Coming into effect of the duty to indicate the amount or range of the offered salary in job adverts left both employers and potential employees baffled. The latter are still unclear about what salary is in fact offered, and employers are racking their brains about ways to fulfil the requirement and remain attractive.
According to Rūta Didikė, an employment attorney-at-law of Magnusson Lithuania, the resulting questions can be classified into five key categories about which the employers, employees and recruitment specialists feel uncertain.
1. “Take home” or gross pay?
Is the salary you are seeing in a job advert after or before taxes? The attorney-at-law maintains that in this case it is not the indicated amount that matters, but elimination of ambiguities.
“The Labour Code does not provide a specific answer, so I would say that it is up to the employer. The employer may publish either of the amounts, and I am certain that it would not be a violation in any event. Yet it is very important to state clearly which amount is indicated. Technically speaking, the full salary should be published, i.e. the one which would be indicated in the employment contract. Realistically, we all understand that people care about the “take home” pay. That is why, I would not see a problem or a violation of law, if this form of salary is indicated in a job advert,” explained Ms Didikė.
2. What should be done with benefits and bonuses?
Another perplexing puzzle is whether the indicated salary includes likely benefits and bonuses, or whether it is the starting base salary.
“This issue has become quite a conundrum for employers. How to indicate the salary where a substantial part of it may vary or depend on performance? It is particularly relevant for those who work in the sales, are managers, and for numerous other professions. If we look at the law, it requires specifying the fixed part or, to put it differently, obligates to publish the salary which the employee would certainly receive irrespective of his/her efficiency, meeting the employer’s expectations, or achieving specific targets,” says the attorney-at-law.
Having chosen this option, the employers can be certain that they will not violate the Labour Code, yet they risk of becoming less attractive to potential, highly-qualified job applicants.
“The aim is to help a person to see the guaranteed minimum amount instead of bonuses or the varying part depending on performance. A practice is developing to indicate both the base amount and the likely monthly salary with benefits. It is definitely a logical solution from the employer’s perspective, and is also quite informative to the employee. The latter can see the scope of his/her prospects,” maintains Ms Didikė.
3. Range or specific amount?
A possibility to indicate a certain range rather than a specific amount is set forth in the Labour Code.
“Publishing the likely brackets of the salary is certainly allowed, as stated by the Labour Code. In fact, there are no restrictions for amounts within the brackets. That is why, we sometimes see really broad ranges of salaries in job adverts. Naturally, a very extensive range can hardly seem attractive and informative to an employee. Yet I would suggest regarding it as the framework for potential negotiations over the salary. It should be understood that the salary is still negotiated within the indicated range,” advises the representative of Magnusson.
4. Salary is the matter of negotiations
Some employees wonder if the indicated specific amount implies the wage ceiling.
“It seems that the indicated specific amount means the lowest limit, and it is likely that the salary will be increased rather than decreased in negotiations. In fact, it is important to understand that the specified amount is not set in stone, and I would certainly see no violation if the employer manages to agree with the employee on a different pay than indicated in the job advert. The requirement is to specify salary details, and once it is done, the requirement has been met. The process of negotiations and their results are a different matter,” explains the attorney-at-law.
If the interview or negotiations result in an agreement on the amount which differs from the one in the job advert, it is important for the employer to justify objectively and rationally why a lower salary was offered.
“Given an agreement and specific arguments supporting it, a deviation from the amount specified in the job advert is not treated as a violation. Though an exception might apply if a consistent abuse is determined. Let’s say the company advertises that it is offering a “take home” salary of EUR 1,000, but whoever comes to work in that position is paid EUR 700. In that case, the employer can reasonably expect attention of the State Labour Inspectorate, and employees should know that they can complain about such conduct to relevant authorities,” Ms Didikė reminds.
5. When to indicate a class or category
Another example when a specified salary is merely a formality is a job advert with an indicated qualification class and category based on which the salary is calculated also applying the principles set out in the Law on Civil Service. According to the expert, this option is applicable only for vacancies of civil servants.
“The Labour Code does not provide for any exceptions when the salary details may remain unpublished in job adverts. But it is important to understand that the Labour Code concerns the area of employment, and work in civil service is not subject to employment relation. It is regulated by the Law on Civil Service. Accordingly, the requirement to publish the specific amount or a range of salary for a position of the civil servant is not mandatory,” maintains the attorney-at-law.
However, not only civil servants work in civil service, but also employees working under employment contracts. The requirements of the Labour Code are applicable with respect to the latter.
“That is why, the state institutions which are looking to recruit employees rather than civil servants must publish salary details. And they should definitely contain specific numbers instead of qualification classes or categories,” Ms Didikė points out.
Published according to 2019-09-26 press release
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