Formal offer received, awaiting to start new job, new HR now asking for current salary?

Hi, I was provisionally offered a new job in December subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks including security clearance. Last Friday, the new company confirmed the checks are all complete, said my offer was now a 'formal offer' rather than a provisional offer, and asked me to start in exactly 4 weeks' time. I asked if I could please have a copy of my contract before handing in my notice, but the HR dept said they couldn't do this until I was 'set up as a new employee' which would take another 8 days, and could I please take the email as confirmation of my formal offer and hand in my notice that day. They also sent me a copy of the company's standard terms and conditions, which they said my contract would mirror anyway.

Having read online that the contract of employment exists as soon as I accepted the formal offer, I was happy to hand my notice in on that basis.

The new company provides a 'salary range' and it was clear in the job advert that external applicants are expected to join on the minimum of this range. I was fine with this and never brought up the salary, as it isn't a massive 'range' anyway and my salary will be higher than it is now, even on the minimum.

However, today I received an email from the new HR saying 'I’m in the process of setting you up as an employee, could you please confirm what your current salary is?'.

I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing my current salary as it is significantly lower than the minimum salary for this new job. I'm quite confident that they wouldn't then lower the salary I'm being offered, as it is a public sector organisation where the salary ranges are already defined. However, I'm worried that it may cause the company to question whether I'm as good as I seemed at interview, if my salary is so much lower currently.

For context, I trained on a graduate scheme in a somewhat similar field, got to a decent position and salary, then decided I wanted to try a different line of work which involved taking quite a big pay cut but I really wanted to give it a go and was in a position to take the salary drop to change paths. I quickly realised that I made a mistake as I just don't feel challenged enough since changing paths, and the progression in the new field is not as straight forward as I'd hoped (the funding has been cut for the training) so I looked for other jobs more similar to my previous role, and found this one. I explained my career decisions in the interview and the panel understood where I was coming from, but I still feel insecure about the salary in my current role and how it will reflect on me if I share it with HR at the new place. I'd rather I didn't have to share it and I'm confident when I'm in post my skills and ability will be able to speak for themselves. I don't think the panel really thought about my current job during my interview, as most of my examples were from my previous job as they were more applicable, so I'm worried that if attention was drawn to my current role which is a lot more junior, they might question whether they want me.

Can anyone advise as to why HR at the new job are asking for my current salary at this stage? I'd understand if they were wanting it to negotiate salary, but as far as I'm concerned, as an external applicant, I'd be offered the minimum of the range regardless of whether I was currently paid more than that.

Very grateful for any thoughts.
«13

Comments

  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,548 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    tink17 said:
    Hi, I was provisionally offered a new job in December subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks including security clearance. Last Friday, the new company confirmed the checks are all complete, said my offer was now a 'formal offer' rather than a provisional offer, and asked me to start in exactly 4 weeks' time. I asked if I could please have a copy of my contract before handing in my notice, but the HR dept said they couldn't do this until I was 'set up as a new employee' which would take another 8 days, and could I please take the email as confirmation of my formal offer and hand in my notice that day. They also sent me a copy of the company's standard terms and conditions, which they said my contract would mirror anyway.

    Having read online that the contract of employment exists as soon as I accepted the formal offer, I was happy to hand my notice in on that basis.

    The new company provides a 'salary range' and it was clear in the job advert that external applicants are expected to join on the minimum of this range. I was fine with this and never brought up the salary, as it isn't a massive 'range' anyway and my salary will be higher than it is now, even on the minimum.

    However, today I received an email from the new HR saying 'I’m in the process of setting you up as an employee, could you please confirm what your current salary is?'.

    I feel a bit uncomfortable sharing my current salary as it is significantly lower than the minimum salary for this new job. I'm quite confident that they wouldn't then lower the salary I'm being offered, as it is a public sector organisation where the salary ranges are already defined. However, I'm worried that it may cause the company to question whether I'm as good as I seemed at interview, if my salary is so much lower currently.

