Do You Know How Much Your Boss Earns?

Speculation about salaries is a common topic of workplace chatter. And there's one topic that often stirs up particular emotions: how much does the boss earn?

Whispering picture from Shutterstock

A recent survey by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters suggests that 28 per cent of Australian professionals know (or at least claim to know) how much their boss earns. If you're part of a public company, that information might be on the record for the CEO. For IT roles, you might be able to make an educated guess with our salary roundups. And maybe you're just a big ol' gossip.

However you found out, we're curious:


    You shouldn't care how much any of your colleagues are getting paid, including your boss. Because it's none of your business.

      While I understand what you're saying. It sort of is your business.

      Luckily I can work out what everyone is on based on FBLR. Yay for consulting and knowing what everyone is worth.

        How is it "sort of" your business?

        Unless you actually work in HR or finance, you shouldn't care what your colleagues earn.

          So you'd be happy to do the exact same work as your equally qualified colleagues for $10,000 less than they get? Your boss must love you.

            I wouldn't care.

            It's really none of my business how much my other colleagues earn. And it's especially not my business how much my boss earns.

              I'm guessing you also turn down pay rises, then. Feel free to send me as much of your salary as you like, seeing as you don't care about money.

                I fail to see the correlation between not caring what my colleagues earn and not caring about money to the point where I wouldn't accept pay rises.

                Of course I'll accept a payrise if it's offered to me. But what my colleagues earn has nothing to do with that decision.

                  If you could be earning more for the work you're already doing, you're turning down money already. So by claiming you "don't care" what your colleagues earn, you're saying you don't care if you get paid less, ergo you are refusing money.


                  Again, that's a bit of a stretch. I already said that I wouldn't turn down a payrise, but what my colleagues earn would have nothing to do with that decision. They could be offering me the same, or less, or more...but to me, if I don't know what my colleagues earn, I don't care.

                  I can see why you'd want to know this information. To me, it's not important, and never has been.

                  It's especially not important to me what my boss earns, considering they are doing a completely different job, and I wouldn't have a job in the first place if it wasn't for them.

                  Last edited 05/09/14 8:48 am

                  It's not a stretch at all. What you're essentially doing is being offered a job with a salary of $50,000 and offering to do it for $40,000. I'd say you should come and work for me, but you might be a bit too stupid for that.

      Salaries should be absolutely transparent, i.e. everyone should know what everyone else is earning, maybe not to the exact figure, but at least know it's within a given range. This helps ensure that employees who are on equal levels and doing equal work are getting equal pay. It's totally your business if your colleague is earning significantly more than you for the same work.

      Last edited 01/09/14 1:58 pm

    Where's the button for, "Yes, and I wish I didn't, because ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?"


    public service salaries are pretty common knowledge. or... easy to find, at least.

    My boss, no, his boss, yes. And nothing pisses me off more when he gets a million dollar pay rise, and I don't even get CPI...

    Needs an option for, "Yes, because I'm the payroll accountant."

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