Finances and pay

Our approach to pay

This information is correct as at April 2021.

In April 2021 we employed 370 people based:

  • in our offices in Belfast, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Glasgow and London
  • 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. 98% 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 bias. We have also recently signed up to the ‘Show the Salary’ campaign, committing to publish salary details on all of our job advertisements.

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.

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 number of roles paid a basic gross full time equivalent salary of more than £60,000 a year. 20 roles are paid at least £60,000 a year, and 10 of these roles are members of the Organisational Leadership Team.

This information is correct as at April 2021.

FTE salary banding Numbers of postholders Management Level
£60,000–£64,999 9 Senior Manager
£65,000–£69,999 1 Senior Manager
£85,000–£89,999 2 Organisational leadership team
£90,000–£94,999 3 Organisational leadership team
£95,000–£99,999 1 Organisational leadership team
£100,000–£104,999 3 Organisational leadership team
£123,885 Acting Chief Executive Officer Organisational leadership team


  • One of the above postholders works part-time, therefore their actual salary is lower than the salary banding shown in the table.
  • Where no individuals fall within a £5,000 band in the table above the band is not included.

Our pay ratios

Our highest paid employee receives a gross annual pay of £123,885. Based on April 2021 payroll reports, our lowest actual salary is £18,665 (2020: £16,380) and mean average salary is £36,895 (2020: £36,612). The median average salary is £34,080 (2020: £33,670). The salary of the highest paid employee has significantly reduced. This is because temporary arrangements are in place following the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer. The salary of the lowest paid employee has significantly increased (due to no student placements this year). This means that our highest paid employee earns 6.6 times more than our lowest paid employee (2020: 8.9), 3.4 times more than our mean average salary (2020: 4) and 3.6 times more than our median average salary (2020: 4.3). The gap between our highest paid employee and our mean and median salaries has reduced in comparison with the previous two years.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: pay ratios

We are committed to equality, 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 always strive to employ the best person for the job and ensure that the benchmarked salary is visible at the point of recruitment advertising.

Gender pay ratio

We support greater transparency around the reporting of gender pay differences.

For more information on our gender pay ratios please see our 2021 gender pay report (PDF, 435 KB). This information is correct as of April, in line with the gender pay gap snap shot requirements. Our 2022 gender pay gap report will be published in March 2023.

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 ethnicity pay ratio’s following new HR System implementation, anticipated by April 2022.

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