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How We Pay Our Staff

We're committed to being open

We are serious about being the best we can be for the world’s children. That means we place a premium on attracting the best people to work for us and to lead our organisation.


Securing the right people to deliver our ambitions is key to our strategy. One of the many ways we do that is through our competitive reward structure. We commit to paying staff a fair salary that is competitive within the charity sector, proportionate to the complexity and responsibilities of each role, and in line with our charitable objectives.

We pay all staff a living wage of at least £10.85 per hour in London and £9.50 per hour in the rest of the UK, as of 31 March 2020. We are accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.

In 2020, despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we continued our commitment to uphold our three agreed key principles for pay at Save the Children UK:

  • equality/fairness
  • responsible financial management
  • market competitiveness in line with the wider charity sector.

Financial constraints have restricted our approach to pay management this year, including the decision not to apply a workforce-wide pay award.

Save the Children UK decided to ‘top up’ the governmentfunded furlough scheme to maintain employee salaries at 100%, as well as significantly extending special leave provisions for those with caring responsibilities.

We acknowledge that debates over pay – and executive salaries, in particular – are important and reflect genuine public concerns. We are committed to achieving the right balance between recognising these concerns while at the same time ensuring our salary levels help attract the talent we need to run an effective and efficient multinational organisation. The People Committee oversees our pay policy and decides on the salaries of our Chief Executive and executive directors.

In line with recommendations from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations 2014 inquiry into executive pay, we publish our approach to pay, including details on our gender pay gap and ethnicity pay gap, in detail on our website. We explain how our pay levels are defined, publishing the ratio of pay levels across the organisation and listing the roles and salaries of our executive team. For further details on staff salary and pensions costs, please see notes 8 and 25 in the financial statements of our latest Annual Report.


The trustees delegate the day-to-day running of the organisation to the executive directors, who are considered the key management personnel. Compensation for all executive directors employed at Save the Children UK for the year ending 31 December 2020 are detailed here.

All our executive directors volunteered to take a 10% cut in their gross salary from 1 May to 31 December 2020 in recognition of the financial challenges the organisation was experiencing at the start of the pandemic.

Our Chief Executive Officer is paid a full-time equivalent annual salary of £143,000 (reduced to an annualised figure of £128,700 on reduced pay). As the pay reduction was introduce in May, the actual gross salary was £133,467.

The pay ratio of our CEO’s pay to our employees is as follows:

  • Upper quartile (£49,000): 2.9:1 (2.6:1 with 10% CEO salary cut)
  • Median pay (£42,000): 3.4:1 (3.1:1 with 10% CEO salary cut)
  • Lower quartile (£35,000): 4.1:1 (3.7:1 with 10% CEO salary cut)

This is the first year we have publicly reported the executive pay ratio. A year-on-year comparison will be made available in the 2021 Annual Report.


Ethnicity Data and Pay Gap Reports

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