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IP Salary Review Blog

It’s fair to say that most employees expect to receive a salary review each year. The trickier part of this is that a review does not necessarily equate to an increase and even if it does, exactly what that increase should be can be a bit of a minefield.

The way that salaries are reviewed within the IP sector varies significantly. Some businesses will offer employees a predetermined increase relating entirely to years of professional experience (or an individual’s exam status if they are still training) meaning that each employee at that level will be earning exactly the same base salary. Of course, depending on whether a bonus is offered and how that bonus is calculated, high performing individuals will still have the opportunity to influence and improve on their overall financial take home pay

Other businesses will review on a much more individual basis, taking into account what that employee has contributed to the business and achieved over the last 12 months. Arguably, this could be far more subjective but it could also allow the employee to have considerably more direct impact on what they are earning. The difficulty here is that although employee salary information is intended to be confidential, colleagues talk and an employee finding out that they are being paid significantly less than their peer (and not understanding / agreeing with the reasons for that difference), can lead to a feeling of being undervalued and disillusioned.

There was concern from some of our clients earlier in the year that as historically they had reviewed salaries year on year, continually confirming increases even if marginal to long-serving employees, they were now in a position where some salaries were hugely out of kilter in comparison to what that individual would be worth in terms of the wider, external market. There has been talk from some businesses about the capping of salaries, most notably support salaries, and instead differentiating and rewarding strong performance via a bonus instead. It is too early yet to comment on the impact of this: however, if it is successful, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this filtering across to attorneys as well.

Although there are lots of factors that determine how satisfied an employee feels about their employer, the amount they are being paid and what they personally feel about this will always be a point of consideration. The annual IP Salary Survey that Sacco Mann compile and publish is designed to give an overview of averages within the sector but of course it cannot reflect the situation and nuances of every single employer and every single employee within the profession. What we can do however is offer an individual, confidential discussion with you, about your situation, whether you are an employee or employer and offer bespoke, expert advice owing to our vast, day-to-day exposure to the market. Our 2017 IP Salary Survey is now live we hope you find it useful but should you require any more detail, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0113 245 3338.


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