Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


CSR staff feel content and secure in their jobs

February 2009

At the beginning of last year EP announced the findings from its first ever CSR salary survey, carried out jointly with recruitment agency Acre Resources and the consultancy Acona. This month sees publication of results from the 2008/09 survey, which contains data on a number of new areas, as well as allowing comparisons with last year.

A confidential questionnaire drew responses in late 2008 from 354 UK-based practitioners, among them 127 from the FTSE350, 96 from consultancies, and 28 from law firms.

New questions in this year’s survey covered issues including job satisfaction and security. Perhaps surprisingly in the current economic climate, 15 per cent of respondents felt ‘more secure’ in their jobs now than in the past, while 55 per cent felt just as secure. Around 30 per cent, however, described themselves as ‘less secure’, and there was some evidence that CSR budgets in companies might be shrinking slightly, with 12 per cent fewer companies holding corporate responsibility budgets of £200,000 ($292,000) or more.

Earnings for respondents may also be under pressure, at least at the top end of the scale. Salaries of more than £80,000 accounted for only 12 per cent of respondents this year, compared with 15 per cent last year. On the other hand, salaries under £40,000 increased by around six per cent on last year’s figure.

Consultants continue to earn less than in-house practitioners, with a median salary £10,000 less than their company personnel counterparts, again contradicting the perception of many company-based professionals in the field that a move into consultancy is the path to greater riches. The median salary figure in this year’s survey was £45–50,000 for company personnel, and £35–40,000 for consultants.

Likewise, this year’s survey confirms that women are less well-paid than men: only 27 per cent of individuals earning above £120,000 were female,
despite the greater proportion of women respondents this year.

Once again, FTSE350 companies offer the best terms to employees, particularly on bonuses, with more than a quarter receiving over £10,000 in benefits and only 15 per cent getting nothing. This year’s survey asked, for the first time, for details of benefits packages, and found that almost half of in-house practitioners receive a company car or car allowance, while three quarters have private medical cover. Again, consultants fared less well in this area.

In terms of training, only 11 per cent of respondents possessed some kind of professional CSR qualification, either saying something about the attraction of ongoing professional development, or suggesting that those who have signed up to one of the burgeoning number of CSR-related courses have yet to come through the system.

The figure for job satisfaction of around 80 per cent suggests that the personal interest and commitment of workers in the sector – and the perceived opportunity to ‘make a difference’ – means CSR professionals feel positive about their jobs. This is also supported by the huge proportion of professionals saying they would recommend corporate responsibility as a career, standing at 97 per cent.

Ethical Performance | UK & NI Ireland | CSR


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