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#TimeForChange: BVA urges vet teams to talk about pay

British Veterinary Association

2 min read Partner content

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging veterinary employers and employees to get better at tackling one of the UK’s most famously awkward conversations – pay – using a new member resource, launched today (17 February). The guide, Talking about pay in the veterinary professions, is designed to support veterinary workplaces in improving pay transparency and facilitating effective conversations about pay for the whole team.

New statistics from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession Spring 2022 survey show that while veterinary work is often seen as a vocation, when it comes to choosing a job 77% of vets list pay among their top five priorities. Other key deciders include geographical location (74%), area of practice (62%), low staff turnover (45%) and structured career progression (28%). However only 42% of vets who responded to the survey considered their pay and benefits to be either ‘good’, ‘very good’, or ‘excellent’.

BVA President Malcolm Morley, said: “Fair, transparent and equal pay is one of the keystones of good veterinary workplaces. Whether you’re an employee, a manager or an employer, it’s vital that everyone feels confident that their workplace approaches pay in a clear and consistent way. This isn’t about paying everyone more; it’s about using objective criteria and transparent pay scales to ensure the whole team understands how decisions about reward and recognition are made and what they can do to access higher pay.”

The new resource, created for BVA members as part of our Good Veterinary Workplaces campaign, includes information for veterinary employers on the benefits a clear pay structure can bring for the whole team. It demonstrates the positive impact transparency around reward and recognition can have on employee fulfilment and retention, and outlines the legal requirements of employers to ensure that pay is equitable.

It also offers tips for employees and managers for approaching conversations about pay and emphasises the importance of considering ‘total reward’ during these conversations. Total reward is the entire sum of a job’s offering including, but not limited to, salary, commission structure, benefits package, CPD, work/life balance, promotion opportunities, travel expenses, accommodation, and so on.

Malcolm added: “We know that pay can be a fraught, and even somewhat taboo, subject but it is one that we all have a responsibility to tackle if we want to ensure that veterinary professionals are fairly rewarded for their work. We hope that this new guide will support all our members and equip them with the knowledge required to ensure they can confidently navigate conversations about pay.”

The resource will be available to BVA members online at https://www.bva.co.uk/talking-pay accompanied by a series of blogs, further exploring the challenges and benefits of talking about pay and reward in veterinary workplaces.

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