Average UK charity sector pay is 32% less than other sectors

Pay for UK employees working in the charity sector is 32% lower than pay in other sectors nationally and up to 50% less than London-based employees working in other sectors, according to research by Croner and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Its Charity rewards report, which surveyed 252 charities and 41,017 employees, also found that London-based employees who work in the charity sector earn £34,124 a year on average, compared to £28,600 for charity staff living in the West Midlands, and £28,420 for charity sector employees working in Scotland. Pay for West Midlands and Scotland-based charity sector staff is between 10% and 12% below the national median. The average UK charity sector salary is £32,673.

Executive pay in the charity sector is 30% lower than other sectors, and between April 2016 and April 2017, charity sector employees who worked in support roles were among those who received the lowest average increase in basic salary of 0.1%.

The report, now in its 28th year, also found that the increase in basic medium pay in the past 12 months is 3.5%, and the highest pay increase by middle managers is 3.9%.

Clare Parkinson, benchmarking expert at Croner Reward, 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% 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% to 50%.”

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Karl Wilding, head of policy and communications at NCVO, added: “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.”