Finances and pay

Our approach to pay

This information is correct as at September 2020.

In September 2020 we employed 367 people based:

  • in our offices in Belfast, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Glasgow and London1
  • at home supporting our volunteers and our work in local communities.

We believe that although the charity sector can’t, and shouldn’t, compete with the commercial sector on pay, we must offer a fair salary for the skills, experience, competencies and behaviours that we need to run a high performing, cost-effective and successful charity.

A new market-based pay system was introduced in January 2019 as part of new Versus Arthritis employment terms. 97% of employees on previous employment terms have since elected to transfer to the new terms and supporting policies.

Our pay policy applies to all job roles within the Charity, including the CEO and Directors. The policy is underpinned by our commitment to pay all employees, including apprentices and interns, at least in line with the real Living Wage/London Living Wage (as determined by the Living Wage Foundation) as well as principles of open transparent communication; fairness; respect and consistency and value for money. Our aim is the effective operation of a fair, straightforward and transparent pay system based on objective criteria and free from gender bias.

To ensure rigour and objectivity we use a specialist reward consultancy to establish the salary for each role based on the value of the role in the external market. The target rate (basic pay) for each role is a spot salary which sits mid-way between the relevant job market median and upper quartile. This position allows the Charity to offer pay that is attractive to talented candidates whilst recognising our principles as a charity.

We conduct a full market benchmarking exercise for all job roles every three years with an annual cost of living pay review in the intervening years. The decision to award any cost of living increase is made by the Board of Trustees taking account of a wide range of different factors including: affordability; overall financial viability and any financial constraints influencing the Charity; our performance as an organisation; the external market and wider economic conditions.

Salary banding Number of employees whose FTE salary falls within banding2
£16,000 - £19,999 7
£20,000 - £24,999 71
£25,000 - £29,999 60
£30,000 - £34,999 58
£35,000 - £39,999 51
£40,000 - £44,999 61
£45,000 - £49,999 16
£50,000 - £54,999 15
£55,000 - £59,999 11
£60,000 - £64,999 7
£65,000 - £69,999 1
£70,000 - £74,999 0
£75,000 - £79,999 0
£80,000 - £84,999 0
£85,000 - £89,999 1
£90,000 - £94,000 2
£95,000 - £99,999 1
£100,000 - £104,999 3
£105,000 - £109,999 1
£145,000 - £149,999 1


1 Most of our people are working from home in line with Coronavirus guidance.

2 As at September 2020.

Senior management pay

As with all job roles the salary for each Director role is established and reviewed in accordance with our Versus Arthritis pay policy.

We think it is important to publish the details of all roles paid a basic gross full-time equivalent salary of more than £60,000 a year. Where senior posts referenced are part-time roles, the actual salary is lower than the salary banding in the table below.

This information is correct as at September 2020, following full implementation of a new senior leadership structure.

FTE salary banding Job title Gender
£60,000 - £64,999 Head of Finance and Procurement F
  Income Transformational Lead M
  Head of Mass Market Fundraising F
  Head of Data M
  Head of Digital F
  Head of High Value Partnerships F
  Head of Services F
£65,000 - £69,999 Head of Policy and Public Affairs F
£85,000 - £89,999 Director of Finance and Procurement3 F
£90,000 - £94,999 Director of Involvement, Influencing and Support  M
  Director of People and Organisational Development F
£95,000 - £99,999 Director of Income* F
£100,000 - £104,999 Director of Recognition, Brand and Activation* F
  Director of Research* M
  Director of Insight, Data and Technology F
£105,000 - £109,999 Director of Planning and Operations F
£145,000 - £149,999 Chief Executive Officer* M


Where no individuals fall within a £5,000 band in the table above the band is not included.

Roles marked with * are subject to pay protection until 2021 under the charity’s pay policy. These posts have received no pay increase since April 2018.

3 Post holder is part time, therefore actual salary is lower than the full-time equivalent.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion within the workplace and believe that diversity and inclusion are essential elements of a thriving and effective organisation.

We want to cultivate a safe, motivating and inclusive working environment in which our people are treated as individuals who can fully participate and thrive in the organisation, where they feel valued for their contribution and can develop to their full potential and be the best they can be.

We know that recruitment practices within the sector have highlighted inconsistencies and bred inequity, hindering diversity when it comes to publishing the salary.

We always strive to employ the best person for the job and we have signed up to the Show the Salary pledge to demonstrate our commitment to improving recruitment best practice and tackling the salary gap within the charity sector.

Our pay ratios

Our highest paid employee receives a gross annual pay of £145,500. Based on September 2020 payroll reports, our lowest actual salary is £16,380 (2019: £19,201) and mean average salary is £36,612 (2019: £35,554). The median average salary is £33,670 (2019: £31,000). The salary of the highest paid employee has not changed, but the salary of the lowest paid employee has significantly reduced. This is due to the introduction of a student placement this year. This means that our highest paid employee earns 8.9 times more than our lowest paid employee (2019: 7.6), 4 times more than our mean average salary (2019: 4.1) and 4.3 times more than our median average salary (2019: 4.7). The gap between our highest paid employee and our mean and median salaries has reduced in comparison with the previous year.

Gender pay ratio

We support greater transparency around the reporting of gender pay differences and include the gender of employees earning a full-time equivalent salary of more than £60,000 per annum as part of our senior management pay table above.

For more information on our gender pay ratios please see our 2020 gender pay gap information document (PDF, 380 KB). This information is correct as of April, in line with the gender pay gap snap shot requirements. Our 2021 gender pay gap report will be published in March 2022.

Ethnicity pay ratios

We support greater transparency around the reporting of ethnicity pay differences. We are currently developing our system capabilities and aim to report on April 2021 ethnicity pay ratio data next year. We will also include the ethnicity of employees earning a full-time equivalent salary of more than £60,000 per annum as part of our senior management pay table above.

More details on how we’re governed and our finances can be found in our annual report and accounts.