    For context, I trained on a graduate scheme in a somewhat similar field, got to a decent position and salary, then decided I wanted to try a different line of work which involved taking quite a big pay cut but I really wanted to give it a go and was in a position to take the salary drop to change paths. I quickly realised that I made a mistake as I just don't feel challenged enough since changing paths, and the progression in the new field is not as straight forward as I'd hoped (the funding has been cut for the training) so I looked for other jobs more similar to my previous role, and found this one. I explained my career decisions in the interview and the panel understood where I was coming from, but I still feel insecure about the salary in my current role and how it will reflect on me if I share it with HR at the new place. I'd rather I didn't have to share it and I'm confident when I'm in post my skills and ability will be able to speak for themselves. I don't think the panel really thought about my current job during my interview, as most of my examples were from my previous job as they were more applicable, so I'm worried that if attention was drawn to my current role which is a lot more junior, they might question whether they want me.

    Can anyone advise as to why HR at the new job are asking for my current salary at this stage? I'd understand if they were wanting it to negotiate salary, but as far as I'm concerned, as an external applicant, I'd be offered the minimum of the range regardless of whether I was currently paid more than that.

    Very grateful for any thoughts.
    A bit of box ticking they failed to complete earlier in the process would be my guess.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    How can they make a formal offer without a salary? That's a key part of any offer. I'd certainly be asking them to clarify their offer.

    Presumably this is a new employer? I'd possibly play dumb and ask them to confirm if they mean your salary with your soon to be ex-employer or what the offer of this new role with them was as you've never heard of a HR system that needs another employers salary figures.

    Salaries are what they are, there are times when you make big jumps in income and that's not a problem, I got a c35% pay rise when moving from a long term employer where I'd come up the ranks to a sideways move to a new employer doing the same job.  No need to be covert and given there appears to be a lot of pre-employment checks you probably don't want to be providing false information.
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,773 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Salary is part of a package, have you not agreed the other elements either? Hours, Holiday, Bonus, Benefits (Pension, Car Allowance, Health, sickness Cover, Life Cover etc)

    I have never explicitly told an employer what I am earning in a current role. I have always been clear about the sort of package I want and which parts are negotiable to get a balance which works for both sides. This would all be agreed before they made a formal offer and I accepted it.

    I would also be expecting a copy of my employment contract to sign and return as part of my formal acceptance before resigning from an existing role.
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,548 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Sandtree said:
    How can they make a formal offer without a salary? That's a key part of any offer. I'd certainly be asking them to clarify their offer.


    tink17 said:


    The new company provides a 'salary range' and it was clear in the job advert that external applicants are expected to join on the minimum of this range. I was fine with this and never brought up the salary, as it isn't a massive 'range' anyway and my salary will be higher than it is now, even on the minimum.


    I think OP knows what the salary is going to be.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,773 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Marcon said:
    I think OP knows what the salary is going to be.
    Not until it is written for a contract. It is an assumption based on what band the OP believes they will be put into.
  • Sandtree
    Sandtree Posts: 10,628 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    400ixl said:
    I would also be expecting a copy of my employment contract to sign and return as part of my formal acceptance before resigning from an existing role.

    I don't where this idea came from? How can you set a start date in the contract if you haven't resigned yet and seen if you'll be held to the notice period or can exit earlier? Obviously highly relevant for middle management or above type roles where notice period is almost certainly 3 months and potentially longer... no new employer is going to want to wait for you 6 months if you can negotiate a 1 month notice.

    I'll ask to see standard terms sometimes, more so if there are any oddities in the package, but they are so boiler plate its hardly worth it these days

    As a contractor it is slight different because you've payment terms, limits to liability, IR35 consideration etc but again, only looking for the template not to put pen to paper

    Probably hired a couple of hundred people in my career and not one has ever said they won't resign until they've signed... most companies its a day 1 activity.
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,773 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    You will know your your notice period for your current job. You agree a start date that allows you to put in your resignation and work the notice period. Hardly rocket science. Some companies only take induction groups at certain times so you need to factor that if it is the case (my current employer only starts people fortnightly for example).

