Finances and pay

Our approach to pay

This information is correct as at April 2022.

In April 2022 we employed 266 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. 99% 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 (Chief Executive Officer) 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 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 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. In April 17 roles were paid at least £60,000 a year, and 7 of these roles are members of the Organisational Leadership Team.

This information is correct as at April 2022.

FTE salary banding Numbers of postholders Management Level
£60,000–£64,999 7 Senior Manager
£70,000–£74,999 2 Senior Manager
£75,000–£79,000 1 Senior Manager
£85,000–£89,999 1 Organisational leadership team
£95,000–£99,999 4 Organisational leadership team
£105,000–£109,999 1 Organisational leadership team
£136,500 Chief Executive Officer Organisational leadership team


  • Two 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 full time equivalent (FTE) pay of £136,500 and our lowest annual FTE salary is £18,665. Our mean FTE average salary is £37,328 and our median FTE average salary is £33,623.

Our highest paid employee has an FTE salary which is 7.3 times more than our lowest paid employee, 3.7 times more than our mean average FTE salary and 4.1 times more than our median average FTE salary.

A summary of our pay differentials is provided below:

Pay 2022 2021 2020
Average actual salary £34,753 £34,047 £33,967
Average FTE salary £37,328 £36,895 £36,612
Median actual salary £31,977 £32,264 £31,856
Median FTE salary £33,623 £34,080 £33,670
Lowest actual salary £5,746 £4,848 £4,848
Lowest FTE salary £18,665 £18,665 £16,380
Highest actual salary £136,500 £123,885 £145,500
Highest FTE salary £136,500 £123,885 £145,500
Pay ratio: highest to lowest actual salary 23.8 25.6 30.0
Pay ratio: highest to lowest FTE salary 7.3 6.6 8.9
Pay ratio: highest to mean average actual salary 3.9 3.6 4.3
Pay ratio: highest to mean average FTE salary 3.7 3.4 4.0
Pay ratio: highest to median average actual salary 4.3 3.8 4.6
Pay ratio: highest to median average FTE salary 4.1 3.6 4.3

Actual salary = gross pay representative of hours worked. This makes comparisons between part time and full time workers difficult. For example, people on the same pay grade could receive quite different actual salaries depending on hours worked.

Full time equivalent (FTE) salary = this converts actual part time salaries to their full time equivalent. Using FTE salaries therefore enables us to better compare the salary differentials.

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 2023 gender pay report (PDF, 393 KB). This information is correct as of April, in line with the gender pay gap snap shot requirements.

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 2024.

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