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Ask a salary increase, how do you approach this?

Our salary is an important employment condition and every month we look forward to the moment that the salary is paid into our account. But what if you think you don't earn enough? Then the salary can also be a sensitive subject between you and your employer. Asking for a salary increase is not easy and there is nothing legally regulated (except for the minimum wage).

Fixed agreements about salary increases

Does a collective labor agreement apply to you? Then the level of the salary is often regulated in the collective labor agreement. A specific salary is associated with each position and step. Whether an employer may deviate from the salary in the CLA depends on the CLA. In most cases there is a minimum collective labor agreement. With a minimum CLA, an employer may deviate positively from the agreements in the CLA (and therefore also give a higher salary), but he is not obliged to do so. Sometimes it is agreed in the CLA that an employer may not deviate from the provisions in the CLA. The employer must then pay the salary as agreed in the collective labor agreement. These collective labor agreements are called standard collective labor agreements. In the CLA text you can find out whether you have a minimum or standard CLA. It is also possible that agreements have been made in the company regulations about pay rises. Are there no agreements about a periodic salary increase? then an employer is not obliged to give a salary increase. You are of course free to discuss this with your employer.

Other position or additional job duties

Do you get a more demanding position? Then this often includes a higher salary. Sometimes you keep the same job, but you have been given more job duties and responsibilities over time. It is possible that your job description no longer fits the position. You can then talk to your employer to discuss the range of duties and a salary increase. Prepare for this conversation. Compare your current job description with your tasks in practice and investigate which job description better suits your job. De Unie can also help you with this.

The right time

If nothing has been determined about the salary, you are more free to negotiate your salary. This can be an advantage, but also offers less guidance. It is important that you choose the right time to discuss the salary increase. Useful moments are:

  • During performance or appraisal interviews;
  • If you have achieved success;
  • After obtaining a diploma.

After the interview, always ask whether your employer confirms the agreements in writing, for example by e-mail.

Minimum wage

If you earn the minimum wage, you are entitled to a salary increase twice a year. The legal minimum wage is adjusted twice a year: in January and July. During these months, always check whether the wage increase has been properly implemented. You can find a calculation tool for this on this website of the national government.


Often the level of the salary is also related to the appreciation you receive as an employee. Keep in mind that this valuation can also come from other employment conditions than the salary.

If your employer does not agree with a salary increase, check whether there are other options. For example an extra day of vacation or a laptop / phone from the company.

Do you have any questions?

Then contact us. We are happy to help you. We can be reached by phone on 0345 - 851 963, and you can also email us at