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Bill Bennett


Remuneration: A posh word for pay

Cloud computing, all about counting those pennies?

Employers in knowledge industries rarely talk about pay. They prefer remuneration.

Perhaps the idea comes from the early 20th century when Britain’s upper classes thought discussing money was vulgar.

Another explanation is employers live in a pretentious management-speak world where they use sesquipedalian – if you want to use that one at a dinner party make sure there’s no food in your mouth – words in the vain hope of impressing or intimidating the plebs.

Some recruiters belong to a generation who read the Reader’s Digest. They soaked up the fancy words from “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power” while waiting to have their teeth fixed.

The real reason they use long words is they aim to flatter and distract us.

Remuneration sounds posher than wages or pay.

There’s an implication that once you’ve progressed to the lofty heights of remuneration you no longer worry about petty things like checking to see if you’re paid a fair wage or going home before midnight.

To be fair, pay is just about money, while remuneration can mean a package of money and benefits. Mind you, some employers used to call this ‘a package’.

Nevertheless, the only way you can measure the real worth of remuneration is by converting everything back into cold hard cash.



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