These are the UK’s highest paying companies—and what they’ll pay you

Employees are increasingly sharing how much they earn on anonymous reporting sites
Such a thing as a free lunch?
Such a thing as a free lunch?
Image: Reuters/Toby Melville
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What does your friend who works at Facebook actually get paid? How about that woman from your class who joined Deutsche Bank and has since risen through the ranks? Most of us keep our salaries a secret, even from those we’re close with. But increasingly, current and former employees are sharing reams of information anonymously on crowdsourced sites like Glassdoor and Emolument, including what they really think of their employer—and how much they earn.

The interest in other people’s pay packets is often intense. When Ask A Manager, a popular workplace advice site, invited users last month to anonymously fill in a spreadsheet declaring their salary, thousands responded.

For the third time, Glassdoor’s UK division has revealed the salary ranking for the country’s top-paying firms. Banks Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered are all in the top five payers, as well as Facebook, and software maker SAP. It’s perhaps unsurprising that finance and tech firms dominate the list, but the specifics of what those companies have to pay to lure talented people through their doors is still eye-opening.

All the salaries in the lists are self-reported on Glassdoor’s platform, where current and former employees can post reviews of their companies, endorse or complain about them, and share pay information. That’s not a perfect measure, but does give some indication of what companies are paying.

🎧 For more intel on sharing salaries, listen to the Work Reconsidered podcast episode on pay transparency. Or subscribe via: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher.

To compile the report, Glassdoor looked at all salary reports between March 2018 and the end of February 2019, including only companies with at least 30 salary reports in GBP by UK-based employees. It’s possible to report base salary only on Glassdoor, but for this list the company only included workers who also reported “other forms of compensation,” such as bonuses. That’s an optional field, but it makes for a fuller picture.

Here’s the full 2019 list:

Glassdoor doesn’t seek to confirm the ballpark salaries it lists with employers. Because all salaries are self-reported, it’s very unlikely that high-end salaries like those of the CEO would be included. “We use median rather than mean (average) so that the figures would not be skewed by unusual outliers, such as a very high salary,” said Joe Wiggins, Glassdoor’s director of communications. “With this report, we are trying to help jobseekers work out which companies pay the most, and very few people are ever going to earn a CEO salary, so that would not be much help to the vast majority of employees.”

The previous list, released in 2017, identified just the top 10 UK companies. That list included some of the same names, but banks Nomura, Macquarie Group, and Royal Bank of Canada were also in the rankings.

Glassdoor’s US wing also reported the 25 companies with the highest salaries in 2017, with the top spot going to consultancy AT Kearney, which paid a median total compensation of $175,000 that year. Strategy&, another consulting firm, and software company VMWare, weren’t far behind, with compensation around $170,000. This year, Glassdoor says it isn’t releasing top US salaries, saying the company is concentrating instead on other lists—like the highest paid interns in the country.

Alongside the UK data, top payers in France and Germany are also being released. But these lists differ slightly from the UK, reporting only median base salary, rather than the median of total compensation (including bonuses and other remuneration.) The highest payers in France were Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. In Germany they were telecoms company Nokia, Intel Corporation, and Opel Automobile.