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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi, I'm recently approached by a headhunter for a job opportunity

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Hi, I'm recently approached by a headhunter for a job opportunity and after passing the interviews we are currently negotiating the offer. I've been pushed by both the HR lady and the headhunter to reveal my current salary in order to 'make me an attractive offer'. I wonder if I'm really obliged to provide such information to potential employer? Besides, I see 'strictly confidential' on my current compensation package statement, and has been using this as a reason to refuse to disclose. Am I breaching my agreement with current employer if I orally give a number to the new employer? Many thanks for your help!!
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Apart from the confidential aspect of the contract are there other reasons you do not want to disclose the salary?

Because it is pretty obvious to me that the headhunter will try to make an offer with the lowest possible salary rate based on my current income. The only reason the HR lady gave so far for requesting such info is that if they are to pay out a big one-off payment to compensate my loss of this year's bonus(as my bonus is paid at end of financial year and moving job now means a loss of bonus thus far). However she didn't specify how big this bonus compensation need to be to ask for my current salary level. This headhunter approached me with a salary level. But once I passed all interviews, he turned around and say that level that attempted me to go for the interview is only an 'up-to' figure. Instead of offering what he 'advertised' to me, he now persists on getting my current salary level to make an offer. I just want to find out in financial industry in London, is it really standard practice to reveal current salary in offer negotiation or is the headhunter just bluffing? The headhunter even asks to see my P60, or a photocopy of it with part of the info blocked out to make me feel comfortable. I however still feel very uncomfortable and am seeking your kind advice. My next step will hinge on your kind reply. Many thanks!

Ben Jones : Hi, you cannot be forced to disclose your current salary but at the same time if they do not have the information they want they could simply refuse to make you an offer. There is no obligation on them to take this matte any further and if they believe that in the circumstances, where they do not have the information they need, they do not want to make an offer then the potential outcome is that they refuse to do so. No one can guess if that is what will happen but it is a risk, assuming this is an important factor for them. A lawyer will not be able to tell you whether asking for such details is standard practice in the financial industry, this is something that those working in the industry and making the offers can tell you. Whether they are bluffing or not is something that only they would know. You can consider how important the job is and whether you would actually like to consider it even if the salary was at a lower level based on whaT tour current pay is. If you are keen on it then you can disclose this information. However, if you strongly feel that it is not something that you should disclose you do not have to, but the risk there is that they could decide not to go any further with this, although as mentioned only they know if that is something that may happen.

Hi Ben, thank you so much for your reply! Is there such legal requirement or hurdle in UK that essentially caps a company's ability to offer a maximum percentage increase to a new hire based on his/her previous salary level? Likewise, is there such legal maximum for a company to provide a one-off incentive payment for the job change, particularly to compensate for the accumulative bonus loss up to the date of job change the new hire could have got from previous employer? The headhunter is also asking for my P60 as proof of my income which I find strange, as I believe only P45 is need in the case of a job change. Is this headhunter simply pushing his luck?

Ben Jones : Hi, there are certainly no such caps, an employer can offer you whatever they want, as long as it is above the national Minimum Wage, if you don't like the offer you don't take it, similarly if the employer does not want to offer you anything they do not have to. As to asking for a P60, there is nothing stopping them from doing so, it is not a requirement when starting a job but if they wanted to they can ask for it. Basically the employer can ask you for a whole range of information before deciding on whether to offer you a job or how much to offer you - they can ask, but you do not have to oblige, after that it is open to risks depending on how they actually see the situation and what their feelings are....these only they will know.
Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks


Dear Ben,


Thank you very much for your help! Sorry for the delay in response. Yes I can confirm that I'm very happy with your help and will rate you Excellent.

Ben Jones :

many thanks, ***** ***** best

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