Voluntary sector sees the salary gap close up

The pay gap between the voluntary and commercial sector is closing, but still stands at up to 28 per cent in some locations, according to a survey by salary researchers Croner Reward.

Latest pay rises in the charity sector averaged about 3 per cent, but pay discrepancies remain, with head of function charity posts in London commanding 27.6 per cent less than their counterparts in the private sector.

Head-of-function staff in charities average £38,786 compared with the commercial sector's £53,560, while senior managers earn 21.4 per cent less.

Charity chief executives in London average £61,774, compared with £77,035 for those in the commercial sector. Yet nationally the gap is wider, at 23 per cent, with voluntary sector chief executives earning £55,426 compared with £72,058, the latest survey found.

Charity middle managers working in the property division have seen salaries jump by up to 15 per cent to £27,706, while finance and IT professionals and senior scientists earn £39,331 and £43,091 respectively.

The results were gleaned from information provided in June by 279 charities employing 82,435 UK staff - about 15 per cent of the sector's paid workforce - in 7,738 different jobs.

Croner Reward director Vivienne Copeland said the diminishing pay gap was a continuing trend. She added: "It is pleasing to see that charities are realising they can't rely solely on the good cause to attract and retain staff. Over the past few years the lower-level jobs have been brought in line with the market."

She added: "The feeling in the sector is that charities have to be run more like a business, and pay levels should reflect that."

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