Downturn squeezes pay for charity staff

Charity Finance Directors' Group salary survey predicts tougher times for finance teams

Charity staff pay affected by downturn
Charity staff pay affected by downturn

Half of the charities that took part in a survey by the Charity Finance Directors’ Group did not give a general pay rise to their staff in 2010 and more than half said they did not expect to do so in 2011.

Just over a quarter of 362 respondents to the CFDG Salary Survey Report 2011, which is published today, said they rewarded staff in some other way in 2010, usually by one-off, unconsolidated payments.

The survey of CFDG members, conducted in January and February, found that the downturn was affecting charity finance professionals, who received a mean average pay rise in 2010 of 1.1 per cent. This was similar across organisations of all sizes.

"It is evident from the survey data that things are tough for charity finance teams and look set to get tougher," Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the CFDG, said in her introduction to the report.

The survey reveals the mean annual basic salary of a finance director is £63,600, compared with £50,449 for a head of human resources and £49,625 for a head of IT.

It also found growing concerns about work-life balance. Only 13 per cent of respondents said they had an "excellent" work-life balance, down from 44 per cent in the previous year, although the proportion who ranked their work-life balance as "good" rose from 32 per cent to 47 per cent.

The survey uncovered evidence of a "long hours culture" in the sector, particularly among larger organisations, with 85 per cent of respondents working more than their contracted hours.

"The vast majority report that they regularly work longer than their contracted hours, the majority without any compensation in the form of payment or time off in lieu," the report said. "This is likely to have contributed to the decline in ratings of work-life balance."

Nevertheless, job satisfaction was high, with 84 per cent saying they were very or fairly satisfied with their current jobs.

The survey found that two-thirds of employees in finance departments were women but two-thirds of finance directors were men. Bradshaw said the data showed there was scope for more flexible working.

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