    You can always negotiate an earlier start date if you do get released from your notice period early.

    The contract itself doesn't have the start date anyway, that is in the offer, so they are separate. Never seen it as a day 1 activity in all the companies I have worked for or been involved with.

    Contracting is different to FTE.
  • tink17
    tink17 Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    400ixl said:
    Salary is part of a package, have you not agreed the other elements either? Hours, Holiday, Bonus, Benefits (Pension, Car Allowance, Health, sickness Cover, Life Cover etc)

    I have never explicitly told an employer what I am earning in a current role. I have always been clear about the sort of package I want and which parts are negotiable to get a balance which works for both sides. This would all be agreed before they made a formal offer and I accepted it.

    I would also be expecting a copy of my employment contract to sign and return as part of my formal acceptance before resigning from an existing role.
    I knew all of this from the info provided in the job advert and was fine with all of it. The salary was listed as 'between X and Y' with the caveat that external applicants join on X unless they feel there are significant extenuating circumstances, in which case they could ask the hiring manager to submit a business case to allow them to join on Y salary instead of X, but in my case, I'm quite happy with X and don't feel there are any circumstances that would really justify Y, so I took it for granted I'd be paid X and didn't raise it with anyone.

    Sandtree said:
    How can they make a formal offer without a salary? That's a key part of any offer. I'd certainly be asking them to clarify their offer.

    Presumably this is a new employer? I'd possibly play dumb and ask them to confirm if they mean your salary with your soon to be ex-employer or what the offer of this new role with them was as you've never heard of a HR system that needs another employers salary figures.

    Salaries are what they are, there are times when you make big jumps in income and that's not a problem, I got a c35% pay rise when moving from a long term employer where I'd come up the ranks to a sideways move to a new employer doing the same job.  No need to be covert and given there appears to be a lot of pre-employment checks you probably don't want to be providing false information.
    I didn't think to question the salary when they sent the email advising I had a formal offer, as I'd taken it as a given I was being offered the minimum of the salary range.

    The point around never having heard of an HR system that needs another employer's salary figures is my main worry. I don't know why they need to know my current salary, especially after I've accepted their formal offer without asking for more than the minimum. I assumed they'd take it that I'd read the advert and T&Cs, and if I hadn't asked more money and pushed for extenuating circumstances, that I wouldn't suddenly do it after accepting a formal offer and handing my notice in. So I'm worried about why they're asking for my salary at this late stage and what it could mean.

    Marcon said: A bit of box ticking they failed to complete earlier in the process would be my guess.

    Is this a pretty routine thing for new employers to ask for as part of the usual box ticking HR questions? I suppose I'm worrying too much if so, but I would still rather not have to share it if I don't have to. I don't want to seem petulant though - it's not because I'm particularly bothered about being private, as if I was on closer to the salary in the new job, I'd just tell them, but I feel embarrassed of my current salary and feel they'll surely question if I should have been offered this job. I know I'm more than capable of the new job though, and have had arguably more responsibility in my previous, related job. It's almost like if I was the hiring manager, I might wonder what had gone on, but I just took a shot in the dark going to my current job, regretted it, and now I'm going back to the other field.
  • Dorisd
    Dorisd Posts: 174 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Normally in your offer there will be a salary amount. I would ask them to confirm the salary and other benefits/remuneration before you start. Seems a bit strange to not have discussed it.
    🎊Debt Free 8 Jan 2022[/center]🎉
    Language Learners Chat- Portuguese
  • tink17
    tink17 Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Dorisd said:
    Normally in your offer there will be a salary amount. I would ask them to confirm the salary and other benefits/remuneration before you start. Seems a bit strange to not have discussed it.
    I honestly think it's such a given that I'll be on the minimum of the range that it was taken for granted by all parties. I'm really not worried that it'll be any less than that, I'm just worried in case they suddenly rethink their offer entirely if I tell them my current salary. I don't know if anyone has experienced that before, or heard of it happening to anyone? 
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards