According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor in 2015, only 37% of French employees know how much their colleagues are paid. In France, the salary remains a taboo subject. What to do when we are asked for our salary? Should we dare to discuss it or is it better to say nothing?

Should you talk about salary with your colleagues?

On the one hand, by discussing your salary (preferably outside the workplace) with a colleague at the same hierarchical level or similar functions , you will know if you are being paid equally . If this is not the case, it is necessary to understand why there is a difference (discrimination linked to sex for example). To do this, it will be necessary to inform the Human Resources department, the staff representative or the employer. This may be a good time to renegotiate his salary.

On the other hand, the rules for calculating remuneration are transparent in few companies, which is a shame since it avoids any misunderstanding and gossip. If there are unfounded rumors about your salary, you may decide to discuss them in order to avoid them.

Also, no one can force you to clearly state your salary. In order to remain discreet, it is possible to talk about it without indicating a specific amount. If the discussion takes place, just give it a wider or narrower range. You will have responded to your colleagues and avoid any awkward situation.

Is it better not to talk about salary with colleagues?

When you talk about your salary with your colleagues, but it is more important than theirs, it can lead to jealousy, degrade the working atmosphere and create a conflictual situation , even if it is really justified. Indeed, success and wealth are poorly perceived in France unlike Anglo-Saxon countries. The risk is also to pass for a pretentious person, according to the way in which one approaches the subject and the explanations given.

It is also possible to find each other in the event that colleagues earn more . If you wish to discuss it, be sure to be prepared to hear their responses, so that you don’t have any bad feelings. If several of you are underpaid, why not find a solution together?

Also, be aware that shared information can often be repeated , even with colleagues you really trust. So if you’re hesitant to discuss your salary, don’t. Change the subject diplomatically, or just explain that you don’t want to bring up the subject because it is personal information.