As in previous surveys, pay in the charity sector is well below that of other sectors. “Looking at the whole country, pay for chief executives in charities averages £82,423, which is 30 per cent below the all sector median of £166,516.

“London-based charities are paying seriously below the London all-sector average at director and senior executive level, by 31 per cent to 50 per cent.”

There also remains a stark contrast with charity pay in the regions. Charity workers living in London earn on average £34,124, compared with workers in the West Midlands, who earn an average of £28,600. Those in Scotland earn £28,420, on average.

Within charities the highest paid director jobs are in IT, followed by science and finance. While at junior management level the highest earners are in purchasing and supply, specialist, and information services.

Clare said:

“Croner Reward is one of the most accurate and knowledgeable benchmarking resources in the UK, which charities can utilise to set their pay and benefits packages for employees.

“This ensures that charities are able to recruit and retain the right staff, which is essential to the success of every great charity.”

Karl Wilding, head of policy and communications at NCVO, said:

“Looking ahead, NCVO’s members report concerns about the potential impact of Brexit in relation to recruiting staff.”

“For some, including medical research charities, this is an issue relating to the highly skilled, such as research scientists. For others in areas such as social care, this relates to lower skilled roles.”

“These pressures may indeed come to pass. Others argue that the tighter controls on migration may finally force employers to confront what many argue has been the UK’s poor record on skills and training.”

“In these changing, uncertain times, we will need good quality labour market information more than ever.”

Other key stats:

  • Average UK charity sector salary: £32,673
  • Increase in basic medium pay in the past 12 months: +3.5 per cent
  • Highest pay increase by middle managers: +3.9 per cent
  • Highest paying charitable activity: £39,944, 22 per cent above the national average
  • Highest earnings movement: the arts at +12.6 per cent since 2016
  • Croner Reward survey results from 252 charities, 10,287 job recordings, involving 41,017 employees.