If you are happy in your role but feel like your skills are being undervalued, it might be time to ask for a pay rise. Asking your employer to improve your pay can feel like one of the most awkward things in the world, but without this approach some of us might feel completely unappreciated in our jobs and feel unfulfilled and unhappy in the long-term. When this starts to seep into everyday life and how we live at home with our loved ones, family and friends it can cause all sorts of problems, including low self-worth, anxiety, stress and other mental health problems. Asking for a pay rise is your right, should you feel that you have performed consistently over a period of time, so here we are going to look at a few tips as to how to go about it.

The first things to do is to research your industry, your company and competitors to see whether or not you are actually being underpaid for what you do. We’ve seen a lot in the media in recent months of pay rises for NHS staff, or lack of in real terms, but knowing your value is something that we should all have the confidence to investigate, no matter the industry that we work in. You have no legal entitlement to a salary increase every year, but any good company will try to offer small increases in salary every year to maintain good staff morale and to keep the best workers happy and content to stay with the company for the long-haul.

It is also important to remember that you cannot be fired for asking for a pay rise. This is the law, and if you are dismissed shortly after asking for a pay rise, and you believe this was a primary reason, you can seek unfair dismissal through an employment tribunal.

The best way to be successful when asking for a pay rise is to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the person who matters. Although you may think that a written request is more above board and professional sounding, it is harder to turn down a pay rise request in person. If you do find agreement from your employer, you should always ask for it in writing once the meeting has concluded. A good time to ask for a pay rise is during your annual personal performance assessment, especially if you have demonstrated high and consistent performance levels and are showered with praise by your superior.

Things are complicated somewhat right now by the impact of the coronavirus and lockdown. For some people, asking for a pay rise during Covid has just not been the right time without putting the job at risk, whilst for others it has seemed the perfect time to clear the air and to negotiate new terms and working conditions. This has especially been the case for those people who might be working from home full-time or part-time for the foreseeable future. A new contract and pay rise might well be justified.

If you are not getting anywhere with your current employers and do not feel like your salary expectations are being met, or, indeed, that your expertise and performance in the job role is being met by a deserved salary, it could be time to look for other work entirely. This is where it pays off to find a recruitment agency that speaks your language, has your best interests at heart and will match your skills and expectations with a new employer who values your worth, can match your salary expectations and give you the chance to move up the ladder and personally develop over the coming years.