Young professionals and middle managers in the UK have, over the past year, respectively earned €37,000 and €97,700 on average. Compared to other European countries, the UK takes the 12th spot for young professional pay and the 4spot for middle manager pay. Switzerland offers the best bet for earning big euros in Europe.
Each year, the HR consulting arm of Willis Towers Watson, a global professional services firm, conducts research into the salaries and working conditions of over 50 different professional functions. The study, titled ‘Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report’, is carried out in 60 countries around the world, through which comparisons can be made between regions, countries and functions.
An analysis of the latest data, which builds on the average salaries and working conditions in 2015, shows that young professionals in Switzerland earn as much as 2.5 times that of their colleagues in the UK. With an average annual salary of more than €92,000, Swiss young professionals – defined by the study as graduates on the labour market with 0-1 years of work experience – earn by far the most in Europe. Following, remotely, in second and third place are Denmark and Luxembourg, with average salaries of over €56,500 and €53,000 per year respectively.
The UK tales the 12th spot on the young professionals ranking in Europe, with an average salary of slightly more than €37,000 per year. The UK finds itself just above France, with around €36,900, and just behind the Irish, who garner around €37,400. Spain closes the list of European countries – in the Southern European country, young professionals can on average expect a salary of around €28,900 per year.
In terms of the average annual salary for middle managers, the UK performs considerably better, coming in the 4th spot, taking home an average of almost €97,700. This puts UK middle manager professionals on slightly less than their German counterparts, at €99,000, but considerably more than that of their French counterparts, at €77,900. It is notable that professionals in the UK, on average, go on to earn much more earn as they continue to climb in rank; at the middle rung they earn over 260% of the average annual salary of a young professional.
The Swiss again take the top spot – middle managers in the small mountainous country earn an average of €159,300 per year. The Swiss in fact score highest across all levels in an organisation’s hierarchy, and in most cases, there is even a difference of 20% or more with the numbers two. “That means that Swiss workers, taking into account their tax system and cost of living, have a higher purchasing power than other Europeans,” the researchers said.
Does this mean everyone should be look for employment in, for example, Zurich, Geneva or Basel? Not necessarily, says Tom Hellier, UK Practice Lead Rewards at Willis Towers Watson. "We know from our research that base pay is pivotal for keeping employees engaged at work." But, he says, graduates are, for instance, increasingly interested in non-financial elements in contracts, such as learning and development programmes and flexible-work arrangements.
For organisations, this means that they should, accordingly, keep up their strategic efforts in the areas of recruitment and talent management. “Employers therefore are advised to look at the total package of what they can offer. This is crucial to remain competitive to in a tightening labour market,” concludes Hellier.
* Amounts relate to basic salary including include holiday pay and are calculated on a full time basis. Bonuses are not included in the calculation.