65% of UK staff would take pay cut for better job

pay cut better jobTwo-thirds (65%) of UK employees would be prepared to take a pay cut for a better job, according to research by Indeed.

The global hiring platform’s Better work 2023 report, which surveyed more than 5,000 workers, also found that the mean pay cut respondents would be willing to take is 9.2%, which equates to £3,036 less per annum based on an average salary of £33,000.

A four-day work week (28%), better work-life balance (25%) and more flexible-working opportunities (17%) were the most frequently cited reasons why individuals would take a pay cut.

Flexible hours are a top sign of a progressive employer according to 41%, behind remote and hybrid work (30%), and much higher than more inclusive hiring (13%). Meanwhile, fair pay (39%), flexible hours (36%) and job security (31%) are the top reasons that 89% think they have a good job, whereas 24% said it is because of where they can work.

One-third (33%) said flexible hours as the default is the future of better work, with 28% believing the future of better work means people working fewer hours with improved productivity and 30% stating a four-day work week will be the norm.

Women are more likely than men to say that flexible-working opportunities are important, at 63% and 57% respectively, while ethnic minority staff are more likely to feel the need for flexible-working options than white employees, at 67% and 59%.

Danny Stacy, UK head of talent intelligence at Indeed, said: “While workers wanting fair pay is unsurprising, the desire for flexibility also points to the growing expectation that employers design jobs that allow better work-life balance, with many even willing to sacrifice pay for this. Our research shows that policies like flexible hours or a four-day work week are becoming increasingly important to workers. The research underscores that for a business to be viewed as progressive by workers and jobseekers, flexibility is a defining factor.”