Salary Survey 2010 highlights value of voluntary and community sector employment

2 Mar 2011     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

NICVA’S Salary Survey 2010, the third such study carried out in Northern Ireland, has highlighted changing trends in the voluntary and community sector. The research exposes not just the challenges facing the sector in the current economic climate, b

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The research focuses on the workforce composition of the voluntary and community sector and considers the issues of recruitment and retention as well as salaries and benefits. These issues are of huge interest to the sector, especially given the looming financial constraints many organisations face.

The survey reveals that although workers in the voluntary and community sector earn slightly less than the Northern Ireland average, organisations attract employees with their favourable terms and conditions, family friendly benefits and the chance to do a job that really makes a difference.

Commenting on the report NICVA CEO Seamus McAleavey said,

“Voluntary and community organisations are rightly proud of our talented and motivated workforce.

“Our sector is committed to directing as much of its resources as possible into frontline services so organisations aim to keep administrative and staff costs at an acceptable level.  The sector strives to be a good employer and so it makes sense that where organisations cannot match the salaries offered by the public and private sectors, they make up the difference in other ways.

“Family friendly policies are one way of doing this. However, for employees across the sector their job is about more than their pay packet. The satisfaction that comes from working in a sector that really makes a difference to vulnerable people and disadvantaged communities cannot be underestimated,”

concludes Seamus.

Key findings

  • Women (73%) and young people aged 31-40 (27%) make up a large portion of the workforce; voluntary and community sector employers look after the welfare of their employees by offering above average maternity pay, sickness pay and annual leave which has led to high levels of staff retention and a motivated workforce.
  • The most common benefits provided above the statutory minimum include; annual leave offered by 60% of organisations; sick leave provided by 55.6% of organisations; above average maternity pay and leave granted by 41.2% of organisations; and family friendly benefits such as flexible working hours offered by over half of organisations; time off in lieu (TOIL) is operated by 80.4% of respondents; working from home offered by 27% of organisations and special compassionate leave offered by 40.9% of organisations.
  • Just over half of all organisations (50.9%) reported that they conducted a pay review.
  • 10.1% of organisations reported that they had undergone major pay restructuring within the past 12 months and 4.5% of organisations anticipated future structural pay changes.
  • The average remuneration level in the voluntary and community sector for all employees (i.e. full and part time) is currently £19,447 (mean). The average (mean) annual gross pay for all (i.e. full and part time) employees in Northern Ireland is £21,828.
  • Salary levels of Chief Executives in the upper quartile have reduced by 8% since 2006. Salary levels of Directors have reduced across all quartiles. There has been a notable increase in salaries for Clerical Supervisor/Training or Care staff across all quartiles, particularly those in the lower quartile which has increased by 17.4% since 2006. The biggest increase in salary levels is among Administrative Officers/Care Officers in all quartiles, especially the lower quartile with a 21.4% increase since 2006. The salary levels of Junior/Trainee staff have also increased since 2006. 

Additional Information

For further information on the salary survey contact [email protected]